The Night Google Gone Evil

I came out of the OSCON conference with a renewed appreciation for Google. I don’t like Java, and that colors my perception of Android (and caused me to miss out on a Nexus One, because I dislike Java that much) — but between all of the activity surrounding Wave, and App Engine, and Android and my first time hearing Chris DiBona. I came away with a new appreciation for Google as a whole, even more questioning of my position on Android vs. iPhone, and I was ready to start building on App Engine, and especially on Wave.

When you take one’s normally highly cynical seen-too-many-technology-transitions-in-19-years self — and that begins to be overcome with the potential of the efforts a company is making — enough that you actually have more excitement than cynicism, moves against that excitement can feel a little like betrayal.

It’s silly really, it’s business, and collections of individuals operating behind corporate cultures are going to move in the directions that make immediate revenue sense. But when you believe a little in the product, it still stings a little. I believe in OS X enough, and I believed in iOS enough that the App Store policies still felt bad. Really, there are more important issues. But it’s my career, I’ll let it matter to me a little.

Yesterday was a bad day to have started down a bit of “Google fanboy” path. First wave, then network neutrality.

I’ll get to Wave in another post. Network Neutrality is the real issue here.

Google’s Public Policy team [ says that the New York Times was wrong.

I’d like to give Google the benefit of the doubt, but that feels like spin. GPP says “we aren’t talking payment”. The Times didn’t say you were, Google. They were saying that your conversations could lead to groups like YouTube paying for carriage.

David Weinberger points out Eric Schmidt’s comments (via GigaOm) on the matter.

But it’s OK to discriminate across different types, so you could prioritize voice over video

No. That’s not open. And it doesn’t matter if you aren’t paying, if you are making a deal with Verizon that says “hey, we won’t threaten your spectrum again, and we’ll back off, just let our ad-driven YouTube videos have priority over some LOLcats” — money doesn’t have to change hands to mess with the internet.

Bad day Google. Bad day.