On Evil Empires


Something that's been on my mind, off and on, for awhile now. Is Microsoft still the giant 'evil empire' that it seems cool to auto-loathe, has that title shifted to apple, is google the new ebil, or.. well what's the deal? I ask mostly because on a personal level I just can't muster the same sort of loathing I used to for Microsoft, no matter how much they might still back DRM and out-money opponents in the courtroom. Apple I'd actually applaud for having not only found success, but by creating a viable competetor to MS. Trouble is to me Mac seems to be that snobby artsy sibling of the group that wants you to catre to their every whim and thank them for the privilage. That and the more I hear about Steve Jobs the less I like the guy.

Google, the company that has 'Don't be Evil' as it's corporate mantra. Hell, they gave me a laptop just because I agreed to tinker around with Chrome OS. Why're they on this list?  between past transgressions such as the Great Firewall, sniffing out people's wifi while doing street view camera shots, and current worries over their partnership with verizon let's call it more concern than anything else. I mean They're the biggest fish in the pond so far as I can see it, and if I'm reading the net's mood halfway right they're straddling between 'geek friendly company o coolness' and 'a bunch of sellouts that traded principles for empty words and lots of cash.'

They've been pretty good to me as a seemingly random net user. They've given me an email service where spam is infrequent and generally something I don't have much trouble with. I have a blog because they decided blogspot was a company worth saving from potential bankrupcy. Said blog might even one day bring me a teeny little bit of money from AdSense. All for the low low price of collecting useage data they can use as leverage to ads that they themselves have admitted they don't really mind if people block (since if too many block then quality degrades and an equelibrium will, in theory, be reached on that front.)

So with all this positive are my feelings that they could grow corrupt and end up as a oppressive Juggernaut unfounded? Maybe I just have a knee-jerk loathing of any fish out there big enough to eat me. Trouble with that line of reasoning is both that there are lots of fish out there much smaller than Google capible of swallowing me whole, and I'm on my sixth or eighth glass of Google Flavored Kool-Aid.

So let's call it 'I really don't want these people to turn out like apple.' Y'know, apple started as a people friendly alternative to the monolith IBM represented. Kindof a tipoff with their 1984 superbowl commercial. They still try that 'we're an alternative' bit with their 'mac v pc' ads. Just this time It seems less 'I'm people friendly and support creativity' and more 'i'm that annoying preppy guy that took the artsy attitude and am just using it as marketing. Now give me your money and thank me for the privilege of buying over-priced fisher-price iAppliances.'

Right, this's more than a touch close to spleen venting on the matter. If this posts it'll be a few days after it's written so I can re-read and make sure.

Discussions Welcome.

Edit: Gah! This is what happens when I don't proof stuff I put in buffer after late night rambly writings. Apologies for worse than usual typos.
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