I use Facebook a lot because almost none of my RL friends have transitioned to G+ but despite the way Google seems to have spread out to influence so much of the tech world I can’t help feeling that there is something far more insidious about FB. I do not like Zuck and I do not like much about the structure of the network. I trust Google with all my information because I believe they will use it to make a better user experience across the entire internet but I think FB is bad for the internet and I trust them with very little information. I only let them know that actually I was born in 1972 and not 1911 as I previously stated a few weeks ago. As far as they are concerned I am also minister of doom for the European Parliament. I would willingly tell Google my real age and job because I can see the reason to do so but FB just want it for their own nefarious purposes as far as I can see.
Having said that Google are a continual disappointment to me. They have spread themselves too thin. They should take the advice they were given, I think by Steve Jobs but I am not sure, focus on what you want to achieve. while you are messing around with your finger in so many pies you will never excel in any of them. They have started to move in that direction now but they are still spread too thin and they are still progress oriented at the expense of customer experience. An example of this is the way in which they force google docs to work. I have always insisted on using Word in the past because it is an excellent program but due to the clever inclusion of a google docs web app in the Chrome app store which I installed I have found myself using google docs far more often. The fact that they have recently introduced google drive was an extra piece of advertising more than anything. My browser is always open so if I want to quickly jot down a document it is far easier to use google docs than it is to open the incredibly slow working and overly complex Word. There are a number of features of google docs that I find inconvenient but if I am not doing a major piece of work then it is more than adequate for my needs.
I have a number of issues with it that I consider unforgivable though. One thing that is incredibly frustrating is that they have made it impossible to access my documents if I do not have an internet connection. Not only that but they have made it impossible to work on my documents if my internet connection should temporarily disappear. Yesterday I had a great day. I managed to type about 5000 words on the subject I was working on. I was really on a roll and then suddenly in the middle of a sentence I was told that the computer was unable to connect to google. The screen faded and I was stuck there doing nothing. That was the end of the day. I could type no more. Of course this was the fault of Three not Google but given that Google recently tried to introduce an online OS in their Chrome OS didn’t they realise that internet connection is far from perfect. Did they just stand with their fingers in their ears shouting “La la la la la la la la la la la”? You could be forgiven for thinking they did because almost anyone on the street could have told you that the internet connectivity infrastructure is inadequate to support software that does not work offline.
Blizzard are a recent company to make this mistake. Their new game Diablo III will only work while you are online. Not just for multiplayer which needs to be online but also for single player that people have always played offline in the past. You need to log in to their servers before you can start a game. So you pay almost £50 for the game, you go online, and what happens? Their own servers cannot handle the number of people who want to log on. This is incompetence of such a level that somebody should be losing their job and facing the prospect of heading to the unemployment queue. I am sorry if that seems harsh but you do not take money from thousands of people for something that it is impossible for you to deliver. That is a criminal level of incompetence. According to the article I read on Forbes there were 470 one star reviews on Amazon. I am not a gamer but I hold such a dislike for moronic measures being implemented without adequate justification that offend and irritate thousands of people in the name of the corporate god Dollar the Almighty that I am tempted to go and add my own review. Although Blizzard are obviously staffed by retards with no understanding of how the internet works at least they do have the excuse that they were trying to prevent piracy. What excuse do Google have for me having no access to my documents. Their software is free.
Of course their is now Google drive which allows you to store docs on your own cloud synced hard drive, there is also an offline version of Google docs. That’ll fix the issue won’t it. Won’t it? No it won’t! Offline docs will only allow you to read your docs, not edit them. I have word processing software more functional than that on my phone. And that DOESN’T EVEN HAVE A KEYBOARD!!!! It used to be joked that word processing was only invented to give computers a purpose. Maybe it was a joke; it is difficult to tell considering how pointless computers appeared to be in the 70s. Now Google have successfully taken away that functionality. If I have a doc in google drive stored locally and I click on it to open it up then I have two choices either read it if I have no internet connection or open it in google docs. Unfortunately I have had to uninstall my Gdrive due to having hard drive issues on my laptop so I have not verified this but according to the pcpro podcast I listened to the other day you do not have the option to open the docs in an offline wordprocessor. Luckily you can still copy and paste the words to this is not a huge issue but it is a rather long winded way of getting around what would appear to be not just an oversight but an actual destructively chosen option to insist that their software is not used online.
It is not as though Google is a new company that has not had the time to work on producing proper software. It is not as though they are simply unable to afford enough software engineers to get the job done properly. This is an active decision and unfortunately it is retarded enough to have come from Blizzard, and as far as word processors go this
feature ballsup error is the sort of thing you might expect in a word processor made by a games company. Perhaps Google thinks it is a games company. I don’t know. I have to go all the way along the line of services they half heartedly attempt to supply to get to the drop down menu of services they are a little “More” half hearted about before going to the bottom of that menu to find the services they are “Even more” half hearted about to get to the page on which I can load igoogle. It has been over a year since I have scrolled to the bottom of that page. Maybe there is a link to something they are “Even more halfhearted again” about at the bottom. Maybe there is the best 3D combat game ever but no one knows because it is so far down a trail of “Even more” links.
Maybe they are a games company after all. Maybe they are a financial service. Maybe they are an academic service. Maybe they are a patient in a psychiatric hospital diagnosed with multiple personality disorder that the doctors tried to cure by interfacing with a medical computer via a revolutionary computer/brain interface but then discovered that if they left the brain as it was they could tell people they had designed an extensive set of web services. Given the difficulty that computers are always giving us perhaps this is a common practice. There is a theory that a lot of workers in silicon valley have high functioning autism. There is also a lot of evidence that they are also sociopaths who wish to inflict suffering on as many people as possible. There is not enough evidence to the contrary to disprove that theory.
I have not even come close to finishing my Google rant so far. I could go on for another 2000 words easily but I am definitely a long way into TL;DR territory now and I haven’t even made my start on Microsoft yet. I won’t even begin going down that route now. Besides which my boss’s insistence that we all begin using Office 365 from now on will give me a lot more fuel for that rant within a few days from now.
Ultimately I do love Google. As far as corporations go I have studied enough business, law and politics to know I really like them. However another all round nice guy I also really liked was Forrest Gump but I don’t know whether I would put him in charge of a tech company. Mind you given Forrest’s track record it would probably be a huge success. They aren’t employing Forrest as a consultant are they? That would explain both their track record of massive success and their penchant for giving the appearance of being dysfunctional retards.