Monday, 9 July 2007

Thoroughly thought through

Google's a pretty big topic. To analyse it all would take the rest of my lunch break, at least. There are 2 things surrounding the Big G that I am interested in however, their recent move into the security market, and (my recent awareness of) a turning tide of criticism against them.

Whenever a company becomes the richest in the world and/or the most recognised brand in the world, people start calling them corporate whores, sell-outs, accuse them of ambiguity and hypocrisy, etc. I wasn't aware of this with Google until relatively recently however. Today I have read seething criticisms of their data retention tactics and, some time ago now, bewilderment from the security community as to what Google were doing on their turf.

The same thing has happened to Microsoft of course, it's fashionable to hate them, and Bill Gates. This has happened previously (in no particular order) to IBM, Coca-Cola, Christianity and IKEA. Not that Coke or IKEA tried to muscle in on IT Security, hence why I still drink The Real Thing and haven't used glue for DIY in over 7 years. (I withhold my judgement on Jesus, in the hope that he will return the favour for a few more years). The fact that both MS and G have recently sprawled into MY space (that's security by the way) indicates something to me:

Like a fat man on an aeroplane, they can no longer stay in their seats, and they're starting to annoy the lean, slim passengers next to them who have paid the same price for theirs. Shortly they will be sweating on them and making the whole plane smell bloody awful, whilst simultaneously dropping pretzel crumbs down their shirts. Sorry to be graphic, but I had this happen to me on a SouthWest flight from Burbank to LA recently... and there were 2 of them, one each side. Urgh.

I fell asleep on the SouthWest flight and woke up just before landing when the fat guy on the left of me, who's shoulder I had been dribbling on for the last half an hour, finally shrugged me off. If there's one thing a fat guy can't stand, it's someone trying to digest them in their sleep.

So, I think this is the tactic we should now adopt with the "fat men" of security. Whilst they are expanding into our flabby areas, we need to fall asleep on their shoulders until they sit up and take notice. In other words, whilst these guys are distracted with shiny security things, everyone should carry on criticising the number one search engine and operating system on the planet, whilst the clever guys write some proper software. We can take a hit for the team, be the martyrs for the rest of the world. Then we'll all be heroes. Won't we?

Maybe then MS and G will sit up and take notice, get back to what they're good at and suck it in for the rest of the flight? Having said that, the fat men on the plane remained fat until we landed and I got off sweating and smelling 2 parts American to one part Brit, not a good ratio. I was only heartened by the fact that one of the fat men had my drool on his shoulder, AND I still had one of his pretzels.

I don't know what this means in terms of my tortured analogy. Maybe I'll be forced to take a job that smells of Google? Maybe one day the whole world will be run by MicroSoftGoogle, or MSG as they will become known. When that day comes, the fat will rule the earth.

[Apologies to the fat if I have caused offence in this article, it was not my intention. Some of my best friends are fat. Well, I say "friends"...]

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