Don’t be too sure that the coronavirus will blow over and have no effect on global growth.
If there is anything that characterizes this moment in history, it’s complacency: everyone’s so sure that current trend lines will continue, onward and upward, and risk has been tamed for the foreseeable future.
Would it surprise anyone if Google alters search results to favor itself? Nope! Reuters explains that Europe is once again fed up with Google’s shenanigans, so “Axel Springer Unit, Others Say Google Still Playing Unfairly, Want EU To Act.” Axel Springer owns the shopping comparison Web site Idealo and it has teamed with forty other companies to accuse Google of altering search. The companies want the European Union to enforce a ruling against Google.
The claimants are pressuring European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager to enforce an order she made two years ago for Google to stop favoring its own price comparison shopping service.
Advertisers go where the eyeballs are. Money can alter the meaning of ethics. And that money issue may be the reason Web sites are not indexed comprehensively, US government Web sites are indexed infrequently and superficially, and why Google ignores certain types of content.
On New Year’s Day 2020, Twitter account @HindsightFiles began posting documents from data firm Cambridge Analytica (CA) which expose the extensive infrastructure used to manipulate voters on a global scale.
Phi Beta Iota: The White received a warning letter and proposed $1B a year budget in 1994 — instead of hearing the warning, the White House gave CIA and NSA free rein toward surveillance capitalism and what security existed was undermined with the complicity of BigTech CEOs for the convenience of NSA. The 4th Amendment was trashed in 1994 and then again in 2001 with the Patriot Act (written prior to 9/11) creating DHS and TSA.
Phi Beta Iota: Her site is down intermittently. There is a new wave of attacks agaiinst truth-tellers (including PBI, defeating over 8,000 attacks, some sophisticated, each day). Some of the assholes have technical skills.
Hats off to The New York Times for a superb article on Amazon. It barely scratches the surface but it is a very good start. I am the one who inspired Amazon in 2007 with my briefing, “Amazon as the Hub of the World Brain,” but they went down the rabbit hole which was not my intention, I had hoped they would become a source of power for the public rather than an extension of the police state. Amazon is gobbling up — some would say very unethically — both normal online businesses (e.g. Netflix) and open source offerings (e.g. Elastic) while doing mass and a la carte surveillance (e.g delivery drones with cameras on call for law enforcement missions) beyond the pale.