seemingly infinite array of knowledge14 Apr 2009
Conversations on the Internet have a certain flavor to them that exceeds limitations of the normal world. The participants do not have to be in the same room, let alone the same country. It is because of this phenomenon that we have a fusing of cultures with the capability of pooling knowledge together. This seemingly infinite array of knowledge is indexed and searchable.
These participants can keep track of one another through social networking enabled websites, which informs one another of interests, relationships, microblogs, and blogs. Conversations here closely resemble informal social interactions, similar to a party atmosphere. This is a pleasant contrast to the focused, educated, and moderated conversations that are ever so quickly building the infinite data pool.
Education is free on the internet. Anyone can use Google. There is no limit to the amount of data that can be sent or stored. The only limiting factor here is bandwidth. Internet access is freely available at the worlds libraries and third world countries are beginning to integrate computers into the household. Soon, wireless broadband will be available for free and every electronic device will be connected to it as well as a smart power supply with diagnostics like Google PowerMeter.
Google has replicated and improved on three of the most important desktop applications, and offered these robust products for free, accessible with your preferences and stored files anywhere. Gmail is the king of all email clients and Google Calendar is a robust calendar. Google Docs is replacing Microsoft Office, and Google Reader takes the stand as the hands-down best RSS feed aggregator, organizer, and viewer.
Third-party hardware is embraced by Google as it is simply provides their clientele. In an effort to maintain this connection with mobile computer users, Google provides a plethora of support for various clients. The most popular, the iPhone, gets the best tools. The Google Mobile app allows you to search with your voice, but only after you unlock this special feature in a secret menu. The capabilities of this app are limited to search. And rightly so, that is what Google specializes in.
That’s not all Google’s done for the iPhone. Gmail, Google Docs, Calendar and Reader are all optimized for the iPhone’s browser. They load when there is no internet because Google is taking advantage of a new technology in browser caching available with HTML5. They even released a Google Sync app to allow push synchronization of contacts and calendars. This allows me to bypass mobileme, which I believe has failed.
Other mobile devices with ties to Google are the BlackBerry and, of course, G1 and Android OS phones. Many seem these as competitors to the iPhone, but Google sees them as users. The masses are all participants in Google’s great information experiment. How effectively can we index information and provide easy access based off of previous human interaction. So effectively it is scary.
So scary that it almost seems like Artificial Intelligence, but don’t worry, it definitely is not. Google would not be anything if everyone in the world were not asking it questions all day. That’s the thing. Google relies on its users. Google is only the bread, the foundation. The users are the butter, the deliciousness, Google is obsessed with them. This infatuation leads to an incredible amount of usability on thick, interconnected system that Google is developing.
This usability and the freedom that Google offers is popular and catching on like a wildfire. Google has become a catalyst for freedom of information. They are collecting everything and providing easy access. There is essentially no limit to how many emails you can keep in Gmail. I can search all my documents and conversations I’ve emailed the past 5 years, that is 2398 MB (32%) of the current allotment of 7315 MB. That’s just a drop in the bucket.
Update 8-29-2013 – For reference, I am up to 26.39 of 36GB (73%)…
With Google - Web History I can access all 9161 searches I made since I registered with Google. That is, a complete histogram of all my hobbies, projects, interests, and research since May 2005. A true blast from the past. In addition, I can see trends on my Google searching. Popular hours, days, months, terms, websites, clicks, you get the idea..
It is fascinating, in my opinion, but to others this mining of data is an invasion of privacy. I’m not going to list their reasoning for this way of thinking, they are obvious. I am going to simply say to these people that Google is a service, not a requirement. If you don’t like it, don’t use it. They might hit me back with the concept of Google taking over the internet, that being inevitably forced to use Google. That idea could make a good plot for a studio film.