Incompetence


060627-tangled-wires.jpgIn a word, headaches. Google has all the money in the world, and MySpace is just too big of a mess for them to want to deal with it. The constant public frown on MySpace is only the beginning of the headaches, too. I wouldn’t want to deal with the publicity or coding of MySpace, myself. Especially if I’m already an established powerhouse like Google.

Of course, in reality I would gladly personally take command of MySpace, because then I wouldn’t be so poor. I’m not exactly Google though, am I?

Have you ever looked at the address bar when you’re on MySpace? We’ve all noticed that it’s slower than a 15 year old tramp saying “no,” but there are genuine clues to what’s going on to cause all that stuttering and stalling, and they’re as close as your address bar. It would be best not to go into them here, they only stand out after years of watching what’s happening very closely while browsing. Just take it from me, I know a little bit about it, and things are not running on all four cylinders in MySpace’s programming department.
Google is notorious for their outstanding public face, and they should want nothing to do with anything that might harm that image. MySpace, on the other hand, is torn by controversy, the target of dozens (if not hundreds) of special interest groups, and as one Digg reader put it: a veritable “cesspool of pedophiles and cam whores.”

Pay attention to that bit about pedophiles, they might seem like nothing more than a creepy, trench-coat wearing nuisance to us, but they’ll be the death of MySpace yet. One of these days some underage tramp’s parents are going to actually succeed in suing MySpace when she bumps uglies with half the 35 year old men in the country (because of MySpace, mind you, not because she’s a slut). That’s the day MySpace is doomed. The lawyers will suck them dry, and being banned left and right by schools, parents and all manner of authority figures will stop the bounce-back that would otherwise occur.

Not only does Google not want to get sued, or tarnish their so far stellar image, but they just don’t want to deal with that shit. I can’t say I blame them.

It turns out the biggest argument for–and against–wanting to own MySpace turns out to be the people. No one can argue that owning MySpace would give Google access to a massive, reasonably loyal user base. Are these people really what Google wants though? When a company is trying to step up and fight the likes of Microsoft and Yahoo, do they really want to stoop to making the majority of their user base teeny-boppers and their emotionally crippled adult counterparts?

Computer SecurityLaptop Theft Puts Customer Data At Risk

GMAC Financial Services recently began informing customers that their personal data has been severely compromised. Two laptops containing customers' personal data were stolen from a GMAC vehicle in Atlanta recently, exposing the names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, credit scores, marital status, and genders of 200,000 people.

As one particularly on-point customer said after receiving notice that his information had been stolen: "I'm not sure how or who determines what constitutes 'secure' when it comes to customers' personal information. However, if company guidelines deem it acceptable to house that data on laptops, in parked cars, then I would question their competence to establish any process and procedure to ensure the security of any data anywhere."

The first article I read about this little fiasco made a big fuss about how great it was that the data on these stolen laptops was "password protected." I thought that this was definitely either misunderstanding coupled with excessive faith in The Man, or it was intentional misunderstanding to avoid a public loss of faith in him. When I read that I thought "yeah, but these are old people, they probably think that putting stuff in 'My Documents' and putting a password on their windows account is security."

So I did a little Google search, read a little more, and uncovered the truth. Yeah, they had "password protection," but no actual encryption. What this means is that if I had these laptops I could get access to that data in 30 seconds, and I honestly don't know shit about security.

This is nothing less than what I expect from a generation that has to be told that the Internet is a good place to look for prior art when investigating patents.

I don't pretend to have answers. I don't know how we can force people to just learn a little about the technology they use every day. I just call them as I see them.