Speculation


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?

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Peeking at GoogleI make a habit of checking Google's robots.txt file, because it gives a list of everything on the site. Granted, if they really want to hide stuff this won't uncover it, but it's a great way to find funny little things that aren't documented or aimed at the general public.

My big discovery today was a new entry at the bottom of the list, calls/. I was, of course, intrigued to no end to find something in here that is both new and not associated with anything public on Google Labs.

Google/Call XML error of some kindUpon visiting google.com/calls/, I was presented with nothing more than an infitesimal little chunk of XML. I almost completely disregarded it, but then I realized I had nothing better to do than to go ahead and look a little closer.

The first data was an error code of some kind. 103, to be precise. That's not too interesting, but the second piece was. An empty field called "call_id."

Now, I have to have some kind of theory to explain what's going on here, so let's get to it. I think this page is some sort of interface for a VoIP service that's in the works. It's still very much in the works, too, to the point that it doesn't even have any kind of GUI. Still, it's exciting to think that Google could be dabbling in VoIP.

The logical thing would be to extend Google Talk to include VoIP, which would be so amazingly useful. Especially if it were functional from my gMail page. That way I could check my email, IM my friends, and make phone calls from any computer. It would be pretty sweet.