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Free wireless internet access from Google if you live in San Francisco?


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Free wireless internet access from Google if you live in San Francisco?
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Mac+
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2005-10-03, 01:17

My God - they're an unstoppable juggernaut! (article came from here)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Liedtke | San Francisco, United States @ 02 October 2005 10:35
Google's grand plan for San Francisco

Google wants to connect all of San Francisco to the internet with a free wireless service, creating a springboard for the online search-engine leader to leap into the telecommunications industry.

The Mountain View, California-based company filed an application late on Friday to provide a wireless, or Wi-Fi, service that would enable anyone in San Francisco to connect to the internet.

Google submitted its 100-page bid in response to a call for proposals from San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, who is looking for a company to finance a free wireless network to lower the financial barriers to internet access in his city.

More than a dozen other bidders are competing with Google for the San Francisco project.

If Google is selected, it would provide a testing ground for a national Wi-Fi service -- something that many industry observers believe the company is pondering as a way to ensure people can connect to its search engine at any time, from just about anywhere.

"It makes sense for Google," said Chris Winfield, who runs a search-engine marketing firm, 10e20. "They say their mission is to organise the world's information, so the logical next step is to provide the access to it."

Google spokesperson Nate Tyler said on Saturday that the company does not currently have plans to offer a Wi-Fi service outside the San Francisco Bay area.

"Unwiring San Francisco is a way for Google to support our local Bay area community," Tyler said. "It is also an opportunity to make San Francisco a test ground for new location-based applications and services that enable people to find relevant information exactly when and where they need it."

During the past few months, Google has been quietly experimenting with Wi-Fi service in a few connection spots around the San Francisco Bay area and New York.

In another sign of its interest in internet access, Google recently bought an undisclosed stake in a Maryland start-up, the Current Communications Group, which is trying to provide high-speed connections through power lines.

While it remains unclear whether the company has the telecommunications expertise to build and maintain a Wi-Fi service, Google has both the financial clout and the incentive to get into the Wi-Fi business.

The company has nearly $7,1-billion in cash, having just raised $4,17-billion in stock offerings completed last month. That stock sale prompted several industry analysts to conclude Google might be preparing to build its own high-speed internet network.

Offering free Wi-Fi service could pay off for Google if the greater access gives the company more opportunities to field search requests and ultimately serve up more advertising -- the vehicle that provides virtually all of its profits.

Building its own wireless internet network connection also would help Google save money by reducing the fees that it pays to the telecommunications middlemen that provide a bridge between the company's data centres and internet service providers whenever web surfers make a search request.

Any free internet access service would threaten to siphon revenue from subscription internet service providers such as SBC Communications and Comcast that have invested heavily in high-speed connections that depend on phone lines and cable modems.

If Google's Wi-Fi service is set up to make Google's home page automatically the first stopping point, it also could divert traffic from many popular websites, including Yahoo, MSN and AOL. -- Sapa-AP
That paragraph about new location-based applications and services that enable people to find relevant information exactly when and where they need it ... think of walking past a shop that is having a sale on jeans. Google has clothing registered on your profile or something like that (or God forbid, they picked up you like buying clothes from a Google Talk conversation they were monitoring) and *beep beep* you have a new SMS on your mobile phone from the very store you were walking past telling you of their current sale promotions. Clever use of technology - not convinced about the ethics or the contribution of "good" it does for humanity in general. Sure is great for their bottom line though.
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HezMah19
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2005-10-03, 01:27

All Hail Google!!!
  quote
Batman
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2005-10-03, 15:25

I've said it before, I'll say it again. BEWARE GOOGLEZON!!



Whoever guesses the reference correctly gets a gold star .
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Ebby
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2005-10-03, 15:36

I find it disturbing that people would welcome this technology from Google so easily. (Present company excluded ) Do they realize this is designed for incredible precise targeted advertising more than public intrest, right? I for one don't want google or amazon to pinpoint my location, know what time I get home, log on, what sites I visit, where I vacation/visit etc.

I find this technology too invasive. I'll keep my remaining shred of privacy. I can visit Google on my computer, but STAY OUT OF MY HOUSE!

^^ One more quality post from the desk of Ebby. ^^
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Ryan
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2005-10-03, 21:53

Quote:
Originally Posted by Batman
I've said it before, I'll say it again. BEWARE GOOGLEZON!!



Whoever guesses the reference correctly gets a gold star .
I'll go ahead and give it away.

Eh, I'll just give a hint instead: 2014
  quote
Wrao
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2005-10-03, 22:49

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebby
I find it disturbing that people would welcome this technology from Google so easily. (Present company excluded ) Do they realize this is designed for incredible precise targeted advertising more than public intrest, right? I for one don't want google or amazon to pinpoint my location, know what time I get home, log on, what sites I visit, where I vacation/visit etc.

I find this technology too invasive. I'll keep my remaining shred of privacy. I can visit Google on my computer, but STAY OUT OF MY HOUSE!

It's interesting that the main criticism people have of google is that they are data farming EVERYTHING and EVERYONE for some ulterior and nefarious goal. Are there really grounds for this other than "they have the CAPABILITY to do it!"?
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Mac+
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2005-10-04, 00:42

Well once google can prove to the word that they can data farm everything ... then they can sell advertising. Specifically targeted advertising, which companies would love because it means they spend their promotion budgets wisely. This is the real motive I think. They corner the market and then can generate huge sums of advertising revenue. Yep, it's *that* big!
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Franz Josef
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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2005-10-04, 17:12

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac+
They corner the market and then can generate huge sums of advertising revenue. Yep, it's *that* big!
I'd heartily agree with that and it looks like a good model. I wonder at what point the snappy, innovative, tech-savy Google becomes the monstrous monopolistic hydra with their invasive database .....?
  quote
rasmits
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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2005-10-04, 17:18

I guess you can look at it two ways. Yahoo and MSN, both high-speed internet providers, are big players in the search and advertising business, what makes google any different?

And then you can look at it like Ebby, and I lean more this way. If Microsoft were the ones doing this, the world would be in an uproar over privacy. I don't get why everyone thinks the people at Google are somehow different then every other company...
  quote
Wrao
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2005-10-04, 18:13

Quote:
Originally Posted by rasmits
I guess you can look at it two ways. Yahoo and MSN, both high-speed internet providers, are big players in the search and advertising business, what makes google any different?

And then you can look at it like Ebby, and I lean more this way. If Microsoft were the ones doing this, the world would be in an uproar over privacy. I don't get why everyone thinks the people at Google are somehow different then every other company...
Well, it could be because google doesn't seem to resort to any unsavory tactics to win heart and mind. Their typical business formula thus far has been essentially "take a service that other companies offer for a price, improve on it, offer it for free" What's not to like?

I mean, who knows, maybe google will get power-mad an start aggressively knocking other companies out of the running, buying people out, filing lawsuits, antitrust, privacy invasion, restrictions...etc...etc. But, so far, they haven't, and people like them for it, and things are good.

It is phenomenal though, Google came out of nowhere(more or less), almost every geek claims to have been one of the first people using the search engine(you know, for that indie cred), They've managed to win the hearts and minds of the internet populace, whilst providing some truly kick ass services. What's more, people genuinely trust them, for some unknown reason. When, yes, they could very well be just another big company looking out only for themselves without any real care for their customer base. Or maybe they are different

I guess time will tell, as they continue to step outside of the realm of the internet search business.
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rasmits
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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2005-10-05, 01:43

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrao
I mean, who knows, maybe google will get power-mad an start aggressively knocking other companies out of the running, buying people out, filing lawsuits, antitrust, privacy invasion, restrictions...etc...etc. But, so far, they haven't, and people like them for it, and things are good.
Yes, Microsoft isn't known for being very nice, but that's not exactly my point. Google has proved themselves pretty trust-worthy so far, but it would still make me pretty nervous... not that I have to worry about it, I don't live in San Fran. And if people are concerned, they don't have to use it, and they can start trusting their private browsing information to AOL and Comcast.

On second thought, Google might not be so bad.
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Mac+
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2005-10-05, 04:01

I lean more towrad Ebby's point of view personally. The sheen of the new kid on the block is wearing out and even though Google offers some great services, they face a potential backlash when people strart receiving unsolicited SMSs on their phone telling them of a local sale, for example. Targeted advertising is better than spam no doubt - but if it is unsolicited in the first place it is not too far removed from junk mail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrao
Well, it could be because google doesn't seem to resort to any unsavory tactics to win heart and mind. Their typical business formula thus far has been essentially "take a service that other companies offer for a price, improve on it, offer it for free" What's not to like?
Whilst the service is great and free ... I think people won't like to realise they have been duped. Yes, you and I know what is going on. However, the majority of the unsuspecting public probably have no idea just how much personal info Google (and MSN & Yahoo for that matter) are ammassing - all in the name of bolstering their bottom line. I'm sure your gMail accounts provide Google with a wealth of info and advertising related data ... I just hope they're not tracking gTalk as well - presently there are no ads on it.

This is an alarmist comment but it has the beginnings of Big Brother about it.

One more thing ... have to fix a typo.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac+
Well once google can prove to the world that they can data farm everything ... then they can sell advertising.
  quote
Kyros
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Join Date: Feb 2005
 
2005-10-06, 17:19

Dang I just moved from the SF Bay Area to go to college in Vancouver, Oh well, I didn't live close enoguh that I'd feel the effect.
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Ebby
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2005-10-06, 21:43

Standing back, I see what worries me most about this network is that I don't know Google well enough to know what to expect. I don't know where Google draws the line in the sand. Microsoft... easy. They continuously go too far and I expect that now. But I think Google, when it comes to data accumulation and instant application, is faster and more streamlined than Microsoft will ever be. Match that with good 'ol American greed and they can justify almost everything they do with the information they collect.

I can only speculate how far this can go and I have not heard the slightest whisper on any limit for the sake of privacy.

I hate to live in a glass-is-half-empty world, but if you don't read between the lines, you might as well touch your toes now.

^^ One more quality post from the desk of Ebby. ^^
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Last edited by Ebby : 2005-10-06 at 21:59.
  quote
Mac+
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2005-10-06, 21:55

Absolutely - if people don't know what's going on now, they are going to be taking it hard up the arse later and be incredibly pissed off about it.

I couldn't imagine having to pay for an SMS that I received for some stupid advertising, for example.

Oh and typo fixes 2, 3 & 4:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac+
I lean more toward Ebby's point of view personally. The sheen of the new kid on the block is wearing out and even though Google offers some great services, they face a potential backlash when people start receiving unsolicited SMSs on their phone telling them of a local sale, for example. Targeted advertising is better than spam no doubt - but if it is unsolicited in the first place it is not too far removed from junk mail.

... amassing has one 'm' too! ...
DISCLAIMER - I don't own a mobile phone, so I'm not sure if the user pays to retrieve SMS messages.
  quote
Wrao
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2005-10-07, 04:05

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac+
DISCLAIMER - I don't own a mobile phone, so I'm not sure if the user pays to retrieve SMS messages.

Depends on the plan. Most basic plans charge 10 cents or less for each TXT sent and received. But, many slightly upgraded plans offer unlimited. I know with verizon you can take on unlimited TXT and picture messaging for $5/month more.
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Dorian Gray
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2005-10-08, 07:58

Google does nothing in the public interest, just like every other public company. Google's talk about having a "mission is to organise the world's information" is pure hogwash, not least because only a tiny fraction of the world's information is online.

Can you imagine how much it will cost to provide Wi-Fi across San Francisco? Google can afford to go on wild adventures like this because the huge cost is being met by giddy shareholders at the moment. I'm pretty sure the people at Google haven't got a clue where half of their initiatives will lead, but with so much cash, they can afford to wait and see. At some point Google shareholders are going to realise that this is no wiser than what was going on in the late nineties. Hopefully that will happen before Google becomes omnipotent.
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Wrao
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2005-10-08, 13:27

So, you think that google's success, initiative and drive is all smoke and mirrors surrounding a deeper seated plot to have omnipotent control over all of our vital info(assumedly for the purpose of ads and such)?

Or did I read that wrong.

Care to back up any of your claims?
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Dorian Gray
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2005-10-09, 08:25

Are any of my claims controversial? Public companies exist to make money. Did you think otherwise? Google isn't giving the people of San Francisco free wireless internet out of the goodness of its heart! If Google wanted to help people, it would give free wireless internet to people who could use it but would be unable to pay for it. There are lots of schools in developing nations that need free internet slightly more than the city of San Francisco.

Google is successful primarily because of good luck, like most successful companies. Smart management has taken advantage of this luck and made a boatload of money, partly from gullible shareholders.

In 1887 Lord Acton wrote: "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority." His statement has been shown to be true on countless occasions since. Do you think Google, an American tech company in the 21st century, is going resist this tendency?

Last edited by Dorian Gray : 2005-10-09 at 08:27. Reason: Spelling error
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Ryan
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2005-10-09, 10:43

People said the same thing when Gmail was announced.

And when they launched Google Talk.

And when they bought Blogger.

And when they launched Orkut.

And when they launched Google Local/Maps.

The list goes on.

But have they actually become evil? No, they continue to provide great services for free. I'm not worried about Google.
  quote
Wrao
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2005-10-09, 14:09

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorian Gray
Are any of my claims controversial? Public companies exist to make money. Did you think otherwise? Google isn't giving the people of San Francisco free wireless internet out of the goodness of its heart! If Google wanted to help people, it would give free wireless internet to people who could use it but would be unable to pay for it. There are lots of schools in developing nations that need free internet slightly more than the city of San Francisco.
And who says they won't... later. By fulfilling the task in their home town and satisfying a bunch of people that don't necessarily NEED the service, they further instill that feeling of 'google good, we can support google' for future endeavors. I personally believe that it is google's goal to get the whole friggin world online(via mesh networking and ultra cheap laptops). they already have plans for the entire US(googlenet).

Furthermore, google IS helping people in san fran, just because they aren't yet providing internet for people who could use it but cannot afford it(which, people like that exist in san fran too you know) doesn't mean that they aren't helping people in general. Rome wasn't built in a day and all that.

Quote:
Google is successful primarily because of good luck, like most successful companies. Smart management has taken advantage of this luck and made a boatload of money, partly from gullible shareholders.
They are successful because they have taken dozens of popular or useful services, improved them and then offered them for free. People like free stuff, and support this method of business. They sustain the free services through shareholder revenue and ad revenue. I don't see that much luck in why google is successful, their business model is near bulletproof. If you would like to qualify your statements though, I'm all ears.

Do you think apple has been so successful in the past 2 years because of good luck too?

Quote:
In 1887 Lord Acton wrote: "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority." His statement has been shown to be true on countless occasions since. Do you think Google, an American tech company in the 21st century, is going resist this tendency?
Now you're just babbling. I asked for support of your claims and you gave me a whimsical quote from 1887 which, while it may have observable effects throughout history, is by no means a law or constant. Furthermore, this bit essentially tells me that you don't really have any argument against google and you're just paranoid.



Do I believe google to be infallibly good? Of course not. Might they turn sour and begin to exploit people in the future? It is certainly a possibility. So are a lot of things. What I do know is. So far, Google has become one of the most successful internet companies ever in terms of outright growth, popular opinion, and quality of services. They have done so by adopting a modern business model that actually maximizes public benefit whilst still achieving them substantial profits. I don't see any valid reason for them to change their strategy, even if they have the capability. So far, no one in this thread has provided me with any other than "they're a company, and I'm scared of companies"
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