Normally I am really excited about everything going on on the web. We are moving so fast- its exhilarating. This week though- things are kind of gloomy. The brands/tools I love are acting like assholes and its hard to avoid feeling negative about it. I want to boycott them, but hell, my business is built on these things- that’s why they know they can do it.
My thinking has changed recently, as Google’s moves with Buzz have surfaced, and Apple’s moves to control sexual imagery in the the app store, as they embark on an ugly and dishonest campaign against Flash. Patents are nothing new. Last year, Google patented some very basic technology we created in the first wave of RSS apps. Another company was granted a patent on podcasting. It goes on all the time. What is different is that tech companies are taking a more active interest in the content that flows over their networks, and are doing less to protect their users. Sometimes they’re the ones attacking users. Just like other industries.
Think about how you’re treated by airlines. By insurance companies. If you have to go to a hospital. That’s the kind of relationship you have with Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, etc. Sooner or later there will be a massive oil spill or a massive network-wide security breach. Expect these companies to be every bit as bad as the ones in other industries. Probably worse because they’ve come so far without much oversight or scrutiny. Recently Google was given permission to trade energy. Who are these companies? We have no idea.