Friday, July 14, 2006

Big brother is watching over you

I recently started using gmail and love its features. Like all google products it's different from other existing products and easy to use and I wish I'd started using it earlier. The scary thing is the advertising content on the right. Ever since I started blogging and using google calendar it seems like google knows what I'm up to everyday. When I've emailed people about giving talks or staying with someone it asks me if I want to add it to the calendar. Below it are advertising links which seem very relevant. When I email people about staying with them it tells me about cheap hostels or bed and breakfast kind of places. When I email people about some math research it advertises math softwares and job sites. When I email people about plans in Delhi it advertises movies and restaurants. It's a bit unnerving to see how they read your emails and advise you on what to do. Now that I've started using so many of their products and can't bring myself to switch to other stuff I feel like I've been sucked into the world of google and soon will have daily reminders and updates on what to do, eat, wear, etc. At least microsoft only tried to dominate the software market. Google looks like it's going to take over the lives of geeks.

4 comments:

Tabula Rasa said...

the question is, is that evil?

MiddleRoad said...

not quite. Because it is all code which is doing the advising, not humans. But yeah - I remember Minority Report had this little segment where all the advertisements were aimed towards Tom Cruise as he walked into a mall. Say hello to future, you have google.

Tabula Rasa said...

just to be contrarian, wasn't HAL all code as well?

bandafbab said...

It's not evil. But it is disconcerting to know that there's a program reading your mail, recording your search history, news reading tendencies, noting your calendar and then suggesting what you should read, what you should buy, etc. Obviously, I can try to ignore it but it seems to be popping up everywhere. The scary prospect is when (not if) the CIA and FBI have access to all this information. One more terror attack and google's principles will be overruled.