This blog is about technology, software and social media. It's aimed as much towards 'normal' people as the tech savvy. The author is Tony Gallacher.
It seems that our favourite tech companies, like Apple and Google, may have become the soulless corporations that we hoped they never would. A level of arrogance has crept into some of their decisions that is all too familiar.
Apple has been shamelessly marketing its new iPad as a 4G device in the UK, despite the fact that 4G networks are not available to consumers here. Even when they are, the current iPad will never be compatible with 4G networks in this country.
Google seems to be following suit, by obfuscating the circumstances under which it illegally [clarification: depends on your country, so not necessarily 'illegal' if you're reading from the US] gathered data from WiFi routers, while carrying out surveys for Google maps across the globe.
It looks increasingly likely that the data was gathered deliberately and that the collection was sanctioned by Google managers. Google’s story, up to now, has been that this was a ‘mistake’ be a lone, rogue engineer.
Apple and Google: each is in danger of becoming just another big business with too many lawyers (at Apple they have their own building).
Between legal teams set on covering every possible risk and shareholders’ investments driving decisions, common sense is being shouted down. In reality, brand loyalty and trust are not inexhaustible resources; and they won’t survive too many abuses.
Now, as we look from the ‘don’t be evil’ hippies to the corporate suits and back, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell them apart.
Have the cool, hippy tech companies grown into the kind of amoral corporations to which, once, we hoped they could be the antidote?
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