> Spy On Your Workers and let Google Track Your Movements
> Google’s Political Clout Grows as Obama Tech Initiatives Take Shape
> Road Sign warns Illinois Drivers about Zombies
February 6, 2009
PC World reported yesterday that Google just launched a new geo-locater service called Latitude, which transmits the user’s location back to Google for display on Google’s online map service. Now you can track your employees and loved ones, while you allow Google to load their database with a historical record of every place you go, every time you go there. And the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that when a group of chief executives visited the White House last week to talk about stimulus with President Barack Obama, Google Inc.’s Eric Schmidt was perched right next to the new president. According to the article Mr. Schmidt said Google plans to be involved in discussions about “privacy and the balance of consumer versus government” power in the coming year. Meanwhile, KSDK TV reported that an electronic road sign in Illinois warned drivers during their Tuesday morning commute, about road closings due to zombies. Pundits are debating whether Google technology has merged with Chicago-style politics to form the new Obama 2.0 Era where Big Brother is as close to you as your cell phone is to your ear.
Community Organizer 2.0
“We’ve never had a community-organizer-President running the country with his hands on Google technology and whose Party controls both Houses of Congress, and the idea of all that tech and political power in the hands of the same guy who controls the CIA, FBI and the IRS, scares the dog loving shit right out of me,” said Harvey Oleo-Soybean, a food additive scientist who spends an inordinate amount of time cleaning up after himself these days. “We know that Obama just converted his campaign machine into a group called ‘Organizing for America’ also known as Obama 2.0, and it’s got the campaigns 13 million email addresses, 4 million contributors and 2 million active volunteers behind it. When you add the Google data collection on everybody, and now, their plan to track all of our movements, you’ve got some serious power. And power corrupts. And you can’t convince me that a Chicago politician like Obama can’t be corrupted … in fact there’s some question as to whether you can even become a politician in Chicago if you aren’t corrupt. Holy shit!”
Friends of Obama 1.0
Not everyone is as concerned as Oleo-Soybean. “Some people think that a community organizer who cut his teeth in Chicago politics and who served on a Board with an unrepentant anti-American Pentagon bomber, and who spent 20 years in the church of a preacher who wants god to damn America, and who raised funds and votes through the illegal activities of ACORN, will somehow use Google technology, and all the powers of the courts and spy agencies to his personal and political advantage. How ridiculous,” said Lisa Lovely-Mayhem, an aerobics instructor and pseudo science teacher whose motto is ‘chaos is our friend’. “So what if Illinois has convicted their last three governors and our new president did real estate deals with Tony Rezko, who is a convicted felon. This doesn’t portend anything. And Bill Clinton’s line about having sex in the Oval Office being ‘because he could’ doesn’t mean Obama will do things just because he can. I’m sure his plan to change America is for the good, even though we don’t know what he means by that. I may just be an Illinois zombie, but I like what’s going on!”
PC World reported that Google’s new geo-locator service, called Latitude, launched on Wednesday, transmits the user’s location back to Google for display using the service’s online maps. The location information comes from a GPS-equipped Smart phones or by triangulation using cell towers. An opt-in service, Latitude also works with laptop computers. The article said it’s easy to think of business uses for Latitude, such as tracking service people as they move from call-to-call. Delivery vehicles might also be tracked, and the service could also be used to make certain the closest resource is always sent to a customer’s request. It could also track specific people, which would be a boon to the personal assistants and group admins of the world. Bosses could also use the service to keep an eye on their charges to make sure they are where they are supposed to be.
The PC World article said the downside of Google’s Latitude is the amount of extremely personal information, such as the details of all a person’s travels that is sent to Google. Some people don’t trust Google to not become evil, if the company hasn’t already. They wonder why the company offers so many free applications unless it has some way to monetize them that isn’t obvious to the user.
Obama & Google CEO Schmidt
The Wall Street Journal reported that when a group of chief executives visited the White House last week to talk about stimulus with President Barack Obama, Google Inc.’s Eric Schmidt wasn’t hard to spot, perched in a prime seat on the new president’s left side. Mr. Schmidt campaigned for Mr. Obama before the election, and Google officials were active in helping with the president’s transition. Now Google figures to be one of the tech companies that benefits from a stimulus program that is likely to include billions of dollars for information technology. Mr. Schmidt, in an interview, described the provisions to deploy Internet in rural and other areas as “a very big deal for us.”
Mr. Schmidt said Google plans to be involved in discussions about “privacy and the balance of consumer versus government” power in the coming year, while paying close attention to ensuring that the support for broadband and for science and technology research reflected in the stimulus bill gets realized. “There is no question technology has more influence with this president,” he said. “I think it is a personal interest.”
Of course you can trust me, I trust you
Privacy advocates are already fretting about the White House using Google’s YouTube service, which tracks visitors via electronic cookies. “Given the relationship of Schmidt to the campaign, I think there’s a real concern there’s a kind of open office, revolving door between Google and their goals and the Obama administration,” said Jeff Chester, founder of the Center for Digital Democracy, a consumer-privacy advocacy group.
Fund-raising disclosures show that Google employees ranked as the fourth-largest corporate source of campaign cash for Mr. Obama’s presidential run. After the election, 15 Google executives, including Mr. Schmidt, YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley and chief legal officer David Drummond gave a total of $166,000 to fund the inauguration, according to data released by the transition team. That makes Google employees the third-largest source of donations for Mr. Obama’s inauguration, according to data compiled by the nonpartisan Public Citizen. Google also allowed executives to take leaves of absence to help the Obama transition with policy planning.
Road closed due to zombies
KSDK TV reported that drivers in the Metro East were warned about zombies during their Tuesday morning commute. This happened on I-255 Southbound just south of the Pontoon Beach exit. Someone changed IDOT’s sign to read “DAILY LANE CLOSURES DUE TO ZOMBIES.” IDOT believes someone hacked the sign’s computer remotely. While crewmembers were still on the scene after fixing the message, the display changed back to the hoax. “We’ve talked to the company that supplies these and they have a patch out there they’ve applied to the program to fix the problem,” said Joe Gasaway with the Illinois Department of Transportation. Just last week, drivers in Austin, TX were warned about “Nazi zombies, run!” and “The end is near.” Pranksters there cut the padlock on the sign and changed the message.
Some people say that actions speak louder than words, and that just because someone shouts “hope and change” and “beware of Zombies” doesn’t really mean that they want what you want.
Zombies or the ACLU, tough to tell
“When a guy says he wants to change America and help her realize her potential and then the first thing he does as President is sign an Executive Order to provide 1/2 billion dollars per year to fund abortions around the world, while we have octuplets born in this country that should be killed, it makes me think that perhaps I’m getting something different that I thought I was when I voted for him,” said a hapless hooligan who wondered into the bar around closing time. “And who’s going to fund hunting and trapping all the zombies out wandering around our highways? We can’t be having travel disrupted this way. Sure we can have Google track them and then use laser targeting to have the Department of Defense blast them off the roads, but that would take away from tracking and trapping the Republicans. We’ve got to use some good common sense here. Maybe Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can give Barack some new ideas when they meet to talk about wiping out the Jews.”
In other news, the UK Telegraph reported Tuesday that a doctor advised a patient not to swing from chandeliers during sex. Dr Kenneth Hines, 65, also asked a female patient if she was cheating on her husband and joked to another about pretending to be in a pornographic film, it was claimed at a medical tribunal. The alleged incidents occurred at the Eastwood Medical Centre in South Woodford, east London between 2004 and 2006 after the women sought advice for a range of issues including pregnancy and miscarriage. The first woman, Ms C was told to “wait until she left the surgery”, when she asked whether it was safe to start trying for a baby after a miscarriage, and was later advised it was acceptable as long as she did not “pretend she was in a porn movie and swing from the chandeliers”, it was alleged. No word on whether the doctor meant what he said or if he’s working with Google on Obama 2.0 but once government controlled healthcare is in place we’ll probably find out.
(C) 2009 InebriatedPress.com
Spy On Your Workers With Google Latitude
Google’s Clout Grows as Tech Initiatives Take Shape
Sign warns Illinois drivers about zombies
Obama 2.0 — Volunteers of America or 2012 Campaign?
Doctor ‘told patient not to swing from chandeliers during sex’