Google acquires Boston Dynamics.
December 13, 2013 11:16 PM   Subscribe

 
Well, that's going to make Street View image collection more interesting.
posted by figurant at 11:17 PM on December 13, 2013 [26 favorites]


As soon as the stories came out last week about Andy Rubin spending Google-dollars on robotics companies, I figured Boston Dynamics really high on his list.

Is Suidobashi Heavy Industries next?
posted by thecjm at 11:24 PM on December 13, 2013


I should probably be more disturbed by this, but it just makes me feel slightly more dead inside.

What, Google, you already know all kinds of weird shit about me and you are surely willing to hand that information over to anyone who asks. Now you have terrifying robots. That's just great. Way to send us hurtling into the dystopian future guys.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:25 PM on December 13, 2013 [29 favorites]


So now the terrifying robots know where we live (and everything else about us), eh?
posted by longdaysjourney at 11:25 PM on December 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Imagine a robot dog, licking your face, forever.

Or at leas until you sign up for G+ and link your gmail and youtube accounts.
posted by b1tr0t at 11:27 PM on December 13, 2013 [51 favorites]


This is sinister 'Phase Two' of the Google operation. Part one: you came to Google. Part two: they come to you.
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:34 PM on December 13, 2013 [6 favorites]




Reading that headline is like realizing the stuff you drank ten minutes ago was a deadly poison.
posted by EmGeeJay at 11:40 PM on December 13, 2013 [14 favorites]


Scariness factor of the robots aside. The potential applications for highly mobile robotics platforms, married to Google software engineering talent and internet scale infrastructure, is pretty fucking compelling.

Robots need data, data needs robots. So what if a company with a ton of money and resources and a penchant for experimentation had both. What could you do then? All kinds of neat stuff.
posted by tracert at 11:42 PM on December 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


I guess I'll find haven in the Chinese moonbases.

This is legitimately terrifying. Please do no evil.
posted by dirtyid at 11:46 PM on December 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 11:47 PM on December 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


I think that what this actually means is we might get a jump on those driverless cars. Which would mean LESS OF US ARE GOING TO DIE AS FAST AS WE OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE. But eventually death will come to us all.
posted by Mizu at 11:49 PM on December 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I dunno, I feel threatened by the way Petman walks. It's too familiar.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 11:51 PM on December 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Am I the only one who cringes when he hears a company identity convoluted with inquiry? Friends don't let friends use Google as a synonym for search.
posted by astrobiophysican at 11:54 PM on December 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I dunno, if one accepts the premise of future-robot-dystopia, it seems fundamentally appropriate that Google would be the ultramegacorp pulling the strings. Not good, mind you, just kind of "well that's how things would go". Like that thing about Chinese prison inmates doing forced labor in MMO gold farms.

Also, if I look at the future with these dystopia-tinted lenses, it seems obvious that their whole self-driving car thing was just a cover for their grander autonomous robot-navigation schemes. Forget self-driving cars, I await with eager dread Google's urban-parkour-bots ruling the cities.
posted by NMcCoy at 11:56 PM on December 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


What's weird about Google is they still make 90%+ of their revenue from advertising. (The remainder is mostly Google Apps, like email and office programs for businesses). They are still largely an ad-delivery platform with some products attached to attract eyeballs, at least from a financial perspective. And I'm including things like Android and Chrome here.

So with things like robotics and self-driving cars I'm perplexed. Do they think they can license their self-driving car program to Ford and GM for $1,000/license? Or are all these initiatives, from cars to glasses to robotics ultimately just to ensure a steady stream of ad viewership?
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:59 PM on December 13, 2013


The Flesh is Evil. The Machine is Good. Don't Be Evil.
posted by Grimgrin at 12:00 AM on December 14, 2013 [20 favorites]


Hey Larry! Hey Sergey! I know it's hideously naive of me, but, do no evil, eh?
You festering goat huffing jackanapes and sybaritic corporatizing whelps. I hope you suffocate on that big pile of money in your anterooms one day, you vile short fingered vulgarians.

This seems like an appropriate response.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 12:05 AM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Boy, I can't wait until Google acquires Ng Security Industries.
posted by hades at 12:15 AM on December 14, 2013 [11 favorites]


So with things like robotics and self-driving cars I'm perplexed. Do they think they can license their self-driving car program to Ford and GM for $1,000/license? Or are all these initiatives, from cars to glasses to robotics ultimately just to ensure a steady stream of ad viewership?

I am not a business expert, but I am a nerd, and I am fairly certain that they are doing it because they think robots are fucking cool.
posted by empath at 12:21 AM on December 14, 2013 [10 favorites]


Guys, it's ok. Google will make a robot to reflexively jerk your knee for you for future threads about Google's robots.
posted by planetesimal at 12:39 AM on December 14, 2013 [28 favorites]


Contrast with Apple, just sitting uselessly on their money like they're trying for a high score.

Incorruptible robot soldiers are going to be a lot more useful than fistfuls of cash when the platform wars turn hot.
posted by zjacreman at 12:44 AM on December 14, 2013 [28 favorites]


Metafilter: Robots need data, data needs robots.
posted by ericost at 12:45 AM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Amazon will delivery orders by drone.

Google will delivery results via terrifying robot animal.

Meanwhile, Sears is eyeing some classic trebuchets.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:47 AM on December 14, 2013 [41 favorites]


I've already written any for-profit company off as an altruistic do-gooder, Google included. That said, we continue to evolve as a species. Relative to our purpose here, the only thing we know for sure is THAT we are (Wittgenstein).

Drones the size of a flea; robots that can out-perform us, physically; surveillance drones; body implants controlled remotely; purposeful genetic selection; nanotech materials (including nanobots, some self-replicating; REALLY smart and adaptive AI; etc. All this is coming, and more. We are going to change as a result of interacting with, embedding, and struggling against these developments. Pandora's Box is wide open.
posted by Vibrissae at 12:49 AM on December 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


You will be processed or you will be deleted.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:50 AM on December 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


If they index you, you get to live forever.
posted by planetesimal at 12:53 AM on December 14, 2013 [10 favorites]


Well, they named the OS "Android"... what did you expect them to do next? (I see a minor revision in the Android 'mascot' in the near future, don't you?)
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:54 AM on December 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well I mean, I was kind of hoping my first mech wouldn't be self-driving because mech pilot is way cooler than mech passenger, but I'll take what I can get.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:57 AM on December 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


On reading that headline I involuntarily squeaked like Beaker from the Muppets.
posted by misteraitch at 1:06 AM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


From a certain perspective, a datacenter is not that different from a warehouse, and if you can vastly increase the efficiency of your warehouse operation with robotics, such as Amazon does, it stands to reason that similar opportunities exist in the datacenter. A self-contained fully autonomous data center seems within the realm of possibility.
posted by feloniousmonk at 1:07 AM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Coming soon: Google Doge. All following you around and "wow such appointment, so reminder"
posted by jason_steakums at 1:12 AM on December 14, 2013 [34 favorites]


Google will buy Amazon and we will get nothing from anyone else because Gammazoggle has all the money and robots and drones and books and data centers and data.
posted by pracowity at 1:12 AM on December 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Predicted by Paul Ford in 2002: “Hi! I'm from Google. I'm a Googlebot! I will not kill you.”
posted by straight at 1:13 AM on December 14, 2013 [16 favorites]


Gazamazog? Amazoogle?
posted by jason_steakums at 1:13 AM on December 14, 2013


> Gammazoggle has all the money and robots and drones and books and data centers and data.

First they need to merge with whatever sinfully huge US aircarrier is left. Autonomous drones need larger autonomous jetliners to be mothership drones.
posted by planetesimal at 1:15 AM on December 14, 2013


Google will buy Amazon and we will get nothing from anyone else because Gammazoggle has all the money and robots and drones and books and data centers and data.

C'mon, now. Everyone knows you can't have cyberpunk without competing megacorps.
posted by CrystalDave at 1:25 AM on December 14, 2013 [11 favorites]


I don't know whether I'm more spooked by the news itself, or that I first heard it via a tweet from William Gibson.
posted by nameinuse2 at 1:55 AM on December 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


So the company that knows everything about us online wants to know everything about us offline.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 2:07 AM on December 14, 2013


elderly care?

*shudders*
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 2:54 AM on December 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh, is the sky falling again?
posted by HuronBob at 3:00 AM on December 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


louche mustachio: I imagine this is Boston Dynamic's next project.

That's just the earthbound fighting machine: don't forget the flying machine: Amazon Prime Air.
posted by cenoxo at 3:15 AM on December 14, 2013


So Google is now a defense-contractor.

Nice one... do no evil indeed.
posted by oxidizer at 3:32 AM on December 14, 2013 [11 favorites]


“I am excited by Andy and Google’s ability to think very, very big,” Dr. Raibert said, “with the resources to make it happen.”
posted by Devonian at 3:38 AM on December 14, 2013


So, is Matt going to set up a dedicated subsite to prepare for the coming apocalypse or should we do it in MetaTalk?
posted by Dr Dracator at 4:13 AM on December 14, 2013


So about that Terminator reboot
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:22 AM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


So Google is now a defense-contractor.

This was my first thought. Now Google has an interest in wars happening.
posted by gubo at 4:26 AM on December 14, 2013


Google doesn't have an interest in wars happening. It's harder to sell targeted ads and get people to update their phones in conflict situations.

This is about taking Street View off-road; BD obviously hit some feasibility threshold for autonomy recently. This is potentially very good news for Google's forest/environment program, by the way - a fleet of big dogs, cameras (and balloon-feed WIFI?) is an ideal anti-poaching and rogue logging set up.
posted by cromagnon at 4:42 AM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm seeing this less as being sold to generals than to rich people as a better class of bodyguard. 1% with terminators fear no riots.
posted by litleozy at 5:14 AM on December 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Attractive Young Person In Lab Coat: "Every day, you use Google Search to find things you need. But what about those things that Search can't help with - like when you can't find your keys? Or want takeout from the place down the street? Don't worry, Google is here to help! Here, Zero!"

*Vaguely dog-shaped robot fiend with lasers for eyes bounds around corner and stares at camera*

"Introducing the first solution from Google plus Boston Dynamics: Google Retriever! It's like Google Search for physical objects! Let's try a little Boston-flavoured demonstration! Okay, Zero! Fetch: Boston Clam Chowder!"

*Four-legged demon-bot vanishes after first syllable, returns 0.00002 seconds later dragging screaming Larry Page*

"Oh, hi boss! Ha ha - we're still fine-tuning the Autocomplete!"
posted by oulipian at 5:26 AM on December 14, 2013 [12 favorites]


I'm seeing this less as being sold to generals than to rich people as a better class of bodyguard. 1% with terminators fear no riots.

Sovereign nations defense budgets are still a wee bit higher than 1%'ers spending moneys. For now.
posted by DigDoug at 5:29 AM on December 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


> So Google is now a defense-contractor. Nice one... do no evil indeed.


Eh, reductionist quips aside, they're honoring the one contract for $10.8 million to deliver a prototype. It's not like they're building next-generation Predator drones now or something.
posted by planetesimal at 5:34 AM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh good. So when some AI finally decides to take over, the terminator robots will be ready.
posted by lordrunningclam at 5:58 AM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can't see a company like Google staying in the defense contracting business. The'll probably either shut that down or spin it off. Defense contracting forces you to change the way that you do business in ways that wouldn't really be compatible with Google's way of doing things. For instance, I doubt that they'd want to start drug testing employees.
posted by octothorpe at 6:02 AM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is about taking Street View off-road; BD obviously hit some feasibility threshold for autonomy recently. This is potentially very good news for Google's forest/environment program, by the way - a fleet of big dogs, cameras (and balloon-feed WIFI?) is an ideal anti-poaching and rogue logging set up.

It's about a lot more than that, I'd say. They told the Times they were already thinking about supply chain automation as a preliminary goal. Instead of drones in the sky, maybe you'd get Atlas up there delivering your groceries.

But anyways, google may make its cash on ads. But it's always seemed to think of itself as company that's about solving big engineering problems using the smartest geeks in the world. Google thinks that they get to be google because they solved the problem of search; the money they receive from advertizers is merely the expected tribute due their genius, not the point of the exercise. So it doesn't surprise me that they're now looking for new big problems to solve. I think they figure if they solve something big enough the money will simply come, like light to a black hole.
posted by Diablevert at 6:17 AM on December 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


That Big Dog video is some high-grade nightmare fuel.

Yes, please, show me a giant dog-spider thing, except with knees that all bend the wrong way, that sounds like the buzzing of a thousand angry bees, then show me that thing in slow motion so that the buzzing becomes a low, horrifying howl of rage.
posted by BrashTech at 6:18 AM on December 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


Peacetime CEO/Wartime CEO
posted by bukvich at 6:24 AM on December 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think this is cool. But how much did they spend? It's not in any of the stories I've found, and I don't imagine BD was actually worth that much.

This could just be PR spending, such a small drop in the bucket that they just do it for a few patents and some publicity. After all, Amazon's drone program was just a marketing stunt for Cyber Monday.
posted by anotherpanacea at 6:58 AM on December 14, 2013


Came for the Paul Ford link. Was not disappointed.
posted by euphorb at 7:00 AM on December 14, 2013


> I think this is cool. But how much did they spend? It's not in any of the stories I've found, and I don't imagine BD was actually worth that much.

The article indicated that Google is not disclosing any financial data about BD or the sale.
posted by planetesimal at 7:05 AM on December 14, 2013


Defense contracting forces you to change the way that you do business in ways that wouldn't really be compatible with Google's way of doing things.

GE's logo: "We Bring Good Things to Life" and here's the judge and jury of what is good and gets to continue to live.

Always be wary of those who brag about their goodness. Good can always be made into a relative term to suit particular needs; like the need to procure a 50 million dollar contract to satisfy investors worried about Q4 results.
posted by any major dude at 7:10 AM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


So, Google is planning to solve death.

Google is buying a maker of sophisticated robotics.

Put 'em together? Cyborgs. I'm tellin' ya.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 7:13 AM on December 14, 2013


Any major dude, I wasn't refering to good or evil necessarily just that defense contracting brings along a whole raft of government regulations that such a company needs to follow and I can't see a company like Google wanting to tie itself down them those.
posted by octothorpe at 7:29 AM on December 14, 2013


So this seems like a counter to Amazon Prime Air. Why didn't your Amazon delivery make it to your house? Because the drone was shot down by a cinderblock-hurling Big Dog that Google stationed on your corner.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 7:47 AM on December 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


This really is so much like Oryx and Crake, only actually kind of worse. Pleeblands, here we come.

Actually, what frosts me the most is that sure, Google will develop some kind of radical life extension and so on - for the 1%, and the same selfish assholes and spoiled rich people who are already ruining everything will just live forever while a pullulating mass of regular humanity lives in misery, plague and want (except for the ones they recruit for sex work and so on).
posted by Frowner at 7:53 AM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


So, is Matt going to set up a dedicated subsite to prepare for the coming apocalypse or should we do it in MetaTalk?

Vault.metafilter.com
posted by The Whelk at 7:55 AM on December 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


Eagerly awaiting the Jony Ive-designed ion blaster.
posted by entropicamericana at 7:56 AM on December 14, 2013


People, calm down. It's not like they bought Tetra Vaal. Yet.
posted by The Bellman at 8:03 AM on December 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Let's just hope Google doesn't go into the debt collection business.
posted by cazoo at 8:39 AM on December 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


vault.metafilter.com

So THAT'S where they got the blue and gold color scheme!
posted by entropicamericana at 8:53 AM on December 14, 2013


Actually, what frosts me the most is that sure, Google will develop some kind of radical life extension and so on - for the 1%, and the same selfish assholes and spoiled rich people who are already ruining everything will just live forever while a pullulating mass of regular humanity lives in misery, plague and want (except for the ones they recruit for sex work and so on).

Oh no way, Google isn't going to get all stingy with tech like that: indefinite time to build increasingly specific targeting profiles to sell ads with? Shit, those life extension treatments will be free in every corner shop with that. But the catch is Google Glass has now become Google Eyes, and having them is the cost of using the life extension service - with tasteful little text ads in the corner of your vision all day long that change with the context of what you're doing right now in meatspace, and video prerolls when you wake up each morning.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:54 AM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't think Google is getting into the defense contracting business. To be honest, there's not much "business" about any of these companies. They're research organizations operating under the small company/startup guise. None has a genuinely commercialized product. BDI is a defense contractor only in that they're basically a small government-funded research lab. Look at Redwood Robotics; they're basically doing the same thing as Rethink Robotics, which nominally has a released product. Why buy the product-less company instead of the commercial one?

Google hasn't bought products to continue to sell; they've bought a bunch of wicked smart researchers.
posted by olinerd at 8:57 AM on December 14, 2013


It's somewhat reassuring knowing that the first robot wars will be fought over who best delivers products to my doorstep.
posted by furtive at 8:59 AM on December 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I wonder if they'll buy DJI Innovations next.
posted by smoothvirus at 9:00 AM on December 14, 2013


If I wanted to make the world better, and I had a lot of money, what I would do would very much resemble what Google is up to now, dystopian overtones and everything.
posted by MrVisible at 9:02 AM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Google to streamline "Don't Be Evil" motto by 40%!
posted by Navelgazer at 9:05 AM on December 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


elderly care?

For when the metal ones decide to come for you... And they will... Old Glory Insurance.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:39 AM on December 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


Now we know what will happen to those who refuse to sign up to Google+
posted by Hogshead at 9:42 AM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Obligatory Elysium link.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:07 AM on December 14, 2013


And Google is already a defense contractor in that they sell the NSA your data, although presumably they're compelled to by an NSL. This means they're doing mean space weapon's research though. Ain't clear they've ever bid on a defense contract.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:01 AM on December 14, 2013


metabot.metafilter.com
posted by blue_beetle at 11:35 AM on December 14, 2013


If I were a shareholder I'd be concerned that management has decided to purchase toy robots instead of focusing on their core businesses. I don't think that the existing leadership will be able to provide the kind of focus and attention to drive the tech forward and I think it will distract them from their current businesses. It would be better for them to payout the cash in the form of a dividend to let investors make their own choices about future tech.
posted by humanfont at 11:38 AM on December 14, 2013


I was very impressed by the Boston Dynamics videos when I first saw them. Great hardware and amazing software. Not nightmarish at all to me.

So Google is now a defense-contractor.

And? It's not like the likes of Google and Apple have been cold on being involved with the DoD and other government agencies anyway. Would either of them say no or refuse to make a bid?

Though of course, if they're judged to be not secure enough they may not be able to land big contracts anyway.

In the past, Apple has also purchased a company that had defense contracts.

Big business is big business (i.e. legalized gangsters) and their slogans are meaningless. I'm surprised anyone pays any attention to the PR efforts of any of these companies. I know it's awful but it's hard to live in this world without using technology forged at least in part by blood from companies involved in blood. I don't expect Google to be any different unfortunately.
posted by juiceCake at 11:40 AM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


They're trying to disrupt our kitties and our doggies!!!!
posted by oceanjesse at 11:54 AM on December 14, 2013


Seriously, I have no concrete idea why Google bought this company. Street view seems plausible because of their recent 3d imagery in locations like the Grand Canyon, but these days, who knows? Why the hell is google funding deep sea oceanographic research for example?
posted by oceanjesse at 12:18 PM on December 14, 2013


Why the hell is google funding deep sea oceanographic research for example?

Because their CEO and his wife like the ocean and run an ocean science research organization? So they work in variety of capacities to support that, particularly where that interest may overlap Google's interests?

Google's business model is to sell advertising. Their technology model is to index the world's data. The ocean's got data, too.

Seriously, I have no concrete idea why Google bought this company

Did you miss this? The BDI acquisition is part of this (they are #8). And have you missed Google's ongoing research in autonomous cars for many years now? This isn't completely out of nowhere.
posted by olinerd at 12:28 PM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, a friend and I have been chatting -- we're pretty sure this makes Google the largest private robotics research group (in terms of #s of dedicated researchers) in the world. All others we can think of are sponsored by governments or universities.

Since we both work in the robotics industry, our minds are a little bit blown right now -- and not in the "drone will all come kill us and steal our data" sort of way.
posted by olinerd at 12:32 PM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why the hell is google funding deep sea oceanographic research for example?

Trying very hard to resist polluting our robot dystopia thread with elder god apocalypse jokes. Iä! Iä!
posted by zjacreman at 12:36 PM on December 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is the first I have heard of this. To me it look like a talent acquisition. Google has done tons of those.
posted by Doroteo Arango II at 1:02 PM on December 14, 2013


The Bellman: It's not like they bought Tetra Vaal. Yet.

Or, to even worse effect: Tempbot.

With built-in mobile broadband and cloud access.
posted by cenoxo at 1:24 PM on December 14, 2013


Listen, and understand. That Google is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until your personal information is sold to advertisers.
posted by happyroach at 1:40 PM on December 14, 2013


The motto stands - or rather stood - in three mile high illuminated letters near the Complaints Department spaceport on Eadrax - "Don't Be Evil". Unfortunately its weight was such that shortly after it was erected, the ground beneath the letters caved in and they dropped for nearly half their length through the underground offices of many talented young complaints executives - now deceased. The protruding upper halves of the letters now appear, in the local language, to read "Go stick your head in a pig", and are no longer illuminated, except at times of special celebration.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:42 PM on December 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


"He who has the maps knows where to find the treasure!" appears to be google's primary loss-leading business strategy.
posted by oceanjesse at 1:47 PM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


"We don't need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you've been. We can more or less know what you're thinking about... We can look at bad behavior and modify it." - Eric Schmidt
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:10 PM on December 14, 2013


Terrifying robot, PAH. I bet if you kicked that bouncy whining motherfucker over on its side it'd be as much use as the tits on a boar.
posted by Decani at 6:24 PM on December 14, 2013


Boar milk, man. Boar. Milk.
posted by cacofonie at 8:03 PM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is it now that we start to worry that Andy Rubin once had a company named "Robots that Kill" or do we wait for the first GooBots (tm) prototypes?
posted by mikepop at 9:30 PM on December 14, 2013


The merger of Google and Amazon is definitely Googlezon.
posted by Adamsmasher at 11:12 PM on December 14, 2013


Wow, there sure is a lot of Google hate on this thread. Rather intemperate and alarmist. I'd thought a bit better of metafilter, but that was naive of me, obviously.
posted by dougfelt at 11:40 PM on December 14, 2013


Obviously, this had to exist.
posted by um at 1:01 AM on December 15, 2013


Wow, there sure is a lot of Google hate on this thread. Rather intemperate and alarmist. I'd thought a bit better of metafilter, but that was naive of me, obviously.

That's because Google has spent a few years redefining themselves to those of us that loved them for nearly a decade. They went from the company that finally destroyed the CLICK HERE flash banner ad ecosystem, the company that created the tools geeks wanted to actually use, because they made them for themselves, and became the company that killed those tools because they didn't increase their own revenue stream.

Every time they do something cool now, it's buried between them killing a service we loved, or forcing a change in usage patterns that seems to only benefit the ad buyers, and not the consumers.

I can't blame them for being capitalists, but it's their own damn fault that instead of excitement about the future possibilities, I mostly just have dread.
posted by DigDoug at 6:23 AM on December 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wow, there sure is a lot of Google hate on this thread. Rather intemperate and alarmist. I'd thought a bit better of metafilter, but that was naive of me, obviously.

In addition to what DigDoug said, there's also a good bit of plain joking in this thread. Most of us don't really believe SkyNet is in our future, but it's pretty hilarious that Google buying Boston Dynamics is just about the most plausible step towards a robot apocalypse anyone can imagine from where we are today.
posted by straight at 8:28 AM on December 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm looking forward to Amazon's robot butlers.
posted by homunculus at 10:47 AM on December 15, 2013


Oh no way, Google isn't going to get all stingy with tech like that: indefinite time to build increasingly specific targeting profiles to sell ads with? Shit, those life extension treatments will be free in every corner shop with that. But the catch is Google Glass has now become Google Eyes, and having them is the cost of using the life extension service - with tasteful little text ads in the corner of your vision all day long that change with the context of what you're doing right now in meatspace, and video prerolls when you wake up each morning.
Can't. Stop. Screaming.
posted by fullerine at 12:01 PM on December 15, 2013 [2 favorites]




« Older Christmas Music For Those Sick Of Christmas Music   |   2013 Billabong Pipe Masters & ASP World... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments