.. and I’d like to think its as result of the angry email I sent to google as I uninstalled their new open source browser Chrome, based on the WebKit engine, two days ago. 🙂 Back then, part of the EULA (End User Licensing Agreement) explicitly stated that by using the browser, anything you type into it (i.e. search queries, comments and presumably blog posts) becomes the exclusive property of Google.
Old Section 11 of Chrome EULA
11. Content licence from you
11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights that you already hold in Content that you submit, post or display on or through the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content, you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free and non-exclusive licence to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content that you submit, post or display on or through the Services. This licence is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.
More worryingly, section 11.4:
11.4 You confirm and warrant to Google that you have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the above licence.
After The Register broke the news, many people just like me, promptly uninstalled Chrome. Google yesterday responded apologetically saying that they had never intended for the EULA to be interpreted in such a way, and issued an update.
11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights that you already hold in Content that you submit, post or display on or through the Services.
This rapid turn around is welcome, but it does make me wonder… if Google had any intention of enforcing the content appropriation their initial EULA made way for, by simply updating the EULA and not issuing updated binaries is the purported functionality still present? I guess only in-dept analysis of the code will tell, it is an open source project after all.
So Earth Hour is over! There seemed to be almost no mention / enthusiasm here in London, but I diligently turned everything off for an hour. I also recorded how much power I used during that time (~1kWh +/-0.2) and I will compare it to a normal hour tonight to see how much energy was saved. That is not what I want to write about in this post. As I mentioned before, Google had turned the lights out on their home page in order to raise awareness of the Earth Hour project.
I appears this got the attention of their visitors, my one post on the topic caused 20% of my Google traffic referred over two days to be from related keywords. What surprised me however is the specific keywords being searched, let me give you a few examples:
“wtf is with black google”
“why is google black 29mar08”
“turn off black google”
“google black is pointless”
“turning google black”
“wtf black google”
…as well as several others. It never ceases to amaze me the things people search for, especially when the answer is right in-front of them.
Although the point can be made that (likely many of) these people were simply searching for more information about the initiative and it is hard to account for this. It should be noted that the specific search terms listed above only accounted for 26.3% of the traffic this topic received, but it still makes for an interesting insight into the way in which some people automatically perform a Google query when in doubt rather than reading the page.
Tonight when I went to Google.co.uk I was met by an unusual sight. It seems Google have jumped onto the Earth Hour initiative which seeks to turn off all lights for one hour around the world tomorrow. What started off as a social experiment last year in Australia has now turned into a global event for 2008! Its great to see a big company like Google taking a proactive stance on an issue like this.
Some of you may be familiar with the Google powered search engine Blackle (currently purports to have saved 534,242.576 Watt hours) which tried a similar scheme, claiming that PC monitors used slightly less power displaying black than white. It seemed like a nice idea, but in a moment of vanity I decided I preferred the valina white look (and also the issues of privacy and security came into play.) Interestingly enough, it turns out this was simply not correct with some evidence from recent studies that TFT monitors actually consume MORE power displaying black than white rendering the effort fairly pointless.
Despite of this, however, Google have changed their home page to this in an drive the message of climate change and it has done a great job so far of stopping people in their tracks online. So, I am going to go one step further, any and all electronic equipment I can turn off I will for one hour tomorrow. (And I am not just going make sure my laptop/PSP/<insert gadget here> is charged before hand either 😀 )
It could be kind of fun and will be nice to get away from the digital wireless world I seem to be so totally sucked into! 🙂
19 Hours and 30 Minutes to go…. (Anyone else think the counter looks like the one from Armageddon?!) Anyway, it starts in the UK at 8pm local time tomorrow.