Google under attack, Cloud war’s casualties, and New Zealand dinosaur spying law kicks in

gcsbThis week sees some casualties of the global Cloud wars starting to come to the surface after months of heavy price combat. Some large players are hurting and we’re bound to see some more as the year progresses. Completely blotting their copybook this week, actually coming close to burning it, Adobe’s Creative Cloud fell over for more than twenty four hours giving all the luddites a good chance to bemoan the evils of the technology.

The Register picked up on a number of injuries in the Cloud war including:

  • Rackspace was reported on Thursday to be in talks with Morgan Stanley to help it partner or sell itself, as the effects of the cloud pricing war among Google, Microsoft, and Amazon bite into its business.
  • SAP is reported to be carrying out some “unavoidable” layoffs to help it restructure itself for the cloud while its earnings from traditional on-premise software continue to drop.
  • IBM has agreed to sell its server division to Lenovo due to the margin-slump in hardware as the rise of cloud systems and low-cost servers has eroded the value of IBM’s gear.
  • EMC has had to create a new strategic software package named “ViPR” to protect it from the cloud-driven rise of low-cost storage hardware.
  • HP has partnered with Asian manufacturing giant Foxconn to help it build and sell low-cost servers to big cloud customers.
  • Oracle’s proprietary hardware division has consistently failed to meet analyst expectations as the company’s giant bet on an on-premises integrated appliance future looks less and less wise.
  • Cisco is being hit by a slowdown in its traditional business from a combination of overseas competitors and a rise in “software-defined networking” that lets people choose cheaper kit rather than its expensive and capable gear.

Meanwhile, Google is under attack from various quarters again after a European Court Ruling last week that allows for humans to issue take down requests on data that it holds. Google is not happy about this and is rumoured to be considering dumping the burden on the authorities:

“Google is understood to be considering offloading the task of deciding whether links should be removed from its index to the data protection commissioners in the country where requests are received – a move that could add significantly to the commissioners’ caseload, which in some cases is already under considerable strain.”

Meanwhile, the Germans are talking about breaking Google up, a move sure to reinforce the company’s view that the rest of the world are morons and they are the new uber-tech generation. We can expect to see more noise about Google moving to a city state or outside the jurisdiction of unfriendly countries.

“Some 400 companies, including major German and French publishers, announced they were about to submit new anti-trust complaints against Google.” – Source

Back in the U.S. the “Is Google Evil” question is raising it’s head again:

This week, for example, we learned that Google is buying into a mobile game console controller, its fiber service is gathering steam, it’s investing in an online credit service, and it’s apparently building a Big Brother-style municipal surveillance silo in Oakland, Calif.” – Source

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Google was turning into some kind of cult:

“You may ask: “But what about folks who are still off the Web or can’t afford Cylon headgear?” Easy fix, we’ll bring the Internet to them through Google Fiber. If that doesn’t work, we’ll use powerline technology to track them through their fuse boxes via our new, benevolently named Google Energy division. Burning wood in upstate Vermont? No problem, we’ll co-opt the technology we developed in conjunction with the U.S. and European intelligence community (military-industrial complex to you hardcore theorists) and track your backward, hillbilly butts via Googlesats, which power Google Earth and Google Maps. Whew, all bases covered.

To govern the growing empire, Google would need a lot of secured manpower and infrastructure, preferably based in a slick-looking, isolated, and secure site that could easily secede from the Union to form its own techno-corporate state unburdened by the U.S. legal code, morality, and marriage conventions. Up went the Area 51-style Googleplex, equipped with housing, human testing labs, and hidden, Maginot-line machine gun nests.

But the nearby populace cramped Google’s style, so an idea was born: Why not buy the town? Bit by bit, Google’s real estate and municipal interests consumed Mountain View and spread around the bay, all the way to Oakland, now subject to real-time population and activity monitoring. Google had an eye on San Francisco too offering a fleet of Toyota Priuses to ferry Whole Foods snacks around town behind Google Shopping Express’s socially acceptable veneer. Meanwhile, corporate-owned, isolationist buses whisked Googlers to work with the goal of never letting them leave the compound, lest they be poisoned with non-shuttled citizens’ subversive thoughts.”

Meanwhile, back in New Zealand, the dinosaur TICS law has come into being and as a result no doubt, the investment in telecommunications will slow.

Essentially the law says that all telcos have to consult with the GCSB on any changes to their infrastructure to make sure that nothing is introduced by way of weakness. Given that we saw this week the Five Eyes, of which GCSB is part, have been bugging Cisco gear, you wonder why we need the law at all.

Given that the GCSB, otherwise known as “The Ministry of No”, is famous for how slow it is, we can only assume that the growth of telecommunications infrastructure in New Zealand, at a time when we most need it, will be impacted.

Behold the mighty Slowitdownandstopasaurus in action over the next few months.




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