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posted by martyb on Tuesday August 07 2018, @12:10AM   Printer-friendly
from the searching-for-an-answer dept.

iTWire:

Only a few of the search behemoth's 88,000 workers were briefed on the project before The Intercept reported on 1 August that Google had plans to launch a censored mobile search app for the Chinese market, with no access to sites about human rights, democracy, religion or peaceful protest.

The customised Android search app, with different versions known as Maotai and Longfei, was said to have been demonstrated to Chinese Government authorities.

In a related development, six US senators from both parties were reported to have sent a letter to Google chief executive Sundar Pichai, demanding an explanation over the company's move.

One source inside Google, who witnessed the backlash from employees after news of the plan was reported, told The Intercept: "Everyone's access to documents got turned off, and is being turned on [on a] document-by-document basis.

"There's been total radio silence from leadership, which is making a lot of people upset and scared. ... Our internal meme site and Google Plus are full of talk, and people are a.n.g.r.y."


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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07 2018, @01:19AM (21 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07 2018, @01:19AM (#718058)

    I think they've jumped the shark a long time ago, but let's look at this TFS for a bit:

    Only a few of the search behemoth's 88,000 workers were briefed on the project before...

    Could be because Google felt it was not relevant to the job of the remaining 87 000 workers.

    One source inside Google, who witnessed the backlash from employees after news of the plan was reported, told The Intercept: "Everyone's access to documents got turned off, and is being turned on [on a] document-by-document basis.

    "Need to know" in a corporate environment. What an unusual concept!

    "There's been total radio silence from leadership, which is making a lot of people upset and scared. ... Our internal meme site and Google Plus are full of talk, and people are a.n.g.r.y."

    Newsflash: You aren't still in school anymore, where you could threaten someone with ostracism from the autists' club if he had expressed views that the hive did not share. AFAIK, the only ones at Google who have a say at all is senior leadership and VC people, who keep the only shares with real voting power. I can imagine them getting rather annoyed having to corral entitled nerds.

    TLDR: If you don't like what your employer is getting involved in, man up and find another place to work.

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  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday August 07 2018, @02:17AM (2 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 07 2018, @02:17AM (#718075) Journal

    It should be noted that Google seeks out, then caters to, kooky people. They have liberal policies, so they seek out liberal minded people. What else can you expect in such an environment?

    --
    We've finally beat Medicare! - Houseplant in Chief
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07 2018, @02:31AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07 2018, @02:31AM (#718080)

      Really no need to state the obvious, but: A lot of bitching, moaning and virtue signalling.

      • (Score: 3, Touché) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday August 07 2018, @04:51PM

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday August 07 2018, @04:51PM (#718315) Journal

        Really no need to state the obvious, but: A lot of bitching, moaning and virtue signalling.

        You can only justify your own lack of convictions by pretending others have none as well.

  • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Tuesday August 07 2018, @02:20AM (11 children)

    by Mykl (1112) on Tuesday August 07 2018, @02:20AM (#718076)

    A lot of the brilliant minds that work there are doing so under the belief that the company is more egalitarian and transparent than they have been over this. It's going to lead toward some of those brilliant minds leaving to work elsewhere.

    I'm fine with corporate needing to manage from the top, and to keep things "need to know", but if you change the employee value proposition (or their understanding of the EVP) from under their feet, prepare for some of those employees to check out (mentally and/or physically).

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07 2018, @02:28AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07 2018, @02:28AM (#718078)

      How many of the "brilliant minds" there have been hired to do rather mundane tasks as directed by their supervisor? Perhaps if they had more "settled minds", they would spend more time working on their tasks, rather than trying to be brilliant on internal meme sites.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday August 07 2018, @12:52PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 07 2018, @12:52PM (#718212) Journal

        How many of the "brilliant minds" there have been hired to do rather mundane tasks as directed by their supervisor?

        Even if that were somehow relevant, mundane is relative. Everything is mundane to the sufficiently jaded eye.

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday August 07 2018, @03:45AM (8 children)

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 07 2018, @03:45AM (#718093) Journal

      A lot of the brilliant minds that work there are doing so under the belief that the company is more egalitarian and transparent than they have been over this.

      Haven't seen anything outstandingly innovative coming out of Google in the last couple of years. **
      I wonder what those brilliant mind actually do there? Are there still a significant number of them or did they already left long ago.

      ** AI by NN on a large scale (the TensorFlow) is the last thing I remember. Designing some dedicated chips for the job is a matter of engineering rather than innovation.
      Self-driving car? Slowly grinding ahead - yes, that's the nature of the problem - but does it require brilliant minds?

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
      • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by khallow on Tuesday August 07 2018, @04:13AM (7 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 07 2018, @04:13AM (#718100) Journal

        Designing some dedicated chips for the job is a matter of engineering rather than innovation.

        Only if you define innovation to mean something like Buckaroo Banzai where you slap the ball-point ink formula on some dude's head and it happens. Real world innovation is the process of making those ideas work.

        Self-driving car? Slowly grinding ahead - yes, that's the nature of the problem - but does it require brilliant minds?

        My last self-driving car didn't require any brilliant minds. But then, it didn't exist either.

        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday August 07 2018, @05:00AM (6 children)

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 07 2018, @05:00AM (#718111) Journal

          Only if you define innovation to mean something like Buckaroo Banzai

          Context [xkcd.com]: "outstanding innovation"

          Real world innovation is the process of making those ideas work.

          It could appear I said otherwise only if you ignore the context.

          My last self-driving car didn't require any brilliant minds. But then, it didn't exist either.

          If you won't ever get a self-driving car, I'm pretty sure the cause will not stay with Google launching a censored search in China.

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
          • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by khallow on Tuesday August 07 2018, @01:06PM (5 children)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 07 2018, @01:06PM (#718216) Journal
            Funny, the only context I seem to be missing is an internet-based face stabbing device [bash.org] for dealing with the imbeciles.

            "outstanding innovation"

            Sorry, still don't buy it. Designing a chip to optimize a theoretical neural network language is still pretty damn outstanding and innovative.

            If you won't ever get a self-driving car, I'm pretty sure the cause will not stay with Google launching a censored search in China.

            Remember that context thing? You mentioned self-driving cars which brought them into the scope of our conversation.

            I'll note also that we don't currently have effective self-driving cars for the masses despite more than a century of developing cars, and some projections make them quite revolutionary. So getting something like that to work and distributed to the masses sounds to me like it qualifies for outstanding innovation.

            • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday August 07 2018, @01:28PM (4 children)

              by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 07 2018, @01:28PM (#718223) Journal

              Sorry, still don't buy it.

              As you were. I'm not selling it, thus don't you fret about.
              Over and out.

              --
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday August 07 2018, @01:36PM (3 children)

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 07 2018, @01:36PM (#718226) Journal

                I'm not selling it

                Your fingers are monkeys on the keyboard and these things just come out. Shakespearean sonnets could be next.

                • (Score: 3, Funny) by c0lo on Tuesday August 07 2018, @01:45PM (2 children)

                  by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 07 2018, @01:45PM (#718231) Journal

                  But thou contracted to thine own bright eyes,
                  Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial fuel,
                  Making a famine where abundance lies,
                  Thy self thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel

                  --
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday August 07 2018, @01:55PM (1 child)

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 07 2018, @01:55PM (#718242) Journal
                    TOTALLY CALLED IT!!!!
                    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by c0lo on Tuesday August 07 2018, @02:17PM

                      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 07 2018, @02:17PM (#718252) Journal

                      TOTALLY CALLED IT!!!!

                      What are the chances? (compute the probability distribution)

                      Or... maybe it's a case of "self-fulfilling prophecy" and the "Totally asked for it" would be closer to the truth?

                      --
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07 2018, @02:28AM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07 2018, @02:28AM (#718079)

    Newsflash: You aren't still in school anymore, where you could threaten someone with ostracism from the autists' club if he had expressed views that the hive did not share. AFAIK, the only ones at Google who have a say at all is senior leadership and VC people, who keep the only shares with real voting power. I can imagine them getting rather annoyed having to corral entitled nerds.

    Precisely. This is what happens when you kowtow to a bunch of self important, entitled nerds. They think they have a say when in reality they are only wage slaves and just don't yet realize it. When you placate a toddler by catering to his whims, all you do is encourage him to throw more and bigger tantrums. The tech world needs to come to terms with this and show their troublesome SJWs to the door.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07 2018, @02:44AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07 2018, @02:44AM (#718083)

      Awwww, did google toss your resume in the garbage can? You must think it is SJW's fault. Too bad and suck it.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07 2018, @03:26AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07 2018, @03:26AM (#718089)

        From where I sit they look like they are being censors. They have decided what is 'good/bad' on the internet.

        The internet routes around censorship. Always has, always will. It just takes time.

        But when you have a 150k salary you say 'well maybe they are not bad'. No, they are bad. I personally work for a company that is as bad as they get. I look the other way because they pay a lot. Google is no longer a 'startup darling' it is a behemoth that is unsure where to go after search and advertising. So they are trying their will at the geeks favorite pastime since GIF got submarine patented started, politics. They are smart so therefor their way is the best. It is the smart person fallacy. Once you realize it is a cognitive bias you can move on in your life.

        Go ahead keep on defending the keepers of the faith. They do pay well don't they? They make sure you feel smart? Don't they? You sold out. But you have arranged it in your brain that it is OK. I too have sold out (for more than google was offering). But I do not pretend my company is some bastion of what is good in the world. But it pays very well, is intellectually stimulating, and I go home to my family at 5.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07 2018, @04:34AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07 2018, @04:34AM (#718108)

          Whoa dude. I don't work for google. They are evil. Sorry to hear that you sold out and work for an evil company. I just get fucking tired of SJW and also people whinging about SJW. It goes on and on. Half of the idiots can't even spell SJW and the other half doesn't know what one is. Many SJWs don't know either. Enjoy your important work!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07 2018, @02:44AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07 2018, @02:44AM (#718084)

      They are not slaves. They are free to leave. And with the fabled Silicon Valley marketplace, that may not be such a hard thing to do.
      But Google is not the workers' slave either. It is only theirs to the extent of the voting rights of their shares. And by that structure it is obvious that The People Running Google did not want to be a "everyone gets a say" org. When management tries to obtain new business, business which could create demand for more workers, and employees start bitching - perhaps it is time they rid themselves of those meddlesome people, as soon as they can. Goes without saying that "do no evil" has already been dropped in the memory hole by now.

      • (Score: 2) by Oakenshield on Tuesday August 07 2018, @03:35PM

        by Oakenshield (4900) on Tuesday August 07 2018, @03:35PM (#718291)

        They are not slaves. They are free to leave.

        They are free to leave and sign up for another servitude. You misunderstand the nature of being a "wage slave." Unless you can leave and survive without requiring a paycheck, you are indeed a "slave" to your "wages", i.e. a wage slave