GeekNights Monday - Breaking up Big Tech Companies

Tonight on GeekNights, we consider the challenge, and possibly the necessity, of breaking up the major technology companies. But first, after two unrelated bridge incidents, we consider the value proposition of the new Mac Pro, and Google's conflict of interest regarding advertising revenue may end up ruining Chrome.

Things of the Day

Episode Links

Full talk at the presenters youtube page. He talks about the cup at about the 29 minute mark.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACdYmuFyjWM

Brave is my go-to browser on mobile because of the native ad-blocking without plugins or any wifi shenanigans required to just make mobile websites functional again. Its hilarious to me how bad the adtech can get, especially for journalism sites on the mobile version in comparison to it when you’ve got way more screen real estate on a desktop.

I’ve had good luck with Firefox Focus on android. I can watch twitch streams with no ads and the formatting isn’t terrible.

This is made by bitcoin scammy scumbags. Don’t trust it.

Just install uBlock on FFMobile.

This is one of those episodes where I think “hey, I’ve got something to say about this on the forum” but by the end I’ve got so many disagreements and comments, along with some agreements, that’s it’s just not the best form of discourse for such a topic.

But here is one point to start:

European anti-trust is about conserving or improving the state of competition between companies. The idea is that if competition is upheld, the customer is served better in the long run. This means that short-term pain is put on end users and customers, but hopefully the better product/service will win out. That’s why Microsoft had to add a browser picker in Windows.

But in America, the focus is on the good of the end customer. This means that in a monopoly that exists because the product is the best, and continues to be the best for customers, like Google Search, telling customers they have to be customers of a different company that might not be so good actually hurts the end customer.

So in Europe, it’s not like they are punishing American companies per se, just that they have a different framework for anti-trust that, as a by-product, helps European or other non-American companies.

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My rebuttal is that a lot of the GDPR copyright stuff seems to protect entrenched media companies and outfits withing the EU against google at the cost of some societal good (meme-culture, re-purposing culture that Americans would call fair use).

It is true traditionally that the anti-trust measuring stick in america was cost of services to consumers and market choice, but all of the anti-trust stuff the US govt is now working on looks like it might be adding other possible metrics for the application of anti-trust (or at least thats what the political-wonk-sphere seems to be writing about currently) to Google, facebook, et al.

GDPR is nothing to do with anti-trust.

Quite right, sorry I combined the GDPR fines and the anti-trust rulings as related in my mind.

Definitely pass on Brave. Guy I used to work with got a job with them. I got a lot of bad vibes about the company from talking to him.

@Apreche Point Pleasant boardwalk is one of the best in NJ if you want to do typical boardwalk things: arcade games, pizza, ice cream & salt water taffy, etc. Has a surprisingly decent small aquarium.

I think you’d enjoy walking around Asbury Park boardwalk and downtown more. Belmar is a nice combo too. If you want to bike to a fun downtown closer to the ferry, go to Red Bank. Don’t go to Seaside, one of the most popular. That’s the Jersey Shore meathead boardwalk.

It begins.

It’s bad though. The GOP is doing this in bad faith to fight “anti-conservative bias” in tech. They perceive tech companies as against them.

They’re doing it punitively and for the wrong reasons.

The lawsuit itself will largely bring justice, as much as our failed justice system is capable of. Within the scope of this one case, I have few qualms. Regardless of the motivation, they are going to argue the correct thing in court. Google illegally leveraged its search engine monopoly power to advantage itself in other markets.

The problem is in the larger scope in that the justice is selective. Republicans are happy to let white collar crimes go unpunished unless the perpetrators make them mad for some other reason. I’m mad about all the other lawsuits they aren’t filing because they don’t have beef, and a criminal syndicate likes crime.

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Double jeopardy surely doesn’t apply here. Even if they fuck it up, it doesn’t preclude bringing another suit by a competent justice department, right?

IANAL, but it would likely depend on if it’s considered a criminal or civil matter. I thiiiiiiiiink this would fall under civil courts.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-12-16/google-sued-by-texas-over-abuse-of-dominance-in-antitrust-case

Round 2, and it’s a big one.

Lol, it can’t render the embed because Bloomberg considers the forum to be a bot. The link still works, though.

I love this quote.

“This litigation will establish that Google is guilty of such antitrust evils, and it seeks to ensure that Google won’t be evil anymore.”