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Comment Re:Ideas vs. Implementation (Score 1) 204

Google is a collection of some of the best software engineers in the country(with most of their talent being wasted on getting more people to click ads).

Actually, very few of Google's engineers are focused on ads, at all. I'd guess that between ad auctions, ad displays, ad billing and miscellaneous management and support UIs, maybe 10% of Google's 20,000 engineers work on ads.

read more carefully before you answer. The poster said "...getting more people to click ads" not supporting google ads. All of google is working to find and engage people so that they will click someone's ads. It's not charity.

You need to read more carefully. I acknowledged and dismissed that interpretation. Google's focus is on building the products; the ads are just the most convenient and effective way of funding the operations, currently. It's possible that will change, and Google will be perfectly happy to switch to a different way of paying for its operations.

Comment Re:Or maybe the young folks just hate meetings? (Score 1) 453

This approach works perfectly in companies where software is a high priority. Not in companies where it's seen as a cost center.

Nonsense. I've been in both. The point is to make it clear to your manager that the meetings mean he's getting less work out of you than otherwise. It doesn't matter if you're a revenue generator or a cost center, less effectiveness is bad. Of course, if he doesn't care about that after you've made it clear, then you're stuck going to the meeting. If you mention it from time to time, though, hopefully he'll eventually start being reluctant to commit you to meetings just so he doesn't have to hear you complain (but be careful not to overdo it).

And if he still insists you need to go, suck it up and add it to your list of reasons to look for another job.

Comment Re:Or maybe the young folks just hate meetings? (Score 1) 453

Yeah, but then you have "stakeholders" complaining to your manger that you're not reporting to their meetings, where they ask you one yes/no question after 30 minutes of talking about things unrelated to your job.

At the very least you should push back. Point out to your manager that their meetings consume a lot of productive time and that your actual participation consists of 30 seconds. Do that fairly regularly -- not obnoxiously, but enough to keep your manager from forgetting that these meetings are reducing his department's net productivity and effectiveness.

Comment Re:Or maybe the young folks just hate meetings? (Score 1) 453

"If you're spending time in meetings that are of no value to you and your work and you haven't pushed back, that's your fault."

No, it isn't. It's the fault of the manager who required you to be there. When was the last time you attended a business meeting that was completely "optional"?

Basically all of my business meetings are completely optional. I'm expected to be effective, and it's assumed that I'm the best judge of how to do that in the short term (in the longer term, I have semi-annual performance reviews).

I suppose maybe I'm spoiled at my current employer, but I've always pushed back on meetings that I thought were a waste of time, and I've generally been successful at getting out of them, even at previous employers.

Comment Re:Ideas vs. Implementation (Score 4, Informative) 204

Yes, but they had one idea of their own that launched Google. That's links-as-metadata idea of indexing. It was a good idea, but nothing since then has been "from the top".

Of course not. That's not the job of the people at the top.

Their job is to look at all of the ideas coming up from the bottom, identify the winners and make sure they're getting all the resources and focus they need, and that the teams working on them are doing all of the right things. FWIW, I think that sort of leadership was lacking at Google prior to Larry's appointment as CEO. The major thrust of his management is summarized in his (rather hackneyed, I suppose, but memorable) phrase "More wood behind fewer arrows". It has annoyed a lot of users of Google's smaller, less-successful projects, but picking winners and losers and de-funding the losers is a critically important job.

And don't think that picking winners and losers is easy. Well, it's easy to do, but very hard to do right. And, FWIW, I think Larry is doing a great job. I'm particularly impressed by his decisions to kill some large projects that never saw the light of day because they weren't good for Google's overall strategic future. Those are tough decisions, especially when tens of millions have been sunk into something which turns out to be good, but not quite good enough.

As for Sergey... he's the driving force behind Google X, the research group that is responsible for self-driving cars, Google Glass, project Loon, and lots more that even Google employees haven't heard of yet. How much of it is his own ideas, how much of it is other people's ideas refined collaboratively with his input, and how much of it is him just clearing the underbrush so that other people with big ideas can get shit done, I have no idea. But they're doing very cool, forward-thinking stuff over there, and he's clearly an integral part of it.

If you're looking for whether or not their brains and skills justify their enormous net worth... of course not. Money is only loosely related to ability. Luck and persistence (which improves your luck) have a lot more to do with it. Regardless, if someone has to be a billionaire, I'm pretty happy it's those guys, because I like what they're doing with their money.

(Disclaimer: I work for Google. I try to watch the weekly company-wide meetings as often as I can, and those are the primary source of my impressions of Larry and Sergey, who host the meetings almost every week. Their obvious intelligence, insight and high standards of moral behavior consistently impress me.)

Comment Re:Perhaps Google's plan is working? (Score 2) 356

Google has enough money that if this is what they wanted then they'd have it.

And how would they have achieved it? Merely having money doesn't always help.

You've drank too much of the "do no evil" kool-aid they've been dishing out.

First, it's "Don't be evil". Second, how is Google's evil-ness or lack thereof relevant to whether or not Seattle succeeds at deploying gigabit fiber over the objections of Comcast?

Comment Re:Ideas vs. Implementation (Score 4, Informative) 204

Google is a collection of some of the best software engineers in the country(with most of their talent being wasted on getting more people to click ads).

Actually, very few of Google's engineers are focused on ads, at all. I'd guess that between ad auctions, ad displays, ad billing and miscellaneous management and support UIs, maybe 10% of Google's 20,000 engineers work on ads.

You can argue that since the rest of the company is primarily supported by ads (90% of Google revenues are from ads) that all of the products built by all of the rest are "getting more people to click ads", but I think that's a stretch, and in fact that's not at all how anyone in Google sees it. In fact Googlers see it exactly the opposite: Google's reason for existence is all of the products we build. Ads are just a convenient way to pay the bills. Google doesn't even consider itself an advertising company. It's an Internet and mobile technology company which has found that ads are -- currently -- the lowest-effort and most scalable method yet found to fund large scale technology of the sort Google builds. Everyone would be fine with finding other ways to make money -- and in fact Google's non-ad revenues are consistently growing much faster than it's ad revenues. I think it's mostly the enterprise services business that has been growing like crazy.

Not that ads are inherently evil. I know some people disagree, and believe that ads are pure manipulation. Personally, I occasionally find ads informative and useful, when they tell me about interesting (to me) products which I didn't already know about, or had forgotten. I don't believe I'm manipulated to any significant extent by them, but maybe that's just because I haven't been wearing my tinfoil hat, and am therefore so utterly mind-controlled by so many different forces that I've lost all free will and don't even know it. Anyway, I think the way Google does ads is at least neutral on the good/evil to humanity scale. And it funds a lot of really awesome stuff.

(Disclaimer: I'm a Google software engineer. I do billing security systems, so I do support ads, but I also support Wallet, Play, pay-by-Gmail, etc. Nearly all of my daily work is focused on the emerging payments needs, mostly consumer-facing. Ads-related stuff drives maybe 1% of my work.)

Comment Re:Apple made the same mistake (Score 1) 390

It's worth a premium to me to be free of advertising. I know that's not true for everyone.

I don't see any ads on my Android phone, other than some cheap apps which are ad-supported and on mobile web sites, and that's the same on iOS. And the same is true of every Android phone I've owned. What advertising are you talking about?

Comment Re:Google wallet (Score 3, Informative) 358

I'm surprised there's still nothing about google wallet. I heard some speculation that with kitkat, they were going to announce a way to use it on any phone with NFC (without the secure element the carriers refuse to allow).

Nexus 5's support Google Wallet tap & pay, even though the device doesn't have a secure element. Since the carriers were arguing that giving Google exclusive control over the secure element was "the problem", it would seem they no longer have a basis for refusing to allow tap & pay. So, it should be the case that any Android 4.4 device with NFC hardware (which is most of them) should be able to do tap & pay.

It's worth pointing out that the Google Wallet app has other features besides NFC payment that work on all phones, including iOS. You can use it to see your transactions (e.g. online stuff) and to send money to people via e-mail, and it also is where you see and redeem Google Offers.

Comment Re:Not, however, if it's handsfree (Score 1) 638

There are no studies that show that using the in-dash navigation system or a stand alone GPS system increase the danger of distracted driving compared to using Google Glass.

Duh. Given that Glass has only been available to a select few people, for a few months.

But to date, there is only conjecture that one method is safer than the others, not real, verifiable data.

And yet, it's a very reasonable expectation. I fully expect that the data will be forthcoming. Assuming silly laws don't prevent the research from being done.

Comment Re:Not, however, if it's handsfree (Score 1) 638

A much more basic and simpler and safer solution would be to just not wear the headset while driving.

Except that then you couldn't use it for navigation.

That is true, you would have to rely on the built in navigation system of the vehicle or a regular gps, if you were wanting not to break the law in those states that prohibit something like Google Glass.

Both of which increase the danger of distracted driving, by requiring you to move your eyes and shift your focus farther in order to see the display.

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