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Archive for March, 2015

21
Mar

FTC staff wanted to go after Google, accidentally disclosed documents show

The Federal Trade Commission should have listened to its staff:

The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday faced renewed questions about its handling of its antitrust investigation into Google, after documents revealed that an internal report had recommended stronger action.

The 2012 report, from the agency’s bureau of competition, said that the agency should sue the Internet search company for anticompetitive practices, according to several people who saw the report but would speak about it only under the condition of anonymity. At least one other staff report, they said, recommended not to pursue a lawsuit. In early 2013, the agency unanimously voted not to bring charges after an investigation.

Google’s critics and competitors on Thursday jumped on the news, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, arguing that the F.T.C. had failed to take appropriate action. They called on Europe, which is now looking into the company’s practices, to pursue tough regulations.

European regulators must not fail to make the same mistakes that the Federal Trade Commission did. They must aggressively discipline Google for any violations of privacy and antitrust laws that they find through a comprehensive, meaningful investigation.

13
Mar

Google shutting down Google Code

Woe to those who chose Google Code as the host of their open source projects. From the Monster’s mouth:

When we started the Google Code project hosting service in 2006, the world of project hosting was limited. We were worried about reliability and stagnation, so we took action by giving the open source community another option to choose from. Since then, we’ve seen a wide variety of better project hosting services such as GitHub and Bitbucket bloom. Many projects moved away from Google Code to those other systems. To meet developers where they are, we ourselves migrated nearly a thousand of our own open source projects from Google Code to GitHub.

As developers migrated away from Google Code, a growing share of the remaining projects were spam or abuse. Lately, the administrative load has consisted almost exclusively of abuse management. After profiling non-abusive activity on Google Code, it has become clear to us that the service simply isn’t needed anymore.

Beginning today, we have disabled new project creation on Google Code. We will be shutting down the service about 10 months from now on January 25th, 2016. Below, we provide links to migration tools designed to help you move your projects off of Google Code. We will also make ourselves available over the next three months to those projects that need help migrating from Google Code to other hosts.

TechCrunch’s Natasha Lomas notes:

In comments on Google’s blog post, some Google Code users express disappointment the company is not intending to continue hosting those projects that aren’t migrated — maybe because their maintainer has gone AWOL or passed away — in a read-only format, given that they will otherwise be entirely lost come final shutdown.

“Wouldn’t it be more responsible for Google to just host the projects that don’t move over indefinitely in a read only mode? I can’t imagine that it’s resource intensive and it’d instill more faith in Google products. It’s like watching GeoCities go away,” writes one.

“A complete copy of all projects should be handed over to archive.org so that we don’t lose history and important projects that are no longer maintained,” adds another.

Google’s plans in regard to Google Code demonstrate that Google doesn’t archive for the sake of history, it archives for profit. That’s why it will spend large sums of money maintaining vast quantities of user data in its data centers, but won’t keep open to the public read-only archives of a nearly ten year old project hosting service it has decided it’s no longer interested in.