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Schmidt: G+ 'Identity Service,' Not Social Network 417

David Gerard writes "Eric Schmidt has revealed that Google+ is an identity service, and the 'social network' bit is just bait. Schmidt says 'G+ is completely optional,' not mentioning that Google has admitted that deleting a G+ account will seriously downgrade your other Google services. As others have noted, Somewhere, there are two kids in a garage building a company whose motto will be 'Don't be Google.'"
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Schmidt: G+ 'Identity Service,' Not Social Network

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  • by dringess ( 552168 ) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @11:50AM (#37234076)
    Pretty slanted summary. By "identity service", I interpret Schmidt as meaning that they prefer people use their own real identity because that makes it a better service for users. As we see on Slashdot, comments posted by anonymous cowards are only occasionally worth much. And the "bait" comment is completely fabricated.
  • Re:There it is (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jhoegl ( 638955 ) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @11:52AM (#37234094)
    How is this a surprise to anyone?

    Google has always admitted to data mining your information, even your emails.
    Best part is, it is self defeating. Googles anti-spam is one of the best, ad block plus helps with the rest.
    You are crying over spilled milk, get a sponge....
  • by Surt ( 22457 ) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @11:57AM (#37234128) Homepage Journal

    It's kind of sad, but the evidence is getting stronger and stronger that capitalism is worse for the average person than communism, in spite of the failure of the USSR (which likely would not have occurred if not for the arms race pressure with the USA).

  • by Surt ( 22457 ) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @11:59AM (#37234144) Homepage Journal

    That has never happened. Even Google and Facebook took years to get big. Bigger companies could have sued them into the ground if they had their eyes open. Facebook rising to power without Google making a peep was the biggest clue to get out of Google stock ever.

  • Re:There it is (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rudy_wayne ( 414635 ) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @12:02PM (#37234162)

    [Google CEO Eric Schmidt] replied by saying that G+ was build primarily as an identity service, so fundamentally, it depends on people using their real names if they're going to build future products that leverage that information.

    Straight from the horse's mouth: .

    Except for celebrities (Lady Gag, 50 Cent,etc) who are allowed to use their fake names. And in the ultimate ironic hypocracy, the person in charge of G+ and responsible for the real name policy is Vic Gundrota. Whose is real name is not Vic, it is Vivek.

  • Re:There it is (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 28, 2011 @12:02PM (#37234164)

    Come on kids. Keep on buying Android phones and telling everyone Apple is evil!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 28, 2011 @12:04PM (#37234180)

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and our "citation" is to a Google+ status update. Not an article. Not even a blog post. A status update. The conclusions from this summary don't even follow the post that was linked. This is just... bad.

  • by poetmatt ( 793785 ) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @12:11PM (#37234242) Journal

    How many times does someone parrot the "oh, they're evil now"?

    because they call it an identity service? really?

    Troll less, please.

    If you want to worry about a company, worry about facebook + microsoft working together.

  • by Surt ( 22457 ) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @12:17PM (#37234288) Homepage Journal

    The USA has more prisoners and more forced labor. Granted, most of that is not happening in Alaska, but our prisoner fatality rates are still pretty competitive.

  • by strength_of_10_men ( 967050 ) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @12:21PM (#37234316)
    From the TFA:

    Why are there reports that people lost Gmail access from earlier G+ account suspensions? Did Google actually do that, or were people confused somehow?

    Google: Gmail suspensions are unrelated to Google+ suspensions. It's possible, and an unfortunate coincidence, for users to have both products suspended at the same time, for separate reasons. Earlier in the summer there was some confusion around SMS verification, which we addressed here.

    I am considering "downgrading" my G+ account after reading this but let's not spread any fud here.

    Having said that, I'm not quite sure why Google is being such a dick about this real name policy. It's really quite possible that they already know exactly who you are so they have all the info they need, so why give yourself such a bad buzz (pun intended) about this anal-retentive real names policy.

  • by poetmatt ( 793785 ) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @12:42PM (#37234436) Journal


    you can pretty much make your entire profile invisible on g+. change the profile photo to something random, use a fake name, make sure every post is only seen by certain people.

    Do you have any idea what you're talking about?

    Yes, people have gotten locked out but it's rare and fake names *don't* get locked.

  • by Skal Tura ( 595728 ) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @01:48PM (#37234932) Homepage

    The real question is how many have been run down, but we just don't hear about it.

  • by FoolishOwl ( 1698506 ) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @02:55PM (#37235376) Journal

    I'm seeing a lot of comments that if people don't like Google's policies, they shouldn't use Google. However, with Google's domination over Internet searching and over public email, it takes a fair amount of work to avoid using Google. And given the degree of social influence Google has attained, it really seems that the proper thing to do about a problem with Google's policies is to confront Google about it, not just run away and hide.

    There was an email bulletin from the Free Software Foundation, complaining that 50% of their subscribers used Gmail. Outside work, almost all the personal email addresses I see in use are On Slashdot, I'm used to frequent criticisms of Google, lauding of do-it-yourself system configuration, and lots of nerd rage whenever "cloud computing" comes up, so I found the reaction to Ask Slashdot: Self-Hosted Gmail Alternatives? astonishing, in that most of the responses were that the poster should stick with Google Apps for mail hosting, because self-hosting was too difficult. (I had been suggesting to my partner that I thought we should consider running our own mail server on our own Linux box, so I was reading that thread closely. I wouldn't have expected the Slashdot crowd to talk me out of it, but they did.)

    At first, I liked the looks of Google+, because it seemed to show more planning to meet privacy concerns; however, the "real names" policy is a serious problem. If anybody's in a position to effectively challenge Facebook, a service I loathe, it's Google.

    Some people throw around the claim that social networking services are not a necessity. The problem is, the definition of "necessity" is a social construction, human existence is social existence, and with social networking services, you're talking about the deliberate construction of a forum for constructing society. Opting out means a significant withdrawal from contemporary social life, especially for youth -- and this is a global pattern. It's more important when one looks at political developments around the world, of which Google is distinctly aware.

    Opting out of Google services and ignoring the problem is not an effective response.

  • by Surt ( 22457 ) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @03:38PM (#37235736) Homepage Journal

    Imprisonment is failure of the system by definition. It says we couldn't find any way to engage these people productively. That's our failure, not theirs, particularly since we also supply the education.

  • by lahvak ( 69490 ) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @03:51PM (#37235822) Homepage Journal

    Or their crime was complaining about the long lines in the grocery store. Or having a "nice" apartment that their neighbor wanted. Or just happening to be at a wrong place when a KGB official needed to have his quota fulfilled. Or having the wrong nationality or speaking the wrong language. Or fighting against nazism on the wrong front. Or having a distant relative who escaped to the west. And comparing the conditions in US prison system (arguably rather horrible, I agree with that) with concentration camps like those in the GULAG system is just offensive to all the victims of GULAG. You sound just like a some sort of holocaust denier.

    I am not saying that there are no miscarriages of justice in the US, or that everything is all rosy here. Lot of crap does happen in here, but just the fact that we can talk about it here, complain about it, and fight it, shows the difference between a democratic or semi-democratic country like the US and a totalitarian regime like the communist countries of eastern Europe.

  • by RoFLKOPTr ( 1294290 ) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @04:05PM (#37235916)

    That's the opposite of volunteering. Like if I hold a gun to your head, and say 'work or I'll kill you' ... if you volunteer that's not a choice. Neither is it a choice if I offer to torture you or let you 'volunteer' to work. Neither is it a choice if I offer to put you in a box for the day, or work.

    No, a choice would be: come out to the open road. There you can work, or not.

    What the hell? Nobody's holding guns to anybody's head. Nobody's forcing the prisoners to work. They committed crimes and now they're in prison. They can either sit around in prison and do nothing or they can get a prison job and get a break from the ordinary. They do it entirely by choice. They're not in prison by choice, but they have the choice of making their stay more enjoyable.

    FYI: Prison is a correctional system. It's a punishment for wrongdoing. It's also a rehabilitation for wrongdoers. Giving them choices about how they want to spend their time is a part of rehabilitation and assessment of whether or not they're fit to re-enter society. Nobody is forcing them to work, and they are free to hang out in the yard and lift weights for the next 10 years if they want, or they can do something different.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen