Google released Keep, a note-taking application that allows you to save your todo lists, notes, web clips, audios, photos, etc. and it stores everything in your Google Drive account. With the recent notice of Google Reader being shut down, this new application release has been badly received by users that are questioning Google’s trust on keeping a service alive for long, even when it has a lot of usage.
The funny thing about Keep is that this is the second incarnation of the service. The previous attempt was called Google Notebook and also got killed in July 2012. Will Keep stay for long?
Om Malik, on Gigaom, advices that it is wiser to trust a small company whose core business is the service you need. Companies like Evernote and Dropbox only have one core product, and they concentrate on improving it and keeping it useful since it is their core business. Google has a lot of products and services and it’s not a big deal to kill any of them at any given time.
The problem on depending on web services is not new and I’ve been talking about it several times. Companies come and go and people are trusting their services with their information. This is why it is important to create and use free network services. Owncloud is an alternative to cloud backup services like Dropbox. For note taking I’m not aware of any FAIF web service but applications like Tomboy (Gnome) or BasKet (KDE) are good desktop options. I personally use Emacs Org-mode and sync it with MobileOrg.
Will you use Google Keep or stay with Evernote or other similar service providers? Do you know any free web alternative to these? Let me know in the comments!
Last week I went to San Francisco to do some business, and having some extra days I decided to get outside and take a few shots around the city.
Little did I know that there was an Occupy San Francisco movement over at the Federal Reserve bank building. It was an interesting and shocking thing to see all those signs and tents and people camping there. Everyone was in peace and calm. People got close to them to talk and exchange ideas, there were books and publications scattered everywhere and they had some kind of lectures and classes at certain times.
The funny thing was the coincidence that earlier on that same day I went to see the musical Hair, at the Golden Gate theater. It’s sad so see how similar the movement for peace in the 70′s is to the movement for freedom (and many other things) today, because it’s a sign that not much has changed, or a confirmation that history has repeating cycles. One way or the other, it’s not good progress for humanity.
Here are some of the pictures I took of the campings and the signs and some Hair music to accompany them:
This video is horrible! It reminds me of the 50′s anti socialism/communism propaganda with the voice, tone and the graphic tactics used in it.
And while it doesn’t omit the topic of Fair Use, it does try to avoid it, or so it seems, by speeding up the audio and moving the letters so you can’t read the text about it comfortably.
What’s funny is that all the examples mentioned as a copyright violation are examples of maybe about 90% of the videos in YouTube.
I remember those days where you could “freely” make a cassette tapes with romantic dedicated tracks for your girlfriend. I think things like this make it clear that those days are over…just when you could send video instead of audio and instantly instead of waiting to deliver the tape.
If you wonder why there’s no embedded Flash video version from a site like Youtube, please download the video, watch it and you’ll get your answer. (Although if only I could restrict Youtube to make it webm format only, that might be okay)
Depending on “the cloud” to provide all software has increasingly shown some of its issues. What’s strange is that not many people are concerned about it.
Google marking all sites as unsafe
Google marked all search results as unsafe websites, and when you clicked on the link, it warned you again and you had to agree to go to the website. This might not cause a big issue for computer savvy people that know where they’re going, but for other people (and that actually read warning messages) this might scared them away. Probably a lot of business was lost from users going for the first time to a site and got this warning.
Warner music and Youtube have been taking down videos with copyrighted music on this service. If you have a video of your kid dancing to a Warner music song, so someone is whistling one or if its in the background of your birthday video, it might be taken down.
The EFF has called this “The fair use massacre” since these videos are righfully using the material under fair use terms but they are being taken down anyway.
I’ve highlighted the parts you should watch out for:
When you post User Content to the Site, you authorize and direct us to make such copies thereof as we deem necessary in order to facilitate the posting and storage of the User Content on the Site. By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing. You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content. Facebook does not assert any ownership over your User Content; rather, as between us and you, subject to the rights granted to us in these Terms, you retain full ownership of all of your User Content and any intellectual property rights or other proprietary rights associated with your User Content.
And the other day I found some local TV advertising studio photographs, from the biggest TV network in latinamerica, posted on the photographer’s photo gallery. He could get sued by his client!
Good think Flickr exists and provides us with our own licensing terms. And even more for providing the option of Creative Commons licensing.
It would be interesting and a huge challenge, to come up with a social networking site like Facebook that follows the Franklin Street statement.
This is the first time I talk about this topic. Even though I’m very passionate about it, I think I still need to learn a lot on how to deliver the right and complete message. Fortunately I recorded the whole chat on video (video coming soon) and will improve for next time. On the good side, everything got cleared up during the audience questions.
The public’s reaction was interesting. A lot of people there were surprised when I mentioned GNU/Linux and open source software. Others, for some strange and bizarre reason, insisted on me giving them advice on antivirus software and providing them with serial numbers for their software. No, I never mentioned or endorsed the use of unofficial (or cracked) serial numbers for their software. I don’t know where this guy got this idea from me.
But it keeps surprising me the fact that, every time I talk about software freedom, there’s a lot of people that didn’t have a clue that they have a choice.