caro thinks

open letter to google, 2011/10/23:14:05

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Open letter to google.

Dear Google:

What on earth are you thinking?

I know a lot of people are fine with your taking over the world. When you were just doing search and email, that didn't seem like a terrible idea either.

But with great power comes great responsibility.

Great responsibility involves having a great deal of perspective.

You have lost perspective.

If you are going to take over Motorola and the Android Market, then it is your responsibility to make sure that these things are still usable. Do you know what makes these things unusable? Captchas.

Get some perspective. I know it's important to you to keep 'bots from loggin in wherever they roam and posting nonsense. I know it's important to you to keep message boards clean. I share your sense of urgency to prevent hacks and attacks to my personal system. But get some perspective. If you make me sign into my google account every time I, say, look at facebook on my desktop, or try to download a free app from the Android market, then you need to find a way to distinguish between human beings and bots.

That's right. The Mighty and All-Powerful Google CANNOT DISTINGUISH A HUMAN BEING FROM A BOT.

When you create captchas that are unreadable by human beings, you are no longer using the captchas for their intended purpose.

I suspect that you'd also like to check in with me occasionally. I'm not sure why, but somehow it probably makes it easier to take over the world. But if my friends don't hear from me for two or three weeks at a time, who are you to demand my attention every day, sometimes two or three times a day, just because I got a new phone and made the mistake of getting it from your empire?

There are SOOOO MANY solutions to the bot problem. Sending endless captchas that are too hard for humans to read is, like, the absolute dumbest solution that I can think of. But, I'm actually kind of smart, so I'm often surprised at just how god-awful dumb some people can be.

I don't know, Google, I somehow expected better from you. I think about your nice clean search-box page and its brilliant simplicity, and it almost seems like there is, indeed, someone out there who is Like Me. But you're not like me, are you? You're just another big, dumb, rich corporation that sometimes gets things right by accident, and the rest of the time just makes a mess of things.

Is this how you take over the world? Is this the right way to behave, with such power?
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