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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Siva Vaidhyanathan, associate professor of media studies and law at the University of Virginia, talks about his book The Googlization of Everything: And Why We Should Worry

Siva Vaidhyanathan will be reading tonight at 7pm at the Strand and speaking tomorrow at NYU.


Siva Vaidhyanathan

Comments [7]


After listening to the story about how Google (and other American corporations) avoid paying U.S. taxes with tricks such as the "Double Irish".

I googled "Google tax cheat" and got almost nothing relevant on the first page of search results. Then I did a search on and got a lot more info right up front.

I have no way of knowing if Google tweaked their proprietary algorithm so embarrassing links don't show up but it's very curious.

Apr. 22 2011 01:26 PM
Emanuel from Brooklyn

I like the types of things that Google has done in terms of innovation, trying to stay on the edge, i.e. Google X-Prize. Only concern is that when the public relies on something too much, especially when it has been seemingly helpful, we start to forget the importance of "Trust" and "Verification." In my personal opinion that's how I believe a lot of potential innovation and entrepreneurship has been lost. We've seen the great things the U.S. industrial titans have done for us and we've been relatively satisfied, but relying on a couple of strong horses to continually pull a nation into new realms of economic prosperity isn't a fiscally responsible way to do business. Google's become the new industrial titan and joining the chorus. The public's partially responsible for ensuring it doesn't become addicted.

Apr. 20 2011 11:15 AM
Mike (@MLNY) from Manhattan

Here's an example of what over-reliance on Google or any individual web media company can bring:

In the next few weeks, Google will be shutting down Google Video (in favor of Youtube) and will be removing all uploaded videos. Those which users don't download to preserve (and perhaps re-upload to Youtube) will be gone forever. Well, what about all the valuable video content that is uploaded exclusively to Google Video? I have seen plenty of documentaries and lectures through this service.

Now that Google has failed us in preserving our access to this information, I am thinking of possible collaborative efforts to archive it all, and wondering about the potential legal issues in re-hosting it all, style. Google Video's robots.txt file "allows" the caching of all video pages (, but the servers that actually host the flash video files have robots.txt files that "disallow" all caching (

Note: If you'd like to download any individual video file from Google Video (or Youtube, etc.), try Firefox add-on DownloadHelper.

Note: To search for videos hosted by Google Video, go to and add the following to your search query: . Otherwise, you get a lot of results that are actually stored on Youtube and elsewhere.

Apr. 20 2011 11:04 AM

I'm a fan of google, and I think their claims of benevolence may have some substance, however, like the guest says, we must remember they are claims. It probably is just marketing, but even if it's not, we should hold them to scrutiny just as we would any other corporation.

Apr. 20 2011 10:59 AM
Mason from NYC

Working in health care as an RN, I have no problem with patients going to Google for information. The problem arises from the fact that the searcher does not have the educational background to correctly apply the information to their particular situation. I am sure this problem is broader than my experience.

Apr. 20 2011 10:57 AM
station44025 from Brooklyn

Both Google and Facebook are pushing society to a point where everything that any individual says or does is recorded and search-able on line. This undermines people's ability to be intellectually honest, change their habits or opinions, make mistakes, or compartmentalize their lives in any way.

Apr. 20 2011 10:57 AM
J.D. from west village

Waiting for your guest to say something we don't all know. And what does he mean "we?" Such bloody presumptuous generalizations.

Apr. 20 2011 10:49 AM

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