Tag Archives: google

Visa and MasterCard planning to exploit customer data

According to Wall Street Journal’s article, two major credit-card companies, Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc., are planning to use their customers’ buying history to deliver targeted ads online. I don’t know how do you feel about this, but I think that this is outrageous. Those companies are entrusted with our money. They have so much power already, but they want even more? Google and Facebook have enormous databases and now we will have Visa and MasterCard spying on us?  It’s major privacy issue, that’s for sure.

I hope that European Commission will look into this. Ideally, companies should be prohibited from sharing their customers’ data with third-party and punished harshly for any data leak. Naturally I do not expect to see such laws implemented in the near future, I’m not naive. There is just too much money in the targeted ads’ market.

Dead Sea Scrolls Online

Google is an ambiguous company. Sometimes it acts as obnoxiously as Facebook, sometimes it creates the coolest of things. This time they digitized Dead Sea Scrolls, which were written between the third and the first centuries BCE.

Disregarding your opinion on religion, it is a major occasion. I’m sure that in the future every ancient human text will be accessible online and I’ll be thankful to the company, which will make it happen.

Google, NTP and leaping seconds

If you are working in a 24/7 environment as I do, you should already know the importance of knowing the correct time. Sometimes even milliseconds do matter. Usually we rely on Network Time Protocol(or simply NTP) and atomic/GPS clocks.

But as you probably know, our Earth isn’t the perfect sphere. Don’t forget the various forces, which influence the Earth’s trajectory and you will understand why there is need for the concept such as the leap seconds. Leap seconds were introduced to synchronize the timescale to the rotation of Earth. Additional second can cause various problems in the systems, where correct time is very important, for example, in large distributed data centers such as Google’s. Google applied pretty neat patch to their own NTP servers to solve the problem. I think, it’s just a matter of time before this patch is introduced in the public NTP software.

Yahoo RIP

Looks like that a history of the biggest Google competitor is over. Yahoo puts itself for sale, just after firing its CEO. Yahoo wasn’t perfect, but it was trying to rival almighty Google. That was good enough reason to support it. Monopoly ain’t good from a consumer’s perspective. Any monopoly. Now we will have only one major player in the search engine market. All hail our Google overlords!