It has been a while since I have mentioned anything about photoshop work which I have done. That is because since the last lot I had done for Top Gear Magazine, way back in April, I haven’t been commissioned to produce any more. That was until last week, where I was contacted by the editor of 911 & Porsche World magazine. The brief was to produce some images for use in their 200th issue which will be on sale next month.
I am not going to say what the images are of, you will have to wait and see in the magazine yourself, now don’t you?
Before you start to read this, I’m going to give a word of warning that due to the mood in which I am in whilst writing this today (21st February 2010), I do ramble on quite a bit, so if you want to skip to the end, you can just take a look at the pictures and just be done with it.
Over the past couple of years there has been something which has become ever so annoying and what is worse, they don’t seem to know that they are doing this. If you haven’t already guessed who or what I am talking about, then I’m guessing you didn’t read the title of this post. Google are the culprit, Google are the problem, and knowing Google, they think they are the solution. From where I am standing they are slowly trying to take over the world, through the dreaded act of diversifying. I wrote a post about this and how I thought companies were going down the wrong path with this way back in August. In fact it was my second post on here, and guess what. My opinion still has not changed.
Google obviously started off as a search engine, and its popularity just began to grow. They bought YouTube. A good move in the long term but at the time it did mean that they wouldn’t really be continuing with Google Video which at the time, my friends and I would prefer it to their new acquisition. Every so often, a trip into the Google Labs would be in order just to see what sort of things they were working on. To view the trending searches of the day etc, just to see what was going on. It appealed to the geek side of me.
Another step in the right direction was Google Earth, pretty much a standalone extension of Google Maps. I was an early adopter of this, or at least I think I was, and it was great, and it still is, despite being a bit of a resource hog on my computer. There are times where I am unable to resist loading it up just to have a shot in the flight simulator in it.
This is the level of diversification which I would say I was comfortable with. They were a search engine company, who had a range of other products or services which also allowed users to search for what they wanted, whether it be places, or videos.
In recent years it does seem as though Google are trying to take over the world, very much in the same vein as what Microsoft doing. But whereas Microsoft buys out businesses and makes itself grow even larger. Google gives the impression that they will have a shot at it and if it works it works and if it doesn’t then well, at least they tried. Whilst I do admire them for doing this, I don’t think that it is the right thing to do. We all need competition and it just seems that Google are trying to eliminate them all.
They launched Google Wave. Supposedly it was supposed to reinvent the way in which we use email. After the initial surge of interest and usage, it has fallen by the side of the popularity trail. I will go on and check it every so often, as I was lucky enough to have been given an invite by a friend, but the conversations had with people have just dried up. It does work quite well, but as it is still in Beta, or even Alpha form, there are still quite a few bugs in it. My MacBook can barely run it, and my iMac will frequently beachball when I use it. The longer waves have load times worthy of being given their own birthday. I’ll use it if they improve it, but at the current moment in time, there hasn’t been any sort of improvement or modifications since mid December, which was when I joined it.
One of the most recent ventures by Google is Buzz. Where they are trying to take on the likes of Twitter, Facebook and all the other sort of main stream social networking sites by providing something which just doesn’t make sense. I seem to have signed up to it by accident. It appears in my sidebar when I log onto Googlemail. I’ve not really had a look at it, but from what I’ve heard it has been a MASSIVE fail. There has been complaints about it and regarding privacy issues, it has also led to an investigation into it (well from what I can remember anyways). It definitely didn’t appear in Twitter’s trending topics for very long compared to Wave, and I don’t actually know anyone who uses it.
One of the only non search/mapping/email things I will use google for (apart from video since that technically is YouTube), is iGoogle. But even then, not very often. It isn’t my homepage, that currently is the Apple UK homepage. I don’t use it to check the weather as I have perfectly good (well, mediocre) widgets for that. Emails? Nope, I use the Mail application. So what do I use it for? The only thing I use iGoogle for is Google Reader, so I can quickly see if there have been any updates on any RSS feeds I follow. This probably isn’t what Google want me to do, but I have other things which are much better at doing what I need to do.
Whilst I am on a roll, I suppose I will have to mention the Google phone and operating system. The Nexus One is their answer to the iPhone, and it has already developed its own following. The operating system, pretty much a desktop version of their mobile operating system, Android, is planned to be a ‘cloud’ based operating system, where the users information isn’t stored directly onto the computer in which they are using, but instead on a server many miles away. Whilst this has its advantages in some areas such as users of multiple computers, it does have quite a few drawbacks. From what I can fathom out, or can be bothered to fathom out, you need to be able to connect to the internet in order to access all of your files, or most of them anyway, which is fine if you are a tech-addict who doesn’t leave their home, or areas which have internet access, but for others this isn’t really the way forward. However, I have just remembered that I am sure I read somewhere that this operating system was aimed more specifically at netbooks rather than desktops or laptops. Netbooks because they aren’t generally used at the users primary computer, it is usually their secondary, or third computer.
I am not saying that I hate Google. I use them as my primary searching facility, and email… and maps. But the thing I don’t like is the fact that they are trying to do a Microsoft and take over the world, as it were. In doing so they are slowly destroying the links they have made in the past few years. Because of the Nexus One, they have already lost a key position on the board of Apple. Why not just stay a search company, but keeping the most popular additions they have (some, not all)? Become even better at what they do instead of coming up with other services which have an impact, but don’t have the momentum to keep going. I don’t know why, even after this post which is closing in on the 1300 word mark. I guess the mood that I am in has dictated the way in which I have been able to decipher the information and just vented it out as a rant. I’m not complaining. But I am starting to query how much this has to do with design. Ah well.