Google's CES Announcements

Based on the fact that no one has already started the thread, I’m guessing most people here are as underwhelmed as I am.

Google Pack is a collection of software that Google recommends you install on your Windows PC. Basically they just gathered up Adobe Reader, Ad-Aware Personal, a 6 month trial of Symantec Anti-virus, and a bunch of Google apps and gave them a slick installer and automatic updater. YAWN. I guess this isn’t targetted at me, they’re obviously looking to convince the non-techno savvy folks to use this, but it’s completely redundant as far as I’m concerned. They also really should have gone with a totally free anti-virus (like Avast! or Anti-vir). Thumbs down.

Let’s see… there was a plea to the industry to standardize on power adaptors and connectivity standards. I’m glad someone has said it to the gathered bigwigs, but will they listen? No chance. Thumbs neutral.

Google Video is now going to have content for sale. Inside the US only, it seems. And it’s mostly old, nostalgia driven shows. Ooh, I can download original episodes of “Caspar the Friendly Ghost”. Gotta get me some o’ that. Or some old CBS classics for $1.99 USD an episode. No, wait. I can’t download any of this crap, I’m in Canada. BLECH. Thumbs down.

Some support for the $100 laptop for the developing world, based on the fact that Google shows Africa as “dark” when it comes to searches… Great. I’m all for it. Thumbs up, assuming it’s financial support and not just positive sentiments.

I’m completely disappointed, and I’m now hoping Apple makes some worthwhile announcements at Macworld next week to make up for my feelings of technologus interruptus.

CES seems a bust in terms of most everybody. Dual core Centrinos? Yawn. PS3 movies we’ve already seen. Yawn.

Seemed like a really boring year for CES.

They’re selling episodes of Charlie Rose? Isn’t Charlie Rose funded by me, the viewer, at least in theory? Shouldn’t they just keep the same sponsorship messages at the beginning of the show and put up torrents? I’ll donate to PBS, I don’t care how I GET the show but I’m not going to pay for it.

Google pack: not very slick. I recommend Foxit PDF Reader instead of the bloated Adobe shit, Spybot S&D instead of Ad-Aware which seems co-opted of late, and anything instead of more crap by Symantec. I suppose it’ll be better than nothing for Joe Sixpack and his fat wife.

I’d be excited about dual core centrinos if it wasn’t for the fact that they’re so damned expensive. More computing power on the go is good for me, and I’ve been reading they’re actually more power efficient than the current centrino processors (and cheaper to build, which makes the extra expense even more annoying).

Of course, I and 4 other people in the world care about number crunching on a laptop I’m sure…


I’ve paid for Charlie Rose too, so I’m wondering why he and the setbuilders won’t come to my apartment personally and re-enact his shows. It’s been paid for.

Given the way they raise funding (sponsorship at the beginning of programs, goverment funding, and personal donations) it seems strange that ‘public’ television would charge for each episode download. Should PBS really be concerned about people stealing their content with bittorrent? Should CSPAN?

They also already sell DVDs of their shows… it is called fund raising.

And if you want to get technical, not everyone has paid for PBS shows, there is this little thing outside the United States called, THE REST OF THE WORLD. I don’t think they have paid for the Charlie Rose Shows.

But I digress, why can’t you watch them without paying for them again? Didn’t the government buy you a TV?


I did some looking around, and it turns out Charlie Rose decided not to use the DRM.

And that means…

I still don’t understand why anyone would choose to watch Charlie Rose, other being too drunk to find the remote after watching an Austin City Limits rerun.

I’m surprised at the Google announcement. Did they really expect anyone to give a damn about a collection of utilities you could mostly already get from Google for the past year or more plus some lame trial AV/spyware software?

If they’re going to bother, I would have at least expected them to have some sort of comprehensive package including a Google’ified OpenOffice, real AV solution, etc.