Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Helping derail total world domination

I often make fun of Google’s claim of “do no evil” while on a path towards total world domination. But at least if they achieve it, no shots will be fired and no lives lost.

This month’s oddest story about Google is the (minor) role it’s playing in helping to undercut China’s real attempt at total world domination by through the big stick of its ever-increasing nuclear missile program. A blog at the Federation of American Scientists (the anti-nuke weapons group) used a Google public satellite image to confirm the existence of China’s new Jin-class ballistic missile submarine (SSBN). The US has speculated that 5 such submarines are under construction.

Of course, any armchair general who reads Tom Clancy or Dale Brown (let alone real generals) knows that you don’t have a secret military weapon out in the open during the day unless you want a satellite to take a picture. So either the People’s Liberation Army Navy wants the world to see their new toy, or someone got incredibly sloppy.

Still, IDG news service speculates that in response to this military embarrassment, the Chinese government will curtail Google’s efforts to crack the Chinese market.

I doubt this will matter one iota. On the one hand, China has already been mad at Google for other infractions. On the other hand, the 4,000-year-old “middle kingdom” is not interested in sharing total world domination with anyone, and thus will do what it can to help Sohu or Baidu colonize the world.

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