Google and the Merchandise Mart

Good News!!

Crain’s Chicago Business reports: Google is in talks to lease some 500,000 square feet in the Merchandise Mart, sources say.  The deal would include a rooftop deck.  The Internet search giant, looking to move employees from the Libertyville headquarters of its recently acquired Motorola Mobility, has an office for tech workers near the Mart.

via Chicago

Chicago is ripe for a tech explosion.  Of course we have a serious debt problem in this city, and state.  That will make some companies too scarred to move/expand here.  But if we can get that under control Chicago can become a major player in the tech space.

If Rahm and Quinn can get our pension issues under control companies will relocate here from California.  Our taxes in Illinois are way too high and complicated — a/k/a suck — but the situation is far worse in California.  It’s freakishly expensive to do business there.

This could just be the beginning of hope.  Now we just need to fix race relations, balance the budget, improve our schools, hire more police, find a State’s Attorney who will actually ask that criminals be placed in prison, find an Attorney General who’s not related to the most corrupt politician in the state, and fix an aging infrastructure.

Google’s Brin: Web Faces Greatest Threat Ever

The principles of openness and universal access that underpinned the creation of the internet three decades ago are under greater threat than ever, according to Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

In an interview with the Guardian, Brin warned there were “very powerful forces that have lined up against the open internet on all sides and around the world”.   “I am more worried than I have been in the past,” he said. “It’s scary.”

The threat to the freedom of the internet comes, he claims, from a combination of governments increasingly trying to control access and communication by their citizens, the entertainment industry’s attempts to crack down on piracy, and the rise of “restrictive” walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which tightly control what software can be released on their platforms.

via The Guardian.

I’m not actually a big “Brin” or Google fan.  Although I do believe the story is accurate, it may be nothing more than a Google play for more “openness” so that Google kind find out more and more about you… so they can track you.

We need to face the fact that Google is beyond spooky.  It tracks everything about you and has some undisclosed relationships with the government.  That’s not a good combination.

Perhaps Brin should do a little spring cleaning in his own house before pointing fingers at Facebook and others.