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TGIF – August 18, 2017

August 18, 2017

The power of Big Tech

On a personal note…enough already, Google!  I already bought a new fridge!

Like a lot us, I have a love-hate relationship with Google. I prefer my browser to be like a light switch. On when I need it, off when I don’t. When I say “don’t track” that’s what I mean, never mind the Google disclaimer that clearing my browsing history doesn’t mean they really will clear the history. Silly me.

There’s a lot of discussion and evidence about Big Tech abusing its power to censor and/or propagandize through their platforms. Let’s face it, Google is everywhere. Case in point…

I started looking around online for another basic cold storage appliance, and finally bought one last week. Google noted the search, but not the purchase.

Now I can’t get rid of nonstop Sears and Lowe’s and Amazon appliance ads. I check the local weather, and there it is, another $2,500 tech-heavy behemoth that I don’t want, never looked at and certainly don’t need. Many of the ads don’t even have an option to delete or close them anymore.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  As a freelance writer, I do a lot of research online on dozens of wildly disparate topics, and the type and volume of unwanted ad blitzes that causes is downright creepy. Ever tried to scan an article with rotating ads constantly pushing you back to the beginning? GAAH!

I understand that companies pay for ad space, and that pays for Google, but consumers should have rights too.

I for one would be open to regulating them like utilities, except for the fact that would involve another big government one-size-fits-all “solution” which as we know all too well, opens another can of worms.

Still, this Big Tech ubiquitous web “spying” and thought policing needs to find its brakes, or someone is going to install the brakes for us.  A bit of balance, please.

Sometimes, science works

Easy to miss it amongst all the political stuff, but reportedly there may be a blood test on the way (albeit a decade or so out, given the FDA regulatory process) to find Stage 1 or even pre-Stage 1 cancer before it can be detected radiologically or via biopsy.

The testing process is in the early stages of human testing now and early indications are that the test is about 67% accurate, with no false positives.  That 67 out of every 100 of those people who probably will not die of cancer. Not perfect, but not too shabby either.

There are a lot of steps to go through, but one day, perhaps we can beat cancer to the punch with just a simple test, instead of having to wait until it can kill us to detect it.

It is somewhat disheartening to think that we may have to wait a decade to have this available, but fixing that time lag is a story for another day.

Is it too optimistic to think that if we can find the common denominator so early, we can develop a vaccine to stop it?

I hope not.

From → op-ed

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