Google Everything, Including My Science

Google is holding a “Scientific Applications with Google Earth Conference” here in Ann Arbor. Lord knows I’ve been using the hell out of Google Earth for my scientific applications, I figure I should go.

To register as a student costs $20. Not bad for a 2-day scientific conference! However, the fee can only be made through Google Checkout and

“Payment requires a Google account. If you do not have a Google account you can use a gmail address or you can create a new account using a preferred email address.”

It takes balls or obliviousness to tell scientists they have to dig themselves into a proprietary finance-information system before they can attend a public scientific conference. This interlocking ecosystem of Google-only services is really starting to freak me out, man. Did Gates and Ballmer the college drop-outs once promise each other they would never be evil? Because Microsoft is nothing compared to the information and tool ownership Google is scaling up to.

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