The Google/Microsoft wars are heating up. If you buy a Microsoft computer and you are a person who gets nervous about messing with your computers settings, you might have to call in the Geek Squad to make a Google Home Page stick. In Windows 10 the preferred browser is MS Edge, but it is not my preferred browser. Mozilla Foxfire gets along best with Windows 10 while Internet Explorer and Chrome are just about useless. Without the talents of the Geek Squad even using Foxfire was a struggle. The preferred search engines in Windows 10 are MSN and Bing.
Politically, as you may know, I am a lefty, so I should be opposed to businesses that try to corner a monopoly of any market. But in the case of Google I am a traitor to my liberal leanings. I know Google is getting too big and is trying to take over everything but I have a terrible Google habit that I just can’t kick, so I still throw in my lot with Google. They manipulate everything with their algorithms for search engine optimization (SEO). Tough to find the ‘little’ guys, those who have yet to make money, build up a reputation or a following. They will be buried so far back in the search results line-up that no one but the contrary will ever find them. Of course, now all search engines use algorithms and they do improve your chances of getting very relevant sources right up top – right under the paid ads which appear just before those relevant search results, and which often echo them. Money talks on the internet too. I guess I stay with Google because I think they are the best.
Then there is Amazon – as a liberal I cringed when I read the recent accounts of how they treat their employees. However much they deny it I will bet that there is some truth in the reports. And yet I love getting my new wreath stand (or whatever) in one day. Because I have purchased a year of Amazon Prime I find myself buying all kinds of things from Amazon like the slippers I just purchased. However, now in the back of my brain is a screen which runs a little movie in my imagination of a poor soul, sometimes male, sometimes female chasing madly through an enormous warehouse with only 5 minutes to “pick” my items and get them to shipping. I may not renew my Prime membership when it runs out, except that I already bought a fire stick for the TV which I have found useful on empty TV weekends. Oh surely now you can see the battle between my love of consumption and my political ideals.
In the future I will have to parcel out my measly few purchases amongst more sellers, but unless there is a popular movement to ‘spread the wealth’ I doubt my gesture will do much to change the marketplace. I am worried that Barnes and Noble will go under, and that it will be my fault. So I now need to find a way to shop more often at Barnes and Noble. First I need a more sophisticated Nook. Perhaps what I really need is more money. Barnes and Noble – I hope you have other options.
By Nancy Brisson