From buying wind farms to mobile apps, to creating driverless cars, to most recently launching a company that focuses on health and aging, Google is no stranger to surprising its stakeholders.
Rumors are only natural. They spread like wildfire. And hey, what can I say? Google loves the buzz. Who wouldn’t?
But, as you know, most of the time it’s just a rumor – nothing more.
Today we’re going to debunk the top Google myths of 2013. Get ready.
Myth 1: Google Will Rent Space from Best Buy
A rumor recently popped up at the end of August that in 2014 Google will be renting 6,000 square feet in every Best Buy for the purpose of selling Google Glass. While there wasn’t much information on this supposed plan, it all started from a guy named Robert Scoble. He is a startup liaison with Rackspace, who first posted about this supposed 2014 plan on a Google+ post.
Now, 6,000 square feet across every Best Buy store in the US is a HUGE amount of space. How many glasses are Google planning on selling?!
While Scoble did say that Google was planning something dramatic, 6,000 square feet in every Best Buy across the US doesn’t look like it’s happening. Scoble later said that his source could have been wrong, but that Google was still in fact planning something “dramatic”.
Google’s Chris Dale sent a tweet that Google Glass wouldn’t be going to Best Buy.
Bummer! Google fanboys all around have been waiting for a store to open at some point. Who knows? Maybe it will be in their future plans as they expand their product lines.
The best part about this little myth? Best Buy’s shares jumped by 4% when the rumor came out.
Myth 2: Google Glass Will Drop Prices to $299 USD
Google Glass is obviously a pretty sweet piece of technology, and the rumors about Google Glass don’t seem to be slowing down. Even if Google Glass won’t be sold in Best Buy, what about the price?
$1500 is a hefty price tag, and there were whispers across the interwebz that the price would be significantly reduced due to the actual cost of components.
In the same tweet that debunked the Best Buy rumor, Chris Dale of Google also squashed the rumor that Google would be dramatically reducing the price for Google Glass to $299 USD.
So I can’t get the Google Glass at $299 at Best Buy?? Double bummer!
Oh, and I should mention that the guys at Tech Crunch have reached out to Dale and verified his account, so the information looks to be true.
Myth 3: Google Reads Your Emails
Is Google a powerhouse for getting information? Obviously. But, do they invade your emails so they can know everything about you? No, Google doesn’t have rooms full of employees reading your personal emails.
However, they would really – I mean, REALLY – love to.
Not so long ago, Google merged the information of Gmail users with the information of the users other Google services (Picasa, Chrome, etc.). If you’re an advertiser, this is like you found your pot of gold at the end of your rainbow.
The fact of the matter is that Google has an automated delivery process that scans incoming messages for spam, viruses and keywords to better help their advertisers target specific users, and to protect their users from emails about Viagra. So really, the biggest thing that Google does is use your search history and e-mail keywords to sell to advertisers.
The good news is that this helps reduce the number of emails you get about winning the lottery or the next best deal on Viagra. Ha!
Although they can’t actually read your emails, Google is fighting. Just earlier this month, Google attorneys argued in California courts that the company needs to read every email sent through their system, since it’s “simply a part of their business”.
Time will tell who wins – Google or privacy advocates?
Myth 4: Google is Making Us Dumb and Dependent
The number of times a day that I hear someone say “Oh I don’t know. Just Google it!” is alarmingly high. I personally don’t remember the last time I went to a library for research – though that’s not to say it can’t be done.
Are we really getting dumber? Or are we just lazy? Maybe it’s a combination of both!
Google is an incredible resource that has given millions of people instant access to the collective knowledge of the world – it’s pretty crazy when you think about it in these terms, but it’s true!
So “smart” is somewhat of a relative term. In one sense, because people have a larger and faster way to access information, Google has increased the knowledge (of those with internet) an incredible amount.
It’s also true that Google has essentially replaced the library. Who needs a library, when you can access any information you need in a press of a button?
In all reality, Google has really changed the landscape of how we absorb information. It’s pretty cool when you think about it like this.
Myth 5: Google Earth is STILL Spying On You
For quite a while many have been concerned that Google Maps is the ultimate spy tool. Just think about it – it’s a real-time camera that drives around the world to take street-view images.
Just look at some of the ridiculous things they’ve captured on camera…
Anyway, if you’re concerned about your privacy, then you might know that Google collects these satellite and aerial images from companies like Digital Globe, government agencies, and the armed forces.
You should know that most of the images that you see on Google Earth are on average one to three years old. So, sure, it’s possible to get caught on camera, but that would take quite a bit of luck.
Plus Google now automatically blurs the faces of people in the streets – of course Google would have an algorithm for this! – and this ensures the protection of the people. Yea, Google!
So there you have it. We love Google, their products, and all of the awesome services they provide to us.
Myths are myths and nothing more. I hope we cleared up some of the information. Stay tuned for more!