arlier today I posted on the subject of the Russian Parliament’s recent anti-LGBT laws, making being gay in Russia a crime. Although I said a boycott of the Sochi Winter Olympics was inappropriate, I do support making statements to the Russian Federation by other means. To that end:
Stand Against Russia’s Brutal Crackdown on Gay Rights: Urge Winter Olympics 2014 Sponsors to Condemn Anti-Gay Laws
A boycott of products will hopefully have the effect of getting the IOC to use some of its diplomatic clout by hitting ‘em where it hurts: the pocket book!
Register your support of this measure here.
eceived this above invitation to support an issue on Facebook…
At issue: The Russian Parliament (Duma) voted overwhelmingly to install a series of laws which render being gay and/or gay acts illegal within Russia. Critics argue these laws essentially violate the UN charter on human rights and take Russia back into the worst of the dark ages with respect to homosexuality generally while tolerance and acceptance are the norms now adopted by the bulk of humanity. Some say that as a just response to these draconian measures, the 2014 Winter Olympics should be boycotted so that Russian legislators get the message that the rest of the world won’t accept their position – especially when many of the athletes attending are themselves going to be part of the LGBT community.
The Response: While I, of course, agree with the premise that homosexuality is not an area where government control is appropriate and that, as a social issue, tolerance and acceptance are the correct norms to be defended, the Olympic Games are really supposed to be about sports. With the considerable investment of time and money to begin the lengthy list of commitments an Olympic athlete makes in preparing for the games, a boycott (however effective at communicating a message) isn’t an appropriate response to what is really a matter for Russians to resolve within their own society. Consequently, I will not support this boycott invitation nor any others coming my way in the months ahead, regardless of how the Russians proceed on this issue between now and the opening ceremony.
t seems even starship captains are having difficulty with the freshly-minted “Google+” these days. And I hope Bill forgives my schadenfreude here in saying that it reassures me to know I’m not alone at least. (I call him “Bill” ‘cuz we’re “friends” on You Tube.)
Of course, his problem is a little different from mine; whereas he was having trouble staying on Google+, despite invitation I can’t even get access in the first place. There are two reasons for this:
- during the “beta” phase (which with Google, as we all know, can last anywhere from 1 to 5 years as it did with GMail), there are a fixed number of users being allowed — regardless of whether you were invited, and
- my primary account (the one that got the invite) is actually registered with Google Apps; a service for businesses which only have access to a fraction of Google’s full service offerings.
In my view, things are starting to slip a bit at Google. It was never huge on customer service (and why should it be since the vast majority of its services are free, after all), but I can only bet the farm that the company is shooting itself in the foot handling things this way. I keep reading reports in tech journals about how cool Google+ is, but I can’t really find out — a turn off not only for me, but the tens or perhaps hundreds of millions of others sharing my experience.
And, as for Google Apps, I actually upgraded to one of the paid business accounts and decided to terminate within the 30-day full refund period because the number of restrictions and silly rules in the service that made integration with anyone but Google virtually impossible left me wondering if their intent was to hand over the whole notion of Internet-based profit to Facebook on a gold platter. And, again, even as a paid subscriber to Google services under Google Apps, you still don’t have full access to everything.
And now you can add Google+ to that list.
Not to say “a pox on your house”, but the rest of you who have access to Google+ can revel in your Circles, Hangouts, etc. and Spark away until your whole life’s a big, blazing inferno of Google innovation while those of us concerned with getting stuff done continue to be awestruck for a different reason watching it all on the sidelines…wondering how on Google Earth anyone could believe this company will ever be anything more than Internet ads.
In my view, Google+ isn’t a real threat to Facebook — not by a long shot.