Can Google Buy Your Love with Free Wi-Fi This Christmas?

Senior Contributor
11.09.10 6 Comments

What, "Nerd Lyfe" wasn't ironic enough, jackass?

If Google gives you free Wi-Fi on your holiday flight, will you love them again?  If Marc Andreessen endorses a new web browser, will you pretend to remember Netscape?  And why are Google and Facebook having a slapfight this week? 

First up, the news you really care about, Google’s free Wi-Fi on holiday flights.  It’ll be on all flights on Delta, AirTran and Virgin America between November 20th and January 2nd, meaning that finally, you can look at all the porn you want without those prissy stewardesses cutting off your Net connection.  You can even show it to the screaming baby and the 500-pound guy the airline made you pay $600 with three stopovers to be wedged between!  Finally, something to enliven the trip.

The idea is to promote Chrome, so you might as well wind up Google by using a different browser.  You might try RockMelt.  RockMelt has two things to its credit that practically guarantee its failure.  First off, it’s founded and run by some of the people involved in Netscape, who you might remember wound up losing the browser wars to Internet Explorer, because IE was the browser you could use to find another browser.  We fondly remember Netscape…which sold its soul to AOL, which is why it’s getting the short end of the stick in this article.  AOL?  Really?  Really, guys?  Good thing you were the brains behind Firefox, the browser that will continue to be used instead of RockMelt.

Anyway, the second reason we’re making fun of RockMelt is that it’s a browser that uses “social media”, which we translate out to “this was what we had to say to get the VC guys to give us money.”  The idea is that your friends are on one side, while your favorite sites are on the other side, and it’s designed around the fact that you go to, like, five websites.  It’ll supposedly be faster, but we question why we should download this when we can just put Tweetie next to Firefox and get precisely the same effect.  We’re sure they’ll build a fanbase, only to be challenged by Chrome and sell out to somebody lame.  Maybe you could try Oracle!

But that social media thing is a great transition to our final story.  Google, who you might remember just spontaneously decided to add everybody to Google Buzz without their permission, has decided they feel very, very butthurt that Facebook doesn’t let you, say, search for your friend’s Twitter feeds using Facebook profiles.  Facebook takes information in, but doesn’t give it out.  This makes Google sad, so Google has decided to share its pain with you, the end user, by not letting Facebook into your Gmail contacts.

To be fair, Google has a point; Facebook wants you to give it info, but it refuses to do the same for other sites, thus continuing to demonstrate the less-than-shocking fact that it took a movie to wake up most of America to: Mark Zuckerberg is kind of a douchebag.  Still, it’s kind of hilarious that Google, the forward-thinking, modern, “don’t-be-evil” company, is pulling the same kind of crap Fox pulled on Cablevision.  How charmingly stupid! Bonus points for using terms like “data liberation teams” to pretend this is about user choice instead of ramming yourself even further down our collective throat than you already are, Google.

We really hope Facebook retaliates.  There’s nothing like a sissy slapfight between hypocritical billionaire nerds.


  • Google buys your Wi-Fi. Will you take it back? (Wired)
  • RockMelt: Because nothing says “pointless” like a silly name for your browser (St. Petersburg Times)
  • Google and Facebook have changed their status to “it’s complicated” and are leaving pissy messages on each other Walls (Ars Technica)



  • Speaking of Facebook, its death knell of cool has been sounded: the Queen of England is officially on board. (Yahoo! News)
  • Tired of seeing crap from somebody you met once on your wall? Jimmy Kimmel has invented the greatest holiday ever: Facebook Unfriend Day. It’s November 18th. Mark your calendars, you’re about to find out how unloved you really are. You haven’t read this because you’re too busy looking at the hot girl in the Firefox tanktop.  (PC Magazine)



  • Facebook serves up one-third of online ads in Britain. But Uproxx has all the good ones. Also, Facebook has apparently never put a hot chick in one of their T-shirts, unlike Google, Firefox, and our homies at WordPress. (Biz Report)
  • 30% of global companies claim social networking doesn’t help them. Those companies include BP, Tyco, Enron, Madoff Securities, and Cooks Source. (Investor’s Business Daily)


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