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Google: Is there anyone who doesn't have an opinion?

Google is evil. It's not evil. Perhaps it's the George Washington of the Internet. Or maybe it's just one huge dominant company trying to stay out of antitrust trouble. Ask a person about Google and you're going to get a bunch of opinions. Why? People love Google and hate it at the same time.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Google is evil. It's not evil. Perhaps it's the George Washington of the Internet. Or maybe it's just one huge dominant company trying to stay out of antitrust trouble.

Ask a person about Google and you're going to get a bunch of opinions. Why? People love Google and hate it at the same time.

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Is Google sometimes creepy? You bet. The search giant clearly knows too much about people. Is it helpful? Sure. What remains to be seen is where the pendulum swings. For now, it's probably Google as helpful. Let's survey some notable quotes on Google. TechRepublic's Jason Hiner riffs:

After George Washington led the fledgling little U.S. nation to victory in the Revolutionary War, he turned down the opportunity to be crowned king of America. The idea was distasteful to Washington because it went against everything he and his troops had fought for: the promise of a better kind of country based on freedom and democracy.

When England’s King George III heard about Washington preparing to turn down the monarchy and return to his Virginia farm, he said, “If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world.”

It was, in fact, Washington’s greatest maneuver of all, because of its complete genuineness. It endowed him with an air of incorruptibility. And, because of that, six years later when he was elected the first U.S. President he was able to succeed in uniting all of the fractious elements of the country for one reason - they all trusted him.

The same is true with Google.

Wow. I never thought to put the Washington's wig on Eric Schmidt.

And then there's Kevin Depew at Minyanville. Depew takes aim at everything from the Google snack bar. Those annoying patio umbrellas and other Google perks. He appears to be kidding somewhat---I think. But I'm in Depew's camp. Some days Google annoys the hell out of me. Do no evil? Give me a break. Here's Depew:

Patio-table umbrellas? Seriously? God, I hate that they have brightly-colored patio table umbrellas.

But wait, I'm just getting started. There's plenty more to hate about Google. In fact, the company's "About our offices" page helpfully lists them all. Here are a few things you might see in a Google workspace:

"Local expressions of each location, from a mural in Buenos Aires to ski gondolas in Zurich, showcasing each office's region and personality."

Ski gondolas. I hate ski gondolas.

"Bicycles or scooters for efficient travel between meetings..."

Unless you are a bicycle messenger or Lance Armstrong you shouldn't ride a bicycle to office meetings.

Minyanville's Mike Schuster says Google is handling power responsibly. He should hang out with Jason Hiner.

It never quite ends with Google. Google dazzles us yet absorbs more of our data. It gives us helpful ads. It's dominant. Some kids can't imagine life without Google. Where do I stand? It depends on the day.

Google freaks me out sometimes, but I'll buy a Droid with a bunch of Google apps. It strikes me odd to run an enterprise on Google, but then I hear Schmidt rap to CIOs and buy in a little bit. My opinion of Google may change hourly if you really tracked me closely.

At some point our zero sum reaction toward Google will land in one corner. In the meantime, prepare for more bipolar Google reactions.

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