The Case for Mind Control?


We got a mountain of responses to last night’s post about Google’s Chrome browser. And, overwhelmingly, people seemed to give it positive reviews. But one thing stuck out. Not only were they very positive, but a lot of people apparently had an experience similar to mine. Namely, they tried it. They had a negative reaction or found key features they weren’t crazy about. But then they found themselves using it more and more until it became their default browser.Now, one possibility is some sort of insidious mind control in which Google is sending messages forcing people to adopt Chrome even though they find the feature set inferior. The other is that it’s just a better user experience, despite people’s at first finding differences they don’t like. I guess I incline to the latter explanation, though Google’s tried some shady tricks in other venues. So who knows? The key I think is that it’s ‘light’ and fast, very fast.

Now playing around with it a bit more I do notice one thing — something that isn’t so much a problem with Chrome as a feature of Safari that sort of has me hooked. Like many of you, I work on a few different computers — a desktop at home, a desktop at work and a laptop for miscellaneous times when I’m not at either. Using Mac’s MobileMe, I can have all my bookmarks (and various other things) synced across these different machines. As a matter of coding or cloud computing, that’s hardly a complex feature. But it’s integrated into the Mac operating system. And it just works so I use it.

Given that Google is ground zero of Cloudism, it seems like a service they’d be able to offer. But it seems not. And not having that ability makes me leery of cutting the cord to Safari altogether.


Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of