You might have detected a certain sturdiness, tending toward meanness, from Google lately.
The view from its mountain is more competitive, more focused, and more businesslike.
Why, Google's just bought itself a military robot company. Perhaps it's going to use the robots to fight the NSA's snoops.
The company's also combative in its desire to get you to use Google+.
Oddly, many people seem to be resisting. So a new video from College Humor posits a new (slightly NSFW in places) idea for Google: straight-up, no nonsense blackmail.
"Either you sign up for Google+, or we release all the private information we know about you," says the kindly voiceover.
This, of course, would never happen. Google is always at pains to tell us that there's one mantra we should always cling to: trust Google.
Yet the company's history is littered with incidents in which people's trust was overcommitted. If you Google "Google fined..." the very first thing that comes up is "Google fined for privacy..."
Through this imagined Blackmail product, Google threatens to reveal to your friends and family all your search history. Yes, including "bestiality legal where."
It also reminds you, with the tone of "we know where you live," that it does know where you live, as well as pretty much everything about you. Which means the tawdry, as well as the good.
So, if you know what's good for you, you'll sign up for Google+. Then, in the words of this video, you can make it more like Facebook: "Something you hate, but so connected to everything that you feel forced to use it."
You might think this is putrid exaggeration. You might imagine that no evil would come from Google -- or at least no evil such as this.
Oh, but when you fell in love with your first spouse you never thought they'd turn out to be a foot-fetishizing embezzler with a large collection of squirrel skulls, did you?