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Not the usual yada yada

Posted by Matthew Stibbe
Picture of Matthew Stibbe
on 1 March 2006
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Most people skip licence agreements and other legalese when they install programs. This can be a mistake because they are sometimes evil. However, I respect the way that Google presents important conditions during the installation of Google Desktop.

Google Desktop Terms and Conditions

The screen shown here is a good example. It explains what will happen if you enable "Advanced Features" in plain English. I like the eye-catching headline and the use of informal, non-legalistic language. In particular "we" and "you."

I was looking at Google Desktop because of the recent fuss over the privacy (or otherwise) of one feature - search across computers. The concern is not entirely unwarranted but the feature is switched off by default and when you install the program the instructions make it clear that your data will be temporarily uploaded to Google's computers. You pays your money and you makes your choice (although in Google's case the payment is more metaphorical rather than tangible).

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