Chris Dixon has a great post today on Google's hypocrisy regarding openness. I think the title says it all: Google should open source what actually matters: their search ranking algorithm. His focus is not so much that keeping secrets is bad per se, but that telling everyone else to open up while they do not is totally hypocritical.
Hypocritical, but brilliantly Machiavellian. As I wrote in the comments:
"Don't be evil" is an impossible yet convenient mantra. Having power means you gotta be willing to protect your interests, which they clearly are, and invariably there is some trade off between what is good for users, the world and Google. That said, it is very good for Google to have its users believe that it has their interests and their interests alone at heart. In fact, the whole sanctimony play is quite Machiavellian.
Well played, GOOG. Well played.