Monday, February 26, 2007

Google Building a Future Defense? Or Being Helpful?

How interesting to see this post from Google on Robots Exclusion Protocol. Anyone want to bet someone from legal said hey, we need to let people know about this so we have a defense against law suits from every which way about copyright infringement. So they next time media organizations sue them, they can point and say hey, did you do this?

Or maybe Google is just trying to be friendly and providing people everywhere with useful information how to prevent the illustrious Googlebot from indexing its pages.

Their motto is, after all, Don't Be Evil.

So what is the left hand doing now?

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on MySpace

The Internet's impact on politics no longer goes unnoticed. We all remember bloggers being let in for the first time at the conventions, and though they were relegated to the rafters, their coverage was superior to that of the Networks and major media outlets.

So it has been of little surprise that Barack Obama has revamped his website and that Hillary Clinton has done the same. You'll notice similarities between them, as well as similarities between those websites and social networks like MySpace and Internet portals like Yahoo!.

And there there is this article in today's Chicago Tribune about campaigns creating pages on MySpace. Always curious, I went and did a search on MySpace, and sure enough, there is a Barack Obama page and corresponding group.

There is a Hillary Clinton page and, well, what looks like a humorous, spoof page.

So maybe this will be the year that the Internet plays a more prominent role in the election, and maybe, just maybe, it'll help bring out the younger generation who has so far been rather adverse to voting.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Obscure Reference? Subtle for the True Romantic? Or Just a Botched Sketch?

Found this post from Digg about the Google logo for this Valentine's Day and how it is possibly an obscure reference to Barnbe Googe, a 16th Century poet or of Debbie Googe of "My Bloody Valentine."

Google itself has weighed in on its Google Doodle, claiming "that those with true romance and poetry in their soul will see the subtlety immediately." Is that a defense for a botched Google Doodle?

Follow the link in my earlier post and there is a mention that the stem of the strawberry is supposed to be the "l" in Google.

Even if that is the case, it is still incorrectly placed.

It's not every day people question the Google logo, and the Web is certainly making the most of it. No doubt there are some people infuriated at the idea that Google believes they do not have any romance or poetry in their soul.

Which might beg one to answer: what does Google know about poetry and romance? And if they are all about making information free to the world, why are they unwilling, or reluctant, to share the meaning being the subtly of today's Google Doodle?

Then remember that Google wants to make information free to the world that does not pertain to Google. If you are watching the right hand, you'll forget what the left hand is doing.

I think this has generate more buzz than the closing and selling of the CitiCorp red umbrella, and proof that you can build and maintain a brand on the Internet. Just be careful what you sketch and post so as not to confuse users.

Business Jargon and the Economy

I was browsing the Chicago Tribune website and found this piece at the bottom of the Editorial Page.

As if the English language hasn't been bastardized enough, it seems to be perpetuated by people in high places and the Internet. Or so it would seem. People in high places often don't write their own stuff. They hire people, speech writers, to do that. And if you ever listen to people in high places speak, you often wonder from where they hired their speech writing staff. Convoluted University, perhaps?

Everything has to be softened, three and five-word phrases need to be used instead of one or two words. Simple sentences are replaced with run-ons and circular language.

There might be some truth to Ron Grossman's claim that "the further we advance into a world of poetic euphemisms and creative neologisms, the shakier our economy seems."

After all, We've heard the leader of today's free world speak. Watch the stock market the next time he gives a speech, and see what happens.

Google Spelling Issues Side Effect of Belgium Ruling?

Ha! I found this on Digg and then had to check for myself. Apparently Google has spelling issues today. The company name is missing a letter.

Maybe they are still upset about the ruling by a Belgium court that says that Google violated copyright laws. The post on the official Google Blog is a rather lackluster response. I like the "great value and provide critical information to Internet users" bit. I didn't know a news tease was critical information. Thanks, Google, for clarifying.

The other fun snippet is the "nearly universally accepted" standard of the robots.txt file. Except that the Googlebot doesn't always seem to follow info in the robotx.txt file. I always find it fascinating when they say it is the simplest way to avoid having certain pages or sections of a website indexed, only to find those exact pages or sections of a website indexed even though the robots.txt file says no. Of course, with Google's cache, it takes forever to get those pages completely removed, even when you make a request.

I'll agree that content providers need to ask for content to be removed, but I also think that going to the courts can be the quickest way to having the request fulfilled. We take telecommunications companies and others to court to get swift action, why not Internet companies like Google?

It will be interesting to see what happens to copyrighted content on the Web after this. Google has had its issues in China, and now it is running into walls in Europe. Understandable as there isn't universal copyright law, or universal enforcement of copyright law. No matter what, it is a slippery slope, and Google stumbled.

Will the company some day join the list of companies built on contradictions?

Feb. 2, 2007 UPDATE: An enterprising person by the name of "K" pointed out a spelling error: "snipet" is indeed spelled "snippet" and has since been corrected.

As for being a "Snarky chump," you can't know one until you've been one.

Thanks for the tip, K.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Jim Gray, Developer of Technology Behind Google Earth, Reported Missing

Saw this originally on Digg which reminded me of James Kim.

Let's hope for the best.