by Constantine von Hoffman
Google v. China – Round 2So Google has claimed that plain old Google.com was frequently not working for people in China and that is one of the reason’s why Google.cn needed to become real. Not so fast, says a bunch of “independent research and anecdotal evidence.” A study by Keynote Systems says performance by Google, Baidu.com Inc., Alibaba.com Corp., and Sohu.com – the search engines most popular among the Chinese – was about equal and that all were “outstanding.” Quoth IDG’s News Service:
“Similarly, anecdotal evidence from users appears to discount Google’s claim that its search engines are not available to Chinese users around 10 percent of the time. Several frequent users of the search engine said the site is easily accessed from residential and business Internet connections in Beijing.” (OK everybody, repeat after me: The plural of anecdote is not data. That’s better.)
But – just to confuse the matter some more … on Friday the Google.cn site was inaccessible from Shanghai and Beijing, although it could still be reached from outside China. In case that isn’t confusing enough, Forbes.com reports that the allegedly blocked .com site was still available from Shanghai. Does this make sense to you? If so, please explain it to me.
Google v. BMW: Round 1
Elsewhere in Google-land: The company dropped the virtual hammer on BMW and dumped BMW.de from its search engine over the car company’s attempts to “artificially boost its popularity ranking.” (OK, artificial means man made and the WWW and all associated with it are, by definition, artificial. So is there any other way to do this? Organic and artificial in this sense means “something we didn’t try to rig” and “something we did.” How did the language get to this? Why do I care? Isn’t this way too long a comment for a parenthetical? DOESN’T ANYONE EDIT THIS STUFF?) Sadly, this is not expected to have any impact on sales of those over-priced German status symbols one way or the other.
In an attempt to show that they don’t have anything against German car makers per se, the Googsters are teaming up with VW to create an in-car distraction – I mean navigation system plots your trip using Google Earth images and points-of-interest data. And you thought talking on the phone in the car was dangerous.
Since the graphic Google Earth uses to indicate where things are on the map look essentially like voice balloons from the cartoons, I want someone to come up with an app that will automatically transcribe what I’m talking about in the car and place it into one of those things as I drive. This will make the Homeland Security Admin’s job much easier as they will know where we are and what we are saying at all times. Oh wait, they already do.
Google v. The Rest of Us … And, in even more Google related news, the company has decided to further prove that it dominates the world by arbitrarily (artificially? NOT ANOTHER PARENTHETICAL! NOOOOO!) moving the navigational heart of the world – the Prime Meridian at Greenwich, aka, 0 degrees longitude – just because they felt like it. All hail our new Google-rific overlords.
There has been some actual dispute over whether or how the comments button on this page still works, but apparently it does. I invite you to try for yourself. Also, for those of you seeking even more allegedly humorous fare allow me to direct you to my other blog, Collateral Damage, which makes fun of marketing. No post tomorrow. Talk to you all on Wednesday. Parenthetically yours, CvH