Until recently, I always thought Glen Beck was just old and loopy. More loopy than old. Now, I’m convinced the man’s old, loopy and maybe a little senile. He’s decided, according to Slashdot, that while research is perfectly okay, research on Google is all kinds of evil. According to the article, Google’s in bed with the government. Among his evidence against Google is the fact the director of Google Ideas used to work for the state, and Google had some involvement with the protests in Iran last year. All funky suspicious stuff, according to Beck. When you start seeing this many government conspiracies on this little evidence, it’s really high time to seriously give some thought to retirement. *Prompt* retirement. Just a suggestion, Glen. Take it or leave it. Or just leave.
We were talking at some small length about the possibility of this happening over dinner tonight, and then I come home to find this article in my feed reader–Google’s been experimenting with self-driving cars. There was a theory being tossed about at the table tonight that even if vehicles like this were to actually see common use, there’d probably be some version of regulation in place that says the driver (DO they even call them drivers if the car mostly drives itself?) would have to be able to assume manual control in an emergency. The article seems to confirm that, as Google was quick to point out there were always two people in the test vehicles at all times–one to assume control if need be, the other to make sure the software did what it was supposed to. Still, the fact this is being tossed about is rather kind of nifty. Even if that still very likely doesn’t mean I’ll actually be getting behind the wheel of one of those any time soon. And, bonus, they’re already drawing comparisons between this and the “Night Rider” series. It pays to read a bunch of geek blogs.
By a long shot, better than Bell or Rogers–and they charge, I almost always default to using 1-800-goog-411 for my number hunting efforts. At least, I did until now. As of November 12th, it’s back to Bell and/or Rogers for me–Google’s punched the 411’s ticket. Damn shame, too–it was actually more accurate than that which I’m forced to pay for. Well, it was fun while it lasted. Gonna miss ya, Goog-411.
You may or may not be aware Google’s coming up with its own TV platform. As is Apple, but that’s not been surprising since they pretty much came out with their own version of nearly everything else. What you may not know, though, is on your TV is precisely where Twitter would like to be. And, thanks to Google’s new and yet to actually be released platform, it will be. Welcome to the future, folks. You can sit on the coutch, munch on a bag of chips, suck on a beer and flip between the first game of the NHL regular season and the world series, and tweet that you’re sitting on your coutch, munching on a bag of chips, sucking on a beer and flipping between the first game of the NHL regular season and the world series–from the very same remote control. Now if that’s not convenience I don’t know what is. Note to self: move the computer out of the living room–it’s just been replaced by the TV.
Does anyone actually even remember remotely considering doing something relatively useful with Google Wave? A few geek blogs I follow were all over it when it first opened up–hell, even Mike was singing its praises for a time. It was supposed to be the thing to replace email/twitter/facebook/what have you. How’re we doing on that? According to Google, not well. So it’s dying a slow and painful death that’ll drag out until the end of the year. I won’t say I saw it coming, but well…
I’ve always thought being able to call and/or text with someone in the US from Canada without Rogers taking its cut would be absolutely awesome. Or, for that matter, calling the said someone for free from Canada without handing over mass amounts of cashola to Bell. Google Voice was going to be the key to doing that. Except for one very minor, yet very annoying detail. It’s never been available in Canada. Now, today, they’ve dropped their invitation only beta, and still are only available in the US. By the time they become available in Canada, we’ll probably already have our own equivalent service–that’s been done before.
Google, you’re awesome–when you’re not trying to annoy me with random tributes to Pacman. This idea you have for managing multiple phones with one number is equally awesome. Now, kindly be even more awesome and actually let me use it. Trust me, we can handle it. The CRTC may not be able to, but we never really cared about them anyway.
Google voice is available for general public consumption. Just not outside the US. Let’s work on fixing that, shall we?
Why you would go walking along an interstate highway at 6:00 in the morning is anyone’s guess. Why you would do it in an area you’ve never been? That’s a leap of logic I don’t feel safe making. Yet, that’s what lead to an LA woman being hit by a car in Utah. Now, she’s suing Google–who’s map directions she was following, and the driver of the car who hit her, for upwards of $100000 in damages. Her lawyer’s reasoning? It was dark.
The woman in question was following walking directions from Google, who’s service has for, like, ever had a notice on it that it was in beta and routes may or may not have sidewalks. She chose to try and cross the highway, at 6:00 in the morning, expecting there to be a sidewalk. She could not see the lack of sidewalk, however. Not that that ended up making a whole lot of difference–she didn’t actually make it across the highway before getting hit anyway. The logic behind that decision?
“She was in an area that she’d never been to before. It was pitch-black. There were no streetlights. She relied on Google that she’d cross there and go down to a sidewalk,” Young explained.
So. Basicly. She relied on a beta service. A service with a warning of possible lack of sidewalks. And she just assumed there’d be a sidewalk on the other side. And she had the misfortune of not timing her crossing such that, in spite of the street apparently not being busy at that hour, she still got smoked. And this is Google’s fault? Or the driver’s, for that matter–it’s a highway; there’s going to be fast-moving vehicles.
I don’t want to have to say it. Really, I shouldn’t have to say it. Okay, I’m gonna say it. Your stupid does not constitute an emergency on Google’s–or anyone else’s–part. This lady chose to go for a stroll down an interstate highway. In the dark. In a city she’s never been in. Looking for an apartment building she’s probably never been to. She got run over. Yes, it’s tragic. Yes, it’s a little tiny bit–okay, a lot–frightening. But if she’d used her blackberry to maybe call a cab or something instead of follow map directions that came with a “may not be accurate” disclaimer, she wouldn’t be in the situation she’s in now. Or in court, really. She didn’t. She got hit. And it’s Google’s fault. Somebody explain this one to me. My brain just broke.
So apparently today’s the thirtieth anniversary of the PAC-MAN game for arcade. And apparently Google’s taken to cellebrating it with an annoying recreation. For the next two days, a trip to Google’s homepage will reveal a very playable, and very irritating–when you’re not in the mood for playable–recreation of the original game. For about 30 seconds, it was cute. Then I actually wanted to get things done. Happy thirtieth birthday, PAC-MAN. Now kindly get the hell off my Google.