Hey all, enjoy Thanksgiving Day (even if your country doesn’t) and eat lots of turkey with no regard for your health. Or tofurkey, or whatever floats your boat. Just have fun today.
I’m watching the parade on NBC with the wife, and I’m shocked at how much Al Roker keeps mispronouncing everything. He was talking with Christopher Meloni, and asked him about his show, Law and Order: SUV. Oy.
Anyway, here’s Google’s Thanksgiving logo for 2007:
I think it’s a lot more festive than last year’s:
Yahoo’s doing an animated Flash logo again:
If you don’t have Flash, they show this image version:
Yahoo’s logo is the same one they ran last year, as far as I can tell.
Ask.com’s doing a full page image again, showing off this giant tasty turkey:
The Palo Alto review board has approved Google’s plans to create a child care center next to the Baylands Nature Preserve, an 18,500-square-foot kid’s complex. Now, don’t get ahead of yourself and start thinking Google is going to be taking care of your kids; no, this place is designed to take care of some Googler’s kids. The facility will accomodate 80 children of Google employess, plus 25 staff members, making it a truly luxurious youngster center.
Currently, Google has the Kinderplex, a Googleplex for Google tots, which will see its lease expire at the end of this school year. Presumably, the new facility will replace teh Kinderplex, though it is feasible Google could need two of them (it is a fast-growing company, after all).
All I know is that Google should take its expertise with day care centers and start a national chain of Google day care centers. Google has a friendly, colorful brand, and a lot of parents would probably trust them. Not that it’ll ever happen, but the company’s gotta diversify somehow, right?
Doodle 4 Google, the competition where schoolchildren create Google logos and voters determine which goes on the homepage of Google in that country, just wrapped up the British edition for this year. The winning Doodle, by Claire Rammelkamp, 14:
You can see the Android UI as it currently exists (or rather, barely exists). It’s plain, but seems comfortable and stable with room to grow into something nice, support for touchscreens, smartphones, larger VGA screens, a Webkit-based browser, Java virtual machine, threaded (conversational) text messaging, playback of MPEG-4, h.264, MP3, and AAC file formats.
Here’s a video showing Android in action, featuring Sergey Brin’s new “hung over” look and some idea of how the UI isn’t fully realized or much in competition with the iPhone. The Google Maps app has some good ideas, the web browser looks like it can’t do anything, the history app is a nice addition, the spinning globe shows that Android can do 3D pretty cool, and Google Maps Street View is nice.
Scoble isn’t impressed. I’ll say that it has a lot of potential, but they aren’t showing enough to make me believe that any of that potential includes significant success.
Gizmodo has an interesting look at the fonts created by Ascender for Android, the Droid family of fonts (fitting name). They seem pretty clean and well thought out. You’d be surprised how important fonts are in operating system design, but if you think about it, you do spend a huge amount of time staring more at the letters than the pretty boxes, so it makes sense that Microsoft and Apple put a lot of work into getting the best fonts and font rendering techniques.
Looks like there are over 1,000 Google millionaires. Even the ex-masseuse has a million dollars in Google stock. The average employee who joined a year ago is already worth $276,000 and counting.
Larry Page, Google founder and one of the ten richest people in the country, is getting married December 8 to Lucy Southworth, his girlfriend. Richard Branson and SF mayor Gavin Newsom are expected to attend, as well as many former and current Googlers, and, via videoconference, Al Gore.
Google changed the area in AdSense ads that can be clicked by the user, from pretty much the whole ad space to just the title and URL. Publishers are worried that the move, which is really supposed to just decrease accidental clicks, will cost them regular clicks, too. Early feedback is that the effect on earnings is minimal. My clickthrough rate is pretty consistent, though still kind of low.
Google Transit, which lets you get public transportation directions in Google Maps, now shows some European cities. They’ve got southeast of the UK, SBB, Switzerland, VBZ, Zurich, Switzerland, Turin, Italy, and Florence, Italy, but still no New York.
Google has a new widget you can add to your site which users can click on to automatically translate your website into the language of their choice. Microsoft added a similar widget at almost exactly the same time.
Barack Obama, one of the top Democrat candidates for President in next year’s election, visited Google yesterday and talked about his technology industry platform, among other things. Here’s video of his speech:
Obama unveiled his “Innovation Agenda”, his set of principles related to the tech industry that would shape his policy if he became President. You can read them in depth here, but the bullet points are:
Ensure the Full and Free Exchange of Information through an Open Internet and Diverse Media Outlets
Protect the Openness of the Internet
Encourage Diversity in Media Ownership
Protect Our Children While Preserving the First Amendment - Obama will create Public Media 2.0, a sort of PBS for the internet age
To ensure that powerful databases containing information on Americans that are necessary tools in the fight against terrorism are not misused for other purposes, Barack Obama supports restrictions on how information may be used and technology safeguards to verify how the information has actually been used.
Obama supports updating surveillance laws and ensuring that law enforcement investigations and intelligence-gathering relating to U.S. citizens are done only under the rule of law.
Make government data available online in universally accessible formats
Establishing pilot programs to open up government decision-making and involve the public in the work of agencies, not simply by soliciting opinions, but by tapping into the vast and distributed expertise of the American citizenry
Requiring his appointees who lead Executive Branch departments and rulemaking agencies to conduct the significant business of the agency in public
Restoring the basic principle that government decisions should be based on the best-available, scientifically-valid evidence and not on the ideological predispositions of agency officials.
Lifting the veil from secret deals in Washington with a web site, a search engine, and other web tools that enable citizens easily to track online federal grants, contracts, earmarks, and lobbyist contacts with government officials.
Giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days before signing any non-emergency legislation.
Bringing democracy and policy deliberations directly to the people by requiring his Cabinet officials to have periodic national online town hall meetings to answer questions and discuss issues before their agencies.
Employing technologies, including blogs, wikis and social networking tools, to modernize internal, cross-agency, and public communication and information sharing to improve government decision-making.
Obama will appoint the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
Redefine “broadband” in government policy as speeds considerably larger than the current 200kbps
Unleashing the Wireless Spectrum: Obama will confront the entrenched Washington interests that have kept our public airwaves from being maximized for the public’s interest.
Barack Obama believes that America should lead the world in broadband penetration and Internet access, and Obama believes we can get true broadband to every community in America.
Lower Health Care Costs by Investing in Electronic Information Technology Systems
Double federal science and research funding for clean energy projects
Invest in the development of the next generation of biofuels
Invest in a digital smart energy grid.
Upgrade Education to Meet the Needs of the 21st Century
Obama also believes that we must strengthen math and science education
ensure that we can retain and grow high-paying jobs in fast-growing sectors in the sciences and technology rather than exporting those jobs to lower cost labor markets abroad
Modernize Public Safety Networks
doubling federal funding for basic research
Make the R&D Tax Credit Permanent
improvement in our visa programs
We should allow immigrants who earn their degrees in the U.S. to stay, work, and become Americans over time.
Promote American Businesses Abroad
Barack Obama believes we need a business and regulatory landscape in which entrepreneurs and small businesses can thrive, start-ups can launch, and all enterprises can compete effectively while investors and consumers are protected against bad actors that cross the line.
Protect American Intellectual Property Abroad and at Home
This past Veterans Day, Google did something very different, and actually marked a holiday honoring our soldiers. The company, which had never ran a holiday logo for Memorial Day or Veterans Day, ran this:
It’s nice to see the company finally rectifying this one. I talked about this as far back as 2004 (on the old BlogSpot blog) how people were complaining that Google didn’t care about these holidays. Perhaps next year they’ll do one for Memorial Day, too.
Gary notes that the U.K. versions of Ask and Yahoo included reminders to wear a poppy flower for Remembrance Day (same holiday, different name, plus the poppy tradition), but the U.S. search engines had nothing.
Google Turkey ran this Doodle holiday logo on Monday celebrating Turkey’s Republic Day, the 84th anniversary of the day the Turkish Constitution was amended, making Turkey a Republic and dissolving the Ottoman Empire:
This logo, in honor of the birthday of recently deceased Luciano Pavarotti on October 12:
This logo, in honor of Korea’s Thanksgiving (called Chuseok or Chusok):
This logo, in honor of China’s Mid-Autumn Festival, on September 25:
This logo, in honor of Germany’s reunification day:
And finally, this logo, in honor of the 50th anniversary of Sputnik on October 4:
Some are criticizing Google for running a logo honoring Sputnik, a major accomplishment of a totalitarian Soviet regime, when it has never ran a Doodle honoring U.S. military personnel on Memorial Day or Veterans Day.
Wonder what that smell is coming from the Googleplex? It’s the wonderful scent of thousands of Googlers, sweaty for the last nine years from using the free gyms, spraying on a whiff of the new Google perfume. Yeah, this stuff is little more than a trademark-violating crap product from China and probably smells like used wet socks, but who doesn’t want to smell like a Googler?
(via Valleywag and Blogoscoped)
Today is Google’s 9th birthday, you can check out their festive home page logo with the “G” turned into a “9″. Way to go Googlers!
While it has been suggested in the past that the official date for Google’s birthday is September 7th, I think it’s safe to assume Google recognizes the 27th as their actual birthday. A discussion was started on Search Engine Land last week regarding the possibilities of other dates being Google’s actual birthday. Want to say thanks to Google for all they’ve done over the years? Why don’t you leave some comments on SEMSunday’s 5 Reasons to Celebrate Google’s Birthday.
Ryan Douglas manages Paid Search and Comparison Shopping Engines for PlumberSurplus.com, an online retailer of home improvement products including Kitchen
Faucet, Access Door, and Sump Pump categories.
Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page are now tied for fifth richest men in the country, worth now an estimated $18.5 billion. They both gained about $4.5 billion from last year and seven places on the list, passing Paul Allen, Michael Dell and the Wal-Mart Walton family. The next to beat is Oracle’s Larry Ellison, who has $26 billion (problem is, Ellison earned more in 2007 than even Google did).
According to The Daily Green, Nate Tyler, a former Google communication manager (who I spoke to a few brief times on PR issues when he worked there) has organized Lights Out San Francisco for this October 20, when participating businesses, homes and public facilities in SF will turn off all unnecessary lights. The goal of the event is both to reduce carbon emissions and get people to think about the energy they waste every day.
Tyler, an avid surfer who runs his car on vegetable oil, says his plan was inspired by a recent trip to Australia, where he witnessed Sydney’s annual Earth Hour. As a symbolic gesture to cut energy use, the Aussie city dims its lights every March 31, conserving 25 tons of carbon dioxide — the equivalent of removing nearly 50,000 cars from the road for one hour.
Tyler was formerly a communications manager at Google, and is now a freelance media consultant. He is already planning for a Lights Out America event for March.
Google ran this Google Doodle logo on Thursday for the birthday of Roald Dahl, author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, and James and the Giant Peach:
Philipp notes how this query does an excellent job of showing off Google’s new Universal Search integration.
As LGF points out, Google doesn’t run logos to commemorate Memorial Day or 9/11, but it does mark the birthday of Dahl, who late in his life expressed hatred for Jews and understanding of Hitler’s need to “pick on them”. From Wikipedia:
He told a reporter in 1983 that: “There is a streak in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity”. He further exclaimed, that even a miserable man such as Hitler did not pick on them for no reason.
According to LGF, the logo was pulled from the US Google.com by mid-morning, and it only ran on Google.co.uk in England for the rest of the day.
I don’t blame Google for going with the Dahl logo, especially since one of Google’s founders is Jewish. Henry Ford was an anti-Semetic bastard of the highest order, but we can’t strike him from the history books either, and Dahl’s books have delighted generations of children. If anything, this should merely serve as a reminder of the hatred and racism that was common in earlier generations, feelings that certain people bury until they hit those elderly years where many people lose normal common sense.
In other words, our elderly aren’t perfect. Some of them have hated in ways that younger Americans can’t even imagine (though the youth of this nation aren’t perfect by any means). Racism was a very different thing in the first half of the 20th century, and we shouldn’t forgive our elders for their sins to those of different colors, religions and other differences. Actions like that are sometimes only forgiven when the people who commited them are no longer present on this earth, not just because they no longer have the power to start a lynching.
Some people change and accept those who are different, others just change their tune and keep their hatred hidden. I see it every day in casual racist comments from older people that infuriate me. There were no “good old days”, if you ask me. Lets just move forward and let the ravages of time remove the monsters from our midst.
UPDATE: Google has issued a statement saying it removed the logo due to “user concerns”. Read all you need to into that. Barry notes that the Doodle ran on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, which may have caused Dahl’s anti-Semetism to offend even more.
Reports have revealed that Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page have struck up a deal that lets them use a NASA runway conveniently close to Google’s headquarters as their own personal landing strip. The deal has Page and Brin paying $1.3 million annually, plus fees for parking and gas, as well as allowing NASA to use the Googlejet 747 or other Google planes to move around equipment, scientists, or conduct high altitude research.
Valleywag has printed a rumor that the reason Adam Bosworthe left Google was to become Facebook’s new Head of Engineering. If so, it could represent the first step of a shift from Google to Facebook as the hot place to work for. After all, if Facebook has an IPO, switchers like Bosworth could become mighty, mighty rich.