|Oi Blog more often...|
Today's column was written by a friend of mine, who unwilling to go by their real name would like to be known as the Masked Avenger. Some say he once ate an entire roll of toilet paper, some say he once had some dodgy ambitions while wearing a heart monitor. We just know him as the Masked Avenger. Recently he had a run in with google, so he agreed to discuss it for you my underthinking readers, mostly so he could procrastinate from exams I think. So lets join the story......
Everyone in the world (to a realistic extent) knows what Google is. It’s the world’s most popular search engine. But in the last few years it’s gone from something that teenagers use to look for porn to what middle-aged men use to try and impress their friends by showing them an aerial view of their holiday house.
|They have certainly sped up the search process.|
What did people do to find the answers to things before Google, before the internet? Maybe they sent off a form in the mail and men sitting in offices with little half-moon glasses rummaged through filing cabinets. Maybe that’s what still happens today, Google just upgraded the user interface a bit.
|...Ahh here it is, take this down Edith. Dear Fred, in answer to your recent query to Google industries...|
But fast-forward to today. Google now allows you to customize your search engine using ‘iGoogle’. It lets you choose a background and fills the page with widgets based on your selected interests. While this all seems well and good, for people like me on slow internet, all it does is take 3 times as long to load the page and in the meantime, I’ve forgotten what I was going to search for. It’s a gimmick that has no use. For example, my iGoogle page is displaying a link for me today, entitled: ‘The top 10 insane Jimmy Olsen moments’. I don’t even know who Jimmy Olsen is, so chances are I don’t want to know about his ‘insane moments’.
|Although in hindsight they were pretty awesome, you know me too well Google..|
This also proves that their ‘widget-selection-based-on-which-boxes-I-clicked-as-my-interests criteria’ is wrong (admittedly that’s probably not what it’s called but you get the picture). In fairness though, for the benefit of my mother, it is probably good it isn't entirely accurate based on what I am normally searching. The only thing that iGoogle has benefited me with is allowing me to have two animated turtles on the page, which swim round in a little tank and follow your pointer. But even that was user-contributed add-on.
|My Turtles Elliot and Ness|
So, a few years ago, they brought in Google Maps. At first it seems like a great idea, and it is. But there are a few flaws. For example, when you pick a starting point and destination, you can select walking and driving directions. That’s awesome, so presumably it takes into account main roads that you should use for driving. And parks and things you can walk across to shorten the distance to walk. No.
|Unpassable according to Google Maps.|
The driving instructions always show you round a mini Tiki-tour of your neighbourhood before abandoning all common sense in its route picking. They need an ‘avoid the ghetto’ option which you can choose;
|Thanks Google Maps...|
At least let you skip the first few steps of the directions, I know how to get out of my own neighbourhood. And the walking instructions, useless. I used them to get from my hall of residence to the railway station. It said the estimated time was 12 minutes. I left 15 minutes to be safe and it took me 20 minutes to get there. What are they basing their timing on? Olympic Speed-walkers? I don’t know about you, but I don’t usually take my lyrca body suit out with me. The directions didn’t even make sense, they took me down a street with no pavement. What am I supposed to do? Hitchhike this bit of the journey?
|Just off down to the Shops|
Streetview got brought in as the ‘Next Big Thing’. You can see a photo of any address on the planet from the street. This is cool, it lets you know what you’re going to be looking for when you get there. But it seems that people always know when Google are taking the pictures (which isn’t hard I guess, they have a pick 4x4 with Street View on the side and a camera on top).
|Obviously not everyone is that observant though|
There’s now countless Facebook groups dedicated to funny things on Streetview, ‘Stormtrooper on Streetview’ ‘Couple having sex on Streetview’ ‘Girl gets shot on Streetview’ (probably not that funny if it’s real). In my opinion, it was developed for the communists. Google was paid to design a way that the Reds could use to keep an eye on us without drawing much attention. I mean who’s going to suspect Google? All a KBG agent has to do is go on Streetview and type in ‘Secret Nuclear Missile Facility’ and boom; believe me I’ve done it.
In conclusion, exams suck ass