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An Outsider’s Perspective From The Inside

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Posts Tagged ‘what would google do’

Perfidious Google Maps

Posted by anandrr on November 4, 2009

Over the weekend, I find myself at the intersection of Mathilda and Maude in Sunnyvale and I decide I need to go to a Walgreens or Longs or something. So I duly type in “pharmacy” into my Jesus Phone Google Maps and what does it show me?

Google Maps screen shot Google Search PageThere’s a Walgreen just off Fair Oaks. The location looks a little dubious, why would there be a Walgreen just off the main road, but maybe it covers an entire block. I haven’t ever seen a Walgreen at the location indicated, but maybe I haven’t been paying attention. So off I go to this location, and of course there is no Walgreen at this place. Quite annoying, to say the least. I assume that perhaps Google Maps is confused and get on with the rest of my life. On a whim, I pull up Google on my iPhone the next day and search for pharmacies in sunnyvale, and I find that Google search on the iPhone also thinks there’s a pharmacy at that location. Only it’s a Longs. And here’s what’s really cool about this. The address says El Camino Real, but the location on the map says Fair Oaks and just north of Maude. WTF? Seriously, WTF?

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What Would Google Do Indeed?

Posted by anandrr on February 20, 2009

Me emailing the moment to JP, Editor, Bookmarks magazine: With any luck the reviews on [What Would Google Do] are coming in at around 1 star.  Walked in to the bookstore and this douche of an author is standing here and being himself. God what a load.

But  more interesting  than the author and his speech was the audience itself. The bookstore in question was Books Inc in downtown Mountain View, hometown of the aforementioned Google. I was emailing on the (supposedly citywide) free public Wifi provided by Google to the fine denizens of that fine town. The last time I had seen a Google-related talk at Books Inc was when Battelle was there flogging his Search book. Back then, Google was the new darling and everybody wanted to fawn on the Google. This time, it was very different. This book might have top-picked the Google phenomenon. For a Mountain View audience, they were distinctly hostile to the ideas that the author was flogging, they pooh-poohed transparency, calling Google the most secretive company on earth (when the author challenged that, they gave in a little and admitted that perhaps the CIA and FBI were more secretive), they questioned whether the concept of beta products extended to much more than free web offerings and brandished bug-ridden Android phones as proof, they didn’t think Google would exist at all without vast Government expenditures and so where did we get off belittling other Government initiatives (the specific topic being global warming)?

This turn in sentiment is curious, very curious.

Posted in Advertising, Book Review, Business, Capitalism, Communism, Economics, Internet, Literature | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »