Are you a Google stalker or a Google narcissist?

August 10, 2007 at 1:29 am | Posted in Google | 8 Comments

I am both.

A Google narcissist is someone who does ego-surfing using Google (ego-surfing: to perform an Internet search on one’s own name.)

A Google stalker uses Google to find information about people without telling them. Sometimes (potential) employers behave like Google stalkers.

From Hamburg to New York in 29 days: Swim Across the Atlantic Ocean

April 27, 2007 at 3:00 pm | Posted in Funny, Google | 3 Comments
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A lovely Google Maps Easter Egg: The suggested route includes 5,572km of swimming across the Atlantic Ocean. Click the image to enlarge. And take special note of item 44 in the description of the drive.

  • 42. Take the ramp onto Quai Frissard 1.0 km
    2 mins
  • 43. At the roundabout, take the 4th exit onto E05 0.9 km
    2 mins
  • 44. Swim across the Atlantic Ocean 5,572 km
    29 days 0 hours

Google Maps

The best thing about it: They suggest this can be done in 29 days:-)

Try this yourself: Open the Google Maps Get directions tool, enter FROM: Hamburg TO: New York, hit enter.

I hope they are not going to remove this one, considering they removed the lovely giant bug in the South of Germany!

Google Earth erases Google Earth oddities 25/40

March 17, 2007 at 9:37 am | Posted in Google | 10 Comments
Tags: , ,

I had another favorite Google Earth oddity and now I have to find that it’s gone! I wasn’t able to find the link for some time and have dug it up now, but only to discover that Google Earth itself (i.e. the company) does apparently NOT appreciate the idea of Google Earth oddities – they photoshopped that giant bug belonging to the order of Thrysanoptera (vulgo: Thrips) away that was roaming the fields outside Aalen in Germany! That’s surprisingly anti-Web2.0 from them – erasing the traces of users’ discoveries. I managed to find a screen shot of the location from the time when the bug was still there, labeled ‘Alien bug’:

Google Earth

But if you have look at the site now (link to location on Google maps online, you might want to zoom out a bit), you’ll find that it’s gone. No more. Dead. You can even see where it was, as the new patch of soil they added does not blend in well – different shades of green. Pffff… I hope they are going to give us our bug back some day! Fat cats and their top down rule… if you agree with me that Google earth changes our _perception_ of reality (but of course not reality itself – which is unattainable anyway), then one could argue that this is some kind of censorship. Concealing the bugs of the system to maximize reality effects…. nice. Not.

Google Earth

And who is going to decide which Google earth oddities will be censored and which won’t? Will Eddie Fuck soon be bleeped out? Will brand names in the pictures remain? Who has the right to decide? Even if the bug was not on the field, but just on the scanner, it was still in the picture – why claim all of a sudden that there is a prior reality that is superior? I liked this bug a lot…

P.S. Maybe I should write in French;-) I’ve got another incoming link from a (Swiss) French website, 24 heures, writing about Google Earth – I am cited as politically incorrect blog at the end – thanks to Eddie Fuck, I suppose.

Lent25/40 means that today is the 25th day of Lent, of my no sugar no alcohol no meat Lent diet. I admit I changed the rules slightly – yesterday I had some pure yogurt with artificial sweetener, although I had decided at the beginning that my vow to abstain from sweetness would be complete. But the craving…. I’m drinking tea right now, and I used to have two sugars with each mug I drank in the past. Now, I don’t cheat on that – although I sued to think that the combination of Earl Grey, sugar and milk was the first step on the road to nirvana:-)

Searchmash, Google’s New Search Testlab (?)

February 2, 2007 at 11:11 am | Posted in Entertainment, Google, Web 2.0, Wikipedia, Youtube | Leave a comment

The McCord Webdesign Newsletter has pointed me to this – btw, it’s no newsletter that you need to subscribe to, but which I keep anyway, just because it is so tacky and oldfashioned; at the same time it is perfectly tailored to the needs of medium-scaled enterprises and their clientele, and a solid, although boring example of email marketing. Oh, and of dull American design.

Google Inc. is currently experimenting with a search engine that comes with a set of widgets to allow you to search images, blogs, videos and Wikipedia in a bar on the right hand side. Unfortunately, the widgets aren’t working properly in my browser of choice, which is Safari, but they run ok in Firefox (Internet Explorer? Who cares…). If they do work, they give you a short preview of the search results.

Searchmash

In a sense, it’s a search interface catering for Web 2.0 content – the results are the same as in Google, is just a matter of the presentation and navigation. You also have the option to hide the details of a result, giving it a nice uncluttered appeal. AdSense isn’t plugged it, so no there are no text ads (yet). No Google branding, either but the imprint is more telling.

It also seems as if Searchmash comes up with suggestions to narrow your search, apparently for entertainment related content only . I’m not quite sure whether this is the true criterion, but see for yourself and enter the terms ‘holiday’ and ‘big brother’.

Searchmash

My five favourite Google Earth Oddities

January 31, 2007 at 8:08 am | Posted in Art, Globalization, Google, Web 2.0 | 30 Comments
Tags: ,

I’ve never discovered a Google Earth Oddity myself, and I doubt that I ever will (although I’ve tried): Scanning the surface of the globe for an interesting squaremetre is definitely a too tedious job to be considered a possible path of fame. But I like looking at other people’s discoveries – have a look at my little collection!

EDDIE! FUCK!
I find it difficult to make up my mind, but at least for this brief moment this one is my favourite: Strong language spelled in wheat on a field outside Little Houghton in England.
Eddie
53°32’19.41″N 1°20’47.87″W

THE PINK BUNNY RABBIT
This is the runner-up – an artwork created by Italian (I think) artist Gelitin and captured by Google Earth. I like this in particular because I first saw it in a book (and posted about in October 2006). Even if Gelitin isn’t Italian, the bunny is (or was, but it’s hopefully going to remain on GE).
Pink Rabbit
44°14’39.30″N 7°46’10.98″E

Mantra set in ice
This is particularly neat: A Tibetan mantra (said to mean “om mani peme hung” according to the source forum) carved into the ice of a glacier.
Tibetan Mantra
32°54’36.35″N 97°02’52.00″E

BRUCE AND DAN ARE HAVING A GOOD TIME
Or saying hello, or living here. Proof for the fact that smileys are always endearing. Captured in the USA.
Bruce and Dan
47°14’28.03″N 122°31’46.16″W

M
Whoever or whatever. Also made in the US of A and hopefully not a PR-Stunt – although, even if it were, this is probably nothing more significant than the logo of a local football team.
The M
39°44’41.09″N 105°14’23.95″W

I found all these gems in the fark forum.

If you want to give it a try yourself, download Google Earth (it’s free AND runs on both PC and Mac:-) and enter the coordinates which I’ve specified below each picture.

EDIT: I had another favorite Google Earth oddity but wasn’t able to find the link for some time. I’ve dug it up now, but only to discover that Google Earth itself (i.e. the company) does quite apparently NOT appreciate the idea of Google Earth oddities – they photoshopped that giant bug belonging to the order of Thrysanoptera (vulgo: Thrips) away that was roaming the fields outside Aalen in Germany! That’s surprisingly anti-Web2.0 from them – erasing the traces of users’ discoveries. I managed to find a screen shot of the location from the time when the bug was still there (see below):

Google Earth

But if you have look at the site now (link to location on Google maps online, you might want to zoom out a bit), you’ll find that it’s gone. No more. Dead. You can even see where it was, as the new patch of soil they added does not blend in well – different shades of green. Pffff… I hope they are going to give us our bug back some day!
Google Earth

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