Tag Archive for 'google'

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A Look Inside the Googleplex

It’s no bloody wonder my suitemates are dying to work for Google. Take a look at the Googleplex! (Thanks to Michael Heilemann for the link.)

Search in IE7

A few days ago I downloaded a copy of Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 to play around with it and see how things looked. So far I haven’t been particularly impressed. It’s a slightly flashier Firefox ripoff, but the main engine driving the program is as slow and non-standards-compliant as ever. The layout of the menu is fundamentally altered from past versions of IE, and I suspect that they’re going to confuse a lot of their users. The one item that’s impressed me is their implementation of syndication feeds. They’ve made it easy for someone who doesn’t know how to use feeds to start doing so; however, by placing the subscription menu in the “Favorites Center” sidebar, I suspect they’re going to confuse people. Whose idea was it to use the same name for two different and separate features?

The real amusement so far, though, came when I checked out the search bar. The browser’s default search engine? Google. I suspect this was not Bill’s idea.

IE7 B2 Screenshot

Google Video and The Daily Show

I’m fooling around rather than doing any serious work tonight (grad school applications, what?), and the wonderful folks at Google are definitely helping me out. I haven’t spent much time perusing Google Video, but it’s becoming more tempting all the time. Between CoCo linking to a Harry Potter dance video that’s like Hogwarts with ’80s music and the Google blog revealing some videos from Daily Show enthusiasts (and my own occasional forays into Ebert’s movie reviews, thanks to Mark), there’s no work getting done.

I have to admit that the Daily Show clips surprised me. They’re the story of some serious Jon Stewart fans who purchased the show’s old set on eBay with the intention of taking it around the country. Although they film under the name of “Mouth of America Network” (or MoAN.tv), three of the clips were more foolish and fandomish than the title would indicate. But the longest clip, Buckling the Beltway, was different. With the America shape from The Daily Show in tow, this band of fans took their camera to the streets of Washington D.C., asking random, average Americans there questions about America’s state in the world, media bias, and how we, the people of America, can fix our country.

“The government used to be by the people, for the people,” one Oklahoman woman explains. “But it’s not anymore, you know, it’s the government by the government for the government […] It used to be for the benefit of the people, now it’s for the benefit of the money, for the people who have the money.” One after another, the speakers explain their background and feelings on the issue at hand. Around six minutes into the clip, one has to start asking, “How is it that America is so thoroughly caught up in this mess with plenty of sensible people like this around?” The answer, for better or for worse, is not that these people are the exception; the truth of the matter is that they feel powerless. Even though the speakers differ on their exact feelings about the state of the United States, one common thread, a sense that there’s no way to solve the problems we now face, runs through each interview. This, perhaps, is the sad truth of what happened to America: we haven’t lost our voices; we’ve only lost faith in being heard.

Lest I deny the fact that crazy people exist in my country (and that they have very, loud, and obnoxious voices), I present you with a recent source of amusement (and some frustration), a conservative student blog at my university. Reading this guy’s posts sometimes reminds me of the few pages near the end of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix that I’ve read. He seems to think that using all caps makes a point better than, say, a logical argument. As a glance at some of the comments on the blog indicates, his primary form of debate, other than the aforementioned capital letters, is to accuse people of making “baseless, partisan accusations”, not to mention knowing nothing about the issue at hand–an interesting plot development, given the fact that his comment there brings up the Oil-for-Food scandal, which had nothing to do with the discussion up to that point. The best part, though, is that every time one of these rants shows up in my Planet Case feed, it has the e-mail xtremesledding@case.edu attached to it, which I invariably read as xtremelemming@case.edu.