May 24, 2014

Brand This

sugar water
It has been about a year since I blogged about Google. This week I saw the claim that Google is the "most valuable brand".

I grew up during a golden age of brand battles on television. Each evening the competing brands of tobacco, sugar water, lead-filled gasoline and other other consumer goods were trotted out before television watchers by the merchants of death.

Back when I was reading about C. J. Cherryh's alien Majat (insect-like creatures who like sugar) the phrase "sugar water" became one of my favorites.

Leaded gasoline was phased out and the advertising of tobacco products is now restricted. According to some observers, the sugar water industry is in decline.

I can understand Coke and Pepsi as brands of sugar water. And Google is a brand of...omnivorous eater of other companies?

For years I used the URL shortener, then when it became more aggressively commercial and annoying I switched to using Google's service, which has always been annoying but it still allows me to use it without having to register.

The annoying feature of is their "prove you are not a robot" system. Here (below) is a test... are you a robot?

Robot Wars
For a long time you had to identify text that looked like it had been put together by a drunken Google intern: various unreadable overlapping letters.

More recently they have been using what looks like images of street addresses that were scooped out of Google street view. This provides a friendly reminder that Google is constantly spying on us, even while they object to NSA spying.

Today was a real "joy" when I got the three images shown to the right on this page.

Google's robot that puts together pairs of numbers has always been too stupid to notice when it only has one number to show you. I'm sure they have a routine that notices when people can't find two numbers in an image and they stop using that particular image. In other words, we are Google's robots who have to do the work that Google is too cheap to pay an intern to do.

Well played, Google, well played!
world domination brand

Google Advertising
Google's "what you search for is not what you get" search engine, or, also known as the "spam ads search engine":
Google's URL Shortener
Update: Soon after I wrote this blog post the nanorobotic pixies conspired to crash my browser. While trying to make my  browser compatible with my operating system I created a new browser profile and...suddenly the Google URL shortening service changed its attitude towards me and it no longer tries to make me prove that I'm human.
Related Reading: facial recognition
a smooth move by Blogger - more Joy of Blogger
a 57% solution: Google book searching
Ghosts of capitalism past: Google Video and Knol
YouTube  has been assimilated!
Google search spam
Googling vs computing
Ngram viewer
Googling free content
VirileMail: how to take over the world.

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