Saturday, May 22, 2010

Google Shenanigans

Google has been all over the news today for making their homepage logo into a playable Pac Man game. Something I find interesting is that while none of the news I saw mentioned it, Google is also running a round of voting for the selection of drawings submitted by primary school children to be used for the logo at a later date. The contest is called Doodle 4 Google and is run in partnership with Smithsonian. The drawings are a handful selected from over 33,000 entries under the theme "If I could do anything, I would...," each with a short statement. I found the remaining candidates interesting despite what seems to be an obvious presence of bias in the selection process prior--I would love to believe that around 40% of US children have the restoration and preservation of Earth as top priority, but I have a feeling that on the whole entries might have been more along the lines of the finalist who answers with "...go to Japan," but with less deft artistry.

It seems that most of the time I see Google in the news it is over some imagined privacy theft, as though Google is secretly plotting to shame everyone on Earth at the same time by revealing our most incriminating queries (or what have you). Clearly in this case they are harvesting the unbounded imagination of our children... who knows what nefarious deed Google might conspire based on the suggestion to build subsidized housing for the homeless on the moon. And not only that, but Google with their unquenchable lust for data couldn't help but steal our opinions on this information too, as if their stated plot to give away 3 laptops, 80 netbooks, $15,000 scholarship, and a $25,000 computer lab grant weren't nefarious enough.

Actually I am somewhat disappointed by those figures, they seem a bit paltry (relative to Google); $15k wouldn't even pay for a degree at an in-state public university. Voting takes place here and is only open 5/18-5/25.

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