AUTHOR: Beth TITLE: Googleplex DATE: 12/20/2004 03:55:00 PM ----- BODY:
Kay, so, you know what annoys me? What annoys me (among many, many, many other things, of course) is the ever-shifting little graphic at the top of Google's main page corresponding to the season / holiday / major public event. This past summer it was the Olympics--little half-naked cartoon figures grinning and performing the high jump and shot put. More recently it's been Hanukah Chaunukkah Honiker stuff, or Christmas stuff, and today it's two happy little polar bears in the new-fallen snow. This morning I had to get my ass out of bed at 6:30 am, stumble out into an 18-degree morning and spend fifteen minutes scraping the ice from my car, somehow permanently fucking up my windshield wipers in the process. I pulled them up, the better to get at the snow beneath them, the better to get as much snow as possible down the cuffs of my jacket, and they haven't been right since. So it may just be that for those of us outside of Silicon Valley for whom winter is a very real and not altogether magical or pleasant phenomenon, happy polar bears are not a welcome sight when we go to our major search engines. Google should be just a word and a search bar, like it used to be before the happy-crappy bullshit started--after all, if I wanted to see happy polar bears, couldn't I just Google "happy polar bears"? Google is a resource. People use it to do research (as well as to look up people they went to high school with, but that's neither here nor there). Do you see an Encyclopedia Britannica in happy seasonal colors with cavorting animals? But whatever. Obviously it does not matter two shits to Google if I dislike their polar bears. There are probably many people out there who absolutely fucking love them, and these are probably the same kind of people who put animated, light-up plastic shit on their lawn around Christmas. But I digress. No, what really blew my mind today on Google--and I use this shit every day, it's my homepage, so you know this is BIG--was a little "Tip" at the top of the screen once it called up my search results for "hypophora".
Tip: Save time by hitting the return key instead of clicking on "search"
What. The. Fuck. First of all, how is that a tip? There may be some African bushmen without access to technology who understand that on a page with only one button, pressing "return" instead of "clicking" on the button with the "mouse" will result in the same action. Second of all, did Google somehow sense which method I used and tailor its "tip" accordingly? For people who are already hip to the "return" option, does Google tell them:
Tip: Slow down and enjoy life by using the mouse to click on "search" rather than hitting the "return" key. You're missing the best years of your children's lives, you know.
I mean, what the fuck? How is this a "tip". It's like pulling up to a T intersection and seeing a sign that says:
Tip: You may turn right or left at this juncture.
What the hell difference does it make? How much "time" does it "save"? 1.2 nanoseconds? 1.21 jiggawatts? Whose life is so busy that this minute change in computer operation would make a significant difference? Can you imagine the testimonials? "My life was a mess...but then Google let me know I could use the "return" key instead of going through all that work using the mouse! Now DSS has given my kids back!" A great "tip" Google could employ instead might be, "Narrow your search string, asshole." Or how about "use quotation marks to search for an exact phrase". Or other shit people don't know from a hole in the ground. But "use the return key?" If there's someone to whom this is a lifesaving bit of advice, that person needs to be removed from the gene pool post haste. Oh, and by the way, Google, O Major Parent Company of Blogger, here's a "tip" for you. Anyone smart enough to know how the "return" key on a computer works knows that while you began as a legitimate informational aid, you have become a complete corporate sellout more likely to call up e-commerce sites than actual informational resources. You do this on purpose, Google. To sell us more shit instead of letting us have more knowledge. Maybe that's why you need to give us advice about the "return" key.