Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Is Google the new Evil Empire?

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Back in the 70s IBM was considered to be the large megacorporation that used its monopoly power in the computer market to get its own way and maximise its profits at the expense of smaller players in the market.

Then along came Microsoft – the new player in the market – they revolutionised the pc and made it accessible to everyone with their windows software. Everyone loved Microsoft!

On the back of the success of Windows, Microsoft grew large and powerful and profitable. Soon Microsoft took over as the ‘Bad Guy’. Everyone used Windows and hated Microsoft.

At the start of the 21st century Google took over the internet search market and everyone loved Google, who’s motto is “Don’t be evil”. Google became the search engine used to find information on the web. The English language gained a new verb – ‘to google’.

On the back of the success of it’s search engine Google is now growing large, rich and powerful. History seems to be repeating itself and slowly questions are starting to be asked about Google abusing its dominant position on the internet. The latest example of this apparent abuse is the release of Google’s SideWiki where anyone can post anything on any page on the web, and only Google and not the website owner has any control over what appears on his website.

For more about SideWiki please follow the links below:

Google’s own page about Sidewiki at – Contribute and Publish helpful information to any web page.

Paul Myers of well argued and well written article about the potential downside of Sidewiki from the point of view of website owners.

A reluctant defense of googles sidewiki from Simon Abramovitch

Find out what people are saying about your webpage on googles side wiki

Number 1 on Google – dead easy!

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

On one of my websites I use a feed that has a limited bandwith quota, normally the quota limit is not a problem, but occasionally the website gets hammered by various intenet spiders, bots, and screen scrapers, so whenever I get near to the quota I implement a simple throttle that says no to bad bots.
Well, that was the theory, unfortunately one of the ip numbers that I banned was that of a googlebot and as a result I ended up number one on google for the search term ” “Sorry site not available – database ip-throttle in effect – please try again later….”.

Sometimes number 1 on google is not all it is cracked up to be!

More Dates Madness

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Just did some cross browser testing – all works OK in firefox and safari and seamonkey and google chrome, but internet explorer croaks. The customer (not totally unreasonably) objected to dates being displayed as YYYY-MM-DD and wanted them displayed in the UK format of dd/month/yy. Unfortunately somewhere in the dates manipulation I used the Javascript Dates.parse function. this worked OK in Firefox and processed UK dates OK ie Date.parse(“1/Aug/2009”) gave the correct result of 1249081200000,
but in IE I got NaN.

Try it yourself in different browsers by putting UK style dates at

Googles New Browser: Google Chrome

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

I have just downloaded and tried the latest, newest browser from google.

Google have used open source components from Apple’s WebKit and Mozilla’s Firefox and others
and have created Google Chrome as an open-source browser.

First impressions: It seems to be very fast, and easy to use, the browser has a clean and neat look.

They have combined the address bar with a search box; type your search query in the address bar, and it automatically suggests related queries and popular websites, based on your input, and previous webpages you have viewed.

After viewing a couple of web pages, when you open up Google Chrome it will show you your most popular/recent websites and recent searches. This is fine if you are the only person using
your computer, but may be problematic if you share your computer with others!

There is an incognito mode that stops Google Chrome from storing information about the websites you’ve visited. The websites themselves may still have records of your visit,
and any files saved will still remain on your computer.
If you are planning a surprise, say a gift for a birthday,
remember to go incognito!.

Google Checkout – better than Paypal and Credit Cards?

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

I have just been online to make a few online purchases – it is not easy and not fun anymore!

First hurdle: The merchant wants you to sign up before allowing you to hand over your money.

After collecting all your info, they tell you that you are already a valued customer (‘your email is already in our database’), and you must login first – they then play a silly game of guess the password, or variations of such as guess your mothers maiden name, your dead parrots first name, your fathers birthday, the name of your first sexual partner…. etc etc….

Hey! I just want to buy a toaster for 15 pounds, not get married!

Second Hurdle: Enter credit card details and navigate the pop-ups that look like a phishing site (I assume that is genuine?) – make up yet another password and usernname (hint if you click register later I think it lets you make the purchase anyway).

Third Hurdle: My fault – I got the password wrong. – So Lets try paypal.
At least this merchant takes paypal – and I have an account with paypal – so this should go OK!

NO such luck! – The merchant still wants me to register with them – having set up three accounts with this merchant – I could not remember with password applied to which username.

Fouth Attempt: This merchant takes google checkout – and I have a google account.
And surprise – all went OK – (well It looks like it went OK………


If you are a merchant – do not play silly buggers with your customers – if they do not want to sign up and register with you – do not try to force them to. Do not ask your customers for their mothers maiden name or date of birth or gender, or cats maiden name=, or favorite color….

Allow your customer to pay using google checkout as well as paypal and credit cards.

I’m off to add google checkout to all my customers websites……