E-tales: That Woz the week that Woz

Will viewer votes save the 'Teletubby'?

Just [use a search engine for] it

Now that “google” as a verb (with lower-case G) is entrenched in dictionaries, it was inevitable that we would get “googlisation”. It has even penetrated New Zealand; an address at Brightstar’s “annual information management summit” earlier this month was titled “The googlisation of everything”.

“Googlisation can be described as the conditioning of your expectations and behaviour by the format, popularity and prevalence of the search engine Google,” says John S Rhodes in his WebWords blog.

A quick check on the word, via a well-known internet search engine, finds a mere 3750 references, which qualifies it as still a newcomer to the language.

However, a resistance movement is already building. The seventh entry on Google’s own list is: “Resist googlisation!” on the delightfully named blog Risqué Management.

“Too often people say ‘just google for it’ referring to the way to get facts, without realising that [a] web search is only going to return the most popular, most often cited source. Which is not necessarily is truthful [sic],” says a contributor calling himself only “Slav”.

“There are too many questions without answers that can be found on the internet,” he/she adds, feelingly. “There are too many with wrong answers.”

Indeed; but as journalists know, the same could be said of many sources in the real world.

The week that Woz

He may have come last in his first outing on the new US series of Dancing with the Stars, but Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak insists “Nerds can dance”. He says it was the most fun thing he has ever done. Fun?

Undoubtedly. but the judges saw it differently. One called it “a disaster”. While judge Bruno Tonioli said he didn’t know if it was “hilarious or delirious”.

“It was a like a Teletubby going mad in a Gay Pride parade,” he said.

It remains to be seen whether a Twitter campaign to win viewer votes will save the “Teletubby”.

Taser em

UK tech website The Register has noted Christchurch’s plans to blast street youth with Barry Manilow music, following an Aussie example. The site suggests we should just do what they do in the UK: taser them.

In an answer to Parliamentary questions there, police revealed that in England and Wales they fired their 50,000 volt Tasers at children 28 times between January 2007 and August 2008.

“Tasers were used on under-18s 11 times in 2007 and 17 times in the first eight months of 2008.” Overall, 2,222 people were ‘exposed to the use of Taser’.

Finn and chips

Also from The Register, a Wisconsin woman was surprised recently to find a Nokia phone in her bag of chips. The silver phone, found in a packet of Clancy’s Ripple cuts, was covered in grease and unable to turn on, so how it got there may never be known. The supermarket withdrew all chip packets from the same batch.

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