Happy birthday, Darwin (except in the US)

A friend of mine just tipped me to this: Google Canada has a nice celebratory image to commemorate Darwin’s 200th birthday, as does Google France, Google Germany, Google Mexico, Google China, and any Google I can think of — except Google.com. I guess this is so to avoid offending susceptibilities.

Update: Or am I going insane? Greg and Yoni report that they get the same image commemoration at google.ca and at google.com. Yet I still get the basic Google image at google.com. Any other reports?

About Jorge Aranda

I'm currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the SEGAL and CHISEL labs in the Department of Computer Science of the University of Victoria.
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9 Responses to Happy birthday, Darwin (except in the US)

  1. Greg Wilson says:

    At 12:44 EST, I’m getting exactly the same image for google.ca, google.com, and google.com.mx.

  2. Jorge says:

    Make sure google.com isn’t redirecting you to google.ca —if it does, click on Go to Google.com.

  3. Yoni says:

    Yeah, Jorge, I get the same image in google.com … and I am in New York, mind you🙂

  4. Jorge says:

    Gaah! Am I going crazy? I *still* get the vanilla Google image on Google.com and the naturey birdy image on Google.ca!

  5. Jeremy says:

    I’m seeing the same as you, Jorge: nature scene with birdies on google.ca, plain old logo on google.com!

  6. Aws says:

    I see the plain logo on Google.com and the Darwinian logo on Google.ca

  7. Jorge says:

    Thanks guys! It’s weird though — that still leaves Yoni’s case (and maybe Greg’s) unexplained.

  8. Robert says:

    Gentlemen,
    Google’s design premise is to keep it simple and smart, i.e. do what the user probably wants without asking them. A lot of modern software does this. In Google’s case, they use your IP, your language settings in the browser, your Google account (if you are logged in), cookies with info from earlier visits…
    much information which effectively means, that you can’t precisely control anymore, which version of the many, many Google-homepages you get. Given you that choice would require a complicated user-interface after all and in certain circumstances isn’t even desired by Google. Users from China, for example, will always get a censored Google, no matter which top-level domain they choose, no matter their language settings or Google accounts.
    Even if we suppose (reasonably) that Google is not evil, this hidden set of conditions illustrates a new kind of emergent behavior which we have to get used to with computers becoming ever more complex, subtle, smart and possess more information.

    It is not necessary to assume computers will some day develop evil intentions to take over the world. Even with the best of intentions, they can drive us crazy already. And transform joy of use into despair.

    (Written partly in response to a post on George’s blog: http://dukhat.livejournal.com/201626.html)

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