INT. GOOGLE HEADQUARTERS - DAY
A gaggle of GOOGLERS stand trembling before an EXECUTIVE's desk.
Sir... the people still aren't happy about our complicity in the PRISM program.
(opening a binder full of charts)
Mindshare is down across the board, account activations have decreased 3 percent, we're seeing an influx of -
A hand holding a cigar gestures for him to stop talking.
GOOGLE EXECUTIVE (O.S.)
(in an Alex Rocco-esque voice)
Can it, egghead.
He takes a puff and slowly exhales as he contemplates his options. The Googlers obviously don't like the smoke, but dare not say anything about it. He stands up and looks out the window at the Android statues below.
We need something big. Something that can get us back into people's good graces. A little razzle-dazzle to win over the rubes.
There's only one card left to play.
You don't mean...?
We see his face for the first time as he turns to the Googlers. He looks like a grizzled newspaper editor from a 1930's movie, with the delirious grin of a gambler with nothing left to lose.
Put up the Maurice Sendak Google Doodle.
But, sir! It's not ready for public consumption y-
DO IT!!! MAKE IT WHIMSICAL! MAKE ME FEEL LIKE A KID AGAIN!
Yes, sir! / Right away! / I'm on it!
The Googlers spring into action and scramble out of the office.
The executive sits back down at his desk and opens a bottom drawer. He pulls out some LEGO® brand bricks and starts playing with them.
And so begins the final month of Google Reader... we've met a terrible fate, haven't we?...
Back in February, I discovered the "FunkyWatch" feature at ComicsAlliance, which is essentially just a guy describing depressing installments Funky Winkerbean. It's one of the funniest things on the internet:
I will admit, I laugh out loud every time I read this one. It's just so far over the top: Funky's life sucks so bad that he has fewer options than a man with Alzheimer's who was just brought to an assisted living facility. He is actually jealous of a man who can slip away quietly on the slow road to death, forgetting all his troubles as others take care of him. That would be a positive step for him.
I was a little dismayed last month when Aol quietly killed off ComicsAlliance (presumably because it wasn't called HuffPo Comics). But don't despair! I looked at the site just now and apparently for the past week they've been posting cryptic comic panels hinting at some sort of resurrection (I forgot comic book deaths are never permanent). So, here's hoping for more FunkyWatch. And other stuff, too.
4:22 pm: Dugan has brought a few tricks from her advanced research group. First up, authentication. It is so irritating that only about half of people protect their devices.
After 40 years of innovation, we are still authenticating the same way. (Bad passwords, etc.)
Near-term solutions are tokens or fobs with NFC. Another option is an electronic tattoo. "Everybody is interested in wearables. I'm profoundly interested in wearables."
Dugan is wearing an electronic tattoo from a company called MC10. "What we plan to do is work with them to advance a tattoo."
Some 10 to 20 year olds may not want to wear a watch, but they would wear a tattoo, if only to piss off their parents.
4:25 pm: Another option is vitamin authentication -- a pill with a small chip and a switch. It is powered by a battery charged by the acids in your stomach creating an electronic switch. Your entire body becomes your authentication token.
Scroll to the bottom of this press release about the Yahoo!-Tumblr deal.
Yahoo! still has sharing buttons for del.icio.us, (a product it hasn't owned since 2011 and has been known as "Delicious" since 2007), Digg (which relaunched last year and doesn't let you add details to submitted links anymore), and Yahoo! Buzz (which no longer exists).
As an aside, why has the GOP's youth outreach/social media team failed to capitalize on the Epic Randomness and Viral Meme Potential of Ronald Reagan co-starring in a movie with a chimp? They should own it, and upload a bunch of Bedtime for Bonzo gifs to Tumblr or something. Hashtag winning hashtag yolo hashtag paulryan2016
Check out Progressive Insurance's latest commercial, featuring Flo running for class president back in 1986, which means she was born sometime in the 1970s:
There's just one itty bitty problem. Last year, Flo herself claimed to have not gone outside since 1926. That means she had to have been born sometime before then, and is possibly immortal. Check it out for yourself at 3:25 in this Google+ Hangout video:
As Albus Dumbledore would say, "the evidence is incontrovertible." The commercial CLEARLY contradicts the continuity of the Hangout.
Nice try, Progressive, but your misguided attempt to pull the wool over our eyes has failed. This glaring continuity error is a slap in the face to your audience. You obviously do not respect canon, and therefore do not deserve our business. In order to redeem yourselves, I see only two options: re-editing the commercial to adhere to established Flo canon (if that's even possible at this stage), or removing the commercial altogether.
Respect canon, and it shall respect you.
TECH NEWS RUMOR INSIDER
A while ago, I was looking at the original version of Tech News Rumor Insider and noticed that, according to the archives, the site started in June 1998 (coincidentally, the same year rubbercat.net/simpsons launched). Since that means the fifteenth anniversary is coming up, we'll be commemorating the occasion by reposting highlights from the site's extensive archives. You'll be able to find them all under the "TNRI15" tag.
Next week: breathing
I'm really glad I upgraded my operating system, because I just love having caps lock turned on by keys that aren't the caps lock key and having keyboard input disabled at random intervals when I'm trying to type something. It is a real joy discovering these unexpected surprises and I hope it continues.
In an investigative forum of Reddit.com, since removed from the site, users compiled thousands of photos, studied them for suspicious backpacks and sent their favorite theories spinning out into the wider Internet.
"Find people carrying black bags," wrote the Reddit forum's unnamed moderator. "If they look suspicious, then post them. Then people will try and follow their movements using all the images."
The moderator defended this strategy by arguing that "it's been proven that a crowd of thousands can do things like this much quicker and better. ... I'd take thousands of people over a select few very smart investigators any day."
In addition to being almost universally wrong, the theories developed via social media complicated the official investigation, according to law enforcement officials. Those officials said Saturday that the decision on Thursday to release photos of the two men in baseball caps was meant in part to limit the damage being done to people who were wrongly being targeted as suspects in the news media and on the Internet.
Don't forget to vote in Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian as President of the Internet!