St Andrew’s Day …
St David’s Day …
St George’s Day …
Now I can guess what the excuse will be – St George’s Day has been postponed until the 2nd of May by the church because it clashes with Easter and Easter is more important in the religious calendar than a saint’s day – but it’s not good enough.
It doesn’t matter whether there is congestion in the church’s calendar, St George’s Day left its religious roots behind a long time ago and is a national day for our country. I don’t care what the Pope or the Archbishop of Canterbury says, England’s St George’s Day is on the 23rd of April every year.
So, to Google and Asda (who have decked out their Telford stores in British flags) and all the other shops around England that have ignored St George and stocked up on the butcher’s apron, I have only one thing to say: how dare you insult my country, fuck you.
Oh dear, looks like the fuck up fairy has visited Google!
Google appears to have finally found some balls and has told the Chinese government that it is no longer willing to censor search results.
The announcement – and the associated threat to pull its operations out of China altogether – was prompted by the hacking of two Google email accounts used by Chinese human rights activists. Google hasn’t specifically pointed the finger at the Chinese authorities but that is obviously what they are implying.
One of the conditions on Google being allowed to operate inside China was that it would censor search results on behalf of the Chinese government. China restricts internet access severely and websites that they don’t approve of are blocked very quickly. I tested the response of the Chinese censors once by posting something about Tibet with a picture of the Tibetan flag here on Wonko’s World and then checked the Great Firewall of China website regularly which allows you to check if a website is accessible in China via proxies. This blog was blocked within hours.
At the time, Google was criticised heavily for caving in and meeting the demands of the Chinese censors. But I wonder now whether Google had a long term plan to establish itself in China, to become a dominant and recognisable brand in China as indispensible there as it is elsewhere around the world and then to start using that influence to try and end China’s censorship of the internet.
I would like to think that it was all part of a big plan but I guess we’ll never know. Either way, it’s good to see that Google has finally got some balls.
After complaining on Sunday that Google decided to mark Remembrance Sunday with a picture of the Cookie Monster rather than a poppy, it was suggested that we should give Google the benefit of the doubt and see if they use a poppy logo on Remembrance Day itself.
Well, today was Remembrance Day and guess what? Yep, there was no poppy logo on Google UK this morning. Nor on the Google USA site, Google Canada, Google Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, France or Belgium where the poppy is used to commemorate fallen soldiers on the 11th of November. In France and Belgium it’s a public holiday, such is the importance they put on Armistice Day.
Suitably enraged, I decided to take some affirmative action. I emailed another complaint to Google’s press office, started a “viral tweet” on Twitter and got BBC Radio Shropshire talking about it. An hour or two later I got an email from a Google PR person saying they had put a poppy under the search box. I pointed out that the only way to get a poppy logo on the Google UK site was to view it on a mobile phone and click the “Classic” link to get the proper site. The PR man said he would get it looked into.
At about 11:40am the poppy appeared on the Google UK site and some time afterwards a poppy Google Doodle miraculously put in an appearance in place of the normal Google logo. People power won the day, it seems, but it shouldn’t have taken this much effort to get Google to remember our fallen soldiers.
Google has had a Sesame Street logo on its site for most of the week to mark the 4oth anniversary of the show.
Presumably the makers of Sesame Street are presumably paying them to display the logo because not only did the Google UK site fail to mark the 5th of November, but they have also failed to mark Remembrance Sunday.
I can forgive them missing the 5th of November but failing to mark Remembrance Sunday is a disgrace and an insult to the memory of the men and women who gave up their lives during the two world wars and beyond.
Google should be ashamed.
It’s traditional to bedeck websites with scary images at Halloween. Google has this rather tame offering:
I prefer something a bit more scary …