Monday, April 28, 2008

Where will you get stabbed? Google fun!

Today for giggles I googled “Stabbed in X” with X being a city where I would expect a lot of stabbings.

These are the results I got:

LA 22

Dublin 24

Limerick 30

New York 64

London 98

This is interesting. Does this mean that LA is the least violent city? Seems unlikely. Why not google “Violence in X”, this gave a whole different set of results:

Limerick 38

Dublin 91

New York 16,000

Los Angeles 35,500

London 64,900

Wow, stay the fuck out of London! But this has now shot LA far above New York… So what kind of violence do they mean? Shootings perhaps?

Results for “Shot in X” (Note: a large chunk of the response for “Shot in New York” mean film shootings. I don’t think any of “Shot in Limerick” responses meant that, so expect the results to be fairly skewed):

Limerick 45

Dublin 17,900

New York 76,400

London 96,300

Los Angeles 115,000

So there you have it: Limerick is probably a lot safer than I would have normally given it credit for. Although if you took a per-head populace count against the number of stabbings you might understand how it earned the nickname ‘Stab City’.

So google, violence, numbers and massive scientific errors. Fun eh?


P.S. This could be given more of a scientific grounding by using Foxrock, Beverly Hills, San Francisco or Milton Keynes at a control. But seeing as every city is a different size we’re way to far from science to make such an effort worthwhile.

Just some fun with interesting numbers. I recommend you try it out with the city you live in! Does local violence go unreported? Do alarmist newspaper columnists predict chaos? Is somebody making a movie?

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Monday, April 07, 2008

Hey just wanted to point out that the character Director Boyle from the Command Conquer Series has a son named Lance.
Lance Boyle... get it?

It's inferred in Comand And Conquer 3: Kane Wrath.

I noticed.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

My day without google.
Today, April the 1st is my day without google.
It is April fools day, but it also the day of the world-wide attempt to at least try other search engines.
My search engine of choice is, for two simple reasons: a) it is the next option down by default in firefox 2/3, and b) yahoo! is the home of my favourite webmail client*.
So far my day without google has been quite good; I have checked all my rss feeds with google reader, read my email on gmail, routed chat and twitter through google talk and I'm writing this post in google docs.
But I have searched two things on yahoo!² Both of which were microchips used in a lab this morning.
Jesus Christ the person sitting beside me in this lecture stinks! he keeps making disgusting noises with the contents of his nostrils too! Damn boy blow your nose!... actually I could offer him a tissue.
I did. He has some. He blew. I'm calm. Even the smell has gone.
Anyway: I found both of the microchip datasheets I was looking for this morning, which was no great surprise.
So when it comes down to it every search engine except Windows Live Search is pretty much the same: you tell it what you want and it finds it for you³.
As far as I am concerned search engines are interchangeable, I am using firefox and will use whatever search engine is set... I may keep yahoo there, for all the difference it makes.
But that is not to say I can do without google as I feel is clear from my actions today I am reliant on google, Its rss reader is my homepage, it is among my webmail clients and one of my less popular Instant messenger accounts. I absolutely love google docs, although I do miss office functionality like sub- and super- script and headings. Also the lack of check as you go spell check functionality is irritating.
(Even more so in Ubuntu, where firefox's spell check as you type actually works properly and highlights the mistakes: which is great, but both google docs and firefox respond when you right click. Which makes a bit of a mess).

So here I am, on my day without google, using to write a post which I will post to google-owned blogger, then hassle my friends^ over google talk to go read it and provide some sort of feedback (or at least faint, disinterested encouragement). That done I will go back to paying vague attention to college and checking back on for googles annual April fools day joke.
It's quite irritating to have to wait until Silicon Valley and San Fransisco wakes up, to see the gag. Especially when I know that I pass by googles massive European headquarters on my train to college every morning.

This article is a response to this drive to use an alternative to google.