Google wants you to know it did not kill a Botswana donkey

This Street View photo caused some Twitter doubletakes: Had Google’s Street View car run over a donkey? 

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Happy news! The donkey is fine. Google Maps product manager Kei Kawai leapt on the potential PR nightmare and offered photographic evidence: The donkey was playing possum. His cheekily titled blog post “Never ass-ume" tells the tale.

(We invite your conspiracy theories in the comments. Did Google post the images in reverse? Could they possibly be, like the moon landing, FAKED!?) -Stacy

Turning on Do Not Track in Google Chrome

The promise of Do Not Track was supposed to be that with a simple push of the button, ad networks will no longer be able to track your online behavior.

Not only is Do Not Track the opposite of simple, it also does absolutely nothing.

To illustrate, here’s how Do Not Track was implemented in Google Chrome — the world’s most-used browser, according to some studies.

Step 1: Click on “Settings”

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So far so good.

Step 2: Click on “Show advanced settings”

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Obviously, any user would be able to figure this out.

Step 3: Click on “Send a ‘Do Not Track’ request with your browsing traffic

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Oh, right, I see it. The last privacy option. Alright, check…

Step 4: Read the disclaimer

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Oh, that’s not it? Wait, what the hell does this mean? This seems to be saying that Do Not Track doesn’t guarantee that I won’t be tracked. I should probably learn more.

Step 5: Click on “Learn more”

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Oh, I see. Does Do Not Track do anything? “At this time,” no.

Step 6: Close that window, and click “OK.”

Got all that? Six steps, to achieve nothing. Hooray for Do Not Track! -David

What is ‘Knob Town’ and why did it apply for a top-level domain?

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If you scoured through ICANN’s list of new top-level domains, you may have noticed hundreds of oddly named applicants, such as my personal favorite, “Goose Fest LLC.”

There was also Knob Town LLC, Puff House LLC, Dog Bloom LLC, and Binky Edge LLC.

They all are wholly owned subsidiaries of a company called Donuts Inc., a Web registry founded in 2011, which has raised more than $100 million from investors.

Each of the 307 top-level domain names it applied for had a unique subsidiary. The company’s co-founder Daniel Schindler told CNNMoney Wednesday that the names were generated randomly by a computer — apparently one with a sense of humor.

That computer spat out such gems as Spring Frostbite, Hidden Frostbite, Bitter Frostbite, Wild Frostbite, Binky Frostbite, Bitter Sunset, Half Sunset, Corn Sunset, Sand Sunset, Dog Edge, Atomic Maple, Atomic Madison, Extra Madison, Big Dynamite, Extra Dynamite, Fox Dynamite, Corn Dynamite, Pixie Station, Bitter McCook, Atomic McCook, Atomic Tigers, Sea Goodbye, Sea Corner, John Goodbye and Just Goodbye, among many, many others.

"At times, the computer threw together some odd combinations, but those are anomalies, and there’s nothing to read in to any of them," said Schindler.

Schindler said the decision to use uniquely named subsidiaries was advised by the company’s legal and accounting teams, which figured it would provide the cleanest and easiest way to keep track of its hundreds of applications.

Donuts Inc. wasn’t the only one to use a shell company to buy domain names. Google applied for all of its 102 domain names with a subsidiary called Charleston Road Registry Inc. Much of Google’s Mountain View, Calif., headquarters is located on Charleston Road. -David

Why CEOs need less generic names

  • Stacy: We should get an image of Page for the Google story.
  • David: I have an image of the page in the story already.
  • Stacy: Yeah, but for the homepage, we should have an image of Page.
  • David: You want a different image of the homepage?
  • Stacy: What?
  • David: Huh?
  • Stacy: Oh, I meant Larry Page for the homepage.
  • David: Oh.
  • Stacy: CEOs have to have less generic names.

SOPA/PIPA: The issue that bonds frenemies

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Dave has a story posted today about how Google’s new Search Plus Your World walks right on the antitrust-lawsuit-bait line by cutting out rival social networks — most notably, Facebook and Twitter.

But when it comes to SOPA/PIPA, even Google is ready to take advantage of every network available. This is the message participants get when they sign Google’s take action petition. -Stacy