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Google Pac-man Controversy

Two articles contradicting each other…                                                                                                                                            

Google’s Pac-Man logo cost $120 mn to economy

Google’s Pac-Man logo led to almost five million wasted hours and cost the economy about $120 million, an analyst estimated.

Google apparently had about 505 million users Friday when the Pac-Man doodle went live. The game took up 4,819,352 hours of employee time and cost the economy a whopping $120,483,800, said Tony Wright, founder of Rescue Time, which is a tool that helps businesses to measure how time and attention was being spent.

‘For that same cost, you could hire all 19,385 Google employees. That includes Larry (Page) and Sergey (Brin), right down to the janitors. You could hire them for six weeks – imagine what you could build with that army of manpower,’ The Telegraph quoted from Wright’s blog post.

Internet users were happy to find the Pac-Man doodle on the search engine’s home page. It was to mark the 30th anniversary of game’s release.

The game could be played by clicking ‘Insert coin’. It was online for 48 hours before Google went back to its usual logo.

The search engine giant was ‘overwhelmed, but not surprised’ by the reception given to the Pac-Man doodle, said Marissa Mayer, vice president of user experience at Google.

‘Due to popular demand, we’re making it permanently available at,’ she was quoted as saying.

Pac-Man did NOT lead to $120 lost productivity, false arguments lead to false conclusions

The media is awash over the last few days about a piece of analysis from RescueTime, a time management firm that claimed that U.S. workers lost $120 million in productivity due to Google replacing their logo on Friday with a version of Pac-Man. Their argument goes something like this, the average amount of time spent searching on Google increased on Friday because workers were playing Pac-Man rather than working. This lost time can be converted into a dollar value by multiplying the productivity per hour.

Probably the biggest reason why this argument is incorrect is the assumption of substitution. This analysis assumes that the time the worker spent playing Pac-Man substituted for productive work. It ignores the fact that workers don’t spend all of their hours at the office at work and so a certain percent of time everyday is spent on non-work activities whether that be lunch, talking around the water cooler, playing with their new I-pad, chatting with friends or any other of the countless activities available while we are at the office. The Pac-Mac entertainment could easily have substituted for other non-work activities which, of course, were not measured. Imagine someone has just spent 10 minutes gobbling ghosts and then realizes that they still have to do their work, they will either spend less time that work day on other non-work activities (water cooler, I-pad…) or they will often stay later. That is, the author’s false argument about substitution also extends to the fact that the calculation ignores that many workers will end up spending a little more time at work in order to finish what they needed to accomplish that day. Project work is less dependent on hours and more depending on achieving milestones. Workers who are able to avail themselves to Pac-Mac games in the middle of the day may often be on project work and thus find themselves having to stay a little later to complete the work.

So, who was the winner in this Pac-Mac/Google controversy? Rescue Time of course, for getting fantastic publicity by writing a very cool, but also incorrect story. The media also won by getting people to read and discuss a fun, but misleading article.


May 26, 2010 Posted by | My Domain | , , , , | Leave a comment

Google gets 142 requests from Indian govt on censoring information

In this screen grab taken on Tuesday, April 20, 2010, Google's new tool shows where it's facing the most government pressure to censor material and turn over personal information about its users.

In this screen grab taken on Tuesday, April 20, 2010, Google’s new tool shows where it’s facing the most government pressure to censor material and turn over personal information about its users.

The number of request for removal of information from India was higher than that from the United States

Internet major Google has ranked India third in a list of countries from which it receives requests for censoring information.

For the first time, Google has published a country—wise list of the number of requests received from governments, seeking either removal of information or more details. The list is based on requests made to Google between July 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009.

As per the list, Google received maximum removal requests from Brazil (291), followed by Germany (188) and India (142).

The number of request for removal of information from India was higher than that from the U.S. (123).

“For Brazil and India, requests for content removal are high relative to other countries in part because of the popularity of our social networking website, Orkut. The majority of the Brazilian and Indian requests for removal of content from Orkut relate to alleged impersonation or defamation,” Google said in a statement released on Tuesday.

Other countries in the list are South Korea (64), the U.K. (59), Italy (57), Argentina (42), Spain (32), Australia (17) and Canada (16).

In terms of seeking data, Brazil is again at the top with 3,663 requests, while India is at the fourth place with 1,061 requests. India is behind the U.S. (3,580) and the U.K. (1,166).

According to Google, other nations with maximum requests for the data were France (846), Italy (550), Germany (458), Spain (324), Australia (155), Argentina (98) and Poland (86).

Removal requests ask for removal of content from Google search results or from another Google product, including YouTube, while data requests seek information about Google user accounts or products.

Pointing out that statistics are not “100 per cent comprehensive or accurate”, Google said the list primarily cover requests in criminal matters.

Apart from requests got directly from the government agencies, the search engine has included statistics on court orders for the removal of content, which often originate from private—party disputes.

The search engine said it has not included statistics for countries where it received fewer than 30 requests for user data in criminal cases during the six-month period.

April 22, 2010 Posted by | My Intrests | , | Leave a comment

Ten nations tell Google of concern over Buzz

In this screen shot provided by Google Inc., the company's new Google Buzz feature for Gmail is shown.

.In this screen shot provided by Google Inc., the company’s new Google Buzz feature for Gmail is shown.

Officials from Germany, Canada, France and seven other countries are raising privacy concerns to Google’s CEO over the online search leader’s fumbled foray into social networking along with other matters.

Google launched Google Buzz as part of its Gmail service in February. Buzz quickly came under fire for automatically creating public circles of friends for users, based on their most frequent Gmail contacts. After complaints, the company apologised and made changes to the service.

But in a letter to CEO Eric Schmidt, the officials say they are still “extremely concerned about how a product with such significant privacy issues was launched in the first place.”

April 21, 2010 Posted by | My Intrests | , , , , | Leave a comment

Facebook beats Google

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Social networking star Facebook surpassed Google to become the most visited website in the United States for the first time last week, industry analysts showed.
Facebook’s homepage finished the week ending March 13 as the most visited site in the country, according to industry tracker Hitwise.
The “important milestone,” as described by Hitwise director of research Heather Dougherty, came as Facebook enjoyed a massive 185 percent increase in visits in the same period, compared to the same week in 2009.
By comparison, visits to search engine home increased only nine percent in the same time — although the tracker does not include Google property sites such as the popular Gmail email service, YouTube and Google Maps.
Taken together, and amounted to 14 percent of the entire US Internet visits last week, Dougherty said.
Google has been positioning challenges in recent months to Facebook and the micro-blogging site Twitter by adding the social-networking feature Buzz to its Gmail service.

In what could signal an escalating battle between Facebook and Google, the leading social-networking service celebrated its sixth birthday earlier this year with changes including a new message inbox that echoes Gmail’s format.
Facebook boasts some 400 million users while Gmail had 176 million unique visitors in December, according to tracking firm comScore.

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March 18, 2010 Posted by | My Intrests | , | Leave a comment