Too Many Choices

It’s that time of year again.

You know, the one where all the major sports are going at once. Baseball is in Spring Training, hockey and basketball are into the second halves of their respective seasons with the playoffs approaching, and football is all about trades and cutting ties with players who’ve been arrested.

On top of that, the ever-popular Oscar season is over and college basketball’s March Madness is just ahead.

And, just to make it a perfect sweep, Daylight Savings Time kicks in this weekend, leaving us to sleepy to figure out what time the games we wanted to watch are on. I stand by last year’s observation that there is literally nothing President Trump could do that would raise his approval rating more than to do away with DST. Okay, yes, resigning would be a more popular move, but it wouldn’t raise his presidential approval score. Somebody tell him how many jobs it would create, reprogramming all the computers and IoT devices not to make the change. Feel free to exaggerate by a few orders of magnitude; he’ll never know the difference.

But I digress.

Of course, this year we’ve also got the popular game of guessing which member of Congress will be next to resign and which member of the administration will be next to be indicted, subpoenaed, and/or censured. I jest, naturally. As long as they remain part of the administration, they’re in a consequence-free zone. Just ask Kellyanne Conway, who’s been found to have committed multiple ethics violations again, but will undoubtedly not be disciplined this time either.

But I digress again. Sorry, I’m a bit grumpy today. I take some consolation in knowing Democrats are misbehaving too. The resignation of the mayor of Nashville, TN is currently the top trending story on Google–stepping down is a condition of her guilty plea to charges of embezzling city money to finance an affair.

Ms. Conway’s latest peccadilloes scored two ranks lower than Ms. Barry. She’d probably have done better with a new act. Unless you’re the Rolling Stones, you can’t get away with doing the same show over and over again, after all.

Number Two, by the way, is searches for tornado warnings after Illinois residents were incorrectly informed a tornado was imminent. Not as attention-grabbing as nuclear missiles, perhaps, but enough to beat out illegal acts by White House employees. No word yet regarding whether this error was also a result of poor computer interface design, or whether the person responsible will cooperate with the investigation.

Anyway, I’m glad we’ve got such a variety of entertainment choices these days. Enjoy your sport-of-choice!


How refreshingly meta. The fourth-most popular search on Google yesterday was “Google Drive”.

That’s right: The Internet swarmed to Google in an effort to confirm that Google Drive was down.

It’s actually not as silly an idea as it sounds at first blush–Google’s various services are largely independent of each other. Google even hosts its own service status page. According to the status page, yesterday’s outage lasted five and a half hours: more than half of the business day for those on the West Coast. Pretty significant for heavy users of Google Drive and Google Docs.

So checking Google for information on their own outages isn’t crazy, but I still find it amusing that it was so popular a reaction to the outage that it made Number Four on the daily list of searches.

I have a sneaking suspicion that a significant number of those 200,000+ searches were from people trying to find ways to get their work done without their documents, spreadsheets, and word processors.

I also suspect that a fair amount of regular work isn’t getting done today as teams rush to update their disaster recover plans.

Remember, folks: no cloud services are 100% reliable. Always have a Plan B. Keep a local copy of all business-critical, cloud-based documents–and local tools to open them!

Keeping life in perspective, though, it’s instructive to note that football is still much more important to Americans than some weirdo technical thing. “NFL” racked up over a million searches yesterday, five times as many as “Google Drive”. Add in “Green Bay Packers,” “Cleveland Browns,” “Peyton Manning,” “Baltimore Ravens,” “Arizona Cardinals,” “New Orleans Saints,” “Minnesota Vikings,” and “” and we’re left with two conclusions: Google could be much more aggressive about consolidating search results and nobody was getting any work done yesterday.

I am pleased to see Jonas Salk at Number Two on the search list. It’s a nice change from the usual round of sex, celebrities, and sports that usually dominate the rankings. On the other hand, it’s a little depressing to realize that more than half a million searchers apparently had no idea who Salk was.

Well, if one of those 500,000+ people was inspired to make sure his vaccinations are up to date, it’s a victory. With anti-vaccination hysteria on the rise, we need all the help we can get.

Hey, if someone comes up with a vaccine for Ebola, will Robert Kennedy, Jenny McCarthy, Representative Bill Posey, and Donald Trump take their shots?