Top 10 things NOT to do with Google Street View

Google is of course keen to promote its alternately brilliant new
technological marvel/first steps towards George’s Orwell’s 1984-esque
Street View technology which it launched for Australian users this week.

As
part of that launch it sent out a list of “suggested things” to do
with Street View to Journalists in order to get them hyped up about
the launch.

Silly Google. That whole “Do No Evil” motto does
it no good here — everybody knows that journalist’s excitement isn’t
engaged with facts but greased instead with expensive lunches
junkets* and big cheques made out from whichever company the readers
reckon we’re in the pocket of this week. If Bluescreen had ten bucks
for every time he’s been accused of being on either the Microsoft or
Apple payroll he’d be a rich man. And presumably on the payroll of
somebody with lots of $10 bills to spare.

Anyway Google tried
the old fashioned approach of actually detailing what it is the Street
View product does — as if anyone actually reads product manuals any
more — and it struck Bluescreen that even the ideas that Google came
up with were to put it nicely a bit naive. Let’s examine them in
detail:

1.   Explore parts of Australia you’ve always wanted to visit from tourist attractions CBDs to the most remote areas.

Unless
the remote areas are in Darwin of course. Google seemingly thinks that
“remote Australia” equals “most of Victoria”. Being Sydney based
Bluescreen can kind of see Google’s point but still…

2.  Preview your holiday accommodation and see how close it is to the beach and transport.

And
by “close to transport” we mean “if there was a large truck parked
outside you’ll see nothing”. Plus isn’t the whole point of Street
View that it’s meant to be somewhat anonymous?

3. Show your overseas or interstate friends and family where you live and work.

Because showing people you’ve met on the Internet where you live and work could never go wrong.

4. 
Walk the streets and find that amazing restaurant you forgot the name
of. Use driving directions with Street View images of intersections and
landmarks to get there.

This suggestion sponsored by
Telstra’s Next G service which would love your dollars for wireless
content. Hey the extension to Sol’s beach villa isn’t going to build
itself now is it?

5.  Study the geography vegetation and
landscape of different parts of the continent from the tropical north
to the dusty outback.

QUICK! HIDE YOUR STASH MAN! THE PIGS THEY’RE ONTO US!

6.   Show party guests where the venue is or teammates where the weekend sportsground is.

Because that worked out so well for Corey Worthington’s parents.**

7.  
Looking to buy or rent a property? Take a virtual walk-through of the
area to check amenities.  Save time by not going to open houses that
don’t meet your criteria.

And as long as Street View’s
cameras picked up the faces of the crack dealers that live down the
street you’ll know not to buy there. What’s that you say? They’re
blurring faces?

And the only general public amenities that
Bluescreen can think of would be public toilets and we’d suggest that
anyone who spends time looking intently at public toilets should
perhaps undergo some form of therapy. Well Bluescreen would suggest
that were it not for the fact that the Federal Government is spending
your tax dollars doing exactly that.

8.   Share recommendations with friends about places to stay and how to get there.

See
Northern Territory lack of coverage thereof. Unless Google knows
something about Cyclone Tracy 2: Electric Boogaloo*** that we don’t
and is protecting everyone.

 9. Search for buildings which provide wheelchair access

This
one puzzles Bluescreen. We get the idea which is noble in principle
but from a flat photo that may have people cars chairs and other
ephemera in the way we can’t say we’d be avoiding buildings based on a
ramp that we probably can’t see.

10. Arrange meeting spots with friends or just familiarise yourself with a new city or a new part of town you’re visiting.

See
point three as to why this is a bad idea. Also hope like heck that in
the six months or more since Google’s little silver hatchbacks went
past that the crack dealers haven’t moved in. Or moved out if you’re
say Whitney Houston****.

Alex
Kidman gazes deeply into the inane world of big tech for APC. Sometimes
it gazes back.  In other words it’s satire… we take no
responsibility for your kernel crashing.

*As in free
trips. Bluescreen has never received so much as a sweeteened curd
pudding from any PR company. Although if they’re looking for original
ideas that’s a really bad one. And just in case any journalists get
their noses out of joint here’s the Wikipedia link for satire.
**
Bluescreen promises that it won’t use any more
well-past-their-sell-by-date cultural references any more. Although
that might not be a “core” promise.
*** Clearly a core promise that wasn’t worth the pixels it was printed on.
**** OK so the promise WAS a lie. Would you expect anything less from a journalist?