more on google’s favicon rebranding

I’ve been seeing a lot of chatter on the Internet about Google’s new favicon. Seems the general consensus is that people hate it. I don’t hate it, but as I twittered a couple of days ago, it’s messing with my mind. When I said that, I meant that as I glance at my open tabs, I see the new icon on all my searches and I can’t immediately associate what I see with Google. I wonder for a moment what I’m looking at, until it filters up into conscious thought and I can associate it properly.

I don’t think it’s a good idea for Google to go and change their branding. It’s not that the new icon is ugly or anything. The problem is that it doesn’t scream Google to the subconscious mind. The old icon did. When you have something that works, stick with it unless you find something that works better.

Here we will take a little detour, which I promise has a point. Have you ever noticed that the word “classic” is a little like the holy grail of marketing? The only reason we don’t see it on everything is that it is a double-edged sword. If you claim that your product is a classic but it actually isn’t, you run the risk of irritating your audience.

Although I don’t actually believe it to be true, sometimes I wonder if New Coke was an expensive and risky marketing strategy designed to allow Coca-Cola to call their product “classic” without worrying about the public crying foul. I was 15 when that fiasco happened in 1985, and I remember a lot of people stocking up on the old version before the new one hit stores. New Coke was quite a lot sweeter, and as I recall tasted much like Pepsi. My comment at the time was “If I want a drink that tastes like Pepsi, I’ll just buy Pepsi.”

The return of the original formula as Coca-Cola Classic was something I celebrated. The joy of having my old friend back in my life made me love it even more. The Wikipedia article I linked above suggests that it was like that for most people. Sales surged and they strongly solidified their number one position, which is what they had been trying to do when they changed the formula.

Perhaps Google is trying to reap similar rewards. If you change things in a way that results in backlash, wait for public outcry to get loud, then bring back what people loved before but change it a little bit to make it even more appealing, it can solidify your position.

watching grey’s anatomy from the beginning, in season 3



I saw a construction sign on the way to work today that said “median work ahead.” I thought “that’s about right, but I believe the word you’re searching for is average.”

bright light

How is it that a Mogwai’s metabolism can know that it’s after midnight in any particular timezone?

founding fathers

Delta flight 1776 goes to Philadelphia. Very approriate.

I am in a suburb of Chicago for a couple of days on business. This leaves my wife without a safety net, which sucks.

optical musings

Unlike a CD or a standard DVD+/-R, a dual layer DVD is not the best random-access media, due to the time required to transition between layers.


everyone avoids me like a cyclone ranger

Two new fortune cookies from Smith’s Chinese:

  • A fond memory will soon lead to a renewed friendship.
  • Turn your thoughts withing – find yourself.

Most intriguing.


sensory input

I read a thought provoking article recently.

I would love to have the belt described on the first page of the article, which uses a series of cellphone vibrator motors situated around the belt, with one always vibrating – whichever one points North. Of course, I’d want a refined consumer version – one that can disappear under clothing (or even act as an actual belt) and operates silently.

Some of the best sci-fi stories I’ve read have revolved around augmenting human senses, usually with some kind of heads-up display that projects right into the eye, or a brain-computer interface. The problem with these ideas in the real world are that the former can be a distracting safety hazard and the latter involves medical and technological barriers. A low-tech approach like that belt is very appealing. There are several other similar ideas mentioned in the article, it’s worth a read.

parts is parts

It seems there is a need to look at building another computer, or maybe getting another laptop.

Kathy’s on one computer, the kids monopolize the other.

Now to find a way to pay for it.

the hardest to learn was the least complicated

I found this article about the MPAA making illegal copies of a DVD very interesting. Ranks right up there with the Sony rootkit fiasco of recent months.

we hates it

If Sméagol were to ever design a firewall, the perfect ad campain would be this:

What’s it got in its packetses?

I suppose others on the internet might have had this same thought, but I came up with this one all by myself.

stupid signs

When someone in the department of public safety decided to create the neighborhood signs pictured below, did they have any notion of how insulting it might be?

slow kids

I’d like to know what ubiquitous signs other people have seen that have an unintended meaning.

leeloo dallas multipass

I have no idea what to write about, but I have been itching to write something. So prepare for completely mindless comments.

The last few years have seen a proliferation of products (particularly hair-care) claiming to have pro-vitamins, complex or otherwise. I did look it up and learn that a provitamin is a vitamin precursor, something that your body can convert into a vitamin … but is it actually helpful, or is it just one of those things that sounds impressive and is included only for marketing value?

I have watched “Aloha Scooby-Doo” for the third time today and am ready to scream. It’s time to take it back to Blockbuster. We did rent National Treasure as well, which I’ve already written about.

I feel for people who aren’t using a tabbed browser … you are forced to live in a world where a link like the one above will either replace the page you are on, or open a completely new window which clutters your taskbar and your life.

You don’t know the power of the dark side.

I bought a copy of The Ladykillers. Kathy looked at me strangely, like she often does when I come home with new movies. I really enjoyed this movie, and look forward to the next Coen Brothers project. They are responsible for other gems, like Raising Arizona and O Brother Where Art Thou.

I would really like to find a way to be independently wealthy. I don’t mind working, but I do wish it wasn’t required.

I am teh captain of the carpet ship.

Earlier today I read about new research into new blue-ray optical discs that can hold 100GB. I wonder whether my grandchildren will look at me in horror and say “How could you possibly manage to DO anything with such small storage?” Then I will REALLY scare them by attempting to explain text-based games and the commandline interface …

mummy bling

Earlier tonight I was sort of watching one of the national news shows as I worked on my computer. They had a story about a new mummy that has been uncovered in Egypt. They don’t know who it is yet, but the level of decoration on the sarcophagus suggests that it was somebody very rich and important.

When they switched back to the reporters in the studio, one of them referred to the decorations as “mummy bling.” I would expect that remark out of Jay Leno, but not a national news team!

This must be a sure sign that I am squarely in “last generation” territory. 🙂