Thursday, March 13, 2008


"Do no evil!"

They came close, though, last week. I used Google Maps to locate a venue I had never visited in a northern inner-suburb of Munich. Obediently I took the underground and alighted at Frankfurter Ring, close the the extensive BMW factory complexes. My destination, according to Google, would be found in the perfectly named Motorstrasse. After a freezingly cold exploration of this almost deserted street I eventually found a taxi driver who told me that the location I sought was about a mile closer to the city. The map indication was just plain wrong!

Fair enough, I'm still a Google fanboy. One must have understanding of the stress they are under. They just opened a wacky engineering headquarters in Zurich, as the BBC reports.

[Google] does, without doubt value its staff very highly and engineers are particularly important - over half of the company is made up of them.

They are best served, according to Nelson Mattas, vice president of engineering, by both a creative work environment and a flat, open working structure. At a press day to launch its new research and development centre, he explained the serious point behind the 'fun office'.

"The larvae lamps, free food and games are all part of the Google culture. It is informal and a structure that isn't dictated from the top," he said.

Larvae lamps? Genetically modified glow-worms? Eek, yuck, shudder! This interesting term I felt I must Google... only eight hits, thank God!

I may not buy the GooglePhone if it ever launches.

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