Tuesday, April 22, 2008


...and the rest of all you Googlies: Turn off that fucking geotracking already! When I go to Prague and need to use your site, I can't fucking find anything! I don't speak Czech and I don't know which fucking link is the one which will give me your goddamned page in English!

Geotracking is stupid. That's why most of us gave up on it a decade ago, about three and a half weeks after we figured out how to do it with some JavaScript and cgi. That's what the fuck cookies are for. If I don't have a cookie, default to the goddamned locale for the TLD I entered in my browser. If I wanted to see the results from google.de or google.co.uk I would've typed them -- and not google.com -- into the fucking browser. Do you have any idea how many fucking expats there are in this country? Stupid question; of course you don't or you wouldn't do this.

If I go to google.COM (or .co.uk, or .ca, or .nz or .au...) then give me the fucking site in English you fuckwits. Don't sit there querying my browser about the computer's locale; I have it set to Iceland, Afghanistan and/or Barbuda to fuck with anyone else trying to track me for marketing through any machine on which I have to run Windows (thanks for working on Linux compatibility for PhotoShop, BTW).

If I wanted your German site dann hätte ich google.DE in der verdammten Browser-Instanz eingetippt. Og ef ég vil lesa þetta á íslensku, skrifa ég google.IS í Firefox, fávitarnir ykkar. I typed google.COM. English, motherfuckers; I SPEAK IT. Or allow language specification through a language code prefix the way Wikipedia does it: en.google.com, de.google.com, jp.google.com. Simple, huh?

You're doing this with Adsense, too. All attempts to view my account are met with your stubborn insistence on throwing up the new T&Cs in German, even though I'm logged in and you know my preferences. You force me to click through this page and accept or deny the new T&Cs. In German. By doing this you're giving me all sorts of rights you really didn't intend to.

German law makes it very clear that unless a contract benefits all parties it's invalid. We already have an agreement and you must live up to it if I'm not willing to renegotiate. You're not giving me a choice to keep my old contract or accept the new one, a condition $MegaCorp was forced by law to do when they took over $BigCorp. They made the new contract slightly more agreeable in order to get me to sign.

A contract which I'm coerced into accepting though I don't understand it is equally invalid. This boils down to the following: by using that goddamned geotracking and not giving me any option to change the language so that I can read the contract in a language which I am comfortable with in a legal sense, you have denied yourself any new rights this contract gives you. Any attempt to enforce the new terms when they differ from the old terms will be futile. Stupider still, the Accept/Bug-Me-Later/Deny radio buttons and accompanying text are in English. So you know I want English and still refuse to present it to me.

I speak German but not at a level necessary to understand the ramifications of legal documents. The less-than-stellar outcomes of my German legal experiences serve as clear evidence of this. You're not allowing me to read the goddamned documents in the language of my choosing which happens to be your official language of record.

I am now no longer legally bound by the AdSense contract, Google. You are; I'm not. I know you don't realise this yet because your I18N group is seriously lacking thanks to your decision to do most internationalisation work via volunteer intarweb translators. Y'all might want to read up over at Michael Kaplan's blog. I'm curious: how long did it take you to realise how much you were pissing off Spain when their calendars were starting on Sunday instead of Monday? Was it before or after you realised the Icelanders were upset because they could search in Klingon, Fuddian and SwedishChefian but not in their native language?

If you, like the typical geek coders you hire (fluorescent tan and only the most abstract idea which end of a girl is "up" much less "in"), just have to keep the damned geotracking turned on, then for fuck's sake add a fucking language preference dropdown at the top of every single page. Or just pay attention to any of the 14 cookies for each of my IDs that you've dropped in my browser, almost every one of which specifies English as the language of choice. Like both of the AdSense-accessing accounts.

In case you haven't been really paying attention to what I've been writing over the past couple years, Im willing to entertain job offers and it seems like y'all are in some serious need of an I18N czar. I prefer to work primarily from a home office (currently in Krautreich) although I'm willing to commute. I fly business when you want me to show up for meetings because you'll expect me to be functional within 20 minutes of arrival at SFO and that ain't gonna happen if I'm stuck in cattle class.

So here's the deal. You turn off the geotracking and I'll consider your job offer as long as it's in English. I think that's fair.

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Blogger Lukas pulled out a crayon and scribbled:

I definitely agree with this one.
btw: I hope you enjoyed Czech Republic :)

23 April, 2008 00:35  
Blogger ReallyEvilCanine pulled out a crayon and scribbled:

Loved Praha, save for the British lager lout teams. Bad enough they travel to another country and see nothing but bars and do nothing but get shitfaced, but then printing group T-shirts for the stupidity? I didn't have to deal with such idiocy in Plzn which is why I liked that place better.

23 April, 2008 08:59  
Anonymous Bill Chapman pulled out a crayon and scribbled:

To solve some of your language problems, you might learn Esperanto. I've used it in Prague and a dozen other cities. Take a look at www.esperanto.net

26 April, 2008 10:47  

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