Google: The Good With The Bad

I wanted to have time to write this blog post yesterday but wouldn’t you know it – work and clients had to come first. 🙂

Two interesting events occurred recently over at chez Google. The first, the good news – Google rockets into space. The second, the bad news – Google is involved with investors in United Air losing millions of dollars. As I said, the good with the bad.

Google Rockets Into Space

Google has exclusive access to the highest resolutions images of the Earth thanks to a deal that gives them exclusive access to the commercial used of images from the GeoEye-1 satellite launched last Saturday.

The satellite takes images at 5.5 feet resolution in color and 16 inches resolution in black and white. That said, due to government regulations only 1.64 feet resolution images can be made available to the general public.

I have to say, I’m honestly impressed. I’ve personally never used Google maps and thought, “darn – I just with I had 5.5 foot resolution,” but having your name on a satellite is just cool.

Add to this recent event the following:

And I (biased to be sure by my love of science fiction) am sure that Google not only wants to control all the information on Earth but will likely be setting up a base soon on the moon as they have previously indicated interest in.

A huge congratulations to Google on the successful launch.

And Now The Bad

But all was not rosy for Google on Monday though the bad news isn’t really their fault – they just happened to get caught in the middle.

An article on the 2002 Chapter 11 filing by United Air got picked up and published in the Florida Sun Sentinel. How the article got picked up when everything about it pretty clearly indicated that it was from 2002 is beyond me. That said, how investors could react as they did to a story that they should have read (and if they had – could have saved themselves millions of dollars).

At any rate, where it wen horribly wrong was when a reporter looking for information to post on Bloomberg Googled “bankruptcy 2008” and found the Sentinel article as the #1 result. He took it for what it said and posted a link to it on Bloomberg. That was at 10:55am. At 10:56am the stock was trading at $11.51 and then plunged over a couple minutes down to $3/share before trading was halted. Trading resumed at 11:01am and had virtually recovered by 12:29pm when the stock sat at $11.30/share.

So Google was not at fault, but certainly involved and this incident if nothing else shows us the fragile nature of our information sources. We trust what we see based on a habit of finding reliable information on Google but unfortunately, when the wrong information ranks highly – we still trust it. In this case, millions of dollar were lost (though on the other side – millions of dollars were made).

Comments are closed.