Google grab bag: Chinese lawsuit, 9/11 ASCII art

Google fended off a Chinese trademark infringement suit, and captured the sudden arrival of searches for characters that show a plane and two towers.

Stephen Shankland Former Principal Writer
Stephen Shankland worked at CNET from 1998 to 2024 and wrote about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
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Stephen Shankland
2 min read

It's time for our aperiodic wrap-up of Google items. We'll start off with the most unusual, in my opinion: wacky ASCII art.

These three ASCII characters appear to represent the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
These three ASCII characters appear to represent the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Google

• September 11 obviously made quite an impression on people, and its effects continue to reverberate. The latest example: Google Trends, which monitors hot search terms at the company, has picked up on what appears to be a symbolic representation rendered in ASCII text characters. It consists of an airplane and two vertical bars.(Via Search Engine Land.)

• Google shed a little light on the popularity of its blog posts from 2008. The top item: the premature announcement of the Chrome Web browser. The post had 1,735,093 unique visitors, 12 percent of the total visitors to the official Google blog. That implies there were a total of about 12.5 million unique visitors for the blog overall--not bad for an official corporate blog.

• Google China won a trademark infringement lawsuit brought by a company called Beijing Guge Science and Technology, according to Bloomberg. Google named its subsidiary "Gu Ge, which means "harvesting song" in Chinese, but a court ruled that Beijing Guge must stop using the name.

• Including graphics for Google's online payment system, Google Checkout, helps improve the performance of search advertisements, according to Google. The company said on its site that people click on ads with a Google Checkout icon about 10 percent more than those without, though the company didn't offer specific methodology for its conclusion. (Via Google Blogoscoped.)

• Google is canceling a project called Google Research Datasets, also called Palimpsest, that housed data for researchers. "It has been a difficult decision, but we have decided not to continue work on Google Research Datasets, but to instead focus our efforts on other activities such as Google Scholar, our Research Programs, and publishing papers about research here at Google. The Google Research Datasets service will remain active until the end of January 2009 during which time any datasets may be downloaded. For those datasets that are impractical to download, we will also happily provide interested users with a copy via hard drive shipment," the company told astrophysicist Alberto Conti, who posted the note on his blog. (Via Google Blogoscoped.)