Thursday, April 19, 2007

Google Oops

Today I received an automatically generated e-mail from Google about Google Accounts in Arabic. After inspecting the e-mail very carefully, I decided it was in fact from Google and the links it contained were harmless and from Google. So I clicked on them. Voila! All my Google Account pages and FAQs were now in Arabic.

A couple months ago, after clicking on a Picasa album link sent by someone Italian, all my Picasa pages got stuck in Italian. And I could not find the switch to turn it back to English, until quite recently. This was made harder by the fact that everything was in Italian. But at least with Italian, I can guess... not so with Arabic. Then I have to make my guesses based on geography of the link on the page. Actually, it's not always that hard, because hovering over the links will show the URL at the bottom of the browser, and that's usually in English.

I found a drop-down menu with a few selections that looked somewhat like language selections, but didn't see an option for English. So I selected "Dansk", as that was the language option available that would be most easily "readable" to me. When the page converted to "Dansk", suddenly all the correct language options appeared in the drop-down menu. So finally I found "English" and fixed the problem. But not before noticing that random other non-Picasa Google pages are still appearing in Italian for me. Sigh.

Okay Google, why I am I receiving e-mails in Arabic? And why am I receiving an e-mail in the first place? Why does clicking on links mess up language settings? And how come the main "Preferences" option to set *all* pages to a selected language does not do that?

G-Mail has also been having problems, with more frequent downtimes than any other e-mail service I've used. A couple months ago, messages from my Trash were magically appearing back in my Inbox, and all my "unread" e-mails suddenly lost their unread status, never to appear again.

Not to mention that more and more products are being rolled out half-done with some necessary functions missing, as my recent playing around with Google Pages and Picasa has shown.

Since Google has provided so many exceedingly wonderful services, we will overlook these snafus, but they seem to be growing over the last year or two. Hopefully they do not grow as exponentially as its successes have. Are we running out of enough geniuses to operate Google?

It has all of our e-mail, our blogs, our pictures, our documents... all of our information... so better not screw anything up.