Google being evil? NOT

Edward Kasner, with the help of his nephew, Milton Sirotta, coined the term googol. We all know it now to be 10100. Kasner’s relatives are supposedly upset that everyone’s favorite search engine Google is making money of the word he coined. Peri Fleisher, Kasner’s great-neice, is appearently talking to NPR and anyone who will listen about this injustice.

First note, in that second article, I love this quote: “I had heard of Google in 1988 before most people were aware of it. I didn’t know if the company was going to take off or not.” (Emphasis mine.) I’m sure this is a typing mistake, but its still funny to me.

Second note, this seems really silly to me. I guess the controversy comes to these two points: 1) In Google’s favor, Google spelled it differently. 2) In the family’s favor Google acknowledges that they based their name on this term, but doing a play on the word. The family might have some merit, but once a word is released into the lexicon for general use, its too late. Especially a seemlingly general term like googol. Unless you’ve trademarked it and defend that trademark, or something like that.

Being a geek, I knew the world googol long before Google came along. How many “normal” people did? Scrabble and Upwords players maybe. And that’s why the family is all ticked off.

Seems like a lot of sour grapes to me.

2 thoughts on “Google being evil? NOT”

  1. Two words “tort reform”. Not the kind of reform that says an arm is worth $250,000
    and a burnt lap is worth $500,000, but the kind of tort reform that will usher in a
    new culture to our legal system. Just the idea that these family members believe they
    are entitled to the fruits of someone else’s labor like this sickens me. Either our
    legal system allows greedy sots like this to take advantage of and play the system, or it
    is sending the wrong message to potential litigants. No matter which it is, our legal
    system is broken and needs fixed.

    Courts are places to resolve disputes, not figure out how to take money from those who
    have it.

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