Google News is Google's automated news polling machine. It will display whatever it thinks is important today based on what other news sources write. The fact that it's automated may make it more objective (even though the included sites are still picked manually, and in the case of China, the local government has a word to say in it too), but at times, the Google machines get it wrong. They put the false image next to a news story, or the snippet doesn't fit with the headline – or the story's a hoax, like when Google News in November 2003 announced that Google Inc had been bought by food giant Nestlé ("Nestlé says Google will be renamed NesGoogle and have a recipe section added to its main page"). I've collected some of the examples of the past here – it's good the Google computers don't have human feelings, because they sure would feel guilty now.
The snippet1 says a Toronto tax accountant won the largest slot-machine jackpot in Canadian history – $5!
The Exorcist prequel from 2004 made $18 on the opening weekend.2 That's even better than winning a $5 lottery jackpot!
Who is Arnold Suarseneguer? (From Google News Spain in October 20033.)
This interesting headline4 is the top news for Google in July, 2005!
"Did you mean: Samurai Ali?"2
The photo next to the headline "Floriday Keys to welcome tourists" shows a flooded area. Kenny5 says, "I'd wait for the water to go down first..."
Is it coincidence that Steve Jobs and the chimpanzee use similar gestures?6
A refreshingly personal view on today's news2...
This headline and snippet7 from Google News Germany suggest that a German has been killed in Iraq. Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher shown to the right is German, but he's also alive.
Bill Gates is part of the Google duo?
This was the actual Google top story on December 2004 when George Bush visited Canada (Google incidentally picked up a satire piece).
Google News picks up satire, once more8...
Grant Shellen, who posted this screenshot9, says, "The importance of our punctual friend the colon is clearly evident here, when its absence makes it seem as though ABC News is getting a bit too aggressive in its coverage."
Hmmm...the picture to the right reads "Hilton."10
OK, this one is fake! It was created as part of the "Goodle" homepage11 showing good news only.
I admit it, this one's fake too. It's Paul's completely personalized Google News circa 2031, covering nothing but... Paul himself.
Sometimes, it's just the way two stories are composed side-by-side13 which gives new meaning not intended by either story.
1. Via Stéfan Sinclair. (www.stefansinclair.name)
2. Via Craig S. Cottingham. (xcom2002.com/doh/)
3. Via Caspa.tv. (www.caspa.tv)
4. Via SecurityTribune. (securitytribune.com)
5. Via Kennry. (www.55fun.com/28.5)
6. Via Eric Lebeau. (zorgloob.com)
7. Via Dr. Web. (drweb.de)
8. Flickr. (www.55fun.com/28.8)
9. Via Grant Shellen. (www.55fun.com/28.9)
10. Via Jennifer. (jennifermonk.com/blog/)
11. Goodle. (www.55fun.com/28.11)
12. Aberson. (www.55fun.com/28.12)