Google had an eventful year. Between a series of antitrust investigations, international expansion and the launch of the Google+ social platform, it's rarely been boring keeping an eye on the search giant.
But amidst all the usual boardroom intrigue and corporate rivalries, it was also a strange year for the search giant, as Google expanded into the beer market (sort of), saw one of its driverless cars get into a five car crash (sort of), and took flak for accidentally delivering tourists to an unsuspecting couple's driveway (exactly like that). Here are the
1. Google beer is on tap: Beer and Google - two great tastes that taste great together, right? When brewery Dogfish Head announced that it had teamed up with Googlers around the world by way of the Google Apps suite to create superbrew URKontinent, it was definitely a surprise. When Google, say, buys Motorola Mobility or gets into the social networking game, the shock fades quickly. But Google beer? Definitely awesome, but not really in the search giant's idiom, and it'll be the biggest surprise of all if we see another announcement of its kind.
2. Google driverless car causes five-car crash: Let's set the record straight, here. Google says that a human was at the wheel of one of its experimental self-driving Toyota Priuses when it collided with another Prius, which hit a Honda Accord, which hit another Accord, which hit a third Prius. A five-car accident involving two Accords and three Priuses, one of which is theoretically capable of driving itself, is totally normal, right?
3. Google Maps delivers unwary tourists to NJ couple's driveway: In this case, though, the title tells the whole story. An unfortunate couple in New Jersey found themselves the unwilling host to hordes of would-be campers after Google Maps started pointing to their home as the entrance to the nearby state park. We haven't heard from the family for a while, so here's hoping their Google Maps issue was fixed - last I heard, they had set up barricades at the entrance to their property.
And there you have it: The three Google stories that even months later still stick out in my mind as the cream of the bizarre crop. Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments below.