The top 3 weirdest Google stories of 2011

The top 3 weirdest Google stories of 2011

Summary: It's been an eventful year for Google, but let's not forget about the just plan weird things that happened to the search giant this year.

SHARE:

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.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Google, Security

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

6 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: The top 3 weirdest Google stories of 2011

    The beer probably contains a biochip that attaches to your brain and logs all of your thoughts. This way, Google can send you more relevant advertising! Hooray! Don't worry, though, your thoughts aren't ever actually read by a human (you believe that don't you?) so it's OK.
    lippidp
  • RE: The top 3 weirdest Google stories of 2011

    The title implies that there are other wierd Google stories. You should publish them.
    Minervo
  • RE: The top 3 weirdest Google stories of 2011

    Good God! No one has used this as an excuse for an anti-Apple rant. Somebodies slippping!
    bargeemike
  • RE: The top 3 weirdest Google stories of 2011

    Many people would pay big bucks to get Google Maps to deliver a bunch of people at their door.
    tdudash
    • RE: The top 3 weirdest Google stories of 2011

      My guess is the homeowners were not able to monetize the situation and thus weren't interested in having a horde of strangers show up in their driveway.
      ejhonda
  • RE: The top 3 weirdest Google stories of 2011

    What about the story of Google stealing your data and then saying they didn't know they were doing it?
    bb_apptix