Google leaves no room for dessert

Google’s cutesy era of naming versions of its mobile operating system after desserts is over.

The company insists it has nothing to do with the fact there are no desserts that begin with the letter Q, which is where they’re up to now.

Google’s Sameer Samat, head of Android product management and hater of desserts, spoke to The Verge about it:

“We’re going to deal with that skepticism,” he says. Google’s actual reason for switching the naming, he says, isn’t that Q is hard, but rather that desserts aren’t very inclusive. “We have some good names, but in each and every case they leave a part of the world out,” he argues. Android is a global brand, used by more people in India and Brazil than in the US, so going with an English word for the dessert leaves some regions out.

Pie isn’t always a dessert, “lollipop” can be hard to pronounce in some regions, and “marshmallows aren’t really a thing in a lot of places,” Samat says. Numbers, at least, are universal.

This, I can tell you, will have a dramatic effect on Android’s 2 billion users. Which is to say, most won’t notice, and the rest won’t care.

For reference…

Won’t somebody think of the children?

No, seriously:

In Scott County, teachers and staff are on standby. To make sure a child doesn’t go home to an empty house, bus drivers have been given strict instructions to have a “visual reference to a parent or guardian” before they drop the student off. If there is not a parent home, the child will be taken back to school, McGee said.

I find it hard to comprehend what day-to-day life must be like for young, immigrant children living in the US. As if going to school under the threat of gun violence wasn’t enough – they now have to confront the daily reality that their parents may have been taken away by ICE by the time they get home.

Ideas for saving local journalism

The New York Times has a piece today looking at four distinct ideas for saving local journalism (though not necessarily local newspapers). Of the four, it’s the first – philanthropy – that feels most likely to me:

The local media ecosystem of the future must have a much bigger role for nonprofit media and philanthropy. We accept this reality in the worlds of education and health care. It’s time to embrace it for local journalism. We believe people have an obligation to support libraries and symphonies. Now they have to support good accountability reporting.

Another thought: what if the local newspapers of old, run into the ground by profit-chasing owners, were replaced with essentially outposts of the larger media companies? Much like regional public radio feeds into NPR, and vice versa, regional newspapers could be propped up by the deeper-pocketed newspapers, and provide great localised content in return.

They wouldn’t just get money, of course – it would mean local papers wouldn’t have to concern themselves with billing infrastructure, IT support and so forth.