Settings, settings, settings

google search localization

Sometimes I can get nostalgic about the old times when search was simple and everyone got the same search results.

I’ve long given up changing the localization settings of Google’s various services. Sometimes I’ve changed them in my account, sometimes in the search settings, but it never really seems to stick, so why bother. The results seem to depend on so many other factors anyway: The language of my OS, the language of my browser, the location of my computer’s IP – what more? And those are different throughout my computers and devices and browsers and VPN services.

Just a simple calculation of let’s say 3 devices, 3 browsers on each and 2 IP countries gives 18 potential settings changes, sigh…

In addition, there’s not just one localization setting in each OS. There’s one for place, one for language, and one for how to display date and time. I used to choose English for everything except for the dates, which I prefer in Japanese. But then it turned out that Apple Pages uses these settings when meta-tagging the language for Epub exports, so now I’m changing the OS X settings depending on the language of the ebook I’m working with. Not to mention how quotes and accents work depending on the OS settings!

Ah, wouldn’t it be nice to just be the simple, undemanding consumer that the programmers have in mind and for whom it just works.

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