Google has changed their website's logo, and once again it is interactive.  The normal fixed logo was replaced with a collection of small dots that come together to form the logo once you are on their homepage.  If you move your cursor near the logo the balls disperse and resettle once your pointer has come to rest. 

            In the past Google has changed its logo to celebrate holidays and festive occasions, or to pay tribute to an achievement of the past.  Some of the most noteworthy have been the previous three interactive logos.  The falling apple for Isaac Newton's birthday, a playable version of Pac-Man in honor of the games 30th anniversary, and a version of the Buckeyball that users could manipulate to mark the 25th anniversary of its discovery.  Most likely the change was made to celebrate Google's 12th anniversary.  Whatever the reasoning behind Google’s latest logo change may have been it has certainly provided many, including myself, with an amusing displacement activity. 

            So congratulations Google on another successful year, but I think the HTML5 used to make your logo come to life has stolen your thunder.  HTML 5 (Hypertext Markup Language version Five) allows images and objects to be imbedded and used to create interactive forms on web pages.  What is so notable of the latest version is that it features video-playback capabilities as well as the ability to drag and drop.  These features have previously been dependent on third-party browser plug-ins like Adobe’s Flash and Microsoft's Silverlight.

            Anyone who has heard of Steve Jobs should know that he is strongly opposed to third party dependence.  He stated that the use of third-party software can create problems between the platform and the programmer, which would result in substandard apps. He even went so far as to bar Flash from being usable on the new iPhones.  What’s his beef with Flash you ask?  In an open letter published by Jobs back in April he claimed:  "Flash was created during the PC era--for PCs and mice. New open standards created in   the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind."

            Jobs recently relented somewhat and has decided to loosen the restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps, as long as said apps do not download any code.  However, the restriction on Flash content running in the browser on iOS devices remains in place.

            While the battle wages on we consumers will reap the benefits.  I'm sure there will be more to come as the most recent version of HTML is fully functional, and it should be a lot more interesting than Google’s latest logo.


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