Headline on the front of the June 2 newspaper:
"WHAT HAPPENS HERE IS NOW ON GOOGLE."
So here's the thing. Not only is it a lousy, cliched headline that could probably apply to anything that's on the Internet about Las Vegas (or any other place, frankly), but it's hardly even germane to the story, which once you read it you'll agree was taken in a very weird direction anyway. The writer, the normally excellent transportation columnist Omar Sofradzija, did a piece on the fact that Google now offers a street-level photo tour of much of the Las Vegas Strip, one of five cities they've used to roll out their Street View thing.
Omar's sin here was approaching the story as though it had anything at all to do with privacy. The Google folks took snapshots of public places at some point in time. Omar aptly notes some of these shots must be at least eight months old because they show the still-standing Stardust marquee. Even though it's not like they've got cameras trained on the public spaces of Vegas on an ongoing basis, the story's premise is largely (hence the ill-advised headline) an examination of whether with the site is a violation of people's expectations of privacy to put these pictures online. Further down, it's noted as well that license plates and must faces are largely blurry and unreadable anyhow. One way you know you don't have such a story is when you can't even get the ACLU excited about it. Their lawyer is quoted saying it's fine by them.
So we have a technology story that the always paranoid R-J opted to approach as an Oh-my-God-Big-Brother-is-watching-and-here's-more-proof! screed. And we have a ridiculous, hack-written headline that, I suppose, plays up that notion.
And while I'm at it, I love Norm. I really really do. You all know that. But I'd be remiss if I didn't point out the gossip scribe's WHHSH violation as well. He always uses an amusing quote he calls "The Punch Line" at the end of his columns, but on Sunday this is what he put:
"Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." -- Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano, after his scuffles with teammate Michael Barrett on Friday at Wrigley Field.As with the Google headline, I have no idea what this has to do with anything!