One of the reasons I haven't been as chatty as usual lately is that I'm doing a crash course in Windoze Mobile programming. Which, of course, means a lot of time googling for information on APIs, examples, etc.
But it's taking even more time than usual because google keeps getting in my way, instead of helping.
Several times per day, I discover that google isn't really searching for what I asked it to. Sometimes, it's silent: e.g., if I enter the name of an API function, say, "HandleNetworkException", I'll discover that google has split that into "Handle", "network" and "exception", then gone off and done a fuzzy search that includes "handlers", "networking", "exceptional", etc.
Sometimes, it's blatant: I came across a reference to a sample application called "wzctool". So I did a search for "windows mobile wcztool". When I hit "Enter", google announced that it was searching for "windows mobile wifi", instead. A complete waste of time that produced 25 million useless hits. Even worse, google disabled the search button and the link to the search I really wanted.
Sometimes, it's just weird: I was searching for info on some authentication protocol, and got 25,000 results with too much noise. So I added "+password" to the search, to narrow it down. Instead of narrowing the search, that widened it, and got 50,000 hits.
What has happened at Google HQ that has caused them to turn their search engine from an invaluable research aid into an obstacle that needs to be overcome in order to get the facts? Has abandoned jet fuel from Moffett Field leaked into their water supply? Or are the people they hired away from Microsoft actually moles, sabotaging the system to make Bing look good?