Wha? Misleading headline? Oh, I’m so sorry about that. Yeah, sure I am.
So here’s the deal. Every morning at work before I start the day, I like to grab a new image from the internet and use it as my desktop wallpaper. Rather than going to wallpaper websites and browsing their wares, I prefer to search for images directly using a “Google Image Search.” (GIS.)
It’s easy and can be fun and bring lots of surprises. The way I do it is by going to the Google home page, like normal, and searching for a term, like “beaches” or “star trek enterprise.”
Then, on the left column, if click the “Images” link and it will automatically restrict the search to images that – somehow, someway – match your term.
And then, just for fun, again in the left column, I click the “Exactly” link under “Any Size” and enter the dimensions of my desktop. In this case, 1920 x 1200, and click the search button again.
The only other thing you need to know about GIS is the “SafeSearch” setting. By default, at least on my computer, is the “moderate” setting. This seems to equate to PG or PG-13. You can also set it “Strict” for (mostly) work safe images. And, of course, you can turn SafeSearch “Off” if you be loving everything the internet is capable of. (Personally I never use that setting.)
I think it goes without saying, though, that the SafeSearch system isn’t quite perfect.
So there I was at work using the above procedure (with the “moderate” setting) and I decided to try the term “bill gates.” I still don’t know what possessed me. Bill Gates??? I must have blacked out for a moment.
The results load up and I start scrolling down. There’s a promising wallpaper. It’s a classic Windows image that looks like a rock has been thrown through the screen. Very promising indeed. There’s also some Star Wars and the obligatory video game screenshots sprinkled in. This is about what I’d expect, except, perhaps, a little more Bill Gates?
Then, down around page 2, wait a minute. What’s this? Pictures of women. Pretty women. And lots of them. Hmm. I keep scrolling. The more I scroll, the less clothing they seem to be wearing. Bikinis seem to be trending. Holy shit! That one is practically naked!
I quickly scroll through all 10 pages of images. There sure are a lot of scantily clad women coming up for the term “bill gates.” Wow. I’m at work, though, and everyone and their momma can see my computer, so I quit the browser lest I get labeled as the office pervert.
Apparently Google and I disagree slightly about what is considered “moderate” in a SafeSearch.
I quickly reload my browser and type in “death star.” Ah. Much better. But what’s Uhura from Star Trek doing in there?
Curse you internets!