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Google, Yahoo Sued By Tanzanian Tribesman

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It’s pretty well known in these parts (these United – well, sort of – States) where Google and Yahoo got their names. Google derives from a butchering of googol, a number, an apt moniker for the mathematical types that conceived it; Yahoo, well, everybody between these two shores knows what a yahoo is or has shouted one.

Google, Yahoo Sued By Tanzanian Tribesman
Google, Yahoo Sued By Tanzanian Tribesman

But if you’re a Tanzanian detained by the INS in Houston with some time on your hands (after all, the government makes it quite apparent that time is not only relative and nebulous, but its existence also questionable – unless you owe it money), you may have time to roll around the phonetic similarities between the names Google and Yahoo and the names of your ancestral tribes, Gogo and Yao.

After you’ve made that connection and still have some time to kill, you might file a lawsuit against both companies for stealing and profiting by the names of your ancestral heritage.

Mike Masnick at TechDirt has a copy of the lawsuit, demanding both companies pony up $10,000 per tribe member for the past three generations. It will be interesting to see how this one turns out…but only if goes the opposite way of how we think it will.

If I knew what happened to an old dorm-mate of mine, a Tanzanian named Mpoki, I’d ask him what he thought of the matter. I’d also ask him what happened to our off-balance Vietnamese buddy who, last I’d heard of him, had holed up in the Catholic Student Center, sneaking in and sleeping somewhere deep inside after the priest locked up for the night.

Ah, college. 

Google, Yahoo Sued By Tanzanian Tribesman
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