My Standoff With the Google Earth Conference Ends Amiably

Annoyed that I apparently couldn’t attend the Scientific Applications with Google Earth Conference without registering with the “Google Checkout” financial system, I emailed to ask if there were any other payment methods available. Well, I waited for a couple of weeks for their “Contact Us” link to go live, then once I had an email address to email to, I emailed it. No response came, then a form request that I complete the sign-up by joining Google Checkout. I was worried I was going to have to show up thrusting a greasy $20 bill at whoever looked official, but I’ve now received assurance that if I just bring a check with me everything will be fine.

So that’s all good then. Not that the informational aspects of our public and private lives has ceased to be increasingly mediated and recorded by a single for-profit stockholder-beholden corporate entity. But at least you can pay for their scientific conferences by check.

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