To follow up on Todd’s post below, I went to Google Finance and typed in HP, looking for the stock activity and news for the Hewlett-Packard Company. Look what I got.

1. Stock graph is for the contract oil driller Helmerich & Payne, but the news items on the right are about Hewlett-Packard (HP). And some of the stock data points (captial letters) correspond to Google HP articles. Obviously bogus.

2. I made the mistake of thinking HP was the stock symbol for Hewlett-Packard. It’s HPQ. Google made the mistake of thinking the abbreviation, HP, was the oil drilling company (which it could be).

3. And to add to the silliness even further, Todd’s blog post made it to the #2 spot on the Google Finance page for Toyota (see bottom right.)

4. Getting names right is very hard. Aliases, abbreviations, mispelling, etc. In this connected world, shared vocabularies, meaning and context really do matter. Otherwise there’s all sorts of nonsense, as displayed on Google Finance.