Google's dedicated Olympics website invites you to "Cheer on your team by changing your profile picture to the flag of your choice".
Is this a clever way of sorting out what language results to serve each of the huge number of visitors from almost every country of the world currently domiciled in a small part of east London without intrusively asking "who are you?"?
I'm sure that there's been a distinct change in the languages used for search queries emanating from British IPs in the last few days...
What linguistic information do you suppose they'll draw from, say, a Swiss flag? :)
<ot> Over on another forum, someone put up a slightly odd post suggesting that using flags in avatars was inappropriate. The wholly predictable result was that for the next few weeks, everyone changed their avatar to show a flag. Even me, and I never change mine. </ot>
Will auto-cropping still work if you use a flag? Those who have snooped know that my profile has a picture of Leela-- and they auto-cropped it flawlessly, including the ears. Someone else hereabouts uses a cartoon figure. What if you're from, uh, I forget which country's flag has the pointy bits along one side?