It was annoying, but necessary..
.. I needed a new laptop, so I hied myself down to the local Apple shop and picked up a fancy new laptop. Not a problem--I've used Macs for years (except when I worked at IBM, when the IBM PC was the axe of choice), so I know the drill. I know how to shift all my stuff from old-Mac to new-Mac.
But I'd forgotten how many settings needed to be copied over as well. There's the wifi, the default font size, the settings for folder appearances, etc etc.
Then I noticed a new behavior that was driving me crazy. Whenever I was working in Chrome, the system would add an extra period after a closing parenthesis. It looked like this:
(blah blah blah.).
Why would it add an extra period? Don't know. After fooling around for a bit, I figured out that the problem was not Chrome adding a period after the parenthesis, but after I typed two spaces.. then it would add an extra period (I learned to type back in an era when two-periods where the default.)
So I did the obvious thing and asked Bard:
[ how do I get Chrome to stop adding an extra period after two spaces? ]
Here's what it told me. See that line with the big red arrow in the image below? Yeah... that's bogus. That line and everything after it is just purely made-up. There IS no "Advanced" option under Chrome settings, so everything after line 3 is just hallucinated and utterly bogus.
If you follow these instructions, you'll see this after you select "Settings":
Note that there's no "Advanced" option here.
Of course, this could be advice about a previous version of Chrome (but wouldn't that be relevant information to include here?).
So it was with no little surprise that I learned today that Google is telling its employees to be cautious in their use of Bard. They're more concerned about people leaking sensitive information, but the general policy of Fact Check Everything still applies here.
After a little more conventional poking around, I found that the actual way to fix this problem is by changing a setting in the Mac OS! (See this article for how to do it.) That is, the problem had nothing to do with Chrome at all!
Instead, the problem really is that the systems we use are composite systems. An app like Chrome sits on top of the Mac OS, which in turn uses more systems below it. The behavior you, the user, sees is the compilation of everything below.
In this case, the "adding a period after two spaces" thing is part of the text handling system of MacOS. Chrome can layer its own behaviors on top of that (such as redefining how Control-F works, but that's another story).
What this means for you as a SearchResearcher is:
1. Behaviors you see in your computer might be caused by any of a number of settings. Don't be quick to blame the system you see on top (Chrome, in this case). The troubles might be caused deeper in the stack.
2. Once again, Fact Check everything. Even things that look like simple documentation might be pure fabrications. Check before wasting your time.