YET MORE WEIRDNESS FROM GOOGLE….Are Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page idiots? It’s hard to come to any other conclusion after reading today that they gave an interview to Playboy for their September issue ? hitting the stands just when the auction for Google’s IPO gets underway.

There’s nothing wrong with Playboy, mind you, but there is a firm rule against hyping a company’s prospects during the “quiet period” prior to an IPO. This is not some obscure technicality, either: I went through an IPO in 1997 and the bankers who handled it hammered this into us. As VP of Marketing, there were times when I almost felt like I couldn’t even do my job for fear that some routine activity would be construed as hype.

Brin and Page know this perfectly well, and they also knew it in April when they gave the interview, even if that was just before their official filing. Everyone in the tech business knows this. So why did they do it? Why did they open up themselves, their company, and their shareholders to enormous risk just to satisfy their own vanity?