Google is a big believer in automation. But did it really mean to pay for prime real estate at a search conference and leave its booth unstaffed? A tipster says that a Google exhibit at last week's Enterprise Search Summit was devoid of Googlers as late as mid-morning on Thursday. Can you think of a better caption for this picture? If so, suggest it in the comments. The best one will become the new headline for this post. Friday's winner: ThatKid for "Reduced emissions from electric car offset by VCs' unwillingness to carpool." Read on for our tipster's report from the scene at Enterprise Search Summit:

While all of tech was focused this week on Oracle OpenWorld, some of us had to take the lovely trip down to San Jose to attend the Enterprise Search Summit and Streaming Media conferences. At Enterprise Search, the exhibit hall was filled with search vendors (Autonomy, FAST, now Microsoft, Dieselpoint, Attivio, Endeca, etc.) hawking the latest in indexing, search and retrieval solutions for the enterprise. Google was front and center with a big, shiny booth. However, by mid-morning on Thursday as the hall is jamming with folks getting their last demos and free tchotchkes, the Googlers were nowhere to be seen! Too much ruckus partying the night before? (I think not) Too busy installing Google Search Appliance hardware which is lacking in security, features, or support? Or did the Googlers realize that no one at the show was really interested in buying their product — which is good only if you just care about making sure the right lunch menu shows up on the company's intranet — and decided to go home??? I thought it was interesting that the biggest name in Search (well, at least Web search) called it quits so early on in the day. I mean this booth was like a freaking ghost town... where's the tumbleweed?