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Thursday, May 6, 2004

What if... Google Would Be Evil? (Part 4 of 10)

Google repeated their mantra in the latest statement attached to their IPO filing, when Larry Page wrote “Don’t be evil”. This was to remind us what the big G strives to avoid. And some might already be scared. We don’t like to switch tools all the time, and put trust into things served by Google may be our website host (, our community (Orkut), our paycheck (AdSense), and last not least our search engine. But we are ready to watch for the signs – and as Google also repeatedly states, other sites are just one click away.
So let’s ask ourselves: What if... Google would be evil?

4. Google search results strongly biased

“Unbiased search results” was a warm & fuzzy idea pleasing the grassroot cyber-hippies. Welcome to the new Web order, this is Google taking back control of its server space. Balanced algorithms were yesterday; today we get human-edited results. PageRank never felt so dead.

To be continued...

Gmail Stress Test

To see what happens when you reach the Gmail 1 GB limit, I wrote a script on my server to bomb my own account with a lot of heavy emails. After many failed Gmail log-ins and slow loading (the application might never have been optimized to handle such flooding), I exceeded my quota and was not able to send Gmails. However, incoming mails still still got through, even at “1021 MB (102%) of my 1000 MB”.
Could it be Gmail storage is in fact unlimited?

Attaching Keywords to Any Site

Just an experiment to see how Google understands keywords attached to high-ranked pages. Let’s take search phrase “Gmail Account”, for which there currently are 148,000 pages in Google. Will mentioning the URL soon boost the CNN homepage to the top 10 when searching “Gmail Account"? Let’s wait and watch the results.


What’s the funky pixel pattern doing here? It’s the SemaCode for Google. If you have the right mobile, you can point the camera at it and the Opera browser will take you to Just don’t ask why – it probably makes a little more sense printed out on paper or t-shirt.

You can create your own SemaCode too (the Java applet only worked in Mozilla for me).
To view it on your hand phone and to decode the URL, download the necessary SIS files and install them on Symbian OS. Start the SemaCode and capture the pixel pattern completely within the boundaries of the red square (I tried it and it works fine, unfortunately you need a registered Opera to be taken to the website, and mine expired). Then you can also find out what below SemaCode means...


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