Google Blogoscoped

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Top Ten Things to Do With Your Gmail Spam


Gmail successfully manages to sort out spam to the spam folder for you, and there’s enough storage to just keep it there. However let’s be creative and think of ten other things to do with Gmail spam:

  1. Print out all the spam and read it backwards to your friends.

  2. Print out all the spam and burn it in the woods, filming the fire and putting the video online.

  3. Actually read and carefully reply to each and every spam mail.

  4. Forward the spam mails to your friends, with the subject line “Check out this spam I got”.

  5. Select all your spam mails and press the “Not Spam” button, just to confuse the heck out of Google’s filter.

  6. Create a contest among your friends awarding the prize to the one collecting the most spam.

  7. Create a folder called “spam” on your hard disk, save all Gmail spam to it, zip the folder, and send the zip file to Bill Gates with no further comment.

  8. Train a dog to bark whenever he sees a spam mail.

  9. Go to get a hypnosis and make yourself believe every spam mail is actually a letter from a fan of yours.

  10. Create poetry out of the spam mails subject line. Wait, this has been done already.

Gmail Chat


Using FindForward’s chat search on “Gmail”, I could dig out what looks like a Gmail production engineer speaking in a chat room on April 1st, 2004, the date Gmail launched (ironically FindForward accesses Google for its results):

<jillzilla> We’ve started doing 24x7 on-duty coverage for the system.
<jillzilla> so I work scheduled hours.
<jillzilla> it’s because we’re launching!
<Ash> oh, so JILLZILLA is the one that wrote gmail
<Ash> this is your group’s secret project
<Ash> i see
<jillzilla> rowr!
<jillzilla> yes!
<Ash> when can i sign up
<jillzilla> I’ll invite you when I can.
<Ash> really cool, btw!
<jillzilla> :)
<Ash> hehehe
<jillzilla> I hope you like it. It’s got some really really cool stuff.
<Ash> sweet
<Ash> I wish I was doing interesting things

Growing Words

I wanted to find out the most popular words one could grow from a simple seed. After all Google offers the world's biggest text file to play around with, and the Google Web API can help do the math.

Starting with "a" I google for "aa", "ab", "ac", and so on. The string with the most result pages is used to continue. That would be "at", the most-used two-letter word starting with "a".
The word I end up with is "attori" (well, there is no end in sight, really):


The letter "b" grows into "bye", then "byensa" and more nonsense. "C" turns into "co", "com", "come", "comes".

I can also take more than a single letter as seed. Starting with "goo" I get "goods". The word "phil" grows into "philosophy". Note that the algorithm, as its based on the Google search, does not take into account a part of a word. So the word "philosophy" would not help the page count for e.g. "philoso". Yet, it has the most results, as you can see from this table:

philosoa = 10
philosob = 1
philosoc = 175
philosod = 4
philosoe = 7
philosof = 1,330
philosog = 1
philosoh = 35
philosoi = 2
philosoj = 1
philosok = 0
philosol = 13
philosom = 15
philoson = 4
philosoo = 4
philosop = 10,100
philosoq = 2
philosor = 4
philosos = 48
philosot = 4
philosou = 0
philosov = 21
philosow = 0
philosox = 0
philosoy = 2
philosoz = 7
philoso0 = 2
philoso1 = 21
philoso2 = 31
philoso3 = 6
philoso4 = 39
philoso5 = 4
philoso6 = 0
philoso7 = 1
philoso8 = 2
philoso9 = 0

Instead of a letter from the alphabet I can also grow a number. If I start with "1" I get to "100000". Similar, taking "19" as seed goes on to 1900, 190000 and so on. However "194" turns into "1945", the year World War II ended.


You can grow your own words as I added this to FindForward as hidden option:

You may also be interested to find out the most popular word without continuing the seed step-by-step. In fact this option is already available via FindForward's "Wildcard Word" option. This will complete your query by taking words from a dictionary, with the first result being the word with most results on the Web. "G" turns into "go", "go" turns into "good", "h" into "have", and "my" into "myself".

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

The last weeks I’ve pondered what would happen if Google would be evil, and I came to the following scenarios:

  1. Google front-page now a portal
  2. Google Gmail with in-between advertisement and new connections to homeland security
  3. Google’s Blogger installing proprietary plug-in to run
  4. Google search results strongly biased
  5. Infamous cookie set loose in world’s biggest information merger
  6. Google spamming your mailbox
  7. Google making you pay for Google Groups
  8. Google Toolbar asks you to register
  9. Google’s AdSense Displaying Subliminal Messages

These possibilities are nightmares on their own and remind us to watch the big G. One thing however is even worse than being evil: being lazy. So today I’d like to ask...

What if... Google Would Be Lazy?

Google co-founders leave company, settle down on island they bought

Larry and Sergey are two extra-smart buddies from Stanford. However it took them a while longer than others to realize vacation, partying, sipping cocktails and basically just not doing anything innovative is more fun than conquering the Web. And while civilization invented morals (and later laws) to fight evil, there’s no one stopping you from being lazy. Within a single year Google is full of broken links, misspelled help entries, out of stock Froogle products and irrelevant result listings.

Google Calculator Constants

Did you know Google understands these constants?

Note: To force Google to directly direct your search query to its calculator, just add a “=" sign to the end.

Froogle and eBay

Froogle now includes eBay products in search results, as the Search Engine Roundtable reports. Ebay was also seen offering a killer on Google...

Global Search Video

Dan Gillmor’s eJournal shows a video of global search activity Google displayed at a conferenced recently.


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