Google Blogoscoped

Monday, September 20, 2004

Petals Around the Rose

Here are the rules to the brain-teaser Petals Around the Rose (try if you can figure out the solution – note the site needs Internet Explorer to work):

“The name of the game is Petals Around the Rose. The name of the game is important. The computer will roll five dice and ask you to guess the score for the roll. The score will always be zero or an even number. Your mission is to work out how the computer calculates the score and become a Potentate of the Rose.”

Quoogle (Quantum Search Google)

This article by Seth Lloyd tells of his meeting with the Google co-founders, where the three of them discussed quantum internet search. Seth writes “Sergey and Larry and I noted that when it is up and running, the quantum internet should offer all sorts of wacky possibilities for quantum internet search.” [Thanks to Dimitar Vesselinov in the forum.]

Seraphim Proudleduck Affiliates

Do you have a friend who might want to link to this blog using the words “Seraphim Proudleduck"? You will get a single extra ticket* per friend who emails me telling me you referred him to this contest. (Your friend needs to include your name and email.)

As stated before, in the lottery on January 1st, 2005, I will award the full prize money of $1792 to a random webmaster who linked to me and informed me via email. (Of course the money will only be awarded if this blog wins the challenge.) Every single ticket increases the chance to win, and naturally, I will not hand out any tickets to myself.

*You will get one ticket per friend you referred (additional to any existing tickets you may have), independent of how many domains your friend uses to create links.

Also see the competition details.

Visa 4356000000000000 .. 4356999999999999


It looks like the Visa 4356000000000000..4356999999999999 meme (credit card numbers exposed in Google via the numrange operator) took off – it was Yahoo’s most emailed news story yesterday.

Googel and Googaru

“Google is pronounced in a variety of ways abroad, reflecting its international popularity. In France, the search engine is ’GooGEL’ while Japanese say ’GOOgaru.’”
– Verne Kopytoff, Google making its mark worldwide (, September 20, 2004 [Thanks Justin F.]

Asking FindForward


I asked FindForward some questions by choosing “Ask Question” from the search menu. Here are the more sane results (there were also plenty of insane results).

FindForward On US Politics

Who will be the next president?

Again kerry will be the next president overtaking bush cause he sucks.

Who is the better President?

That Bush is the better president for wartime and that Kerry will do better

Who was behind 9/11?

Bush always suspected Saddam was behind 9/11 (Filed: 27/04/2003) Find undermines Blair’s doubts on link, writes Con Coughlin

When are the next elections?

Four years. The next elections are due in September, 2006. Election results 2002.

Will Kerry raise taxes?

Bush Says Kerry Will Raise Taxes $900 Billion; Kerry Says That’s False. Attack ad revives question of whether Kerry’s numbers add up. March 11, 2004.

FindForward On Google

Who founded Google?

Mot clé “Founded Google” a été demandé moins de 100 fois au cours des 4 dernières semaines sur le Web francophone.

What is the best search engine?

Google Is THE BEST Search Engine. “[I]f one could call a search engine ’sexy,’ then Google would be the pinup power search of the

FindForward on Celebrities

Who is the most famous celebrity?

Julia Roberts is the most famous celebrity in Hollywood.

Who is the richest celebrity?

About which celebrity is the richest or the most beautiful. I know

Who is the coolest actor?

Jason bateman is the coolest actor on tv right now! Have you seen him in arrested development yet? arrested mikes mail!

Who is the worst actress?

Julia Roberts is the worst actress, she’s ’Julia Roberts’ in every role...awful. Tom Cruise is the worst.

Who is the best actor?

SHAHRUKH KHAN is the best actor i’ve ever seen.I’am his fan since from his serial

FindForward on Math

What is 10 times 10?

The number 10 is 10 times as loud as 0, the number 20 is 100 times as large as 0 and the number 30 is 1000 times as large as zero.

FindForward on Jokes

What did the duck say?

Independence! Why did the duck say “Bang!"? Because he was a firequacker! What cat said, “The British are coming! The British are coming!"?


The Pingomatic service pings several blog directories at once, alerting them of a change in your blog.

Seraphim Proudleduck Update

[Seraphim Proudleduck]

As I mentioned I will pass on $1792 if I win the Seraphim Proudleduck competition to those who link to me using anchor text “Seraphim Proudleduck”. Several people already linked here (some with several domains, and some including forum signatures). This blog is not yet indexed for the phrase, but how is the competition doing and what does the Google result look like? It turns out the current top ten is dominated by French search engine optimizers “Thick & Noname”:

1WikiBabeseraphim- proudleduck. cafewiki. org/6k0EnglishBrief information0Thick & Noname
2Seraphim proudleduckseraphim- proudleduck. promo-web. org/6k0FrenchInformation, links12Stephane
3seraphim proudleduckwww.mylinea. com/ seraphim- proudleduck/8k0FrenchLinks, Amazon Affiliates2Thick & Noname
4[more from above domain]-------
57D - seraphim proudleduck knows Googlewww.seraphim- proudleduck. tk/2k0EnglishLinks, Cartoon, Popup226Thick & Noname
6☼ seraphim proudleduck montpellier seraphim proudleduckwww. mangeur-de- cigogne.sud- seraphim-proudleduck.php8k0FrenchLinks, Information22Jeff
7seraphim proudleduckcigogne. tonsite. net/3k5FrenchLinks, Cartoon249?
8seraphim proudleduck i-modewww. i-noname. com/ seraphim- proudleduck/4k0EnglishLinks, Brief Information, Cartoon0?
9seraphim proudleduck [D day-105]www. presidentielle- proudleduck/-0EnglishInformation2Jan
10Ublog / leseraphim proudleduck / 2004/09/ leseraphimproudleduck8k0FrenchBlog0?

Google Browser

“Based on the half-dozen hires in recent weeks, Google appears to be planning to launch its own Web browser and other software products to challenge Microsoft.

Google has wooed Joshua Block, one of the main developers of the Internet programming language Java, from Sun Microsystems.

The company also hired four people who worked on Microsoft’s Web browser, Internet Explorer, and later founded their own company. One of them, Adam Bosworth, is credited with being a driving force not only behind IE, but Microsoft’s database-management program, Access.

Most recently, Google grabbed Joe Beda, the lead developer on Avalon, Microsoft’s code name for the user interface that will part of the next version of Windows, called Longhorn.”
– Stephen Lynch, Google Picks Gates’ Brains (New York Post), September 19, 2004 [Via Kottke.]

(I wonder what the Google Browser will be named, if it is indeed waiting around the corner: Google Browser, Growser, Google Explorer, Gbrowser, Googlefox and Gopera, or Googlesurf?)

Create a Butler

You can now design your own butler at Ask Jeeves. Here’s my creation Ubergooogle. (Note the three “o"’s – it’s impossible to name your butler “Google” or “Yahoo”)

Yahoo RSS Broken?

Both of my Yahoo searches of the following form... usns/ynsearch/categories/ news_story_search_rss/index.html?p=google

... stopped working using my RSS puller at the news page. Someone else reported the same problem in the forum.


“They call new Google employees Nooglers. That was what I was last week when I was down in Mountain View. It was a pretty exciting week. I went to some training classes and got my computers set up and such. I spent quite a bit of time working and hanging out with other Googlers. Everyone was super smart and down to earth. I learned a lot and had a great time.”
– Joe Beda, Noogler (EightyPercent), 14 Sep 2004 [Thanks Philipp H.]

Things I Don’t Like About Google

You could say I’m a Google fan. Sure, I blog about Google because I liked it so much in the first place. But I’m not blindly in love, and instead try to be objective – and there’s also some things I dislike about Google. Here is the top ten:

  1. The Google cookie overwrites different accounts (e.g. I can’t switch between Gmail and Google Answers)
  2. Blogger messes up post order (sometimes, what I post latest turns up in-between
  3. Censored search results in Google Germany (I always switch to to make sure I see the most results)
  4. The Google API does not extend to Google Images, or PageRank (why has the Google Web API not been updated for ages?)
  5. Google doesn’t “get” RSS (e.g., no support in Google News and other services)
  6. Google’s translation tool is anything but superb (it’s just not in the same league as tools by, say, AltaVista)
  7. Google Groups Beta is very buggy (at least, many errors have still not been fixed – I think this one was released way to early)
  8. Google’s HTML is messy and not standardized (once in a while they should take a look at and start to set a good example)
  9. The terrific Google Answers service doesn’t get front-page promotion (I believe it should)
  10. Google Germany has a lot of spam in its results (I guess this is true for many other “foreign” Google sites as well)

Do you have other negative criticism? Post in the forum thread.

Robot AI

In reaction to the “I, Robot” cover story, a reader in Wired 9/2004 writes:

“The buffed bots of the future won’t amount to more than a molehill without a quantum leap in reasoning (...). I want a software algorithm that can understand context rather than a remote-controlled machine that can stand on one foot. In the humanoid race, my money is on Google, not Sony.”
– Jonas Lamis (Austin, Texas)

Java Gmail

Another Gmail project at Sourceforge is the Gmail API for Java.


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