Google Blogoscoped

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


ROFL COPTER is more than just a text action game... it looks like a an ASCII-based religion. There are LOLLERSKATES, WTFBOMBS, and TTYLTANKS too. (If you’re confused by too much net lingo, try the TXT dictionary.)

Fragrances on the Web

Exhalia is a French product to satisfy the olfactory senses on the web; a scent-machine which comes in the innocent size of a printer. How does it work?

“The creation of an olfactory multimedia application can be summarised into three steps: a web designer writes the scent scenario and inserts commands for the diffusion of smells in the pages of the site. The corresponding information is transported by the network (name of scent, length of diffusion, intensity of diffusion). The driver translates this information for the diffuser. The diffuser is composed of a box containing fragrances in the form of removable cartridges, a format which all multimedia users are used to. Each cartridge provides up to 3 months of scent diffusion. Once used up, they can be replaced as simply as a toner cartridge in a printer.”

I wonder if this invention will take off, and what industries find the most use for it. And if it does become a standard one day, will we be able to search for specific fragrances?

[Via Hisato Honda at FutureFeature.]


Hanan C. asked me if there was a tool in which you could enter a search query and a site’s URL to then find out the position of that site within the Google result. Yes, there is a tool doing just that: it’s called Googlerankings. (As I last posted this over a year ago, I think it’s worth reposting.)


Gravatar aims to bring a universal comments avatar (a portrait of the author) standard to blogspace. [Via Zawodny.]

Christmas Lights Web Hoax

“A man who boasted to reporters around the world that his Web site allowed strangers to turn his outdoor Christmas lights off and on admitted Monday it was an elaborate hoax designed, he said, to spread holiday cheer.

Alek Komarnitsky, a computer specialist, said he started the site two years ago to see if he could use computer tricks to make it look as if the thousands of lights adorning his house in Lafayette were blinking on command.

This year, he went even further: At one point, with a TV station helicopter hovering overhead, his wife was inside, turning the lights off and on herself.

The Web site was featured in numerous holiday stories, including one by The Associated Press, and Komarnitsky said he decided to announce his scam to The Wall Street Journal because it had gotten ’a little out of hand.’”
– Colleen Slevin, AP, Dec 28 2004 [Via InsideGoogle.]

Update: Alek O. Komarnitsky, the creator of the hoax, tracks media coverage of the story – he found Google Blogoscoped and sent along a pointer to his own page with extensive information.

Comic Book Search

The Grand Comic Books Database lets you search for pencillers, writers, or characters. Note that you can view a cover gallery for specific titles (the link to the right-side of each details page). Like Jimmy Olsen, or the great Hulk run by Peter David and Dale Keown.* [Via Kukla’s.]

*I based above sketch from 1993 on Dale Keown’s artwork.

Web Design Trends

Forty Media predicts web design in 2005. (And I’ve added this item to FutureFeature.) The color of the year? Brown.


Bickr uses Flickr to create photo contests. [Via Waxy.]

Tsunami Video Coverage, Google Help Page

Andy Baio collects some amateur videos of the South-East Asian Tsunami, mostly those showing Phuket and Patong Beach in Thailand. I had been there myself a while ago on a 10-days vacation from Malaysia, where I lived at that time. Patong beach largely lives by the tourism industry, so even local survivors on this peninsula (and even those whose houses have been spared) might have lost their whole existence.

Also, I have received this tsunami video [WMV] by email, but I cannot confirm its source, the location, or whether or not it’s from the recent tsunami.

Update: Ayah Zatul says “yes it is from the resent tsunami, location: Penang, Malaysia.”

In other news, Google is currently displaying a “Ways to help with tsunami relief” note on their front-page. Google Inc. writes:

“Like so many others around the world, we’re following the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami that has hit many parts of Asia and India. Below are a few sites already set up to provide information and handle donations for victims throughout the region. Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected.”

One way to help for those celebrating new year’s is to donate money instead instead of buying fire-crackers. A milder form of this approach: this year, just donate the same amount of money you spent for fire-crackers to help people in the areas hit by the tsunami. An entry in the official Google Blog lists organizations you can donate to.

A quick, online way to donate is via to the American Red Cross disaster-relief. All you need to do (if you have an existing Amazon account) is to enter the amount to donate, login with your password, and confirm the credit card transaction.

Future Feeds (Italian)

FutureFeeds is a blog-style news magazine from the future, and it looks immensely interesting – if only I would understand Italian (maybe you do). Next to politics and general tech news, there are also a lot of bits about Google: the Google OS (see screenshot 1, 2, 3), Google co-founder Larry Page as future US President, the Google Suite 1.0 (containing an image of what looks like GIM, the Google Instant Messenger), or Google Live Search (locating your lost keys at home via RFID tags).


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