Google Blogoscoped

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Google Inventions of the Future (4 of 10)

Number 4. Google AdWalls. Inspired by a scene in Truffaut’s “Fahrenheit 451,” a Google engineer in 2028 creates Google AdWalls. Like a living poster on the wall, they display a variety of items to shop for. The spin here is that AdWalls listen to what people in the room are talking about, managing to display context-relevant information only. If they hear a “Honey, where’s the toothpaste?” in the morning, they will instantly display the fitting spot advertising toothpaste and talk the viewer into buying it.

What went right: Lonely people realized they could talk to their walls to suppress boredom. While not exactly intelligent, the algorithm always managed to stay on topic.

What went wrong: Landlords installing AdWalls could lower the rent because they’d get a commission for items bought. The idea was this way everybody would benefit. However after the first wave of suicide attempts caused by annoying, ever-talking AdWalls, Google felt forced to shut down the program.

[Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5]

Lego Thriller (Video)

See Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” re-enacted with Lego. [Via Zawodny/ Feeeds.]

Bloggers Blog Because ...

Brian Mingus, following up on Kevin Fox, created a Wikiquotes page based on a Google search for “I blog because * * *”. Some reasons found:

Orkut Friends Limit

Joi Ito reached the maximum number of friends in Google’s Orkut and received the following message:

“You have 1024 friends. You can only have up to 1000 friends. Before you can add more friends, you need to remove friends.”

Google Suggest Travel Game

This is how the Google Suggest Travel Game works. Go to Google Suggest and pick any city in the world and see how your world travel goes. If you choose “London” as your starting point, enter “Travel London to” into Google suggest. The result here would be “Paris” (if there’s no result, start over by picking a new city). We continue by entering “Travel Paris to”. The first result is “London”, but since we’ve been to London during the course of this game, we must take the second result, which is “Brussels”. Entering “Travel Brussels to” yields no result, so our world travel ended.

A variation of this game is the Google Suggest People Network. Start by entering “Robert Zemeckis and”, which returns “Tom Hanks"; continue with “Tom Hanks and” etc.


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