Google: I am Extremely Terrified of…

While this may not be and definitely isn’t news at all, it’s still pretty funny. Google can do a lot of nifty things like search, email, news, calculations, advertising, analytics and is even entering the phone and OS space with a bang. But despite all the great things that come out of the Google empire, it is still prone to some strange behaviors and mistakes. One such example is the suggestions you get when you start typing the seemingly innocuous string “i am extremely” into the search bar. Here is what Google will suggest:

Google: I am Extremely Terrified of...
Wow Google, you’ve got some strange phobias there!

Another fun Google trick is fooling it into being unable to do simple arithmetic. As some of you may know, Google got its name from the number called “googol” which represents 1 followed by 100 zeros. Interestingly, the founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, intended to call their search engine “googol” but accidentally misspelled the number when they registered the company name.

So why this little story? Well one such example of Google being unable to do simple arithmetic is quite ironic: 1 googol -1 – 1 googol. Now of course most anybody who is reasonably good at arithmetic could tell you that should equal “-1” but Google wrongly calculates that out to be equal to 0. For anybody interested in why, you can check out this CNET article.

Top 3 Super Bowl Tech Ads!

In case you haven’t heard, the Super Bowl was today and as is the case every year, we got some really great ads. Being a complete geek myself I can assure you I’m not watching for the sports portion of it! Anyways, you don’t want to read what I have to say, you just want the top 3 list so without further ado – here it is ladies and gentlemen!

3. Cars.com

[youtube_video id=”DqT2xbODNr8″]

2. Google

[youtube_video id=”nnsSUqgkDwU”]

1. Motorola

[youtube_video id=”gX_eF-8tlqY&hl”]

My Official Response to the Apple iPad

Well, the iPad has been upon us for a week now and most of you have had time to mull over what it means for the tech industry. I actually wrote a little opinion piece last week about how ridiculous speculating about the iPad was. After having watched the entire press event live, as it turns out, the iPad is quite a bit different from what many people expected. For starters, nobody really speculated that Apple would come up with a name that would be the butt of jokes about female hygiene. Then there is the blatant lack of even simple things we take for granted on netbooks and computers today; simple things like flash and multitasking.

Now in fact I’m not really very funny, so rather than even trying to sum up the things the iPad lacks in writing, I’ll simply consult Hitler himself:

[youtube_video id=”9_EcybyLJS8&hl”]

Now of course the iPad will be a smash hit. It’s coming in at a $499 price point of the 16GB non-3G model. But more importantly it has the backing of the App Store, iTunes and a new eBook store Apple will be launching. Apple’s biggest advantage in this game comes down to their strengths in content distribution. The iPad will be a device that people will use to consume content, nothing more. And for the consumer space, that’s exactly what’s needed.

Artificial Beauty

The other day I got into an interesting debate with a good friend of mine regarding louche women on social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook. The first thing that came to mind was of course the “Myspace angle”. In case you’ve never heard of this mystical angle, allow me to help illustrate:

MySpace Angle
Fig. 1: The “MySpace Angle”

Now I went ahead and took this idea a step further – no, not to just women wearing makeup. Me? What? Just a little bronzer, plenty of men use it, I swear! No, but seriously it occurred to me how distorted our perception of reality has become because of the images that appear in fashion magazines and all over the web. I know all too well how much you can distort reality using graphics software like Photoshop in very little time. Now as I was the one who brought this up, my friend of course asked me to prove it. Tack 16 minutes of amateur work onto an image of a girl that honestly looked okay before and this was the end result:

Artificial Beauty
 Fig. 2: Artificial Beauty

Not perfect, but enough to give you a pretty good idea of how much the lines of reality can really be blurred with very little work. I’ll be honest, every time that I go and modify a picture of a person like that it really does pain me in many ways. You really do feel like you’re chopping a person up. What’s more, it’s a total objectification of people – the kinds of thoughts that pass through your mind are of course “Hey, this doesn’t look too good” and “She’d look better this way!”.

I think the message here is awfully clear, as cliché as it may be: stop aiming to look like people do in magazines and online. You can find thousands if not millions of pictures online that have been touched up to a point that the end result is convincingly good looking but only moderately resembles the person it started as. Now don’t get me wrong and don’t try to misconstrue the message as being “Ignore how you look”. Just do the best you can and don’t beat yourself up over every the little imperfection you see. Nobody is perfect, not even those seemingly perfect models you’ll find online.

GNILLEY: Yell at your Computer to Win!

Hard day at school or work this week? Need a little time to de-stress? Well I’ve got your solution boys and girls: a great new game called GNILLEY! The premise of the game couldn’t be any simpler. As the creators so eloquently put it, Yell—>succeed.

All you need to play GNILLEY is a Windows PC, a working microphone and a keyboard. The creators of the game showed it off at Game Jam in Sydney on January 31. Scroll down for a link to this great free game, and enjoy the awesome presentation!

[youtube_video id=”QYPwYfbi8jA&hl”]

So what are you waiting for?

DOWNLOAD GNILLEY!

The author’s original page can be found here.