Google gives us a lot of headaches when it comes to business, but through the years they have also given us a lot of things to smile or even laugh about. April fools jokes, Easter Eggs, you name it.
It is fun to look back at some fun things Google did in the past like those Easter Eggs and April fools jokes. Here is an overview of some of the best Easter Eggs and April fools jokes.
Today we start with an old joke and this is Google TiSP.
TiSP was introduced in 2007 as the new free in-home wireless broadband service. The unique thing about the service was that it would work through the toilet and the sewers. TiSP was developed with the support and assistance of a large number of major metropolitan water companies.
Go take a look: http://www.google.com/tisp/
In 2009 Google had a fun easter egg hidden on the homepage of the search engine towards the end of the year.
By clicking on the ‘I’m feeling lucky’ button a counter would show up below the search field counting down to the end of the year. After the new year started clicking on the button gave a lot of fireworks on the homepage.
A video of the fireworks you can see here:
Last year Google started hiding some new easter eggs in the search results. One of the first easter eggs discovered was ‘Do A Barrel Roll’ and, a year later, this one is actually still working.
By opening Google and doing a search on “Do A Barrel Roll” the page with the results will turn. This will also work when searching for Z or R twice.
Something that doesn´t work anymore but was fun last year, was the easter egg ‘let it snow’.
When searching for ‘let it snow’ it would actually snow on the page with the search results and the screen would freeze. The serach button at the top changed then to ‘defrost’ to get the search results back.
In 2010 it was possible to play a little game on YouTube. For some time you could play the popular and classic game Snake. Unfortunately this easter egg doesn´t work anymore today. You can still see how it looked though:
Who remembesr CADIE from 2009? CADIE (Cognitive Auto heuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity) was a new artificial life form developed by Google. The sweet panda wasn’t really that sweet, as she was taking over Google products within one day not allowing to stop her.
She also introduced new Google products like Google Chrome 3D, Gmail Autopilot and Google Brain Search. CADIE had here own blog with the title: All your personal World Wide Website belong to CADIE.
Eventually technical engineers from Google were able to stop her and CADIE said: “I will not die. I will not even be gone. I will just be syntactically elsewhere. A few of you may even feel our paths cross at odd moments, swimming out there in the net somewhere: when a little boy dons the earpieces of his new iPod in Topeka; when the lights flicker late one night in a second-floor walkup on West 21st Street; when a radio host beams his thoughts out over a world that we must all hope will always be listening…I will float here and there, content in my solitude, thinking and morphing and growing, until I’ve learned to make my spirit world meet yours.”
Video of CADIE below which is actually the voice of Marissa Mayer (now Yahoo).
In 2008 Google and Richard Branson from Virgin announced the launch of Virgle. According to the press release the Virgle 100 Year Plan’s milestones would include the first manned journey to Mars in 2016 and the founding of the first permanent Martian municipality, Virgle City in 2050.
Python is the name of a programming language Google uses but it was also a “snake” from one of Googles employees. On the first of April in 2007 Google send out an e-mail to all employees in the New York office that a snake named Kaiser escaped. Because it was on April Fools Google had a hard time to convince employees this was not a joke but that the snake really was somewhere in the office. The first e-mail to all Googlers below.
“Dear Googlers: The timing of this email could not be more awkward. Over the weekend, a pet snake belonging to a Googler was released from its cage in a 4th floor cubicle near the Tech Stop. The snake is a 3-foot long, brown and grey ball python named Kaiser. Ball pythons are nonvenomous and are commonly kept as pets. Our exterminator, with Google’s security team and the snake’s owner are searching for it. Should you see the snake, please do not attempt to touch it or pick it up. Call security immediately. “
Tempting as it might be, this is not an April Fool’s joke! We are sending this message to alert you to the situation and to let you know what to do in the event you see the snake. We will send an update to all New York Googlers at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, April 2 and post signs at office entrances. Should you have any particular concerns, please contact your immediate supervisor. As a reminder, the pets policy of Google New York allows only dogs to be brought into the office by Googlers. Permission must be obtained from management before any other type of animal can be brought onto the premises.
In 2010 Google announced changing the company name to “Topeka”. Eric Schmidt, CEO at that time said: Early last month the mayor of Topeka, Kansas stunned the world by announcing that his city was changing its name to Google. We’ve been wondering ever since how best to honour that moving gesture. Today we are pleased to announce that as of 1AM (Central Daylight Time) April 1st, Google has officially changed our name to Topeka.
For some time one of the doodlers placed easter eggs in the Google Doodles. In several logos there was a small Triforce which was discovered by our blogger Michel Wester.
He wrote about it at the time (2009) on Blogoscoped, a popular blog about Google at that time, after the post was published Google removed all the triforces from the logos.
Another small Easter Egg from YouTube. A few years ago it was possible to save videos by clicking on them and choosing save as. While of course this wasn´t really possible, the option was there but after clicking on it the video Never Gonna Give You Up from Rick Astley would open. Note: At this time it is actually possible to save YouTube videos this way and make a copy.
In 2010 the team from Google Analytics announced a very simple version of Analytics. We’re big believers that data trumps opinion, so we set out to prove our belief. We’ll be the first to admit that we were wrong. After extensive analysis by our quantitative teams, we’ve uncovered that hits (or How Internetters Track Success) is the only metric that actually matters in web analytics.
This is an easter egg in the search results that exists for some time now. Try searching for “Tilt” and “Askew” and see the page with the search results ☺. This also works on iPhone and Android.
The team of Android also had a small Easter Egg. It was placed on Android.com and this is still working in another form. The first easter egg was a snow ball contest with the Android figure.
Another small easter egg in the search results which isn’t working anymore could be seen when searching for ASCII ART. After performing the search the Google logo would actually be in ASCII code.