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Friday, June 11, 2004
To most Internet users, Google.com is simply a search engine, named as a cross between the numerical term "googol" (The numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros) and an obscure reference in Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy".
Currently indexing over 4.2 billion pages, Google.com is actually quite a bit more than an efficient method for locating websites. Here are some interesting and obscure uses for Google:
Available from Google's main page, "Images" and "News" are two very useful functions. Google News offers a wide selection of current news from over 4,500 sources world-wide. As well as a completely customizable email alert system that can keep you posted as news happens.
Google Images offers the ability to search for images of just about anything you can think of, whether it be snapshots your favourite super model or a hard to find quilt square, it's hard to think of something that you can't find in Google Images.
One of the more esoteric aspects of Google is as an amazingly accurate spell checker. Say you are typing a news article in Microsoft Word and you decide to use a word that you just can't seem to spell correctly and Word's internal spell checker can't suggest a correct spelling for. Simply type the misspelled word into a Google search and Viola! 9 times out of 10 Google will suggest the correct spelling for the word you are looking for. This kind of search can be especially useful for spelling place names or non-English words.
Google has recently introduced 2 new services that are currently being offered in Beta (computer slang for publicly accessible test) versions. The first is "Froogle" ( http://www.froogle.com ), a site designed to help surfers locate the best price on consumer items of all sorts. Froogle can be used to search for something as general as "Screwdrivers" or something as specific as an "Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator".
The second is "Gmail" ( http://www.gmail.com ), a webmail service that features an extraordinary amount of storage space for email messages (1 Gigabyte!), as well as the ability to fully search all your email messages.
Google's upcoming technologies can be further explored through "Google Labs" ( http://labs.google.com ) and if you truly find yourself stuck looking for information, you can always use "Google Answers" ( http://answers.google.com ) to find definitive answers to your questions.
As one of my friends puts it: "Google is ÜberTechnology, Man!"
posted by Kusari 9:20 PM