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Google Countdown Clock

     
2:34 pm on Dec 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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An excerpt from a telegraph article:

Google has sparked mystery by launching an unexplained countdown that only appears when users press the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button on the search engine's homepage

Is this the day when Google finally goes Skynet on us?

Full article: [telegraph.co.uk...]

[edited by: Receptional_Andy at 3:09 pm (utc) on Dec. 15, 2009]
[edit reason] Fixed link [/edit]

3:11 pm on Dec 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Kinda cool, but I think it's just counting down until the new year ;)
3:34 pm on Dec 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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A countdown to the "Caffeine" update perhaps?
1:20 am on Dec 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Likely Caffeine. Converts to 18 days, 4 hours and 17 seconds on my last calculation.
11:09 am on Dec 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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At 11am GMT the ticker showed 1256400 (to me) which, assuming it counts down once per second equates to 14 days and 13 hours, which would mean the countdown reaches zero at midnight on the 31st December local time.

Are they playing a joke and showing different people significantly different numbers? Wouldn't put it past them.

11:54 am on Dec 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I am seeing the number 1233370 right now...
2:13 pm on Dec 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Mines counting down to 2010. 1244820.
3:47 pm on Dec 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Mine shows a countdown to 2010 (in seconds). Why on Earth would they use one of the most prominent buttons on the page to show a countdown to something that the general public knows nothing about (and to a change in infrastructure that is supposed to be undetectable by the general public)?
5:31 pm on Dec 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Maybe Google "becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time" ;-)
6:06 pm on Dec 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Are they playing a joke and showing different people significantly different numbers?

I assume the numbers are specific to the user's time zone.

Why on Earth would they use one of the most prominent buttons on the page...

How often does someone click on that button with an empty search box - especially with Suggestions now active?

6:27 pm on Dec 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Here's a theory. Maybe Google is attempting to recognize your timezone, and calculate the number of seconds until 2010 (the end of the decade). At the time of this experiment, Google is showing me 1251351.

Using a countdown calculator that I found by searching Google, and setting it to CST, I get the following for my current time (at the time of typing this message):

Current time is Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 12:24:09 PM CST

Time until Friday, January 1, 2010 (CST)
14 days
347 hours
20855 minutes
1251351 seconds //end of calculation

Again, Google was showing me 1251351 at the time I hit "calculate"

So, the number Google shows me correlates exactly to a countdown to 2010 in the Central Time Zone. However, if they are trying to figure out your timezone, they are missing the mark. I am in Atlanta (Eastern).

6:35 pm on Dec 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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How often does someone click on that button with an empty search box - especially with Suggestions now active?

Good point, Ted. I have never hit the "I Feel Lucky" button with an empty search box. I am not sure who would do this, except for the general public. That leads me back to my point: Why would Google use this button to display a countdown to Caffeine (one of the earlier suggestions)? The general public knows nothing about Caffeine. It is a countdown to 2010, based on your timezone (Google's estimation of your timezone per my calculation above).

This was kind of fun and I am glad I have nothing planned this afternoon LOL.

Chris

8:01 pm on Dec 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

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How often does someone click on that button with an empty search box - especially with Suggestions now active?

Probably more often as discussions about it appear in the media than they did before. ;)

And I'll bet anything that Google is tracking how fast the interest builds. A perfect little experiment to see how fast a viral campaign accelerates.

3:46 am on Dec 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I bet the countdown will change after the new year is reached, probably to December 21st 2012 ;-)
11:57 pm on Jan 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Well, the countdown Easter Egg has now changed with the new year - check it out.
12:03 am on Jan 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Whether you agree with or like everything they do, you gotta admit they're cool!
12:36 am on Jan 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Whether you agree with or like everything they do, you gotta admit they're cool!

lol really?!

It was "cool" the first time someone did this, namely P.T. Barnum, over a century ago, -for cheap publicity-

What was that master marketer's famous quote again?
hmm.

"There's a sucker born every minute"

"Cool!"

[edited by: whitenight at 12:39 am (utc) on Jan. 2, 2010]

12:38 am on Jan 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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WOW! I'm feeling the love...

I hope you have a great year this year and find a way to overcome the negativity.

12:41 am on Jan 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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lol, you keep saying you want to debate me?
I'm giving you a chance to "debate" why this is cool?

Psst. You're Always loved. ;)

Compassion and truth/wisdom = Love.
Compassion without truth/wisdom = folly.

12:44 am on Jan 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I thought it was cool of them to do...
End of debate.
12:47 am on Jan 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Ah, but that's not what YOU said.

You said "we all must admit" it's cool.

I don't think it's cool.
I think it's reflective of Goog's usual attempts to dumb down the masses recently.

Like PT Barnum... (straight out of his play book)

So I say it's not cool. End of debate?

12:52 am on Jan 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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You said "we all must admit" it's cool.

No I didn't... If you're going to quote and split hairs at the same time at least get the quote right like you tell everyone else to do.

Yeah, this is the end of the debate.
You win...

1:00 am on Jan 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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lol thought you could interpret.

I'll rephrase for clarity.

"you gotta admit they're cool!"

Who's the "you" that is referred to in this sentence.
Why does the "you" in the sentence, "GOT TO" admit it?

Sorry, the use of language is VERY important.

I've even been accused of being rhetorical and "negative" for using my language in precisely formatted ways that are meant to generate certain reactions.

So in NLP language, what you said could be interpreted by the subconscious mind (as a fact) as,

"we all must admit"

That's cool if you think it's cool.

I think it's banal and targeting the lowest common denominator in humans.
A common theme to Goog recently.

Perhaps a small thing of contention to you,
A rather large area of importance to me.

1:06 am on Jan 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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LMAO and I thought you could read:

I'll repeat for repetition's sake:

Yeah, this is the end of the debate.
You win...

Edited x 2: Edited the wording, which is (and was) not verbiage. Also added this so people know I didn't change the intended meaning of the post.

[edited by: TheMadScientist at 1:15 am (utc) on Jan. 2, 2010]

1:10 am on Jan 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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As tedster once said to me, there is no "you win" :)

You got "picked on" cause i thought you wanted to debate.
I thought this was a light enough topic to do so.
If you don't want to "play" anymore, i understand.

--------------------------

My thoughts for this thread have been "simmering" well before you posted.
So, as always, don't take it personally.

You just so happened to be posting when i had time and motivation to finally comment on it. ;)

1:24 am on Jan 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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As tedster once said to me, there is no "you win" :)

Well, tedster's usually right, but not always...
In this case you win.

The holidays are always tough for me, this year especially so because I've been building a site which has been beyond tough and I needed something to smile about for a second, and the little ish they did got me to, so I thought it was cool, but you're absolutely correct, neither you, nor anyone else has to think as I do or think it is/was or admit it is/was or anything else based on my thoughts.

As I stated previously x 3:
You Win!

Removed what could have been considered a reference to a site I've been building lately...

[edited by: TheMadScientist at 1:40 am (utc) on Jan. 2, 2010]

1:27 am on Jan 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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lol knock it off madscientist. =P

You know you're having fun debating me.
So smile! :)

Otherwise, you would have stopped posting 4 posts back. ;)

Psst. You don't need excuse to smile, just SMILE! You'll always feel better...
(no matter what your outside circumstances may be)

1:28 am on Jan 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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You know you're having fun debating me.

Nah, not today...
Have a good 2010.

1:29 am on Jan 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I will.

You too.

:)

1:31 am on Jan 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thanks