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Search Google From January 2001

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In honor of Google's tenth birthday*, the search engine has posted a version of itself as it appeared in January 2001 (the earliest available index). It was a simpler time: only 1,326,920,000 web pages were in the index. Today it's over 8 billion, though Google stopped revealing the exact number in 2005, saying the index size was "meaningless." Doing a search on the 2001-era index reveals how much the web has changed since then. For one thing, there's no mental_floss blog! There is a mention of the magazine in a Duke Chronicle piece, though the link itself is broken. (We'd have to wait for roughly August 2002 to see a mental_floss web presence.) Searches for today's staple websites like Flickr, Twitter, and Digg turn up lots of interesting results, but of course the services themselves didn't exist yet.

Because the index is so old, many links are broken. Google has helpfully included a link on each search result to "View old version on the Internet Archive," which looks up that page on the Wayback Machine. (By the way, if you're unfamiliar with the Wayback Machine or Archive.org, please read this -- it's an amazing resource for all net users.)

Go search for yourself and see how things have changed in seven years. Note that the index will only be available for one month, so get it while it's, uh, hot and very stale?

* = There's some debate about when Google's birthdate actually was. Everyone agrees that it was in September 1998, but Google's not saying which day it was. A testament to Google's awesomeness: they celebrate "depending on when people feel like having cake."

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Getting Calls From Your Own Phone Number? Don't Answer!
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iStock

There’s a new phone scam that could affect you, according to Washington’s KIRO 7 News. In addition to keeping your eyes open for calls that come from area codes like 473 or involve people claiming to be Equifax representatives, you now have to watch out for your own phone number.

Scammers are manipulating your phone’s caller ID to make it look like you’re getting a call from your own phone number, then posing as someone from a wireless carrier like AT&T or Verizon. They tell whoever answers the phone that their account has been flagged for security reasons, then ask for the last four digits of that person’s Social Security number. The FCC has been aware of these scams for at least two years, but they seem to be ramping up once again.

In general, you shouldn’t give out any part of your Social Security number over the phone on an incoming call. If you’re suspicious, you can always call your carrier back using the official customer service phone number on their website or on your bill. But it’s best not to pick up at all. If you receive a call from your own number, don’t answer or press any buttons. Instead, file a complaint with the FCC.

[h/t KIRO 7 News]

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Samsung
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Samsung’s Star Wars Vacuums Offer Everything You Want in a Droid
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Samsung

Hate housecleaning but love Star Wars? Samsung’s got the solution. In anticipation of December’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the newest film in the Star Wars saga, Samsung has transformed a limited number of its VR7000 POWERbot robot vacuum cleaners into two familiar faces from George Lucas’s legendary space opera: a Stormtrooper and Darth Vader (which comes with Wi-Fi connectivity and a remote control).

In order to create a unique device that would truly thrill Star Wars aficionados, Samsung consulted with fans of the film throughout each stage of the process. The result is a pair of custom-crafted robo-vacuums that fill your home with the sounds of a galaxy far, far away as they clean (when you turn Darth Vader on, for example, you'll hear his iconic breathing).

“We are very pleased to be part of the excitement leading up to the release of The Last Jedi and to be launching our limited edition POWERbot in partnership with Star Wars fans,” B.S. Suh, Samsung’s executive vice president, said in a press statement. “From its industry-leading suction power, slim design, and smart features, to the wonderful character-themed voice feedback and sound effects, we are confident the Star Wars limited edition of the VR7000 will be a big hit.”

Be warned that this kind of power suction doesn’t come cheap: while the Stormtrooper POWERbot will set you back $696, the Darth Vader vacuum retails for $798. Who knew the Dark Side was so sparkling clean?


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