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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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technology
Take a Look Inside the 1987 Consumer Electronics Show
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Since June 1967, the Consumer Electronics Show has provided a venue for tech companies to show off their hottest products for the upcoming year. It’s also become a way to measure the progression of technology over recent decades, as the video below shows.

According to Sploid, the footage was filmed by Art Vuolo at the Consumer Electronics Show held in Chicago in the summer of 1987. The 30-year-old tape chronicles a time when camcorders, VCRs, and “portable” TVs were considered cutting-edge gadgetry. As we know, it would only be a few decades until those items served more of a purpose as kitschy craft supplies than actual hardware.

After watching part one of Vuolo’s series, check out the other three videos from the event which include a Casio synth guitar and an early video phone.

[h/t Sploid]

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Wisconsin Software Company Will Microchip Its Employees
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Typically, pets—not people—are microchipped. But as NBC News reports, one Wisconsin-based company plans to become the first business in the country to offer the tiny implants to its employees.

Three Square Market (32M), a software design firm in River Falls, Wisconsin, will begin providing the chips starting August 1. The rice-sized implants—which cost around $300 each—will be implanted in the hands of staffers between the thumb and the forefinger, and will allow them to purchase vending-machine snacks, open secured doors, or log into their computers with the wave of a hand. The company says the chips are optional.

32M is partnering with Swedish-based BioHax International to install the chips, which were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2004. The chips utilize electromagnetic fields to identify electronically stored data, and near-field communications, a technology that's used in contactless credit cards.

Fifty company members—including CEO Todd Westby—are expected to volunteer to receive the implants, according to a company statement. The company will foot the bill for the implants.

32M's microchipping program may sound unconventional, but the company—which owns machines that can use microchips—says it's simply riding the wave of the future.

"We see chip technology as the next evolution in payment systems, much like micro markets have steadily replaced vending machines," 32M's Westby said in the statement. "As a leader in micro market technology, it is important that 32M continues leading the way with advancements such as chip implants."

As microchipping becomes more common, Westby added, people will use the technology to shop, travel, and ride public transit.

The company says the chips are easily removable and can't be hacked or used to track recipients. However, some experts have argued the technology is an invasion of privacy, and that it could lead to heightened employee scrutiny.

"If most employees agree, it may become a workplace expectation," Vincent Conitzer, a computer science professor at Duke University, told NBC News. "Then, the next iteration of the technology allows some additional tracking functionality. And so it goes until employees are expected to implant something that allows them to be constantly monitored, even outside of work."

[h/t NBC News]

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