Google's Celebrating Its 20th Birthday With Some Retro Easter Eggs

iStock
iStock

A lot has changed at Google since the search engine launched in 1998. The company has changed its name from BackRub, moved out of the San Francisco garage where it was founded, and grown into a multibillion-dollar company. The world has changed a lot too in the past two decades, and Google is reminding users of that today with some retro Easter eggs created for its 20th anniversary.

According to TechCrunch, searching these 16 terms pulled from the late 1990s on Thursday, September 27 brings up special prompt suggestions meant to bring you back to the present. Search "digital pet," for example, and Google will ask “It’s 2018! Did you mean fidget spinner?" "Screen name" brings up the suggestion "social handle," "clip art" prompts "GIF," and "gettin’ jiggy wit it" leads to "floss dance." You can check out the full list of keywords below.

1. mp3 file // stream music

2. watch a dvd // streaming subscription

3. googol // Google

4. gettin’ jiggy wit it // floss dance

5. page me // New phone, who dis?

6. butterfly clip styles // top knot

7. soccer world champions 1998 // soccer world champions 2018

8. chat room // text the group

9. how to tell someone you like them // swipe right

10. low-rider pants // how to style high-waisted pants

11. digital pet // fidget spinner

12. baby // bae

13. 143 // ILYSM

14. what is Y2K? // how does cryptocurrency work?

15. screen name // social handle

16. clip art // GIF

The special search suggestions aren't the only way Google is celebrating 20 years online. Today the site's doodle features some popular searches from past years (you can watch it below). You can also check out Google Street View today to take a tour around the garage where internet history was made in 1998.

[h/t TechCrunch]

Mountable Laserlight Projector Creates a Personal Bike Lane for Cyclists

Beryl, Kickstarter
Beryl, Kickstarter

All the blinking lights and reflectors in the world aren't enough to prevent your bike from disappearing into a truck's blind spot. But what if you could extend the length of your bike by an 20 extra feet with the click of a button? That's the concept behind the Laserlight Core, a product currently raising funds on Kickstarter, Fast Company reports.

Laserlight resembles a small flashlight, and it attaches easily to the front of your handlebars. When biking, you can switch it on to project a laser image of a green bike symbol onto the street several yards in front of you. If the driver of a van, truck, or bus can't see your actual bike in their mirror, the idea is that the light will make them aware of your presence. The projection is about the width of a bike lane, so it may also encourage drivers to give cyclists more road space than they would have otherwise. According to an independent study on the light from Transport for London, bikers with Laserlight are about 97 percent visible at night to drivers in vans (compared to 65 visibility with a standard LED light).

Emily Brooke came up up with the concept seven years ago as a design student at England's University of Brighton. After a frighteningly close encounter with a van while biking, she wondered if she could invent a way to get the attention of drivers even when she was stuck squarely in their blind spots.

Her product, originally dubbed Blaze, launched on Kickstarter in 2012. The campaign was a success, and now she's returning to the crowdfunding platform with a new-and-improved version of the item. Laserlight Core is easier to mount than its predecessor and it also projects a clearer image. You can reserve yours with a pledge of $75 or more with shipping estimated for December of this year. (It makes a great gift for the dedicated cyclist in your life, too.)

[h/t Fast Company]

Website Lets You Report Individuals Affected by Hurricane Michael to Search-and-Rescue Teams

Brendan Smialowski, AFP/Getty Images
Brendan Smialowski, AFP/Getty Images

When Hurricane Michael made landfall in Florida as a Category 4 hurricane on October 10, it became the strongest storm to hit the continental U.S. since 1992. Homes from Florida to Virginia have since been leveled and at least 11 people have died. With internet and phone lines down across the disaster zone, many people are desperate to know if their loved ones are safe—now there's an online tool that can help them.

If you're having trouble getting in touch with someone who was in the hurricane's path, you can report them through a new website set up by the Florida National Guard, First Coast News reports. The site asks for the person's name, gender, age, and address, as well as any life-threatening issues they may be facing, such as low oxygen or medication supplies. After you submit their information, the State Emergency Operations Center forwards it to the relevant local agency doing recovery work.

Michael moved back over the Atlantic as a post-tropical storm Friday morning following its rampage through the southeastern U.S. More than 1000 search-and-rescue workers have already been deployed in Florida alone, and the death toll is expected to rise as clean-up efforts continue across the region.

[h/t First Coast News]

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