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10 Google Hangouts Easter Eggs

The development team at Google usually hides fun little treats or Easter eggs in almost all of the company’s products and services—including Google Hangouts. Here are 10 fun tricks you can use to amuse yourself and your friends.

1. LMAO!!

Type “LMAO!!” (with the two exclamation points at the end) into Google Hangouts and an animated emoji will pop up to share a good laugh with you (and whoever you're typing to). Type it repeatedly and you'll eventually get a laughing fox and duck. "Hahahahahaha" and "Bwahahahahaha" will also bring up a laughing emoji or the fox/duck combo.

2. /ponystream

Are you bored at work? Type “/ponystream” (with the forward slash at the beginning) into Google Hangouts and watch a neverending stream of My Little Pony ponies running back and forth in your chat window. You'll notice that some have hats, sunglasses, and even flaming manes.

3. /ponies

If you're overwhelmed by the stream, type in “/ponies”—only a single pony will appear.

4. /shydino

Type “/shydino” into Google Hangouts and a small green dinosaur will slide onto the screen and hide behind an even smaller yellow house in the middle of the chat window. Typing it again will make it go away. "We had Hangouts users mistaking one of our emoji (the house with the tree) for a shy dinosaur hiding behind a house," Sanjay Mavinkurve, Google's Lead User Experience Designer for Hangouts, told HuffPost. "It seemed a shame to not have such an emoji, so we added the Easter egg."

5. woot!!

Type “woot!!” into Google Hangouts and an animated emoji will pop up in the center of the chatbox to cheer you on. Type it in repeatedly and a fox and duck will cheer with you too. Typing “Woohoo!!” or "Yay!!" into Google Hangouts does the trick too. Just remember to use more than one exclamation point to really show your enthusiasm or nothing will pop up. 

6. Happy Birthday!!

To wish someone a more festive birthday greeting, type “Happy Birthday!!” into Google Hangouts. You can get a number of emojis, including a happy emoji man popping out of a gift or a cake on a cart pushed by a fox (with a duck popping out!).

7. bikeshed

Are you sick of the simple white background in Google Hangouts? Type in “/bikeshed” and your chatbox will change to a random color. If the hue doesn't quite match your desktop, type it again for a new color. 

8. /pitchforks

Much like “/ponystream,” if you type “/pitchforks” into Google Hangouts, villagers with fire and pitchforks will run back and forth across your chat window. 

9. Konami Code

Google programmers love the Konami Code, which originally appeared in old school video games like Contra and Castlevania. You can tell how much they love it because they’ve included the special code in many services, including Google Hangouts. Leave your cursor open in Google Hangouts and type: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, and then hit Enter. This will change your background from dull white to a lively mountainside setting with green trees and blue skies.

The Konami Code also works with Google Now (it unlocks “unlimited free” searches), Google Chromebook Pixel (it starts an exciting light show with its LED lightstrip), and Google Play Games on a touchscreen device (it unlocks trophies).

10. Happy New Year!


Typing “Happy New Year!” in Google Hangouts (at any time during the year) will lead to an animated fox and duck who will celebrate the New Year with fireworks, trumpets, and overall merriment.

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How Google Chrome’s New Built-In Ad Blocker Will Change Your Browsing Experience
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If you can’t stand web ads that auto-play sound and pop up in front of what you’re trying to read, you have two options: Install an ad blocker on your browser or avoid the internet all together. Starting Thursday, February 15, Google Chrome is offering another tool to help you avoid the most annoying ads on the web, Tech Crunch reports. Here’s what Google Chrome users should expect from the new feature.

Chrome’s ad filtering has been in development for about a year, but the details of how it will work were only recently made public. “While most advertising on the web is respectful of user experience, over the years we've increasingly heard from our users that some advertising can be particularly intrusive,” Google wrote in a blog post. “As we announced last June, Chrome will tackle this issue by removing ads from sites that do not follow the Better Ads Standards.

That means the new feature won’t block all ads from publishers or even block most of them. Instead, it will specifically target ads that violate the Better Ad Standards that the Coalition for Better Ads recommends based on consumer data. On desktop, this includes auto-play videos with sound, sticky banners that follow you as you scroll, pop-ups, and prestitial ads that make you wait for a countdown to access the site. Mobile Chrome users will be spared these same types of ads as well as flashing animations, ads that take up more than 30 percent of the screen, and ads the fill the whole screen as you scroll past them.

These criteria still leave room for plenty of ads to show up online—the total amount of media blocked by the feature won’t even amount to 1 percent of all ads. So if web browsers are looking for an even more ad-free experience, they should use Chrome’s ad filter as a supplement to one of the many third-party ad blockers out there.

And if accessing content without navigating a digital obstacle course first doesn’t sound appealing to you, don’t worry: On sites where ads are blocked, Google Chrome will show a notification that lets you disable the feature.

[h/t Tech Crunch]

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Live Smarter
Amazon Will Now Deliver Whole Foods Groceries To Your Door
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Since its acquisition of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in 2017, Amazon has slowly been ramping up synergy between the two brands. An Amazon Go concept convenience store in Seattle allows customers to enter, scan their cell phone, and walk out with groceries without having to stand in line; select Amazon products, like their Echo devices, have made their way onto retail shelves.

Now, consumers in Austin, Dallas, Cincinnati, and Virginia Beach can use their status as an Amazon Prime customer to get free home delivery of their Whole Foods groceries. Beginning Thursday, February 8, the market will drop off orders within two hours. (One-hour delivery carries a $7.99 charge.)

“We're happy to bring our customers the convenience of free two-hour delivery through Prime Now and access to thousands of natural and organic groceries and locally sourced favorites,” Whole Foods Market co-founder and CEO John Mackey said in a statement. “Together, we have already lowered prices on many items, and this offering makes Prime customers’ lives even easier.”

Most everything in the store is eligible for delivery, though we’re not certain they’d deliver a live lobster. “Select” alcohol is also available. You can visit primenow.com to see if you’re in their delivery region. Keep checking, as they plan to expand throughout 2018.

If you’re not near a Whole Foods at all, other regional grocery chains like Wegman’s also offer home delivery on a subscription-based pricing structure.

[h/t The Verge]

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