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JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images
JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images

What Google Paid The Man Who For One Minute Owned Google.com

JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images
JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images

Tempted to brag about the greatest online shopping deal you've ever found? It probably won't come close to the bargain Sanmay Ved scored in October 2015. The researcher managed to buy Google.com on Google Domains when he saw it listed for $12. While he only owned it for a total of one minute, it was a worthy investment. Google revealed this week that Ved was paid about $6000 because of the mix-up.

When Ved first snatched up the iconic domain, Google almost immediately canceled the transaction and awarded him money for his troubles. But the amount and exact circumstances were previously undisclosed. This week, the company announced on its blog that Ved's payout of $6006.13—a number the company says spells out "Google" if you "squint a little" while reading it—was a part of its Vulnerability Rewards Program. Since its launch in 2010, the program has awarded more than $6 million to researchers around the world who found "vulnerabilities" in the site's security.

"Rewarding security researchers for their hard work benefits everyone," Google wrote in the blog post. "These financial rewards help make our services, and the web as a whole, safer and more secure."

Ved's prize wasn't the program's biggest payout in 2015 (that honor goes to a single payment of $37,500 awarded to an Android security researcher), but it will have a big impact. When Ved decided to donate the money to charity, Business Insider reports, Google offered him another reward: The company doubled the payment, turning his original $12 purchase into a good deed worth $12,012.26.

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History
The Queen of Code: Remembering Grace Hopper
By Lynn Gilbert, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Grace Hopper was a computing pioneer. She coined the term "computer bug" after finding a moth stuck inside Harvard's Mark II computer in 1947 (which in turn led to the term "debug," meaning solving problems in computer code). She did the foundational work that led to the COBOL programming language, used in mission-critical computing systems for decades (including today). She worked in World War II using very early computers to help end the war. When she retired from the U.S. Navy at age 79, she was the oldest active-duty commissioned officer in the service. Hopper, who was born on this day in 1906, is a hero of computing and a brilliant role model, but not many people know her story.

In this short documentary from FiveThirtyEight, directed by Gillian Jacobs, we learned about Grace Hopper from several biographers, archival photographs, and footage of her speaking in her later years. If you've never heard of Grace Hopper, or you're even vaguely interested in the history of computing or women in computing, this is a must-watch:

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Animals
Watch Christmas Island’s Annual Crab Migration on Google Street View
Google
Google

Every year, the 45 million or so red crabs on the remote Australian territory of Christmas Island migrate en masse from their forest burrows down to the ocean to mate, and so the female crabs can release their eggs into the sea to hatch. The migration starts during the fall, and the number of crabs on the beach often peaks in December. This year, you don’t have to be on Christmas Island to witness the spectacular crustacean event, as New Atlas reports. You can see it on Google Street View.

Watching the sheer density of crabs scuttling across roads, boardwalks, and beaches is a rare visual treat. According to the Google blog, this year’s crabtacular finale is forecasted for December 16, and Parks Australia crab expert Alasdair Grigg will be there with the Street View Trekker to capture it. That is likely to be the day when crab populations on the beaches will be at their peak, giving you the best view of the action.

Crabs scuttle across the forest floor while a man with a Google Street View Trekker walks behind them.
Google

Google Street View is already a repository for a number of armchair travel experiences. You can digitally explore remote locations in Antarctica, recreations of ancient cities, and even the International Space Station. You can essentially see the whole world without ever logging off your computer.

Sadly, because Street View isn’t live, you won’t be able to see the migration as it happens. The image collection won’t be available until sometime in early 2018. But it’ll be worth the wait, we promise. For a sneak preview, watch Parks Australia’s video of the 2012 event here.

[h/t New Atlas]

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