Feeds

Google Labs passes Borges test

Considered experimental

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Google has opened its kimono on some new labs work, soliciting feedback for four experimental features.

"These are experiments, we want people to play with them," Google's Nathan Tyler told us. An accompany FAQ stresses that the projects are in rough works-in-progress, suppported only by Google staff in their own time, and may be hauled offline at any moment for repair. "We ask for your indulgence if a demo refuses to run, or even walk quickly," according to the FAQ.

Nor is there a commitment that any of these will become real Google features. All that said, they're as fun as they promise.

The four are a Glossary, a Keyboard Shortcuts feature that allows you to hot-key through your search results - provided your browser is up to snuff - a dial-up voice interface and a Sets predictor.

You'll want to try the Keyboard Shortcuts feature right away. It's very addictive, a one-key alternative to tabbing your way through a page of results.

But even more impressive is the Sets feature. Google's popularity has been attributed to the fact that it doesn't try to classify the Web, unlike the Yahoo! directory, so here was a paradox right out of the box. How would it shape up?

The first attempt:- "Lettice" and "Magee" failed to produce a "Cullen". Or anything else. Then I offered this set of five to complete: "those that belong to the Emperor", "embalmed ones", "those that are trained", "suckling pigs" and "mermaids".

And the Sets pretty much hit the spot, finding fourteen entries:-

Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge


...although "those that tremble as if they were mad," was omitted, and another entry duplicated.

You can find out more about this celebrated list at this fine site, and why it's popular with anthropologists: people who classify things. And stoners too. That made our day.

You can provide feedback on the four experiments at four new Google newsgroups.®

Related Link

Google Labs

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
DVLA website GOES TITSUP on day paper car tax discs retire
Welcome to GOV.UK - digital by de ... FAULT
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.