As I am sure many of you noticed today, Google changed its name to Topeka. But why, you ask? Well because the town of Topeka, Kansas changed its name to Google for the month of April. Topeka, Kansas is one of many communities that have entered a pool of contestents to vie for a fiber-based 1 gigabit broadband network to be provided by Google sometime in the near future. To get Google’s attention, Topeka Google’s Mayor Bill Bunten changed the town’s name and this is how Google pays it forward. Though it’s quite a gesture of gratitude, Google has this to say: “We want to be clear that this initiative is a one-shot deal that will have no bearing on which municipalities are chosen to participate in our experimental ultra-high-speed broadband project, to which Google, Kansas has been just one of many communities to apply.” And that’s why you see Topeka at www.google.com today.
“Google Translate for Animals” does just what you think an app with that name would do. Check it out in action in the video above.
The latest addition to YouTube is TEXTp, a text-only mode way of watching (most) YouTube videos. Once you flip the switch (found in the same place to select SD/HD modes) the YouTube video will playback in ASCII code, or a dumbed down jumble of letters and numbers. It’s pretty neat! The Lego Matrix stop motion video was made to be dressed in ASCII code, and Trololo (the Creepy La-La-La Guy) looks downright funky.
Google on the new addition: “TEXTp is the result of months of intense transcoding efforts by our engineers, who toiled for weeks to ensure that a large chunk of videos on the platform could be reduced to their most basic elements.” “For every person who selects TEXTp and keeps it on while you watch a video, you save YouTube $1 a second, resulting in potentially billions of dollars of savings for us.”
Head over to YouTube to check out your favorites in TEXTp mode, or add append &textp=fool to the end of any video URL to enable the feature. This better not be a one-day deal, Google!
And lastly there’s the new Google Wave wave notifications. They’re real time, real life notifications from a human male in a lab coat who literally waves at you when your Wave account receives a new message. To enable the new notification system, access the the drop down menu that appears in the Inbox Navigation panel. There you can choose from four levels of loudness: Silent, Medium, Loud or Vibrate. Now see what it’s all about in the video above.