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Creating a Snapshot of the World with Google

Let’s create today’s snapshot of your world with Google and the alphabet in your language

Google performs serious processing of their log files to create their picture of the world, and they have a lot of more brain and computer power than I do. But hey, don’t you want to play a statistician too?

Last week I published a blog about using Google for getting quick help with my English grammar. One of the readers recommended me a commercial program for that. Why would I pay for the software, if I could get the answer I need for free within 2 sec? Buying specialized software would make sense if I’d be just starting learning English. But in my case Google is all I need. Besides, I have a degree in applied math and trust the law of large numbers.

I’m sure Google has tons of non-traditional uses. Don’t forget that Google started from Larry Page’s attempts to rank Internet pages. He didn’t plan to create a search engine. So let’s think out of the box and come up with other unusual uses of Google.

Here’s what I can offer you today: let’s create today’s snapshot of your world with Google and the alphabet in your language. Here’s what you should do: just type each letter from your alphabet noting down each word that comes out first, second, and third. This is my result with the English alphabet:

A – Amazon.com, AOL, Apple
B – Best Buy, Bank of America, Blumingdales
C – Craigslist, Chase, CNN
D – Dictionary, Dominos, Delta
E – ESPN, eBay, Expedia
F – Facebook, fandango, Food Network
G – Google, Gmail, Google translate
H – Hotmail, Hulu, Home Depot
J – Jetblue, J.C.Penny, J. Crew
K – Kayak, Kohls, Kindle
L – LIRR, LinkedIn, Lord and Taylor
M – Mapquest, Macy’s, maps
N – Netflix, Nordstrom, nj transit
O – Old Navy, optonline.net, occupy wall street
P – Pandora, pinterest, Paypal
R – Redbox, rate my professor, restoration hardware
S – Skype, Staples, Sears
T – Target, translate, Toys’R’Us
U – USPS, UPS, Urban Dictionary
V – Verizon, Victoria Secret, Verizon FIOS
X – Xbox, X Factor, Xbox Live
Y – Youtube, Yahoo, Yahoo mail
Z – Zappos, Zara, Zillow

Interesting, isn’t it? Who would have though that Craiglist is more popular than CNN… I’ve been running this experiment sitting at home in New Jersey, USA. This explains some location-related results like LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) or NJ Transit. So your mileage may vary even within the USA.

Google performs serious processing of their log files to create their picture of the world, and they have a lot of more brain and computer power than I do. But hey, don’t you want to play a statistician too? It’s better than killing time with Sudoku or Bud Light, isn’t it?

If you decide to repeat this experiment with your language alphabet, please post the comment here telling where did you run it from and copy/paste your results. Don’t you worry that the readers of my blog may not understand Italian or Greek – Google Translate will convert your result into whatever language they like, well, almost any language.

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a co-founder of two software companies: Farata Systems and SuranceBay. He authored several technical books and lots of articles on software development. Yakov is Java Champion (https://java-champions.java.net). He leads leads Princeton Java Users Group. Two of Yakov's books will go in print this year: "Enterprise Web Development" (O'Reilly) and "Java For Kids" (No Starch Press).

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