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[humorix] A Wild Google Chase: Search@Home

A Wild Google Chase: Search@Home
October 16, 1999

Hackers at MIT have launched a distributing computing
project called Search@Home to analyze the Google search
engine for all queries that return the Microsoft homepage
on the first page.  The project was prompted by
word-of-mouth  reports[1] that the search queries "more
evil than satan" and "evil monopoly" caused the Microsoft
homepage to appear after clicking the "I'm feeling lucky"

"Google's search algorithms obviously employ some kind of
artificial intelligence.  For instance, ZDNet is the number
one result for 'worst company'.  I mean, Google has some
smart software, and we want to know how it works.  Besides,
it's funny seeing all of the phrases that cause the
Microsoft homepage to be returned," a Search@Home
programmer explained.

Search@Home clients for Unix systems are already available,
with other platforms expected soon.  The client combines
various words together and then sends a request to Google
and analyzes the results.  Some of the words that are
searched for include: evil, Satan, monopoly, vaporware,
bloatware, bad, worst, crap, world domination,
assimilation, FUD, and buggy.

After six hours of operation, the project has found that
these search terms return Microsoft as the number one
- evil empire
- evil plans for world domination
- more evil than satan
- evil company
- evil monopoly
- worst operating system
- microsoft sucks
- bill gates sucks
- bill gates is evil
- evil world domination conspiracy
- worst browser
- software monopoly
- crappy computer company

In addition, Microsoft is listed on the first page of these
- worst company (ZDNet is listed as number one)
- nothing but evil
- source of evil (eBay is returned as well)
- buggy software
Said one Search@Home hacker, "We hope to utilize millions
of CPU cycles to find every single Google easter egg.  Who
cares about alien signals, prime numbers, or encryption? 
This is so cool!"

A member of the Humorix Vast Spy Network(tm) told us that
searching for "worst portal" causes the Humorix homepage to
appear as number one.  We're still trying to puzzle that
one out.  Our lawyer, Noah Morals, wants to sue Google for
reckless defamation of our trademark.  (We really need to
get a new lawyer.)  In addition, "best operating system"
and "cool operating system" return a link to Linux.org, as
one would expect.

Out of curiosity, the Humorix staff decided to search for
"Tuxissa", the name of the fake virus we reported on last
March[2].  The results were shocking. Anti-virus software
makers Symantec, Datafellows, and Sophos all had pages
devoted to dispelling the Tuxissa virus "hoax". We here at
Humorix are still laughing about this one.

The Symantec site[3] says, "Please ignore any messages
regarding this supposed 'hoax' and do not pass on any
messages regarding it. Passing on messages about this hoax
serves only to further propagate it."

Sophos[4] goes further and states: "There are many clues to
the fact that this message is a hoax - not least the fact
that the original date on the 'alert' is 1 April, the
reporter calls himself 'Humorix', and the claim that the
'virus' installs Linux 'invisibly in the background'... No
such virus currently exists. Although much technical
information is presented in the email to give the hoax
credibility, the actual details are clearly incorrect."

What part of "fake news" don't these people understand?  Oh
well, I suppose any publicity is good publicity.

Humorix stock dropped 24% in heavy trading Friday when
investors realized that Humorix is the "worst portal" on
the Net.  Bill Gates, More Evil Than Satan Himself(tm), was
unavailable for comment at press time.

[1] http://www.tbtf.com/archive/1999-10-05.html#s10
[2] http://i-want-a-website.com/about-linux/mar99.shtml#Tuxissa
[3] http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/tuxissa-hoax.html
[4] http://www.sophos.com/virusinfo/scares/tuxissa.html			      


James S. Baughn

Humorix:      Linux and Open Source(nontm) on a lighter note
Archive:      http://humbolt.nl.linux.org/lists/
Web site:     http://www.i-want-a-website.com/about-linux/