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January 14th, 2007
03:00 pm
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Holy shit ... Google gets cooler every day
While writing the above post, I did some quick Google research for the origins of the D&D magic system ... only to discover a surprising quirk of their search engine.

Check out this Google search for "dungeons dragons." Notice anything odd?

... Notice how the context highlighting matches the input phrase dungeons dragons to the page phrase D&D? (Based on my prior search, this is true even for pages on which the words "dungeons" and "dragons" don't appear.)

Maybe I wasn't forward-thinking enough when I created DWIM for the TTU setting. Earth web searches might get there yet, magic or no.

Current Location: ~calorg
Current Mood: surprisedsurprised
Current Music: The Bee Gees, "Tragedy"
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:January 15th, 2007 01:36 am (UTC)
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Maybe the Tomorrowlands setting has a fan or two (dozen) in the Google devteams.

It IS pretty cool. How accurate is it for obscure references, though?
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From:baxil
Date:January 15th, 2007 01:52 am (UTC)
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> It IS pretty cool. How accurate is it for obscure references, though?

If you mean DWIM, then since it's fictional, it's arbitrarily accurate. (Though it does have its limitations, which I subsequently explored.)

If you mean Google's new features ... then it looks as though this is still fairly limited. I looked up "read the f*cking manual" and "be right back," and it didn't highlight either one of their popular acronyms. Similarly, "generic universal roleplaying system" doesn't context-highlight "GURPS."

But it's still a cool discovery!
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From:taral
Date:January 15th, 2007 02:30 am (UTC)
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Google has a big database of potential semantic equivalences and approximants that it uses.
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From:baxil
Date:January 15th, 2007 02:49 am (UTC)
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Nifty. Do you know any of the others?
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From:taral
Date:January 15th, 2007 04:01 am (UTC)
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Many acronyms are automatched (e.g. coh) -- I don't know of any others offhand.
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From:elynne
Date:January 15th, 2007 07:10 pm (UTC)
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Do the acronyms have to be linked by hand, do you know? Or does Google have the ability to inference the acronym from the phrase without human intervention? ;)
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From:taral
Date:January 15th, 2007 11:14 pm (UTC)
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I do not know.
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From:taral
Date:January 15th, 2007 04:04 am (UTC)
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I just did "neverwinter nights" and it matches "nwn".
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From:solanth
Date:January 15th, 2007 03:02 pm (UTC)
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It's looking as though it works mostly with acronyms, like the above D&D, or nwn, or one I just noticed, a search for "Drum and bass" highlights "DnB" as well.
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From:eclective
Date:January 15th, 2007 11:36 pm (UTC)
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...I was Google searching just now and something happened that made me remember this post; I was searching for "ps2 play pal games ntsc console", without quotes obviously, thinking it didn't matter what order I put the words in. When I found that most of the results were for, indeed, playing PAL games on an NTSC console, on a whim I tried "ps2 play ntsc games pal console", since I own a PAL console and that was what I wanted to do -- and the results now go in the other direction. Same words, but it's assigning context to them.
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