A Wild Google Chase: Search@Home

Fake News written by James Baughn on Saturday, October 16, 1999

from the proof-that-bill-gates-is-satan dept.

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 that the search queries "more evil than satan" and "evil monopoly" caused the Microsoft homepage to appear after clicking the "I'm feeling lucky" button.

"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 listing:

  • 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 queries:

  • worst company (ZDNet is listed as number one, much to our delight)
  • 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. 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 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 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.

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