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In the Googleplex
Not-affiliated with Google fun and hobby blog about Google
Not-affiliated with Google fun and hobby blog about Google

In the Googleplex's posts

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Google has modelled the first scalable quantum simulation of a molecule. This means, among other things, that the simulation might (can?) predict chemical reaction rates, which must be calculated at extremely high precision. This could lead to:
"a quantum enabled paradigm shift from qualitative / descriptive chemistry simulations to quantitative / predictive chemistry simulations".
“...nature isn't classical, dammit, and if you want to make a simulation of nature, you'd better make it quantum mechanical...”
Richard Feynman
Simulating Physics with Computers

One of the most promising applications of quantum computing is the ability to efficiently model quantum systems in nature that are considered intractable for classical computers. In collaboration with Harvard, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, UC Santa Barbara, Tufts University and University College London, we have performed the first completely scalable quantum simulation of a molecule. Learn more in the Google Research blog, linked below.

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Ha ha, it isn't even for April 1st! This is great: Deep Excel!
"Artisanal data science: Instead of slurping heaps of data from the Internet, EXCELNET enables you to hand-enter both weights and inputs, just like in the good old days. The resulting numbers are more authentic."

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Secret questions are neither secure nor reliable enough to be used as a standalone account recovery mechanism. #spam   #security  
Catching up on new research from the Spam and Abuse team
posted by +Elie Bursztein, Google Spam and Abuse Research Team

The Google Spam and Abuse team has been busy lately with new research focused on helping to improve users' experiences and keep the web safe. As an important part of our efforts to educate and protect people online, we’d like to highlight two of these studies which which have been presented at conferences recently.

Deceptive Ad Injection Hurting Users
The Spam and Abuse research team - in collaboration with Safe Browsing, Ad Spam, and university partners - investigated the prevalence of deceptive ad injection and the tangled web of different players involved ( The paper Ad Injection at Scale: Assessing Deceptive Advertisement Modifications (, was presented in May at the IEEE Symposium on Security & Privacy ( and was awarded Best Paper.

The Ineffectiveness of Secret Questions
Secret questions are used by many services as an additional layer of security to protect against suspicious logins. Despite the prevalence of security questions, their safety and usability have rarely been studied in depth. In collaboration with the Identity Team and university partners, we recently investigated these questions (, concluding that secret questions are neither secure nor reliable enough to be used as a standalone account recovery mechanism. The paper Secrets, Lies, and Account Recovery: Lessons from the Use of Personal Knowledge Questions at Google (, was presented in May at the International World Wide Web Conference ( and was awarded Best Paper.

The team is constantly working on new projects and we’ll look forward to sharing more with you soon.

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Google Research developed an aLOLgorithm, “Quantifying comedy on YouTube: why the number of o’s in your LOL matter” to measure YouTube videos’ hilarity. Let’s just refer to it as the LOLgorithm, for my ease of typing. Initially, I thought it was a prior year’s April Fool’s Day post. It isn’t! Google began by identifying the humorous videos, which is easier said than done.  YouTube’s search engine is not the greatest. 

Google started with the semantic meaning of the title, designated by the uploader, and the video description and tags if provided. Next, they used viewer reactions as indicated by comments to categorize the humor videos into sub-genre. 

Viewers emphasize their reaction to funny videos in several ways: capitalization (LOL), elongation (loooooool), repetition (lolololol), exclamation (lolllll!!!!!), and combinations thereof. A “loooooool” indicates greater viewer amusement than a “loool”. The final step was ranking the selected videos by relative funniness. The LOLgorithm seems accurate to me. 

An amusing example of contextual/semantic mismatch is an appalling spelling error in a cover of AC DC’s Thunderstruck, performed by The Vitamin String Quartet. The title is listed as TUNDERSTRUK. Looks like the LOLgorithm is working, because that’s what I’m doing now...

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Ultimate context-appropriate CAPTCHA: The answer is Ohm denominated!
The  Electronic Library website of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology ( has a CAPTCHA that is a little more challenging than most. Care to take a crack at it?  Or you could just cross that bridge when you get to it...
2 Photos - View album

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I miss Google Sets and Google Square, discontinued as of 2010 or 2011.  This post reminded me of both.
Smart Autofill - Harnessing the predictive power of Machine Learning in Google Sheets

Much of Google’s work on language, speech, translation, and visual processing relies on machine learning, where we construct and apply learning algorithms that make use of labeled data in order to make predictions for new data. What if you could leverage machine learning algorithms to learn patterns in your spreadsheet data, automatically build a model, and infer unknown values?

You can now use machine learning to make predictions in Google Sheets with the newly launched Smart Autofill Add-on ( Smart Autofill uses Google's cloud-based machine learning service Prediction API (, which trains several linear as well as non-linear classification and regression models to predict the missing values of a partially filled column in your spreadsheet by using the data of other related columns.

For more information and a tutorial, head over to the Google Research Blog.

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Chickless in Seattle with Microsoft  #bing  search

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Google recently updated its References for Webmasters.

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Very fine post via The Source!
All the News that’s Fit to Read: : A Study of Social Annotations for News Reading

News is one of the most important parts of our collective information diet, and like any other activity on the Web, online news reading is fast becoming a social experience. With news article recommendations and endorsements coming from a combination of computers and algorithms, companies that publish and aggregate content, friends and even complete strangers, how do these social annotations affect users' selections of what to read?

Head over to the Google Research Blog, where Stanford University Ph.D candidate and former Google Intern +Chinmay Kulkarni and Google Research Scientist +Ed Chi report on results that suggest that social annotations, which have so far been considered as a generic simple method to increase user engagement, are not simple at all.

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Grace Hopper invented #cobol  (among other things). COBOL lives on, keeping her memory and accomplishments alive for us. This is one of my favorite Google Doodles. It is perfect; every detail is correct, and beautiful. Thank you, +Research at Google.
How many women can you name who have both a supercomputer and a U.S Navy destroyer named after them? Grace Hopper—who we’re celebrating with a doodle today in the U.S.—is one. “Amazing Grace”’s contributions to computer science made her a pioneer in the field. She created the first compiler for a programming language and led the development of COBOL, the first modern programming language. Happy 107th birthday to Grace Hopper!
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