When is an Easter Egg not an Easter Egg? Here are a couple of examples which seem to break the code.
When does something count as a Coded Easter Egg? The accepted definition of this long-standing tradition includes a hidden software feature crafted by the application developer that the user comes across by either by accident or by deliberately hunting for it.
So when the Google Operating System blog announced three "geeky new" Easter Eggs in Google search my initial reaction was that they couldn't count as Easter Eggs as Google was blogging about them.
The quirky feature now incorporated into Google search will puzzle and amuse those who come across then by accident and they are indeed "geeky" - who else but a geek would search for different bases but then again would a real geek bother?
If you do a search for "binary", "octal" or "hexadecimal" you may see the number of results reported in that base - i.e. there are about:
0xfa3e80 results for Hexadecimal;
0o52257540 results for Octal and
0b10000010011101100111000000 results for binary.
This feature is pretty hidden. If you are logged in as a Google+ user, for example, you'll see the number of results reported as normal in base 10.
So we can indeed allow this new feature to be a coded Easter Egg.
However, the latest addition to the list of Application Software Easter Eggs on the Easter Egg Archive, a website that collects these sightings, isn't a permissible Easter Egg - although it is amusing and is Easter-related. It is also Google-related - this time on Google Earth.
The instructions in this case are to open the Google Earth Search Bar and copy and paste in the following co-ordinates:
When you perform the Search you do indeed see something very puzzling.
Google Earth also has a photo to click on to see it more clearly. And it is indeed a giant rabbit, or perhaps giant stuffed toy is a better description.
But this "Epic Bunny" is not an artifact introduced by clever coding. It is real, physical rather than virtual, and so technically this is not an application software Easter Egg - although it is a good joke and one that would have taken a lot of effort to produce.
The idea of creating follies of one sort or another on the surface of the earth just so they get photographed and hence viewed on Google Earth might well be a new and growing phenomena. Thinking about it the advertising potential is huge... at least earth sized.
Microsoft has launched the Prime Challenge, asking you to use cloud computing to find "lost primes". If this idea appeals to you can get a free trial subscription of Windows Azure to create and access [ ... ]