What is Google counting down?

If you go to the Google homepage and click “I’m feeling lucky” a number appears (it’s now somewhat less than 1 1/2 million). Is it a countdown until 2010? Something more sinister? Feel free to speculate wildly.

Looking around it seems evident that it’s the number of seconds until the new year.

I’m guessing a countdown until 2010

But which time zone?

As of today, that’s a little over 17 days. Looks like it’s a countdown to the new year.

Here’s my theory - it could be a countdown to the new year.

They have been playing around with changes to the search page and sometimes they don’t put that button. Sometimes they don’t put any buttons and you start the search by hitting the enter key. My guess is that we’ll see the results of their research on January 1 and the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button will be gone.

Yep, it’s 12:00:00 EST January 1, 2010.

Have they ever counted down to the new year like this before?

Are they releasing some new product then?

All of them!

My guess is that is the countdown to the New Year based on Eastern Standard Time. At that point everyone in the world will be required to switch to GoogleTime®. It is loosely based on EST but removes some of the traditional holidays from all cultures and replaces them with special Google Holidays. Time efficiency shifting, somewhat like Daylight Saving Time, is a new feature but occurs many times a year. The algorithm that determines what this will be is still a secret, or a Google says, a surprise. It will announced as much as a week ahead of time to give people time to adapt. The only way to keep updated is to log into Google on a daily basis.

It looks like it is a script that uses the time on your computer to calculate the number. You can see this by changing the date on your computer and watching the counter jump a large number of seconds.

Rio, by Duran Duran.

It’s a countdown until facebook becomes self aware. How Google knows this, I am not sure.

No, it’s “The Final Countdown” by Europe.