Quiz: Are you a Google expert?

You may have been following Google all year long, but do you think you know as much about the company as it does about you? Google's privacy policies aside, we've pulled together a 10-question quiz to test your Google expertise and inside knowledge. Try it and see if you're truly a Google expert or just another wannabe. (Warning: If you have to Google an answer, you receive automatic wannabe status.)

1. What quirky article of apparel did Sergey Brin wear to the launch of the first Android-based phone--the HTC/T-Mobile G1--in New York City?

a. A Google messenger bag with an "I (heart) New York" sticker on it.

b. Parachute pants, circa 1980.

c. A black hooded sweatshirt with a picture of Fall Out Boy on it.

d. Rollerblade-like wheelie sneakers.

Answer on next page.

Answer: D. They helped him quickly get from the NYC Transit/Google Maps event to the G1 press conference--although he along with Google co-founder Larry Page both ended up late nevertheless.

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2. What is the almost-too-good-to-be-true name of Google.org's executive director?

a. Dr. Cure

b. Dr. Brilliant

c. Dr. Charity

d. Dr. Benevolence

Answer on next page.

Answer: B. Dr. Larry Brilliant is spear-heading Google.org's several attempts at making the world a better place to live. These include tracking and fighting the spread of the flu to battling AIDS and SARS.

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3. It wasn't until this year that Google founder Sergey Brin decided to begin a personal blog. What startling bit of news did he reveal in the very first installment?

a. His intention to leave the day-to-day running of Google to CEO Eric Schmidt and co-founder Larry Page so that he has more time to spend with his family.

b. His imminent trip as a space shuttle tourist.

c. That he is predisposed to Lou Gherig's disease.

d. That he is predisposed to Parkinson's disease.

Answer on next page.

Answer: D. Ever the marketer, Brin used the Parkinson's info as a platform to publicize his wife Anne Wojcicki's new firm, 23andme, which provides DNA testing "as entertainment," and via which he learned the news.

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4. In August and then again in October, Google Apps and Gmail experienced several outages in a row, leaving enterprise admins questioning their commitment to the cloud-based platform. How many outages did Gmail experience in August?

a. 2

b. 3

c. 4

d. Too many to count

Answer on next page.

Answer: B (3). After that debacle, Google quickly moved to credit Apps Premier users and after the October outages, it introduced SLAs for its Apps suite. The jury is still out as to whether such moves will help it truly make gains in enterprise accounts.

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5. Throughout 2008, Google was embroiled in a contentious copyright suit with media conglomerate Viacom over Google subsidiary YouTube's broadcasting of copyrighted Viacom content. As part of the discovery process, Viacom requested private YouTube user and employee data be handed over. What was Google's response?

a. A flat no. The matter is still being negotiated.

b. Yes, but only YouTube records from the past 6 months.

c. Google hedged, claiming such data was too difficult and expensive to produce and that it needed more time.

d. Yes, but only anonymized data for actual YouTube users, not employees.

Answer on next page.

Answer: D. Google fought the request but in the end decided to hand over anonymized user data, while withholding employee data (which is more sensitive, since it may show that YouTube employees knowingly downloaded and posted copyrighted content).

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6. Google this year patented a new kind of data center, one that should be easier to deploy, greener and more self-sufficient. What was its most striking characteristic?

a. It encompasses several square miles.

b. It uses hydrogen fuel cells as its main power source.

c. It floats.

d. It's designed to be located in a desert and run on solar energy.

Answer on next page.

Answer: C. Not only would the proposed data center float, but it could be placed in the ocean, beyond territorial limits, saving regulatory and tax headaches. It would also use seawater as a cooling agent. Read more.

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7. Once Barack Obama won the presidential election, rumors surfaced that he was considering Google CEO Eric Schmidt as the country's first U.S. CIO. Schmidt declined the post, but then another Googler's name surfaced as a possible pick for Energy Secretary. This Googler ended up not being nominated, however. Who was he/she?

a. Anna Patterson, former Googler and Cuil founder

b. Dan Reicher, renewable energy chief

c. Jimmy Clidaras, co-inventor of the floating data center idea

d. Larry Page, Google co-founder

Answer on next page.

Answer: B. Dan Reicher's name was bandied about, but eventually Obama chose Nobel laureate Steven Chu.

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8. Google removed the beta label from Chrome just 100 days after it launched the browser. The move was in stark contrast to Google's usual approach toward keeping new products in beta, sometimes for years. At last count, how many Google products are currently still in beta? (Hint: The number includes 4-year-old Gmail.)

a. 22

b. 49

c. 35

d. 15

Answer on next page.

Answer: A. Google lists 22 products, out of a total of 49, still in beta, meaning nearly half of its products don't yet meet Google's criteria for a full-fledged product. See Paul McNamara's take on the conundrum.

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9. Google was notoriously slow in providing Android SDK updates to its nascent developer community, but what move in July helped tick off Android's early developers even more?

a. It closed the SDK program to a strict list of "pre-qualified" developers.

b. It decided to provide an updated SDK only to carriers T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T.

c. It decided to keep Android development solely inhouse.

d. It issued an SDK update, but only to winners of the Android Developers Challenge.

Answer on next page.

Answer: D. Unfortunately, the announcement of the new SDK update, though aimed only at Developers Challenge winners, mistakenly was e-mailed to all participating developers.

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10. And speaking of errant communications, how did the world find about the existence of Chrome, Google's brand-new entrant in the browser wars?

a. An errant e-mail posted to the Android Developers list.

b. An insider document sent anonymously to the Washington Post.

c. A comic book sent in error to Google Blogoscoped's Phil Lenssen.

d. A comic book erroneously posted to the Official Google Enterprise Blog.

Answer on next page.

Answer: C. Yes Phil Lenssen, creator of Google Blogoscoped and a guest blogger here at Google Subnet broke the news after he mistakenly received a comic book explaining the ins and outs of Chrome. Created by cartoonist Scott McCloud, the comic book quickly made the rounds--and Google's browser intentions were out of the bag.

So, how did you do? See the next page for the scoring breakdown:

8-10: A true Google expert

5-7: You're almost there--keep Googling

3-5: Google is not your strong suit

0-2: You're just a wannabe. Check out Google Subnet once in a while.

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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