Weird names abound in the tech world and though we utter many of them on a daily basis (some have become verbs, no less), the fact remains that a good chunk of them make very little sense. We decided to do some digging to find out how some of the most famous tech entities in the world got their utterly familiar yet strange names.
The search giant was founded by Sergey Brin and Larry Page in 1998. While they were searching for a suitable name for it, they stumbled upon the word ‘Googol’, which means a hundred zeroes after one, coined by a mathematician Milton Sirotta. Some claim that it was later changed to Google for a better sound, but some employees say that the teller at the bank didn't know how to spell Googol and ran with his best guess—Google. Since this was the cheque for company formalities and registration, the name stuck. Oh, by the way, the company was originally named BackRub by Brin and Page!
Members of the podcasting company Odeo came up with a project idea while brainstorming. They named the initial project Twttr based on the SMS short codes and later changed it to Twitter. The word meant “a short burst of inconsequential information” or “chirping of birds”, which was perfect for a social network based on thoughts expressed in under 140 characters. That's why we see that blue bird chirping everywhere around us on the internet. Twitter celebrated its 10th birthday recently.
ALSO READ: Twitter's 10 Iconic Moments Of All Time
Tinder is a remarkably unromantic name for a dating app, but they weren’t being wilfully contrarian. The company started off with the name Matchbox, but this didn’t ‘strike’ the right chord. The company’s founders wanted to stick with the fire theme to suggest sparks between two people, so they trawled through the thesaurus and the word ‘tinder’ sent their hearts aflutter. They thought the name might get confused with ‘tender’ but they didn't mind that.
The popular voice assistant which is present in almost every iPhone was a separate app once. It was a spin-off product from SRI (Stanford Research Institute). The founders wanted something simple and Siri sounded a lot like SRI. In addition, Dag Kittlaus, the CEO who is of Scandinavian origin wanted to name his child Siri once. In Norse, 'Siri' Means a beautiful woman who leads you to victory. Siri also means ‘secret’ in Swahili, which was a nod to the company’s former monicker— stealth-company.com.
In 2003 while studying at Harvard University, Mark Zuckerberg hacked into the university's database and got the students’ IDs and Photographs. He used it to make a ‘Hot or Not’ type of website. The university didn't have an official resource containing all the names and information of the students. So, Zuckerberg decided to name it 'Freshman Facebook' initially. In 2004, tweaked it and launched it as ‘thefacebook.com,’ later dropping the article ‘the' and acquiring a new domain.
The Indian restaurant listing and search company was started in 2008 as Foodiebay. Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah started the website to upload menus of restaurants, and in 2010, the company started to build a smartphone app for restaurant reviews and menus. And since it rhymed with ‘tomato’ the company was renamed as Zomato while launching the mobile app.
What's up with that green little robot we see on the most popular mobile operating system? The word first appeared in the 1860s to denote small automatons and was later used in sci-fi movies for human-like robots. In 2003, Andy Rubin set up his company to build the mobile operating system which was later acquired by Google.
The famous photo-sharing app that has seen more pictures of cappuccinos and sunsets than should be legal started its journey under the name Burbn. Kevin Systorm, co-founder and the CEO, picked this name because it sounded like bourbon, one of his favourite alcoholic drinks. Now, this app was very similar to FourSquare, but the check-ins were not as popular as photo sharing. So the company pivoted the product to make it a full-fledged photo sharing app. When they wanted to pick a name Systorm wanted something which suggested 'right here right now'. And thus Instagram was born.
A long way. Still in motion.
Trying to decide if I like a vertical or horizontal layout better... I'm leaning towards this one because it gives more space to see it in smaller screen resolutions.
When I logged into Twitter this morning I noticed that my account had been integrated with the new version of Twitter. It's my understanding that Twitter is rolling this out to everyone over time. Everyone may have it by now, or maybe my turn just turned on for my turn this a.m. Whatever the case, I'm really digging the new version. Above is a screen shot which what a flickr set link looks like in Twitter now. In the past if you pasted a link to a photo or a set on Flickr it would just be a text only link. Now you can actually expand the tweet and in the right pane a rich media panel shows up detailing your flickr photos visually. That's very slick. Sets especially are rich, with the ability to actually watch a mini slideshow version of the set right on Twitter itself. I'm not sure yet if there is a way to automatically push daily Flickr uploads to your Twitter stream, or what this might even look like, but I'm really enjoying the ability to manually post more media rich links to Twitter. I did use the tool on Flickr to link my Flickr/Twitter accounts, but I think this is more about giving me a special email address to tweet mobile flickr images than it is to auto publish my images like I have done in the past at Buzz or Friendfeed. Geotags on photos it would appear now can also be included now on photos on Twitter. I haven't exactly figured this out yet and am not sure if it will happen automatically on flickr geotagged photos or not, but this second screenshot of my friend @Troy (who works at Twitter) shows a recent photo of his dog @JPG's account (who is now tweeting too) which shows what the geotag embed looks like. One of my chief complaints about Twitter over the years as a photographer is that Twitter never did photos all that well. While sites like FriendFeed and Buzz provided a richer visual media experience, Twitter was always all text based and I never felt it particularly did a good job showing off photos. This new Twitter design though is pretty massive in terms of improving the visual appeal of Twitter for both myself and I'd think other photographers. I'm actually using Twitter more and more these days based on some of the great new features like this that they've been rolling out. I also love their recently launched suggestions feature -- which is probably the best suggestion feature I've ever seen on any site on the web. I've found Twitter suggestions to be far more spot on in terms of suggesting new people that I might want to follow. Ever since they launched this feature it's been daily serving me up fresh and relevant suggestions on who I should follow. Many of the people are people that I was completely unaware I wasn't even following. By contrast suggestions on other sites like Buzz have been far less relevant for me. Congrats to Twitter on the newtwitter. It's a great new improvement to the site. You can follow me on Twitter here.
the disgusting spam that shows up within minutes of signing up for twitter
New sign up page