18.13, Friday 4 Mar 2011 Link to this post
Origin of the name "Google":
Sean and Larry were in their office, using the whiteboard, trying to think up a good name - something that related to the indexing of an immense amount of data. Sean verbally suggested the word "googolplex," and Larry responded verbally with the shortened form, "googol" (both words refer to specific large numbers). Sean was seated at his computer terminal, so he executed a search of the Internet domain name registry database to see if the newly suggested name was still available for registration and use. Sean is not an infallible speller, and he made the mistake of searching for the name spelled as "google.com," which he found to be available. Larry liked the name, and within hours he took the step of registering the name "google.com" for himself and Sergey (the domain name registration record dates from September 15, 1997).
Baidu is Google's competitor in China, and is the 6th most popular site in the world.
Origin of the name "Baidu":
'Baidu' was inspired by a poem written more than 800 years ago during the Song Dynasty. The poem compares the search for a retreating beauty amid chaotic glamour with the search for one's dream while confronted by life's many obstacles. '...hundreds and thousands of times, for her I searched in chaos, suddenly, I turned by chance, to where the lights were waning, and there she stood.' Baidu, whose literal meaning is hundreds of times, represents persistent search for the ideal.
Incidentally, Baidu's city maps in China are all super-cute pixelated 3D cartoons of themselves.
Here's one place I found: a miniature Eiffel Tower, next to a dense urban city hive. [Huh, my link stopped working.] It's like browsing the future dressed up as a children's game.