Google Rebrands Itslef, Rolls Out Major Changes for YouTube, Docs, Google Voice
Article by George Norman
On 01 Apr 2010
Today, April 1st, is a big day for the Mountain View-based search engine giant…ahm, Google. The company announced that it is rebranding itself. The new name the company decided to go with is Topeka. The rebranding was spurred by the mayor of Topeka, Kansas. Earlier this month the mayor announced that Topeka would rename itself Google.

So Google decided to rename itself Topeka
. Eric Schmidt himself announced the change. "We’ve been wondering ever since how best to honor that moving gesture. Today we are pleased to announce that as of 1AM (Central Daylight Time) April 1st, Google has officially changed our name to Topeka. We didn’t reach this decision lightly; after all, we had a fair amount of brand equity tied up in our old name. But the more we surfed around (the former) Topeka’s municipal website, the more kinship we felt with this fine city at the edge of the Great Plains,” explained Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Topeka Inc, Eric Schmidt.


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Topeka Inc employees will no longer be called “Googlers”, they will be called “Topekers” or “Topekans”. A Topeka Ing board meeting today will sort this matter out. Google News will become Topeka News, Google Maps will become Topeka Maps, and so on.

Moving on, Topeka inc announced that it is experiencing some financial problems (bet Topeka Inc is regretting it gave Wikipedia 2 million right about now). To drive costs down, Topeka Ink decided to implement a big change on its popular video-sharing site YouTube. Starting today, the 1st of April, YouTube is proud to introduce a new text-only mode called TEXTp.

“TEXTp is the result of months of intense transcoding efforts by our engineers, who toiled for weeks to ensure that a large chunk of videos on the platform could be reduced to their most basic elements. By replacing the images in the video with a series of letters and numbers, the videos are far less taxing on our system -- and have the added benefit of promoting literacy! To give it a whirl, make sure you have the latest Flash player (10.0) and click here,” explained SVP and Chief Financial Officer of Topeka Inc, Patrick Pichette.

The changes do not stop here. The Google Docs team – pardon, Topeka Docs team - announced that as of today, the 1st of April, you can upload and store anything in Topeka Docs. And they do mean ANYTHING. The January announcement that you can upload any type of file to Topeka Docs (maximum size 1GB) is kids play. This time you can upload anything.

“As with documents, spreadsheets, and files, you also share objects you've uploaded to Google Docs with anyone in the world. For example, do you ever wish you could CTRL+F your house keys or your TV remote? Store your keys, remotes, rail passes, and other objects you commonly lose with Google Docs, and you'll never have to worry about finding them again. Having trouble moving your piano from New York to California? Upload it from your home in New York, then download it once you're in California. Change your mind and want to share it with your friend in England instead? No problem. With one click you can have your piano delivered to anyone you choose, anywhere in the world,” explained Product Marketing Manager, Topeka Docs, Peter Harbison.

Last but not least the Google Voice team – darn it I did it again; I meant to say Topeka Voice team – announced that due to user feedback, it is rolling out a new feature called Standard Voicemail Mode. It seems users missed the functionality of traditional voicemail – unexpected beeps telling you your time is up, full voicemail boxes that couldn’t store incoming messages, caps on the number of messages you can receive, things like that.

As detailed by Topeka Voice team member Jason Toff, this is what you can expect to get from Standard Voicemail Mode, which you can turn on from “Settings”, click on “Enable Standard Voicemail Mode”:
  • Automatic voicemail deletion: messages will be deleted automatically after 14 days
  • Numeric keypad access: access to voicemail will only be available via your phone
  • Beeper interoperability: your beeper will be paged every time a voicemail is left
  • Message maximums: store a maximum of 10 messages at any given time
  • Numeric page: people leaving you voicemails will be given the option to send a numeric page

Update: Gmail suffers an incredible outage, a new dimension has been uncovered using Street View.



Tags: Google, Topeka, YouTube, Google Docs, Google Voice, April Fools
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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Google Rebrands Itslef, Rolls Out Major Changes for YouTube, Docs, Google Voice
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