Jim Grandy wrote:

From: jgrandy Subject: stupid Google game Date: January 7, 2006 6:17:58 PM EST

Google for “unfortunately, yournamehere”:

Lots of fun hits for “unfortunately, jim”:

  • unfortunately Jim’s orange dry suit made him look like a carrot

  • Unfortunately Jim is no longer with us as he died of a brain tumor in 1993.

  • Unfortunately, Jim did not respond. He disbelieved that it was an angel.

  • Unfortunately, Jim is only one person with a limited amount of time available to help Jane find answers to her questions.

I’ve turned this into a web page here.

I prototyped it with a screen scraper for Google, but I didn’t want to deploy a screen scraper.

Fortunately, Google has a Search API.

Unfortunately, Google’s API uses SOAP.

Fortunately, Ruby has a SOAP library.

Unfortunately, the Ruby SOAP library doesn’t work on Dreamhost.

Fortunately, the Yahoo Web Search API uses REST.

Unfortunately, Yahoo’s summaries don’t include enough right-hand context, so it’s harder to extract decent sentences from them.

Maybe I’ll go back to screen-scraping after all.

Update: Jim tells me he got the idea from Jorg Brown at Google.