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Chroming at Google with Sergey

Google’s been writing their own web browser: Google Chrome. Recently, the Chrome team hosted a launch party at the Googleplex to celebrate the release of Chrome beta versions for Mac and Linux, and also the beta launch of Chrome extensions.

With Chrome extensions, developers from outside Google can write software to modify the Chrome experience. Individuals can install these extensions to enable features that are useful to them, but aren’t necessarily of value to everyone who uses Chrome. (Those features are part of what Google will provide.)

A team at eBay has been working on an eBay Chrome extension (what else?), and apparently the Chrome team liked it so much they asked us to come and show-off the eBay extension at their launch event!

Unfortunately, the team lives in London, so they couldn’t fly all the way to California to be there. However, they passed the ball to me, and I agreed to be their talking head for a day.

Overall, my five minutes of Chrome fame went quite well. I talked about why Chrome extensions matter to eBay and also how third party developers can build their own eBay extensions, too. Also, as someone said to me: “they laughed at your jokes.”

But don’t take my word. My wife Beth joined me for the afternoon and took this beautiful flip HD video of my talk. (Warning: the sound is a little low.)

eBay Chrome Extension Demo from Tifton Drive Productions on Vimeo.

Now, as to the Sergey teaser in my headline…

While we were in the event space getting ready for everyone to come in, I looked up and saw a robot heading out of the corner of my eye. It looked like a small screen mounted on a skinny pole that itself was mounted on a wider base of wheels. (Think of a less human looking version of Number 5 from Short Circuit.)

Adam prepping before the Chrome event

All of a sudden the robot wheeled our way and we could see that there was a TV screen on the top (along with a WiFi router on the back side). Looking at us through the screen were two people. One of whom was Sergey Brin.

Before we could properly process any of those facts — as my post cannot recreate the surrealism of the experience — Sergey started talking and asking us questions. We realized the was a video camera mounted on top of the TV screen, so we were involved in a two-way video chat with Sergey, who was in his office, driving the robot around, and looking for people to talk with.

After some short chitchat, we almost got him to stay for the event, but it was still 30 minutes before kick-off, so he rode off in search of other projects.

After he left, someone else from Google came up to us and said “What did you think?” My reply: It was very on brand — exactly what I expected to find when I came here. :)

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Tracking our sabbatical journey

Beth and I blogged much of our five week sabbatical trip. We pulled down the wedding information at bethandadam.org and replaced it with travel photography and a few videos.

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