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Fuel for Thought

The King of Bluetooth Devices

By Greg Huggins
Posted Mar 27th 2018 11:14AM

Today, you can hardly look anywhere and not see a Bluetooth device for sale or being used. As drivers, we know all too well the Bluetooth name and a myriad of devices that help keep us connected to the rest of the world even when we are driving in very remote areas. Bluetooth enabled smartphones and a Bluetooth headset keeps our hands free for driving while allowing us to take important calls safely. Bluetooth is just a part of everyday life for many, but do you know why we use this name or where it came from?

Bluetooth was actually the nickname of King Harald Blatand. He was a Danish king who ruled from 958 to 986 and was nicknamed Bluetooth because of his love of and frequent eating of, yes, blueberries. He was known for uniting the warring factions of Denmark, Norway and Sweden during his reign. 

What does that have to do with today’s Bluetooth technology? Well, Jim Kardach of Intel was working on a way to unite wireless technologies in the mid 1990s, and also at the time he was reading a book about the Vikings and, yes, King Harald was in that book uniting those warring factions. He thought it was a good name as a placeholder, but it then spread and took hold.

If you are now wondering about the symbol for Bluetooth, well that can also be traced to King Harald. It is a combination of two Danish runes. The symbols of H and B for Harald Blatand was combined to make the symbol we all know as the Bluetooth logo.

One of our most common 21st century device technologies has its roots going back to the 10th century.

On a similar note, we all know the name Google, but do you know the origin of the name? It is not uncommon to hear someone say “Google it”, but the original nickname name was BackRub. Can’t you just hear someone telling you to “BackRub it”? It was dubbed backrub because the new search engine checked backlinks to estimate the importance of the site. Eventually the name was changed to the Google we all know today, but that was due to a misspelling of the word googol. Googolplex was suggested and then shortened to Googol.  Googol is the term used to represent a 1 followed by 100 zeroes, and it was picked to signify the enormous amount of information the search engine provided. However, when Googol was verbally agreed upon, it was misspelled during an internet domain name search as Google. Google.com was available. Larry Page and Sergey Brin started the search engine, but it was Larry and fellow graduate student Sean Anderson, that were trying to come up with a name for it. It was Sean’s misspelling which led to the Google name. Thank you Sean for relieving us of the name BackRub and giving everyone a new name for searching the web - Google.

Now when you tap your Bluetooth button and search Google, you can think of a King and a misspelling for .002 seconds while your search results are generated.

 

See you down the road,

Greg

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