Software

Google wishes you happy birthday with personalised doodle

Happy birthday! For whenever it is, obviously. Google won't be missing your special day in future, surprising you with a personalised birthday doodle.

Happy birthday! What do you mean, "We missed it"? Many happy returns for next year then. Google, for one, won't be missing your special day in future, surprising you with a personal birthday doodle.

Google recently turned 12 and is happily sharing a slice of the metaphorical birthday cake. When you visit the Google home page on your birthday, you'll see an achingly on-trend cupcake, alongside a present, party popper and ribbon that loosely spells the name of the search giant. So you're guaranteed at least one Internet monolith will remember your birthday, even if no-one does.

The doodle is an interesting example of companies rewarding you for sharing personal data. What's next? Share your address and Google will add a little picture of your face to your house on Street View?

Clicking the doodle takes you to your Google profile, a personal page that can be made visible and searchable if you want. You can enter your birthday details in your profile, and you can also link your blog, Twitter, Facebook and other online activity there, if you've given up on the whole privacy thing and resigned yourself to the fact that Google knows everything about you anyway.

Google has also renamed its Google Suggest feature to Google Autocomplete. The new name makes it seem less like Google is offering suggestions and more like it's automatically showing search queries other users have entered. We imagine the change might have something to do with a recent French ruling that Suggest defamed a chap, who earned €5,000 as a result. To celebrate the change, we suggest taking a look at some of Google Suggest's greatest hits.

If today actually is your birthday, then stop reading this, blow out your candle, and have a lovely day. Don't forget to make a wish!