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War of the Halloween Videos: Google Goes for Cute, Microsoft Bets on Horror

I guess there are three ways to approach Halloween: you can go for cute, scary or sexy. Every year, both Google and Microsoft like to produce something Halloween-themed and this year is no exception. As in so many other areas of their competing businesses, he difference between their attemps’ attempts to bring some Halloween fun to the Internet couldn’t be more different: Google produced a family-friendly video-doodle of its employees carving pumpkins and Microsoft went all out to produce a short horror video featuring its Kinect controller.

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Google Celebrates Charlie Chaplin's 122nd Birthday With a Video Doodle

These days, barely a day passes without Google featuring a customized logo – a Doodle in Google’s parlance – on its homepage. Most of these celebrate national holidays or commemorate important people. Sometimes, though, Google goes beyond simple drawings and goes the extra mile, as it did in the case of Jules Verne’s birthday a few weeks back, or when it featured a playable version of PacMan as its logo last year. Today, to celebrate what would have been Charlie Chaplin’s 122nd birthday, the company is featuring a video doodle on its homepage.

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Google Gets a Patent for Doodles

It took more than 10 years, but after filing for a patent for a “provides a periodically changing story line and/or a special event company logo to entice users to access a web page” in April 2001, the U.S. Patent Office today granted Google’s Segey Brin a patent for the company’s iconic Doodles. Google Doodles are the variations on the company’s logo that it uses celebrating holidays and special events. They appear on Google.com and its international versions.

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Google's Logo Dives 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (with Accelerometer Support)

It isn’t quite the Pacman doodle, but today’s version of Google’s iconic logo introduces a whole new degree of interactivity to the animated logos the company sometimes produces for special occasions. Just in time for Jules Verne’s 183rd birthday, the company produced a whimsical logo that allows you to steer the submarine from Verne’s famous 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with the help of your laptop’s or tablet’s built-in accelerometer. You can also play along by using the keyboard.