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Thursday
Jun092011

Google Logo is Guitar Tuner in Honor of Les Paul

Google(MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.) -- Google honored Les Paul, the legendary musician who would have turned 96 on Thursday, with a logo that mimics the chords of a guitar.

Turn up the sound on your computer, move your mouse over the logo, and enjoy the results. You can even record what you play. Click on the black button near the bottom right corner of the logo, strum for up to 30 seconds, and click again. Google will reply with a short URL, or Web address. You can copy that and email it to your friends.

Les Paul -- to say nothing of your friends -- might cover his ears at the cacophony that's been created today. But that's the fun of it. Out of respect for your neighbors, and perhaps your office mates, you may want to keep your computer's volume low.

If you click on the logo, you'll learn that Paul (1915-2009), born in Waukesha, Wis., pioneered the modern electric guitar, making the sound of modern rock music possible. He married, and performed with, the singer Mary Ford starting in 1949; they divorced in 1963. Paul continued to give concerts until a few weeks before he died of pneumonia at age 94.

Google regularly alters its logo to mark anniversaries, major events or birthdays of notable figures, or sometimes just to be quirky. The so-called Google Doodles have become more ambitious over time; one Friday in April its logo turned out to be a playable version of Pac-Man, the iconic 1980s arcade game.

Even though the doodles are a small part of Google's very big business -- it only has half a dozen artists to do them -- it takes the doodles seriously. In March, the company went so far as to patent them. The U.S. Patent Office awarded Sergey Brin, Google's co-founder and head of technology, with Patent #7,912, 915 for what's known as the doodle.

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ABC News Radio