Dreaming of a white Christmas? Look no further than Google, who tucked a new snow-themed secret into its search engine this holiday season.
Type "Let it snow" into Google, and the search engine will reward you with some lovely flurries. Digital snow flakes flutter into view, while pixelated frost sneaks in from the top and bottom of the screen. Pretty soon, the effect fogs up the entire window, allowing you to draw messages in the virtual frost. You won't be able to click on any of the search results, but don't worry. The normal search icon turns into a "Defrost" button. One click will wipe away this icy veneer.
"Let it snow" stands as Google's latest Easter egg, a term for little secrets hidden in movies, video games, or websites. The search giant has sprinkled dozens of these little treats into its various pages. So, don't go back to work just yet!
Last month, searchers discovered "Do a barrel roll." Typing those four words into Google flips the entire browser. (Have you heard about Nintendo's role in bringing you "Do a barrel roll"?)
There are plenty of other hidden gags. Have you tried searching for "askew"? What about typing in "number of horns on a unicorn + the loneliest number"? Or have you attempted to make Google talk like Elmer Fudd?
And, of course, Google has some more overt surprises, such as its regular Google doodles. The company has rolled out winter doodles several years in a row, so expect a new batch this holiday season.
If "let it snow" isn't working, check your browser. The trick will not work in Internet Explorer 6, 7, or 8, nor in older versions of Firefox or Safari. Several of Google's recent Easter eggs use HTML 5, code that only runs in up-to-date Web browsers. So, what better time to do something boring – like update software – than to take a moment right now in order to do something fun – like enjoying all these Google Easter eggs.