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Balls! Does anyone know what Google's new homepage logo is all about? On Tuesday, the company rolled out a new doodle made of colorful balls that explode across the page when you mouse over it. The best guess is that the new doodle celebrates the incorporation of Google on Sept. 7, 1998. However a Google spokesperson dismissed this idea to at least one publication. After the jump, here are the most likely ideas bouncing around the web:

  • It's an Anniversary Party Trick, writes Bill Chappell at NPR: "The one-off logo is evidently a way for Google to celebrate its birthday... Depending on which browser you're using, they stir themselves up to welcome you back from another tab. Guess what: it works best with Chrome. That seems to be because the balls rely on HTML5. Viewing the source for the page reveals what is, at least on my laptop, six full screens of code. That's a labor of love, and I guess it should be."
  • Not So Fast, writes Nick Saint at Business Insider: "Usually Google's custom logos are tied to holidays or historical events in a way that is fairly obvious, and, when users are confused, clicking on the logo triggers a search explaining it. This time, however, clicking on the logo does nothing. There is already a lot of speculation out there, for instance that this has something to do with Google's birthday. But Google denies this, and none of the other explanations we've read seem convincing."
  • Other IdeasĀ  "Some experts have speculated this is Google's way of showing what its Chrome browser can do in HTML5 -- the latest version of the standard programming code for displaying Web content," offers Larry Hartstein at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Others have called it a stunt to hype a forthcoming announcement." Or maybe they're honoring a scientist, suggests Softpedia, "Google's logo is a JavaScript-based particle movement simulator, suggesting the logo may be in honor of a scientific achievement or notable personality." Or maybe they're honoring the bouncing ball, offers Mark Smith at The Detroit Free Press, "The one clue I could find this morning was in the Wikipedia entry for the bouncing ball. According to the site, the bouncing ball 'was introduced in September 1925 with the film My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean.' That would make the bouncing ball 85 years old this month."

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