The HowOldRobot reckons bearded Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen looks 10 years older than Bill Gates. In fact, the age difference was 1,010 days or 33 months.

A couple of software engineers — Corom Thompson and Santosh Balasubramanian – had been exploring “Microsoft’s newly released Face detection API’s through a webpage calledhttp://how-old.net.”

They emailed a couple of hundred users to get some beta-test feedback, “optimistically hoping that at least 50 people would give it a shot.” In a few hours, they had 35,000, albeit around 29,000 were from Turkey. Today, the conflagration spread through Twitter and, as you know, Twitter drives the tech media industry. The result was a rash of blog posts, including this one.

The website is extremely simple: you choose or upload a photo and the #HowOldRobot tells you how old you look. It’s obviously better to get a robot to do this than a human being: robots are not too smart, so you won’t be too insulted. And because it’s saying how old you look, not how old you are, it’s never going to get your age wrong. Of course, it might be wrong about how old you look, but there’s bound to be some wriggle room.