Archive for the ‘Blog Life’ Category

Why Google Instant ? ; Why Seams Obvious

Posted: September 16, 2010 in Blog Life, Google

Google Instant

I heard and read quite a bit recently with folks querying why Google has introduced Google ‘Instant Searching’ recently. To me this seems obvious on a few fronts, but I have not seen any mention of the most obvious reason. One well respective journalist/media papa-san (the great Leo Laporte), and Revision 3 HD guru Robert Heron, touched on it when he suggested that a company that has grown upward of 25% annually cannot do it forever, so has to be seen to do something new to make the shareholders/investors happy, and in Roberts case to make better searchers for the non google experts out there.

Something Borrowed Something New

Years ago when the Internet was new I had new online pioneers such as a large grocery store chain (now with a separate ISP business) and the largest banks in the UK ask me the same question; how much bandwidth do I need to buy and therefore supply my online customers for this new thing called the Internet, for them to have online access to my site. That was the late 1990’s, before the cloud was what we have today, where the word ‘Internet’ was new and the phrase ‘online customer’ was not used yet. The Internet bandwidth world has evolved, but my answer to them I think is not too different today when looking at the obvious Google motivation (cost savings)

Then a 64k dedicated (copper) internet connection was around $ 10,000 USD per month in the UK (fibre did not kick in until 2mb and above). My answer to these companies (and a question back to them) was simple, do you want them to stay online or do their business and get off. For the grocery store chain, they wanted folks to place orders and get off, for the bank, staying online perhaps meant looking at new services they offered so a better experience was better for them. The common measurement of the day was a 56k modem, so depending on how many customers you expected you would need to do the maths a good experience for an online customer was a 56k speed (the fastest anyone could reach you) or 28k for an average experience. The end result was actually surprisingly accurate and working for one of the largest Telco’s in the world I was viewed as a hero just to be able to offer a simple view of it all.

Tell Me Why?

Jump forward to Google instant, and I think you can see where this is going. 64k of bandwidth in an in house server has been replaced in Google’s case with over a million servers globally, in data centres around the world with huge bandwidth and search requests in the billions a day and at least 40 petabytes of data daily. The question remains the same does Google want people to stay online or get off. The answer might be both, but they likely want people to stay online (exposed to ads perhaps) but better if the searches are for the right item and the right ads. That is for every wrong Google, a user requests it is not far-fetched to see this is costing Google time and money. Speed up the search request and the savings would be huge.

Dumb as a Fox

Of course if Google was evil, then you could say that offering the wrong items in the search (also easy with Google instant) could expose users to many more wrong ads, and cost Google advertisers more money (offering them more fake hits) and making Google more money. Either way it seems Google wins, not so unexpected.

Story by MrInternet


Ping and iTunes 10 is a Bit Pongy

Following the announcement by the keeper of unicorn tears at Apple (Steve Jobs of course) , of the ‘new’ iTunes 10 and especially Ping! all seemed good.  Perhaps this would be a shot across the bow to facebook, perhaps a complete (and needed) re-write of iTunes that would finally play well with Windows.

Unfortunately, on digging a bit below the surface, old and new flaws appear, and nothing  good. iTunes 10 and Windows still do not play well together, and this shows up especially if you have lots of content (iPhone, iPad) with lots of  none purchased  iTunes music, podcasts, apps etc. Some say this is because QuickTime for windows is 3 generations behind (doesn’t help), others say it is just that Apple and Microsoft hate each other. Well with iTunes 10 being launched last week this was a great opportunity for all things to be fixed. It did not happen.

Ping Me, Ping This

The other problem especially with Ping, is that it only works (barely so far), is if your music collection exists only in iTunes purchases. Being outside the US, and between late launches, and publishing issues and the fact a lot of my music collection pre-dates iTunes.  I never, ever got in the habit  of purchasing music on iTunes.  Even if I changed that today. Some of my favorite music is still not in iTunes, including  many some folks do not have period or would want (Beatles live in Melbourne Australia 1964 is a good example). I cannot be alone with that surely.

The Ping Email from Apple

Welcome to Ping. As you get started, here are some tips on how to get the most out of Ping:
Finding People to Follow
Ping makes it easy to find and follow your favorite artists and friends. In iTunes on your Mac or PC, select Ping and click Featured Artists or Featured People to find new or noteworthy Ping members. If you know someone already on Ping, you can search for them by name from the Ping home page. You can even check to see which of your Facebook friends also use Ping by connecting Ping to Facebook when editing your profile.
Your Recent Activity
The Ping home page makes it easy to see recent activity and popular songs from the people you follow. To see what a specific person has been up to, just click on their name. If you find something you like in iTunes, you can tell everyone that follows you by clicking “Like.” You can also recommend a song, album, or a person’s activity – and add your own comment – by pressing Post. And remember, you can always remove any activity you create by clicking Remove from your Profile page.
Purchases and Reviews
Ping automatically tells anyone that follows you whenever you purchase new music or write a review for an album. You’ll also see which of your friends have purchased a song or written a review right from the album page on the iTunes Store.
Going to Concerts
Whenever you follow an artist, Ping will automatically recommend upcoming concerts from that artist and even tell you which of your friends are also going. To see upcoming concerts for a given artist, click Concerts from their artist page in the iTunes Store.
These are just a few of the great new features of Ping. We’re excited to have you participate in a worldwide conversation with the world’s most passionate music fans.
The iTunes Store Team
iTunes Store

iPad Arrival is it Make or Break Time for Australian Newspapers?

Whilst Apple continues to play with the launch date of the new iPad, (moved from 28 May to early June now just June) ; newspapers around the globe, and old media have a vested interest in reporting on the new iPad.  It is their strong belief that the iPad might be the last hope of many a newspaper.  The Herald Sun newspaper of Australia typifies the desperation. Speaking to James C a reporter with the rag, when asking about the iPad, seemed to almost have a tear in his voice when he asked if I thought the iPad would save the newspaper industry.

The herald sun has fallen on hard times like many newspapers. They still report on circulation numbers today that are 5 years old. Unfortunately many newspapers like the Herald Sun have refused to embrace new technology and live in the past. A mistake many US newspapers learned the hard way years ago. The herald sun plans to introduce technology soon (a new apple app) that will allow the new Apple iPad to view the newspaper online. They seem to be unaware; this technology could have benefited them years ago when the first Apple iPhones and other ‘smart-phones’ were introduced.

This is worsened still when very little technology is reported in Australia by Australian reporters.  Reporters and Newspapers often seem bewildered when explained that newspapers online have a circulation potential much bigger and much wider then they had before. If nothing else the demographic of those that will read a newspaper online is very different and should be treated as such with the content and advertising they receive. One fellow Australian reporter seemed amazed at the knowledge that someone in Australia would look at US newspapers online, or someone outside Australia would look at an Australian newspaper. A fact few newspapers have managed to benefit from financially.

Some papers like the New York Times USA and ITnews Australia do understand and have embraced technology a long time ago.

Ironically the herald sun ran a video article about the iPad on Sunday 23 May 2010 with a reporter James C in Fed Square, Melbourne. Unfortunately the video uses Adobe Flash the online format the iPad, iPhone and others cannot use.

If newspapers are going to survive online they are going to need to understand the technologies they expect to save them.

Rumour has it that if enough e people were to petition the case for “digg” to become a real word.This is done (with no promises) by sending a comment around something like:

I think “digg” should become a verb, as to “digg” a site meaning to blog it and the “digg” effect meaning the impact of multiple mass of digg users visiting a website in large numbers often resulting in that site being overloaded with visitors due to over a 60,000 simultaneous users visiting the site.

There are not guarantees this will work but a couple of hours a day are spent considering new words to be added to the next dictionary.

There’s a new Blog in town.

Vox by the folks that brought you TypePad, Moveabletype and LiveJournal have moved more to a public beta or “groundbreaking” stage.

Recently when the legendary Leo Laporte commented on the issues around Digg and Netscpate he did so via his blog on VOX. As it was in beta only few could reply (smart move Leo).
There’s a good interview with Mena Trott on the Inside the Net podcast about Vox. (thnx to gwjc)
The tools seem good and intuitive, but I will need a better play.

But being able to add sound or video to your blog seems especially easy and the formatting writing tools are a nice touch.

Look me up when you get there-