Google

Google's BigTable

Jeff Dean talks about Google’s Distributed Semi-Structured Data Storage solution. (video)

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google and the yahoo fixation

Another Yahoo clone: Google Finance. The current mode of operation looks like this:

(1) Take a Yahoo! service.
(2) Clean up the UI, remove the ads
(3) Throw some search mojo at it to keep Google a “search company”
(4) Release it to the public.

There’s also part (5), where we watch the service crash repeatedly with cute messages (Orkut, PageCreator, Reader). So much for innovations in scalability. Considering what you expect from the big G, I’m still surprised how I’m yet to see a Yahoo! property ever get overwhelmed. I did once notice the whole of Y!Groups crash and reboot sometime last year, but that’s about it.

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skype p2p data

The gooresearch blog has a post on a study by Saikat Guha, Neil Daswani, and Ravi Jain, of a Skype supernode at Cornell. Here’s an HTML version of the paper, for those who can’t access the (currently inaccessible) mirror site. I used to attend FIITJEE classes (coaching for the IIT entrance exam) with Saikat; smart guy. He was off my radar for a while now, it’s a pleasant surprise to have his name pop up in my aggregator all of a sudden. :)

Update: It seems that this work was done at NTT’s DoCoMo Labs, with Ravi Jain and Neil Daswani having moved to Google recently. Why is this on the Google blog then?

google whacking

Google recruiters are now using Yahoo 360 to recruit Yahoo Employees! Haha, very nice.

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google research blog

Google Research now has a blog.

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goodesktop 3

If I were you, I would stay away from Google Desktop 3. The EFF’s worries are a little far fetched, but not unplausible at all. To be very honest, this combined with personalized search, Google Talk archiving, and GMail Talk are really worrying me. It’s like incubating a dinosaur egg. It might be a brontosaur, but it might also be a T-Rex.

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google mumbai, google delhi

Google opens sales offices in Mumbai, Delhi. Total tally: an R&D center in Bangalore, an engineering center in Hyderabad, and 2 sales offices.

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switch

From “Greg”:http://glinden.blogspot.com/2006/02/motivating-switching-from-google.html:

As Mike points out, one way to get people to switch is to be obviously better. That’s what Google did to Altavista to steal the crown.

No, that’s not true. The real reason Google is popular is because Yahoo! switched from Inktomi(in a way, AV) to Google as their search engine, complete with “powered by google” signage. So you have the #1 website on the Interweb telling everyone that Search = Google. Then, when search became important (because the Internet exploded in terms of content, and hence usefulness of web search), people had no trouble to switching from a huge portal to a dedicated search engine they already used.

miffed at the g magic

I’m both a little amused and a little disappointed at the whole aura of awesomeness that Google seems to have. They change tabs into a stupid select box, and the whole world goes like “Whoa, interface innovation…. awesome….”. Guys, this is how they had them in 1996 ya know. They change the result page to have vertical tabs, and people are amazed… guess what, a company you might be familiar with has already been there and done that. Makes me laugh.

Then, the disappointing bit: Like Cecilia says, Google is fighting the US government because it has a good economic stand in the US; and on the other hand, it’s cooperating with the Chinese government because they realy want to get into the booming tech market there. Here’s a dictionary link to the word hypocrisy.

Forget public opinion. Every single “innovation” the big G has released on their own weblog in the recent past is a stale rehash of something others have done years before. Custom Buttons? Go look at MSN’s IE Toolbar development kit. Internationalized Software? Oh, I’m impressed. TV on Google Video ? Just like iTunes, eh? nice. New Imagery in Maps? Playing catchup with Microsoft’s Birds Eye view, aren’t you? Delete Buttons!! Don’t even get me started. Federated Google Talk Holy crap, they wrote a jabber client. And MSN and Yahoo have corporate versions that do multiple servers, etc anyway.

Cmon Google! Show me the money!

Sidenote: The real innovation is subversive and controversial, and hence not very publicized. Google now personalized pretty much everything; search results are heavily personaized according to my preferences, and when and what I’m searching for. In my view this isn’t such a bad thing, but we’ll keep this for another blogpost.

prof. baeza-yates jumps on the y! bandwagon

(hat tip: solzaire)

Arnab’s Law of Information Retrieval: Every famous researcher in Information Retrieval will eventually be hired by Google, Yahoo! Research, or Microsoft Research :)

While Yahoo’s execs are throwing in the towel for search, I’m quite impressed by the research momentum the Y company is building up. And now they get Prof. Ricardo Baeza Yates on board as head of the new Y!Research Spain/Chile.

That brings the tally of Yahoo Research Locations to:

  • Pasadena (the Overture office, afaik Dr. Pennock sits here)
  • Bangalore (not really Y!R, but there is an R&D group here)
  • Berkeley
  • Santa Clara
  • New York
  • Burbank
  • Barcelona
  • Santiago

I’ve met Prof. Yates, he’s a really awesome guy. Looking forward to some interesting search query log work from him :)