Google Archive

Social networks overtake Google in the UK

This post &utm_content=Google+Reader)makes it clear that we need to think beyond just SEO when building web properties. If you think about it, SEO and now also integrating with Social Networks is probably the most important thing you can do for your digital property. If you are building a site that no one can find, what’s the point. I do think social will help grow you link popularity, at least tangentially. At the end of the day, link popularity is a factor in organic SEO anyway.

from http://eu.techcrunch.com/2010/06/08/report-social-networks-overtake-search-engines-in-uk-should-google-be-worried/

Android, platform without a vendor?

Tim Bray spoke at the Razorfish technology summit a couple of years ago. It looks like he’s finally leaving Sun/Oracle to join Google and work on the Android platform. Android has been getting plenty of press and looks like a fun device, I’ve played around with a bunch. In Tim’s post about joining Google, he gives credit to Dave Winer for recognizing that Android is the ‘_platform without a vendor’._  That’s a neat way to put it. At the end of the day, the most exciting thing to me is choice, competition, and different perspectives. We are all guessing at where the future is headed and the only way to find out is through experimentation and learning.

Keeping the cloud open

I really like Matt Asay’s article on why we need to focus on keeping the cloud open and less about keeping the operating system open. If you think of the cloud as an ‘array’ of applications and less of a hosting solution it starts to open up the aperture on it’s true potential. Imaging the ability to stitch together applications across the cloud like you can stitch together data. Basically a yahoo pipes for applications not just data.

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Google creates another new language - Noop

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc... Image via CrunchBase

Google announced a new language called Noop today.  It looks pretty interesting, building on the power of spring and most notably for them, building dependency injection right into the laungage. Here’s some of the highlights. As we look across the projects we are working on it’s clear how important Spring has become to our architectures. It’s nice to see a more formal recognition. It’s always neat to see the impact of ‘side projects’ at Google.

  • Dependency injection built into the language

  • Testability - a seam between every pair of classes

  • Immutability

  • Syntax geared entirely towards readable code

  • Executable documentation that’s never out-of-date

  • Properties, strong typing, and sensible modern standard library

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Windows : Mac :: Google : (?) - It happens to be "bing"

Believe it or not but Microsoft’s newly evolved search engine bing is nothing less than the answer of the above analogy question. You must have solved many of these analogy questions during your SAT exam. When I apply my knowledge and understanding to the question“Windows : Mac :: Google : (?)”, my answer is “bing”.

Remember when Apple release it powerful Mac OS X operating system, almost every single pundit in the industry agreed that Mac may not be the most powerful system for productivity but it is certainly the coolest and the best for creativity. Young people care more for creativity and less for productivity. Windows simply felt old and outdated. Mac operating system took off since then and market share for Mac is still increasing at a growing rate. This time bing hits a home run. After the launch of fully revamped bing search engine (or as they call it decision engine) Google search kind of feel old and out dated.

Some people say bing = “But it’s not Google”. I could not agree more. As Windows can never be Mac, bing can never be Google. In fact this time it is better for Microsoft to craft its own path and define its own destiny in search engine. The cool informational home page imageand vibrant brand colors have some kind of enigmatic charm. The creativity of bing may not appeal to mass population yet but as I know it many young kids simply love bing. They think bing aligns more with their taste.

While there are many features that make bing cool (and I will let you find out most of them yourself), I believe for me following are the best:

  • Home page image: Everyday bing has a fresh new vibrant image that simply amazes me.

  • Image search: Image search has never been so good. Every single query provides with an option to pick an image and do “find similar”. Additionally the in-browser searching and navigation of the images is absolutely next generation thinking.

  • Video search: This is where despite the ownership of “You Tube” Google has failed to show value. Thumbnail preview in bing is simply outstanding.

  • Shopping: Oh the cash back program. Spend 1,000 on a gadget and get some money back to go have a ice cream this summer. J

  • News: Google has a strong lead in this field but bing has gone a step further by adding ability to search only blogs… I love that feature. People’s opinion matter more than journalists’ won’t you agree?

The list is simple but shinny. bing’s appeal to my creativity (which is not abundant) is noteworthy. I am an avid Google user but nowadays I go to bing for more than ½ of my search queries. It is fun and engaging. Google search results are still the best. So when I am searching for something very critical (items on which my job is dependent on :)) I still believe in Google but for everything else I go to bing…

If you have not already then just start “binging it”…

– Salim Hemdani

Cloud interoperabiltiy

Image representing Google App Engine as depict... Image via CrunchBase

It’s great to see cloud computing pushing for deep interoperability. This MSDN post covers some interesting topics around the manifesto and also speaks a bit about some interesting demos showing integration between Google’s App Engine and Azure. Very excting.

“At MIX, we highlighted the use of our Identity Service and Service Bus with an application written in Python and deployed into Google App Engine which may have been the first public cloud to cloud interop demo.”

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OpenCloud Manifesto = Skynet

The Terminator album cover Image via Wikipedia

Exciting to see folks pulling together some Cloud Computing standards to help us live seamlessly across the different cloud vendor offerings. I heard it first on the This Week in Tech podcast, it’s starting to sound a lot like the Terminator’s version of Skynet. Get it, clouds, skynet… Anyway, iIt seems like this should be a requirment for redundancy, not to mention the ability to move based on feature needs. Yes, sure, Cloud Computing is inherently redundant, but only across one vendor. It’ll also help us realize the best value and features quickly. I think the other thing it shows is that there is a lot of room for competition. It won’t just be the big players out there.

The manifesto itself was also interestingly absent of any of the big players. A quick glance at the manifesto and it’s refreshingly light, which is good. It seems to think more standards are on the way, which may or may not be a good thing. I think there are lots of lessons to be learned from standards like Corba or ws-deathstar. All in all good news and a recognition that the clouds are moving quickly.

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Google Chrome - Why it is different?

Yesterday, Google launched its first beta version of open source web browser called Chrome. Some people consider this launch as Google’s attack on Microsoft’s IE and some regarded this launch as yet another browser to choose from. Google indirectly claims that market needed a fresh web browser. A browser that is written from scratch with a next generation thinking even though Chrome is built on WebKit an existing open source web browser engine. Google’s long term strategy behind this product is unknown but I believe it is the move Google should have made long time ago.

One of my old college used to say “Do not go under the spotlight if you cannot control the outcome on the stage”. Google’s business is solely based on internet and its growth. Google is under the spotlight on the stage of internet play from the beginning but it had zero control on the way people got to the internet and the way browsers interpreted the web pages. With Chrome, for which I predict it will have a substantial market penetration soon, Google will gain some control on the outcome.

Apart from the business strategy aspect, Chrome browser does have some neat technology advancements. Chrome has done every effort to make browser more stable, faster, clean, simple, efficient and safe. Few things that are specifically noteworthy are:

  • User controlled multi process browser which creates independent browsing environment making it fast, stable, scalable and safe.

  • Platform independent JavaScript Virtual Machine called V8 which converts JS source into native machine code for faster processing.

  • Smart conservative garbage collection methods for fast JS interpretation speed.

  • Open source Gears for development community to create additional features.

  • And lastly search feature for your browser history, suggestions integration on address bar, incognito mode for private browsing, sandboxing of plug-in controls, pop-up blocker, phishing sites security warning etc

Google launched Chrome only for Windows which forced me to restart my Mac in boot camp mode with Windows Server 2003. I am eagerly waiting for a Mac version which Google has promised to launch shortly.

– Salim Hemdani

How cool is this new search engine - cuil.com ?

By now almost everyone who keeps an eye on search market is aware of the launch of new search engine - cuil.com. And to my amazement most of us have already given a verdict on this new offering as to if this is a real Google killer or just another dying hope for those Google haters. Cuil has also got a lot of attention from Google lovers - this launch was a real attention grabbing hoax.

So what makes cuil.com center of attention?

  • Cuil.com is developed by couple of engineers who have a hand in developing Goggle’s search engine. This particular fact has given them a lot of credibility. 

  • Secondly, this search engine indexes many more pages than Google does. I did not know that Google does not index the entire world’s web pages – may be cuil indexes pages from other planet’s ecosystem too but any how this fact makes cuil.com an attractive offering. More pages means more results .

  • Finally, last but not least and I think most important is that cuil.com does not remember your search queries – a big win for those privacy advocates who are trying to get Google for a long time now.

So what is your verdict of this cool or not so cool offering? I will share my first experience and for those who believe in “first impression is the last impression” I did not have a good experience. My first hit to cuil.com on the day it launched resulted in a service not available page (too many hopefuls flocking on to cuil.com). Since then service has been bought-up and I have given it few more tries but I could not make up my mind.

As of today Google is still the kind of search for me and I bow to thee. What you guys think?

Google Gears and the offline/online trend

With Google Gears, Adobe Air, and Microsoft WPF there’s definitely lots of exciting changes in the desktop application area. Using the openness of the web to crack open the ‘closed’ nature of regular documents that we use today. At the recent Avenue A | Razorfish Enterprise Solutions summit, Andrew McAfee asked the audience who works on documents alone. Only one person in the room of 70  people raised the hand (still not sure why:)). The point is that we collaborate on everything we do and the traditional method of document revisions and changes is much slower than real-time changes and updates ala wiki style technology. The challenge is applying that to all the tools we use on a daily basis. How can we make code changes more collaborative and less of a check-in, check-out, merge model?

LiveMesh, the new 'synchronization' platform from Microsoft

Think about an online-offline silverlight-wpf application that synchronizes your files using LiveMesh.

I like the name. I finally see the Live brand starting to come together for Microsoft. Now all it needs is some more market awareness. So, what is LiveMesh? It’s basically a new, invite only for now, platform that allows people to sync across all devices. Windows only for now, but that seems like it will open up, especially since it can be expressed as ATOM, JSON, FeedSync, WB-XML, or plain old XML.

In a previous post, I spoke about Google Gears and their technology to bring together the off-line and on-line world. LiveMesh is actually

The more I switch across laptops, machines, etc. The more I yearn for a cloud to contain everything. I recently moved away from Trillian to Meebo, just so I had one less desktop application I was tied to. This way any machine I go to I have my instant messaging list available. Moving to a web based outlook as good as the desktop outlook would be a welcome addition. That being said, at the end of the day I want both. Especially as I write this post from the plane offline using the desktop application, Windows Live Writer.