Archive for the ‘Search’ Category.

LinkedIn Hacked

It seems that LinkedIn got hacked. The site is showing a permanent ‘Http/1.1 Service Unavailable’ message for the last hour or so.

Google Browser

It seems long overdue, Google unveils its own browser: Google Chrome. No this time it is not an April Fools Joke (see here in case you’ve missed it). The browser is build on the WebKit open source project which Google also uses for Android and but of course Chroms will also include Google Gears.

Google says to have five main objectives for its browser:

  • Stability
  • Speed
  • Privacy/Security
  • Simple/effecient UI
  • Open Source

STABILITY. As useful and fun tab-browsing is, the way Internet Explorer and Firefox are handling tab-browsing is very processor intensive and can lead to a crash of the browser. Google Chrome is usind a multi-process design which should save a lot of memory power.

SPEED. As a default start page Chrome provides you with a kind of shortcuts, similar to the one of the Opera browser. On that page you will see your most visited site as screenshot thumbnails. On the side, you will see a couple of your recent searches and/or your recently bookmarked pages, and recently closed tabs. The Google browser includes a JavaScript Virtual Machine called V8. One goal for V8 was to speed up JavaScript performance in the browser. The browser has an address bar with auto-completion features, called ’omnibox’. Google says it offers search suggestions, top pages you’ve visited, pages you didn’t visit but which are popular and lets you search a website of which it captured the search box; you need to type the site’s name into the address bar, like “amazon”, and then hit the tab key and enter your search keywords.

PRIVACY/SECURITY. Chrome has a privacy mode through creation of an incognito window “and nothing that occurs in that window is ever logged”, a feature that is also available in Internet Explorer. For malware and phishing attempts, Chrome is constantly downloading lists of harmful sites. Whatever runs in a tab is sandboxed so that it won’t affect your machine and can be safely closed.

Microsoft be afraid .. be very afraid.

Google – Closer to Home?

Today Google announced the release of Gears Geolocation API, a system designed to provide websites with location-based information without the aid of GPS. The geolocation API can use GPS, cell-tower triangulation, or your computer’s IP address to find your location which is somewhat less reliable. It’s currently available for Internet Explorer, Firefox, and IE Mobile.
The Geolocation API has two JavaScript methods: getCurrentPosition() makes a single, one-off attempt to get a position fix, while watchPosition() watches the user’s position over time, and provides an update whenever the position changes. Both methods allow you to configure which sources of location information are used. Gears also keeps track of the best position fix obtained from these calls and makes it available as the lastPosition property. This is a simple way to get an approximate position fix with low cost in terms of both network and battery resources.
To use the (so far) two location-enabled lastminute.com and Rummble web apps you will need a Windows Mobile device that supports GPS or cell-id lookup (for example the Samsung Blackjack II and HTC Touch Dual).

WANTED: 6.8 Billion Googles

It seems to be common sense: if you are searching for something you should be the dominating filter. You in this case might be: male, 38 years old, residing in Southern California, speaking American English, drives a SUV, college education in … etc. The more you inject ‘you’ into a search the less results you would get and consequently you will spend less time looking through results that do not matter to you. So, shouldn’t there be 6.8 Billion Googles?

Instead search engines typically use one filter (algorithm) for all users of their engine, consequently delivering the same result for all its users. Index size does not matter. Even if the latest PR campaign by search engine Cuil seems to suggest the very same thing. More surprisingly, although Cuil apparently does not put any weight on keyword placement (specifically in domain and Title Tag) there are no signs of user centered design. Instead a search for the most obscure keywords will bring ten-thousands of ‘relevant’ SERP’s (search engine results pages) most of which will never see the back light of a monitor.

Do thousands of super-smart search engineers employed by the leading search engines miss the obvious? Not likely! So, why does it seem that the dominating search portals Google, Yahoo or MSN are holding on to patterns that seem inherently flawed?

The answer – again – seems obvious: there is little to no competitive pressure for the existing search engine to correct course. If reducing the the time to find the (only) relevant result by 50% means reducing profits by 50% would YOU do it?

Social Networks – A Reality Check

Social networks are about human interaction. Though it is questionable if online interaction with a user profile from one of the large social networks like Facebook or MySpace can be counted as such. The truth will typically emerge when one tries to have an in persona exchange of either communication, products or service. Simply put: once you buy that used sofa you need to know the physical address to pick it up. Often times you probably want to know ahead of time where JohnDoe007’s lives -or at least that he is close to you – before you decide to buy the item.

Users who do not feel comfortable posting their real address on public websites but still want to provide the important location information can now join LocDot. LocDot is the first system to provide location information between verified user without revealing their addresses to the public Internet.

You can see how far another LocDot user is away from you but in order to get access to his address you will need to ‘connect the dots’ – in this case: request access to the users profile (similar to ‘LinkedIn’).

Check it out.