The Future of the Web Is… Google

November 22, 2014

I read “The Future of the Web (According to Google).” I love cheerleaders. But cheerleaders are not the game unless the program is one of those fillers that ESPN airs at odd ball times. In a nutshell, the future is video and Google’s (for now) of quite specific programming methods.

Here’s the passage I noted:

It’s clear that Google cares deeply about improving the mobile web experience. Personally, I tend to believe that the native app pendulum has swung out about as far as it can, and in the next few years we’ll start seeing it swing back toward Web tech again. Native vs. web isn’t a zero-sum game. There will always be reasons to build web apps, there will always be reasons to build native apps. We’re heading toward a future, however, where some of the biggest reasons to build native on mobile are going to disappear. As a developer who loves the web, that’s exciting.

The only storm clouds in this vision of the future are:

  • Erosion of Google’s desktop advertising model which is, I believe, based on the GoTo/Overture/Yahoo model and not Google’s inherent innovative engine
  • Europe’s desire to regulate the company
  • The company’s penchant for taking its eye off the here and now and gazing into a future chock full of Google toys
  • Internal management issues which resulted in one Googler believing her life had ground to a halt along with Google Glass.

Stephen E Arnold, November 22, 2014

Is This How Right to Be Forgotten Works?

November 21, 2014

I read “This Is How Google Handles Right to Be Forgotten Requests.” I must admit that the process strikes me as impressive. To explain hitting delete takes about 1,000 words.

One of Google’s problems, though, is that the process is often one-sided because a decision is based on information supplied by one person using a simple Web form.

The article explains what the GOOG allegedly does. There is one omissions. Some content has disappeared and it is difficult to figure out if a form was filed. For information about this, navigate to “Telegraph Stories Affected by EU ‘Right to Be Forgotten’”.

For a “real” journalism outfit, Computerworld is presenting the world as it understands it. Does the description match the Google reality? Good question.

Stephen E Arnold, November 21, 2014

Larry Page: Quotes from an Icon

November 20, 2014

I read “14 Quotes That Reveal How Larry Page Built Google Into The World’s Most Important Internet Company.” I suppose it is good to try and stay on the good side of the GOOG. I will be interested to see how that works out.

To the matter at hand. There is one quote that I highlighted as a candidate for recycling. Here it is:

On robots replacing humans: “The idea that everyone should slavishly work so they do something inefficiently so they keep their job – that just doesn’t make any sense to me. That can’t be the right answer.”

Makes perfect sense as long as a person is able to work at Google, be a consultant to Google, or partner successfully with Google. Now about others?

Just become an entrepreneur, innovate, work harder, etc.

Stephen E Arnold, November 20, 2013

Loons Afloat in Australia

November 17, 2014

I enjoyed reading “Google’s Bal-LOON-y Trial Gets QLD Telstra Spectrum.” If you are a 20 something at heart, there’s a video too.

The point of the write up is to document Google’s teaming with Telstra, a telco with some appetite for interesting ventures.

Loon is a secret Google project to provide Internet to those in the world not yet able to gobble Google results and advertisements.

Australia, based on my travels, has quite a bit of space and not too many people yet. I am not sure how the cost of the Loon works out in terms of ad revenue. Perhaps this is a proof of concept, not a money making play.

I hope the precision and recall of the Google Web search systems gets some attention. More timely index refreshes for less popular content would be a plus too. For now, Loon is getting the resources.

Stephen E Arnold, November 18, 2014

Assange Makes Case against Google Overreach

November 17, 2014

True to his values, Julian Assange (of WikiLeaks fame) presents a wealth of facts and connections in his Newsweek article, “Google Is Not What It Seems.” It is a lengthy piece, and my summary can hardly do it justice. Anyone interested in the details of Assange’s assertions should check it out for yourselves. The piece begins with the tale of how Assange met Google CEO Eric Schmidt in 2011, then lays out the evidence that a very close relationship exists between the company and the U.S. government. In fact, he asserts, Schmidt and the Brin/Page-led Google each independently forged these bonds with the feds long before Schmidt joined the company in 2001. Assange writes:

“The company’s reputation is seemingly unassailable. Google’s colorful, playful logo is imprinted on human retinas just under 6 billion times each day, 2.1 trillion times a year—an opportunity for respondent conditioning enjoyed by no other company in history. “Caught red-handed last year making petabytes of personal data available to the U.S. intelligence community through the PRISM program, Google nevertheless continues to coast on the goodwill generated by its ‘don’t be evil’ doublespeak. A few symbolic open letters to the White House later and it seems all is forgiven. Even anti-surveillance campaigners cannot help themselves, at once condemning government spying but trying to alter Google’s invasive surveillance practices using appeasement strategies. “Nobody wants to acknowledge that Google has grown big and bad. But it has. Schmidt’s tenure as CEO saw Google integrate with the shadiest of U.S. power structures as it expanded into a geographically invasive megacorporation.”

The article concludes with Assange’s dire predictions about the repercussions of Google’s current and future exploits on a global scale. It is a picture of a corporate giant merging with government to take over the world, all in the name of security. Is Assange correct?

Cynthia Murrell, November 17, 2014

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

Google Glass Cracked

November 14, 2014

Google Glass did not revolutionize my life. I am not sure how many people were affected by the craze in a teapot. I can associate Glass with a shattered life. Think psychiatric ministrations, self harm, and chemicals. Yikes! I read “Google Glass Future Clouded as Some Early Believers Lose Faith.” It appears that “real” journalists at Yahoo have open a case containing Google Glass.

I noted this passage as one of interest:

Several key Google employees instrumental to developing Glass have left the company in the last six months, including lead developer Babak Parviz, electrical engineering chief Adrian Wong, and Ossama Alami, director of developer relations. And a Glass funding consortium created by Google Ventures and two of Silicon Valley’s biggest venture capitalists, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Andreessen Horowitz, quietly deleted its website, routing users to the main Glass site.

The write up paints a picture of a much hyped product that seems to lack magnetism. My hunch is that Google lacked the magic touch required to create a successful retail product. Too bad about the scorched earth the Glass comet created as it ploughed into a bean field in Salinas.

But good news. Giant virtual reality headsets are coming. Really.

Stephen E Arnold, November 14, 2014

Google and Search Relevance: Will a Robot Do This Work?

November 11, 2014

I flicked through Drudge Report this morning (November 11, 2014). One story and graphic caught my eye.

Here’s a snap of the animation for “Dawn of the Google Machines.”



Now this is a pretty friendly robot. I think most children under the age of five would see this device as a variant of a bunny, a deer, or a puppy.

The technology is impressive. My question, “Will the resources flowing into this friendly chap improve query relevance on Google Web search?”

I am confident this cuddly creature will make search really, really better. Perhaps Google can provide this fuzzy creature to pre-schools and kindergarten to explain why Google search is just so darned relevant.

Whir, beep, click.

Stephen E Arnold, November 11, 2014

Enterprise Search: Essentially Marginalized to Good Enough

November 9, 2014

I use Google Trends to see what’s hot and what’s not in the world of information retrieval. If you want to use the free version of Google Trends, navigate to and explore. That’s some of what Google does to make decisions about how much of Larry Page’s “wood” to put behind the Google Search Appliance eight ball.


I plugged in “enterprise search.” When one allows Google to output its version of the popularity of the term, you get this graph. It shows a downward trend but the graph is without much context. The pale lettering does not help. Obviously Googlers do not view the world through trifocals with 70 year old eyes. Here’s the Trends’ output for “enterprise search”:


Now let’s add some context. From the “enterprise search” Trends’ output, click the pale blue plus and add this with quotes: “big data.” Here’s the output for this two factor analysis:


One does not have to be an Ivy League data scientist to see the difference between the hackneyed “enterprise search” and more zippy but meaningless “Big Data.” I am not saying Big Data solutions actually work. What’s clear is that pushing enterprise search is not particularly helpful when the Trends’ reveal a flat line for years, not hours, not days, not months–years.

I think it is pretty clear why I can assert with confidence that “enterprise search” appears to be a non starter. I know why search vendors persist in telling me what “enterprise search” is. The vendors are desperate to find the grip that a Tupinambis  lizard possesses. Instead of clinging to a wall in the sun at 317 R. Dr. Emílio Ribas (Cambui)  (where I used to live in Campinas, SP), the search vendors are clinging to chimera. The goal is to make sales, but if the Google data are even sort of correct, enterprise search is flat lining.

Little wonder that consultant reports like those from the mid tier crowd try to come up with verbiage that will create sales leads for the research sponsors; case in point, knowledge quotient. See Meme of the Moment for a fun look at IDC’s and search “expert” Dave Schubmehl’s most recent attempt to pump up the music.

The question is, “What is generating revenue?” In a sense, excitement surrounds vendors who deliver solutions. These include search, increasingly supplied by open source software. Elasticsearch is zipping along, but search is not the main dish. Search is more like broccoli or carrots.

The good news is that there is a group of companies, numbering about 30, which have approached search differently. As a result, many of these companies are growing and charting what I call “next generation search.”

Want to know more? Well, that’s good. Watch for my coverage of this sector in the weeks and months ahead. I will toss a small part of our research into my November Information Today column. A tiny chunk. Keep that in mind.

In the meantime, think critically about the craziness flowing from many mid tier or azure chip consulting firms. Those “outputs” are marketing, self aggrandizing, and, for me, downright silly. What’s that term for doing trivial actions again and again?

Stephen E Arnold, November 9, 2014

Google Fatigue: Get Over It

November 9, 2014

I did three monographs about Google’s technology. I developed Google fatigue about half way through the research for “The Google Legacy,” now out of print. (A librarian told me that there is a copy online somewhere, but I never bothered to look.)

This morning I read a listicle that reminded me of three things:

  1. I don’t pay much, if any, attention to Google’s activities. Oh, I did notice the balloon thing, the barge thing, and the “solve death” thing.
  2. My interest in keeping tracking of Google emissions is close to zero.
  3. The coming and going of products like Orkut, Wave, Web Accelerator, etc. reminds me that I don’t want to waste cycles learning about digital mayflies.

If you think my three points are the honkings of a wild goose, you will want to read and memorize “18 Cool Google Products You Might Not Have Known About.”

Here are three examples from the author’s “gotta love these” file:

  1. Plan your wedding with Google (Married once and entering year 46. No immediate plans to do another wedding or pay for one.)
  2. The Google to do list (I use a pencil and note cards and have for the last 60 years)
  3. Swiftly. (I have no clue what this is.)

Go forth and Google. Sounds like a Star Wars’ injunction.

Stephen E Arnold, November 9, 2014

POTUS, Fear, and Google

November 8, 2014

I have zero clue of this article—“Movie Chief: Obama Is Scared to Push Google, ISPs on Piracy”—is accurate. Let’s for the moment assume that the write up by Andy is right as rain.

Here’s a statement I noted:

“It’s sad because if we had a good president that cared about the film industry he would pass a very simple law, an anti-piracy law, but they don’t want to stop it because they are scared of Google, and he’s scared of all the ISPs,” Lerner says. Google’s power and money not only scares off the President but Congress too, Lerner adds. Furthermore, plenty of that revenue is coming piracy-related sources, so the company has no incentive stop it.

Let’s look at the entities in this article.

  • The president of the United States or POTUS
  • Nu Image CEO and founder Avi Lerner
  • The GOOG.

As I understand it, Google which worked out a friendly deal with Axil Springer the other day is just as cuddly as a child chewed Harrod’s teddy bear. The POTUS is able to send troops, issue Executive Orders, and disrupt traffic when he ventures out into the amber waves of grain. (Is there “grain” in LA?) Mr. Lerner is a movie mogul. I am not sure what a movie mogul does. I think it involves creating high value intellectual property which puts Shakespeare and Milton in a state of inferiority.

The point is that movie moguls and POTUS are not as powerful as Google.

From Google’s point of view, that’s the way life is supposed to work. Problems with that, pilgrim. Well, you can always take your queries to Yahoo or, better yet, Qwanza OR Qwanta, whatever. (Try typing that name rapidly on your iPhone.)

Keep in mind that the source write up may not be spot on. It is entertaining, though.

Stephen E Arnold, November 8, 2014

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