Monday, October 31, 2005


Another Google Maps Mashup

Where in the World is Carmen San Diego meets Google Maps to produce Brewster Jennings Protects America. (Thx Slashdot.)


1,000,000 iTunes Videos

One million videos sold on iTunes in under 20 days, according to Reuters via Yahoo News. I'd really like to get the two old Twilight Zones with William Shatner, or the one with Carol Burnett.


Google's Sergey Brin Podcast

ITConversations has recorded a conversation between Sergey Brin of Google and John Battelle author of The Search.


Google Search or Google Ads?

The NYT (registration required) has a piece on Google as a media/ad company.
Those little ads - 12 word snippets of text, linked to topics that users are actually interested in - have turned Google into one of the biggest advertising vehicles the world has ever seen. This year, Google will sell $6.1 billion in ads, nearly double what it sold last year, according to Anthony Noto, an analyst at Goldman Sachs. That is more advertising than is sold by any newspaper chain, magazine publisher or television network. By next year, Mr. Noto said, he expects Google to have advertising revenue of $9.5 billion. That would place it fourth among American media companies in total ad sales after Viacom, the News Corporation and the Walt Disney Company, but ahead of giants including NBC Universal and Time Warner.


HIDDEN behind its simple white pages, Google has already created what it says is one of the most sophisticated artificial intelligence systems ever built. In a fraction of a second, it can evaluate millions of variables about its users and advertisers, correlate them with its potential database of billions of ads and deliver the message to which each user is most likely to respond.


"If we can figure out a way to improve the quality of ads on television with ads that have real value for end-users, we should do it," he said. While he is watching television, for example, "Why do I see women's clothing ads?" he said. "Why don't I see just men's clothing ads?"
So there we have it! Google plans to manage TV ads.


Turing's Cathedral

John Batelle pointed me to George Dyson's essay on Google, entitled, "Turing's Cathedral." Here is the full text. Here is the intro:
My visit to Google? Despite the whimsical furniture and other toys, I felt I was entering a 14th-century cathedral — not in the 14th century but in the 12th century, while it was being built. Everyone was busy carving one stone here and another stone there, with some invisible architect getting everything to fit. The mood was playful, yet there was a palpable reverence in the air. "We are not scanning all those books to be read by people," explained one of my hosts after my talk. "We are scanning them to be read by an AI."
I wish I could write images like that. The piece is a great read. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 30, 2005


Two Big Surprises

Which state has the highest rate of computers in the home? Massachusetts (MIT)? California (Silicon Valley)?

Nope. Utah.

Which state is the most connected? Virginia (AOL)? Washington (Microsoft)?

Nope. Alaska

See this census report in the Deseret News.

Friday, October 28, 2005


Speaker of the House Blog!


The Recombinant Web

I love this soundbyte of the Services Oriented Architecture Web 2.0 world we are moving to. See blog entry by Phil Windley.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Dilbert Blog Just Started


A Little Shatner for your iPod Video

Google Video has added 450 interviews from the Archive of American Television. They've got Shatner in 5 parts.


The Value of an SOA

Charlie Bess suggests that the value of an SOA in an organization just might follow Reed's law, not Metcalfe's law. (In Reed's law, the value increases more sharply than in Metcalfe's law.)

John Battelle shows a screen shot of a not-yet-released Google service that allows people to post their items, tag 'em, and let them be indexed: Googlebase (from database). This has been confirmed by GoogleBlog.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005



Slashdot on Splogging
SuperWebTech writes "A new generation of spam has emerged lately in the form of automatically-created spam blogs, or "splogs." One wily programmer manipulated Blogger's API to create a "spamalanche" of thousands of blogs whose sole purpose was to increase their real sites' pagerank. This clogged search engine results while filling RSS feed services with useless listings. Though Google, Blogger's owner, is doing its best to fix the problem, in the meantime several services have stopped listing any site they host. So far nobody has found a solution."


Attention Deficit Business Processing

Ross Mayfield on Many2Many has an interesting post on extreme time-slicing in the 21st Century Office environment.

I’ve been meaning to blog about a simply great article in the NY Times, Meet the Life Hackers, as I am a fan of the interruption tax, but I keep getting interrupted.

When [Gloria] Mark [from UCI] crunched the data, a picture of 21st-century office work emerged that was, she says, “far worse than I could ever have imagined.” Each employee spent only 11 minutes on any given project before being interrupted and whisked off to do something else. What’s more, each 11-minute project was itself fragmented into even shorter three-minute tasks, like answering e-mail messages, reading a Web page or working on a spreadsheet. And each time a worker was distracted from a task, it would take, on average, 25 minutes to return to that task. To perform an office job today, it seems, your attention must skip like a stone across water all day long, touching down only periodically. Yet while interruptions are annoying, Mark’s study also revealed their flip side: they are often crucial to office work…

Focusing on the cost of interruption is one of the better design principles, not just for productivity applications, but all those social software apps clamoring for attention. The answer is not automation, but using the social network as a filter and pushing things down to asynchronous modalities.

My 11 minutes are almost up. Really, it’s a great read, and for now I’ll point you towards Jon Udell


Open Office 2.0 is Now Available


Vernor Vinge on Singularity

One of my favorite authors, Vernor Vinge (True Names, Marooned in Realtime, A Deepness in the Sky, etc.) has an ITConversations podcast of his keynote address at the Accelerating Change 2005 confernce.


Replacing Atoms with Bits

Charlie Bess at EDS Blog:

Virtualization of hardware platforms has been around for over a decade with emulation of the Windows platform on the Macintosh and vice versa. We have also had the simulation of multiple independent devices on a single device (e.g., partitioning) for a long time as well.

This replacement of atoms with bits has proven to be a cost effective approach of reducing capital spend. As we move into an age with utility computing capabilities and service oriented architectures, the whole concept of hardware related bits, as we know them, drifts into the background.


100 Oldest .com Domains

Here are the oldest 20:

01. 15-Mar-1985 SYMBOLICS.COM
02. 24-Apr-1985 BBN.COM
03. 24-May-1985 THINK.COM
04. 11-Jul-1985 MCC.COM
05. 30-Sep-1985 DEC.COM
06. 07-Nov-1985 NORTHROP.COM
07. 09-Jan-1986 XEROX.COM
08. 17-Jan-1986 SRI.COM
09. 03-Mar-1986 HP.COM
10. 05-Mar-1986 BELLCORE.COM
11. 19-Mar-1986 IBM.COM
11. 19-Mar-1986 SUN.COM
13. 25-Mar-1986 INTEL.COM
13. 25-Mar-1986 TI.COM
15. 25-Apr-1986 ATT.COM
16. 08-May-1986 GMR.COM
16. 08-May-1986 TEK.COM
18. 10-Jul-1986 FMC.COM
18. 10-Jul-1986 UB.COM
20. 05-Aug-1986 BELL-ATL.COM
20. 05-Aug-1986 GE.COM
20. 05-Aug-1986 GREBYN.COM
20. 05-Aug-1986 ISC.COM
20. 05-Aug-1986 NSC.COM
20. 05-Aug-1986 STARGATE.COM

Monday, October 24, 2005

Paper Stats:
Abstract Views: 2818
Downloads: 1329
Download Rank: 770

Up 230 points in one week.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Intro to Web Ontologies

Here is a good intro to ontologies by Deborah McGuinness. It is too old, however, to account for the rise of folksonomies at and flickr.


Blog Design

Listen to an ITConversations Podcast:
Bloggers Lynda Keeler and Gina Highes share their stories from designing and redesigning their blogs. They discuss logos, branding and how to get great images inexpensively, and share simple tips that will make sure your blog is accessible and easy to read. When readers can easily find information they want, they are more likely to return to your site.


In the blogosphere

ixo blog
Portals and KM
SQL Full Text Search
Big Dog, Little Dog
Theoretical Librarian
Beats Biblionetz
Ivan's Weblog
Internet, eLearning, and eGovernment
Leon's first blog
Blog News
Clapping Trees

Paper Stats:
Abstract Views: 2506
Downloads: 1226
Download Rank: 1000


Name your baby "Google"

Google blog points to the "Google Kai" website.

Monday, October 17, 2005


Guess the Best

Top twenty dowloaded videos of British Pathe.


Flickr For Satellites

A talk by my esteemed college, JC Herz.


Shirky on Social Software

Here is an older piece but it has some "timeless" observations about what is require to host a social software site. High points:

Three Things to Accept

1.) Of the things you have to accept, the first is that you cannot completely separate technical and social issues.

2.) The second thing you have to accept: Members are different than users. A pattern will arise in which there is some group of users that cares more than average about the integrity and success of the group as a whole. And that becomes your core group, Art Kleiner's phrase for "the group within the group that matters most."

3.) The third thing you need to accept: The core group has rights that trump individual rights in some situations.

Four Things to Design For

1.) If you were going to build a piece of social software to support large and long-lived groups, what would you design for? The first thing you would design for is handles the user can invest in. [identity]

2.) Second, you have to design a way for there to be members in good standing. Have to design some way in which good works get recognized.

3.) Three, you need barriers to participation. This is one of the things that killed Usenet. You have to have some cost to either join or participate, if not at the lowest level, then at higher levels.

4.) And, finally, you have to find a way to spare the group from scale. Scale alone kills conversations, because conversations require dense two-way conversations. In conversational contexts, Metcalfe's law is a drag.


WiFi via WiMax

A 700 sq mi WiFi cloud hovers over the Oregon desert, fueled in part by a mesh WiMax network, so says AP via Wired.


Companies on the Cluetrain

Alex Barnett's experience on the cluetrain.


Tag, you're it

Danah Boyd has a great list of tagging references.


Baby Name Wizard

Try the Wizard. It is slick. It is also amazing that a blog about names can be so interesting; especially the 9/22/2005 posting on Red/Blue state names.


Zephoria on Remix

Danah Boyd writes about the value of remixing. When you read it, think about a services oriented architecture.

Friday, October 14, 2005


The World is Flat

Having recently finished Tom Friedman's book on iPod, I very much enjoyed Doc's response to the book, part 1 and part 2.


Mix and Mash Information

Danah Boyd has a great posting on Web 2.0. Here is one of the insighful conclusions:
. . . information is meaningless to someone else if they can't repurpose it to make sense of it in their context.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Podcasting News


iTunes Video

Like every else in the tech world, I updated to iTunes 6 last night after work and convinced my wife to watch my first iTunes video with me -- the 20 second teaser from Michael Jackson's Thriller music video. We also watched some movie trailers, but did not buy anything. I am waiting for the complete set of B/W Lost in Space episodes or the original Bewitched.

My family is not convinced I "need" the new Video iPod. They just don't know how hard it is to be a tech tourist like me

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Review of Google Filing Service

SearchEngineWatch blog compares the Google and the Yahoo! filing systems and puts Yahoo!'s on top.



SocialText is a wiki that can be purchased as an appliance for the intranet. It is also available as a subscription over the internet.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Yahoo Launches New Podcasting Service

Picked up the following Slashdot feed from Google Feed and plopped it into my Blogger account.
Yahoo Launches New Podcasting Service: "sdirrim writes to tell us Reuters is reporting that Yahoo! has just released a test version of its new podcasting service From the (short) article: 'Yahoo's new service will allow users to download shows from National Public Radio, the weekly presidential address, and independent shows with subjects ranging from sports to knitting.' Additionally Yahoo! Podcast users have the ability to rate shows."


Google Reader Debut

Google Labs has released an RSS reader. I like it because it is a browser-only application. It imported my .opml file just fine. It seemed slow to me, but I don't know if the problem was with my ISP or with Google.

It is also integrated with Blogger. When reading a blog posting from another author, I clicked the "blog this" pull down and it put it right into my list of postings, ready for entering my comment. I'll show you in my next posting.


Partnering for Innovation?

Charlie Bess at the EDS blog has an interesting piece on outsourcing innovation . . .

When we're talking about having an Agile Enterprise that uses SOA to create an extended virtual enterprise, having a set of innovative partners should make the sum greater than the parts.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Ig Nobels Tonight . . .

. . . at Harvard. Click here for details. Pointer by AFP via Yahoo! News.


Video iPod

Ryan Kim at SF Chronicle reports the rumor that next week's Apple press conference will announce the Video iPod. See my earlier posting on this topic.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Email 2.0

Ross Mayfield on Many2Many says:
The reason we are building Web 2.0 is because we were not able to build Email 2.0. The first web didn’t support our social needs, so we used email for everything. But we couldn’t really hack it. Most social software has by now adapted to email, but email could never have adapted to it.

Read more -->


Wiki edits Esquire

From Andrew Lih at Many2Many.
Recently over at Wikipedia, Esquire magazine writer AJ Jacobs tried an experiment. He posted his 709 word story about Wikipedia into Wikipedia itself, and asked the community to help edit it.
Read more -->

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Fiber Wired Homes for Sale

Yahoo! news reports that a community of homes in southern Utah are completed networked. The heating, lighting, media, security, and phone systems are controlled through a web interface -- as well as the community intranet. Sorry kids, it is only for folks 55 and over.


Rain Forest and Desert

Steven Johnson has a great metaphor for Web 2.0

The difference between this Web 2.0 model and the previous one is directly equivalent to the difference between a rain forest and a desert. One of the primary reasons we value tropical rain forests is because they waste so little of the energy supplied by the sun while running massive nutrient cycles. Most of the solar energy that saturates desert environments gets lost, assimilated by the few plants that can survive in such a hostile climate. Those plants pass on enough energy to sustain a limited number of insects, which in turn supply food for the occasional reptile or bird, all of which ultimately feed the bacteria. But most of the energy is lost.

A rain forest, on the other hand, is such an efficient system for using energy because there are so many organisms exploiting every tiny niche of the nutrient cycle. We value the diversity of the ecosystem not just as a quaint case of biological multiculturalism but because the system itself does a brilliant job of capturing the energy that flows through it. Efficiency is one of the reasons that clearing rain forests is shortsighted: The nutrient cycles in rain forest ecosystems are so tight that the soil is usually very poor for farming. All the available energy has been captured on the way down to the earth.

Think of information as the energy of the Web’s ecosystem. Those Web 1.0 pages with their crude hyperlinks are like the sun’s rays falling on a desert. A few stragglers are lucky enough to stumble across them, and thus some of that information might get reused if one then decides to e-mail the URL to a friend or to quote from it on another page. But most of the information goes to waste. In the Web 2.0 model, we have thousands of services scrutinizing each new piece of information online, grabbing interesting bits, remixing them in new ways, and passing them along to other services. Each new addition to the mix can be exploited in countless new ways, both by human bloggers and by the software programs that track changes in the overall state of the Web. Information in this new model is analyzed, repackaged, digested, and passed on down to the next link in the chain. It flows.



Just discovered John Batelle's Searchblog. In September, he published a book:
The Search: How Google and its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture.
His blog points to another creative use of Google Maps -- this time with a zip code database.

He also notes the Open Content Alliance, which wants to bring more of the dark web into the light. A number of big names are participating -- Internet Archives, Yahoo!, HP, Adobe, the UK National Archives, etc.

Monday, October 03, 2005


HD Streaming Video over IP

When I read this article by Xeni Jardin in Wired I was at once impressed and complacent. Impressed because of the possibilities. Complacent because we've been expecting (known it was coming) for a while now. I can feel the impatience of wanting it commercialized. This is just the next step from what I mentioned in this previous post.


Who is on the top of the pile?

M.M Amin pointed me to iRankCheck. Disordered Cogitations ranked 3 of 10 and my AOL website ranked 4 of 10. Doc's blog ranked 8 of 10.


The Network as the Operating System

Here is a quote from Jonathan's blog (emphasis mine):
The trend is away from the upgrade cycle that benefits this traditional notion of distribution. For example, when's the last time you upgraded your set top box? The answer's probably never, and suggests that at a certain level, convenience has more value to consumers than the hassle of upgrading. Or ask a teenager which they'd rather have, a new iPod Nano, or a new PC, I'll bet you money it's the former (underlying the global trend that suggests more of the world will experience the internet through handsets than PC's).
And another:
. . . there's a resurgence of interest in resident software that executes on your desktop, yet connects to network services.
Like GoogleEarth (see previous post) and the widget in OS/X that reports the price of gas in your neighborhood--or the Google Maps widget--or the Sing that iTune widget.


AntWeb in Google Earth

From GoogleBlog:

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