Archive for the 'google' Category

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Googlebot submitting Flash forms

I’m sure this is old news by now, but here’s one more data point.

As it turns out, XForms Institute uses an old skool XForms engine written in Flash, dating approximately back to the era when Flash was necessary to do XForms-ey things in the browser. The feedback form for the site is, quite naturally, implemented in XForms. Submissions there ultimately make it into my inbox. Here’s what I see:

Tue Jan 31 12:19:22 2012 Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7 (compatible; Googlebot-Mobile/2.1; +

An iPhone running Flash? I doubt it. That’s quite an agent string! Organic versioning in the wild. -m

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

More on the GOOG book settlement

From Brewster Kahle. Good read, so to speak. -m

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

Google Rich Snippets powered by RDFa

The new feature called rich snippets shows that SearchMonkey has caught the eye of the 800 pound gorilla. Many of the same microformats and RDF vocabularies are supported. It seems increasingly inevitable that RDFa will catch on, no matter what the HTML5 group thinks. -m

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Pamela Samuelson on the Google Book Settlement

I found this explanation the most readable I’ve seen yet. She has slides too.  The settlement itself has been recently delayed, which seems like a good idea for something of this magnitude. -m

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

XForms validator: disabling Google ads, no more blank pages

Thanks to those who wrote in with bug reports about the XForms Validator: something changed recently and made the inserted Google Ads script confuse browsers, resulting in a blank page where you’d expect results. I’ve turned off the response-page ads, which were only getting in the way, and the problem seems to have vanished. Carry on. :-) -m

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

Subversive Google?

Google for RIAA, get this first result:

RIAARecording Industry Association of America – April 12, 2009

Trade group that claims to represent the US recording industry. Details on services, members, executives profiles, statistics, and contact information.

“Claims to” represent the US recording industry? The word “claims”, accurate as it may be, appears nowhere on their front page. :-)


Saturday, April 4th, 2009

On YouTube’s bandwidth and Technologizer’s problem with basic estimation

This article states:

The analysts determined YouTube’s bandwidth costs by assuming that 375 million unique visitors would visit the site in 2009, with 20 percent of those users consuming 400 kilobits per second of video at any given time. That works out to 30 million megabits being served up per second. That’s a heck of a lot of bandwidth to devote to videos of sneezing pandas.

Do you honestly believe that YouTube is sending out 30 petabits per second (to put it another way, fully saturating over 200,000 OC3 connections)? That on average, every single user who counts as a unique visitor in 2009 spends 20% of 24hrs = 4.8 hours actually downloading video, every day of every week?

Gesundheit. -m

Update: the quoted article indeed gets it wrong, though it appears the original Credit Suisse analyst report was estimating peak usage, not a running average. Still doesn’t smell right. Updating the article and title to point the finger at the right people.

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

Geek Thoughts: sad Google

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Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Google Protocol Buffers: what’s missing from this picture?

Today Google announced Protocol Buffers, described as “think XML, but smaller, faster, and simpler“. Language bindings for C++, Java, and Python. Oddly not even a whisper about JSON, which is a much more apt comparison. And along with that, no JavaScript implementation. So why the omission?

My guess is that it wouldn’t compare that favorably with JSON. The extra needed compile step is a hassle, and doesn’t give enough of a relative benefit for Ajax applications. But perhaps this will unleash a torrent of people asking for ‘binary JSON’. OK, maybe not… -m

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

The deal that wouldn’t die

Commentators, having long since run out of useful things to say about YHOO+MSFT, only bemoan how it continues to drag out. In reality, deals of this size do tend to take a while. Microsoft (and specifically Ballmer) aren’t walking. Why?

Because they need Yahoo. They need search share–the deal with Google only puts on more pressure. But they also need a non-schizophrenic brand under which to put all their audience attractors. In short, I’d say MSFT has been terrible at tactics (and non-intimidation-based negotiating), and YHOO has been mediocre at strategy and terrible at execution. Maybe they are meant for each other…

Prediction: by the end of the year 1) some kind of deal happens, and 2) Yang is out as CEO. $28.

Disclosure: I still hold long YHOO shares

Disclosure: The irony of this post is not lost on me


Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Yahoo! Mobile: outgunned and outflanked

According to Ars Technica, Google captured 61% of mobile search market share in the first four months of 2008. Yahoo! came in at a distant 18%, so pretty much reflecting desktop search market share. This is due, of course, to Google being the default provider on the iPhone, and the iPhone being the biggest bulk of mobile internet usage.

So Jerry (or whoever is on deck as CEO), you should probably look into this mobile thing and see what’s up with leadership there and whether anything is salvageable… -m

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

XForms Validator on Google App Engine?

I registered ‘xfv’ on Google App Engine. Too bad there doesn’t appear to be any significant XML libraries supported. I have XPath covered by my pure-python WebPath, but what about Relax NG? Anyone know of anything in pure python? -m

Friday, April 11th, 2008

Google App Engine dwarfed

Thanks to chromatic for the link. Largely hidden,  largest app clusters of this particular platform can:

Control over a million computers and can deliver over a hundred billion advertisements per day.

However, “don’t be evil” is not a part of this particular platform’s strategy… -m

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

Mobile search compared

Here’s a great comparison site. Try out some searches you might run from your phone and let me know: which one did you prefer? Why? -m

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

The True Impact of Google Spreadsheet

Lots and lots of blog traffic on Google Spreadsheet, but I haven’t seen anyone make a key point:

The underlying message is: full-blown applications in the browser are now real.

Many smaller players have been doing things like this for years, just as many smaller player were using Ajax before it had a catchy name. But as soon as it had a name and a big player (again, Google) behind it, it left the launch pad in spectacular fashion.

The era of Web Applications has begun. Don’t think that Microsoft Office should be afraid–it’s even bigger. -m