Saturday, October 21, 2006

Google Q3 conference call

After a little bullshitting about deals in the first, canned part of the call, Google's top execs made some great points in the Q&A section of their latest investor conference call.

  • The first questioner asks why Google doesn't use its cash for future purchases, rather than the $1.65 billion in stock it spent on YouTube. The assumption is that Google's stock is undervalued, so using cash would make a better deal for Google. CFO George Reyes says, "Going forward we're going to use cash."
  • Co-founder Sergey Brin explains about consolidating products: if Google keeps launching new products, users will have to search for a product to use it -- "you will have to search before you can do a search." Instead he wants to integrate what Google already made. Thus the combined image/web page results for some searches.
  • A senior VP says Google's video ads are doing great. No mention of whether they're coming to YouTube.
  • Schmidt won't say whether YouTube will be profitable. "We don't give [financial] guidance."
  • Schmidt also stonewalls on the reaction of MySpace (which recently signed a near-billion-dollar deal with Google) to the purchase of YouTube.
  • Why did Google have such a great quarter, unlike its competitors? A senior VP chalks it up to "incredible" product improvements, geographic expansion, and the success of new ad formats.
  • Brin stretches that annoying "low-hanging fruit" metaphor: "In a sense, you might imagine that the low-hanging fruit have been picked. But in fact, we have at the same time built ladders and are reaching for perhaps even larger, higher-hanging fruit."
  • Schmidt closes by wishing senior VP Omid Kordestani a happy birthday. Cute.
Google Q3 2006 Earnings Call Transcript

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Hackers Taking Too Much Advantage Off Google Code Search?

Security watchers from both sides of the fence have been testing Google's Code Search service to determine whether it can be misused.

Experts at Beyond Security's advisory arm, SecuriTeam, have already discovered that the tool can be used to unearth a treasure trove of vulnerabilities in open source software.

"Like most of Google's tools it can easily be abused for hacking," the SecuriTeam researchers wrote in a blog on the site.

Google Code Search has indexed several billions lines of code from archives hosted on the Web, as well as software control repositories from services like SourceForge and Google Code which host open source projects.

Tom Stocky, a product manager with Google, said at the tool's launch: "We will try to make this useful for everyone from computer science students to serious programmers and even hobbyists and code enthusiasts."

It seems that he forgot to mention hackers. The search tool is also proving to be a source of humour for the geek community.

A number of blogs frequented by coders have already posted a litany of amusing search terms which resulted in comic hits, usually amounting to criticism of coders or 'notes to self' that were presumably never meant to be seen.

Some of the less offensive search terms that return hits on the Google Code Search database include 'In Case Some Idiot', 'The Guy Who Wrote This' and 'I am drunk'.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Official Google Mac Blog

We like Google as much as the next guy (unless the next guy works for Microsoft or Yahoo!) but sometimes their Mac support let's us down. It looks like things could be changing since Google just launched the Google Mac Blog. At the moment the blog is pointing to, which lists all the Mac related Google products that are available in one place.

Here's hoping we see support for Macs out of the gate with future Google products.

The Google And YouTube Story May Be A MIstake!

Everybody's buzzing about Google and YouTube. Stocks went up on the news. Commentators are writing about why it makes so much sense. I'm not so sure.

Mark Cuban points out one big problem: Lawsuits. As if Google weren't being sued enough already (at the last Google Shareholder's meeting, someone asked what the company was being sued for, and head lawyer David Drummond responded, "How much time do you have?") Cuban, who founded the the Web's first popular audio broadcast site,, and sold it to Yahoo, knows what he's talking about.

What happens when thousands of people who create their own videos start suing Google/YouTube because others keep downloading their videos, which are automatically copyrighted as soon as they're posted? YouTube does downloads, not streams. Most pundits seem to think Google will have blocking technology to deal with that problem. I don't have that much faith in technology, especially when it's attacked by hackers.

Perhaps Google will switch to a streaming model. But unlike Cuban, I also worry strongly about the media companies suing. People are going to be creating mashups of videos, and will post pirated works. It's the direction of the Internet. When there's a copyright violation, who you gonna sue? The company with the deep pockets.

This whole concept of being a content site that lets people post their own stuff is great in theory (that's what blog sites are all about.) But man, you enter into a quagmire when anyone can post anything. Just because Internet companies are now trying to work with established media companies, it doesn't mean they will sit back quietly while their familiar business models disappear. The spirit of Napster still lives in the Internet.

It's going to be bad enough that Google Search will find pirated video all over the Internet. When the stuff is on its own site, the lawsuits will fly. I'm certain there are a lot of lawyers salivating over these trends like drunken sailors on the shores of Tahiti after five years at sea.

I also have a problem with google being in the video posting space for other reasons. It's something that strikes me, finally, as a move that violates Google's original mandate. Google used to avoid being a "media company," instead vowing to send people to other sites to find their content. I think Google may actually manage to keep sending people offsite if the best videos don't reside at home. but why set up the conflict of interest?

People don't seem to get it. Media sites are a great service. But monetizing them is a huge problem. Let/Yahoo be the media/portal. It can't compete with Google, so it may as well step into its own quagmire.

BUT im wrong

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Digg Runs Zune Ads

Take a look at these screenshots of Microsoft Zune ads at the top and side of, I didnt think they would run them but they did... I thought they where more of Mac fans than MS.

Friday, October 06, 2006

10 Ways To Be a Better Blogger

I have seen many articles listing how to become a better blogger, and the latest one on Tech Republic is a little too common sense, but if you are not doing most if not all of these, you better get your act together.

Define your purpose
Create visual appeal
Use the proper tools
Make it easy to navigate
Stay in one place
Engage your readers
Establish a blogging schedule
Keep it concise
Proofread before publishing
Go syndicate yourself

I need to work on a being better at a few of these myself. A good reminder to those that think the are in “the know” when it comes to blogging.

Google Code Search

Google Code Search
is a new search engine created by Google that "helps you find function definitions and sample code by giving you one place to search publicly accessible source code hosted on the Internet". You can restrict your search to a certain language, license, file or package. You can also use regular expressions, so don't forget to escape characters like space (for example, for\ \(;;\)).

Google does a good job at finding duplicates, and locating a file in a package.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Google Gadgets For Your Webpage

Google has launched a collection of "Google Gadgets for your webpage" that allows users to browse a gallery of small, web-based devices that display information ranging from calculators to maps to photo galleries.

Upon selecting a Gadget and adjusting the settings, users are then given a string of HTML code to place onto their pages. The Gadgets are distributed free of charge and hosted remotely, so users would not need to upload any data to their web pages other than the widget code.

End users aren't the only target of the expanded Google Gadgets. The company is also attempting to lure developers.

"We're working to connect developers with enthusiastic consumers and to make information universally accessible and useful to the individual user," said Google developer Adam Sah.

Several of the currently available Gadgets offer content from non-Google sites, including Wikipedia and

Google hopes that by releasing the Gadgets to users, they can greatly expand the reach of Google Gagdets and bring in more interest from developers.

Whats SearchMash ?

SearchMash is a low-profile search tool created by Google that mixes normal search results with Google Images. As shown in this screenshot, the idea is similar to an older version of A9. The Google Operating System has the run-down:

Search results are numbered and you can reorder them. Clicking on the green URL, you'll see a list of options like "cached copy", "similar sites". You don't have click on the search box to type your query. There is no search button, you just have to type enter. Google shows the number of visible search results in the top right corner. Clicking on the "more" link, Google loads a new set of results using Ajax and scrolls to the first result of the new set using a nice animation (this seems broken in Firefox). Actually the entire site uses a lot of JavaScript and Ajax, and it can't be used if you disable JavaScript.
For now, Google will use SearchMash as a place to play around with their technologies, and might be the foundation for a redesigned version of Google's search results.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Blogger Makes 35k A Year?

indeed is a new site focused on job searches, but they also have a handy tool to let you know the average wages for a job. I put in things like Blogger, Journalist, Reporter, Computer Support Technician, Writer among others and got some interesting figures. I will tell you right now, I make way less blogging than $39,000 a year.

indeed: Bloggers Make $39k a Year?

An interesting tool but I question its accuracy. Though it might also be a good way to ask for a raise…

Friday, September 29, 2006

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Get paid to test Google products

Google is soliciting people to use its products and get paid to provide feedback. As part of Google User Experience Research, people will typically be paid $75 an hour for time spent with Google researchers. Participants can also fill out surveys online or answer questions over the phone.

"You'd be helping us to improve Google products, both existing ones and those that are still in development. For example, we might ask you to try out a prototype and give us feedback on it, or we might interview you to help us plan a new product," the Web site's frequently asked questions page says.

Google used to have a "Trusted Tester" program for friends and family of Google employees to test products before they were launched, but the new program may be replacing that one, Garett Rogers speculated in a ZDNet blog.

Google representatives did not return an e-mail seeking comment.