Archive for March, 2006

Colours of Life




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Gabbly is a new application that embeds a chat window in any web page. It seems to be based on web proxying and iframes: You think you’re looking at the target website, e.g. digg.com, but you’re actually looking at gabbly.com with an iframe for digg.com and an iframe above that for the chat window. Created a wiki our group, Here is the URL

pb wiki

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Searh Engines

Why aren’t there more? Because search is not an easy thing. You have to:

  • go out and fetch every one of the billions of pages on the internet (without being a pest)
  • search through all of them in a fraction of a second
  • order the results in a way that the best links are on top, where “best” is a “know it when I see it” concept
  • without being misled by all the companies that are working to explicitly game the system
  • and do it all better than Google.

It’s really not a very good way for a tech company to spend their money.

why are MSN, Yahoo & Google the only decent search engines nowadays?

Because they have
a) spent a lot of money
b) a lot of experience with tweaking algorithms, indexing etc.
c) a lot of very clever people working for them.
d) the internet is very very very big.

Cuz no one has an algorithm that yields better machine-generated search results than Google’s PageRank (everyone else has an engine that works in rougly the same fashion). All the money in the world wouldn’t make a difference if my search engine was based on the same principles as PageRank.

Imagine what it would take to create from scratch a search engine competitive with Google. You would need millions (if not billions) in hardware, spread out in datacenters globally. You would also need a large pile of cash to pay for all those network connections to move those those terabytes of data necessary to constantly spider those tens of billions of pages.

Ever wonder how Google stays so reliable and quick? Did you know that they use a stripped down version of Red Hat? Did you know they built their own file system? This article explains it all. Heres some more info via wiki. The Google File System

Here are some list of Search Engines…

  2. A9 from Amazon
  3. Yahoo consistently delivers better results for Metafilter
  4. alltheweb is often considered an alternative to google.
  5. Try ask.com
  6. A Korean firm called Naver pioneered Knowledge Search
  7. Clusty / Vivisimo is an alternative, but it is a meta search engine. It queries google and other search engines, but doesn’t display their ads, so google isn’t getting any revenue from clusty searches.
  8. The Chinese all use Baidu

Here is the Search Engine Relationship Chart.

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Writely is also the best AJAX based word processor around. You can save documents as PDF in Writely, a feature that Microsoft is making available for the first time in Microsoft Office 2007Google is rumored to be in talks with Writely, a web browser based Word processor, for a possible acqusition.

I think Writely fits just right in the Google Plan. Google Calendar and Google G: Drive are nearing release, an online word processor would be a nice addition to the Google Productivity office suite. Write documents with Writely and store them in G:drive. So it suits Google even more.

Some features of Writely

  • Share documents instantly & collaborate real-time. Pick exactly who can access your documents.
  • Edit your documents from anywhere. Nothing to download — your browser is all you need.
  • Store your documents securely online. Offsite storage plus data backup every 10 seconds.
  • Easy to use. Clean, uncluttered screens with a familiar, desktop feel


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Google Calendar: CL2

CL2 is closely, very closely, integrated with Gmail. It includes now-standard web 2.0 features – Ajax, suscription feeds for integration with iCal and other desktop calendars, event creation, search, sharing, notifications (including SMS) and more.

It’s also clear from the event creation functionality that Google is is going to attempt to aggregate events like eventful and zvents do now.

The interface looks Googl-ish. Simple and clean. Some more screen shots can be found here.


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google gdrive

On March 2, 2006 (a few days ago), Google hosted an analyst day and presented a wide range of information on new products and strategies. Among the information was a description of the upcoming “Google Drive”, a place for users to store 100% of their data online.  Epic 2015 – Prediction of Google Control Over Our Lives,  This seems to  be coming to reality now, You can see the prediction by Robin Sloan and Matt Thompson  here.

According to Eric Schmidt, Google is developing an online file storage system called Google Drive (or Gdrive) that creates a mirror image of data stored on consumer hard drives. Now Google Drive will copy (upload) files from local computer to Google Servers.  A ppt version of the slides can be found here.

On page 19 of the presentation, Google stated the following:

Store 100% of User Data
With infinite storage, we can house all user files, including: emails, web history, pictures, bookmarks, etc and make it accessible from anywhere (any device, any platform, etc).

We already have efforts in this direction in terms of GDrive, GDS, Lighthouse, but all of them face bandwidth and storage constraints today. For example: Firefox team is working on server side stored state but they want to store only URLs rather than complete web pages for storage reasons. This theme will help us make the client less important (thin client, thick server model) which suits our strength vis-a-vis Microsoft and is also of great value to the user.
As we move toward the “Store 100%” reality, the online copy of your data will become your Golden Copy and your local-machine copy serves more like a cache. An important implication of this theme is that we can make your online copy more secure than it would be on your own machine.
Another important implication of this theme is that storing 100% of a user’s data makes each piece of data more valuable because it can be access across applications. For example: a user’s Orkut profile has more value when it’s accessible from Gmail (as addressbook), Lighthouse (as access list), etc

Google also recommits to a future with personalized search. They say in the notes on slide 12 that they will “introduce new personalization elements” and that they view that as one of two major directions for their efforts to improve relevance rank.

Where google gets all that gmail hard drive space. I dont know,

google drive

Google Online Hard Disk, Store and Acess files from anywhere. Hmm another google innovation GDrive is near.

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