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Posts Tagged ‘yahoo’

Yeah, yeah, by now you have the news. Microsoft wants to spend $44bn to buy Yahoo!

Personally, I want this to happen.  Professionally, I think it will drive search, online media, and social networking to new vistas (hahahaha, good pun!).

I’m not going to talk about the business case for this.  Everyone and their mother will do that.

I owe any success I have to 4 things: Yahoo!, Microsoft, Google, and Britney Spears. No really.

I have no Microsoft stock.  I have no Yahoo! stock.  I don’t work at Yahoo! nor Microsoft.  I have worked at Yahoo!, consulted for a division.  Most of the “investors” in companies I’ve been at made their fortunes at Yahoo! I’ve attempted to sell businesses to Microsoft.  I’ve partnered with Microsoft on media and advertising efforts.  Microsoft software powers most of my daily tasks and has consumed 75% or more of any IT budget I owned. (i know, I know… linux is cheaper….)

Sites’ SEO and usability I was responsible for accounts for well over 2% of the Google Index.  Most of the businesses in my experience make a substantial revenue line from Google ads and get most of their traffic from Google directly or indirectly.

In 5 companies I’ve worked at or consulted “Britney Spears” has been the largest source of traffic and best example of how to be “findable”.  Yes, inevitably all pop culture and music sites must devolve into “What is Britney Doing Now?” More advertising money is earned against Britney Spears than any other term on the internet, at these 5 companies and net wide.  (Britney’s handlers should trademark her name and likeness aggressively and attempt to collect royalties.  I mean, she really has made a lot of people very rich and most have no grasp of how much traffic and clicks she drives)

Putting all that together… literally 98% of my income and assets are tied to those 4 entities.  Microsoft and Yahoo! make up at least 60% of of that 98%.  This is the truth.

So yeah, I’d rather owe less people than more.  Combine Yahoo! and Microsoft and I only owe 3 entities.  Google should buy Britney Spears (they make enough money and get enough traffic from her in search, youtube and blogger!).  Man, that’d be great.  Just 2 entities.  that’s not so bad.  it’s kinda like parents.  I can handle that.

~R

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Grid is here and it’s a game changer.  Not today, maybe not totally in 08, but certainly in the nearish future.

What is grid computing (cloud computing), you ask?  well, it’s lots of things.  Generally it refers to the idea that you can rent N number of cpu cycles to compute whatever you need.  Run websites, crunch datasets, run simulations, parse logs.  whatever you need to do, just rent the cycles to do it from grid computing providers, companies with excess cpu time or from your friendly neighborhood tech.

Grid is useful now because the tools to benefit from it are finally easy enough to generate adoption.  Amazon’s EC2 Cloud computing is amazing.  Really it is.  A webservice approach to setting up custom “nodes”.  Billed simply into accounts you probably have had for years.  Tons of documentation, samples, support developers… all there for you.

Yahoo just invest in Hadoop which is somewhat of grid computing.  Google is a gigantic grid computer system (use GWT to take some advantage of it!)  All available to Fortune 5, government, and YOU!

Technically, this matters because you can do a lot more when you do have to sweat the cycles.  Really.  if there’s no computational limit to what you are doing (other than can you afford it) all sorts of new services can be created.  New games, new investor tools, new education software, new advertising, new communications, new social networks.  Bandwidth was the first big damn to break.  With giant pipes readily available, we got to move away from text only experiences.  Look what’s resulted!?!  Computational power is another damn we’re breaking.  Retargeting of content, behavior analysis on the fly, improved AI…  all available to the common dev.  That’s huge.

At first I thought it would hurt hosting provides, hardware makers and so forth.  Actually though, i think it’s additive.  It’s yet another tool we can all use. It doesn’t replace always on, dedicated servers nor fast locked down storage.  It simply gives us lots of cycles as we need them to do interesting things.  And because I can’t see the future in any detail, I can’t make any claims about what it might do to existing industry and technology.

If you haven’t played with this stuff or even read about it, you need to.  It likely will be embedded in most online (and what isn’t online anymore?) within a decade.  web services and ajax was just the tip of this type of thinking.

Here’s what I want to do with cloud computing:

  • Find largest Mersenne Prime Number
  • Power my Decision Engine product (evolution of search engines to actually guide decisions)
  • Hook into ad servers to reforcast in realtime and retarget media based on behavior
  • Hook into a swarm of networked NXT bots to create social behavior across geography
  • fingerprint all YouTube videos and categorize based on transcripts and similarity scores (good for targeting ads or finding related media)
  • Create first homegrown weather forecasting simulation from Global models to Weather On the Ground. make freely available to all
  • Analyze social networks in real time
  • create a bot to play halo 3 for me all the time, but actually using the controller and data on SCREEN!
  • more more more

~Russ

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There’s just more and more analysis and speculation about how critical it is to be fast.

Slashdot linked to this fairly decent NYtimes article about Google and Microsoft.  One of the key points, which I actually agree with, is that GRID COMPUTING IS AT THE CENTER OF ALL FAST INNOVATION IN THE VERY NEAR FUTURE.

I have tons more to talk about with grid computing and will save that for a later entry.

I wanted to also point out the recent Yahoo! announcement of their investment in the Apache Foundation and the hiring of a key person there.  They don’t hide from the fact that this will help them be FASTER due to the bigger, quicker open source community.  It’s clearly yet another move to compete with Google and Microsoft.  It’s particularly strategic considering Apache is a foundational component to so many web things and lucene and hadoop (more grid computing!) are directly competitive with Google, Microsoft and Amazon.

Recently Google announced they are working on these web things called “knols” which are basically wikipedia/about.com style landing pages to search results.  (Gee, all those landing pages on the web are worth something? go figure.)   This is a “get it faster” strategy too… as it get me more ad dollars faster than waiting for wikipedia and others to put google ads all over the place…

i could go on and on about moves big companies are making to simply KEEP UP.  it’s damn near impossible to keep up the pace at any company.  Why?

  1. The talent is fluid.  They can do themselves or they can go to the competition
  2. Big companies almost always get slow.  Start ups don’t have the cash flow to invest heavily in things like super computing, lots of bandwidth, etc. etc.  (one way or another something is subverting speed)
  3. The foundations of the technology are changing quicker than we can agree on standards.  (Over 10 wireless standards, no browsers work the same, .Net is on version 3.5, vista isn’t taking over, intel macs make them a force (but who knows how to code that), flex, silverlight, ruby on rails, python, ajax…).  Without standards it’s hard to educate buckets of programmers.  Without lots of programmers, hard to transfer knowledge quickly.
  4. If the programmers aren’t getting it fast enough, who in the organization is?
  5. Transparency to users – they get their say and they say it hard and fast.  course correct quickly or it’s over
  6. China
  7. India
  8. Tampa – cheaper US labor markets, accessible for high tech/remote projects
  9. and tons more reason

In fact, I have so much to say on SPEED, i’m going to launch into a series of posts on who is fast, what it takes to be fast, what undercuts speed, how you can’t fail fast enough………

fast to bed now.

~Russ

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