David vs. Goliath In The Search Engine Wars


From TPM’s Carl Franzen:

Google’s core product — its web search engine — has been hit with a barrage of criticism for changes Google made in the way it displays search results, putting content from Google’s social network, Google Plus, up front and center, even when it doesn’t seem to make sense. Add to that concerns from users and regulators over Google’s new privacy policy, and Google search has had a difficult 2012 so far, to say the least.

In contrast, the fortunes of a relatively unknown search engine focused on privacy, called DuckDuckGo, have never been better.

DuckDuckGo, which promotes its simplicity and strict privacy protections over competitors, has experienced a record surge in traffic over the past three months, up 227 percent to nearly 1.5 million unique searches daily.

DuckDuckGo’s founder Gabriel Weinberg said that he knew the tide was turning when his four-year-old search engine saw a million searches per day on February 14.

There’s more. . .

Google’s New Privacy Policy Is Coming… Quick, Hide Your Stuff!!!


A warning from Digital Journal about the new Privacy Policy slated to take effect on March 1st, 2012, from non-evil doer Google:

With just a week to go before Google changes to its new privacy policy that allows it to gather, store and use personal information, users have a last chance to delete their Google Browsing History, along with any damning information therein.

I am sure am not alone in my love/hate relationship with the Google. This latest policy creepy update by them is getting a lot of deserved attention. More from the Digital Journal article:

Tech News Daily reports that once Google’s new unified privacy policy takes effect all data already collected about you, including search queries, sites visited, age, gender and location will be gathered and assigned to your online identity represented by your Gmail and YouTube accounts. After the policy takes effect you are not allowed to opt out without abandoning Google altogether.

The 6 easy steps to taking control of your info are HERE.


Not Worth Repeating


If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.

—Eric Schmidt, Google CEO to Maria Bartiromo during CNBC’s big Google special on 12/10/09

Not Worth Repeating unless, of course, you’re worried about Google’s power, reach and intentions. My real worry has always been that they merge with a company like Xe  ; )

Google’s Flu Shot Finder


Flu Shot Finder

From Mashable’s Barb Dybwad:

In addition to free airport Wi-Fi, Google has another gift to you this holiday season — aka this flu season. They’ve been working with the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services to develop a tool for locating flu shot providers near you, located at google.com/flushot.

The tool leverages Google Maps to show you nearby vaccine locations for both the seasonal and H1N1 swine flu varieties. They stress that the project is just getting started and they’re still gathering more information about flu shot clinics for a number of areas, with help from the HHS, the Centers for Disease Control and state and local health agencies.

There’s more…

If Facebook Doesn’t Kill It, Can Twitter Survive a Leak?

Facebook is the new Google and Twitter has concerns about its survival, according to this article in Forbes.com.

According to TechCrunch editor Erick Schonfeld, much of the discussion in Twitter meetings dealt with both Facebook and Google. But while concerns about Google focused mostly on being out-hustled by Google’s indexer, the ones about Facebook seem much more fundamental to Twitter’s core vision.

“Google is old news,” the notes read. And Facebook? Potentially lethal.

And if you enjoy reading tech mystery thrillers, TechCrunch reveals the plot twists and turns of the recent Twitter document leak in The Anatomy Of The Twitter Attack

The Twitter document leak fiasco started with a simple story that personal accounts of Twitter employees were hacked. Twitter CEO Evan Williams commented on that story, saying that Twitter itself was mostly unaffected. No personal accounts were compromised, and “most of the sensitive information was personal rather than company-related,” he said. The individual behind the attacks, known as Hacker Croll, wasn’t happy with that response. Lots of Twitter corporate information was compromised, and he wanted the world to know about it. So he sent us all of the documents that he obtained, some 310 of them, and the story developed from there.

Five Years to Test This Blog

By Google standards, that is. The “Don’t Be Evil” folks just removed the “beta” label from their Gmail service.

Beta versions, which are sandwiched between internal “alpha” versions and final “release” versions, typically have a lifespan of weeks or months.

But Gmail was different. Released on April 1, 2004, it was still in beta five years and tens of millions of users later.

This, according to Miguel Helft writing in the New York Times. And what was the delay?

“Obviously we haven’t had a consistent set of policies or definitions around beta,” Matthew Glotzbach, a director of product management at Google, said in an interview. Mr. Glotzbach said that different teams at Google had different criteria for what beta meant, and that Google felt a need to standardize those. “It was time to address the issue and bring the products out of beta,” he said.

I have been refering to this blog as a “first draft” based on my experiences as a novelist. But after reading this article I found the right terminology. cubiyanqui is still in its “beta” version.

I’ll make an announcement within the next five years when our final “release” version becomes available. If you feel the urge to suggest improvements in the meantime, just take a deep breadth and wait until the urge passes.