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Google News Archive Search September 7, 2006

Posted by rajAT in google.
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Google has launched an outstanding new service called News Archive Search

News archive search provides an easy way to search and explore historical archives. Users can search for events, people, ideas and see how they have been described over time. In addition to searching for the most relevant articles for their query, users can get an historical overview of the results by browsing an automatically created timeline. Search results include both content that is accessible to all users and content that requires a fee. Articles related to a single story within a given time period are grouped together to allow users to see a broad perspective on the events.

Features of News archive search

* Search diverse sources from one place

* Browse timelines of events and stories related to specific queries

* Identify key time periods relevant to persons/events/ideas

* Discover a variety of viewpoints across time

How are articles ranked?
News archive search aims to rank results such that the articles/events that would be of interest to users exploring history appear first. We take into account the full text of each article, the publication in which the article appears, how often the underlying event has been referred to or described, in what manner and by whom.


Army of Steven Spielbergs June 8, 2006

Posted by rajAT in aggregator, google, media, media2.0, video, web2.0, youtube.
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Robert young in his post on GigaOm says that Hollywood should fear Google. He points that – 

Google will eventually become the dominant gatekeeper for video.his question, which used to be one of the most pressing in the minds of media executives, seems to have been put on the back-burner lately due to the meteoric rise of online video sharing sites like YouTube and social networks like MySpace (not to mention Google’s own anemic efforts on the video front thus far).

I think to some extent the behavior of media executives is justified. Till now they were competing with 3-4 media houses but suddenly they have got an army of davids who are producing and uploading videos at a frantic pace.

As we all know, Google revolutionized search by leveraging the most unique and powerful element of the web… the hyperlink.

The strategic implications of this insight, which Google used to dominate the market for text-based search, are now about to spill-over into the world of video.

The analogy page rank was a success in text and same will happen in video is not correct.

Let me explain –

First question to be answered is why people use google search? Ok, to discover the content on the web. Why anyone need to search anything on internet, what is the motivation.  Two reason which normally is the case, either I am doing research (academic) or I am trying to find out something interesting (fun).

Now the video consumption on internet is generally of the latter kind i.e. fun stuff. Now what is other way of discovering such content. voila – Peer groups. Yes, peer groups. They recommend/share a video to you (buddy list) when they saw something interesting. In return you recommend/share the videos back when you see something interesting.

So a video on Youtube (or its clones) is tagged, gets commented, gets recommended and then shared. This helps in the easy consumption of the videos by other people. SO you open Youtube website and the most popular videos will be there on the top of the list. No need to search anything. This is a painless experience. And one doesn't have to master the keyword search. 🙂

Note that the meta data of videos that is the comments and stars ( how many stars a particular video has got) is not available to Google. They play a very important role, as they enrich the user experience by helping him in making a more informed choice. This all data is a part of deep web and Google has no access to it. 

Today we have very efficient aggregators and a user doesn’t see much value in reconstructing the web. A Google search finds the content and gives you back a web page of the links that might be relevant to you i.e. reconstructing the web. But thanks to aggregators like Techmeme the need to search has gone down a bit less. Techmeme for videos will come in future which aggregates the videos from all these sources. Google could have done this but by launching there own Video site they just have killed this big opportunity.

Google should have continued what they have been doing best till now that is reconstructing the web. But by opening there own publishing platforms they have alienated other publishers.

In the end, Hollywood executives shouldn’t fear Google but the next door guy who becomes a Steven Spielberg for a day or two. 🙂 

Clueless Publishers June 7, 2006

Posted by rajAT in blog, book, books, google, media, media2.0, publishing, technology, web2.0.

The business of publishing books is going to get disintermediated. Even if publishers start publishing books online they cannot save their empires. It is like arranging the deck chairs on Titanic.

An author goes to a famous publishing house because a publisher has got a network already that is necessary for a mega success of the book. A publisher

1) Buys reputation , an example.

2) Provide a platform for getting into international markets.

3) And most importantly prints the book.

But things on internet work a bit differently, isn't it.

At the moment you cannot buy reputation online, thank god. You publish your book on internet and blogs take it in all the corners of the world.

So why in future an author will go to a publisher to get his book published. That is the question to be answered?

An author should ask I am the one who is creating the content. I am one who is advertising the book through blogs so why I need this guy called publisher. Note that royalties are not that big.

Publishers have lost half of their battle when Amazon started reviews on its website. Over the years book lovers all round the world have contributed significant amout of data on its website. And now Amazon has got that valuable data and not the publishers.

And now Amazon has started allowing the authors to blog from Amazon.com itself. It is a good idea. But Amazon is not the edge.

Authors will prefer their own blog sites. But amazon still have a fighting chance over the publishers as an internet book publishing platfrom. Simple reason is Amazon has built network goods.

How to make money by publishing books online will be figured out by someone who is more enteprising. Scott has got some ideas though.

Publishers are just unnecessarily fretting with Google; they should be spending their time thinking the next platform, if there is one.

Surely, very interesting times lie ahead of us.



Google Spreadsheet Review June 6, 2006

Posted by rajAT in google, review, spreadsheet.

Google Spreadsheet review –

No support for graphs as yet. That is must.

Collaboration can be done by sharing the sheet or one can chat while editing and other person can see the sheet also.

Thts Ok.
Below are the screen shots of the features available.

Format Bar

Sort Tab










Google Product Manager take –  Its nice to share 🙂

Microsoft: Startup zone June 2, 2006

Posted by rajAT in apple, bill gates, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, google, microsoft, startup, technology.
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WSJ reports that Microsoft is looking to work with startups. Microsoft has a team dedicated for it and is know as Microsoft Emgerging Business Team.

Microsoft has marked the categories in which they will like to partnership with the startups .

  • Business Intelligence
  • Collaboration
  • Consumer
  • Healthcare
  • Infrastructure
  • Integration
  • Mobility
  • Line of Business Applications
  • Security

They have quite an array of companies working for them. I can only recognize – Newsgator, Akimbo, Sling Media, MobiTV.

Don Dodge heads the Collaboration portfolio. The Collaboration portfolio covers applications that work with Outlook, Office, Sharepoint, Messenger, Live Communications Server, and Exchange. Applications in this space include email add-on tools, document management, content management, file sharing, and other collaboration tools.

He gives reasons for why Microsoft is interested in working with startups –

  1. Partner products that compliment existing Microsoft products by adding features, filling holes, and leveraging the Microsoft platforms.
  2. Innovative partner products that take advantage of the latest Microsoft technology encourage our customers to upgrade to the latest release.
  3. Successful start-ups draw attention to the benefits of building on the Microsoft platform, and the value of partnering with Microsoft.
  4. Small start-ups often grow into big companies that need lots of software.
  5. Working with start-ups keeps us close to the cutting edge of technology. A good barometer for what is coming in the next 5 years.
  6. Start-ups are the best source for new partners, and sometimes lead to acquisitions.

WOW. Microsoft is treating startup as SME where they want to sell them their software or it is like catch them young. They can not attract true startups with this approach. By true startups I mean where a bunch of students are thinking to do the next big thing. They don't have a business plan or ivy league management team but just few ideas.

Now how can they catch such young entrepreneurs. Well for that first and foremost they have to come up with bigger goals and not short ones where they want to push their software to them.

They should sit with student entreprenuers and try to help them in arranging things for them. Any such venture lacks three things – Capital, Advice, Network. Help them in sorting these things out.

Microsoft has missed lots of things in technology, if they don't want to miss the next google they will think on these lines.
After all microsoft was also started by students and so was google, apple. And the next Katrina will also come from there.

Why TiVo needs Google ? May 26, 2006

Posted by rajAT in dvr, google, TiVo, video.
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Both the search giants Yahoo and Google are getting aggressive on the video front as that was the last frontier left where they have not made any significant in roads till now. So TiVo can lead them to the bedroom of consumers where they don’t have any place right now.

A major reason given for what TiVo is going to gain out of this deal is that – A consumer will search for a video on the web through a PC and then watch them on their television sets. Doesn't it seemed a bit far fetched at the moment. The kind of video content people search on internet is better consumable only on the PC. For a moment let us forget the horrible viewing experience a consumer will have to bear while viewing the content on TV because of different resolutions. How will one decode the content available in so many different formats?

TiVo is going to do decoding on hardware. If they are going to do it in software then why you need a set top box in first place. Just select the content on web, download it through internet and then transfer the display on any big screen.

If a user is going to get a message when he is seeing a transferred content from internet on his TiVo that the "Decoder for this video is getting downloaded" then from next time a user is going to see stuff on his PC only.

It has been said that if TiVo wants to become "Google of TV" TiVo needs Google. It will help the 3 million subscribers to search for and watch any broadcast or broadband media.

One very important question that needs to be answered here is that to become "Google of TV", does TiVo needs Google? Now that is a billion dollar question, isn't it? Google is Google today because of the page rank algorithm. Does this page rank algorithm needed for video search? I really don't think so.

Video content that is mostly available is in directory format. Plus the tagging provides a better search experience then the keyword based.

Last but not the least I really don’t know how a add sense is going to work on this platform. I have used interactive TV interface in Boston. They will provide with a summary of the programme in couple of lines and it was really difficult to read them from distance. And we are talking about reading discreet Google ads. If we talk about any other model then it is not Google ad sense and need to be perfected then why Google.

I think TiVo is much better off without Google. TiVo has done all the hard work and market seems good for it now. It should not now let Google to exploit it.

CNeT report on it is here.