Categories
Tech

Microsoft has thrown the gauntlet!

If you thought that the search engine wars were settled, with Yahoo! laying down arms, you couldn’t be farther from the truth. Rupert Murdoch reignited the battle saying that he could de-index the WSJ and other content providers from Google. Now Microsoft (MS) has gone a step ahead and offered New Corp money to provide exclusive content for Bing.

Will this lead to more such players providing exclusive content on certain search engines? Personally, I don’t think so. Google won’t take this lying down, and given that it retains a large share of web searches, more content providers would want to be listed on Google (for lower money) than Bing. Ultimately we might have two major search engines with one having more content than the other – which one would it be is anyone’s guess. MS has a lot of money to throw at the search business but Google is no slouch itself. If they end up paying a lot, they are only going to hurt themselves. Also, I am not sure if MS would fight as much for search, which is still a small part there entire biz, unlike Google.

While it is not inconceivable that the search engines might have to pay the content providers some money, I do not foresee it being a huge amount. Search still remains, along with social networking, the killer application of the internet.

Whatever may be the outcome, MS has thrown the gauntlet and I bet Google is just about to respond!!

Categories
Uncategorized

Sometimes, slow is good!

What is common to Dravid, Riquelme, and Sergio Leone? A sense of perfect timing.

If you watch Dravid bat you would realize that he plays the ball like he has all the time in the world. Let alone his defensive ones, even his scoring shots are played with elegance that are on a different plane than those around him. His hooks and pulls are not hurried, unlike other Indian batsmen. There is clam and equanimity in his style of playing.

Riquelme played with a charm not seen for almost a decade. In a fast paced modern game, he was a throw back to the times where skill mattered more than speed. He controlled the ball and created opportunities others could not sense. From a post on the Guardian,

In many ways, he is the closest thing football has to a quarterback, the most influential and glamorous position in American sport. The quarterback is the creator, the player who invents the game as he goes along. If it means passing back or sideways, in order to progress, so be it. Because what Riquelme has, above all else, is patience, the very quality Leo Beenhakker, the veteran Dutch coach of Trinidad & Tobago, says England, so hurried and committed to the long ball, palpably lack.

If you watch a Sergio Leone movie, you will understand that long movies are not boring. A 10 minute shoot out scene with only one bullet being fired is as fast and tense as the Matrix II bike chase scene! A long drawn shot of Eastwood staring at Van Cleef can be very interesting. It seems like the entire world has slowed down, and you can now focus on the action in the middle.

Slow is not always boring. Slow can be elegance. Slow can be precision. Slow can be like symphony!

Categories
Crib Tech

Google Case Law, and why it doesn’t matter…

Whenever Google launches a product there is a huge brouhaha over in the blogosphere (There. I used the stupid word.) and people go nuts about how it is going to be the next big thing. I am not the clean one and am as much to blame as any one else for being a fanboy. However, when Google launched the free legal case law I was hardly excited.

I was transported back to the days when I was so happy at the launch of Google Patents that I almost predicted doom for patent database providers. Heck, I even sent them an email with features I thought would have been easy to implement.

Little did I know that it would turn out to be some time pass project for some one bored of regular work at Google. Sure the tool is great, but the limited coverage and search make it almost useless, when Google, using its immense technological prowess could have brought patents to everyone with very little incremental work. But then I guess the team that worked on it got shifted to some more important stuff and the project now sits there like a tool which I use only to read patents – and not search them. What a waste I tell you!!

Sleep in peace Lexis Nexis – there is no battle brewing on your home turf!

Categories
Uncategorized

Coke Studio

For the past couple of days, I have been totally hooked on to the performances on Coke Studio, and the concept itself. Go check it out.

One that I really like is Titliyaan by Strings.

दिल था खिलौना, चलो टूट गया
क्या कहें
कोई साथी था, जिसे चाहा था
वोही लूट गया, क्या कहें

Categories
Life @ISB

We are like that only…

I sometimes wonder if we will ever be able to get rid of “free riders“. At least on two occasions here at ISB, a team member has shirked responsibility and contributed nothing to an assignment. Nada.

Then someone in the group suggests reporting the incident to the ASA, and somehow we decide against it. Once I was against it, because the past record of the team member was good. After all we are humans and are allowed to make one mistake.

This time, I wanted to report the matter and others suggested that we drop the matter. It might cost the person the course grade and eventually might hurt placements. Is it too large a punishment? Should we have behaved differently?

I guess a part of the problem is that such incidents are not reported too often, and when they are, the culprits are generally made examples of. This prevents others from reporting them any more. Is the solution to deal with the offence differently? Maybe instead of effecting the grades you could have some other punishment. Like wearing a t-shirt saying “I am a douche bag and don’t do my work!” for a day or so. Or some public service like preparing a course summary alone and sending it to everyone – and grade that instead of the said assignment.