This is my dumping ground for quotes and other stuff relating to the wonderful world of digital & communications.
Google News, its executives tell me, now “algorithmically harvests” articles from more than 50,000 news sources across 72 editions and 30 languages. And Google News-powered results, Google says, are viewed by about 1 billion unique users a week. (Yep, that’s billion with a b.) Which translates, for news outlets overall, to more than 4 billion clicks each month: 1 billion from Google News itself and an additional 3 billion from web search.
As a Google representative put it, “That’s about 100,000 business opportunities we provide publishers every minute.”
the maps team, largely driven by Street View, is publishing more imagery data every two weeks than Google possessed total in 2006
On an average day, Google crawls 20B web pages a day, out of 30 trillion URLs on the web. The company now serves 100B searches every month
If Vladimir Putin glances out the windows of the Kremlin window at just the right moment, he has a chance of glimpsing the world’s best computer programmer in Google’s Moscow office across the river.
He is Petr Mitrichev, a 27-year-old Russian who works on Google’s search engine and earned his champion’s title in competitive programming, a sport where hackers write computer code in pursuit of cash prizes, travel opportunities, and a deep fulfillment unattainable anywhere else…
In 2011 he won Facebook’s first programming contest, the now annual Hacker Cup. He showed up for the final at Facebook’s headquarters and collected his trophy with his Google employee badge attached to his jeans. Some saw it as a brazen taunt in the companies’ rivalry for hacker supremacy. “I just had left it on from the day before,” says Mitrichev
It takes about the same amount of computing to answer one Google Search query as all the computing done — in flight and on the ground — for the entire Apollo program!
Should a Googler pass away while under the employ of the 14-year old search giant, their surviving spouse or domestic partner will receive a check for 50% of their salary every year for the next decade… surviving spouses will see all stocks vested immediately and any children will receive a $1,000 monthly payment from the company until they reach the age of 19 (or 23 if the child is a full-time student).
More than a decade ago, Google built a new foundation for its search engine. It was called the Google File System — GFS, for short — and it ran across a sweeping army of computer servers, turning an entire data center into something that behaved a lot like a single machine…
After Google released research papers describing GFS and a sister software platform called MapReduce — the piece that crunches the data — Yahoo, Facebook, and others built their own version of the Google foundation. It was called Hadoop, and this open source platform is now driving a revolution across the world of business software as well.
But Google no longer uses GFS. Two years ago, the company moved its search to a new software foundation based on a revamped file system known as Colossus… Colossus now underpins virtually all of Google’s web services…
Whereas GFS was built for batch operations — i.e., operations that happen in the background before they’re actually applied to a live website — Colossus is specifically built for “realtime” services, where the processing happens almost instantly
The queue is a transient song list, and not an actual playlist. When you add a song to the queue, the Nexus Q owner can listen to the track for 24 hours, even after you’ve left. It’s a kick-ass feature that reinforces the hardware as a sharing platform, but no actual files are added to the device (nor could they be, what with the lack of local storage). By the same token, Nexus Q isn’t a gateway to all your friends’ music collections or private playlists — you can only see the songs that have been added to the queue, not everything a visitor has stored in the cloud.
Google Now goes much deeper than just voice recognition and AI. It actually learns what you do through searching and starts to identify patterns. Additionally, it will give you information before you even ask for it. For instance, in the short period of time I’ve been using Now, it became convinced that I lived at my hotel in San Francisco (sad, I know). When I went out earlier today, it prompted me for directions back to my “house.” Of course I corrected it and gave it my actual home address, but the functionality is fascinating. Later, when I left the hotel for the airport, Google Now presented me with a map and an estimated travel time of 27 minutes without having been asked
One legal hurdle they had to clear was that zeppelin airships are not allowed to open a door in flight. But, they were able to work with the San Jose FAA branch to add new rules to the operation manual for zeppelins so they could open the door and jump. As a result, Google says the jumps were the first ever legal zeppelin skydives using wingsuits in the U.S.
The Nexus Q is $300, and much of that price is from the increased labor costs of not making it in China. Google said it hoped that people would be willing to pay more, but also that costs would probably come down as volume increased… many people are already complaining about that price tag. The reality is of course that we can’t have it both ways — electronics are cheap exactly because of those ethical issues (low wages, long hours, terrible living conditions, lax environmental policies)
The team, led by Google’s Dr Jeff Dean, used the 16,000 processor array to create a brain-style ‘neural network’ with more than a billion connections…. The team then fed it random images culled from 10 million YouTube videos - and let it ‘learn’ by itself. Unsurprisingly, the machine focused in on cats. ‘We never told it during the training, ‘This is a cat,” said Dr. Dean. ‘It basically invented the concept of a cat.’