The New York Post is a “scandal sheet” tabloid newspaper that’s best known for its sensationalistic, hilarious headlines. A few examples:
- When beer magnate Freddy Heineken was kidnapped, they ran a story titled No Deposit, No Return.
- When New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was linked to a prostitution ring: Ho No.
- On the possibility of a “Deep Impact”-style collision of a cosmic object with Earth: Kiss Your Asteroid Goodbye.
- When Newsweek retracted its story about the interrogation tactic of flushing copies of the Qu’ran down the toilet: Holy Shiite.
- A famous one from 1982: Headless Body in Topless Bar.
There’s even a book that features the best (worst?) of their wacky headlines.
So when you read the Fear Grips Google story in the Post, you should remember that tech really isn;t their forte and that you might want to take it with a grain of salt. I think Search Engine Land sums it up best:
Still, the graphic accompanying the Post’s article, Fear Grips Google, is amusing:
The big TechCrunch article of the day is about a private discussion group in which Google’s HR department asked former employees to post messages explaining reasons why they left the company. TechCrunch published posts from the thread; in case you didn’t feel like reading them all, I took a tally of the complaints in the thread and gathered them up in the table and chart below. Enjoy!
|Unhappy with the hiring process, especially how long it took
|Low relative pay, benefits or relocation package
|Management: either micro or not at all
|Lost in the shuffle
Google Maps, Live Search (a.k.a. Microsoft Virtual Earth) Maps and Yahoo! Maps are all based on Navteq’s mapping technologies. As a result, the tiles used in rendering the maps are the same size, and if you set the zoom to equivalent levels in each, you can seamlessly switch between the three. Take a look at the map below, which shows a map of Toronto as rendered by Google Maps, Live Search Maps and Yahoo! Maps:
The article Switching Between Mapping APIs and Universal Zoom Levels at David Janes’ Code Weblog explains that the mapping systems differ in their zoom levels:
- Google Maps has 20 levels of zoom, ranging from 0 (out in space) to 19 (pretty close to ground level).
- Live Search Maps has 19 levels of zoom, ranging from 1 (out in space, but not as far out as Google Maps’ 0) to 19 (pretty close to ground level). Live Search Maps’ zoom levels are equivalent to Google Maps’; for example, zoom level 5 mean the same level of zoom in both Google Maps and Live Search Maps.
- Yahoo! Maps provides the fewest level of zoom – a mere seventeen. Their counting system is the opposite of Google Maps’ and Live Search Maps; in the Yahoo! system, larger numbers mean farther away from the ground, not closer. The closest you can zoom in with Yahoo! Maps is zoom level 1 (street block level, equivalent to Google’s and Live Searh’s zoom level 17) and the farthest you can zoom out is zoom level 17 (equivalent to Google’s and Live Search’s zoom level 1).
David proposes a universal zoom level and provides code to do conversions between it and Google’s, Live Search’s and Yahoo!’s systems.
I would’ve thought that they ignore everything after the first page, but ReputationDefender says that according to a Cornell University Study [PDF], most Google users ignore everything after the first three results.
According to a BusinessWeek article, the real threat to Google isn’t Microsoft or Yahoo!, but cell phones:. “As more people use cell phones and their tiny glass screens to gain access to the Internet, Google and its fellow online advertisers will have less space, or what’s called ad inventory, to place marketing messages for customers. Google makes money selling ad inventory. And its ad inventory is diminished on a cell phone.”
Filter Google Results by Date with a URL Trick: “Google can reorder search and news results from the last day, week, a few months, or entire year by adding a small string to the end of the search URL. Just add this string —
&as_qdr=d — to the address bar and hit enter. You’ll get a custom drop-down box that lets you re-order results based on date.”
Here’s something pointed out by a guy on Reddit, who took his cue from an entry in the French blog Zorgloob: take a look what happens when you enter sarkozy sarkozy sarkozy (as in French president Nicolas Sarkozy) into Google Translate and select a French-to-English translation:
Here’s some other input that yields interesting output:
Is it an Easter Egg by some politically-minded pranksters at Google? Or users abusing the “suggest a better translation” feature? Or a quirk of the way it translates, which one Reddit reader says is based on training by “feeding it documents which have been translated into many languages by the likes of the UN”?