free html hit counter August 2006 | John Battelle's Search Blog

Welcome VentureBeat

By - August 31, 2006

Matt Marshall, long of the SJMN and SiliconBeat, has launched his own site, VentureBeat. Congrats on going solo, Matt! Matt is working with FM, and I’m proud to be associated with him and his work.

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One Last Travel Complaint

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The man hours devoted to separating me from my Kiehls face lotion. I mean, my goodness. If I wanted to destroy a plane with two ounces of face lotion, why, I might just figure out a way to add water later while in the air.

At SFO, there were at least ten full-time lotion swipers at work when I went through. I wonder, did they hire new staff? Repurpose others? There are at least ten more security screening sites like the one I was at in SFO, so that means 100 full time lotion swipers. At SFO alone. All day.

Are they doing this at all major airports? They took my toothpaste, my Carmex, my 4’n’1 sinus medicine (I forgot I had THAT in my bag).

More than one thousand TSA agents, dumping toiletries into the garbage. Something tells me there has to be a better use of manpower in the War on Terror (TM).

Or…maybe there’s not. Maybe this is all for show. Maybe in fact if we gave the government thousands of foot soldiers to work on this War (TM), they’d have no idea what to do.

End of rant.

The Power of Search

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I was in the Austin airport today and a clip on CNN caught my ear. It was a piece on the “secret Senator” who had held up a bill, otherwise supported by a majority, which would require the creation of a database of government spending, in particular contracts, loans, and the like. What stopped me in my tracks was the anchor’s use of the term “a Google-like search function” as the reason the bill was being held up. In other words, this bill was clearly threatening to bring transparency and ease of use to information about government spending, and someone was using the secret Senator, who turned out to be our pal Ted “Series of Tubes” Stevens, to try to kill the bill.

Bloggers, however, made a huge fuss, CNN and its ilk caught onto the story. But, well, will the bill pass or not?

My money is on not.

round up

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Growing Google library

Google is now permitting free PDF downloading and printing of classic and obscure books—in addition to out-of-copyright books. However, Google will still only provide snippets around search terms for materials under copyright, unless permission is extended by the publisher. link (Gary Price timely points out other sources for free book printing.)

AT&T hack exposes 19,000 ids

A hack on one of AT&T’s systems has exposed the personal data, including the credit card numbers, of 19,000 identities. link

Surfview-1Geotagging Flickr, more like an explosion

Flickr added a geotagging feature that in its first day gained more than 1.2 million geotagged photos. As you might guess, they’re thinking very hard about how to scaleover a million new photos being added on a good day… [and the] billions of bits of data that go into the search (more than half a billion tags alone), along with privacy controls, group membership, and so on.”

Picture 2-19WikiPatents

WikiPatents is a new community site where the public can contribute commentary and organize around U.S. patent issues—including reviewing pending applications and voting on their merits. The first site of this kind, it’s the brainchild of the US Patent Office own efforts to improve the technical merits and legal backing of patents. The user-base is now composed of “examiners, law firms, future litigants, licensees, potential investors, inventors, and patent owners.”

Search driven charity drive

The local search engine iBegin, now servicing Toronto — is donating 50 cents to charity for every new review and picture uploaded by users through September 15. link (This caught my eye because at first I thought it was a search engine for charity giving– someone make that! Update: http://www.goodtree.com, thanks Alberto.)

The Web 2.0 Expo

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Logo WebexMy partner Tim today announces a new event in the Web 2 world – the Web 2.0 Expo. From his post:

…there’s a long way between the big framing ideas of web 2.0 and their practical application. What’s more, the Web 2.0 Conference sold out last year and is on an invitation-only basis this year, with far greater demand than the event can accommodate. And that’s why O’Reilly and CMP have today announced a second, companion conference, the Web 2.0 Expo, to be held April 15-18, 2007 at the Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco. The Expo will include a four-day hands-on technical conference and tutorials as well as a trade show floor.

Every big idea needs implementation. We saw the need for a second event that focuses on how to actually build effective Web 2.0 applications. We’re tackling not just Web 2.0 as strategy but also design, programming, operations, and viral marketing — the elements of execution that will ultimately separate the winners from the me-too companies in the space.

I’m really looking forward to this event, I think it’ll be where the rubber meets the road. (Disclosure-As Program Chair for Web 2.0, I’m a partner in the Web 2.0 conference business with O’Reilly and CMP, though I am not directly involved in the Expo business itself.)

Schmidt Joins Apple Board

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Apple Tricolor

Google CEO Eric Schimdt has joined Apple’s board. Given the way the Valley hovers over every possible implication of both companies’ actions, there’s plenty of conspiracies to be theorized here.

I covered Apple as a cub reporter, and learned how to deal with a company populated by brilliant, odd, and flabbergasting folks. In corporate history, logo color choice, and brand values, Apple shares much in common with Google, that is for sure. But I’m not sure there’s too much to be made of this connection – yet.

Of course, Apple has a history with Microsoft, a long and storied one….

Danny leaves SEW

By - August 29, 2006

Man, do I know the pain he went through to make this decision. It’s very hard to watch something you really love and worked so hard to build continue without you, but when you are not an owner in some way, it’s harder still to understand why someone else is taking all the profits, and control, while you do all the work. I know Danny is a very reasonable guy, and the fact that he could not get the new owners of SEW to cut him in on the fruits of all his hard work means the folks running his ex-company are really not paying attention to where value is created in the media world these days.

Best of luck, Danny, I am certain you will do screamingly well in whatever you do next!