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What's Happening

By - September 17, 2008

With my travel and flu, I’ve missed a lot that’s been going on. Here’s some of the stories I found notable:

The Search Engine Rap Battle (funny if you’re in to that kind of thing)

Google invests in O3B Networks“O3b’s mission is to provide high-speed, low-cost Internet connectivity to the “other 3 billion” people in emerging markets in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.”

Jarvis on Google monopoly – Summary: Nope. But it has to be trusted. Yep. Been saying that for years. Apparently Google has more work to do to gain that trust. More here.

Microsoft cuts deal with RIM for Blackberry – It’s ALL about distribution to try to outpace Google’s reach.

Speaking of Microsoft, I’ve said in the past the company was lying in the weeds. Reading this piece from Liveside, I still believe it. The company has so many apps, so much ripe low lying fruit. Apparently, “Wave 3″ of Live is coming. Remember Windows version 3? Yep, that’s the one where the company got it…right enough to win.

Marissa on the Future of Search. Folks have picked up on her claim that search is 90% done, given that most folks said it was only about 5% done just a few years ago. I think it’s apples and oranges – 90% of the easy stuff is done, but when it comes to the hard stuff (which she covers in some detail), we have a long, long way to go.

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  • JG

    Folks have picked up on her claim that search is 90% done, given that most folks said it was only about 5% done just a few years ago. I think it’s apples and oranges – 90% of the easy stuff is done, but when it comes to the hard stuff (which she covers in some detail), we have a long, long way to go.

    Even if it’s apples and oranges, it’s all still fruit.

    What I would like to hear is how much of the total fruit pie (no pun intended) she thinks are apples (the easy stuff) versus oranges (the hard stuff).

    If apples only comprise 25% of the fruit, so what if we’ve solved 90% of that 25%? We still have 100% to go on the other 75%, the oranges. Our total distance away from the solution? 77.5%

    It’s like I was saying a few weeks ago.. you have to look at the expected values. If Google saved you 0.9 seconds of time on 40 of your searches, because they make UI tweaks to help you notice the first result that much quicker, but then offer you no real way of interacting with and otherwise giving human-intelligence based feedback on your 10 more difficult queries (thereby costing you 3-4 minutes per query, as you schlog through all the results manually), the total expected savings is grossly negative:

    (40 * 0.9 seconds savings) + (10 * -3 minutes savings) = -29.4 minutes savings, or in other words, a 29.4 minute loss, or waste, of your time.

    So I would really like to hear from Marissa what percentage of the total pie is the easy part. Her opinion on that matter really frames the issue.