Yahoo admins conceed that Google is the better search engine

In a surprising statement, two Yahoo! executives admitted that they have lost the search battle to Google.

There are a number of rumours as to why Yahoo! might announce something like this.
Their earnings statement released last week fell far short of analysts’ hopes, that their stop dropped 12%. It still has not recovered.
Maybe they’re going for the sympathy vote, or perhaps they’re hoping that honesty will win them favour with their stockholders.
Personally, I think they’ve given up on being the best search engine, in order to focus their efforts on other markets. Their recent purchases of Flickr, and del.icio.us might be an indication of that. If so, this setback may only be designed to give Yahoo! time to regroup.

Cry babies

I released today, that there are some really whiny bastards out there. You know the kind I’m talking about, the kind that complain for the sake of complaining.

Take for example, this page at digg.com.
In 2005, Linksys modified the hardware of their popular WRT54G line of broadband routers. The new hardware was cheaper, and faster, but had one flaw: The old hardware could be flashed with third party linux firmware, the new hardware could not.
This caused somewhat of an uproar in many communities. People LIKED the old WRT54G’s. They didn’t care that they were invalidating their warranties, they just wanted awesome routers that cost $70 not $700. And so sales dropped. And dropped. And dropped. Linksys saw this, and quickly re-released the previous generation router as a new WRT54GL. The L we assume, is for Linux. So far so good.

Enter the whiny bastards. “The WRT54GL is a rip off!” “It’s just the old router repackaged and costs more!” “Boycott Linksys!”.

Yeah. Whatever. People, grow the fuck up. Linksys is doing you a HUGE favour. They don’t hav to sell the WRT54GL at all. So they marked the price up $10. OH NO! TEN WHOLE DOLLARS! What’s your problem? Are you going to miss out on your sucky sucky for this week?

If the WRT54GL’s price went up to $100, I would still buy it. Why? Because it is STILL the best linux router on the market. Sure, CPU and space is limited, but it works so well, and it’s packaged up in a nice, pretty case. Frankly, you just can’t beat it.
$150? I might still consider it. Just so that I can hack it to do whatever I feel like. But that’s just cool.

Linksys: Thank you.

Overbearing governments

As many people are aware, Google was sent a subpeona
by the US Department of Justice last week.
The details of this subpeona are quite public and there are many discussions on the matter already.

I’d like to instead, bring forward the issue of overbearing governments. It is accepted truth that since the start of time, those with power want more power over those with less power. While I don’t think this a very nice thing to do,
it has worked for many thousands of year. It has worked only because the people were willing to keep their elected officials in check. Occassionally this resulted in uprisings, civil wars, revolutions, or good old fashioned declerations of independence.

The problem we face today however, is more serious. Too many people have become complacent. In any western population, the people will agree that politicians are corrupt, but also feel that this is not a big deal.

For shame, people 🙁 I thought we were better than that.

Powerbooks, and what happens when they stop working

It sucks, that’s what happens. It really bloody well sucks.

So here I am, 3am, reading an advisory to upgrade iTunes and Quicktime due to known vulnerabilities. I start the software update… it runs, and runs, and runs. Eventually it asks if I’d like to reboot.

I say yes, it says “Nu uh”.

Anyone want to buy a rather expensive titanium brick?

Are you looking for a job?

Google’s hiring.

We need people who are willing to relocate to Oregon for systems admin / data center engineer positions.
There’s a lot of growth inside the company, lots of room to learn and earn more.

A lot of people ask me what it’s liek to work at Google. I’m hard pressed to find anything bad to say. The people are amazing, and the company clearly cares a lot about the employees.
Being at the forefront of even a small part of the technology industry is an amazing experience and I encourge others to apply.

You can send your resumes/CVs over to me (web-blog@silverwraith.com) and someone will call you back pretty fast.

A hunting a will go…

There have been many reports over the last few months on Google’s search for a new executive chef. Our previous chef, Charlie Ayers (former chef to The Greatful Dead), left last year.

The San Jose Mercury News published an article by one of the remaining contenders,
Steve Petusevsky. It’s a good read, and goes into a little details about how much the food teams here care about the quality of their product. All fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices are fresh, as are all of the various meats and seafoods cooked daily.

Tikka Masala for lunch today I think.

New friends from old places

It seems I’m finding more people at companies I used to work for now, than before I left.

Just last night I stumbled upon the blog of icmp, who works at EarthLink. I wish I’d known her back then, she seems like quite a nice person from her blog.

Groups of people at Google who have worked at the same companies prior often huddle together to discuss stories from days gone by.

I think it is high time I started my own band of EarthLink refugees at Google. The number is growing!

Bundles of joy

There’s been a lot of discussion over the last few days, focused of course on last Friday’s CES announcements.

My personal take on the matter is that the Google Pack will be quite useful to a great many people. The ability to have the computer keep itself up-to-date is long overdue. Microsoft’s Automatic Updates for Windows take a good stab at this, as does Apple’s Software Update for OS X. Now is the time for the same procedures to be available to applications. This requires tools:

  • Either one tool per software developer
  • Or one tool from the OS developer for applications on their platform
  • Or one third party tool which could be cross platform[1], and integrate with cross platform applications to keep them updated

I prefer the last option and it grants more power to the end user. They can switch operating systems and still have familiar applications and methods of keeping them updated.

[1] I don’t know if Google is planning anything like this, so please don’t read anything in to it 🙂

Horde and IMP

Squirrelmail was getting getting on my nerves.
Sadly its development seems to have stagnated in the last few years. A pity really, it wasn’t bad software.

I hadn’t used IMP on the Horde framework in a couple of years so I thought I would give it a try. The (old) version in FreeBSD’s ports collection was buggy and that gave me some trouble at the start, but after I realised and got the latest version installed down installation was pretty much a breeze. Considering how much code there is in Horde in general, and how complex said code is, the speed of the applications even over modem links continue to amaze me. Those guys have talent.

At the same time I upgraded to WordPress 2.0 I wish I could make my software look as good as these two.

Why does technology suck so much?

No really, why?
I moved a hard drive from one computer to another, faster computer, and in the process had to:

      Change the modem, because the new motherboard didn’t like it
      Remove the extra USB ports PCI card because it wasn’t liked either
      Reinstall Windows because the old installation didn’t like the new chipset
      Fiddle around with the Master / Master with Slave / Slave / Cable Select options on both hard drives because the old motherboard was OK with one configuration but the new one wasn’t as tolerant.

The Top Ten Design Bugs list has been going for several years now, and illustrates how user UNfriendly modern computer systems are:
http://www.asktog.com/Bughouse/10MostWantedDesignBugs.html
The list includes problems such as “If the computer loses power for more than a few thousandths of a second, it throws everything away” and “Designers offer no way for users to discover why a given menu or option has been dimmed (grayed out), nor how to turn it back on.”

Come on people, fix these damned problems already. Computers really should “just work”. I should be able to flip the power off on my computer, flip is back on and pick up where I left off.
I should be able to move a hard drive from one computer to another and have it “just work” every time, regardless of differences in hardware.

Make it “just work” already, I’m getting tired of this.

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