Technology


Yahoo! Gives Up On Search, To Be Powered by Microsoft Bing

yahooWell before Google, Yahoo was my Google. I'd search for everything via Yahoo! It's with a little sadness I'm reading about Yahoo's new partnership with Microsoft.

At its core, this agreement means that Yahoo has given up on its search engine business. Microsoft will be able to increase its market share in the search engine and search advertising market. Yahoo will receive revenue from Bing searches generated on Yahoo's sites and become "the exclusive worldwide relationship sales force for both companies' premium search advertisers." What remains to be seen, though, is what will happen to Yahoo's investments in interesting search technologies like BOSS and Search Monkey. Integrating these technologies, which are tied to Yahoo's search engine, could prove rather difficult for Microsoft. We will also have to wait and see what's going to happen to Yahoo's search APIs.

That's right, in a few months, Yahoo's search engine will be "powered by Bing." It's a 10-year deal with the devil, isn't it?

I suppose it doesn't really matter. I Google everything anyway.

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Associated Press DRMs the News

APThe Associated Press doesn't want you to reproduce their headlines or post an except from one of their articles, even if you link to the source. Unless you pay them first, of course.

I fundamentally disagree with this stance by the AP. Article citation with links to the source article is fundamental to what we bloggers do. It's fundamental to what the world wide web has become. The AP hasn't read their own stories on the horrors of DRM in music, because they're going to add DRM to their news articles.

The Associated Press Board of Directors today directed The Associated Press to create a news registry that will tag and track all AP content online to assure compliance with terms of use. The system will register key identifying information about each piece of content that AP distributes as well as the terms of use of that content, and employ a built-in beacon to notify AP about how the content is used.

This very blog entry would apparently trigger this magic registry and I'll get some sort of virtual wrist slap for not licensing the above paragraph first. The AP thinks it can suddenly go to war against linking on the web. The AP is mad.

Or is there a method to the madness? The war against linking is so ludicrous, I think it's a clever ploy to get more web publishers to link to AP articles. How many bloggers do you think will link to AP articles more than ever now that they're attempting to DRM the sucker?

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A Google Operating System: A Perfect World?

googleOver four years ago, in an entry about Google Maps, I closed with the following wish.

In a perfect world, Google would develop an operating system.

Last night, on the official Google blog, Google announced the Google Chrome Operating System is coming.

Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010. Because we're already talking to partners about the project, and we'll soon be working with the open source community, we wanted to share our vision now so everyone understands what we are trying to achieve.

Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We're designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web. And as we did for the Google Chrome browser, we are going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don't have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work.

I can't wait to give the Google OS a test drive. We'll see if it will supplant Ubuntu as my Windows alternative of choice.

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What's New in Firefox 3.5

firefoxFirefox 3.5 came out today. I just updated, and so should you. Better yet, if you're still using Internet Explorer, this is a good time to test drive Firefox.

Sure, there's a new Firefox icon, but what else is new? The video below will show you.

I like how they talk about that present you're buying for somebody and need to delete from the browser history, so they've introduced Private Browsing. We all know they're really talking about porn. Now, when you're surfing for porn, nobody will be the wiser.

Thanks, Firefox 3.5!

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The New Firefox Icon: Can You See The Difference?

FirefoxI still swear by my Firefox browser. I use a portable version of Firefox that's self contained, so it can reside on a USB key. Although Chrome is probably a little faster, I'm pretty attached to my Firefox add-ons.

The first Release Candidate build of Firefox 3.5, shipping this week, has a new Firefox icon. I stared at the new icon for quite a while, unable to see the difference. It was only when I compared the two side-by-side that I saw the changes. Here they are...

The New Firefox Icon

firefox

The Old Firefox Icon

old-firefox

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Vanity, Definitely My Favourite Sin

FBAlthough I didn't take to Facebook, I recognize it's the big daddy of social networking sites. About 9 hours ago, Facebook made it possible for regular folks like you and me to secure vanity urls.

I was up anyway after the awesomely fantastic game seven of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals, so I grabbed www.facebook.com/torontomike. I was disappointed to see www.facebook.com/mike was already gone at 12:01.

Don't be disappointed that your vanity url of choice is already gone. Facebook users, go to www.facebook.com/username/ now and get yours.

Vanity, definitely my favorite sin. - John Milton, The Devil's Advocate

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A Good Use For Bing

BingRemember Bing, the new Microsoft search engine?

Here's a good use for it. Click the pic to enlarge it.

bing

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I Need a PHD in NHL 2K9

NintendoI play NHL 2K9 on the Nintendo Wii with my son. We've been playing for a few months now, and I'm still struggling with the controls. There's just too much to learn.

When I was a kid, I played Ice Hockey and Blades of Steel on the NES and our control pad was simple. You could pass and shoot, slap shots or wrist shots, there were one-timers and player movement, but that's about it. Below are the controller instructions for NHL 2K9 on the Wii.

control1

control2

No wonder I'm struggling, that's hardcore. You know what I miss? I miss this work of art...

nes-controler

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From the Blueberry to the Curve

phoneGreat laughter results when I pull out my BlackBerry 6230 in front of my brothers. Affectionately known as the Blueberry, this brick was durable, but not very fresh.

Today my employers took back their Blueberry and gave me a Blackberry Curve. The Curve has such modern conveniences as a camera and has a high res LCD screen.

It's not the newest Blackberry on the market, but it's new to me, and it should evoke less laughter from the peanut gallery.

BlackBerry 6230 blue blackberry-curve

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Inefficient, Socially Awkward, and Least User-Friendly Award

phoneI hate voice mail. My voice mail at work tells the caller not to leave me a voice mail because I don't check voice mail. If it's important, send me an email. I'll check that, likely within the hour, but I'll leave that red light on my phone glowing for weeks and weeks.

I just read a Slate article that agrees with me.

The bill of particulars is damning. Unlike your e-mail inbox, voice mail is impossible to skim: If your phone tells you that you've got five new messages, you've got no choice but to listen to at least a bit of each one before you can decide what to do with it. In a user-interface decision that I suspect might violate some subclause of the Geneva Conventions, your voice-mail system insists on making you listen to the same instructional prompts between each message. But wait, is it 9 to archive and 7 to skip, or is that the way the work phone does it? I couldn't tell you, because every voice-mail system seems to have settled on different numbers to activate its main functions. It's an absurdly backward mode of human-computer interaction.

My biggest complaint about voice mail is that it forces me to leave my natural process. I have to leave the PC and focus on recorded speech, which I find to be very inefficient and not at all user-friendly. I'll take an Email or IM, thank you very much.

Voice mail is dead.

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