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calin view of the web development world


although google removes number of indexed pages; size war not over

@ 03:58 PM (115 months, 17 days ago)
In a smart move, after a long pressure from many blogs, google removes the total number of crawled documents from their homepage. This happens together with their's 7th birthday. On one side this is a great end for the search engine size wars, which was mainly pointless; who cares if the index is double if you can't find what you are looking for. On the other side, google seems to go out of this war on the back door, with a tricky claim that their index size is "three times larger than [] any other search engine" (source the google blog). It's puzzling that they gave up and at the same time claim to be the ultimate winners (three times...). Seems that they sneakily tried to push into the public awareness stream their birthday, their renunciation, and their size claim. Therefore I dare to believe that the search engine size wars are far from over.
But who knows, maybe I judge this wrong; since seems that I am the only one seeing this


where is your US website hosted?

@ 04:46 PM (115 months, 23 days ago)
I didn't care much about this question. Actually I only checked now, after reading about other webmasters concerns around webmasterworld.com. Thing is that the Rita hurricane is on its way to Houston, Texas, and quite alot of hosting companies have datacenters over there. A quick check on google news reveals that major hosting companies already prepare themselves for the coming events.

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putty authentication alternative

@ 12:07 PM (115 months, 23 days ago)
Since regular putty authentication tunneling is sometimes pretty complex, there is a simpler way to achieve automatic session login. Normally one has to generate a *.ppk key via puttygen, then upload this key file to the server, configure authentication to "read" this file, then attach this ppk key to the session, then not use any passphrase so that you get logged in automatically or load pageant all the time. More details on this way of authentication here.

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a mobile phone powered entirely by voice.

@ 10:03 AM (115 months, 26 days ago)
This guy, Russel Beattie, is crazy about mobile phones; nothing new so far. He's into every conference about mobile communications there is, that's not so common anymore. Plus of that, he works at yahoo, in their mobile division and very enthusiastic about it. Usually most of his blog entries are usability critics or reviews, but today's post contains an interesting idea. I have to share it with my very few readers: A Voice Powered Mobile Phone. Geek, isn't it? Yes, very geek! Interesting, though


yahoo mail gets a facelift

@ 12:43 PM (115 months, 27 days ago)
http://www.somewhatfrank.com/images/yahoo_mail.gifThe new yahoo mail is already in beta, and some screenshots leaked out, as usual. Very outlook-like, with right click menus and forefox-like tabbed browsing. A lot of Ajax stuff, too. I wonder if they let me delete the 9000+ emails i received in my Inbox during a few months of not reading my yahoo mail. The old mail application was probably abandoned during yahoo's focus on catching google's gmail, therefore it became slower and unreliable. It's good that they take advantage of their leading position to push inovation in this area even further.


a brand new blogs search engine from google

@ 09:38 AM (115 months, 29 days ago)
They finally made it, with the same quiet launch they seem to enjoy lately: the google Blog search. It's beta, and still in the invisible tabs area; and will probably will stay there until it goes out of beta. No mention on the number of blogs they cover, but they claim that they will search every blog that has a RSS or Atom feed. They don't give any clues on how fast they update the feeds towards the main engine; but this is no surprise since all this hiding facts strategy seems to become a corporate logo. One thing is sure, they aren't fast enough to keep up with their own tool adoption through blogs: 0 results as of Saturday, 17th September for "blog search". To speculate, it might be that they cache intensivelly until the hype goes away.

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internet portals enter the telcos game

@ 03:10 PM (116 months, 2 days ago)
eBay is buying Skype, for 4.1 billion. Besides implicating into the local software market, and expanding their global presence, eBay seems to be heading for an IP telephony service, maybe with a merger between Yahoo messenger and Skype. This deal threatens the light balance which exists in the telcos market between VoIP adoption and traditional communication streams. After building an armour of dark fiber, Google is not far from playing in the telecommunications field too (Forbes). Since eBay's close competitor seems to be busy fighting the fierce ecommerce competition and expanding their patents&products catalog, there probably isn't much to expect into this area. It's interesting though, how the big Internet portal players are teasing the telecommunication market.

Read the rest of this entry ... (30 words left)


tell me this is just plain spam

@ 12:00 AM (116 months, 4 days ago)
Here's what I just received in my gmail account:

Read the rest of this entry ... (134 words left)


second life: a mind blowing experience

@ 03:48 PM (116 months, 4 days ago)
  Besides other startups, the Red Herring top 100 most innovative companies for 2005 included a small San Francisco company called Linden Lab. With relativelly small funding, and in a short amount of time, this company has created an amazing product called Second Life. Some might call it a game, however a quick look at it reveals that it is way more than that. It's an entire alternate reality, mostly wiki-like user-generated. An infinite virtual space, completelly empty at first, that got filled up with entire cities, where virtual 3D characters interact into a matrix-like network. There's also a local currency, the Linden dollar L$, and the exchange rate to the dollar builds a bridge between SL and the first life under this open market.
Shops with live sellers that invest a lot of time in answering newbie questions, casinos, bars or race tracks; these are just a few of the scenes users managed to create. Interaction takes a completelly new turn, since anybody can re-create himself by eventually designing himself or simply purchasing skins. Compared to this, the nice yahoo messenger smileys seem like stone age. Anyway, it would suck that some big player purchases the company, since it would kill the creativity flow with some other cheap dollar-making schema.

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simple google tip: search in one language only

@ 11:34 PM (116 months, 5 days ago)
http://img323.imageshack.us/img323/6633/googletip8xu.jpgSince google has just decided to switch off the "search only in German websites" option from their main search, and I needed to run such a search, I found an easy way to do it. The trick is to use site:*.de after typing the query string. This should search all websites that end in .de; therefore most German websites around. Maybe this tip exists already burried somewhere on some usage tips webpage, or maybe it works via some HTML manipulation; but it was neat to discover it; and see that such a thing works.


inside the google search appliance.

@ 05:28 PM (116 months, 8 days ago)
The Google Search appliance is on sale since quite some times. It basically "outsources" the google search engine to company intranets, web portals etc. Without the high level of adjustment a closed source site search engine would offer, it delivers fast and relevant results, almost the same way as the mother engine. Main issues with it seem to be in the level of customization, and the fact that worldwide relevance criterias do not always apply to intranets (especially in cases where documents inter-linking is not very well applied).

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online chat bots: passing tests we create

@ 04:32 PM (116 months, 11 days ago)
It's known that low IQ people have difficulties passing Turing tests. As AI evolves more and more, it will become increasingly harder to convince a chat partner that somebody is a real person. Jason Striegel recently experienced this in some chat sessions; he sadly concludes that: "I consistently fail to be perceived as human.". Until google talk, the technological entry barrier for online chat bots development was set pretty high too. Since google's chat tool relies on open source standards, and if they get mass adoption, creating chat bots will become easier, and most likelly, the AI of these tools will improve. I usually start my online chat sessions with simple questions like: "how much is 2+2", or "what is the color of the sky", but this is peanuts if you present it to a real AI program.