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The Google Dilemma

Once we lived in simpler times. Google was a search engine that made its money off ads that were based on what we searched for. Look for cocoa and you’d get an ad for hot chocolate alongside the search results. Google made lots of money from this and we got our hot chocolate. This worked because the web was searchable. At the end of the 1990s there was no walled garden beyond the shrinking cabbage patches of early Internet service providers AOL and CompuServe: All the the web was there anxious to be indexed, to be searchable. Idealists wandered into the sunshine and spoke ofContinue readingThe Google Dilemma

Is Thinking Small The Future Of Software?

Is there a future for small, niche software? Clay Shirky thinks so, based on his work at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), where he found that students were ignoring the idea of writing big, scaleable, software for the world (the ‘Web School’) they were developing small, very specific programs — ‘situated software’, as Clay calls it — which is ”designed for use by a specific social group, rather than for a generic set of ‘users’.” Among the programs they wrote: one to describe and rate professors, one to coordinate group restaurant orders, another to coordinate group purchases of items where discounts could be obtained for bulk orders.Continue readingIs Thinking Small The Future Of Software?

Loose Wire: The State We

Loose Wire: The State We Could Be in By Jeremy Wagstaff from the 28 March 2002 edition of the Far Eastern Economic Review, (c) 2003, Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Voting in your underwear? Sounds an appealing proposition: the chance to exercise your constitutionally protected right without actually having to leave your home. You could be watching Frasier while working out which candidate you want to mess things up for you for the next three/four/25 years, based on criteria such as which one most closely resembles a Teletubby/Frasier’s brother Niles/your Aunt Maudlin. Yes, the lure of Internet voting is coming around again. In May, soccerContinue readingLoose Wire: The State We

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