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Foo *

Some comments are too good to leave buried in the ... comments. :-)

Freebase: one to watch:

nyet! no! eggads! do you know why google is popular?! the world's data does not want to be structured.

there are only three ways to do this:

1. treat all bits as potentially noisy and use probabilistic methods to try to fish it out. see: google.

2. given the impossibility of structuring all the world's data into domain-specific schemas of value, semi structure your data into one humongous associative array. okay, now what?

3. ignore (2) and actually try to create a bazillion community authored and maintained schemas. the only problem is that schema design isn't much fun, and amateur schemas will break easily.

How to beat Google, part 1:

I've never understood how Google can insist that their infrastructure costs are actually an impediment to any startup. Sure, it costs a lot to serve 200M queries a day, but 200M queries usually come with a lot of money attached.

Early adopter pilotfish: pornographers vs. SEOs:

Will it be porn that finally bootstraps IPv6?: http://www.ipv6experiment.com/

Yahoo Singing News:

The site is now up at http://underground.yahoo.com/ . Changed your mind yet?

Speculative Fiction

it is okay to blame terry, he has been paid very well, by any standard in corporate america. including his stock grants, semel has certainly extracted hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation. for that much money it is fair to expect results. while he doesn't strike one as the type of person to grasp the viability of search, he has surrounded himself with advisors who certainly should have been able to make this assessment.

one can also turn some blame on jerry yang, who was instrumental in attracting terry. jerry should have known that such a technophobe would have problems dealing with the inevitable semi-technical issues that a yahoo ceo would have to grasp on some meaningful level. it was those senior yahoos who were engaged in the ceo search who incorrectly assumed that yahoo was simply "another media company", and their search was predicated on this. had they understood that this generalization was meaningless, they would have directed their search elsewhere.

but to be fair, the winds of the internet have shifted. no one cares about "integrated networks" like yahoo and aol anymore because they have failed to deliver more utility than the rest of the web. google is a rest-of-the-web company...its search and advertizing products leverage the entire web instead of trying to fight it. i'm not sure anyone at yahoo saw this coming.

p.s. i have a double-digit employee number at yahoo. that doesn't make me right, but some of what i cite is based on observation, not speculation.


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