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Archive for the ‘Opinions’ Category

PointUI 2 coming… check out the preview video!

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The power of software! Windows Mobile strategy should be like Windows on the desktop… built the fundamentals stuff and allow all 3rd parties to easily program / customise areas like home page navigation (giving different phone manufacturer / carriers some areas to be unique / creative), skinning the apps layer but not changing the behaviour as that would be inconsistent and with the app store thingy, give 100% profit to developers as Microsoft charges a license for the OS anyway… that would fuel the ecosystem!!!

Windows Mobile 6.5 – 7… where are you? 

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Written by gooddealz

December 18, 2008 at 6:39 pm

Windows 7 vs Vista Boot Drag Race!

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The question after this video is how usable is Windows 7 after entering the desktop? Hope the 3rd state that was brought up on the services’ enable, disable, delay thingy will help make the desktop usable.

That should be the ultimate verdict, though it seems to improve significantly on the boot time… can’t wait. Downloading the M3 6801 build now… 🙂

Written by gooddealz

November 6, 2008 at 4:56 am

Skeptical as it is, being a controlled environment, Vista’s been good to me

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I have been on Vista since Beta 2 days and till today. from AMD x2 to Intel Quad (DIY built, as always… Never own any branded PC in my entire life) now to all sorts of motherboards and graphic cards and RAMs… Vista has been nice to me, with no hardware drivers issue but only software compatibilities in the early days.

They are all modern stuff (less than 2 years old) and of course the experience with Vista ought to be all right. My short statement of Vista is simply this, ‘It’s the best Windows operating system ever, the most secure, the more elegant… and it’s still a Windows after all’ I won’t even be bullish to claim it is the BEST Operating System out there… cos that really depends on what you measure.

Vista will run fine on modern machine! Linux fanatics will brag about their five year old machine running modern Linux OS fine and blah blah… Tell that to Apple OSX! But OSX won’t run well with old machine and needs, just like Vista a modern machine… Why? Cos it got all the bells and whistles on top of the core OS stuff… and THAT is exactly what bogs Vista down on a less than modern machine.

The software issue are more of less fixed by now after Service Pack 1… just like XP days as well. The delays and the over promised under delivered feature stuff, in my opinion has been what kills Vista before it even open its gate to showcase. Negative press after another on that… just sank the whole thing and Microsoft did nothing.

I for one thought that Microsoft management were noble enough not to retaliate like the Coke – Pepsi ads in the 80s and 90s… there is just no end. I don’t know if that was part of the reason of not retaliating or simply too ashamed to speak up. :)    

Here’s a recent campaign from Microsoft to finally, turn the marketing pitch on Vista up another notch. After almost 2 years of bashing… It’s finally time! What took them so long? 🙂

Written by gooddealz

July 29, 2008 at 1:42 pm

Posted in News Only, Opinions

Microsoft… reacting or responding?

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Came across this article from ZDNet entitled ‘Microsoft turns to users for new wave of Xbox games’ and the part that interest me was the 70% revenue for the game developer! Sounds familiar… Oh I got it! Apple App Store is having that strategy as well and surprisingly, it too is on a 70% revenue split for the developer!!!

I have been reading great stuff on the XNA tools initiative for years now… and had never seen Microsoft looking at their market base and doing something like the way Apple did with the App Store!!! Microsoft had years of head start with the XNA Game Studio… but only now this announcement? Is this a reaction or responds to the Apple App Store?

Honestly, it does not matter as long as Microsoft learn something from it! It’s not about not taking the risk but about looking at your market, at your customers, and offering tools / ways to keep them EASY hooks to your platform and keep building on it. All of Microsoft ecosystem is like that… but sometimes, at the expense of bottom line / business… the entry penetration is costly / harder due to the cost involved.

Perhaps this model would work better… 70% of Microsoft stuff to be charged while 30% of it is given away free!!!

Just another rant…

Written by gooddealz

July 23, 2008 at 2:40 pm

Posted in Opinions

Technologies behind Google Ranking…

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Following up with a previous article from Google on Google Ranking Explained… we now have the so called part 2 of it which talks about the technologies behind Google Ranking. Not a must read for anyone in the online digital space as understanding the technologies behind does not necessary gives you any advantage to ‘fool’ or ‘trick’ the system… but it’s just amazing to see many of the academia stuff are making head ways into commercialisation. Google being heavily on that, recruiting professors and top scholars out of universities… Microsoft with it’s Research arm… The explosion & speed to market is getting more crucial in this day and age. Not necessary the first mover advantage but how to do the same thing, better. Google was never the first in online search… Alta Vista, Yahoo were some of the earlier pioneers… but Google with a ‘better’ system just came from the back and took over.

In my previous post, I introduced the philosophies behind Google ranking. As part of our effort to discuss search quality, I want to tell you more about the technologies behind our ranking. The core technology in our ranking system comes from the academic field of Information Retrieval (IR). The IR community has studied search for almost 50 years. It uses statistical signals of word salience, like word frequency, to rank pages. (See "Modern Information Retrieval: A Brief Overview" for a quick overview of IR technology.) IR gave us a solid foundation, and we have built a tremendous system on top using links, page structure, and many other such innovations.
Search in the last decade has moved from give me what I said to give me what I want. User expectations from search have rightly increased. We work hard to fulfil the expectations of each and every user, and to do that we need to better understand the pages, the queries, and our users. Over the last decade we have pushed the technologies for understanding these three components (of the search process) to completely new dimensions.
When we talk about queries at Google, we use square brackets [ ] to mark the beginning and end of queries (see "How to write queries" by Matt Cutts), a notation I will use throughout this post. (Pages and search results change frequently, so in time, some examples used here may not behave as explained.)

  • Understanding pages: Over years we have invested heavily in our crawl and indexing system. As a result we have a very large and very fresh index. In addition to size and freshness, we have improved our index in other ways. One of the key technologies we have developed to understand pages is associating important concepts to a page even when they are not obvious on the page. We find the official homepage for Sprovieri Gallery in London for the Italian query [galleria sprovieri londra], even though the official page does not have either London or Londra on it. In the U.S., a user searching for [cool tech pc vancouver, wa] finds the homepage www.cooltechpc.com even though the page does not mention anywhere that they are in Vancouver, WA. Other technologies we have developed include distinctions between important and less important words in the page and the freshness of the information on the page.

I hope my two posts about Google ranking have made it clear that we live and breathe search, and we are more passionate than ever about it. Our fervor for serving all our users worldwide is unprecedented. We pride ourselves in running a very good ranking system, and are working incredibly hard every day to make it even better.

Written by gooddealz

July 23, 2008 at 2:26 pm

Posted in News Only, Opinions

The Dark Knight… Awesome!

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Love The Dark Knight movie… Love the action… Love the story (though very cramped)… Love the Joker… Love how the different character develops… Love Hans Zimmer!

Have always been a huge fan of Hans Zimmer and the score for The Dark Knight certainly did not disappoint, especially the final scene where it kinda set the tone for the next movie…

The building up since the death of Two Faces… the dialogue between commissioner Gordon & Batman… and the eventual runaway for Batman…

Brilliant!

Check out Hans Zimmer on MySpace and listen to some of his recent works.

Written by gooddealz

July 22, 2008 at 5:26 pm

Posted in Opinions

Google Ranking Explained…

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There’s many sites I love to read daily and one of them is this one, Google’s own blog! Being the digital industry it is vital to have a good understanding of what’s going on, particular relating to Google. Stuff like page rank, search engine optimisation, page title, meta tag… sitemap, web spider… and it gets very useful when I sit in front of a client and simply explain how simple and yet powerful little things can make a difference to a site.

I found this post on Google’s blog today titled Introduction to Google Ranking and here’s some excerpt of it:

Google ranking is a collection of algorithms used to find the most relevant documents for a user query. We do this for hundreds of millions of queries a day, from a collection of billions and billions of pages. These algorithms are run for every query entered into most of Google’s search services. While our web search is the most used Google search service and the most widely known, the same ranking algorithms are also used – with some modifications – for other Google search services, including Images, News, YouTube, Maps, Product Search, Book Search, and more.

The most common question I get asked about Google’s ranking is "how do you do it?" Of course, there is a lot that goes into building a state-of-the-art ranking system like ours, and I will delve deeper into the technology behind it in a later post. Today, I would like to briefly share the philosophies behind Google ranking:

1) Best locally relevant results served globally.

2) Keep it simple.

3) No manual intervention.

The first one is obvious. Given our passion for search, we absolutely want to make sure that every user query gets the most relevant results. We often call this the "no query left behind" principle. Whenever we return less than ideal results for any query in any language in any country – and we do (search is by no means a solved problem) – we use that as an inspiration for future improvements.

The second principle seems obvious. Isn’t it the desire of all system architects to keep their systems simple? Well, as search systems go, given the wide variety of user queries we have to respond to in multiple languages, it is easy to go down the path where more and more complexity creeps into the system to serve the next incremental fraction of the queries. We work very hard to keep our system simple without compromising on the quality of results. This is an ongoing effort, and a worthy one. We make about ten ranking changes every week and simplicity is a big consideration in launching every change. Our engineers understand exactly why a page was ranked the way it was for a given query. This simple understandable system has allowed us innovate quickly, and it shows. The "keep it simple" philosophy has served us well.

No discussion of Google’s ranking would be complete without asking the common – but misguided! 🙂 – question: "Does Google manually edit its results?" Let me just answer that with our third philosophy: no manual intervention. In our view, the web is built by people. You are the ones creating pages and linking to pages. We are using all this human contribution through our algorithms. The final ordering of the results is decided by our algorithms using the contributions of the greater Internet community, not manually by us. We believe that the subjective judgment of any individual is, well … subjective, and information distilled by our algorithms from the vast amount of human knowledge encoded in the web pages and their links is better than individual subjectivity.

The second reason we have a principle against manually adjusting our results is that often a broken query is just a symptom of a potential improvement to be made to our ranking algorithm. Improving the underlying algorithm not only improves that one query, it improves an entire class of queries, and often for all languages. I should add, however, that there are clear written policies for websites recommended by Google, and we do take action on sites that are in violation of our policies or for a small number of other reasons (e.g. legal requirements, child porn, viruses/malware, etc).

I always emphasis to client, SEO does not need to be expensive… and you don’t necessary have to use pay Google or Yahoo to attain high relevance… What’s need is three simple thing that I have used and tested and found it to work really well:

1) Page title page title page title. Get a proper Content Management System or do some hard coding if you still on simple html page and add relevant keywords to your page title, every single one of them!!! Whatever keywords you placed on that page title should reflect the actual contents on that page to some extent else it will not be effective.

2) Meta tag data! Most modern Content Management System like Drupal or Joomla allows you to specify what meta tag description are to be included whenever you create a new page / content. Make use of that area as well as those description / keywords will come in handy for the web spider.

3) Contents contents contents! The simplest of all and yet the most trying of all… is to regularly post and update your site with new contents. That’s why I would always suggest to clients to have a Latest News / Press Release section on their site. Not only will the new contents help the relevance / opinion leadership of the company but also it allows your visitors to regularly know what is going on with the company… thus establishing a good feeling in your visitors that, the business is still around or at least, there’s a focus on keeping customers informed. Whatever real motive it may be… it helps with your website SEO and that’s worth it.

There are more elements that may help your website relevance and some are tricky like the inbound links (if you paid for some SEO work, most of the time, they would use link farms to help you… be careful as it might be penalised by Google) and keyword density… explore them out and monitor it using tools like Web CEO and you will stand to gain a lot from it.

One of the great plugins I used on Firefox is SeoQuake which adds some very useful information extracted from all over the place, about a website. Important stuff like webarchive age, whois, keyword density… and Google Page Rank!!!

Google will constantly tweak their algorithm again to increase the actual relevance of the search result and until the community discover another way to grow your page rank or whatever it may be called… page title, meta tag, contents, inbound links, age of the site… and other factors will help you with the page rank. 

So install SeoQuake into your Firefox / Internet Explorer and start exploring into the world of SEO… remember though that it can be very addictive.

Written by gooddealz

July 10, 2008 at 3:11 pm

Posted in News Only, Opinions