Blog entries

This page contains all the blogs from the whole semester.

Politics And Search

by samooresamoore (20 Sep 2008 20:47)

At Search Engine Land there is a nice article about politics and paid search keywords.

It references some interesting data and a couple of published reports on the topic.

Choosing A Password

by samooresamoore (20 Sep 2008 19:04)

This article, by the vice president of Yahoo mail, provides some useful hints on choosing a password.

I'm guessing this has to do with a certain Yahoo mail break-in. This article tells how the hacker broke into the account.

He probably knows a bit about this topic.

Yahoo Is Testing A New Home Page

by samooresamoore (20 Sep 2008 18:24)

As reported by the Yahoo corporate blog, Yahoo is testing a new home page design.

With this redesign, they're testing ways in which to integrate the Yahoo home page with services from around the Web, and to help you stay informed with what's going on around the Web and with your friends. It's an interesting article, shedding some light on how Yahoo sees itself.

Guido On Python

by samooresamoore (20 Sep 2008 11:35)

Python is my favorite programming language.

I've previously taught a class in it. I contributed to an open source textbook about it. I use it for as many of my programming tasks as I can. I have followed it since the very early 1990s as it has developed. It's all good.

Techworld Australia just published a very interesting interview with Guido van Rossum, the author of the Python language.

Is Sarah Palin More Popular Than Porn

by samooresamoore (19 Sep 2008 20:35)

An informative and interesting article on the changing search habits of Americans from InfoWorld.

The source of the information in this article is affiliated with Hitwise, a company that specializes in understanding user patterns in search.

Talk Like A Pirate

by samooresamoore (19 Sep 2008 14:49)

Ahoy, me hearty!

Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

How To Never Forget Anything

by samooresamoore (19 Sep 2008 09:57)

This is a fantastic article about habits you can get it (and software you can use) to help you remember things.

The “habits” part of the article is more important than the “software” part, but they're book good. A couple of things:

Where The Hell Is Matt

by samooresamoore (17 Sep 2008 18:22)

If you have 20 minutes or so, take in these videos.

Watch the 2005 video first, then the 2008, then read the article, then watch the top video on the page. Oh, and notice that he's right about searching for Matt on Google.

This is a very fun page.

Is Education Killing Creativity

by samooresamoore (16 Sep 2008 18:15)

This interview with Sir Ken Robinson is a really a fantastically thought-provoking piece on creativity and education.

Some points that he makes:

  • The conditions for your creativity to come out have to be right. But we are all creative or, at least, can all be creative. It's just a matter of finding the right task and the right conditions.
  • It's important to educate for creativity and to educate creatively. These are two different things but are both important.
  • Science is important, as is math. But equally important are the arts, music, and dance.
  • Pieces of education: Curriculum, assessment, teaching. “Teaching is the only thing that makes a difference.” This was always the case for me.

Have you found what you're good at? Have you found your talent? Has education helped you find it?

My daughters are two very different people. My oldest daughter is a really good student, and her values and method of operation fit well within the process of going to school and performing well in classrooms. My youngest daughter is a dancer and doesn't fit into the same mold. She's a really really good dancer, but this has nothing to do with her education — it doesn't help her and it doesn't interfere. It's simply outside of the world of education for her. Why is that?

As for me, I truly enjoy programming. I also enjoy the design process of just about anything — Web pages, woodworking, garden design, page layout, etc. Any chance that I can, I take the opportunity to work on putting together a Web site (such as the one we use for this class). Why? Because I enjoy it, and I have at least a bit of ability in the area. It allows me to combine my enjoyment of programming and design. Some people express their talent (and themselves) via dance or singing; I express myself by programming. Strange? Maybe, but it's how I am wired. I was uncomfortable with this for many, many years; however, once I got comfortable with it, I was a much happier and more productive person.

A book that helped me understand myself much better is Godel, Escher, Bach: The Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter. In this book he draws analogies among math, art, and music. He helped me understand why I was drawn to all of them. I can't recommend this more highly. It's simply a tour-de-force, and one of the best examples of outstanding non-fiction writing.

I hope you spend a half-hour of your day to watch these videos, and then reflect on them a bit.

Blog Meta Analysis

by samooresamoore (15 Sep 2008 11:28)

This entry at SiloBreaker shows how meta-analysis of blogging can help you interpret the news.

I find it to be rather fascinating from a technical standpoint that all of this analysis can be done automagically — and not require some PhD schlub hours to do by hand.

Gigabit Wifi

by samooresamoore (14 Sep 2008 14:34)

Your wireless network may be suffering from bandwidth envy after it hears about this.

Maybe you haven't even bought an 802.11n WiFi router yet. Even if you have, it will feel really inadequate to you after you think about the possibilities. The article IEEE readies launch of gigabit Wi-Fi project discusses the launch of a new group that will figure out how it will be possible to move from today's 802.11n networks that are capable of 100Mbps transmission to a new standard that is capable of 1Gbps transmission.

I'm getting tingly already.

People Do Not Want To Search

by samooresamoore (13 Sep 2008 12:19)

A Yahoo executive has stated “people…don't want to search.”

This article at gives some insights into how Yahoo thinks about the future of their business.

Sphere Of Influence

by samooresamoore (13 Sep 2008 11:39)

The graphic featured in this article at SearchEngineLand shows how search fits into a broad range of different ways to reach customers.


I found it to be a useful framework for thinking about the importance of search in the whole marketing sphere.

Google At Age 10

by samooresamoore (05 Sep 2008 14:17)

This article compares Google at age 10 with Microsoft at the same age.

The stats that are most directly applicable to this class are worldwide searches per hour on Google in July 2008 versus Microsoft: For Google 65 million; for Microsoft 3.1 million.

Huge Computer To Be Built

by samooresamoore (04 Sep 2008 12:02)

UIUC is going to build a huge computer by 2011.

From Massive $208 million petascale computer gets green light:

Blue Waters is expected to deliver sustained performance of more than one petaflop on many real-world scientific and engineering applications. A petaflop equals about 1 quadrillion calculations per second. They will be coupled to more than a petabyte of memory and more than 10 petabytes of disk storage.


According to the NSF the system may be used to study complex processes like the interaction of the Sun's coronal mass ejections with the Earth's magnetosphere and ionosphere; the formation and evolution of galaxies in the early universe; understanding the chains of reactions that occur with living cells; and the design of novel materials.

That's some serious computing.

School Of Everything

by samooresamoore (03 Sep 2008 19:13)

The School of Everything is a web service for people who have something to teach and for those who might want their services.

As Cory Doctorow said at BoingBoing:

The economic proposition is simple: you know something I want you to show me, and School of Everything will make it easy for us to meet and transact commerce to make this happen. It doesn't depend on no one else being willing to do this for free, nor does it control what you do with the information once you learn it. Indeed, this is a service that benefits from the wider spreading of information: the more information there is about knitting, the more knitters there are, the more knitters there will be clamouring to learn knitting from an expert retained for this purpose. A knitting teacher doesn't want you to hoard what you learn: she wants you to tell everyone about it.

I think this is a fantastic idea.

Internet Traffic Growth

by samooresamoore (03 Sep 2008 18:34)

I knew traffic on the Internet was growing fairly quickly, but I had no idea it was to this extent.

I just came across this quote at this link from BusinessWeek:

The problem is, there's little evidence of any capacity shortage. Despite a surge in online video watching, the growth of Internet traffic does not appear to be accelerating. An ongoing Internet traffic study at the University of Minnesota and parallel research by Cisco Systems (CSCO) show that traffic is growing at 35% to 50% a year, about the same rate as in the past several years.

Wow. 35-50% per year?!? Elsewhere in the article they state that they expect traffic to increase 50-fold by 2015. Wow. Think about the kinds of investments that would be needed to support this type of increase in demand.

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