If Xerox PARC Invented the PC, Google Invented the Internet

If Xerox PARC Invented the PC, Google Invented the Internet

Google did a great job of slurping up some of the most talented researchers in the world at a time when places like Bell Labs and Xerox PARC were dying. It managed to grab not just their researchers, but their lifeblood.

Great story about some of the most underappreciated engineers behind Google.

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Google did a great job of slurping up some of the most talented researchers in the world at a time when places like Bell Labs and Xerox PARC were dying. It managed to grab not just their researchers, but their lifeblood.

Great story about some of the most underappreciated engineers behind Google.

Drinking from the firehose

Some firehoses to drink read from, other than twitter’s:

  1. Google Buzz, through their activity firehose API methods;
  2. FriendFeed, using their real-time updates methods.

While the first works via pubsubhubhub, the second uses a combination of long polling and a cursor that helps you make subsequent calls.

Your Google Alerts can be deleted by anyone

I found out the hard way that my Google Alerts can be deleted by anyone, if they have access to the “Remove” URL.

Here’s how it works: Google will send you e-mail alerts whenever it finds results for any search terms you specify. At the bottom of each message there are 3 links:

  • “Remove this alert”
  • “Create another alert”
  • “Manage your alerts”

The problem is with the first link. I tried it several times, first using Chrome‘s incognito mode but then opening the link on a different browser, making sure that I wasn’t signed in to any Google application.

What happens is that, whenever I open that link, Google removes the alert without asking me to sign in! Google simply presents a message saying “Google Alert cancelled”.

So, be careful when forwarding those Google Alerts e-mails to someone else as they might be able to remove your alert!

DecentralizedAddresses Chrome extension

After much discussion around the @replies subject I started thinking about a system that could automatically resolve social network addresses no matter where they appear. I then decided to try the approach of writing a Chrome extension that could do the job.

The DecentralizedAddresses extension is in development and is available on github for anyone to contribute. As my JavaScript skills are not very good, any help would be highly appreciated.

More on the @replies subject

I just stumbled on a Buzz by DeWitt Clinton about a possible solution to the use of decentralized @replies. From the Buzz:

I want to throw some ideas out there about how it can someday be done in a decentralized fashion using open technologies such as WebFinger, Portable Contacts, AtomPub, and Activity Streams. (And maybe Salmon. Read on.)

The proposal would let you address any user of any application in a complete decentralized way.

And not only is this process fully decentralized (i.e., there doesn’t need to be a Google in the middle), it delegates very well, so that domain owners wouldn’t have to implement it themselves — but they could later if they wanted to.

On the use of the @ syntax by Google Buzz

Just a quick note to archive the way Google Buzz is using the @ syntax. From “Google Buzz Tips“:

If you’d like to send a private message to someone, type @ and use Gmail’s autocomplete feature to find the email address of your contact.

In practice, you address other users by typing an @ symbol followed by their e-mail address, like @user@example.com. This is exactly what I proposed a while ago as an easy way to address any user on any Web application:

Afterthought question: can this microsyntax be expanded to @user@application so that we can finally address any user on any Web application easily. I’m thinking about that.

For now, you can only send messages to other Google Buzz users but I’d expect this syntax to be used to address users of other supported destinations (twitter et al).

Re: Bing Tries To Buy The News on TechCrunch

In order to actually make a dent in Google’s market share, Bing would have to pay such exorbitant sums to so many different news companies that it would be difficult to recoup its investment. Bing certainly get some marketing buzz out of any such move, but that’s about it.

Here’s a list of links about this:

Read the original post: Bing Tries To Buy The News on TechCrunch.