Inside the (Google) Box

Interesting cover story article on how how Google’s algorithm rules search and how Bing isn’t close, yet.

What I learned

That in 2001 Google had revamped its search algorithm to allow them to seemingly improve the “search quality” (i.e. get the results you want) by adding new signals.  Signals are a means for Google to periodically tweak the engine, in-flight, to produce even more accurate results.  Truly amazing.  It’s also given them a competitive advantage in that they can quickly add new signals as a competition response.

A good read, or if you’d rather, you can listen to my audio rendition here (note, not guaranteed to be 100% word-for-word accurate to the article, but very close).

Inside the (Google) box – Part 1 (6:43min)

Inside the (Google) box – Part 2 (4:18min)

Inside the (Google) box – Part 3 (5:26min)

Inside the (Google) box – Part 4 (4:19min)

Inside the (Google) box – Part 5 (2:09mi)

Inside the (Google) box – Part 6 sidebar (1:40min)

BTW, loved the graphic of the needle in a needle stack.

By Steven Levy, Wired Magazine, March 2010, Features 18.03


Here’s my audio for the Avatar column in Wired Magazine, issue 404, December 2009.

It’s amazing how far moving making has come in the 12 years it took Cameron to create Avatar.   His previous blockbuster was a little film called Titanic.  If you haven’t seen Avatar, go.  This is not a movie  you wait for the DVD/Blue-ray release.

What I like about this picture from the magazine, is it shows the actual actor walking up a stage prop, while simultaneously, Cameron can see real-time what the final shot will look like. Now that’s cool. How long will it be for the Wii has this feature in it’s future gaming console?

Here are the audio MP3’s:

Wired – Avatar – Part 1 (5:55min)

Wired – Avatar – Part 2 (4:17min)

Wired – Avatar – Part 3 (4:52min)

Wired – Avatar – Part 4 (3:30min)

Wired – Avatar – Part 5 (4:05min)

Wired – Avatar – Part 6 (2:01min)

Enjoy the listen.

Source: Wired Magazine – Second Coming By Joshua Davis, Wired Magazine, January 2010, 404

Learn to Let Go: How Success Killed Duke Nukem

I love Wired Magazine. Every month you can count on great knock’em-out-of-the-park articles.

Having driven to/from work in Toronto during rush-hour traffic for the better part of 3-years, I started consuming audio books to make the time in-transit valuable. I’d wished I could listen to Wired Magazine.

Recently people started telling me I have a perfect face for radio. As with most of my ideas, 2 or 3 unrelated “wants” floating around in my conscious will suddenly converge, resulting in a great idea (at least to me). This is one of them. I will strive to translate my favorite article from Wired Magazine per month to MP3. This is for all those folks stuck in traffic or on the train.

I’m starting with January 2010’s Learn to Let Go: How Success Killed Duke Nukem as its a tale synonymous with my industry, software manufacturing. A systemic problem in the software industry is software is never done.

There is always one more feature to add or a framework to be redone. It’s paramount to create project milestones to measure progress against and to let the cast know they are progressing. “Gates” can be used as a decision point to decide if the project will either

a) go forward at all (i.e. cancelled)
b) change direction
c) revise the scope

This story of Duke Nukem is the best example I’ve read in recent memory of software development gone awry (However, I think they were perpetually bouncing between b & c above).  A lesson for all.

Wired – How Success Killed Duke Nukem – p1 (7:10min)
Wired – How Success Killed Duke Nukem – p2 (7:31min)
Wired – How Success Killed Duke Nukem – p3 (7:23min)
Wired – How Success Killed Duke Nukem – p4 (7:26min)

Enjoy the listen.

Source: Wired Magazine – Learn to Let Go: How Success Killed Duke Nukem
By Clive Thompson, Wired Magazine, January 2010, Features 18.01