Wednesday 4 September 2013

Saving us from privates

It's exactly 15 years since Larry Page and Sergei Brin incorporated Google as a private company.  They had secured funding of $100,000 the month before and a few months later, finding that it was dragging them away from their core business of being Stanford graduate students, they tried to sell the company for $1million.  No takers.  The company currently turns in profits in excess of $1million every hour.  So it is big.  According to the web-analysts, is #1 in terms of traffic.  The Blob is still part of the looonnnggg tail, languishing at rank 13,544,646. But we're scrabbling towards the top! I got excited a few weeks ago when, after 7 months, I posted my 100,000th word. But that's small potatoes compared to the total traffic on Google-owned servers (which includes ALL of which amounts to 24 petabytes (10^15) a day.  That's small per capita as well.  I've been thinking up lashing out and posting around 2500 bytes of more or less original content each day.  Those petabyte/days divided by everyone on the planet (7 x 10^9) say that the average person (including my 2 y.o. granddaughter and people in New Guinea who have never seen a telephone) is posting about 1000x more material than me. But I bet it's mostly photos of their pals acting the idiot.

On dit que a third of the traffic is pictures of naked ladies - or is that the whole of the interweb rather than Google's substantive chunk of it?  I think it's probably the whole interweb because Google makes some effort to keep its engines and our minds clean.  When GoogleInstant, their name-guessing feature, was launched three years ago this month they took the trouble to protect us from ourselves.  I've asked them to tweak Stephen Wolfram higher on their guessy-list, so far to no avail.  You can see the list of verbis prohibitum at huffpost. And try a few out for yourself. Verify:
argos [whoa - there's more interest in cheap jewellery and kitchen-kit than books)
amateur football league
amateu  (no guesses!)
I'm glad for that because I don't want to deal with amateurs - they don't contribute to the economy.

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