Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Google-Yahoo Conflict

I think many of us have overlooked for a long time the threat that Google has posed for Yahoo and I'm glad that ZDNet finally addressed it. It's rather ironic that the creators of both companies both started out as doctoral students at Stanford, which is still my dream school for my Masters if I decide to pursue that. But anyway, with all the press for Google you'd think that it was clobbering Yahoo. However, even though Google leads it in search ad revenues, Yahoo has a better set of relationships with the people who matter. In contrast, Google is more focused on the technology side, and that shouldn't really surprise anyone. This author also seems to feel that Google is doomed to lose a lot of steam in the near future, but I disagree. The fact that the founders are so intimately involved with the company shows their passion for it and I believe that they can do a lot yet to keep it afloat and blow past Yahoo. I do think it's curious though that the media is staying so focused on Google despite some interesting recent acquisitions to the Yahoo empire that I hadn't heard of before including DialPad, Flickr, and Overture and I do think that after some time the media will start diversifying a bit. Still, the battle is kind of neat to watch from the sidelines.

There is more tech news yet, including a good amount about Apple. In a surprising turn of events, the computer manufacturer has decided to stop selling its single-processor G5 line in favor of Dual 2+ GHz instead. I'm trying to find a link between this and the Intel switch but I can't make any sense of the strategy of this situation. Apple has formed an alliance with Nokia though in creating an open source browser for its Series 60 phones to relieve the issues of awkward browsing on portable devices. It looks like Nokia is really experimenting though and may even switch to Linux. As if that wasn't enough for Apple though, they're also being sued over its iTunes interface for patent violations of some other dude's creation. The problem with litigation like this is that it's hard to patent creativity and prove infringement. AOL is primed to rejuvenate its web portal with an unveiling of a host of new features next month. I'm actually pretty interested in checking out the free XM stations myself. The creator if BitTorrent has attacked the Microsot alternative, Avalanche, to be underdeveloped with inaccurate simulations of their algorithms. When the guy who invented the idea says it's bad, you know it's gotta suck. Lastly, I think it's funny that the LA Times wikitorial trial run (which I didn't report on because I figured this would happen) has been shut down due to obscene postings they attribute to Slashdot publicity. Ironically, a lot of the audience they needed to aim at anyway is the Slashdot readership.

There's a good bit of movie news today. I was pleased to learn that the distribution head over at Warner Brothers feels optimistic about a sequel to Batman Begins, though Katie Holmes is unlikely to return (largely due to all her bad publicity). Tom, what happened with Nicole Kidman?! Let's help convince them to do a sequel and support the movie another weekend! Christian Bale was so much better than Michael Keaton after all. Marvel guru Avi Arad let some details go regarding some other superheros including Vinnie Jones being Juggernaut in X3 and the return of Dylan Baker as Dr. Curt Connors in Spider-man 3, which could imply the appearance of The Lizard. I can only hope they delay X3 for now, and Spider-man 3 is getting curioser and curiouser. It looks like Alice is now movie forward with Sarah Michelle Gellar in the lead but sans Wes Craven. I like the idea of a horror twist on a classic tale, but a gazillion things could still go wrong. I thought that Ice Age was a great animated feature and I was pleased to learn that Drea de Matteo will be John Leguizamo's (the sloth) girlfriend because I love her on Joey and think her voice could really fit. I was really surprised to discover another good early review of Herbie: Fully Loaded because I thought that they'd water down Herbie, but apparently they just ran with it. Lastly, check out the new poster for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe:

Neat lion

There are a few random things before I sign off here. If you'd like to help some Chinese people free themselves of oppression you can adopt a blogger now and show the Chinese government that they're a pack of raving lunatics. There's a great study over at IGN about high-definition picture and its relation to the next generation of consoles that's worth a look if you have a few minutes to read it. I really hope that this high-definition stuff catches on and does become cheaper. And lastly, one senator is posing a true challenge to violent video games with Eidos's creation of 25 to Life, which does have some GTA-like things and I want to see how things turn out with this so I'll keep you posted.

Now for some Tuesday Twosome:

1. Are out with your friends, do you think your friends would let you get a ride with a person you just met that night or step in to prevent it?
That's a good question. I have no idea. I think they'd likely let me go assuming it's a girl. If it's a guy, I don't know why I'd be getting in in the first place. For a chick though, it could mean good things.

2. Are stalled (car) in your driveway, do you call a cab to get to work or do you call a friend?
I think I'd call a friend because I'm not sure how reliable cabs are down here.

3. Are at work and stain your clothes, you have plans to go out afterwards, do you go home to change or don't let it worry you and go out with the stain?
It depends on where I'm going. If it's not something fancy or important I'd just clean the stain in the bathroom with some soap. Otherwise, I'd bolt home first.

4. Walk up to someone you think you know and greet him/her, it turns out you don't know him/her, do you play it off and continue to pretend to know him/her or do you admit your mistake and laugh it off?
Admit my mistake. I can't improv for that long! I've done it before and it's kind of embarassing, but it's an honest mistake to make.

5. Order food through a drive-thru, and you don't realize the order is wrong until you drive off, do you go back to the restaurant or do you just "take it" and decide not to correct the mistake?
I would probably go back. But I rarely ever eat fast food, and since that has happened to a friend of mine in the past I think I'd be in the habit of checking it out.

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