Google Took A Principled Stand On China.

Google Took A Principled Stand On China.

I doubt it.

Ask yourself this… What is it that has changed since Google entered the Chinese market in 2006?

Google knew what they were getting themselves into: dealing with censored results, government interference, corporate espionage (sanctioned by the state), and much much more. Not to mention having the entire deck stacked from the onset against all foreign companies (in China, you get used, striped, and then disgarded in favor of the home-grown competitor).

So a dozen Gmail accounts get compromised and the finger points to China. A few networks get breached.

So what?

How many Gmail accounts where compromised by government interest in the rest of the world? How many times did a corporate network get compromised by a competitor or a foreign interest? This is standard-operating-procedure in big business and politics.

Let’s try this on for size…

1. Google enters the Chinese market.

2. Chinese market/government favors own state side

3. Google breaks even or loses money on investment. Marketshare does not come.

4. Google realizes how difficult things are in China for “outside” companies.

5. Google, not being able to hack it here, to save face and score some points, uses its PR machine to a) start the process of pulling out of the market, b) make themselves look good doing it, and c) take advantage of a whole lot of people in the process.

And what do you know, it fits!

I’ll concede this could be a bluff to get something they want or there is much more going on that we have not been made aware of.

Google Failures of Epic Proportions

Every day I get up, turn my system on and spend a few hours reading the blogs I follow. And every day I read posts hating Microsoft for reasons that can only be explained by a serious misunderstanding of reality.

Here I present you Google Failures of Epic Proportions (a.k.a the other side of the story).

Original Idea Google Copy Result
Wikipedia Knol Fail, no one uses
YouTube Google Video Buyout, users don’t come
Exchange Wave Hype, does not deliver
Office Docs Mediocrity, does not compete
Paypal Checkout Poor vendor uptake, too many issues
Amazon Google Catalogs Discontinued
DMOZ Google Directory Fail
Y! Answers Google Answer Fail
Craigslist Google Base Fail
Twitter Jaiku acquisition Fail
Live Messenger GTalk Fail
WolframAlpha Google Squared Fail

Why Microsoft Needs Yahoo…

I was reading the comments in this article today and could not resist observing (once more) how bloggers and anonymous commenters love to pretend they know Microsoft’s business better then Microsoft *knows it itself*.

I think the real question here is why has Microsoft been unsuccessful in dominating this area of [internet search] business. Right? After all, this is what everyone agrees on — that Microsoft has failed here.

But have they?…

If you take the time to try Live Search, you’ll know it’s just as good as Google Search.

The problem here is not with better algorithms or a bigger database, but rather with consumer perception.

Consumers *have* made up their minds (< one of a thousand examples) that Google is king of internet search. And any decent marketer will tell you that once a consumer has made up his mind, it is impossible to change his notion from that point forward.

*It is that simple.*

Live Search can never compete with Google Search directly.

The above is a failed strategy. It’s just like Google Knol trying to compete with Wikipedia (fail!). It’s just not going to happen unless they are prepared to spend 100s of millions on marketing and the next 10 years slowly leaching away at the user base of whoever is #1.

There are only two ways Microsoft can win market share here: buy another major Search company such as Yahoo (to get their users and brand), or compete with Google search on different attributes.

And this is exactly what they have been trying to do, as everything else is a dead end. And of course with some creative marketing thrown in, they can attack Google on all fronts.

Update: Just take a look a Bing! Fantastic strategy on their part. Rebranding (of Live Search) and marketing at work creating a clean slate in the consumer’s mind.


Bing is a search engine that finds and organizes the answers you need so you can make faster, more informed decisions.

vs. Google

Enables users to search the Web, Usenet, and images. Features include PageRank, caching and translation of results, and an option to find similar pages.

WordPress, Disable and Delete Post Revisions

Post revisions are one of the more useless features of WordPress that do little but add bloat to the database.

At first they were kind of cool, but then what do you do with them?

You’re not running a wiki. Right?

Here is how to get rid of them once and for all.

Edit wp-config.php, add this line in to disable the post revisions feature.

define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', false);

You will also need to clean the database of all the previous entries under the wp_posts and wp_postmeta tables.

use database_name;
DELETE a,b,c FROM wp_posts a LEFT JOIN wp_term_relationships b ON (a.ID = b.object_id) LEFT JOIN wp_postmeta c ON (a.ID = c.post_id) WHERE a.post_type = 'revision';

Congratulations, you are done! Enjoy your now much smaller database.

Is your LCD making a buzzing or high pitch noise?

This seems to be a real problem with some LCD Monitors, especially the entry level TN panels like the popular Dell models (one of which I’m in front of right now).

In my case, the monitor was fine for the first two months. But then started making a buzzing noise… 1) when on, 2) worse when in power stand-by mode, and 3) even worse when turned off.

Thanks Dell!

It seems as if the cheap capacitors manufacturers’ use in these LCDs, after a while, start to resonate at a high pitch frequency that is very annoying in a quiet room. I’ve read that some people have fixed this by opening up the monitor and putting epoxy resin around parts … something I was not ready to do.

Adjusting the brightness setting of the LCD managed to fix this problem. Since this changes the power the monitor takes, this also changes the frequency these cheap capacitors resonate at… Sometimes for the better. You’ll have to play around and see what works for you best.

Next time I’m going for a nice non-TN Samsung.

Other reported fixes include changing the refresh rate (switching between 50Hz or 60Hz), and disabling the internal/integrated speakers or setting their volume to zero (they might be on without you knowing).

SuSe JeOS and Software Appliances

There are only a few reputable Linux distributions out there, that are built and maintained by an experienced team that has a well formed understanding of who their target market is and what that target’s needs are.

I’ve always been a fan of SuSE Linux… Its target is not the typical kid crowd that Linux seems to attract (Ubuntu?).

When Novell [SuSE Linux] initially made a deal with Microsoft, everyone was worried (or at least rightfully suspisious) that this was a poison pill designed to kill another company.

This did not happen.

Instead, the deal *worked*. Microsoft realized that 1) Linux was here to stay and 2) they might as well take advantage of that fact and stop fighting the tape.

So who do you partner up with? IBM? RedHat? I don’t think so! You don’t make deals with your enemies just like the US does not negotiate with terrorists.

Novel was a logical choice.

Now we have a Linux distribution that is certified and interoperates with Microsoft products. A distribution that is useful vs. being a play-thing to help spend your time idly.

And here is a great idea that Novel has put out: SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS.

JeOS (pronounced “Juice”) is a minimal version of the SUSE Linux Enterprise platform. It stands for “Just Enough Operating System”. It allows you to get a base Linux distribution, add your applications to it, and have your clients, customers, etc, deploy the app+os bundle in a virtual machine.

Of course this is nothing new, but the difference here is that you have a well backed business designing, providing and maintaining a product that is targeted to a specific need. Unlike some of these other “lets just throw it at the wall and see if it sticks” business models & their products.

This move by Novell is another key factor for the continuing success of the “software appliances” market.

Software appliances empower ISVs to deliver a fully configured, optimized software stack that incorporates the operating system, lower-level infrastructure products and applications in a unified, easily managed package. This emerging form factor ensures seamless interaction between the operating system and the application, and directly leverages the virtual infrastructure that customers are putting in place today.

The SUSE Appliance Program will enable ISVs to bundle their applications with customized versions of the SUSE Linux Enterprise platform and to deliver the bundle as a software appliance, which can be run natively on x86-based hardware, or as a virtual appliance, which includes a paravirtualized kernel designed to deliver optimal performance in a virtualized environment.

Virtual appliances built in the SUSE Appliance Program will run on customers’ choice of hypervisor, including Xen, VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V, as both a paravirtualized and fully virtualized guest.


[I myself have a great idea about using JeOS for an upcoming product.]