Tag Archives: google


Bad math again?

I wonder who’s really, really bad at math: me or George Gilder and the Wired editors:

“To handle the current load of 100 million queries a day, its collective input-output bandwidth must be in the neighborhood of 3 petabits per second.”

(From page 2 of a Wired story).

I’m willing to concede that there are things I don’t know about Google and/or Gilder’s calculation (not to mention his penchant for big numbers), but according to my calculation, that’s off by a factor of about 20 million. What a big number _that_ is! I’m impressed! I can’t think of any junk I could add to my calculation to get anywhere near that.

For your reference, since you care enough to read to the end of this article, my calculation was thus: I did a Google query and added the 5kB page to the two 5kB images (which are usually cached for me, but we’ll assume they never are) plus 1kB up for the request, to get 16kB per query.

16kB * 8b/B * 100e6/day / 24hr/day / 3600s/hr = 148Mb/s

3e15b/s / 148Mb/s = 20e6


Field v. Google

Wow, how amazingly different. Today I read a legal document, for fun, and found it readable and informative, and it did not raise my blood pressure.

This is a pretty interesting case. It highlights some of the complexities surrounding copyright law, and comes to what I consider to be reasonable conclusions. One almost thinks that Field tried this not to win, but to lose and thereby establish some precedent for further decisions, or to at least draw some public attention to the matters.

So if it turns out that this is all an elaborate ruse by some intellectual freedom fighter, or Google itself, you read it here first. Just don’t cache it, OK?



“The Google Story”

Just read The Google Story. If you’re fascinated by Google from a technological, financial, or entrepreneurial perspective, it’s worth a read.

It’s clear that the authors really like Google, Larry and Sergey, so if you want ‘balance’, look elsewhere as well (clues for further research are provided).

To me, it’s a pretty inspiring yet somewhat sobering look at the process of taking a big idea and realizing it in a big way. I see lots of little lessons about things to try and not try, and ways to get away with pissing off the established order via execution of compelling ideas.


Egos, search engines

Hmmm, since I posted this, I tried the ‘lurgid’ search again. My blog is ‘no longer’ ‘number 1’ for that search. That, of course, is not a big deal. However, I wonder why it was the first time I tried it.

I have a feeling that the concept of ‘number 1 for that search’ is no longer always a meaningful one. At least Google (and probably other engines) has talked about using inferred (or directly known) data about the searcher to augment the search terms themselves to make for better searches. Given my gmail account, they know my name. So they could very well rerank my blog posts in my searches, which of course wouldn’t affect other people’s searches. Unless, of course, they were inferred to be my friends, or people who read my blog, or something.

So, I suppose the shocking number of number 1’s I mentioned may well be a simple artifact of the fact that I’m me, and that search engines know ‘too much’ about me. Hmmm.