Archive for August 2009

Gmail Search; Readers’ Respond and a Proposal

August 28, 2009

Well. That was an interesting response.

Links: Gmail; Why Can’t Gmail Search?; Hacker News Comments; Stemming; Google Gears

My post on the failings of Gmail search proved quite popular, and garnered a number of interesting responses. Aside from the various name-calling (first time I was ever called an asshat, so circle the day on my calendar!), and the one guy who accused me of being a shill for Yahoo, most of responses here at my blog and on the posting at Hacker News fell into three main areas.

Why Can’t Gmail Search?

August 24, 2009

Hey! There is a followup post here!

Google, the King of Search.

Gmail, the darling of geeks everywhere for mail.

Links: Gmail; Yahoo; Cyrus-IMAP; Squirrel Mail

I am my family’s IT Director for our house (in her day job my wife has been an IT Director, so it is occasionally an ironic situation). Long ago, I used a Cyrus-IMAP server in my server closet to provide email for both of us; it worked really well. I still have pages of notes on how to compile and set it up under Debian; it was a bear, but once set up it worked for years without a problem. Via SSH, we could both get to our mail from work; you could even throw a tunnel to Squirrel Mail for web-mail access. Life was good.

Then came the seductive invite to Gmail; I forget how I got it, but that early invite made my geek palms sweat. Soon I was reveling in threaded conversations, archiving with abandon. That was a while ago; at this point I have been using Gmail/Google Calendar for a long time, having ditched the in-house IMAP server after moving my wife’s email to Gmail. My iPhone is fairly happy with Gmail as well.

But there’s this little problem, why may drive me away from Gmail entirely:

Gmail’s search functionality sucks rocks.


The Cheat of Structural Profits

August 17, 2009

Companies and industries enjoying protected profits stifle innovation and take your money. Can you recognize these parasites all around you?

The NFL is a Pile of Boring.

August 14, 2009

Our long national nightmare is almost over.

The NFL season is almost upon us.

Too bad it is unspeakably boring.

Washington Post vs. Gawker #2: How to Monetize the News Industry

August 11, 2009

Previously, I talked about the value-add that blogs provide when they aggregate original reporting done by the mainstream media, a discussion precipitated by the Washington Post/Gawker kerfuffle.

As reporter Ian Shapira described in his follow-on piece, he did about a day’s work, which culminated in the published article. While the argument over Gawker’s usage of his article is illustrative, it is not the really interesting thing.

Washington Post vs. Gawker #1: The Value-Add of Bloggers

August 10, 2009

Recently, there was some interesting give-and-take between Ian Shapira of the Washington Post and Gawker, regarding Gawker‘s use (and reuse) of one of Shapira’s articles.

Shapira mourns that he put in hard day’s work into a 1500-word article, which was then distilled and interpreted by Gawker in about a half an hour, with a small link at the bottom back to his article. His angst strikes me as reasonable, but Gawker’s attitude is sort of fair as well. You can easily see both sides

It does seem to me that if you are quoting from an online story for an online story, you should link for attribution up front, not way down at the end.

Shapira’s end result was a nice, neat article.

However …

Lest we think is perfect…

August 7, 2009

My last post fairly gushed with love for, justifiably I think. But I don’t want anyone over at MLB Advanced Media thinking they should rest on their laurels. To wit, some nits, for the picking: