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Category Archives: Google

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 Attrition!

Google was set to launch on Tuesday a beta test version of Google Finance, a Web site aggregating information about public and private companies and mutual funds that features an interactive chart correlating news and other events with stock price spikes and falls.

Charts can be changed to show stock activity for different time periods by clicking and dragging, and they can be zoomed in on to get more detailed information. News stories that correspond to specific days are displayed on the side and are automatically adjusted to reflect the selected time period.

Users have been able to get a stock quote by typing a ticker into the Google search bar. Now the Google Finance page will be one of the top links on the results page when a ticker is typed in the search bar.

The free service was the brainchild of several Google engineers in India who were looking for ways to improve financial information search, said Katie Stanton, a senior Google product manager. Google also wanted to address user surveys that found that financial information was an area the company lacked an adequate offering in.  and the URL is…. http://finance.google.com

Google, which revolutionized Web surfing through its innovative and effective search technologies, seems to be securely crowned as the King of Search Engines. However, hope springs eternal, and there are still some upstart companies out there that are attempting to knock Google off its throne. The latest to give it a shot is called Accoona.

One of Accoona’s major selling points is a feature called, rather awkwardly, “SuperTarget Your Search.” This filtering tool offers a handy way to allow users to focus searches, concentrating more on what they’re looking for.

general Web search on “Scott Joplin” on Accoona and Google, and found quite a bit of disparity in the results (112,393 for Accoona and 4,130,000 for Google). When I did a search on the phrase “mp3 players,” I got similar results: Accoona came up with 6,031,343 results, while Google boasted 187,000,000.

Quite frankly, while I appreciated Google’s higher numbers, that alone wouldn’t have made Google my preferred search engine — how many people go past the fifth page of results, anyway? There was also some variation in which sites came up in what order, but again, there were no really important differences.

Interestingly, I found Accoona’s results page easier to read; Google has added so much advertising — plus news links — on top of its listing that it’s gotten a bit difficult to find where my actual results begin. Accoona’s results page was much cleaner; the results were headed only by a “Tell me about Mp3 players” link that led to a definitions page. Of course, when/if Accoona succeeds in attracting advertising, that could change radically.

Amazon Web Service is launching a new web service tonight called S3 – which stands for “Simple Storage Service?. It is a storage service backend for developers that offers “a highly scalable, reliable, and low-latency data storage infrastructure at very low costs?.

Until now, a sophisticated and scalable data storage infrastructure like Amazon’s has been beyond the reach of small developers. Amazon S3 enables any developer to leverage Amazon’s own benefits of massive scale with no up-front investment or performance compromises. Developers are now free to innovate knowing that no matter how successful their businesses become, it will be inexpensive and simple to ensure their data is quickly accessible, always available, and secure.

Here are the facts: This is a web service, and so Amazon is not releasing a customer facing service. They are offering standards-based REST and SOAP web services interfaces for developers. Entire classes of companies can be built on S3 that would not have been possible before due to infrastructure costs for the developer.

Virtually any file type is allowed, up to 5 GB. Files may be set as public, shared or private and will have a unique URL.

Pricing is cheaper than anything else I’ve seen: $0.15 per GB of storage per month, and $0.20 for each GB of data transferred up or downstream. This translates to $15 per month for 100 GB of storage, net of any transfer fees (to move that much data on to S3 would be a one time cost of $20). These prices are going to be significantly below the development and ongoing costs for small or medium sized storage projects – meaning a lot of the front end services I’ve previously profiled will be much better off moving their entire back end to S3.

A recent e-mail from a Sun exec states “Possibly True” over Google buyout of Sun.

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