SmoothSpan Blog

For Executives, Entrepreneurs, and other Digerati who need to know about SaaS and Web 2.0.

Archive for January 21st, 2011

What Will GPU-On-The-CPU Mean for Analytics?

Posted by Bob Warfield on January 21, 2011

This week’s InfoBoom-sponsored post is all about Intel’s announcement that it would be shipping chips that include an integrated graphics processor (GPU) on the same chip as the CPU under their so-called Sandybridge architecture.  A lot of folks probably ignored the announcement thinking it meant better video games for their kids and perhaps their laptops, but there is a more interesting way to look at the impact of such architectures for business.

GPU’s are not just for graphics, as it turns out.  They’re extremely powerful supercomputers in their own right, with vector processing and other capabilities that are well on par with the Cray supercomputers that ruled during my college computer science days.  The Cray X-MP ran 941 Megaflops back in the day and was considered strategic weapons grade computing.  The latest Nvidia CUDA GPU’s weigh in at 1 Teraflop or better, so are fully capable of keeping up with the old Cray.  What happens when that kind of power is available on every CPU?  A whole lot of power, and a whole lot of change.

Check out my post over on InfoBoom to find out!

Posted in cloud, software development | Leave a Comment »

Google Says Spam a Priority, Not So Much a Problem

Posted by Bob Warfield on January 21, 2011

Official response from Matt Cutts on the Google Search Spam problem.  The long and the short of it?  There is acknowledgement that there has been a “slight uptick” in recent months but that things are much better than they were 5 years ago:

The short answer is that according to the evaluation metrics that we’ve refined over more than a decade, Google’s search quality is better than it has ever been in terms of relevance, freshness and comprehensiveness.

Now that all sounds great, until you think about it.  When I wrote about this issue recently, I stated, “If there is blame to be made, I would blame sloth more than conspiracy.”  Let’s go with that and assume no conspiracy and that Google simply needs to work harder.  As everyone knows, Google is an algorithms-driven company.  So here is the conundrum:

If you have a lot of spam because your algorithm isn’t good enough at rejecting it, should you believe your algorithm when it says your “search quality is better than it has ever been in terms of relevance, freshness, and comprehensiveness?”

Two other comments and then I’ll leave this topic: 

First is that I appreciated the reference to Smoothspan’s recent article, “Silly rabbits: Google is for Spam not for Search“:

One misconception that we’ve seen in the last few weeks is the idea that Google doesn’t take as strong action on spammy content in our index if those sites are serving Google ads.

While I continue not to think there is a conspiracy, it is important to note that Google monetizes the spammers, drives traffic to their sites, and so benefits.  All the more reason to be very squeaky clean.

And speaking of being very squeaky clean, did anyone else think it was at least vaguely humorous that Google’s Spam Czar, Messr Cutts of the “Move along, these are not the spam droids you’re looking for” memo, was spending his time breaking stories about the spaminess of his competitors when he could have been improving his own company’s record there?  Did we consider that while Facebook’s #2 advertiser was a spammer, we have absolutely no way of quantifying how much revenue Google gets from spammers monetizing their spam through Google’s ads.  What if there are some in Google’s top 10? 

How about we all focus on dialing down our own spam, let the Internet police the competitors, and get on with some more relevant search results.  Speaking of more relevant results, I love Google’s Custom Search Engines.  Great way to reduce spam per this ReadWriteWeb article if you want a specialized search for a particular domain that’s narrow enough to have a manageable number of contributors.

Posted in Marketing, strategy, Web 2.0 | 3 Comments »

 
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