February 28, 2008

Comscore’s Google Click Drop Prediction

Posted in Category: Work — Amr Awadallah @ 8:47 pm | link | | comment (0)
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Just a quick comment:

  1. Comscore is not always accurate, they are better than other sources, but not always right. They only observe a sample of Internet users, and their sampling error margins can be as high as 5% (they should start publishing that, similar to voting exit polls, etc.)
  2. Google clicks can go down, but revenue can still go up. For example, Google can decide to display less ads on their pages to improve the user experience by eliminating the low quality ads (e.g. by increasing the min-bid per keyword). This focuses the clicks more towards the higher CPC ads, and hence Google can make more money still.

I am not saying that Google will do bad this quarter, neither am I saying they will do well 🙂

All I am saying is take Comscore’s click numbers with a grain of salt.

Cheers,

— amr

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February 19, 2008

Blu-ray is still a loser.

Posted in Category: Tech — Amr Awadallah @ 6:31 pm | link | | comment (0)
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First, I assume every body saw the announcement today from Toshiba that they are raising the white flag and shutting down their HD-DVD format:

Toshiba Quits HD-DVD, Sony’s Blu-Ray Wins

That said, is Blu-Ray really a winner? I am not referring to fact that eventually downloading will take-over (downloading a 10GB HD movie still takes many hours over 1Mbps), but I am referring to fact that the standard DVD format still looks great if you have a DVD player with up-sampling technology.

I am a gamer and have eyes that are very sensitive to resolution, I totally see the difference between standard TV broadcast and HD TV broadcast, that is definitely worth it.

But it is very rare that I see a movie in Blu-Ray (on my PS3) which I think is far superior than a standard DVD with up-sampling (on the same PS3 btw). Only one movie impressed my eyes a bit in Blu-Ray format, and that was Crank. Even then, the difference was not so great to the extent that I would feel bad watching the standard DVD version with up-sampling.

What up-sampling does is increase the standard DVD resolution from 720×480 (NTSC) to the true HDTV resolution of 1920x1080p (note that smaller HDTVs run at 1920x1080i which “fakes” the 1080 by interlacing the odd and even lines). So the up-sampling is effectively expanding every 1×1 pixel from the original DVD resolution to roughly 2.67×2.25 pixels in the HDTV resolution by interpolating the possible values between the original 1×1 pixels. For a stationary photo the eye might notice the degraded picture and aliasing jaggies after this process, but for a moving picture it is very hard for the eyes to catch that.

In summary, don’t run out and buy a blu-ray disk player (unless you need a PS3 🙂 ), getting a normal DVD player with up-sampling is just as good and you will have more choices at Netflix/Blockbuster.

— amr

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