September 27, 2005

A funny video clip by David Mandelbrot

Posted in Category: Work — Amr Awadallah @ 12:28 am | link | | comment (0)

This blog is many things, its kind of my first podcast posting, it shows you how funny (some of) the people at Yahoo really are, and it demonstrates how good the new Canon SD400 digital photo camera is.

David just bought this new Canon SD400 camera and was showing me how cool it was. I have the Canon S200 (a much older model) that I have been very happy with for a long time. However, I did not like two things in the Canon S200: (1) it limited my video clips to just 30 secs (even less for higher res), (2) it does not play back sounds on the camera while previewing the clips.

Anyway, so I tried out the video features on the Canon SD400 by recording the video clip below, not only is the clip very funny, but I think I will also buy this camera for sure.

Click here to see the video clip: A funny video clip by David Mandelbrot

— amr

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September 16, 2005

Deconstructing the Google Innovation Myth !

Posted in Category: Work — Amr Awadallah @ 10:11 pm | link | | comment (0)

There are two types of ideas

  1. Faster, Cheaper, Better ideas (improvement ideas)
  2. Novell ground-breaking ideas (innovative ideas)

I claim that most of what Google did in their history falls under the first type (faster/cheaper/better); hence I am really puzzled by why Google has this strong association between their name and the word “innovation”? I am hoping some of you folks can help me address that question.

I have to give Google some credit for the order-of-magnitude improvement in web search relevance that they introduced with PageRank, though a type1 improvement, it was based on an innovative method (though some folks claim that this method was just an improvement upon citation analysis for research literature that was proposed in the 1950s�…. )

If you put web-search aside, what innovative ideas/methods did Google come up with since 1999? Is the large Gmail mailbox a type 1 or type 2 idea? Looks like a bigger/better product to me, not really innovative. Same follows for Google Desktop, Adwords (a better Overture), Adsense (a better DoubleClick), Google Scholar (a faster version of CiteSeer), etc. [BTW, I love Google Scholar]

Ok, so now you will jump and say what about Google Maps and Google Earth. Well, Keyhole deserves the credit for this one; they really created a leap-frog experience compared to any other product out there. Google just acquired Keyhole and gave the product to their users.

— amr

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