Microsoft tries BrowserRank to replace Google PageRank

A research paper BrowseRank: Letting Web Users Vote for Page Importance delivered at a conference in Singapore this week, highlights Microsoft Asia Research's alternative to Google's PageRank algorithm, BrowserRank - "The more visits of the page made by the users and the longer time periods spent by the users on the page, the more likely the page is important. We can leverage hundreds of millions of users' implicit voting on page importance,".

Microsoft BrowserRank

The new process, in theory, ranks sites based on their usage, and user behavior patterns. Google's algorithmic stew for rankings remains a great mystery, and an ever changing set of goalposts that are constantly gamed by companies looking to leverage search results to drive traffic, and drive revenues. Microsoft sees Google's strength in this regard as being its weakness, too, arguing that web developers have many opportunities to influence the ranking system, unfairly. BrowserRank, on the other hand, would actually try and take a look at user behavior on a site, Microsoft arguing that the more people are engaged by a site, the more likely it is that it has relevance.

Search is of tremendous importance to the Internet for many reasons. For one thing, search engines are highly influential middlemen that steer users to Web sites they may not be able to find on their own. For another, queries typed into search engines can be powerful -- and in Google's case highly profitable -- indications of what type of advertisement to place next to the search results.

But Microsoft lags leader Google and No. 2 Yahoo in search. It's trying hard to catch up, for example with unsuccessful proposals to acquire Yahoo or its search business that would cost the company billions of dollars. And Microsoft just bought search start-up Powerset.

Google isn't putting all its eggs in the PageRank basket, though.

"It's important to keep in mind that PageRank is just one of more than 200 signals we use to determine the ranking of a Web site," the company said in a statement. "Search remains at the core of everything Google does, and we are always working to improve it."

Pizza - the Top Trend Mobile Search

V-Enable, a voice-enabled mobile 411 system, conducted a study by taking a random sampling of 20,000 searches in major metropolitan areas from customers of several V-Enable partner carriers including Alltel and MetroPCS. The findings clearly represent interesting trends caused by the recession. For one thing, people are eating more pizza! The results for the top restaurant searches for the period between October 2007 and June 2008 are:

1. Pizza Hut
2. McDonald’s
3. Domino’s Pizza
4. Starbucks
5. Papa John’s Pizza
6. Little Caesars Pizza
7. Taco Bell
8. Burger King
9. Wendy’s
10. Denny’s

Sit-down restaurants like Olive Garden, Applebee’s and Red Lobster, have dropped off the list, while recession-proof comfort food like Pizza Hut and Domino’s shoot to the top of the list. 380% more searches for Pizza Hut have been conducted during the period, and searches for Domino’s Pizza have increased 980%. High gas prices are keeping people at home ordering in, and they are opting for cheaper alternatives. Financial analysts have explored this area extensively, and have deemed several of these restaurant chains "recession-proof stocks."

There are several other search-related economic indicators from V-Enable. U-Haul, a company that was never on any top 50 list, jumped to #23 in general search, possibly because of a rise in foreclosures. Macy’s dropped from #17 to #49 in retail, a direct correlation to the fact that people just don’t have the discretionary income that they used to. Motel 6 has never showed up on a top 50 list, but they are now #37 in general search, quite possibly because travelers can’t afford the costly alternatives. Mobile search happens in real-time and is unaffected by SEO, making these statistics arguably more reflective of consumer sentiment than web search.

V-Enable is a mobile information system, where users can speak the name of a restaurant or residential listing and receive location and contact information. The company also has live operators working behind the scenes so that users can call and get human assistance, if necessary. V-Enable sent us similar retail statistics in December. The company is backed by $10.1 million over 3 rounds from Siemens Mobile Acceleration Corporation, Sorrento Ventures, SoftBank Capital and Palisades Ventures.

credit : techcrunch

Google Search Tips - part1

1. Google can be your phone book. Type the person's name, city and state directly into the search box, Google will deliver phone and address at the top of the results. This feature works for business listing too.

      Google can also work as the reverse directory; if you have phone number, type in the search box, and google will deliver the results that matches the phone number.

2. Google can be your calculator. Type a math problem into the search box and google will compute and display the result. You can spell out the equation in words (one plus one, six divided by two), use numbers and symbols (4*5,6/2), or type in a combination of both (ten million *pi, 15% of six).

3. Longer queries is better, but shorter is okay. Google is designed to deliver high quality result even if you are searching for one or two word queries, so its better to keep your search short. But adding a few more words will yield better result.

     For Example : When you are searching information on applying to colleges, include the word admissions after the name of the university you are searching to get more relevent results.

4. Use quotation marks when precision matters. Typing "the truth of linux" into the google search box will yield Web pages about the linux truth - but leaving off the quotes will produce an assortment of unrelated pages.

     The reason behind this : adding quote marks around the search query tells google to look for occurrences of the exact phrase as it was typed. That makes quote marks especially helpful when searching for song lyrics, people's name or expressions such as "to be or not to be" that include very common words.

5. Google can be your dictionary. Type define followed by any English word into the search box, and google will deliver a quick definition at the top of the result.

6. Forgot plural. Google automatically search for all the stems of a word , so you don't need to do separate searches for sleep, sleeps, sleeping. Just type one of the words into the search box, and google will take care of the rest, giving you results all in one list.

Next Post : Google Search Tips - part2

Google's Bigtable

 Big Table is an ongoing research project to create a structured database that will operate in a distributed environment. It is a distributed storage system for managing structured data that is designed to scale to a very large size: petabytes of data across thousands of commodity servers.

It is like a spreadsheet with hugh limitless rows and columns, each rows will be identified by key. It is different from traditional Hierarchy Database where it will have lot of tables and each table will be linked by keys. BigTable will have only one table with limitless rows and columns. We can perform joins, sub selects and other queries in bigtable similar to Traditional hierarchial tables, but in a different way.

Many projects at Google store data in Bigtable, including web indexing, Google Earth, and Google Finance.Bigtable has successfully provided a flexible, high-performance solution for all of these Google products.

Eight Reasons for Linux OS Is Like a Religion

1. Christianity has Jesus as Lord and Savior. Linux has Linus Torvalds.

2. Jesus Christ was followed by the disciples, while Linux Torvalds was assisted by the original programmers.

3.  Christianity has different Denominations. Linux has Distributions.

4. Accepting Jesus as your savior saves you from the fires of hell and demons, while installing Linux on your computer will protect you from the hell of data loss, viruses, and malware.

5. Christianity views Satan as the being of ultimate evil, while Linux perceives Bill Gates as the Evil One.

6. Linux is defined by its source code, while Christianity follows the Bible.

7. Christianity offers salvation for no cost at all other than the occasional tithe and charity donation. Linux is also free with only the occasional shipping charge or support fee.

8. Religious folks are instructed to go out into the world and teach others the good news. Linux users also do their part in converting those that have been drawn in to the evil darkness of Microsoft.

Credit : divinecaroline.com

Benefits Of Adobe AIR

With the Adobe® AIR™ runtime, you can deliver branded rich Internet applications (RIAs) on the desktop that give you a closer connection to your customer.

Adobe AIR uses the same proven, cost-effective technologies used to build web applications, so development and deployment is rapid and low risk. You can use your existing web development resources to create engaging, branded applications that run on all major desktop operating systems.

The benefits are extensive. By using Adobe AIR as part of your RIA strategy, you can boost productivity, extend your market reach, enhance customer satisfaction, improve customer retention, lower costs, and increase profits.

Business Benefits

Companies like eBay, AOL, and NASDAQ are already using Adobe AIR to deliver engaging RIAs to their users' desktops. With Adobe AIR, you can:
  • Establish a more persistent connection with existing customers.
  • Deliver fully branded experiences with desktop functionality.
  • Leverage existing personnel, processes, and infrastructure.
  • Develop and deliver RIAs efficiently using proven Adobe technology.
  • Increase the ROI of your web investments.
If you have any AIR Usage Benefits, please share with us through comment.

Preventing Phishing attacks

Phishing Attack

Phishing is a type of attack wherein the attacker impersonates a valid site and steals sensitive information entered by the customer on the fake site.

The attacker sends the victim a forged e-mail having the link of a fake page. The fake page looks exactly like a valid page of the original site. These e-mails have upsetting or exciting (but false) statements to get the customer to react immediately. When the customer clicks the link, he is asked to provide his credentials to login and update his personal information. This reveals important information to the attackers.

Steps to prevent these Attack

The best way to prevent phishing attacks is by creating customer awareness. Some important points that need to be communicated to the customers includes:

1.  Organizations should constantly remind their customers that they will never request for sensitive information via e-mails. Moreover all email communications should address the customer by first and last name.

2.  Customers need to be educated not to click on URL of critical website (e.g. Internet banking website) that comes via email but visit these websites by directly typing the address in the browser.

3. Customers should be educated on identifying secure websites, like https in URL or ‘Lock’ icon, before submitting username, password, credit card number and other sensitive information.

4. Customers should be educated about choosing strong passwords and the importance of changing them regularly.  How to choose a Strong Password

5. Customers should be educated to be suspicious of any e-mail with urgent request for personal information.

6. Customers should be provided with easy methods to report phishing incidents.

if you have any other steps to prevent phishing attacks, please share with us by comments.