Friday, July 04, 2008


Happy Independence Day! My pick of the week's top 5 items of interest:

  1. The Deep Web is getting a little shallower: Google has recently improved their ability to crawl Flash content. It used to be that a website with a Flash interface was practically invisible to search engine crawlers, but now Google can find the links to other pages within the Flash program and even indexes the program's textual content.

  2. If you were late signing up for a free Yahoo email address, you might have ended up with since all the good names were already taken. But now Yahoo has opened up two new domains under "ymail" and "rocketmail". Although Yahoo is still the email market leader with 266 million worldwide users, they want to stay ahead of Microsoft who is a close second with 264 million.

  3. Are Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft censoring themselves more than they must in China? According to a report by Citizen Lab, some sites are blocked by some search engines and others let them through. In a test to see how many questionable sites were blocked, Google had censored 15.2% of the sites tested, Microsoft censored 15.7%, Yahoo 20.8%, and Baidu (the most popular Chinese search engine) 26.4%.

  4. A Harvard marketing professor takes on Chris Anderson's "Long Tail" theory by analyzing real data about online video rentals and song purchases. Her conclusion is that maybe we aren't as individualistic in our taste as Anderson suggested.

  5. In the spirit of July 4, read about how LANL scientists are making fireworks a little "greener".