Retro-Quant Industry Makes a Big Leap Forward: Google News Archive Search

September 09 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: The Web   Year: 2008   Rating: 15 Hot

Think you’re immune to Google Search? A new effort by the company promises to unearth your embarrassing Elementary School photos, achievements and other data, then incorporate those into the Google brain.

The Retro-Active Quantification Industry, which I believe will grow to a multi-billion $ valuation by 2015, made a big leap forward this week with the release of Google’s News Archive Search. Many years in the works, the new service/feature allows users to do exactly what it says – search a huge body of archived small-town newspapers that have been scanned into Google’s system, converted from visual to text data using the company’s perfected system (note: they’re also working on a similar but more robust system that will mine text data – t-shirts, street signs, house #s, etc. – from photographs), and then indexed using Google’s world-famous search.

Best of all, Google allows you to view the original scanned images and “browse through them exactly as they were printed—photographs, headlines, articles, advertisements and all”, much like a microfiche in a library basement (remember those?).

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Earth 2100 Game Imagines "Perfect Storm" Catastrophe Scenario

December 31 2008 / by Adam Cutsinger
Category: Metaverse   Year: 2015   Rating: 4 Hot

I wouldn't have predicted ABC News going all bleak futurist, but they did.  Earth 2100 is a massive online roleplaying game that starts out with global turmoil and devastation.  And they're going prime time with it.Earth2100

The project is pretty ambitious, but considering the recent popularity of games like Superstruct and Second Life, there should be no doubt that participation will be high.  To participate you need to record a short fictional video depicting something in 2015, then, based on those submissions, the ABC News people will design a scenario for 2050, then 2070 and finally 2100.

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Google Earth Adds News, Baby-Steps Forward

May 21 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Environment   Year: 2008   Rating: 2 Hot

Google Earth took another baby-step into the future yesterday with the integration of geographically pertinent news feeds.

“By spatially locating the Google News’ constantly updating index of stories from more than 4,500 news sources, Google Earth now shows an ever-changing world of human activity as chronicled by reporters worldwide,” wrote product manager Brandon Badger .

I took the new layer function for a spin and found it to be rudimentary and moderately useful. But it’s clear the service will gradually become more valuable as Google adds more geographically tagged stories/feeds, filtering options and sub-layers that I can toggle on or off at will.

Ultimately it seems likely that the new feature will work hand-in-hand with search, possibly even showing up on Google’s main results pages alongside maps, pictures and video which were added earlier this year.

My main take-aways: Google’s inexorable march toward an information-dense and variably sortable Earth platform continues. As the company continues to systematically add physical and information “resolution” to its Earth application, I expect it will evolve into a resource that I and billions of others use on a daily basis and become one of Google’s top money makers.

Will the New York Times get Sold-Off or Turn to New Media to Save Itslef?

October 24 2008 / by Alvis Brigis
Category: Social Media   Year: 2009   Rating: 2

Yesterday the New York Times Company announced that it has been so affected by the recent economic downturn that it may default on its debt. Coming on the heels of the worst advertising year for newspapers since 1950 things are not looking good for the typically stalwart American brand. With the prospect of more financial woes on the horizon, it is conceivable the company will be required to liquidate a significant portion of its assets come the new year.

On the flip side of the coin, this is also a great opportunity for management at the great American newspaper to guide it towards a more situationally appropriate new media model. As upstart blogs rake in the big bucks it’s about time the New York Times got hip to the times. With a bit of common sense and some luck they company will be able to avoid the sinister fate that awaits former giants such as GM.

Will the New York Time Co. weather 2009 without having to sell of its flagship newspaper?

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