Thursday, October 19, 2006

Google Webmaster Central Adds New Tools

Google’s Vanessa Fox has announced on the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog that Google has added four new tools for webmasters;

1) Googlebot Activity Reports shows a 90 day backlog of the number of pages Googlebot’s crawled on a site per day, the number of kilobytes of data Googlebot’s downloaded per day, and the average time it took Googlebot to download pages.

2) Crawl Rate Control lets webmasters change the frequency that Google crawls their sites by slowing down the Googlebot or have it visit more often… which could lead to bandwidth problems:

“If we feel your server could handle the additional bandwidth, and we can crawl your site more, we’ll let you know and offer the option for a faster crawl.”

3) Enhanced Image Search lets webmasters opt into or opt out of enhanced image tools such as the Google Image Labeler, which associates images included in a site with labels that can improve indexing and search quality of those images.

4) Number of URL’s Submitted lets webmasters view the number of URL’s which are could in the Sitemaps submitted to Google.

More information on the Google Webmaster Blog.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Google Launches Payment Service, Competing With PayPal

Google Inc. yesterday unveiled its long-anticipated service for helping consumers make purchases online, setting up a potential rival to eBay Inc.'s popular PayPal system.

Called Google Checkout, the service holds consumers' credit card numbers and account information for a "one-click" shopping experience at participating retailers. This means shoppers won't have to spend time entering such information at every online store where they buy something.

The service launched yesterday at with Ritz Camera, Timberland and Starbucks among the companies adopting it.

The search engine company's vice president of product management, Salar Kamangar, said in a telephone interview that the company's goal is to help increase online commerce by making it more convenient.

Online advertisers that support Google Checkout will get a small shopping cart icon by their ads at the search engine. Those companies also will get a break on the fees they would normally pay Google to use the shopping service.

Consumers who use Google Checkout can also track the delivery of their purchases.

Pundits have described the long-rumored service as a potential PayPal killer. But in public comments at a conference in New York earlier this month, Google's chief executive, Eric E. Schmidt, argued that the upcoming service would not compete directly with PayPal because it will be more focused on advertisers than consumers; eBay, which owns PayPal, is a major advertising customer of Google.

Philip Remek, an analyst at institutional stock brokerage Guzman & Co. who follows both companies, said it could take Google years to catch up to PayPal, which he said handles more than $20 billion in transactions in 50 countries.

"Predictions about the death of PayPal are greatly exaggerated," Remek said. "Google may be able to carve out a certain fraction of the market for itself, but I do not see it supplanting PayPal."

Other critics say the complexity of launching the service might not be worth the revenue that Google will derive from it.

Google is not the first company to try to introduce this type of service, which has been called an "online wallet." Companies such as Microsoft Corp., Yahoo Inc. and AOL LLC launched similar services years ago, and none was enthusiastically embraced by consumers.

In recent years, Google has moved into various online businesses, including e-mail and mapping services. The company usually introduces its offerings as a "beta," or test, version; the Google Checkout service is unusual in that it debuted as a finished product.

Frederick R. Kobrick, a former mutual fund manager who recently wrote a book about picking stocks, said he fears that the company has spread itself thin and has started entering markets where it does not offer a unique service.

"If they add too many things too fast, it risks execution problems," he said.

Kobrick cited chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. as an example of a company that put out too many products too quickly, annoyed customers and ended up losing market share against Intel Corp. for many years.

"You can't go on forever throwing mud against the wall to see what sticks," he said. "Copycatting is not a business model. . . . I think they may be sorry they did this."

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Real English vs. Artificial Esperanto

Although the gap between the positions of English and Esperanto is wide, the choice between them is nowadays very difficult.
Esperanto is the best known of all artificial languages ever used. It was invented on the basis of Russian, Yiddish, Polish, French, German, English, Latin and Greek languages by a Polish oculist Ludwig Zamenhof, and was first introduced in 1887, and since that time its popularity never decreases. Esperanto is an easy language to learn, and what is needed to achieve fluency is a simple memory work.
Today Esperanto with a total of 8 million speakers is frequently encountered at international conferences. The Universal Esperanto Organization publishes several journals and newspapers and there is a large translated literature in addition to original work written in the language. However, despite its popularity, Esperanto has failed to achieve official status as an international language due to a lot of opposition of those who favor English as a world language and from the supporters of other artificial languages.
The supporters of English view Esperanto as both unrealistic and politically unattainable language, whereas English is regarded as highly prestigious and by no means dominant language, and they seldom admit such political problems and hindrances as antiglobal and national movement that prevent English form its world dominance. Moreover, English is not an easy language to learn because of a large number of exceptions to any rule. It is one of such languages, which for many seems easy, at the beginning, but then the bridge between basic knowledge and mastery takes a long time to cross, and for many learning English is a waste of time, energy and money.
Some people see one universal language as an ideal and I fully subscribe to that view. If we all spoke the same language then the barriers to understanding would come down and the world might be a safer and happier place. On balance then, I feel that the artificial language like Esperanto would be an ideal choice, as it carries no cultural baggage, and therefore, being a planned language, facilitates communication among people of different lands and cultures on the equal footing, without having the usual cultural advantage of any natural language. Nevertheless, it should be admitted that Esperanto is far from being an ideal artificial communication system, and to achieve a status of truly international language and to function appropriately, Esperanto should be perfected in terms of it grammatical structure and lexical potential.

Friday, November 04, 2005

first post

first post