Bing Is Now Google

So after a sting operation by Google over several months, Bing was outed as having copied their search results. As a regular Joe User of Google’s search engine, I find the spat mildly amusing and perhaps a kink in Bing’s armor. The evidence against them was rather compelling and they certainly didn’t deny it (snooping on Google’s activity via customer click-stream data from IE8+Bing toolbar).

In the back and forth and back, rather testy at times, this comment from Bing’s response pretty much nailed it:

Mr.Wheeler, Yes, I copied John’s answers, but that is only 1 of the 1000 people I usually copy from, and remember, he copied ALL his answers from a textbook!! (by studying day & night – but I dont have time to do all that) I am the underdog, so I use all the tools available at my disposal to come up with the answers – as we all should.

Everyone copies, I have been since 2005, so It was interesting to watch the level of protest and feigned outrage from John. One wonders what brought him to a place where he would level these kinds of accusations.

Clearly that’s a question that will continue in heated debate as long as there is Exams

Google offered an engineer with data to prove their claims, the guy responsible for their search algorithm no less. Bing should have countered the accusations, not with corporate responses muddled with marketing spin and ad hominem attacks, but with technical data to disprove it. In the credibility game, the message, as well as the messenger matters.

Obama, Liberals and the Tax Deal

Liberals are furious about the Tax Deal that Obama cut with the Republicans. Republicans are signaling consent for the deal should it be brought to a vote in both Houses of Congress. The House Democratic caucus vowed to defy the President and not even consider bringing the matter to a vote on the House floor (where such financial appropriation bills must be first introduced). Why?

Well taking a look at the deal:

The bone of contention for the Dems is that 13.5% tax cut for the wealthiest 2% and the Estate tax exemption that was raised to $5 million per individual at 35% (too high a limit, too low a rate they say), all in place for two years, with the likelihood of permanent extension. Essentially what they’re saying is that this top group get the largest share of the pie (hedge fund managers et. al keep their tax rate at 15%), and that it’s not the best bang for the buck because this measure (1) will not significantly lower the unemployment rate, and (2) significantly adds to the deficit (the whole proposal is financed by deficit spending).

On the other hand, the Dems got significant concessions in the deal. Unemployment insurance, college tuition credit, payroll tax reductions, earned-income tax credit, child and dependent care credit. Only problem is most of these provisions last 13 months, so they’ll be back to 1st & 10 all over again in 2011/2012 for Part Deux  if the economy wouldn’t have been bolstered appreciably.

Obama came out fighting, with a schooling of “leftist purists” that want a deal-on-their-terms-or-nothing. Some have quipped, that this “self-indulgent” ire should have been channeled to the Republican negotiators instead.

Given the hand he’s been dealt – only 2 weeks left on the jam-packed legislative calendar for this lame-duck Congress before Republicans take over the House and increase numbers in their Senate caucus, plus the need to not let middle-class income tax cuts expire at the end of this year which it’s agreed across the board will have adverse effects in this economy – I think the pot is sweet enough to take. Dems have been painted into a corner. They run the country right now. Not doing anything about this situation will come back to hurt them in 2012. It’s time to make a deal.

Interesting to note: the Republicans didn’t bat an eyelid about financing all $900 billion in cuts and exemptions by adding to the deficit. A case of aligned interests, perhaps. Meanwhile, a decision to raise the national debt ceiling or go into default is coming up early 2011.

Pandaladder: instant-search for jobs in Kenya

Well, we’ve had YouTube instant, twitter instant and the grand papa of them all – Google instant. You know instant job search was well on its way! Loading dynamic content on the fly is not a new concept but has only recently found fame probably not so much for the rapid speed with which search results are returned, but because Google implemented it on a grand scale. Suddenly, traditional search just doesn’t cut it.

So as a complement to what the current Kenyan job boards and blogs offer in content, this web app simply does two things: provide a single interface to search multiple job boards simultaneously, and offer real-time search. All links redirect to the boards/blogs that post them.

This project went from concept to 95% implemented in 4 days so there’s a few more things that need to be tweaked and improved along the way. If anything, it’s always better to start small, launch fast, often and fail forward.

On that note, check it out at http://pandaladder.com, comments at hello@pandaladder.com. Here’s a preview: