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.
This view looks all too familiar..
Google decided to to use a “low carbon” approach to clear the brush near their Mountain View headquarters, making use of some 200 mbuzis in place of the usual droners. The owners of the goats are definitely getting an awesome deal: goats get fed Google grass, their minders get a chunk of change.
Mowing with Goats [Via Google Blog]
Shortly after the launch of Google Mapmaker, users were given the ability to edit maps by adding roads and other markers previously uncharted, to Google Maps. And now, thanks to the awesomeness of crowdsourcing, you can use this user-generated content to get directions too.
Using the mashup, I got really simple directions from *K-Street to Kenyatta Hospital in Nairobi (and no, I’m not suggesting anything here; correlation does not imply causation 🙂 )
This feature is really great because not many cities outside of North America and most of Europe are that well mapped. In many African countries, directions are given mostly based on landmarks, like a nearby building. Those proclivities will always remain and do have their place so I think this feature will serve as a great supplement. What’s more, with a 3G-enabled mobile phone, driving around could get a lot easier!
Head over to Google Mapmaker and help map your city.
*In the interest of “teh balance”, Koinange Street is Nairobi’s Red-Light District.