Friday, October 21, 2005

David vs. Google

An interesting article in a German newspaper covering the evolution of Ask Jeeves search engine and the man behind it, Apostolos Gerasoulis. They say Ask Jeeves uses a better search algorithm than Google. I tried a search on "failure", a currently well known Google bombing, and Ask Jeeves returned some meaningfull results. It also has a feature called "zooming" where they offer some alternative search terms that could find better answers for you.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Universe in a nutshell

I finished reading "The Universe in a Nutshell" by Stephen Hawking. He describes the current search in physics for a universal theory that would describe the universe, and reconcile the relativity theory with quantum mechanics. I knew some of the theories explained there from other books of science popularization, but this one is very well written and entertaining. There is also one chapter not related to physics theories, but to the potential evolution of the human society.
I think this is the weaker part of the book, as I don't think we will be in competition with any artificial intelligence any time soon, if ever. Nice to see the reference he mades to Popper and his epistemology. I think everyone doing science should be aware of Popper's theory and the limits of our knowledge.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Google and Sun

Google and Sun announced a partenership which will see Google toolbar bundled together with Java. That's a strange (at least for me) bundle to download, but many are speculating that what they really want to do is to integrate somehow into the services offered by Google. This will be, suposely, a big competition chanlange to Microsoft, and many (see for example here) want to see the "good guy" (Google) fighting the "bad guy". I guess they will "fight" eventually, but not as good versus evil (although Google tries to picture itself as being on the good side of the force, see their slogan "don't do evil"), but just as two companies looking for revenues and profits.
I have to admit that even myself look sometimes at Google as being "on the good side of the force" :)

Monday, October 03, 2005

Partial solar eclipse

Live partial solar eclipse in Bucharest right now! We're lucky the clouds are gone after the heavy rain of yesterday; one of my co-workers brought the special eclipse watching glasses he has from the eclipse in 1999, so we all watched it.