Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 7, 2009 / 17 Menachem- Av 5769

It's the little things

By Mark Kellner



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Fifteen years ago, or thereabouts, I received a nice e-mail from a onetime graduate student in electrical engineering at Stanford University. David Filo was thanking me for the kind words I'd expressed about the search engine he and partner Jerry Yang had created, called Yahoo.


I no longer have that e-mail, and, soon, Yahoo will no longer have its full independence, search engine-wise, should last week's deal with Microsoft Corp. come to pass. Microsoft will get access to key Yahoo technologies and the Redmond-based firm's relatively new Bing search engine will power Yahoo's portal. Equally important, perhaps, Yahoo's sales team will market online ads for Microsoft's sites, giving the firm more muscle against Google, which dominates that market segment.


The deal, which reportedly is worth a few hundred million dollars a year to Yahoo, and perhaps as much or more to Microsoft if ad sales go well, marks the end of an era. When Yahoo was king, Web browsers such as Netscape were sold for a $50 list price in Border's Books & Music stores, in boxes. Now, you can find a browser free of charge for the downloading.


What happened? There's many explanations, but one popular theory was that Netscape saw itself as a seller of software, rather than as a company offering a "portal" to the Internet. Had Netscape taken the latter course, it might have had the commanding position Google holds in the marketplace today, and that Yahoo once held.


But portals are now almost as common as hot dogs at a baseball game: tons of portals and wanna-bes exist, from Yahoo, MSN (Microsoft Network), AOL and Google to more specialized sites for women, sports fanatics and stock traders. Indeed, the Internet seems to mimic the broadcasting industry in this regard: instead of "broad" portals such as AOL or Yahoo holding preeminence, many of us are looking for gateways to the Web that cater to our own tastes. Google's iGoogle portal is a great example: you get some basic tools - weather, search, Google's Gmail, and a YouTube feed - and can add "gadgets" to bring in stock quotes, travel info, news headlines, and so on. Yahoo's myYahoo offers the same thing, as does AOL.


Does this mean the end of Yahoo, AOL and Google? Not hardly. Unlike Netscape, the online search firms and AOL understood things were changing, and they've rolled with the times. How successful each will be is still undetermined: Google has a huge share of the online ad market, but that can change if more precise, more targeted means of advertising are found. Google's claim to fame, after all, is based on its algorithms that are used to figure out which Web sites on a given topic are the most popular, as well as what people are interested in, ad-wise. If someone, somewhere, comes up with better formulas, then Google can start to worry.


Or, they can write a check. Many other companies, from AOL to Microsoft to Yahoo have done the same thing over the years. Someone else developed Yahoo's e-mail service, Microsoft has acquired, and then refined, all sorts of technology as well as developing its own.


In technology, sometimes innovation comes at the end of a checkbook as much as it may have via a slide-rule. The key lies in being able to spot what's good and then run with it, if that's at all possible.


The question is going to be who's going to spot the next wave of "disruptive technologies" that change the way we do common tasks. "Search," after all, once upon a time took place in the card catalogs of the local library; now, it involves keystrokes and mouse clicks. The next revolution could come in music or movies just as easily as in reference materials and Web browsing, and watching for such changes makes this beat a fun and fascinating one.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.

Archives

© 2009, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles