Thursday, March 27, 2008

How people query now isn't evocative of natural language

'kitchen-floor conflict intensifies as rival house cats claim same empty bag analysis'

By far the strangest query that returned results matching my blog, and where a person actually selected my blog as a result.

What the heck was that person looking for?

It almost makes sense. It sounds like there's been some research done that examines the behavior of cats when an empty (but possibly smelly) bag is thrown in between them. What do they do? Let's find out...amazing! Put the results on the Internets!

We've become so used to entering in a string of keywords (since that's how Google returns results: keywords in indexed pages bubble to the top) in a way that's not how we think or speak.

Perhaps the notion of *asking* a question will become more prevalent in people's minds when conducting a search in the coming months...

Can we declare a war on layoffs?

I want to be clear here: I'm not happy about anyone losing their job. It sucks. It's a downright nasty, foul, frustrating experience usually empathized by coworkers who express uncomfortable concern for their colleagues. I say 'uncomfortable' because the coworkers are still retaining a paycheck, and they, too, could be next.

This being said, when I learned that is laying off about 10% of its workforce in the (all cuts to be made in the U.S.), I was surprised to see that this headline wasn't glossing the virtual pages of its online properties. Typically, Cnet has all the layoff details for other companies plastered on its site as soon as the news hits the streets.

Although, this is probably going to be a good move for them. They're a media company about technology, not vice versa. Perhaps they're realizing this. Cnet says: is laying off 120 employees as part of an effort to streamline the online media company while generating more content for its news and entertainment sites.
But man, with stock at $7.25 (value closed on Wed), you'd think this move wouldn't have been a surprise. They're going to have to find a way to stand out from all the other sources of tech news out there: slashdot, arstechnica, valleywag, techcrunch, wired, various news portals/aggregators (BigNews, Digg, Reddit, Yahoo! News , etc.) by delivering competitive content that attracts ad dollars. Running leaner may help.

Of course, that little thing called the 5 year (and going!) War on Terror might also have something to do with things...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Have you taken your personality quiz yet? RockstarNorth Games has GTA IV coming out very shortly, and in the spirit of, and other jolly mock-ercials they've developed a splendid personality test. I highly recommend this useful tool to help you know your inner you.

Speaking of inner you, it's about time Mike Meyers did another *good* movie. I'm hoping that 'The Love Guru' is as hilarious as the first Austin Powers.

Meet my confidential Italian secretary. Her name is Alotta. Alotta Fagina.
Pardon me, I thought you said your name was a lot of um...never mind.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Obama punches Thompson

It's nice to hear when something you worked on was well received by a much larger audience...especially when you spend so much time at work that you're seriously considering bringing in a cot to put under your desk.

During the whole pre-primary Presidential race we worked on producing some information that was feed to an integrated marketing piece on the Washington Post. Here's the details.

The functionality of the piece is still there, so the queries work. I wonder what kind of results are coming up now for Fred Thompson...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spitzer to provide extracurricular activity lessons to Vallejo city employees

It's tragic, offensive, and downright embarrassing for everyone.

Now that we have that out of the way, here were some of the recent highlights of comedy antics surrounding (now) former Gov. Eliot Spitzer:
I sat next to the guy three times and I didn't pick up on any of this. - Stephen Colbert

It's just mind-blowing that he spent $4,300 on a hooker. It just shows how high the cost of living is in New York. That same hooker would cost $50 in Newark. - Lisa Landry

They're talking about impeaching Eliot Spitzer if he doesn't step down, and I'm thinking, 'Whoa, a Democrat being impeached for extramarital sex. Well, happy days are here again!' - David Letterman

Not surprisingly, clients 1 through 8 were Charlie Sheen. - Conan O'Brien

If this guy was a plumber ... he would have his wife's SUV tire tracks over his head - Jay Leno

No. 1: "It's Arnold Schwarzenegger. Thanks. I'm no longer America's creepiest governor." - David Letterman's Top 10 List

Spitzer resigned yesterday. If only other elected officials in similar circumstances could follow suit....ahem...Mr. Craig?

Next on the list for the former Governor? Well, he's heading to Vallejo, CA to act as Activities Director for the city's overpaid city employees.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Nobody puts baby in a corner

That's got to be Hillary's new campaign theme. Bill can deliver it at press conferences. I can just hear him say it:'ve got some serious momentum behind you. I can't deny that, but as we've just seen from results in Texas, Ohio, and Rhode Island...nobody puts baby in a corner.
Can't you hear it?

As always, Democrats have problems getting behind one candidate. Both are electable, and both would be landmark Presidential candidates. Unfortunately, the pleasantries have been put aside and now the uglies come out.

The only thing good that will come out of this for Dems will be that while the GOP has McCain, the race for Republican delegates is over and some of the excitement and energy will dissipate for GOP voters. On the other hand, if Obama and Clinton 2 battle it out for the nomination to the bitter end, you can be certain that Dem voters will be fired up for the November ballot.

Of course, while we're all happy that we're moving a chimp out of office, and the rhetoric has been lovely (because really, doesn't the Bush administration provide excellent fodder for debate...this was a great time for a person to run for President...the platform was 'I'm not Dubya') there's the nagging suspicion that political machinery in place isn't changing...just the oilers.
Oh well. At least Huckabee's outta there. Just the fact that Chuck Norris was backing him was disturbing...that and the fact that we all know what's under his beard.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Still have my job? Yes. Game room...TBD

If you didn't know, announced some layoffs today. We got the details in a nearby bar, where they broke the news and treated us to bagels and coffee and identified us as the 'go-forward' team.

So they can lay off 38 people, close offices in Japan, Denmark, Spain, Italy, France, and Germany, telecast the announcement that we'll be focusing on our core users, but do they really need to lock the doors on the game rooms?

Honestly, after announcing the layoffs and the shift in company priorities, couldn't they at least let people bust a few rounds off in Call of Duty 4 or shred some notes in Guitar Hero 3? Were they concerned that some of the ex-employees were going to get sticky fingers after getting the shaft?

But then, I think...I'd rather have a job right now than an Xbox 360. Still, the empty veal pens provoke strong pangs of empathy. Anyone working in the Bay Area or who has been 'downsized' or categorized as 'redundant' knows what I'm talking about.