Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Search Engines and The Data Explosion

Throughout all of human history up until 2003, we created 5 exabytes of data (five billion gigabytes). We now create that much every day. In 2011, we’ll create 1.8 zettabytes of data (a zettabyte is a 1000 exabytes). That’s up from 1.2 zettabytes in 2010, and some have predicted that we’ll be creating over 20 times that by 2020.

In trying to scale to meet this data explosion, our search engines are getting creaky.

While Google has been busy working on building Google+ as its social tool, Microsoft has quietly gone out and cut partnership deals with Facebook and Twitter and started integrating their social data into Bing search results. For example, if you do a search on Bing and you’re logged into Facebook in the same browser then the search results will show which of your friends have liked a certain page. See the example below:

Bing may have a leg up on Google in social today because of the Microsoft deals with Facebook and Twitter, but you also have to keep in mind that Google is going to have more control over its social-search destiny by building its own product. It won’t have to worry about partnership deals going bad or having to ask its social partners for additional API access. Google can just make it happen.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

An Open Standard - HTML5, Yes; Flash, No

Adobe says it will pull Flash, its software for Web video and software, from the Web browsers of mobile devices. Flash will still work on mobile apps and on computers' Web browsers.

It's a win for Apple Inc., which has famously banned Flash from working on the iPhone and the iPad.

The mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards - all areas where Flash falls short.

HTML5’s video chief rival, Adobe Flash, appears to be throwing in the towel.

HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively.

This makes HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms.

The writing may be on the wall. While Adobe programmers will be able to use their same Adobe software development tools, the end-product is clearly going to be HTML5 video. Flash may now be a legacy format.

Silverlight? Microsoft’s one time rival to Flash? It may be toast. The day of non-standard video formats seems to be coming to an end.

Note 1: Adobe is working on Flash Player 12 and a new round of features which they expect to again advance what is possible for delivering high definition entertainment experiences … to the desktop, not to mobile devices.

Note 2: Flash is not an open standard — it is controlled by Adobe Systems — whereas HTML5 is largely controlled by a committee made up of three companies, one of them being Apple.

Click here for an 11/11/11 Wall Street Journal front-page article on HTML5.

Developers now have to consider three development environments to address desktop and mobile device access: 1). traditional Websites using Flash for desktop and laptop access, 2) mobile-optimized Websites using HTML5 for mobile-device Web access, and 3) mobile-application development that may interact with Web resources on the back end.

Adobe is now focusing its mobile developer solutions on Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) that helps developers use Flash technology and develop apps that will run across multiple mobile platforms such as iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone.