Yahoo, Google, and Statistics

Alright, so I was reading up on the news this evening and looked over an article claiming that Yahoo and Google have roughly equal market share. Which seemed ludicrous on the face of it.

I mean, Google makes oodles more money than Yahoo, a fact that the article in question freely admits. yet they claimed that the sites shared equal visitor metrics.

And that’s weird. It really is. Then I thought about it. And figured I had the solution. So, I needed an independent third party that does some kind of arbitrary web metrics that involve both Yahoo and Google.

Sure enough, there’s a quick little toolbar monitor that doesn’t do too good a job outside what Windows users are visiting, but for generic non-OS centric numbers works just fine (although take them with a grain of salt). Alexa.com.

So I looked up the comparison over at Alexa. And you’ll notice some weird things that won’t seem weird unless you’re putting your critical thinking hat on.

For instance, the numbers look pretty parallel. Yahoo scores down 10% on most of the metrics (which is a lot, Alexa-wise) aside from time on page which is absurdly high for both engines, relatively speaking, when you consider what it is they do… but it’s about the same for that, which doesn’t jive at all with the article. However, it does make perfect sense with the way my thoughts were going.

Okay, so you’ve got similar statistics for both pages, Yahoo trailing by a good bit. They did sell their search out to Microsoft, after all, which means they don’t think they can cut it as an entity. Remember Netscape? Starting to get a little hazy as to what they did?

AOL sacrificed them in much the same way as Yahoo did their search engine.. and I’m sure they’re patting themselves on the back over what a great idea that was.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. Here’s the relevant page over at Alexa. Click on Search % there on the nav bar. Yahoo and Google are the one type of page that doesn’t really want a high number on that score.

Why, you might ask? It means they’re getting a high percentage of their traffic from search results. Given that most of those results come from Google, that means most of their traffic is coming from.. er.. googling.

So yes, they might have acceptable numbers over at Yahoo as far as inbound is concerned. But that’s only, by my estimation (from a little bit of digging), because Google is getting that traffic first. And getting the chance to sell you an ad with the search, if what you’re really looking for is a purchase.

Which means that Yahoo gets the dregs. Kinda explains why their ad revenue sucks, seeing as how they’re only getting a shot if it didn’t work out for the admittedly more accurate Google ad machine. Puts it into perspective why they see a 7th the revenue of the big G.

Seems that if the author of the article I was reading did a little critical thinking or cross-referenced those numbers with something they might’ve realized it rings a bit hollow. Yahoo doesn’t do that much worse a job with ad-revenue than Google, certainly not 1/7th as well anyway, so something had to be wrong.

Music on the Hitlist: M.I.A. Arular

Mathangi Arulpragasam’s (aka M.I.A.) debut album turned out to be interesting. It blends in some fairly basic synth kit beats with stop n’ go rap lyrics.

Lyricaly it made me think Black Eyed Peas without the over-production.

A funky, multilingual old-school dance beat album with lilting rapping over it.

All in all, not bad. Check out some of the links to on the Wikipedia entry to get an idea of the sound.

More Bang for the Buck with Gasoline

Not wanting to invest in a new car (and seeing the hybrids as something of a boondoggle) I’ve started saving a bit on Gas.

How? Driving efficiently. Basically, when I did a quick number crunch I could either reduce my speed by 5mph or loose money on a new car.

It was pretty much a no-brainer. And the fuel economy’s gone up a good 15% or so on average (really good on some fillups, not so good on others). So instead of getting 27 miles to the gallon I’m up to, say, a solid 31~32.

Why’s that better than just buying a hybrid. Lessee…

First off, there’s the new car. It’s expensive. Really expensive. Which you might think doesn’t mean much in terms of economy.

But.

See, the issue there is that the economy of making those beasts doesn’t really work out. Lots of Nickel in the Nickel-Metal Hydride or Nickel-Metal Cadmium batteries. On top of a whole lot of crappy production runoff. It’s really not a feasible replacement for a gas burner. Also, it’s very complex.

Plus it’d be a new car. Which means I’d no longer be using my old Focus while it runs perfectly well. Since I can’t be sure someone else would be using it, all the production that went into my current car’s now a waste while it’s still pretty efficient and clean-running.

Those are my thoughts on the subject.

Matt Ian Talks about .22 Rifles Not Killing People, Looses Job

Yea. That about sums it up. His three panel comic on how it went down is here.

Now, what bothers me here is the fact that he got fired for talking about it being hard to kill someone with a .22 rifle.

This is a conversation I’ve had before.

And oddly, the content of it wasn’t much different. Basically, the same context with a “yea, a .22 caliber rifle is great for target practice.. you’d have to really try to kill someone with it, not just accidentally misfire or something.”

I’m kinda shocked someone could mis-construe that, with the “have to shoot them in the face” added on, as being some kind of warning that you might be a psychopath. Psychopath’s *don’t* casually talk about the dangers of firearm ownership, they simply start shooting people with them.

This, folks, is why they’re psychopathic. Stating you picked out a target practice rifle based on it’s improbability of harming someone (yes, even with a colorful metaphor) shouldn’t raise any red flags here.

Is it just me, or are people starting to witch hunt because of a infinitesimally small number of deranged individuals?

Echos from the Well of Souls

Strange things tend to happen with this online medium. Looking around today and following up to see if Jack L. Chalker had released anything new(ish) prior to his untimely demise I noticed that his website hadn’t been updated or even kept running smoothly after his departure.

How I found out about his bout of heart troubles and unfortunate end is also a bit odd. It was in the forward to a book on programming AJAX, one written by someone apparently influenced by the accomplished Science Fiction writer, teacher, and from all accounts good guy. But I digress.

One of the stranger things about all of this is that writings online tend to collect up like so much electronic floatsom washing up on the shore. Even if they’re not officially run by anyone sites stay up long after their authors slip the mortal coil.

Writings on forums get cataloged forever.

With all it’s various archives no antagonistic Usenet statement about someones affiliation with fascism or resemblance to mustached dictators will ever be lost. Just forgotten.

Postings about Usenet I find particularly funny, as they’re always written in the present tense. The reason that’s funny, for those of you who don’t use, don’t know about, and have no inclination of ever using Usenet news forums is that they’re all dated circa the late nineties.

And always proclaim that their subject matter, alt.fiction.literature or whatever, is still a vibrant community of writers that’s just waiting for you to drop in. There’s still people loitering on Usenet mind, it just hasn’t scaled. In fact, it appears to have shrunk quite a bit since the endless deluge of AOL users back when (see Eternal September on wikipedia).

Speaking of which the font of Cyber Punk genre fiction at the Tea Bowl mirror being maintained by Joel Benford. Ken Stone seems to have disappeared, washed under the tide of data. Or maybe just forgotten by Google. He ran Anime.net back at the dawn of time.

I’ll mirror it once again when Villa-Straylight is back online or Doombook’s main page gets cleaned up. Just to keep it from getting too dusty.

Because that’s all that happens. For a medium with such a short shelf life on “new” content it’s funny how things are starting to disappear less as the network spreads out. Although it’s freaky to see someone’s last writings lingering around with no tidy closing notice put on them.

–Fin

Beer Stein with Attachments

So, driving home Sunday I noticed a Beer Stein sitting on a recycling bin out in Wolcott. I almost stopped to pick it up.. almost. It had some odd looking attachments at the bottom that made it look like some weird Beer Stein hookah cross-bread.

And I do have a love for the bizarre accouterments. Even though I don’t smoke.

But then I got to thinking.. what if it’s a beer stein for holding ashes from some weird culture? Or maybe a stein that’s cursed to make the beer therein taste like ash.

Deciding to firmly ere on the side of beer-related caution, I drove by.

Journalism is Dead

I may have mentioned this before. It bears repeating.

Journalism went and offed itself at some point. I can’t exactly finger the moment it happened, but it’s definitely gone.

That’s not to say there aren’t some excellent journalistic endeavors out there. There are certainly journalists that are still journalizing and reporters that cover a story well. It’s just that they’re getting buried under an avalanche of powdery fine puff pieces of ass-kissery.

Even on NPR, supposed bastion of 24 hour news. In their case, it might be because it’s now a 24-7 news-o-rama.

Case in point. Every morning I end up listening to as much as I can stomach of a news show where they interview local politicians. Instead of any questions that come to my mind, the commentator inevitably asks a bevy of kindergarten style “and what is your job, senator.. what do you do on that hill..” inquiries. Occasionally a caller comes up with something a bit more pressing which is promptly answered with a “I haven’t looked into that yet” and let slide.

Basically it’s an excuse for politicians to push whatever platform they happen to like today at people with very little explanation.

Now don’t get me wrong. Some of those platforms are quite good, such as efforts to reintroduce criminal offenders back into society and help non-violent criminals instead of jailing them by the Connecticut justice system. But others amount to a local politicians expounding on how badly they deserve the political handout they just received from their friends. Both are treated as if equal with the same bland self serving dialog.

So maybe it’s just that there isn’t enough happening to warrant the amount of coverage, and the ever increasing amount of coverage being pushed warrants less and less real work behind it. Research discovering how today’s guest covered something sensitive up a few years back in direct opposition to the duties they’re currently taking on just doesn’t happen.

Return from Katsucon 2007

Alright! Back from Katsucon 2007. Not too many pictures compared to some people… and a good portion of what we shot was of various friends and acquantences hanging out. You can find them at http://villa-strayligth.net/katsucon_2007.

Overall the con was a good time. Went down with old friends, met up with people I don’t see all that often (as they live a few states over) and then hung out with a great crowd on Sunday morning (in the early-*early* AM) who happened to alse be loitering neer the Connecticon booth.

After the fiftieth round of whatever that childrens show was with the pirates and a woman who, I’m pretty sure, was high on something singing “something something A PIRATE!!” it got a bit old. If only I had a projector and a pocket sized PC to hook it up to…

Coincindentally, people seem to think being asked “Pirates or Ninjas?” at 2AM is odd. At this simple query I ended up getting people that actually gave a sidelong glance and walked faster. I’m asking people, mostly drunk, at an *anime convention* this, mind.

Chilling with the Magfest crowd was a blast, I’ll have to actually make it down to the convention this year (if only it wasn’t right after New Years! :))

So that’s about it for Katsucon 2007. I imagine there was anime being played, people dressed up in costumes, and various activities. The art room floor was fun, as was the merch cavern (which we noticed was really the parking lot, and the reason we had to drive around endlessly on Thursday looking for parking). Otakon’s coming up and we’re looking at it with a bit of skepticism. The venue wasn’t all that hot last year, but I might make it down.