Spencer shows scorn for Powerset speculation and hears talk about the old "snorage" days.
Spencer gets lots of tips from wishful thinkers, dreamers and conspiracy
theorists. He loves them all, mainly because they are at least good for a
chuckle in an otherwise mundane workday.
Sometimes they are so preposterous they provide scorn-worthy fodder for
Rumor Central. And besides, the Wired One loves to deflate the profound
reasoning of all those earnest conspiracy theorists who want the world to take
Some of the sillier speculation swirling around this week is about what Microsoft
would be able to do to Google
if it would only buy out search startup Powerset
Powerset is a semantic or contextual search provider, offering a departure
from the generalized keyword search strategies espoused by so many search
vendors these days. The consensus is that with Powerset, Microsoft would have a
shot at taking down Google in search. The Sagacious Gato thinks this is horse
hockey, but he decided to demolish this theory point by point.
First, Powerset can only index content from Wikipedia and the open-source
repository Freebase. Google indexes, well, the entire Web. It took 10 years for
Google to develop, perfect and extend its search technology. Even if Microsoft
grabbed the startup and threw all of its financial and data center resources
behind it, it would still take years for Microsoft to catch-let alone kill-Google.
Powerset might help Microsoft take some search share, but it's doubtful that
a majority of the millions of Google users would abandon their favorite search
engine overnight. And Yahoo
doesn't seem inclined to buy such a company
while it's in the middle of rewiring its own search platform to open it up for
The Learned Lynx also thinks it is interesting that some people have to
believe that Microsoft will find some technology-a kind of search kryptonite-that
will allow it to kill off Google and dominate search the way it has become
preeminent in so many other markets. This is a game that Microsoft might
But Google could indeed soon have something in common with Microsoft, which
has been battling for years with European Union
regulators over a
variety of issues. Now the EU's top data protection regulator is warning that
Google's Street View
map and satellite image service may run afoul of
the EU's privacy laws if the service is launched in Europe.
The EU, with recent memories of World War invasions, military occupations,
deportations and secret police dossiers, takes the privacy of its citizens very
seriously. It doesn't like the idea of every Tom, Dick and Marjorie going on
the Web to take a peek at how the tomatoes are growing in their neighbor's back
The Peripatetic Puss also got a laugh at the comments of Compellent
and founder Phil Soran at his company's recent C-Drive
customer conference in Minneapolis
earlier in May. Soran talked about the "good old days" in data
storage business, when things were simple. SANs (storage area networks) were a
mere gleam in the eyes of storage architects, and virtualization was just a
"Back in those days, you just had your data and a disk or tape to store
it on," Soran said. "Direct-attached storage was pretty boring, I
guess, to some people. In fact, they used to call it 'snorage.'"
This set the Grizzled Grimalkin's whiskers twitching. "When did they
stop calling it that?" he quipped Kattily.