Jun 27 2011

Where To Download Previous Versions of Java

Earlier this week I received the following Skype message from a co-worker.

[10:10:15 AM] i can not find an where to download official Java 6 update 23
[10:10:21 AM] mostly its from third party sites

I can’t even begin to state how many things I find wrong from the above message. Normally I would just reply with a link to Let Me Google That For You, such as the following search for Java 6 Update 23 download. I decided against being a wise guy, and found the Java archive site because it seen this question come up before for other software packages. Not all, but most software vendors such as Oracle, MySQL, Perforce, and others make available previous versions of their tools or software. It’s usually in a small link at the bottom of the main download the reads software archive, older version, previous releases, or something to that effect.

In the case of Java, Oracle has a Java Technology Products Download page where you can find the older versions of the JDK, JRE, and other Java framework and toolkits.

Feb 3 2011

Has Google Jumped The Shark?

Everybody knows that Google’s search results have suffered due to spam, content farms, black hat SEOs, social media marketers, trolls, and gypsies. As Google’s search results continue to degrade due to spam content and its social networks (Orkut, Buzz, Wave) have floundered Google been on the attack against the competition, not so much on the technical front but in the press. It was just a few months that Google lashed out at Facebook over import/export of user data. Now Google has its sights on Microsoft Bing. It was only late last year when tech journalist started to notice Google copy feature which appeared first on Bing, see here and here. Now Google, in an orchestrated and designed PR stunt accuse Microsoft Bing of copying Google’s search results.

Google's Home Page

Google's Home Page

Just like Microsoft, Google uses thousands of data points from users online usage from web crawlers, social media, ad networks, analytics, clickstream, retweets, likes, trends, and other methods. Google uses a lot of different data points to improve their search results, not just crawling from a href to a href. Google has tracking information on users, from every side of the click. Google often has and collects information when a user clicks a link on its search result page and on the visited page (if that site uses any of Google products such as Analytics or Adsense). Google is sitting pretty collecting data from every angle, because it has the market share to do so and tells competitors “No Soup for You.” The orchestrated “synthetic” outrage from Google and associated Bing sting borders into monopolistic behavior.

Is using Twitter’s firehose cheating? In a black and white world, were using calculators in a test is considered cheating, then using Twitter’s firehose is cheating. If using Twitter’s firehose is considered cheating, then Google cheats too.

Feb 2 2011

Dude, Where’s My Search Results

Google just hit a new low by accusing Microsoft of stealing their search results. This just seems like an unbelievable link bating ploy on part of Google that might have back fired. At first I thought I had read the headline wrong. If I would think of any tech company would air their dirty laundry in a public forum I would have thought it would be on Microsoft’s part.

Here is how this tech “he said, she said” came to be. Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land wrote a blog post where Google acknowledged that it ran a covert Bing sting operation that proved that Microsoft’s Bing’s search results are in some way influenced by what users search for and click on Google’s search engine. This whole secret operation ran by Google reminds me of the HP spying scandal of 2006. Amit Singhal, a Google Fellow in charge of this operation, went on to compare Microsoft Bing’s actions to copying and cheating and other mean evil stuff.

Apparently, all this came about because of misspelled search terms. As Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land describes, Google noticed that Bing’s search result for misspelled terms were similar to Google’s. Over at the official Google blog, Amit Singhal went on to describe the methodology used by Google to prove that Microsoft’s Bing uses Google search results in some capacity. To prove their hypothesis, Google gave engineers Windows’ laptops with Internet Explorer with Bing Toolbar installed and invented crazy words like hiybbprqag that when searched on Google would return completely unrelated search results. These same search results where found in Bing some time later for these made up search queries.

If this is true, this does prove to a high degree of certainty that Microsoft Bing uses, to some capacity Google search results, at least for made up search queries, or “synthetic queries” as Amit Singhal described them. This does not prove that all or 80% or 10% or any significant percent of Microsoft Bing’s results are copied verbatim from Google, as Amit would have you believe. What is also clear but downplayed behind the link bating headlines and accusations is that Bing does not scrape in any scale Google’s search results. In fact, Bing does nothing more than what Google already does. Google has a large number of tools in its arsenal where it collects online traffic and user data no matter what search engine was used. Google is monitoring and tracking the whole web with its search, analytic, ad network, browser, and mobile products and platforms

What I find amusing, is that gall and hypocrisy of Google to accuse Microsoft of monitoring the search terms and queries on search engines and the websites visited from those search results. Every time you search for a term on Google, that is recorded and associated with your account. Every time you click on search result from Google, that is recorded and associated with your account and your search term. If Google collects this data, I am think it might be fair game. Not only does Google collect this the search term and corresponding website you visit, but does the website you visit and their ad network.

I would also question the timing and the motive of publishing this now and this manner. Google has recently come under fire for the spam results taking over their search results and on how they tracks and monitors users’ online activities. It’s widely known that Google collects and uses just about every piece of information it can gather from end users in the development of their products. Google Voice is improved by having millions of users correct Google’s automated voice translations. Improved speech to text translations are then rolled out into other products and projects, such as this speak2tweet Twitter account that transcribes voice messages left on free public phone numbers and tweets them. It is also known that Android, Google’s mobile platform, is a used to improve Google’s local service and I’ve already written about how Google’s Chrome OS laptop will be used to feed even more user data into the Googleplex.

Instead of spending over a half a year on a sting operation of this size and scope they could have better spent their resources. This smells of bad PR to deflect some of the heat Google has been attracting for their spam-ridden search results and privacy issues. Google is just calling the kettle black.

The links below are additional coverage, analysis, and opinions of what one Blogger has dubbed Bing-gate.

Aug 14 2010

Resume and Interview Tips

I’ve recently had an opportunity to interview for a job opening at my company. From my experience with the interview process, from both sides of the table, I have a few non-technical tips that might be helpful for someone looking for a new challenging position where they will leverage their skills and such and such years of experience in x, y, and z programming languages.

  • Proof read your resume and fix obvious typos, you can’t say you detailed oriented if you have basic spelling errors.
  • I would leave out MS Access 2000 out of technical skills. It’s also not necessary to list HTML, DHTML, and HTML5.
  • Ensure your cover letter or email is in one font, it shouldn’t look like you cut and pasted from somewhere else.
  • The minimum research a candidate needs to do is look up the company website himself prior to interviewing.
  • At a minimum candidate should be able to figure out our URL by a) clicking the link on job description b) from my email.
  • Use a good phone line for a phone interview.
  • Make sure the interviewer gets the feeling that you want to work there, not only that you have the skills to work there.  If you don’t got the skills show enthusiasm, their is always a job for the great candidate, even if they have to rewrite the job description.
  • Don’t name your resume anything but you name, and maybe the word resume  on it.  Don’t put a date geolocation or airport codes, etc.