Morning Tech: The Google Microsoft War #binggate, Digg Has a New Design

“Loving this MS-Goog war..a very rare thing in the industry..feels *blessed* to be alive and watching the damn fight! :D [thanks G, MS]”

- Well, that’s what I feel about the Google, MS war which is full on, public and is official!

Google Writes

We couldn’t shake the feeling that something was going on, and our suspicions became much stronger in late October 2010 when we noticed a significant increase in how often Google’s top search result appeared at the top of Bing’s ranking for a variety of queries. This statistical pattern was too striking to ignore. To test our hypothesis, we needed an experiment to determine whether Microsoft was really using Google’s search results in Bing’s ranking.
We created about 100 “synthetic queries”—queries that you would never expect a user to type, such as [hiybbprqag]. As a one-time experiment, for each synthetic query we inserted as Google’s top result a unique (real) webpage which had nothing to do with the query. [official blog]

Microsoft writes

We woke up to an interesting (and interestingly timed) article by Danny Sullivan about some complaints Google has about how it says Bing ranks results. I wanted to take a moment to make a couple of points in advance of this panel so we can stay focused on the original intent of the Summit.

The Bing engineering team has been working hard over the past couple of years to deliver the best search relevance and quality in the industry and for our users. This is our top priority every day.

We use over 1,000 different signals and features in our ranking algorithm. A small piece of that is clickstream data we get from some of our customers, who opt-in to sharing anonymous data as they navigate the web in order to help us improve the experience for all users.

What we saw in today’s story was a spy-novelesque stunt to generate extreme outliers in tail query ranking. It was a creative tactic by a competitor, and we’ll take it as a back-handed compliment. But it doesn’t accurately portray how we use opt-in customer data as one of many inputs to help improve our user experience.[official blog]

Google takes Microsoft’s name and (un)surprisingly, MS decides to refer to a competitor. A #bingate in making?

Enjoy the fight (have some popcorn). And be aware that everybody is collecting your clickstream data.

Digg has a new Design

Digg has rolled out new design that looks sleek and is much better compared to the last changes the site went through.

  1. a new design incorporating frequent suggestions from our community,
  2. everyone’s historical number of stories promoted to Top News as well as historical percentage of stories promoted to Top News, and
  3. optional on-site and email notifications when stories you submit or Digg are promoted to Top News [more]

Yahoo focusing on Apache Hadoop, discontinuing “The Yahoo Distribution of Hadoop”

Yahoo! has decided to discontinue the “The Yahoo Distribution of Hadoop” and focus on Apache Hadoop. We plan to remove all references to a Yahoo distribution from our website (developer.yahoo.com/hadoop), close our github repo (yahoo.github.com/hadoop-common) and focus on working more closely with the Apache community. Our intent is to return to helping Apache produce binary releases of Apache Hadoop that are so bullet proof that Yahoo and other production Hadoop users can run them unpatched on their clusters.[source]

Google Docs Storage – Upto 16 TB

Google users can now buy up to 16 terabytes of storage for $4,096.00 per year. The storage can be used with Gmail, Picasa Web Albums and Google Docs [details, via].

Terms of Yuri Milner/SV Angel’s Start Fund $150K investment into Y Combinator companies

Interest rate:  higher of 2% or AFR (applicable federal rate).  (I think the intention to keep the interest rate as low as possible.  In the past, interest rates on convertible debt seemed to be in the 7% to 10% range, but I recently saw a VC fund offer $500K of convertible debt at a 3% interest rate.)

Maturity date:  two years or maturity date of other convertible notes.  (This also seems to be fairly company favorable as most convertible debt seems to have a one year term.) [source]

Video: Yahoo’s Interactive Ads