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The Man Who (Really) Makes Google Tick 250

Posted by timothy
from the ominous-ticking dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Like his friends Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Craig Silverstein abandoned his PhD studies at Stanford to become employee No.1 and technology director at Google. While building the search engine in a garage, never in his wildest dreams did he think Google would become what it is today. Not only is it the envy of software giant Microsoft, Google continues to redefine the technology market with its creativity and tenacity. In this in-depth interview, Silverstein discusses a wide range of issues including the backlash against Gmail among privacy advocates, the company's cultural changes and its shifting reliance on PageRank."
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The Man Who (Really) Makes Google Tick

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  • by AnonymousDivinity (778696) on Monday May 10, 2004 @11:11PM (#9113502)
    If you want to know more about this guy, just google him :)
  • by Jonathan Pater (778749) on Monday May 10, 2004 @11:13PM (#9113515)
    Is not having all your personal information in the hands of Google. I don't feel that Google is the threat here. They've proved time after time to be an honest company. I'm more worried about some crazy new law (Patriot Act anyone?) giving the Government / Other corporations instant access to this online archive of some of our most private information.
    • by ckswift (700993) * on Monday May 10, 2004 @11:17PM (#9113555)
      Email never has and never will be a secure form a communication. Nothing is currently stopping the government from snooping on your email from other mail providers (e.g. yahoo, msn, aol). If you truly care about the privacy of your email, you really should be encrypting it.
      • by CptSparrow (759491) on Monday May 10, 2004 @11:22PM (#9113588)
        Yes, but the other providers aren't archiving your messages, and providing a nifty interface to search and sort them. If they want to read my mail, they're gonna have to work at least a little bit for it!

      • by Shakrai (717556) on Monday May 10, 2004 @11:26PM (#9113611) Journal

        Nothing is currently stopping the government from snooping on your email from other mail providers (e.g. yahoo, msn, aol)

        It's not all about the Government. If you have an archive of e-mail stored on a machine that you don't control it can be subpoenaed by lawyers in any type of suit against you. Of course they can also subpoena it if you do control it but random Hard Drive failures and accidental deletions have been known to happen... The point being that if it resides on hardware you own you have options -- with Gmail or Yahoo you have none other then to bend over and hope you deleted anything that could harm you.

        Encryption really doesn't play into this as far as I'm concerned. I'm far more worried about the divorse lawyer or the ex-employee with an axe to grind then I am about the Government. Encryption is useless if you don't have a good records-retention policy backing it up. Besides, what's to stop them from subpoenaing your private PGP key?

        • The point being that if it resides on hardware you own you have options -- with Gmail or Yahoo you have none other then to bend over and hope you deleted anything that could harm you.

          Is anything ever really deleted? My guess is google would keep the email stored somewhere, but I'm not paranoid...

        • At least in the US, a good lawyer can make a case that the PGP will self-incriminate [findlaw.com] based on the fifth amendment.

          I dont know about the other parts of the world.

        • I agree with the rest of your post, but this...

          ... with Gmail or Yahoo you have none other then to bend over and hope you deleted anything that could harm you.

          How about not emailing/doing stuff that could provide evidence/harm you in the first place?
          There may be worries for some situations, but for the majority of people... don't break any laws/talk about it in email, and there yah go - no concern.
          • don't break any laws/talk about it in email, and there yah go - no concern.

            Of course, that's always true because all government officials and police are honest, ethical, and interested only in the diligent and dispassionate enforcement of the law. It is simply unthinkable that the power to invade the privacy or liberty of honest citizens could ever be abused, and for this reason it is just silly to demand any "rights" at all!

            Seriously, it saddens me how often I see this naive and insipid "if you're doing n

        • Besides, what's to stop them from subpoenaing your private PGP key?

          Your PGP passphrase is used to encrypt and decrypt your private key. Keep it secret and change it occasionally. Don't write it down. Even if they force you to turn over your private key, it would take a keylogger to get your passphrase.

          -molo
      • I don't agree (Score:3, Interesting)

        Nothing is currently stopping the government from snooping on your email from other mail providers (e.g. yahoo, msn, aol).

        That's not quite correct. There is a fundamental thing stopping the governments from snooping right now: practicality.

        They can't practically do a full search across everyone's email for a particular keyword. To do so, the providers need to offer this kind of service, which they haven't been built to do (data persistence, indexing etc.). Alternatively, the FBI/CIA could just install

        • "Alternatively, the FBI/CIA could just install snooping boxes at network hubs, but again this isn't practical for realtime searches given the volume of mail going around the world every day."

          Remember Carnivore [techtv.com]? That's what they told us they were doing. What else may they be doing without our knowledge?
        • They can't practically do a full search across everyone's email for a particular keyword. To do so, the providers need to offer this kind of service, which they haven't been built to do (data persistence, indexing etc.).

          Just because other email service providers are not specifically optimising their email service for search, doesn't mean they can't simply issue something similar to:

          SELECT * FROM T_EMAIL WHERE MESSAGE_BODY LIKE '%terrorism%'

          ... it might take a little longer to execute than having a se

          • Just because other email service providers are not specifically optimising their email service for search, doesn't mean they can't simply issue something similar to:

            SELECT * FROM T_EMAIL WHERE MESSAGE_BODY LIKE '%terrorism%'

            If those other mail providers kept everyone's mail in a single, huge SQL database, you would probably be right. But in reality, making the above assumption shows that you haven't dealt much with email at the nuts and bolts end.

            Email messages are stored in many different formats, u

            • For any one given mail spool, it's trivial to search the messages for a keyword, but that's not the practical problem. The practical problem for somebody wanting to search every user's email together is to perform all the trivial searches over all the servers over all the operating systems over all the storage formats used by all the organizations being investigated. With Gmail, all this is moot if, as everyone claims, they have one single huge distributed storage system for everyone's mail.

              See, you've ne

            • Still valid points (Score:4, Interesting)

              by Frogg (27033) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @09:29AM (#9115825)

              My points are still valid, even if my psuedo-code is not 100% correct -- but you miss my point: any of the large webmail providers (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) will still be able to search all the email in any users mailboxes, almost as easily you can log-in on their respective homepages. It would be a fallacy to think otherwise. Of course, these services already do -- just like Gmail -- have one huge store for all their users' mail, even if it is distributed, as you mention.

              It is my belief, gained through knowledge of mail servers -- and too many years real-world experience writing high-end web-services/front-ends of one kind or another -- that SQL is the most scalable solution for the back-end of a web-based email system with this quantity of users, the idea of using any kind of file based mailstore is unpractical for web-based email for a number of technical reasons.

              Furthermore, if I remember correctly, in the past I have read articles about the big webmail provider's back-end systems being SQL based (sorry, I can't remember which company the article was about -- I think I've read about more than one..(?)).

              Your analogy about searching everyone's email is moot: we are not really talking about searching everyone's email spool, rather, people are arguing over whether Google's webmail -- Gmail -- is any less private than any of the other big webmail solutions (Yahoo, Hotmail) that are already out there -- and it's not. It's no better, and no worse -- but they are being more upfront about things (i.e. explicit about their business/technical processes) in their privacy policy than some of the other providers care to be, which has brought this matter into the eyes of the general user (who probably do not realise that when they click 'Delete' on Hotmail, a copy of their message may indeed still reside on another of Hotmail's systems in an archived backup, unaccessible to the all but the sysadmins -- and the respective law enforcement agents/agencies, if they have the right paperwork).

              With Gmail, everyone's mail is indexed in one easy to use place, so searching mail becomes like web browsing via a search engine. It's just so much easier there's no comparison.

              In this statement (and possibly inferred in some other statements) you make it sound like Gmail/Google will index everyone's mail-server's mailstores like it indexes webpages -- it won't. Gmail only indexes the mail of Gmail users.

        • Re:I don't agree (Score:2, Insightful)

          by AlecC (512609)
          There is a fundamental thing stopping the governments from snooping right now: practicality.

          Part of Google's income comes from providing search functionality for other companies. There is no obvious reason why the Federal government could not buy Google's search expertise and use it on a database populated by their Echelon monitoring system. While expensive, it would not be ridiculous compared with other federal spending on security. (Actually, I think it would be a lot better value for money than the ha
    • by Shakrai (717556) on Monday May 10, 2004 @11:22PM (#9113584) Journal

      Is not having all your personal information in the hands of Google. I don't feel that Google is the threat here. They've proved time after time to be an honest company. I'm more worried about some crazy new law (Patriot Act anyone?) giving the Government / Other corporations instant access to this online archive of some of our most private information.

      You've just summed up in one short paragraph why I refuse to use webmail as anything other then a spam bucket to register on websites. Sorry, but I'd agree with the tin-foil hat people on this occasion -- I just don't like the idea of my e-mail floating out there on a Hard Drive that I don't control.

      It's not even all about the Government. What happens if you get divorced or sued and they subpoena Google for your e-mail? At least (God Forbid) if you have control over it you can dispose of it. Hell I'd worry more about this scenario then the Government -- at least the Government needs probable cause and has to prove their case against you. Quite frankly lawyers scare the hell out of me if they aren't working for me -- and even then they still scare me some.

      The only advantage to webmail is having an e-mail address that never changes. If your like me and bounce around ISPs a lot then register your own domain and get an el-cheapo webhoster that provides you with e-mail. I've been doing this for the last six years and it works out quite nicely -- I never have to change my e-mail address. More importantly I can create spam buckets at will and have control over my address and the software behind it.

      Not that any of this is going to stop me from getting a gmail account with my favorite username once it goes live. Be nice to have a big name webmail account that doesn't have a bunch of numbers in it :)

      • by Anonymous Coward
        I'm a lawyer.

        Boo!

      • Isn't destruction of subpoenad evidence a crime?
        • Isn't destruction of subpoenad evidence a crime?

          Well duh. Try proving it though. If you are being sued by some jerk with an axe to grind who is only out to get rich off your insurance company would you not delete e-mails that might be helpful towards this end?

          • Try proving it though.

            I work for a data recovery outfit that specializes in electronic evidence, and let me assure you that we can give it a damn good try, and we know a lot more about it than you do.

            You have to really know what you're doing if you want to get rid of data permanently. Even if you're not one of those nice but dim folks who think deleting a file means it's gone.... So you end up before the judge, trying to explain away destruction of evidence, getting smacked with sanctions for spolia [fact-index.com]

            • You have to really know what you're doing if you want to get rid of data permanently

              Well, A) I do know what I'm doing, and B) that's beside the point. They aren't likely to have cause to seize your entire Hard Drive in a civil suit (criminal is another matter but if you read my posts that isn't what I was worried about) -- they will be able to force you to turn over e-mails and if you can honestly say that you don't have them any longer then what are they going to do? If you had a halfway decent lawyer

        • Isn't destruction of subpoenad evidence a crime?

          Only if you destroy it after you get the subpoena. Most companies have a document retention policy that states anything older than 90 days that you don't explicitly need to do your job is automatically a candidate for deleting/shredding as appropriate. If someone subpoenas it on day 91, you're in the clear.
      • by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Monday May 10, 2004 @11:50PM (#9113762) Homepage Journal
        >at least the Government needs probable cause

        Times have changed. Google for "Section 215" of the USAPATRIOT Act, and for the phrase "national security letter".

        GMail is great even if you're heavily into privacy: imagine storing all your mailing list traffic on it. Automatic threading, user-controlled keyword assignment, high-speed search.
    • Gmail is bad? The argument is clear to me, something like:

      "They talk so cute. They sound so nice. They are so smart (like me!) and their success makes me look more righteous amongst my peers. They are not a cop-out
      "So we love Google. We love them so much that everything they do is ok. We quickly dismiss any criticism. We believe that they will strike down evil!"

      And the only thing I believe in is the inevitable corruption of centralized power. However, if they distribute their power like they do
  • Oh yeah (Score:5, Funny)

    by TechnologyX (743745) on Monday May 10, 2004 @11:13PM (#9113516) Journal
    "You have portrayed the ideal search engine as one resembling the intelligence of the Starship Enterprise.."

    My new geek idol
    • Re:Oh yeah (Score:5, Funny)

      by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Monday May 10, 2004 @11:43PM (#9113724) Journal
      This is the samn damn ship that blows panels everytime it is shot, gets stolen on numerous occasions, has next to no security on any of its computer systems, allows almost anyone into the heart of the ship, and places the bridge and all the exec offices on the top of the ship?

      That enterprise?
  • by tobechar (678914) on Monday May 10, 2004 @11:13PM (#9113519)

    Because of this man's great efforts, we can google for 'failure' and be greeted with President Bush's Biography.

    Technology never ceases to amaze me. :)

  • Name (Score:4, Funny)

    by Plaeroma (778381) <plaeroma@gmaiFORTRANl.com minus language> on Monday May 10, 2004 @11:15PM (#9113533) Journal
    I've always wondered if Google will shut down once it hits a google of webpages indexed.
  • by NightWulf (672561) on Monday May 10, 2004 @11:16PM (#9113550)
    Drop the PhD study where right now he would probably be teaching at a college to kids who really couldn't care...knocking back 40k/yr. Or now be worth a few hundred million dollars. *Sigh* Reminds me of the day some hippy asked me if I wanted to join his computer company, darn thing was in a garage somewhere. I wonder whatever happened to him. Well I turned him down and now i'm a Walmart manager! Watch out for falling prices!!!!!!!
    • by hak1du (761835) on Monday May 10, 2004 @11:58PM (#9113811) Journal
      Drop the PhD study where right now he would probably be teaching at a college to kids who really couldn't care...

      There are plenty of Ph.D. drop-outs that signed up with other companies that looked just as promising as Google and didn't make it. This sort of career choice is basically a lottery ticket with a rather high cost of entry--even if you ever manage to get back to grad school after your failed stint at a startup, it's going to be hard to get back into research.

      If you want to make money, a Ph.D. is the wrong choice to begin with--go into business or finance or something like that. If you change your mind about getting a Ph.D. halfway through, again, there are far better career choices than to get involved with some startup.

      Sign up with a startup in a technical capacity only if you feel passionate about the product or the work.
    • Last I heard, he was complaining about the security in the Stata center...
    • The average professor salary in the U.S. is $98,499/year. Granted, that's nothing compared to what this guy is making, but it's not exaclty 40k either. Once a professor gains tenure, the job is nice and plush with plenty of job security.
      • Re:40k? Not quite (Score:4, Interesting)

        by corbettw (214229) <corbettwNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @02:35AM (#9114363) Journal
        Yeah, and that's just salary. The real money is in research grants. I have an acquantance who works as a lab tech. Her boss, a PhD at UCLA, usually has about a dozen or so research subjects running at once, with each being funded by one or two grants. In fact, the only work that individual does is think of new things to research and file the appropriate papers, grad students and lab techs do the actual work. Pretty good gig, if you can put in the 20 years of school and work it takes to get it.
  • From the Article: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DaveKAO (320532) on Monday May 10, 2004 @11:24PM (#9113596) Homepage
    He says: "I think that understanding language is kind of the last frontier in artificial intelligence, and then talking to a computer will be just like talking to a reference librarian, because they will both be equally knowledgeable about the world and about you. "

    Now I love Google and don't mind the privacy implications of Gmail, but for the PR nightmare they just had you would think he'd be a little more careful. I am not sure I want computers to be knowledgeable about me (individually).
    • Re:From the Article: (Score:3, Informative)

      by burns210 (572621)
      he didn't say 'talk to google.com's personal assistant, clippy' he said talk to your computer..... the key to AI, in his opinion, is not sentience or self-awareness, as much as it is the ability to parse the spoken english(or human, in any form) language and pull from that the MEANING and INTENT of what was said... it is incredibly hard, even to try and think about how a computer might do it, let alone actually coding something...

      The ammount of fluf talked on to a simple english sentence is amazing, yet a
  • Making MS green... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thoolie (442789) on Monday May 10, 2004 @11:28PM (#9113625) Homepage
    It really is pretty cool, that in this day and age, a company can come out a garage and redefine the business. Not to mention that they seem to enjoy that they are the "underdog" and that they can do things their way. Perhaps this will be how a dot.com
    really can be a success. My shout goes out to google!

    (atleast on the surface they don't seem evil)
    • Yeh, back in the day that worked. I'm not so sure it would work in 2004 though, because now the existing companies are on the lookout for low-key competitors and aware of the risks of letting them grow. In the dot.com days, some of the old businesses got hammered pretty hard, but it's less likely now. Your local bookstore couldn't do jack about Amazon, but Amazon will probably sue you for patent infringement if you try to make a better bookstore and put it online.
  • by muel (132794) on Monday May 10, 2004 @11:30PM (#9113643)
    ..is the "why is Google so successful?" question. This interview seems pretty focused on talking about "hot" topics (gmail privacy, microsoft, blah blah), and it talks about possible future technologies in Google, but the interview doesn't probe about just why Google got there in the first place. Where's the talk about what Google did differently? PageRank (before its manipulation by spamdemons), clean design, obliteration of banner advertising and "portal" services, clear separation of search results and "related advertising" results... that's the compelling stuff that I'd want to hear the man behind Google talk about. Those were all pretty bold moves from an economic standpoint ("what, you want to remove banner ads?! how do you expect to make money!!" etc etc), and by golly, it panned out and then some. Someone should go back and ask, "how the hell did that succeed, how did you convince people to come on board and work with you on Google when it was so damn different?"
  • Secrecy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zerocool^ (112121) on Monday May 10, 2004 @11:31PM (#9113650) Homepage Journal

    One thing's for certain: The guy does an excellent job of keeping up Google's mysterious aura. When asked if the number of servers was 10k or more like 100k, he said "over 10k". When asked about future technologies and directions for the company, he always answered vaguely ("I can't comment on specifics").

    This is pretty cool. The aura that google has that no one knows how it works, and no one knows where it is, and no one knows what it's doing... That's a pretty cool public image to have for something used as much as google is. I just wonder if investors are going to want to know more about what's going on.

    ~Will
    • Re:Secrecy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sirsnork (530512) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @12:20AM (#9113917)
      You wouldn't be saying that if it was Microsoft with the mysterious aura
    • Re:Secrecy (Score:5, Interesting)

      by K-Man (4117) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @12:54AM (#9114073)
      I found out an interesting fact a while ago: Google schools all of its new employees in intellectual property law, in a course lasting several days, covering patents, trade secrets, copyrights, and the like. This is a paranoia level approaching IBM, where every copy machine has a traceable watermark. Even sales people can't reveal competitive analyses, or any high-level marketing research, even if it might help a sale. Requests, for instance, for a feature comparison of the Google search appliance vs. its competition are met with a stony wall of silence (and appropriately so, I might add).

      So, if you keep track, Google interviews contain almost no information, and are mainly public relations exercises. Vague statements about the corporate culture, some well-aligned musings about the company's future direction, and oh look at the time, the interview's over.

      I suspect most of their searches are done by an Amiga behind the coffee bar.
    • Imagine how surprised they (and all of us) will be when we finally find out that Google is really powered by pigeons! [google.com]

    • not to troll, but it is almost apple-like... google has that cool, sleek, almost artisic clean interface(including gmail's gui) and secrecy behind all its products that everyone WANTS to know what is next, but noone does... It creates demand, excitement, and an interest in a company that otherwise would just be another dot-com search company.

      That, and they are REALLY GOOD at searching the web.
  • Google Spam (Score:5, Informative)

    by omahajim (723760) on Monday May 10, 2004 @11:32PM (#9113658)
    What bugs me about Google is all the aggregators and useless pages-full-o-links-without-any-content sites that show up so high in the results when you are seeking, for example, technical information about _X_ piece of hardware.

    Was looking for setup details on a Siemens router today, so I googled the brand and model #. The first few pages were results from overpriced worthless drop-ship web "retailers" instead of useful information. Isn't that stuff supposed to be over on Froogle instead?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Was looking for setup details on a Siemens router today, so I googled the brand and model #. The first few pages were results from overpriced worthless drop-ship web "retailers" instead of useful information.

      Yeah? I got a porn site...
    • Re:Google Spam (Score:3, Interesting)

      by muzza (64255)

      Agreed! I wrote a blog [insubstantial.com.au] entry [insubstantial.com.au] about this the other day and emailed it off to Google as well. Basically I suggest a preference to exclude sites selling stuff and exclude training courses (as well as wishing for improved indexing and ranking for content in Wiki's...)

    • Re:Google Spam (Score:3, Interesting)

      by boots@work (17305)
      I had a similar problem the other day when searching for a digital camera, and indeed the other day when searching for a slightly exotic piece of HP Fiber Channel hardware. Who would have thought there were so many "Internet Entrepranurs" wanting to sell $5k PCI cards?...

      I don't think the spammers can be actually selling the cards; they presumably want to bring you in just to show banners or to sell something else. I suspect the spammers got the product name by gobbling up HP's site or some other reselle
    • Re:Google Spam (Score:2, Insightful)

      by rich951 (584204)
      Maybe if everyone starting using the "Dissatisfied? Help us improve" feedback form at the bottom of the search results, they'd eventually take the hint. Or is that just totally inappropriate optimism? :) To be honest, I can't believe they aren't aware of the problem - so is it "can't fix" or is it "won't fix"?
  • No... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Misch (158807) on Monday May 10, 2004 @11:34PM (#9113671) Homepage
    I remember the last time there was a big brouhaha over something that Google did, which was when we acquired the Usenet archives from Deja.com

    The last brouhaha people had was when Google de-listed xenu.net [xenu.net] completeley over a complaint from Scientology [slashdot.org].

    It was March 2002. Buying out Deja was 2/12/2001. Scientology lead with 2 stories on /. in one day.
  • Elaborate Please (Score:4, Insightful)

    by KidSock (150684) on Monday May 10, 2004 @11:42PM (#9113720)
    Google continues to redefine the technology market with its creativity and tenacity

    Really? I don't mean to be a troll. I like google and all but what have they done differently since the first day they opened for business. They're search engine just works great and that's it. They're in a position to do more but what? Does gmail constitute N billion in market capitalization they're going to pull in when the IPO goes through? Makes one wonder what they're going to do an not be "evil".
    • there are many things google can still do. audio and video search come to mind... a watson/sherlock(mac users) local search/browser like app could be a killer... google should buyout the developers that wrote watson.

      Google HAS tweaked their code greatly... every few months, your search results for a given thing change somewhat, or they change drastically... most of the time for the better. This is to 1. improve the variables that get each search term a ranking(improve results) and 2. to make it harder for
  • by sashang (608223) on Monday May 10, 2004 @11:53PM (#9113783)
    man - if google could improve searching for porn what a relief that would be. Currently I have to wade through bucket loads of fake links, booby pop-ups, fake free pics, virii and other crap. I hope they improve the search engine so that it delivers the best free pussy on the net.
  • PageRank (Score:3, Funny)

    by karmatic (776420) on Monday May 10, 2004 @11:57PM (#9113802)
    As an internet webmaster, I certainly would like to hire the guy for a little SEO work. From the sounds of the article, this guy sounds like he knows what makes PageRank tick.

    The rest of us only find out through experimentation.

    Hey, I'm the number 2 Nigruitude Ultramarine [t28.net] site on the web!
  • by licamell (778753) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @12:01AM (#9113828)
    Google is known for their new and interesting technologies. I stumbled across this search engine right before reading this article actually. A search engine that clusters your results! It makes it even faster and simpler to get right to what you want. It's nice to see new ideas like this coming out and helping to change the direction of search engines as google did several years ago.

    http://vivisimo.com/ [vivisimo.com]
  • by mingust (726690) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @12:09AM (#9113873)
    that google was just a juy sitting behind the wall that knows everything.

    Just like the standardized testing grading machines...
  • by citizenc (60589) <cary.glidedesign@ca> on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @12:10AM (#9113877) Journal
    I don't know about anybody else, but I have noticed that, lately, Google seems to be rather polluted by people who are exploiting the PageRank system to get higher listings. You know the types -- the url is of the form www.domain.com/your-exact-keywords.html, and the page doesn't actually have any content. Google is fantastic for anything that hasn't gone main-stream, simply because advertisers aren't Google-Bombing (heh, I can't believe I actually said that) those particular words yet.
  • by lewko (195646) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @12:24AM (#9113931) Homepage
    ...his thoughts on negritude ultramarine
  • PageRank was a good idea and clearly rooted in the technology; but people have caught up on it. Now how many others like that can Google really hope to have so that it stays useful?

    One, Silverstein acknowledges that AI problems are basically hopeless (gonna take "about 200 to 300 years").

    Two, when asked if PageRank is dead and what they are doing to fight false popularity, he says they are "tweaking it in new ways".

    Three, when asked how ("do you have algorithms?) he answers,

    Well, there are certainl

  • by sushi5000 (638470) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @05:18AM (#9114888)
    I noticed this at the end of March [slashdot.org] for the first time:
    The DoT, namely C.S., used to be on the list of Google Executives [google.com].
    Any comment on *this*, I mean...hello? Mr. Brin? Mr. Page?
    Did Mr. Silverstein just dematerialize or what?

    "In an interview before Google's IPO filing, Silverstein discussed [...]"

    *yawn*

  • Much as I like the new "Google" articles category, I can't help but feel that Google may have something along the lines of "trademark confusion" in mind when they write and ask /. to stop using their logo at the top of their page...
  • I mean, come on. If you have internet then odds are pretty high you have Email from you ISP. There is also Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, Excite Mail, Mail.com, and thousands of other free email providers.

    So basiclaly you have choices out the ass, email is one area in which *no one* can claim they have a monopoly.

    So what's the big deal? Feel threatened by GMail? Then don't sign up for an account. It's not like anyone is holding a gun to your back.

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