In Case You Haven’t Read The Search

The Internet Knows What You’ll Do Next

A FEW years back, a technology writer named John Battelle began talking about how the Internet had made it possible to predict the future. When people went to the home page of Google or Yahoo and entered a few words into a search engine, what they were really doing, he realized, was announcing their intentions.

They typed in “Alaskan cruise” because they were thinking about taking one or “baby names” because they were planning on needing one. If somebody were to add up all this information, it would produce a pretty good notion of where the world was headed, of what was about to get hot and what was going out of style.

Mr. Battelle, a founder of Wired magazine and the Industry Standard, wasn’t the first person to figure this out. But he did find a way to describe the digital crystal ball better than anyone else had. He called it “the database of intentions.”

See The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture

For an apparently contrarian view (although one that misses the key point), see I’m With Google [pdf] – with this key line:

This is all great fun, but is this “database of intentions” really going to tell us something new about ourselves? It seems to me that so far the digital crystal ball has mostly helped us with our shopping.

Indeed

“SearchCrime”

You knew it would come to this — after all, how can search *not* be a crime, given the industry’s legal construction of what it is that they “own?” Music industry prepares lawsuit against Yahoo Chinapdf

“Yahoo China has been blatantly infringing our members’ rights. We have started the process and as far as we’re concerned we’re on the track to litigation,” said John Kennedy, chairman and chief executive of the music industry trade group the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.

“If negotiation can prevent that, so be it,” he added.

[…] Yahoo China is a partnership between Internet giant Yahoo Inc, which owns 40 percent of the business, and China’s Alibaba.com. The IFPI has blasted Yahoo China’s search engine for providing links to Web sites that offer unlicensed music downloads.

Chinese “Eating Their Own Dogfood?”

And not liking it much.  Given the draconian solutions that free market economies are brining to copyright infringement problems, the Chinese solutions will be interesting to see: Piracy hurting China’s own industriespdf

Kingsoft Corp.’s English-Chinese dictionary program is used on most of China’s 60 million PCs. That’s the good news. The bad news: Kingsoft doesn’t make any money from it, because 90 percent of those copies are pirated.