All 4 entries tagged Google
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January 16, 2009
Writing about web page http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/jan/16/carbon-sunday-times-google-clarification
Last week’s Sunday Times ran a prominent story explaining how two “typical” Google searches use produce as much CO2 as boiling a kettle, due to their enormous (and secretive) data centres.
But now, according to The Guardian, it seems that’s not entirely accurate.
The figure for each individual search is actually closer to a whopping 0.2g
Which is… er… not very much.
Here’s the clarification on the Times website:
A report about online energy consumption (Google and you’ll damage the planet, Jan 11) said that “performing two Google searches from a desktop computer can generate about the same amount of carbon dioxide as boiling a kettle” or about 7g of CO2 per search. We are happy to make clear that this does not refer to a one-hit Google search taking less than a second, which Google says produces about 0.2g of CO2, a figure we accept. In the article, we were referring to a Google search that may involve several attempts to find the object being sought and that may last for several minutes. Various experts put forward carbon emission estimates for such a search of 1g-10g depending on the time involved and the equipment used. (emphasis mine)
How many times has Google taken two minutes to answer one of your searches?
And here’s the top two paragraphs of the original story:
Performing two Google searches from a desktop computer can generate about the same amount of carbon dioxide as boiling a kettle for a cup of tea, according to new research.
While millions of people tap into Google without considering the environment, a typical search generates about 7g of CO2 Boiling a kettle generates about 15g. “Google operates huge data centres around the world that consume a great deal of power,” said Alex Wissner-Gross, a Harvard University physicist whose research on the environmental impact of computing is due out soon. “A Google search has a definite environmental impact.” (emphasis mine)
According to The Guardian, the Times is sticking by its story. Hmm…
January 21, 2007
Have you ever tried converting vinyl or tapes to CD? Ever tried transferring video tapes to DVD? It’s a nightmare. Imagine doing this on an industrial scale. It would cost millions.
So I’m surprised whenever I hear opposition to the Google Books Library project. The project’s aim is to scan (mostly out-of-copyright) books and make them searchable online. So as if scanning the books wasn’t hard enough, you then have to use optical character recognition so the words can be ‘read’ by a computer.
It costs millions and takes decades.
But publishers are so upset by the plans they have set up their own ‘Open Content Alliance’ which is a not-for-profit organisation. They’re annoyed that Google might make a profit from the system by placing adverts alongside online books.
These publishers are probably worried that Google will eventually charge for content. In which case they don’t get Google’s business model. Google makes billions of dollars from its tailored advertising, which props up many of its not-for-profit businesses (like the consumer versions of Google Earth, Google Desktop, GMail). It’s unlikely that Book Search will ever directly make Google any money, let alone cover its costs.
Adverts alongside the books seems to me the least intrusive and most cost-effective way of getting these books online. The alternative is to hope for donations from big-money philanthropists, who may not have a huge interest in paying for the conversion of foreign-language or niche books.
Monopolies aren’t a good thing. But Google is leading the way in this technology, as with many others. And book publishers should get on board.
January 08, 2007
Picture the scene. I’d visit a blog like Adam Meets World several times a day, just to see if he’d written anything earth-shattering. Of course he hadn’t. But I had to be first to see if he had.
I’d do this for several blogs, probably accounting for 90% of some people’s hits as I clicked ‘refresh’ out of boredom.
WELL NOT ANY MORE!!!
That’s right. I chose not to choose boredom. I’ve chosen something else. And it is Google Reader.
Google Reader gets all my favourite blogs, tells me when they’ve been updated and displays them all in a handy list (see left).
Not only has it saved time, but it’s also extended the life of my mouse. I heartily recommend it.
September 04, 2006
According to The Register Google is working on software which will use your computer microphone to listen what’s going on in your house. Not surprisingly, it hopes to use this information to serve you “content relevant advertising” which, in other words, means that you’ll be watching a football match on TV and Google will think “Hmm…sports fan, here’s an advert for Nike”. Similarly if you’re watching a news story about fishing, Google will listen and throw some angling adverts on your PC screen.
It’s an intriguing development. Obviously, they can’t do this without telling you, although they’re not likely to explictly go out of their way to offer you this amazing new ability to view more advertising. Instead I reckon they’ll package the software with the Google Sidebar, Google Talk or with GMail, meaning you’ll just have to tick a box saying you agree to their ‘terms and conditions’.
As the Register piece mentions, there’s a danger of being in a permanent state of deja vu, but the future uses of the software could be quite wide reaching. Imagine TV advertising tailored to the conversation you’ve just been having. Or radio ads which know which songs you like.
It’s the future, as Peter Kay would say, and it’s becoming more and more like Minority Report every day.