Saturday, June 06, 2009

Google Times Google =

Competition is good. Not that Google has anything to worry about, certainly not by Wolfram|Alpha, the new computational knowledge engine. But somebody at Google probably noticed the advantages of Alpha and tried to figure out a way to simulate at least some part of Alpha's capability using Google's existing search technology. Google Squared is another one of those Beta features that oozed out of Google labs. Google Squared returns results for information in a tabular form.

Google Squared is an experimental search tool that collects facts from the web and presents them in an organized collection, similar to a spreadsheet. If you search for [roller coasters], Google Squared builds a square with rows for each of several specific roller coasters and columns for corresponding facts, such as image, height and maximum speed.
The typical Google search result provides information on a specific item. If one were interested in collecting the same sort of information about similar items and organize them into a table, that would require a lot of effort, doing searches on every one of such items. Google Squared does that additional work for you and presents the results in tabular form. It also learns from you as you keep or discard information it returns.

Perhaps some one of Google's legion of geniuses would have done this anyway; I'd like to think that it was Wolfram|Alpha that spurred that genius to come up with squared. The best of innovators enjoy competition rather than feel threatened by it. Healthy competition gets their juices flowing and brings out the best in them. Intel Corporation is known to have multiple teams work on the design of the next generation of processors and then evaluate and select the best among them. That's one reason why Intel is light years ahead of any competition still left in their market/product domain.



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