CA’s “Do Not Track Bill” seems good i

CA’s “Do Not Track Bill” seems good in theory, yet detrimental in practice. Are current settings enough? @legalzoom


Facebook Search: Delivering a True Personalized Search


Hats off to John Battelle on this SearchBlog post.  The possibilities of a Facebook Search seem extremely feasible and valuable to Facebook albeit detrimental to Google.  A Facebook personalized search in the backdrop of Bing would deliver a heavy blow to Google’s command on the search industry.  It will be interesting to see if the integration of Google+ into Google searches will act as a catalyst, influencing Facebook’s decision to enter the search market and further compete toe-to-toe with Google.  For now all you can do is ponder the possibility with this great overview provided in Mr. Battelle’s post:

Dialing in from the department of Pure Speculation…

As we all attempt to digest the implications of last week’s Google+ integration, I’ve also be thinking about Facebook’s next moves. There’s been plenty of speculation in the past that Facebook might compete with Google directly – by creating a full web search engine. After all, with the Open Graph and in particular, all those Like buttons, Facebook is getting a pretty good proxy of pages across the web, and indexing those pages in some way might prove pretty useful.

But I don’t think Facebook will create a search engine, at least not in the way we think about search today. For “traditional” web search, Facebook can lean on its partner Microsoft, which has a very good product in Bing. I find it more interesting to think about what “search problem” Facebook might solve in the future that Google simply can’t.

And that problem could be the very same problem (or opportunity) that Google can’t currently solve for, the very same problem that drove Google to integrate Google+ into its main search index: that of personalized search.

As I wrote over the past week, I believe the dominant search paradigm – that of crawling a free and open web, then displaying the best results for any particular query – has been broken by the rise of Facebook on the one hand, and the app economy on the other. Both of these developments are driven by personalization – the rise of “social.”

Both Facebook and the app economy are invisible to Google’s crawlers. To be fair, there are billions of Facebook pages in Google’s index, but it’s near impossible to “organize them and make them universally available” without Facebook’s secret sauce (its social graph and related logged in data). This is what those 2009 negotiations broke down over, after all.

The app economy, on the other hand, is just plain invisible to anyone. Sure, you can go to one of ten or so app stores and search for apps to use, but you sure can’t search apps the way you search, say, a web site. Why? First, the use case of apps, for the most part, is entirely personal, so apps have not been built to be “searchable.” I find this extremely frustrating, because why wouldn’t I want to “Google” the hundreds of rides and runs I’ve logged on my GPS app, as one example?

Secondly, the app economy is invisible to Google because data use policies of the dominant app universe – Apple – make it nearly impossible to create a navigable link economy between apps, so developers simply don’t do it. And as we all know, without a navigable link economy, “traditional” search breaks down.

Now, this link economy may well be rebuilt in a way that can be crawled, through up and coming standards like HTML5 and Telehash. But it’s going to take a lot of time for the app world to migrate to these standards, and I don’t know that open standards like these will necessarily win. Not when there’s a platform that already exists that can tie them together.

What platform is that, you might ask? Why, Facebook, of course.

Stick with me here. Imagine a world where the majority of app builders integrate with Facebook’s Open Graph, instrumenting your personal data through Facebook such that your data becomes searchable. (If you think that’s crazy, remember how most major companies and app services have already fallen all over themselves to leverage Open Graph). Then, all that data is hoovered into Facebook’s “search index”, and integrated with your personal social graph. Facebook then builds an interface to all you app data, add in your Facebook social graph data, and then perhaps tosses in a side of Bing so you can have the whole web as a backdrop, should you care to.

Voila – you’ve got yourself a truly personalized new kind of search engine. A Facebook search engine, one that searches your world, apps, Facebook and all.

Strangers things will probably happen. What do you think?


This was originally published by John Battelle on January 16, 2012

Tech Giants Google and Oracle are set to Battle Patent Dispute


 The long-awaited Google-Oracle trial will take place in mid-March.

In case you’ve forgotten, the legal dispute is about patents. Oracle brought a patent infringement suit against Google over Java, which is used on Google’s Android operating systems.

Tech company Sun Microsystems was the original creator of Java. Oracle acquired Sun in 2010.

Google defended its use of Java by saying it developed a relationship with Sun prior to Oracle’s ownership. Specifically, the company claimed Sun liked Android and its ability to “spread news and word about Java,” reports ZDNet.

But just because Sun was fine with Google’s Java use doesn’t mean there wasn’t any patent infringement.

The case will be tried in three different phases, in accordance with federal Judge William Alsup’s pretrial order:

  • Phase 1: This phase will be only about liability and defenses for copyright claims. Each side will have 16 hours to present evidence. A jury will render a verdict on these issues after closing arguments are made.
  • Phase 2: This phase will be all about patent issues. Each side will have 12 hours to present evidence. A jury will then render a second verdict on these claims.
  • Phase 3: This phase might not be necessary at all – Judge Alsup is setting this aside for any remaining issues including damages and willfulness. Each side will only get 8 hours to present evidence.

It seems that the two Silicon Valley giants will finally get their day in court. Oracle first filed the suit in August 2010, reports PC World.

Still, don’t hold your breath. According to the order, the Google-Oracle trial is set to start on or after March 19. It’s possible the trial may be delayed.


This article by Cynthia Hsu originally appeared on FindLaw’s In-House Blog.

Making It Rain: What Law School Fails at Teaching Students

Making It Rain: What Law School Fails at Teaching Students

As a law student, this article could not be more on point.  After a successful year and a half of going through the motions of law school, I have realized one thing:  You can learn all you want, but if you cannot market and do not understand client relations, you will be hung out to dry.  Law firms fail to recognize this in acquiring talent and merely make this an afterthought with the annual performance review, which makes little sense since they have made a major investment in bringing a new attorney on staff.  As a law firm, I would really put an emphasis on this rather than the traditional GPA and class rank, because the ability to understand and implement Internet marketing and marketing to attract clients and a “following” will surely set apart associates fighting for a piece of the pie.

Above The Law: Law School Professionals Want Bill Robertson to Put a Sock in It

Above The Law: Law School Professionals Want Bill Robertson to Put a Sock in It Law School Professional Law School Professionals Want Bill Robinson to Put a Sock in It: