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Industry News

Catch up on interesting new discussion and industry news.

    How Google May Rank Websites Based Upon Their Databases Answering Queries

    by Bill Slawski
    Mar 29, 2017 at 6:29 PM
    Imagine that some sites might be ranked by Google based upon how their databases might answer queries. A patent from Google refers to this approach as one that looks at database service requirements to rank large sites such as sites that cover...

    What we lost when sound systems stopped being furniture

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Mar 29, 2017 at 10:49 AM
    Kate Wagner explores How speakers went from statement furniture to unseen tech:

    In today’s wireless age, most want their sound system to be out of sight and out of mind. “If interior designers had their way,” says Scott Orth, director of electroacoustics at Sound United, “there would be no speakers at all.” Orth adds that “the trend among average consumers has been to go smaller for the last thirty years.”

    But there was a time when speakers were as essential a piece of...

    The injustice of the gig economy

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Mar 28, 2017 at 8:50 AM
    Jia Tolentino’s takedown of the gig economy for The New Yorker is so good. From The Gig Economy Celebrates Working Yourself to Death:

    At the root of this is the American obsession with self-reliance, which makes it more acceptable to applaud an individual for working himself to death than to argue that an individual working himself to death is evidence of a flawed economic system. The contrast between the gig economy’s rhetoric (everyone is always connecting, having fun, and killing...

    Google Fred Algorithm Confirmed & Cites Overall Quality Issues

    by rustybrick
    Mar 27, 2017 at 5:35 AM
    As you know, we finally received real confirmation this past Friday on the March 7th/8th update named the Google Fred update, which I believed targeted low value content sites...

    The ethics of “conquering” other planets

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Mar 24, 2017 at 7:39 AM
    I’ve been knee deep in hard sci-fi stories like Red Mars and Babylon’s Ashes over the past few months, so I have a special affinity for stories about space colonization at the moment. David H. Grinspoon’s The logistics and ethics of colonizing the red planet is a really interesting take on the ethics of colonizing a new planet:

    Today on Earth we are grappling with the fact that you cannot “conquer” a planet, even if — especially if — it is your home and your life support system. If we...

    Google May Have Confirmed The Fred Algorithm Update

    by rustybrick
    Mar 24, 2017 at 5:08 AM
    Yesterday, during the AMA with Google session at SMX West, Google's Gary Illyes may have confirmed the Fred algorithm update that targeted low value content on March 7th/8th...

    Google Responds To Allegations Of Former Googler Spamming

    by rustybrick
    Mar 23, 2017
    Several days ago, rumors started surfacing on Twitter that a former Google representation, a senior one, is now playing for the other team - spamming the search engine. Of course, no names were released but supposedly...

    When video games > work

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Mar 22, 2017
    The Economist has an in-depth and very interesting feature about people1 who forego regular employment to live with their parents and play video games instead. The kicker that Escape to another world closes with is quite something…

    A life spent buried in video games, scraping by on meagre pay from irregular work or dependent on others, might seem empty and sad. Whether it is emptier and sadder than one spent buried in finance, accumulating points during long hours at the office while...

    Rogue One as a story about engineering and design ethics

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Mar 22, 2017
    Spoilers abound so proceed with caution, but Rogue One: an ‘Engineering Ethics’ Story is so very good:

    What Galen Erso does is not simply watch a system be built and then whistleblow; he actively shaped the design from its earliest stages considering its ultimate societal impacts. These early design decisions are proactive rather than reactive, which is part of the broader engineering ethics lesson of Rogue One.

    The exploration of how Galen didn’t just walk away but took an...

    Google Posts now gives museums, movies, musicians & sports groups dedicated space in search

    by dannysullivan
    Mar 22, 2017
    Museums, musicians, movies, sports teams and sports leagues are now being given a special area for their content to appear in Google’s search results, through an expansion of the “Posts by Google” program.

    Posts by Google — more commonly called Google Posts — launched last year as an experimental way for selected groups to post information directly on Google’s servers, which in turn appeared in a dedicated area of Google’s search results for relevant queries.

    Google Posts originally...