“There is none. Get over it.” —Scott McNealy on privacy
“At this stage in my life, the thing that really turns me on is competence.”
“Science would be superfluous if the outward appearance and the essence of things directly coincided.”
“Certum est, quia impossibile. (It is certain, because it is impossible.)”
“What the hell is content? Nobody buys content. Real people pay money for music because it means something to them. Being a “content provider” is prostitution work that devalues our art and doesn't satisfy our spirits. Artistic expression has to be provocative. The problem with artists and the Internet: Once their art is reduced to content, they may never have the opportunity to retrieve their souls.''
“Today I want to talk about piracy and music. What is piracy? Piracy is the act of stealing an artist's work without any intention of paying for it. I'm not talking about Napster-type software. I'm talking about major label recording contracts.”
“Linux means never having to delete your love mail.”
“Maturity is when you quit blaming other people for your problems.”
“Who is General Failure, and why is he reading my hard drive?”
—Bob (on Slashdot)
“I'm still freaked out by all this. I just wrote a (bleeping) anthropology paper.”
“My hovercraft is full of eels.”
These days, search engines are praised for their educated guesswork. Each pile of results is presented with an implication: “Here's what we think you want.”
But most serious researchers (i.e., Yours Truly and all Linux Journal readers) often don't want an engine to guess. These users want to search for specific strings—or, as some search engines put it, phrases. These include names, text passages, lines of code, diseases and all other series of words.
On December 3, 1999 and June 27, 2000, I tested fifteen of the most familiar search engines by searching for a relatively unique phrase: “He that by me spreads a wider breast than my own”, which is part of a familiar line from Walt Whitman's Song of Myself. The phrase occurs far from the beginning of the work and can be found in many documents on the Web, including one on my own site, http://www.searls.com/.
It's a tough test. Only those engines that deeply search an enormous range of sites will yield results. The word “breast” is also a common and controversial word, which might invite spurious results.
Testing for strings also isn't easy on the tester, since search engines have different ways of recognizing phrases. Most require quotes. Others (Hotbot, FAST) have pop-out menu commands. One (Yahoo!) requires clicking a radio button in “advanced” search mode. Others (mostly at the bottom in the surveys) don't search phrases at all.
I run this test quite often for my own purposes and rarely record the results. But last December I did record them, and I repeated the test again on June 27—nearly seven months later. This time I added two more tests: one for an obscure blood disorder and the other for a Linux system call. Here are the results:
As you see, FAST won the first search, by a wide margin, just as it did in December. But Google (see Jason Schumaker's “Interview with Sergey Brin”, page ??) is the clear winner of the second and third searches—and didn't do too bad on the first, either.
Near as I could tell, none of the engines fell for the “breast” bait—at least not in phrase search mode. On that one, they all get a passing grade.
Some of the results, however, were amazing. Go.com found “29,024,074 matches” in the first search, but nothing I wanted. The first ten results all related to breastfeeding or breast cancer. No porn, of course. But I did get a banner ad featuring a happy-looking woman in a cleavage bra. “BREAST AUGMENTATION?” it asked. “Looking for breast augmentation from a doctor in your area? CLICK HERE.” Nice guess, guys.
As we can see, search is consolidating as a business category. By the time you read this, Yahoo! will be using Google (in a deal struck one day before this survey). Other partnerships and cross-investments are sure to follow (Lycos recently bought a 15% stake in FAST, for example). My guess is that there will be fewer search engines by the time you read this.
I just hope there aren't fewer good ones.
Doc Searls (firstname.lastname@example.org) is Senior Editor of Linux Journal and co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Tech Tip: Really Simple HTTP Server with Python
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Returning Values from Bash Functions
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
- Rogue Wave Software's Zend Server
- Parsing an RSS News Feed with a Bash Script
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide