Webometric Thoughts

July 10, 2008

Python for API Dummies

Filed under: API,Flickr,Python,Yahoo,workshop — admin @ 6:08 pm

Python is a really simple programming language for the novice programmer. As such I held an afternoon’s “workshop” for a couple of PhD students in my front room:

The aim of the workshop was to provide sufficient information about programming in Python so that at the end of the afternoon the user could:
-Install Python libraries
-Download information through various APIs
-Manipulate the downloaded information.
As it was necessary to create an extensive slide show, covering everything from installing Python to getting data from the Yahoo API, I thought it may potentially be of interest to other novice users who don’t know where to start.

It doesn’t necessarily include the quickest or most efficient way of doing things, but it is simple and does the job.

If you have any questions about specific points, feel free to ask…the questions can’t be more stupid than the questions the PhD students asked…and some of the slides could probably benefit from further explanation.

February 5, 2008

Reflections on Google’s Share Price

Filed under: Google,Microsoft,Yahoo,share price — admin @ 9:55 am

A posting by TechCrunch has caused me to reflect once more on Google’s share price. I have posted on the Google Share price twice previously:
- How quickly could Google stock crash? (when they crossed the $600 mark at the beginning of October)
- Google shares at $700 (at the end of October)
Whilst I initially said that I would (theoretically) sell at $700 and never look back, the rapid growth made me think it would probably be worth hanging around for the $1,000. My first instincts, however, were correct, reminding us once more of the dangers of being too greedy on the stock exchange. Now, with Google shares falling rapidly to $495 the question on everyones lips is how much further will they fall?

Whilst Google shares have lost a third of their value they are only back to their August value. The rapid rise can be seen as a momentary aberration, any big downturn in the economy is yet to show in the share price. So my latest Google share prediction:
The shares will bob around the $500 mark until Microsoft’s buyout of Yahoo is confirmed, at which point it was drop down to the $450 mark (possibly even as low as $400. Extremely slow growth, or even recession in the US will then see shares fall to $350.
What can Google do? Buying Yahoo would be seen as desperation, and I doubt they could match Microsoft’s offer. Basically they have to just keep doing what they are doing and hope that more people don’t start questioning whether or not they are living up to ‘do no evil’. Personally I find myself slowly breaking the Google spell and typing ask.com more often.

February 4, 2008

Google is Unhappy…Good.

Filed under: Google,Microsoft,Monopoly,Yahoo — admin @ 1:21 pm

Personally I wondered how much an effect a Yahoo-Microsoft merger would have on the Google train, but Google’s blog reaction seems to suggest they are definately worried and are going to try and play on consumers’ lingering anti-Microsoft feelings. Although I wonder whether Google should really be playing the anti-monopoly card? Definate case of glass houses.

February 1, 2008

There is only one story: Microsoft offer $44.6bn for Yahoo!

Filed under: Google,Microsoft,Yahoo,live search,search engine — admin @ 1:45 pm

I have not had a chance to check out the blogosphere today, but I am guessing that there is only one big story, Microsoft’s offer of $44.6bn in cash and shares for Yahoo. Whilst the rumour has been spreading for a while that either Google or Microsoft would buy out Yahoo, it is still a shock to read that the offer has been made. Personally I would like to see Yahoo compete successfully as an independent company, but if it has to be bought I would rather see it bought by Microsoft than Google.

Google is too powerful a web presense, especially in the realm of search. Having a single organisation that provides access to all the information on the web doesn’t really bare thinking about, but that is the situation we seem to be (sleep)walking towards. Surely we have passed the point where Google’s success in web search has meant that it has broken its “do no evil” philosophy.

This is the wake-up call that we need to start breaking the Google addiction. Personally I will be heading to Ask.com for my searching…as long as I remember.

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