Mother pleads for public’s assistance

first_imgAdistraught mother from Suddie Village, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), is pleading with the general public to assist her in locating her missing teenage daughter, Ashley Singh.The missing teen, Ashley SinghSharada Ravida said her daughter was last seen on September 9, 2016 at their Suddie Home.The 16-year teen is currently a fifth form student at the Johanna Cecilia Secondary School. The mother described her daughter as slim and dark.The mother of seven explained that her son, who works in the interior, had sent her money via Western Union and her daughter was tasked with documenting the transaction number.According to Ravida, her daughter wrote the wrong numbers and could not remember where she had left the paper. An argument erupted between the two and the mother then threatened to take the girl out of school.“I told her I will take her out from school cause she not learning and she wasting my money, simple numbers she can’t write.”She said after the argument she then went upstairs in search of the paper and upon her return to the lower flat, she discovered the girl missing.The girl’s mother expressed regret at being harsh with her daughter and wants the missing teen to know that she loves her very much. She is therefore asking that Ashley return home so she can reunite with her family.A missing person’s report was filed at the Suddie Police Station and Police are assisting in the search.Anyone with information regarding the teenager’s whereabouts can contact the nearest police station.last_img read more

When Is Design Just Natural?

first_img1.  Moscou and Bogdanove, “A Simple Cipher Governs DNA Recognition by TAL Effectors,” Science, 11 December 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5959, p. 1501, DOI: 10.1126/science.1178817.How does one distinguish intentional design from accidental or natural design?  Your answer probably depends on your worldview.  The above examples find patterns in everything from molecules to galaxies.  An animist or ancient Roman might explain them with references to spirits or the gods.  A materialist will only find intentional design in the Parthenon, the Mona Lisa, and other artificial creations, and ascribe everything else to chance and natural law.  But we are often confronted with puzzles.  Is this rock an arrowhead or an accident of nature?  Is that odd-shaped cloud skywriting?  Non-atheists have additional questions about which phenomena involve God’s intervention.  The fever that afflicted Peter’s mother might have worn off over time; we would consider that a natural healing process.  But when Jesus healed her instantly, that’s a miracle.  Atheists, of course, have no patience with any of this.  Yet their explanations based on chance border on the miraculous sometimes (see article on ICR).  They can go so far as to give a rational person cause to accuse them of holding to their world view in spite of the evidence (12/13/2009).    Intelligent design theory seeks to elucidate the scientific basis for inferring intelligent causes.  It recognizes that many complex patterns can arise in nature without intentionality.  Probably no one except devotees of late-night talk shows about alien conspiracies believes the Saturn hexagon was intelligently designed, even though scientists cannot explain it yet.  Most trust that science will explain it in due time.  But why do they trust science in that case, and not in the case of Parthenon?  Is it only a question of whether humans are involved?  And what is human design, anyway, if humans alone are capable of intelligent design, but arose from non-intelligent causes of chance and natural law?  What do we mean by “natural”?    The core of the intelligent design approach is to look for complex specified information, using the explanatory filter described by Dembski in his books (for synopsis, see article at the IDEA Center).  Only when chance and natural law have been excluded via a rational criterion of plausibility is intelligent design considered.  This presumes, of course, that we can agree on the meanings of chance and natural law.  Sometimes a “natural law” is floated around too loosely.  Is it fair to apply a term like “constructal law” to the ubiquity of the Golden Ratio in nature, or is that a post-hoc fallacy?  That might be like watching a chess game and ascribing the movements of the chess pieces to a natural law we might arbitrarily name the “Checkmate Law” which states that chess pieces converge toward the elimination of the King from the board.  Inventing a law after the fact and calling it “natural” explains nothing.  It’s an anti-explanation.  In the case of the chess game, it ignores the primary cause of the phenomenon – intelligence.  Laws like “natural selection” can be similarly critiqued.  Subjective verbal phrases like “survival of the fittest” lack the mathematical precision of laws in physics.    How, then, do we explain non-artificial patterns like the histone code, and perfectly-aligned crystals in an urchin tooth, and the Golden Ratio spiral in a conch shell?  Each of the words in the phrase complex specified information is significant.  It has to be complex enough to exceed the threshold of chance.  It has to be specified to match an independent pattern.  And it has to be information – perhaps the trickiest word.  Information in one context can be gibberish in another.  Even apparent randomness can be intentional – as in a white-noise generator or some abstract art.  Do we call the DNA code information in the same sense as text in a novel?  Do we call the choreography of the chromosomes information in the same sense as ballet?  Are these just figures of speech?  When are the differences more significant than the similarities?  What is being communicated – and to whom or what?  The Saturn hexagon has no semantics, for instance; it conveys no message, performs no function.  Forces in the atmosphere – perhaps resonances or standing waves – will undoubtedly be found sufficient to explain the pattern once all the factors are known.  The hexagons in a beehive, though, perform a function – they create breeding cells with the maximum volume per packing space, using minimum materials.  Thus we see that information can be semantic or functional.  In either case, it requires foresight and intent to bring component parts together.    We know that intelligence acts with a goal in mind, and organizes parts to fit the goal.  Evolution and “blind nature” lack the ability to foresee ends, or to organize parts toward a goal.  Can we say this consistently?  Does gas and dust conspire to build a star?  Does water and rock and heat conspire to build Old Faithful geyser, in the same sense that calcium carbonate crystals and bridges conspire to build an urchin tooth?  Stars and geysers are improbable natural phenomena, too.  But in those cases, we see a clear continuum of simpler phenomena.  With stars, we see dust clouds of various levels of density, Herbig-Haro objects, and bodies of every size from brown dwarfs to supergiants.  With geysers, we find fumaroles, mudpots, and active hot springs of all sizes up to the great regular spouters.  Each of these falls within the range of chance and known physical laws of thermodynamics.  They also don’t “say” anything; there is no communication between parts, no information shared, no long-range goal that pulls together disparate parts to share a message.  They are like clouds, not skywriting; like ripples, not hieroglyphics.  Even the most elegant natural phenomena, like snowflakes, display the repetitive outcomes of natural laws applied to matter without conveying any meaning.  In a living cell, though, we find aperiodic coded information that is stored and retrieved, and then translated into a separate molecular coding convention (proteins), all with clear observable function as a result.  The coded information has no necessary connection to its medium.  The same information could conceivably be stored in other molecules – in the same sense that a human message could be sent via paper or email (computer geeks will appreciate George Gilder’s explanation of this point on ID the Future).  This means that information is not material.  It is independent from the medium that conveys it.  Moreover, the DNA translation system includes numerous component parts that must all work, or else function stops.  Even though the parts themselves are not intelligent, they show the hallmark of intelligent design – just like we might watch a robot made of metal and plastic using electricity on a factory assembly line and rightly infer it was intelligently designed for the purpose of assembling automobiles.    In Signature in the Cell (06/27/2009 Resource of the Week), Stephen Meyer delved deeply into the problem of how complex specified information – functional information – could have arisen in the molecules of life.  Only after the most rigorous elimination of all possible non-intelligent causes did intelligent design emerge as the best explanation.  But once chance and natural law (or combinations of the two) have been eliminated, and intelligent design accepted as the best (or only) explanation, new questions emerge.  If the apparent intention, foresight and purpose in life points to intelligent design, should we not look at the rest of nature with new eyes?  Why is the Golden Ratio so ubiquitous in nature?  Why do the constants of physics conspire to work together, out of a seemingly infinite range of contingent possibilities, to allow stars, planets, and life to exist?  Why is the Earth so well suited for life?  The Creator that Darwin, Huxley, Tyndall, Haeckel and all the others sought to exclude from scientific explanation has been there all the time.  Secular scientists only chose to look the other way.Exercise:  Look for complex specified information in the 6 examples above.  If intelligent design was involved, when and where was it involved?  Which of these operate robotically without God’s intervention?  Which emerged according to natural laws – and what are the laws?  Which might have started out by intelligent design but become modified naturally over time?  Which imply intelligently-designed initial conditions only?  Try your reasoning on these other patterns in nature: sand dunes, flying seeds (12/03/2009, 10/21/2009), iron filings on a paper over a magnet, a virus packing motor (10/18/2001), planetary rings, binary stars, toxins, river meanders, cilia in the windpipe, wind waves on a field of grass, honeycomb, parallel rock strata (are they fractal? 03/05/2004), meteor showers, the solar cycle, glaciers, volcanoes, dust devils on Mars, Cepheid variables, barred spiral galaxies, a perfect solar eclipse, stalactites, streaks in a cloud chamber, crater chains, ant mounds, woodpecker holes, a packrat midden, an Indian midden, a Venus flytrap, a beaver trap, the musical pattern in wind chimes, bird song, phyllotaxis.  Think of more on your own.(Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Some recent stories provide exercises in differentiating intelligently-caused designs from complex patterns that can arise from natural law.  Here are some examples of designs in science reports; the commentary will discuss criteria for deciding which arise spontaneously without purpose and intent.Saturn hexagon:  The north pole of Saturn shows an odd hexagon-shaped pattern in the clouds that has persisted since at least the Voyager flybys.  Jet Propulsion Lab issued a press release with a new picture of it emerging from the winter darkness.  It was posted as the Dec. 14 Astronomy Picture of the Day.  There’s no good explanation for it yet.  “Scientists are still trying to figure out what causes the hexagon, where it gets and expels its energy and how it has stayed so organized for so long.”Cell cybernetics:  Science reported on Dec. 11 that “A Simple Cipher Governs DNA Recognition by TAL Effectors.”  We normally think of ciphers as a human-based technology.  Moscou and Bogdanove wrote, “Our finding represents a previously unknown mechanism for protein-DNA recognition that explains TAL effector specificity, enables target site prediction, and opens prospects for use of TAL effectors in research and biotechnology.”Genes in 3-D:  Science Daily reported that a “3-D View of Genes-at-Work Is Paradigm Shift in Genetics.”  Scientists from the Babraham Institute are getting glimpses of the 3-D organization of chromosomes in the nucleus.  It’s causing a “paradigm shift in our understanding of how the genome is spatially organised in relation to gene expression.”  There were 14 references to “transcription factories” in the short article.  For example:Highly coordinated chromosomal choreography leads genes and the sequences controlling them, which are often positioned huge distances apart on chromosomes, to these ‘hot spots’.  Once close together within the same transcription factory, genes get switched on (a process called transcription) at an appropriate level at the right time in a specific cell type.  This is the first demonstration that genes encoding proteins with related physiological role visit the same factory.In fact, the article continued, DNA itself is proving to be the most mobile thing in the nucleus, moving the genes to the hot spots where transcription occurs.  The genes almost seem to do a purpose-driven dance: “Having a common goal, such as producing all the components needed to make haemoglobin, could be a factor behind genes gravitating to a particular factory.”Golden Ratio:  The irrational number 1.61803… seems to pop up everywhere in nature: in animal proportions, the pyramids, artichoke heads, conch shells, spiral galaxies, the Mona Lisa and the Parthenon, to name a few.  Science Daily claimed that Adrian Bejan of Duke University knows why.  The ratio “describes a rectangle with a length roughly one and a half times its width.”  Bejan in his “constructal law” claims that “the eyes scan an image the fastest when it is shaped as a golden-ratio rectangle.”    The article continued: “For Bejan, vision and cognition evolved together and are one and the same design as locomotion.  The increased efficiency of information flowing from the world through the eyes to the brain corresponds with the transmission of this information through the branching architecture of nerves and the brain.”  Bejan, who believes that “vision and cognition evolved together and are one and the same design as locomotion,” said something that almost sounds new-age:It is the oneness of vision, cognition and locomotion as the design of the movement of all animals on earth…. The phenomenon of the golden ratio contributes to this understanding the idea that pattern and diversity coexist as integral and necessary features of the evolutionary design of nature.This explanation seems to beg the question of why galaxies and conch shells, which lack vision and cognition, follow this ratio, or why cognitive beings would have converged on the Golden Ratio, and what makes it golden, or satisfying, to the human spirit.  It also fails to explain from a naturalistic or evolutionary perspective what initial conditions in a big-bang explosion would have led to the ubiquity of the Golden Ratio.Update 01/07/2010: Does the Golden Ratio extend to the quantum scale?  PhysOrg reported that resonant modes of scattering neutrons display the same Golden Ratio “famous from art and architecture.”  The article added, “Such discoveries are leading physicists to speculate that the quantum, atomic scale world may have its own underlying order.”Histone code:  “Scientists Take a Step Towards Uncovering the Histone Code,” reported Science Daily.  This refers to protein tags on DNA that affect transcription and are apparently heritable and provide instructions apart from genes.  “Many biologists believe the modifications on histones are a code, analogous to the genetic code,” the article said (see also 07/26/2006, 02/17/2004).Urchin crystal power:  Sea urchins have a remarkable ability to build crystal teeth with perfectly aligned crystals.  PhysOrg explored this tantalizing phenomenon, opening with the teaser, “It’s as if grains of salt were spilled on a rug, yet instead of landing randomly, all wound up with exactly the same angle and rotation.”  The sea urchin begins with an amorphous mass of calcium carbonate like a ball of mud, and ends up with a perfect structure that is the envy of nanotechnologists.  This is achieved through crosslinks that Pupa Gilbert (U of Wisconsin-Madison) said “look exactly like Roman bridges, with long decks, and arched piers.”    What caused this remarkable order?  The article offered its explanation: “Evolution has crafted a clever means of forming hard, complicated crystals, yet the control mechanism remains to be explored.” Gilbert “still expresses wonderment at the biological solution she has observed,” the article noted.  She said, “Maybe one day we will have solar panels inspired by the lowly sea urchin.”last_img read more

SA’s stock exchange lists

first_img6 June 2006South Africa’s only stock exchange, the JSE Ltd, listed on its own exchange on Monday morning.In a momentous occasion in the history of the exchange, guests were joined by Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and wore a variety of hats in memory of the closing day of the old trading floor nearly 10 years ago to the day.By 10.30am the JSE had traded in the same region of trades seen in heavyweight companies BHP Billiton and First Rand.The JSE now joins an elite number of international bourses – including the London and New York stock exchanges, Deutsche Borse, Nasdaq, Euronext, the Australian Stock Exchange, the Singapore Exchange and the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing – that have listed on their own markets.For investors in South Africa and abroad, the move brings heightened transparency and visibility to the trading of JSE shares, which in turn has the potential to improve their liquidity and tradeability.The appearance of the JSE Ltd on the main board will allow international and local investors – including institutional and retail investors – the opportunity to compare the JSE as a listed company against its other listed peers.For brokers, many of whom have been members of the JSE for decades, the listing brings yet another counter onto their books to trade.“For the JSE, the listing brings with it an opportunity to both showcase itself to investors as a well-governed company as well as the opportunity to broaden our shareholder base through a broad-based black economic empowerment initiative that was integral to the listing,” said Russell Loubser, CEO of the newly listed exchange.The broad-based BEE initiative consists of two parts: a Black Shareholder Retention Scheme aimed at retaining existing black shareholders, and a JSE Empowerment Fund aimed at funding education for black people wanting to work in the financial services industry.The initiatives will raise the JSE’s direct black shareholding to over 10%.“This listing firmly entrenches the JSE’s commitment to transformation and allows us to lead by example in every aspect of corporate life, including black economic empowerment, as a critical consideration in the social landscape of South Africa today,” said JSE chairman Humphrey Borkum.“It has taken 10 years of hard work to get the JSE to a stage where it can proudly stand up and be counted amongst its peers as a listed company,” said Loubser. “But if you had to ask any of my team, they’d tell you without hesitation that it’s been worth the wait.”As a listed company, the JSE counter appears in the general financial-investment services sector under the alpha code reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

South Africa’s population

first_imgSouth Africa’s population reflects a nation of diversity, with over 56.5-million people and a wide variety of cultures, languages and religious beliefs.A South African child wears his country’s flag on his face. (Image: Brand South Africa)According to Census 2011 the country’s population is 51.77-million, up from the census 2001 count of 44.8-million. Statistics South Africa’s 2017 mid-year population estimate puts the total at 56.5-million people.Africans are in the majority, making up 79.2% of the population. Coloured and white people each make up 8.9% of the total, and the Indian/Asian population 2.5%. The “other” population group makes up 0.5% of the total.According to Census 2011 data from Statistics South Africa, in 2011 the country’s population was 51 770 560, of which 26 581 769 (51.3%) were female and 25 188 791 (48.7%) were male.Africans are in the majority at just over 41-million, making up 79.2% of the total population. The coloured population is 4 615 401 (8.9%), while there are 4 586 838 (8.9%) whites. The Indian/Asian population stands at 1 286 930 (2.5%). In 2011, “other” was included in the Census, and accounts for 280 454 or 0.5% of the total.SOUTH AFRICA’S POPULATION: CENSUS 2011Population groupNumber% of totalAfrican41 000 93879.2%White4 586 8388.9%Coloured4 615 4018.9%Indian/Asian1 286 9302.5%Other280 4540.5%TOTAL51 770 560100% Sources: South Africa Gateway, Statistics South AfricaWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Brand South Africa urges South Africans to help Clean Up SA

first_imgOn Friday, 18 July – International Mandela Day – citizens across the world will be extending their goodwill to act on Nelson Mandela’s exhortation to “serve every day”. The international campaign to change the world for the better asks individuals and organisations to devote 67 minutes – in honour of Madiba’s 67 years fighting for liberation – of their time to meeting the needs of others.This year, President Jacob Zuma has, as part of the government’s initiative to #CleanUpSA for Mandela Day, challenged South Africans to work towards cleaning and preserving their environments.While it is difficult for ordinary South Africans to tackle air and water pollution, smaller everyday acts are well within our capabilities; one such activity is recycling.Recycling for the economyOf the total waste generated in South Africa annually, just 10% is recycled, yet a whopping 65% of that waste is recyclable. Recycling saves energy; for example recycling 1 ton of paper saves 17 mature trees, 26.498 litres of water, 2.3m3 of landfill space, 238.48 litres of oil, and 4000 kilowatt hours of electricity.Recycling also helps boost the economy by producing jobs; in 2011 waste management contributed over R2.4-billion of South Africa’s gross domestic product, while in 2010, nearly more than 1.25 million tons of plastic were recycled, providing employment for nearly 40 000 people.Recycling has numerous other benefits, one of which is immediately visible; reducing unsightly litter such as plastic bags and old newspapers. Simply picking up and disposing correctly of litter makes an immediate difference to our environment.Organisations around South Africa have already answered the President’s call to help clean up South Africa; Miller Matola – CEO of Brand South Africa is delighted with initiatives that have already kick-started around the country in anticipation of International Mandela Day. He says, “All South Africans – young and old, tall and short and black and white alike are called to rise beyond their political, religious or any other inhibitive posture and dedicate 67 minutes to honour the father of our democracy. This is a call that is about small deeds that make a huge difference while encouraging our people to extend their good habits to their external environment.“Greening our environment should not only be about planting trees but also about raising the consciousness of society on the impact of good habits. I choose to remember Madiba this way and I urge my fellow citizens to rise up to change the media headlines to reflect the better South Africa we live in.”This Mandela Day, Brand South Africa joins the international community and all South Africans as we move forward to make the world a cleaner, better place for all.{loadposition press_release}last_img read more

Glenn Harsh, Oct. 29

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Harvest is progressing well. We are within a day of being done with soybeans. Unfortunately that is in about five or six little fields.We started on corn, but we have a ways to go. So far yields are very good. I had a couple of poorer fields that got planted later and they were right around 50 bushels. The rest of my fields have been in the 60s with some fields going 68 or 69 bushels so the yields were very good for the vast majority of the soybeans. We have only done a couple of corn fields. One was the north side of 200 and the other one we really pushed this year and it was over 250. I am interested to see what our more average fields are doing, but we haven’t made it that far yet.We got .9-inch of rain at the home farm over the weekend. I’m not sure other farms got quite that much. With being on tracks, we are going to a farm with a gravel entrance we can park the trucks on that we are going to try later this afternoon.The first field of beans I took off had some stink bug damage. We got out of that until some of the later fields where we found some more stink bug damage. These fields were scouted and they must have come in really late in the season. It was a little disheartening when you try to scout through the season and then you see something still come in and do damage to your crop. For us it was not a major issue, though. We may have had a couple of loads that could have had some issues if we were hauling them in, but we are not in too bad of shape. I have heard about some loads getting rejected and we haven’t had anything to that magnitude.We had to haul some landlord crop in last week and we were limited on which elevators we went to. They got us through fairly quickly. We did have to wait maybe an hour or an hour and a half on some loads. We have enough bins that we can hold almost everything and we don’t have to mess with it a whole lot.We are getting the cover crops seeded with a hi-boy in the corn. I can see each of the species growing out there in the six-way mix and that is looking good. Behind the soybeans we use a Turbo-Seeder behind soybeans and the first cover crop that we put in is coming up there also.last_img read more

That’s a Geocache?!? The Unending Evolution of Geocaches

first_imgTraditional geocacheFor most, the evolution of the geocache container begins with a sturdy great-great-great-grandfather geocache.  It’s the iconic metal ammo can. But in one decade of geocaching, the geocache family tree branched off into dozens of directions.Each branch embodies the spirit of evolution.  Geocaches now blend more and more into their natural environment.  Say you place a cache on the outskirts of an estuary?  There’s a bird geocache for that.  You’re considering an urban cache on a park bench?  We’ve heard of magnetic microcaches that resemble gum for that.Take a quick look at the picture below on the left.  Guess how many geocaches are in that picture?  Ok, I know there are a few caveats. There can only be one geocache every tenth of a mile and none of these are activated, but how many possible geocaches do you see? The answer is… six. The bird, those pinecones, that rock, even two of the sticks are actually geocaches.How many geocaches are hidden in this pictureJust enough room for a logGeocaches are not the only part of the geocaching equation to evolve.  Geocachers developed a keener “geo-sense” over the past decade.  Say that you placed a corn cob shaped cache in field of corn… the cache will be found.A cache like this one pictured at the bottom of the page is all in a days work for an average cacher.I’d love to hear your most difficult find.  How many DNF’s did you log before uncovering the cache?  Let us know, just post a comment to this blog.Thermometer reveals a geocacheShare with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedThe evolution of geocachesNovember 19, 2019In “Learn”Rubik’s Cache (GC5YGFM) – Geocache of the WeekJuly 30, 2015In “Geocache of the Week”350 miles, all for a smiley. — Munich – Venice (GC1FPN1) — Geocache of the WeekJune 12, 2013In “Community”last_img read more

Real-Time Search Startups on Google/Bing/Twitter News: Who Will Prevail, Who Will Profit?

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… jolie odell A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Is today’s news of major search engines’ integration of Twitter posts in search results the herald of a mass extinction or a mass acquisition?According to tonight’s conversations with key players in the space, the day’s events and announcements could spell either or both. Every real-time search engine we spoke to has expressed every intention of weathering the storm on their current strategies, all of which center on providing an excellent UX though excellent product development. And all see the day’s events as a validation of years of concentrated effort. But who will prevail, and who will profit?We spoke tonight with Tobias Peggs of OneRiot, Gerry Campbell of Collecta, and Bill York of Wowd. We’ve had in-depth conversations with each of these real-time search engines in the past, and we’re indebted to them for their insight.Gut ReactionsUniversally, these startups said that hearing today’s Google/Microsoft/Twitter news was a welcome validation of their years of perseverance in real-time search.“It’s super exciting,” siad Peggs. “There’s been one way to search the web for 10 years, and we’re looking at a total revolution in the way that people find information. It’s a huge change in the industry. To see that feeling validated is awesome.”According to York, “I don’t think we could ask for anything better than an endorsement from the major players. This is nothing but good for us. Back when I started, the marketplace was not very receptive to a new strategy.” York continued to say that he supported mainstream exploration of the real-time space, with the telltale caveat, “even if it means licensing someone else’s information and community.”Campbell said this new information is something Collecta has built into their corporate strategy. “This is something we heard rumors on and had anticipated. It was fully expected. Having been involved with one of the giants [AltaVista] at one time, it’s quite obvious. It’s something we’ve anticipated and part of how we structured our company.”Thoughts on Product DevelopmentAll the startups in real-time search have taken various approaches to the monumental task of indexing the real-time web. Collecta has employed the XMPP technology that powers IM clients in order to push streams of information. OneRiot has a fascinating algorithm that indexes tweet content, links in tweets, and the content of the linked-to pages to serve relevant results. And Wowd has developed a SETI@Home-like distributed computing model to effectively harness and parse the dataset created by users of real-time technologies.Each company is proud of its hard-won advances and speculated on how Google and Microsoft will handle the data.Campbell told us, “I can’t say Google will bring to real-time search. But it makes sense that any dataset will be part of their approach. This is the largest corpus of real-time data that has not been accessible. As a search practitioner, I think they’re going to keep on with their ranking approach.”York added that nothing unforeseen has yet been announced. “The Twitter thing, that’s the kind of thing people have been expecting.”But he also talked about the challenges of parsing real-time user-generated content. “I think the data stream is broader and shorter. There’s more and more real time, and you need different architecture to keep up with it. It’s important to have real filtering applied to a noisy, low-value data stream. We believe people are the key to finding the good stuff.”“Knowing what goes into the product is quite eye-opening,” said Peggs. “There’s a tremendous lot of work to do once you’ve got tweets containing links, to process that information in real time and index the content on the page and render results based on content rather than just tweets. It’s relatively easy for someone to spam Twitter with irrelevant links; but you’ve got to follow the links and index the pages and search against the content of the pages, not just the 140-character tweets. You also have to link to results based on relevancy, not just based on retweets.”Follow the MoneyThe opportunities for monetizing a new and powerful stream of Google- and Bing-driven traffic are both exciting and confounding for these startups, some of which have not yet put into play their own ideas for generating revenue.As York noted, Google’s and Microsoft’s entry into real-time search represents a shift in the marketplace from these startups and their technology being a geek’s plaything to being a new way to direct user attention and serve powerfully relevant advertising.“Google is in the enviable position of having a high profit margin in the search business itself,” he said. “It does fit their strategy to have as many eyeballs as possible, to get more people doing more stuff. We’re interested more in matching personal interest profiles.”Also, as Peggs noted, “OneRiot has an API that allows anyone to incorporate our results. We also have a real-time ad model.”Collecta also has rolled out two APIs, one for general search results from the real-time web and one for XMPP-powered streaming data. Campbell has also hinted that their monetization plans are innovative, but his team has not yet released specifics.“Having been involved in this growth of paid search several times over,” said Campbell, “the creation of new technology creates new business opportunity. The monetization of search was a redefinition of online business models: You can advertise to users without being slimy. There’s now an opportunity to make users even happier without distracting them from the page.”Strategy: Beyond “Get Acquired Or Die”The startups in the real-time search space also universally expressed a commitment to current business strategies. Some seemed to have clearer exit goals than others, but all believe that their unique focuses on tech and product will allow them to survive the intrusion of Microsoft and Google into their arena.Campbell, like many of his cohorts at other startups, noted that Twitter is a small segment of the available content sources for real-time web information. He also said, “Engines that are based solely on Twitter are probably more dead-on in terms of competition [with Google]. The less-funded companies are in a position where they have to do something more clever and unique.”Collecta, he said, is still figuring out their role in the story. “We are a push search engine,” he told us. ‘That is increasingly our defining characteristic. The perception of speed is critical, but it’s not our most unique characteristic. Because we’re based on XMPP, the chat protocol, we’re pushing results as soon as possible.”Said Peggs, “Our strategy doesn’t change. We’re focused on producing the most relevant web results based on not just Twitter, but also Digg and other services – a much wider pulse of the real-time web on the back end. And we continue to distribute those through our API.”What’s to Come for Real-Time Search StartupsEvery single startup we spoke to tonight expressed some trepidation about things to come.“What happens to the bubble of startups in this space?” asked Campbell. “I hope they’ve had the foresight to see this through.”“It doesn’t really change our strategy,” said a confident Peggs. “Two years ago, when you explained how this would change search, they looked at you like you were crazy.”York’s assessment of Wowd’s place as an open-sourced approach to a problem now being tackled by major corporations was also optimistic. “When you’re a startup company competing with established players, there are always reasons to be cautious. We believe the approach we’re taking is a great way to go. It’s different, even than what you’ve heard today. We think this approach isn’t a gimmick; it is a fundamentally different approach.”The bottom line, as in all verticals, is that once the major leagues take interest, some startups will sink and some will swim. Some will be acquired, and some will fail. Some may survive long enough to pose a legitimate challenge to the dominant players, but this circumstance is less likely.Let us know your prognoses in the comments, and stay tuned for developing coverage of this space and these startups from ReadWriteWeb.center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Real-Time Web#web Related Posts last_img read more


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