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Google's Search Share Shrinking

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 9:00 PM

Lance Whitney reports:

Looking at the overall search engine market from May 2010 to May 2011, Compete found that Google has lost close to 16 percent of its share, dropping to 63.6 percent from 73.9 percent. At the same time, Microsoft grew its share by 75 percent, jumping to 17 percent from 9.7 percent.

The other three search engines tracked—Yahoo, Ask, and AOL—grew only slighty over the past year, showing that most of Bing's gain has been at the expense of Google.

Not surprising. After Google unceremoniously (and for reasons Google refused to confirm or verify) terminated OFB's advertising account and walked off with unpaid ad revenues they owed us, I decided to switch to Bing. Much to my surprise, it turns out Bing has some nifty bells and whistles I've come to really like.

What is really notable, though, is that Google is the only major search engine to lose market share year over year. Inexplicably, also-rans Ask.com and AOL made small gains. Something is afoot.

The Waste Land for iPad

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 5:17 AM

This looks just too good. The real value of an e-book is finding ways to do things with a book that a normal book can't do. I think this might be such an e-book.

Bad Christian Art

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 8:06 PM

Tony Woodlief writes on the tendency of Christians to pass off garbage as “Christian art:”

Consider, for example, some common sins of the Christian writer:

Neat resolution: You can find it on the shelves of your local Christian bookstore: the wayward son comes to Christ, the villain is shamed, love (which deftly avoids pre-marital sex) blossoms, and the right people praise God in the end. Perhaps best of all, we learn Why This All Happened.

The article offers a very cogent analysis of the problems with Christian books and movies (most of which also apply equally well to Christian music). The Christian artist, if anything, should feel less free to pass off half-baked art, particularly if they are going to claim to be creating “Christian” works.

Details Make the Difference

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 1:30 AM

The thing that makes Apple different is the sort of details Apple pays attention to. Amidst the headlining features Cupertino unveiled this week, they added an option in the iTunes sharing preference tab to keep play counts updated between devices synchronized by iTunes Home Sharing. Finally — this is something I've wanted to see for years.

Accordance for iPad

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 4:34 AM

I've been testing Accordance's iPhone and iPad app since it first appeared at the end of 2010. With the advent of synchronization with the desktop version of the software, anyone looking for serious Bible software for iOS devices really should download a free copy.

Having Calvin's commentaries, Keil and Delitzsch, NIBC, Word Biblical Commentary and (for quick reference) the ESV Study Bible all available on a device the size of the iPad is pretty amazing. As much as I still love real, paper books, Accordance for iPad really makes it easy to use these resources all the more, since they are now always with me.

Mac Malware

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 2:51 AM

There is a lot of chatter today about “Mac Defender,” a trojan horse pretending to be anti-malware software for the Mac. Gruber summarizes the situation well:

Trojans aren't a new problem on Mac OS X — trick a user into installing an app with admin privileges and the game's over. Mac Defender isn't an indication that Mac users need anti-malware software — in fact, the reason it appears to be succeeding is that it preys on uninformed users' belief that they might need anti-malware software.

The software does not appear to be making use of any exploits, but rather works by convincing people that they need the program and then getting them to give it legitimate access to the computer. Ultimately, even the most impenetrable security system will fail if the users of that system can be convinced to open the front door and allow something malicious in. Remember the original Trojan Horse?

Moral of the story: beware of Greeks bearing gifts. Don't take installing software that requires giving your administrative password lightly. This is a matter of social engineering (much like Facebook phishing scams) and not a symptom of any flaw in Mac OS X. If you feel uncomfortable making that sort of judgment about security yourself, let Apple do the work for you by using the Mac App Store to download software.

The Combination is What Makes the Cross

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 4:07 AM

I meant to post this Bono quote on here months ago:

There's nothing hippie about my picture of Christ. The Gospels paint a picture of a very demanding, sometimes divisive love, but love it is. I accept the Old Testament as more of an action movie: blood, car chases, evacuations, a lot of special effects, seas dividing, mass murder, adultery. The children of God are running amok, wayward. Maybe that's why they're so relatable. But the way we would see it, those of us who are trying to figure out our Christian conundrum, is that the God of the Old Testament is like the journey from stern father to friend. When you're a child, you need clear directions and some strict rules. But with Christ, we have access in a one-to-one relationship, for, as in the Old Testament, it was more one of worship and awe, a vertical relationship. The New Testament, on the other hand, we look across at a Jesus who looks familiar, horizontal. The combination is what makes the Cross.

Well said.

Happy Easter

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 8:27 PM

He is risen!

Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.

Don't Be Evil

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 1:32 AM

Over on Engadget, Vlad Savov writes:

Dump the X10s and 2Xs from the portfolio of real Android devices — and Google can do that by denying them access to its non-open source products like Gmail, Maps, and the all-important Android Market — and give us some respite from having to worry if the next Android will be a rampant robot or a dithering dud. Custom skins can still live on, but it's high time Google lived up to its responsibility of ensuring they're up to scratch before associating its mobile brand with their final product. Such a move may dent the company's valuable reputation as a do-gooder, but if it helps the even more valuable Android OS keep its course toward world domination, surely it'd qualify to be called a good thing in and of itself?

I think Savov's only mistake is that such a move would necessarily dent Google's reputation. Early on, Google basically promised just such a tact: for phones to receive the full “Google Experience” of Maps, Market, etc., they had to meet certain standards. That was reasonable: the base OS was truly Free Software, but Google did not need to worry about tarnishing its name with “Google phones” that were garbage. Somewhere along the line, however, Google lost its resolve and we ended up with such unfortunate choices as otherwise excellent Galaxy S phones held back by buggy Bing apps in lieu of Google's suite.

Refusing to provide the proprietary bits of Android for substandard phones strikes me as a much better solution than Google's new choice of holding back the core, allegedly Open Source system from everyone. Google now looks like it is playing a bait-and-switch game; if it went back to its original policy, it could instead relate its actions to similar, generally accepted tactics of restrictions on trademarks and binaries used by Free Software giants such as Red Hat and Mozilla.

Whan That Aprill

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 6:48 PM

Personally, I longen to read this in April.

Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours yronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
That slepen al the nyght with open ye
(So priketh hem Nature in hir corages);
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages
And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes
To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;
And specially from every shires ende
Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende,
The hooly blisful martir for to seke
That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seeke.

You are viewing page 35 of 201.