September 01, 2004

Tough Choice: Apple Expo or Republican Gala

Forgoing watching Arnold at the RNC last night, I tuned in instead to the streaming video keynote from the Apple Expo 2004 in Paris. It was the first public demonstration of the Tiger OS and several other hardware and software products. For something to really rock your world, take a look at the new IMac G5.

The new IMac comes in 17'' and 20'' models. Because it's only two inches think, you're left looking under the desk trying to find the box. This looks to be a system designed for those wishing to reduce the clutter in their lives and get down to business.

Of particular note to me was the demo of the Tiger operating system (OSX 10.4). Tiger includes a nifty Automator for automating common workflow processes, Safari RSS for automating RSS news aggregation, and Spotlight for desktop and network searching, and numerous other "I have to have this" features.

Type in someone's name in a Spotlight search box and it will instantly retrieve all kinds of documents including email messages, presentations, text files, pictures, and address book contacts. While not offering true faceted searching, you can use a simple dropdown to filter by type or other characteristics. What separates Spotlight from the competition is its full content searching of documents and integrated searching of document metadata. From thousands of cryptic files names, it will retrieve, for example a presentation authored by the name you entered. Spotlight is a significant step toward a truly integrated search of one's personal world, business environment, and the Internet.

Ironically, news arrived that same day that Microsoft's new WinFS advanced file search for Longhorn will be delayed until 2006.

Posted by Ray Matthews on September 01, 2004 at 08:41 AM | | Comments (0) | Send this story to a friend!

October 30, 2003

The Information Big Bang

The growth of information is mind numbing even to information professionals. Last year, in 2002 alone, the size of new information in print, film, magnetic, and optical storage media amounted to about 5 exabytes OR the equivalent of the information contained in half a million new libraries the size of the Library of Congress print collections OR the equivalent of all words ever spoken by human beings.

This is the conclusion of the faculty and students at at the School of Information Management and Systems at the University of California at Berkeley in How much information 2003?, a fascinating report released on October 27, 2003.

The study attempts to estimate how much new information is created each year. New stored information has grown about 30% a year between 1999 and 2002.

Only a small portion of the total is published to the web with the telephone and email accounting for much larger information flows. The surface web (fixed web pages) is about 167 terabytes in size or about 17 Library of Congress print collections. That's a phenomonal amount of information, but your favorite search engine only scratches the surface of available information. BrightPlantet estimates that the deep web (the database driven websites that create web pages on demand) is 400 to 450 times larger or between 66,800 and 91,850 terabytes.

As of June 23, 2003, Phil Wolff of Blogcount.com estimates that there are 2.4 to 2.9 million active web logs. Lest the heads of you bloggers swell too much, the size of this "active blogosphere" is only about 81 GB or the amount that you might fit on your personal computer's hard drive.

Read the: 2003 study | 2000 study

Posted by Ray Matthews on October 30, 2003 at 12:29 PM | | Comments (0) | Send this story to a friend!