Friday, November 4, 2011

Morning Brief: LG tries to get back in the game; Siri goes down, thousands of iPhone users get lonely; Google changes algorithm to try and achieve real-time results

Lots of interesting stories from last night to summarize this morning. One of the common themes, though, is that while it is OK to make mistakes, it is most important that you know where your company is trying to go.

LG Electronics shares dove yesterday 14 percent after the company reported continued losses due to their failing cellphone business. As The GuardianLG cellphone reports, LG, which makes both Android and Windows Phone handsets, has seen its share of the business decline dramatically.
LG's handset business has reported nearly 1tn won in losses over the past six consecutive quarters, as it has failed to introduce compelling models to challenge the likes of Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy line, both of which have significant shares of the smartphone market.

Things remain much better over at Apple, of course. But yesterday users of Apple's new iPhone 4S were surprised to find that their new personal assistant, Siri, was down.

In typical fashion, Apple was tight lipped about the outage which lasted a few hours.

I suppose one would expect Apple to be a bit secretive about things, but a service outage is something that requires an immediate response. Did they not learn anything from RIM's nightmare from a few weeks ago?

I suspect that Apple knew what the problem was (specific servers) and that the outage would be temporary.

In the meantime, both Fox and the WSJ (both Murdoch papers) are harping about battery issues with the iPhone 4S. I find this interesting since the issues are minor, and most importantly, have already been addressed though the new beta that was released earlier this week to developers. (I find it interesting how many tech writers report on these things but have not bothered to become Apple developers themselves so they can report on these betas.)

Why the urge from the Murdoch press to dump on Apple? Strange.

Google yesterday made changes to their algorithm in an attempt to make their search results more timely. The NYT wrote last night that the changes are an attempt to achieve real time search results.
The new algorithm is a recognition that Google, whose dominance depends on providing the most useful results, is being increasingly challenged by sites like Twitter and Facebook, which have trained people to expect to be constantly updated with seconds-old news. It is also a reflection of how people are using the Web as a real-time news feed: if, for example, you search for a baseball score, you probably want to find out the score of a game being played right now, not last week, which is what Google often gave you.
I tested out Google last night by typing in a headline I had written just a couple hours earlier to see if it would show up.

It did, along with a couple of media news aggregation sites that had stolen my story. What irked me was that Google placed one of the aggregation sites ahead of TNM, the original source.

Even this wouldn't have bothered me were it not for the fact that Google continues to deny that sites like TNM are, in fact, news sites, whereas aggregation sites, that do not generate any original copy are considered news sources.

I write, they steal, they get the traffic. Thanks Google.

Other news: