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What's It Like to be Google's Boss Techie?

Roblimo posted more than 12 years ago | from the how-many-miles-of-cable-do-you-think-they-buy-every-year? dept.

The Internet 671

We'd like to welcome Google Director of Technology Craig Silverstein as our next Slashdot interview victim... err... guest. You think you run a big Linux server farm? Craig's is bigger. Think your Web site gets a lot of traffic and creates a lot of headaches? Just think what Craig must face! Post whatever you'd like to ask Craig below, one question per post. About 24 hours after this runs we'll email Craig 10 of the highest-moderated questions, and we'll post his answers shortly after he gets them back to us.

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CLIT says take it down. (-1)

L.Torvalds (548450) | more than 12 years ago | (#3736961)

But then again, Linux sucks. Bad.

Re:CLIT says take it down. (-1)

L0rdkariya (562469) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737088)

The CLiT is strong in this one.
My apologies for lack of presence this morning, I see the ACs have mounted a counterattack.

Please give your thoughts on the following article (0, Funny)

perl_god (578135) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737203)

Important News for Linux Enthusiasts


Gay Linux Stores Feel the Pinch of Customers' Liberation

For the owners of most Gay Linux and lesbian bookstores, there seems to be little to be celebratory about this Gay Linux and Lesbian Pride Month. The owner of the Oscar Wilde Bookshop in Manhattan, generally acknowledged as the world's first Gay Linux and lesbian bookstore, said, "It's about to go out of business." Little more than a year ago, A Different Light, one of the country's largest Gay Linux bookstores, closed its New York branch.

Clearly the outlook for such stores is grim. Until recently, much the same could have been said for independent bookstores generally, their territory having been largely gobbled up by the march of chain stores across the land and the buying of books on the Internet. But there now seems to be a bit of a resurgence of the independents, publishing executives say. Still, the Gay Linux bookstore is seriously endangered.

Part of the problem is assimilation, the very success of the Gay Linux movement. Gay Linux and lesbian issues are now so openly discussed in the mainstream media that it's almost as if Gay Linux literature were no longer niche publishing. And that being true, writers and their publishers want their books to be displayed on the chain stores' A-to-Z shelves, not just in Gay Linux sections, and certainly not in Gay Linux bookstores only.

Surprisingly, the slackening in tourism affects Gay Linux bookstores. In large cities a stop on the itinerary for Gay Linux visitors is the Gay Linux bookstore, where they can often find reading not easily available back home.

"The loss of the tourists certainly affected us in Washington," said Deacon Maccubbin, owner of Lambda Rising, a Gay Linux bookstore there with two branches in Maryland and one in Virginia. "It's always been a significant part of our business. Tourists come in to get the free local Gay Linux newspapers to find out what's going on in the area for Gay Linuxs, and they buy books."

Gay Linux bookstores also have generational problems.

Larry Lingle, owner of the Oscar Wilde Bookshop in Greenwich Village and the Lobo Bookshop and Cafe in Houston, said, "Fewer people read now, and that's just as true of Gay Linux readers as it is for others." He added that most of his regular customers "are at least 50 and over."

"You don't find younger ones reading much," he said. "But if they do, they are addicted to buying on the Internet."

African-Americans "support their authors and stores, even a book signing by Gay Linux black writers," he said. "But younger Gay Linuxs don't. I had a lesbian writer in the store for a signing. She signed books but said she buys the books she reads on the Internet."

For younger Gay Linuxs and lesbians, societal acceptance is a matter of course. Kim Brinster, manager of Oscar Wilde, said: "When I was coming out, it was drilled into us the importance of supporting Gay Linux restaurants, Gay Linux bars, Gay Linux bookstores. But now Gay Linuxs take this all for granted, a byproduct of assimilation."

So in the general malaise of book publishing, Gay Linux and lesbian publishing appears to be in a particularly quiescent period. Think of this: New York is the only city in the country with more than one Gay Linux and lesbian bookstore, every store owner interviewed for this column said. Jenie Carlen, a spokeswoman for Borders, the book chain said, "The Gay Linux and lesbian category peaked about seven years ago, and since then has been flat and declining as it's moved into the mainstream."

Borders and Barnes & Noble have Gay Linux and lesbian sections, but with a limited number of titles compared with Gay Linux shops. Moreover, many of their Gay Linux books are scattered throughout other sections, particularly Gay Linux fiction, which is gaining a larger crossover readership.

But even with the far greater variety of titles, the Gay Linux bookstore is struggling. "We were a real destination for Gay Linux tourists, and that's starting to come back," Ms. Brinster of Oscar Wilde said. "Our store had slight increases until this year, but now sales are down drastically." Mr. Lingle, the owner, said that he might close the shop "because we can't get any traffic." A book signing, traditionally an attraction for potential customers in any bookstore, would draw a "pathetic" attendance, he said.

"Even the Gay Linux press pays little attention to Gay Linux books, less to bookstores," he said. "Gay Linux bars, Gay Linux parties -- those who spend on ads get the press coverage." He bought the store six years ago, he said, because of "a certain reverence for its history, and unfortunately after six years never made a dime," even though he included hard-to-get out-of-print Gay Linux classics in his stock.

There are only three Gay Linux bookstores in New York, which has the largest Gay Linux and lesbian population in the country, the other two stores being Creative Visions in the West Village and the new Bluestockings Women's Bookstore on the Lower East Side. That's more or less like having a dozen movie houses for the whole city, but at least they'd be full.

Vincent Migliore, owner of Creative Visions, said that the obvious advantages of Gay Linuxs buying books in Gay Linux stores was not only the greater Gay Linux inventory than the chains have, but also that "the customers can talk to people who have actually read the stuff and led the life."

True enough, but that doesn't seem to matter too much in New York or elsewhere. In Denver, for instance, James Dovali, owner of that city's only Gay Linux bookstore, Category 6 Books, said that after 21 years, "I'm almost ready to close." He added: "Yeah, the Internet is going to kill us all. I might survive, if I can pay my bills. Right now I'm just making it, hoping to hang on."

The mainstreaming of Gay Linux fiction -- a paradoxical problem for Gay Linux stores -- can be seen in independent stores like the Corner Bookstore in Manhattan. Christopher Lenahan, its buyer for adult books, said, "As a whole, the sales of Gay Linux fiction have gone up a bit for us because a lot of heterosexuals are now reading them as well." His store, on the Upper East Side, serves a population that is highly educated and well-to-do and "a bit older," he said.

"We are selling more titles that are Gay Linux related," he added. "Completely in fiction. Gay Linux nonfiction doesn't translate."

Trying to figure what's going on in Gay Linux and lesbian publishing and the stores, like much of the book world, is rather like struggling to bottle the wind. But one thing seems clear: unless younger Gay Linuxs bring some of their pride to the literature relevant to them and are willing to spend a bit more to buy books in Gay Linux stores, such stores will soon be extinct, and that will be another unfortunate chip in our culture

Re:CLIT says take it down. (-1)

News For Turds (580751) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737119)

They are soon to be processed by the CRAP. (Coalition for the Removal of Anonymous Coward Posts).

CRAP is coming. Oh yes, they are. Run and hide u little AC biatches.

Monkey boy is stil teh sux

How big is your wing wang? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3736975)

Well? ... Inquiring minds want to know!

I've wondered (5, Interesting)

lblack (124294) | more than 12 years ago | (#3736976)

Google always seem to be early-to-market with some really highly developed software solutions, and also always seems to have the backbone to support them.

I'm curious -- what drives the innovation? Is it the hardware team advancing architecture to permit the software team more room to play, or is it the software team saying, "Hey, look what we got!" and the hardware team dropping the iron to implement it?

I understand there must be some level of synergy, but is it completely seamless or is one side of the equation effectively driving the other?


First Question! (1, Funny)

Dannon (142147) | more than 12 years ago | (#3736978)

Can I have a job?

Re:First Question! (4, Interesting)

littlerubberfeet (453565) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737114)

This shouldn't be modded down. The question just needs to be asked in a clearer way.

What job opportunities are there at Google, and what opportunities in the industry as a whole?

I'm (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3736985)


Simple question (4, Interesting)

lwdupont (153781) | more than 12 years ago | (#3736986)

What type of machines/setup does Google use?

(I've heard thousands of PC's with everything in RAM, but I'd love to hear it from the horses mouth)

Does Google hug roots? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3736990)

I believe Google should start hugging roots.

Have you hugged a root today?

Weird queries? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3736994)

What are the weirdest queries?

Re:Weird queries? (1)

Openadvocate (573093) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737189)

Must be: +transexualnazieskimo +faq

I bet google's boss techie... (-1)

GhostseTroll (582659) | more than 12 years ago | (#3736999)

Gets to use the bumper dumper []

Statistics (3, Interesting)

suwain_2 (260792) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737000)

A relatively simple, non-intellectual question, but I've always wondered -- just how many hits/how much bandwidth do you consume, and how many servers do you have to handle the load.

Favoring Big Guys (5, Interesting)

PenguinRadio (69089) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737002)

Does google's policy of "ranking" the sites that have hits favor the "big guys" over more specific smaller traffic websites? That is, would a story on a site like CNN get a higher ranking in google on a keyword "Gulf War" than say a site ( that deals 100% with the Gulf War? Do you think you are leading to the commercialization of the web (i.e. the big power players) over smaller sites?

Re:Favoring Big Guys (0)

shilly (142940) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737065)

Why not check your example. FWIW, neither site you mention made the top ten. However, gulfwarvets came in at 3 and the sites listed don't seem particularly dominated by big-cheese commercial players.

Re:Favoring Big Guys (1)

jeaton (44965) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737103)

That is, would a story on a site like CNN get a higher ranking in google on a keyword "Gulf War" than say a site ( that deals 100% with the Gulf War?

In this specific example, it's pretty obvious that it doesn't. Searching for Gulf War [] returns a lot of pages dealing entirely with the war (, and not a single hit for CNN in the first few pages of links.

How much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3737004)

is your monthly bandwidth bill for ?

Windependence Day (3)

scubacuda (411898) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737005)

What are YOU doing for Windependence Day [] ?

I'm not sure when the change took place (5, Interesting)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737006)

but I noticed a few months ago that Cisco now uses the Google engine to search the CCO. Congrats on that one. I've also noticed this new search box that Google is starting to produce. And it looks *very* cool. So my question is basically which is more important to your job the website or selling the service and the engine to people who need it?

Pigeon Computing (4, Funny)

Black Aardvark House (541204) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737008)

Has there been any progress on the Pigeon Computing [] initiative?

Re:Pigeon Computing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3737160)

+n funny (3, Informative)

rblackwe (240170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737010)

A little old but interesting.

The Technology Behind Google 2000-10-19 (1hr 13min) By Jim Reese, Chief Operations Engineer, Google. How to build an internet search engine that indexes 1-2 terabytes of data 200 million web pages- and serves it up at a rate of 1000 requests/second. (Hint: Start with a farm of 10,000+ Linux servers). The technology behind Google: company overview, search parameters and results, hardware and query load balancing, Linux cluster topology, scalability, fault tolerance, and more. [420] oo gle.

Why did you chose Linux? (5, Interesting)

RinkSpringer (518787) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737011)

I am wondering why they chose Linux. Specifically, I wonder how they made the choice between all major OS-es (Linux, *BSD, Solaris and possibly Windows), as well as the software they use to power the site.

Regression (5, Interesting)

Have Blue (616) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737014)

The Internet is always described as a distributed system with no single point of failure. Google, however, has quickly become by far the most popular method of locating information. "Surfing" has been killed with modern search technology, it's so much easier to look through Google than the Web itself. If Google was down, I'm sure the Internet would be far less useful.

Do you think Google has become an Internet point of failure? With the competition for larger and larger indexes, is the Internet becoming centralized? Do you think this is a bad thing?


Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3737055)

I was thinking this exact same thing. I'd love to hear more on this. :)

Search engine spammers (5, Interesting)

I Want GNU! (556631) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737016)

What are you doing to prevent the new generation of more sophisticated search engine spammers- spammers that use advanced software such as WebPosition Pro, spammers that feed fake pages to the Google crawler, spammers that make bogus link pages to their own sites? Doesn't this new level of sophistication on their part mean that in large part Google must emphasize human website reviewers, such as those provided by the Open Directory Project [] , to a greater degree?

pictures or diagrams (1)

z_gringo (452163) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737017)

How much bandwidth is running into his network? How many locations does he have, Are there pictures or diagrams of the network infrastructure side of his setup, and apart from Programmers how many network design type people work there?

Stumped (5, Interesting)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737018)

As a new network configuration guy, I am often stumped by a problem. I usually turn to google first, and my supervisor second. What has been the biggest problem that you have dealt with that will stand out in your mind years from now? As the "Head Techie", where did you turn, and what was the eventual resolution?

I got one (2, Funny)

bravehamster (44836) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737020)

Who gets to clean up after the pigeons?

Re:I got one (1)

freq (15128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737130)

it would probably be a good idea to include a link [] next time :)

Internal Platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3737021)

Has the Linux platform made inroads into the staff arena at Google? What platform do you develope on?

Scientology (4, Interesting)

ender81b (520454) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737027)

Does google plan on releasing more products like the Google Search Appliance [] in the near future - specifically those that are geared more towards the consumer level rather than business market? I would, personally, love to have some sort of google search engine on my machine to rummage through all the stuff I have. Does google plan on expanding into this market or will you remain focused on the web?

I know, I know, Only one question but - it begs to be asked - how well is your technology going to be able to scale? Considering the near-expotential growth of the internet will PageRank be able to keep up?

Storage used (5, Interesting)

Steffan (126616) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737029)

I understand that Google was using large numbers of IDE drives in lieu of more expensive but individually faster SCSI devices. What prompted the decision, and how have the concerns of reliability and performance been mitigated. What special technology, if any, was used to implement such a system

I'm curious... (5, Interesting)

rgoer (521471) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737030) to what exactly Google does with the concepts it receives through the various Google-tech contests held. Have these ideas been made good use of? Do we see any of this in the Google we use every day? What about the ones that didn't win, do we see any of them?

Question 1 of 2: Language of choice? (4, Interesting)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737031)

Whats the google language of choice for web page building. I'd assume speed is the most important, so what language makes google so fast?

Re:Question 1 of 2: Language of choice? (1)

gmarceau (119282) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737196)

Easy, check out their job openning [] . C++ is first, then python/perl, then Java comes up along with SQL - the usual stuff what.

Along the years, C++ has become more proheminent on that page. Sugesting that, as they grew, they translated code from the nicer but slower languages to the harder but faster one.

Creative Ideas (5, Interesting)

Domasi (318366) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737035)

Is there anything new that Google is working on that is not currently displayed in your labs [] section? If so could you explain it to us?

Success (2, Interesting)

discstickers (547062) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737036)

Google's success has been well documented. Quick, relevant results are it's trademarks. Do you see any backlash against Google and what are you doing about people that use Google's success for their own purposes (ie Google bombing)?

On call? (2, Interesting)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737037)

Hi Craig. Google is my favorite search engine, mostly because it's so simple, fast, and has a very professional feel.

I wonder, when you're in charge of something as huge as Google, are you on call 24/7 in case something goes wrong? Have you ever been called during, say, a nice dinner, or worse, in the middle of the night? Thanks.

peer pressure (5, Interesting)

seanw (45548) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737039)

as Google got more popular and eventually reached the status it holds today, did you feel any pressure (either internally or from outside the organization) to switch from a Linux based cluster to a proprietary solution (Windows comes to mind, but there are others). Where you (or others at Google) affected by any of the FUD that is put out, and did it affect your perception of Linux as a viable solution?

So..... (-1)

Mr._Anderson (117747) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737045)

Do you get lots of chicks?

Definitely need these in there: (5, Funny)

dimer0 (461593) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737047)

What are your biggest turn-ons?


The worst date you ever had?

Parent company with lots of bandwidth. (3, Funny)

AntipodesTroll (552543) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737049)

I wonder if Taco is gonna chime in with the question:

"So, interested in buying a nerdy weblog site, only slightly soiled?"

Re:Parent company with lots of bandwidth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3737144)

How is Google so Hollywood? Is Google run by the RIAA/MPAA?

Was Napster a RIAA operation? KaZaA? Are they just obnoxious fronts to generate overkill precedents?

If Google gets mad, does he hand out bad hits?

Dot com changes? (5, Interesting)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737052)

Last I heard Google was still the stereotypical "startup" type company; promoting morale over bureaucracy as long as the work got done. Hockey, pool, the Greatful Dead's ex-chef (iirc?), and tons of other perks.

Did google keep the atmosphere as you've grown? did they keep it while others tanked?

Re:Dot com changes? -- Look for yourself (2)

SplendidIsolatn (468434) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737151)

Snapshots of life at Google [] . Looks pretty good to me.

Re:Dot com changes? -- Look for yourself (2)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737184)

Indeed, though those have been there for years. I was checking on if they kept that goodness.

Specs (3, Interesting)

DeadBugs (546475) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737054)

I would be curious to the general overall specs to the hardware and software running google. In particular standard cpu? Linux version\distributor? clustering? database? Total memory? Total storage? etc.

Go on, make us jealous

so... (3, Interesting)

RogueProtoKol (577894) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737056)

... what linux distrubution does the world's largest server farm use?

Academic ties (4, Interesting)

dallen (11400) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737057)

It seems that Google's great successs is partly due to research coming out of the academic world. How many google employees have advanced degrees, and can they publish non-proprietry research after they join Google? How do you see the interplay between high-tech and Academia?

Traffic Handling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3737061)

Is Google traffic growing enough to require frequent upgrades--or is traffic leveling out?

DB Backend (2, Interesting)

axehind (518047) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737062)

What type of Database backend do you use and what led google to choose it?

Question 2 of 2: Browser Stats (3, Interesting)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737063)

Since sites like slashdot don't like to give out their statistics, I'd like to ask, what percent of users use what web browser? Also, what percent of users use what OS?

Re:Question 2 of 2: Browser Stats (3, Informative)

glh (14273) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737155)

Josh, you can check the Zeitgeist to get the info on browser stats for a year span, same goes for OS-

Re:Question 2 of 2: Browser Stats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3737178)

this gives all kinds of great google info


Re:Question 2 of 2: Browser Stats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3737190)

Re:Question 2 of 2: Browser Stats (1)

kliklik (322798) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737195)

Take a look at Google Zeitgeist [] .

Linguistics and Searching (5, Interesting)

mshomphe (106567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737064)

Does Google use any natural language processing (when dealing with web pages, queries, etc.)? Are you planning on doing more with NLP in the future?

Dream system (2, Interesting)

binaryDigit (557647) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737068)

Hypothetical, and hopefully fun, question.

Now assuming you had an infinite IT budget, generally which configuration of hardware/os (e.g. PC/Linux, PC/Win (boo hiss), IBM/AIX, VAX/VMS, Cray/Unicos, etc) would you adopt and why. More specifically, if pure performance were the only consideration, which would it be. Alternatively, if uptime were the primary consideration, which would it be.

Be honest and don't worry about the bias's of your audience.

CO$ and Deep Linking (5, Interesting)

Xaoswolf (524554) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737070)

There have recently been several cases where people have sued because of the act of deep linking, or in the case of the Church of Scientology and, linking to information on other people's pages that someone claims a copyright to.

How have these affected you and your job, and what are you feelings on this subject?

What kind of bandwidth/pipes/networking setup? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3737073)

What kind of bandwidth/pipes/networking setup do you use -- and how does your "macro" capacity diffuse down to each clustered server?

Basically, what's your setup and how does it work?

What version of what OS do you use and why? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3737094)

What version of what OS do you use and why?

Also, what are your plans if any to change this
in the future?

And what do you use to benchmark/stress test your setup/servers?


Logo work? (3, Interesting)

Xafloc (48004) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737075)

I have but one question... Who is the mastermind behind all the "special" logo changes that Google experiences throughout the year?

My hats off to that team!

Re:Logo work? (1)

littlerubberfeet (453565) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737204)

uhm, Scott Adams, dilbert creator, did a couple I think

Porn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3737077)

When will google be able to index porn? That would be a great feature that most of us geeks would like to see ;)

ps.: Keep up the good work!

Does peer-to-peer have a place at google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3737081)

Has google considered offloading traffic to other architectures besides server farms? Specifically, have you considered a distributed client/server model like peer-to-peer?

Competitive (2)

scubacuda (411898) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737082)

How has Google remained competitive?

Google and IP address. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3737083)

Why in this day and age does google continue to penalize sites that are virtual hosted? With ip addresses becoming harder to get/justify every day why does google discount the relevance of links that don't come from a unique ip address. Please don't just deny it, I think the Internet community deserves an explanation.

Question - Google's first programming contest (5, Interesting)

PK_ERTW (538588) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737089)

Google recently ran it's "first annual programming contest," with a winner receiving $10,000. Many slashdotters suspect this was simply a way to recruit new talent. So, was finding new people one of the initial goals for this project, and have you hired any new programmers as a direct result of it? What were the other goals (PR, generation of new ideas, etc) where there?

Just exactly how cool is it. (1)

TheDick (453572) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737091)

That the site I run is on the top of the list when you search for"ask dick" []

Cool eh?

Logo artwork (1)

Phantasm66 (586905) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737092)

Who draws all of your wonderful and witty Google Logo artwork?

As a market leader... (5, Interesting)

Marx_Mrvelous (532372) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737093)

It's well known that you use Linux in your mega clusters. I was wondering if you have ever been approached by Microsoft, Sun, or HP in an effort to switch to their proprietary OSes.

I can't imagine that you haven't. It must have been a huge decision to invest in one technology, so are you satisfied with what you have?

Does size really matter? (4, Interesting)

scubacuda (411898) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737102)

How do you feel about having a bigger index [] ?

'Web Indexing companies" (5, Interesting)

RembrandtX (240864) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737105)

Recently, the english division of our company [black and decker] hired 'HyperMedia Trafficing' or some other similar named company to get them 'more exposure' in the search engines.

[forget the ethical debate about that .. or why no one bothered to ask me what to do.]

What I want to know, is - going fowards - as more and more of these companies start up, and discover more and more unscrupulious ways of 'loading' the search engines with bogus hits/visits/data/etc. .. How does Google plan to make sure they are :

1) Not loosing ad $$ to these folks
2) prefenting every search from returning something like or as the 1st (or first 15) results for a search on .. well .. pretty much anything.

What happened to PigeonRank?! (1)

Arallok (555634) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737107)

What did you guys do with all those harding working Pigeons [] ?!

Seriously though... can they actually do mork work than than these penguins [] ?

Forget Craig (4, Funny)

Talisman (39902) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737110)

No offense to Mr. Silverstein, but I'm much more interested in Cindy [] ! Beautiful, highly successful nerds are terribly rare!

Just so I'm not off-topic:

Mr. Silverstein, how does Cindy look in tight sweaters?



Opinions on being open (4, Interesting)

SuperguyA1 (90398) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737112)

One of the most impressive things about Google to me is how easily you seem to have embraced an open model. I realize the outward view of a company can be quite different from the internal view. How easy is it actually to make decisions such as opening API's. If it's easy can you give some advice on how one might convince their boss.


The future of Google (5, Interesting)

glh (14273) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737115)

Hi Craig!

I think Google absolutely rocks. It has by far the most intelligent/helpful search engine results. Thanks for the great service.

Now onto the questions- what is the Google vision / strategy for the future? Where can Google go? From a search engine perspective, what are some of the challenges that you have and improvements that can be made (perhaps speeding up crawling to make the latest content available, for example)? How are you going about solving these challenges, and when can we expect them to be implemented?

On a similar note, I've noticed that recently Google announced a "google box" that allows for corporate to take advantage of the google search algorithms and indexing. Any more products like this being planned?

Shoulda been asked (1)

Fished (574624) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737116)

This shoulda been asked already, but I don't see it. What's next? Google has consistently added more and better "convenience" features than any other search engine. What's the next big thing? Are there any fundamental technological changes coming?

Question for Google (1)

saurabhchadha (586908) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737118)

Since you have such a large farm, how do you keep track of the various computers (state/performance etc.) Do you have a network management software built in house or use 3rd party software if at all.

Google suggestions (2)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737120)

Is there any way we can find out what kind of suggestions Google receives from the public? It would be quite interesting to look at them all, and maybe some of them could now be implemented using the Google API.

Attacks? (4, Interesting)

Fnagaton (580019) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737132)

I have a number of web servers, some Unix some Windows, and the number of attempted attacks each day from different IPs must run in to about one hundred. It is mostly people trying to execute commands or using malformed URLs trying to exploit some known past security hole. My question is, how many attempted attacks each day do the Google servers get?

Can Google last? (5, Interesting)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737133)

Google is a great free public resource. My concern is that it has to be expensive running a resource like that. I know Google's strategy is somewhat to use the free resource as a loss leader to promote your search technology, but the key word in "loss leader" is "loss". It's a great theory as long as you are able find people who want and need your search technology.

So my bottom line question is this: Does the web site pay for itself via the advertising? Is there a possibility that someday Google may decide the web site costs too much money to run if you get to a point where your reputation no longer needs the loss leader?

so what does it look like? (5, Interesting)

paradesign (561561) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737134)

I know the programming contest winner gets a tour of your facility, but I think I speak for all of us when I say, I wanna see it too!

It would be great if you did a documentary feature with TechTv or someone, because its one thing to read about your facility, but it would be another to see it.

Thanks for all of the help I've gotten from, I don't think I'd still be in schol without it.


PS, even just a photo feature on the site would be nice.

Google cache (5, Interesting)

Greenrider (451799) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737136)

Anyone who has ever needed a piece of information that was on a broken page will agree that the Google page cache is perhaps one of the most underrated and useful parts of your search engine.

There's one problem that everyone has with the cache, however - you don't deep-nest the caching, so that following any links on a cached page will lead to the original (probably broken) site, instead of to another cached page. Is there a technical or legal reason for why it works this way? Any chance we'll see deep caching at some point?

Google and 9/11 (1)

openSoar (89599) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737138)

google seemed to be one of the few (only??) sites that managed to deal with the deluge of extra traffic. can you tell us a little more about google on that awful day?

question for Craig (2)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737139)

I expect that the California heat and thousands of boxen require special measures to prevent overheating. What kind of measures do you take for keeping your server farm operating normally at a cool temperature?

SCHI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3737141)

StroudCo Heavy Industries is going to buy Google. Just you wait.

Favourite search engine (1)

fruey (563914) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737146)

What was your favourite search engine before Google was launched? Which other search methods do you use other than your own site? Do you remember Yahoo! when it looked like this? []

My question (1, Funny)

SlashdotTroll (581611) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737163)

What is the air velocity of an un-laden Eatern-European Swallow?

Google's inescapable coolness. (5, Insightful)

rob_from_ca (118788) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737169)

How do you avoid business pressures to make short-sighted solutions, and consistently make good, common sense ideas work instead of adopting ones from marketing sources? Not only does Google have the best search engine technology, but you consistently do the "right" thing. Clean, quick homepage, text only well-identified ads, interesting research projects, etc...This is the way many search engines start, but they all went the way of the "dark" side instead of adopting the "right" solution. In my jobs, it's been very difficult to execute and justify good engineering (or just common sense) under pressure from the people who control the money. Any advice for driving through well-thought-out decisions instead of adopting the "management fad of the month"?

Possible to have too much power (5, Interesting)

sphealey (2855) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737171)

In one of Robert Heinlein's novels (don't have the reference at hand), the main character is told to sit down in front of what we would think of today as (WWW + Google) and "learn whatever she can about everything". After a few weeks of coming up with some useful stuff, she finally asks the system: 'who controls this database?', and it replies 'not programmed with that information'. The next morning an assasination team tries to kill her.

Not to be too "X-File'ish", but does there come a point where too much knowledge is captured in Google? A point where anything that doesn't exist in Google doesn't exist, period? Wouldn't that represent a very tempting target for a bin Laden or a John Ashcroft, to try to control how the modern world thinks?

Kind of far out there, I know, but do you guys worry about this kind of thing?


How do you manage your infrastructure? (1)

mveloso (325617) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737172)

How do you roll out patches, new versions of software, etc? How do you make sure that stuff is running?

Slashdot effect? (5, Interesting)

Lumpish Scholar (17107) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737174)

Many sites, when referenced by Slashdot, crumble under the load. Can you folks see any difference, either to your "main" servers ( or your cache servers?

google API (1)

bigmush (577288) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737175)

What has been the reaction to the Google API
that was announced a while back? Have you been
able to monitor a specific rise in traffic
from sites using the API?

Your average day... (1)

m0nkeyb0y (80581) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737179)

Can you give a rundown of what your average work-day is like...and what about your hectic days?

no questions (1)

phrostie (121428) | more than 12 years ago | (#3737191)

just a compliment.
great search engine!

Important Question #@ +1 ; Provocative @# (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3737201)

With all of the talk about the federal government of United States of Amerika wanting all ISPs to log their traffice:

Do you think President George W. Bush should be

Thank you
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