Why Google will never be a monopoly?

1) It takes 5 seconds to switch your Search Engine Provider.

2) It consistently does not lock you with added services of its own (like Youtube runs on Iphones and Facebook and on Internet Explorer and so does the search engine  and so does Google Maps).

3) It has leveraged the maximum from goodwill from open source developers without investing too much money back into them Goodwill is precious and once you lose dev cred you lose it for some time (as some companies found out in the last decade).

4) It has very well funded rivals from MS, Oracle,and Apple and Facebook. That alone will guarantee competition more than any lawyer.

Some Google Strengths-

5) Its  portfolio remains under monetized  – that gives it plenty of flexibility. The following products are the best in class, and yet are mostly free for retail customers.

  •  Youtube
  • Gmail
  • Android
  • Google Maps
  • Chrome
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Docs/Drive

6) Its main product is free to use. You cant beat free. You can try. but cant.

7) It remains the prime source of CS/ Math/Stat related talent on this planet (remember Map Reduce paper). Only the NSA has more bad ass geeks.

8) It tries not to be evil. Mostly it is not evil. Sometimes the ads get irritating. But never evil.

Education for the common people

Higher education in the West is no longer the exclusive club and proxy partner to student debt. This amazing article by NYTimes shows how- the following are shaking the football loving US education giants in their boots while bring balance back to the Force. Big Education for the common people because you need humans to code in the Big Data era.

https://www.coursera.org/ - The pioneer, has the advantages and disadvantages of being the market leader in an innovating. Sure 1.7 million users, but how many are attending how many lectures and how many newly skilled machine learning people are there after 2 courses have been completed by Andrew Ng, and does industry feel the same about the employ-ability of these course takers.

https://www.edx.org/ , and http://www.udacity.com/ – again  some course are common across these platforms so more public web analytics would be a welcome step.

But I really liked Stanford’s open source solution, so that anyone especially and including corporations and companies can start creating their own online courses. It is called class2go and is available at https://github.com/Stanford-Online/class2go

Class2Go

Class2Go is Stanford’s internal open-source platform for on-line education. A team of eight built the first version over the summer 2012, and it is still under active development. Class2Go launched this Fall for six on-campus classes and two “massive open online courses” (MOOC’s): Computer Networking and Solar Cells, Fuel Cells, and Batteries.

Class2Go was built to be an open platform for learning and research. Professors have access to the classes’ data to learn how their students learn.

Leveraging Others

Projects that help class2go.com

  • YouTube for video
  • Khan Academy for their HTML-based exercise framework
  • Piazza for forums
  • MySQL is our database
  • The massive Python Django ecosystem: eg. South, Registration
  • Amazon AWS suite for hosting (EC2, S3, RDS, Route53, IAM)
  • Chef from Opscode for configuration management
  • Github for source code management and issues

Good to see technology and the internet bringing back skills to people globally, so in the future they wont have to use a skill shortage excuse to import cyber technology H1b slaves  and coolies from Asia forced to choose between livelihood, family and undeniable economic arbitrage pressure. Maybe they can try and customize it for Africa, or for women or other  needy areas as well.

 

 

 

Python with Friends

Wanted to learn Python? Stuck on a desk with no redemption. You have two very lucid options. One is use Google. I mean not the search engine, but their class on learning Python.

The videos are available on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/user/GoogleDevelopers (starting at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKTZoB2Vjuk&feature=plcp)


http://code.google.com/edu/languages/google-python-class/

The other is new module of Python at code academy. It is truly awesome even if you dont know any programming!

So learn some awesome python today and be an excellent hacker tommorow!

http://www.codecademy.com/tracks/python