How to use Google’s calculator to convert Amps and Volts, to kWh

Say you have an electric engine that consumes 8 amps at 12 V, and you would like to know how much this would translate in kilowatt hours?

Go to Google’s search box and type

8 amps * 12 v * 1 hour

Screen Shot 2013-05-26 at 8.27.15 AM

And you will get the total output in Joules, which is 345,600 joules.

Then tell google

345600 joules to kwh

And google will tell you

0.096 kilowatt hours (which is what a small electric fan will consume in an hour), or the same as 8 * 12 = 96 watts * 1 hr, 96 Wh

Screen Shot 2013-05-26 at 8.29.47 AM

Little things that make people stay with Google when they try Bing

After all these years it’s sad to see that Bing still doesn’t have these simple yet useful features.

It’s worrying what’s happening at Microsoft. I bet they have really smart people, wonder what takes them so long to even react? Philosophy, Very old people in Management? Red Tape? Disconnect between teams? None cares anymore?

Maybe Microsoft needs to hit rock bottom to wake up.

Geek T-Shirt Collection #21 – Google

I got this during my “Google fanboy period”. Now I’m a little more critical. I’m now going through an “Android fanboy period”.

There’s a funny story of this shirt. The first day I moved to Miami I was running an errand in downtown and some lady yelled at me from the other side of the street and told me “I use your page every day!”, I didn’t break her heart and just yelled back “Thanks!”

See the Previous T-Shirt
See the Next T-Shirt

[SCREENCAST] How to do Unit Testing on Android with Eclipse

I was going to make a tutorial, but then I figured that making a video would be a much better way to show this.
As for the code that you could grab from a tutorial, there’s a link at the end of the post with all the code shown in the video demo.

The video demo covers how to create and run Unit Test classes for regular Java classes on Android, and also how to create and run Unit Test classes that test classes that depend on Android “Context” or “Activity” objects.

If your Android unit tests are not running because of frustrating error messages, the time spent watching this video will save you a lot of reading and headaches.

Check the screencast after the break

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What People want in Google Buzz

I decided to start a conversation on Buzz about the features that people needed, here’s a few crowd sourced feature requests out of a conversation on which over 50 hard-core Buzz users were involved.

Threaded comments
Once a Buzz post becomes popular it’s impossible to keep the conversation in a linear fashion. The conversational nature of Buzz begs for threaded replies. Comments need to be collapsible

Buzz Stream Pause.
Real time updates are not cool when you can’t read a single one of them. When you follow over 500 people, it’s almost impossible to even read what they’re posting, you need to scroll down as the stream keeps coming in, a pause/play feature to stop messages from coming in would not also be handy for Buzz users but it’d also save Google a lot of HTTP requests that won’t really matter.
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The Internet is becoming The Googlenet

Am I the only one that’s scared? Am I the only one that’s not eating the “Google Blue Pill”?

If you’re not scared it’s my intention to shake you up a little bit. Let’s see what Google has done and what it’s trying to do.

Google controls over %70 of the Web Search Traffic, and over 57% of all advertising on the internet

Google started as a Search company and they’re supposedly great at it (until someone else can show us better) so everyone uses their search and that means Google knows what everyone wants on the internet, therefore giving it one hell of an advantage over everyone else when it comes to decision making of any kind. What technologies to build, What websites are successful (which services should they buy or compete against). They know about all trends of all kinds. From lottery ticket search, to medicine search, to what new website is being searched for.

Their great search capabilities made them hit gold when they started advertising next to search results. They made so much money that they were able to buy lots of ad networks including very powerful ones like DoubleClick ($3 billion, April 13 2007) which together with Adsense control 57% of the market share of Internet advertising.

Just know that pretty much almost every ad printed on the web puts money in Google’s Pockets, the company that controls search. I wonder if their PageRank algorithm also includes the eCPM of the ads shown on the target sites, if not, it’s a direct consequence of being on the top search results that you’ll get more visitors thus making your CPM pay higher… it’s all a little fucked up the amount of control they have.

And let’s not to forget that the little publisher on Adsense Gets Pwned with probably less than 10% of the cost of the click (Google gets $2 a click, you get less than $0.20 for that click), a percentage that is never shown to the publisher, a percentage that Google can adjust to their liking however they want. If you can sell your own ads, do so (and then tell me how).

On top of that, there’s tons of money to make on statistics for all of that search data. You may want to read about a company called DemandMedia.com , in short they buy a lot of search engine data (probably Google’s included in there) so that they can generate a list of the things people want to know about every day, then they match that data to marketing databases (to see what the highest priced keywords are, data which may come from Google Adsense statistics) and they make a list of about 4,000 video titles, which they shoot and distribute EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Internet Video

YouTube… owned by Google, gets close to 100 million unique visitors every month. They’re the most influential video service on the internet. There are companies that exist and thrive (making millions a year) only because youtube is there (think again if you believe youtube is not making money). Oh and they know what you’re watching.

Privacy Stuff
Let’s forget about Search and Ad Monopoly, that’s their money maker, let’s start thinking about the creepier stuff, power.

GMail alone as of July 2009 had an approximate of 146 million unique users during one month. That’s a lot of conversations being tracked in one way or the other. Can’t imagine all the money they make on Gmail alone, since it’s one of the applications that people keep open most of the day, and that’s a lot of contextual ads right there, plus a lot of tracking on clicks to external sites linked inside the emails you read.

So they did Email great, you gotta give them that, but then they also have Groups, GTalk (instant messaging) and more recently they were talking about redefining email with Google Wave (which has been in my perspective a total failure, nobody is ever logged in or replying to the waves, it needs to integrate with email in order to replace it, maybe that’ll be the key and since they’re smart they should know this but they’re waiting for the right time…)

This year Google has gotten super scary with all the announcements they’ve made, one of the scariest is Google Public DNS, the service that converts a domain name like “google.com”, into an IP address so that your computer can connect to it.

Boasting on their excellence and good performance they’re trying to convince system administrators to switch over to Google Public DNS.
What do we know if already our local ISPs have turned off their own DNS servers and just redirected all requests to 8.8.8.8 (Google’s DNS) to save on costs and to have one less thing to manage?.

This is pretty scary because Google now would know where you go, even if you don’t use Google.com

Another really scary thing is having this company also build for you the web browser. Not only they control all the traffic, but they want to control the application that you use to browse the web. They already own Firefox (a nice +$50 million dollar/year tax deduction) whose default search is, you guessed it… Google, and now they even want to make an Operating System that runs only their browser with the purpose of having you log in with your Google Account every time you turn on your computer (currently aimed at Netbooks, please install Ubuntu Netbook Remix and be safe)

If their plans go accordingly, they’d be controlling everything, from every request that comes out of your internet connection (DNS), to the kernel and browser in your computer, to your email, to your documents (Google Apps), to where you go (Google Maps), to where you are (Google Latitude).

And if that’s not enough, they want to give you a phone number (Google Voice) and transcribe your conversations and voice messages… but wait I forgot they’ve also built an operating system for your phone, Android, and next month they will sell their own phone.

Are you scared yet?

Other Services:
Google Healthcare (They want your medical records too)
Google URL Shortener (They want to track all the clicks inside Twitter and Facebook, they couldn’t let other companies deal with this, bit.ly FTW!)
Google Finance (They also know what stock quotes a lot of people are looking for)
Google Reader (They know what news and feeds you’re reading)
Google News (They want to control what news are read)
Google Blogger (They know what you write about, and bank on you)
Picassa (They want your pictures)
Google Maps and Driving Directions on Android (They want to know where you’re going)
Google Product Search (They wanna know what you’re shopping for)
Google Checkout (Do they have your credit card number yet?)
GMail (They know your contact list, who you talk to, who you do business with, what you want, what you hate, everything)
and so many other scary things… they must be so pissed they don’t own Facebook. Way to go Mark.
Google Buzz (They want to know conversational trends and what people are linking to amongst themselves, They couldn’t let Twitter take that piece of the cake)

The scariest part however is that everyone is just looking at how convenient all this free services are, praising Google but not thinking if there’s a hidden agenda, it’s like nobody could ever suspect the real intentions. At least with Microsoft you knew what to expect. Doesn’t it all sound like an internet monopoly? It’s becoming impossible to compete with such a big monster… however like a friend said “History repeats, all Giants fall eventually”

Google wants every byte coming in and out of you, they own every major piece of the action, it’s all becoming like big media and newspapers, like the food industry which is controlled by only a handful of corporations and we really have no choice in what we eat because everything is so cheap and convenient.

Google at this pace will own the internet, or should we call it The Googlenet.

Suggested Reads

Google Hypocritical on the Importance of Privacy (Superb read)

Why I believe Twitter is a billion dollar company

Last night I read a post by Neal Wise called Twipocalypse Now: Warnings of a Twitter Bubble and this morning I feel the strong need to express a lot of the things I’ve experienced and learned from Twitter, and why I think this service, (which to me is the closest thing to being able to read a lot of people’s minds) has a potential billion dollar business up it’s sleeve if they play they cards right.

Starting with my personal Twitter History
According to TwitterHolic, I joined Twitter on February 28th 2007 at 7:53:01pm. Since then I’ve sent 9,880 updates (as of this blog post), or about 13 Twitter updates a day. That probably makes me an addict since day one, and I admit it.

First Twitter was fascinating because it was a lot of fun, sharing and getting to know a little better how some “internet friends”‘s lifes were like, and sharing mine with them. Now, I find myself using it in more advanced ways, and trying to analyze how trends are spread and what causes you to have an ever growing number of genuine loyal followers.

Twitter didn’t invent the idea of Micro blogging, I believe Jaiku has the credit for this, at the beginning we all opened accounts on as many services as possible (Jaiku, Twitter, identica, plurk, pwnce, friendfeed,…), but it seems Twitter’s simplicity (and board of directors and contacts) had the magic to grow virally like no other service in its field.

One thing they did right from the beginning is that they opened up the service with an accessible API for developers available from the very early days. I remember using a Python-Twitter and being fascinated with how easy it was, then I wrote integration scripts for (the almost deceased now) wedoit4you.com’s blog directory and twitter, for MyBloop.com, and scripts to send me direct messages which twitter would send to my cell phone via SMS when my linux servers were having trouble.

They had a very rough first year in terms of scalability (they still have some issues), the service was always going down, and for a time, I found myself cheating on it on plurk, service which I also found fascinating until I reached it’s “Nirvana“. Along the worth mentioning competitors there was also Pwnce.com which closed up shop last December, and I don’t blame them, they were probably in this to be number one, and they realized they just couldn’t keep up with Twitter’s popularity.

Many Twitter based services came along, and also many competitors including Facebook which copied the whole notification thing and put it on the facebook timeline feed, and it became really annoying cause with Twitter being down all the time you would be tempted to try Plurk for a while, and then ping.fm came along to post on all of them from one place.

Introducing Power Twitter
About a month ago, I found a Firefox extension called Power Twitter that made me abandon ping.fm for good, and therefore all the other micro blogging services. I’m doing all my micro blogging on twitter now.

Twitter likes to be proud of it’s simplicity, but I think little by little they will have to add functionality that us addict/advanced twitter users appreciate from extensions like Power Twitter. They should thank Power Twitter for bringing back some of us.

Where Twitter is now
So now that the Twitter service is a lot more stable, and it’s grown a lot in the past two years, it seems that it’s becoming a mainstream phenomenon. Every day you hear something on the TV, and Google News is a good way to see how much web press they get every few hours. This in my Internet business experience is the best thing that can happen to your company. The amount of genuinely interested traffic that press can get you can’t never be matched to any publicity campaign, so I’d say Twitter is already profitable by not having to spends tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in publicity.

But let’s see a little bit of numbers.

The following graphic is why I think Pwnce’s board made a wise decision to leave the race and move on to other things, they were in it to be number one or a close number two, but it didn’t happen, Twitter has no match in its arena as it is right now, and it’ll be very hard even for a company like Google to build something similar and compete, they’d be better off buying Twitter (but twitter can’t sell out for less than a 10 figure sum).


Monthly Visits: Twitter vs Jaiku vs Plurk. 54.2M as of Jan 09

As you can see, it’ll be very hard for the competitors to catch on, even for Jaiku which was the first to do this, and which got acquired by Google. As it is, they’re clearly the number one by several orders of magnitude. The others might have decent businesses going for them, but they won’t be a billion dollar landmark on the internet. Competition will always be good though.

So they beat everyone in their field very early, now it’s time to take over the world, let’s see what Twitter has to do to become a billion dollar company (be it on their own, or by valuation and acquisition)


Uniques: Twitter vs Facebook

This graphic shows unique visitor count according to compete.com for Twitter and Facebook until January 09. Twitter had 5.9 million unique visitors monthly at that time, today analysts are talking about 7 million uniques a month. Twitter is not a fool and that’s why they dind’t sell out to Facebook, they’re going for an user base as big (and of course bigger) than Facebook’s, which shows here some 68 million users as of January 09.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder has said it clearly too (and that’s why he didn’t sell out either), his goal is to connect EVERYBODY, so he’s probably looking to get traffic like that of Yahoo’s or Google’s 131 million unique visitors a day, and of course the whole planet the day we’re all finally using the internet the way we use electricity (that’s going to be a really interesting to live on).

So how can it make money you ask
Before you read this section, keep in mind that Twitter has already achieved $55 million dollars in funding. To have an idea how much this money can last, try to remember how YouTube used to spend around $1 million dollars monthly in bandwidth alone right before being acquired by Google. Twitter by no means eats that much bandwidth, and it’s a small operation of 29 employees. Making things expensive, put each employee at an average salary of $100k a year, plus let’s say $20k a month in (bandwidth, hardware, office) expenses to cover my basis, that would put their costs in around $4 million a year (I believe it’s much lower if they run things cheap like we do). They got enough money to run for 13 years if their costs didn’t grow, so let’s say they have enough money for sure to run for the next 5 years without making a penny, 5 years is a long time to make things happen on the internet. So in response to Neal’s Post, the internet and the whole financial system would have to go down for a Twipocalypse to happen, not even this economy, or a depression would make it go away, the service is FREE, and they got plenty of money to run it for a long time.

This graphic shows the number of Visits per month the site it’s getting (according to compete.com, it could be more). As of January 2009, this was 54 million visits a month. That makes around 10 visits a day per unique visitor, not bad at all, almost like email.

So let’s do a simple exercise, thinking very very small. If Twitter was run by a couple noobs that weren’t really ambitious and just wanted to make a good living off of it, they could be raking in right now, easy $12-$50 million a year without being very creative.

I’ve seen way smaller sites with good sales team selling CPM campaigns at $20, $25 and even higher. I cannot imagine a good sales team selling CPM campaings on a site like Twitter, which could be perfectly well targeted based on reading your twitter update history and that of your followers, your re-twitts, etc. Let’s use the numbers of January:

With only ONE Ad, and without growing the traffic:
54,000,000 visits at $20 CPM => $1,080,000

A small minded biz model with just ONE ad would bring now $12.96 million dollars a year minest $4M in costs and then effing taxes, would leave them with abour $4M cash in their pockets. Some people would settle for $4M a year, but this is petty cash for what it can make, and you could argue that it’s a very high CPM with this economy, but even with a lower CPM still it’d make enough to make the founders a decent living with a couple million dollars a year, my point is it can be monetized and run profitably without doing anything out of the ordinary. But of course, Twitter is not a million dollar business, it’s a billion dollar business.

Since they don’t show any obvious business model to the public now, there’s a lot of morons out there thinking the site can’t make money, or that Twitter “doesn’t know how it’s going to monetize…” YEAH RIGHT.

Still thinking on Ad-Revenue based business models, let your mind fly now, and think how much money they could make if they slowly showed us that they’re building a more powerful search engine (before Google deploys a Twitter search) and they had targeted ads on their search results just like Google’s #1 income source.

As they have more users sending updates, they’ll have more and more information about everything happening in the world, url recommendations from all over the world for the content that matters, from respectable twitter users, showing us the latest and most relevant content. If they could manage to index all of this information this information and searches would yield results as good as Google’s we have in our hands a billion dollar business with sponsored ads, just like Google’s #1 source of income.

I personally do a lot of searches every day on Twitter as it is and find a lot of stuff that’s more up to date than Google’s results, plus you find related people that know about the subjects you are looking for. That’s gotta have tremendous value for the company given that Search Traffic is the traffic that it’s monetized the best today on the web since it’s the one with the highest conversion rates for advertisers.

With it’s API alone, there’s already an ecosystem around it building companies, some may even be monetizing already and keeping it quiet. Twitter also, in another non-creative way, could charge for use of its API, but I think this would cripple their grow and deter companies away from using it. However it’s possible in the future they will have enterprise access to their API for large amounts of transactions per second and they could make a fortune on this alone, without even altering one bit the current user experience.

Another way it could be making a lot of money without ever changing the user experience would be to have data mining services for marketers. Subdivisions of Nielsen make hundreds of millions a year on data analysis services that big corporations pay for every month. Twitter has an awesome potential to analyze what people love, hate, want, bought, sold, go, read, do… only doing this I think it has one hell of a business model. It just needs to focus on growing enough so that they can have enough data to make it a really valuable source for analysis. And they’re focused on growing, growing, growing, that’s all that matters at this point.

Then, there’s other business ideas I won’t mention because I might pursue them myself, and there’s also the obvious exit strategy of getting bought by bigger companies when you have a billion dollar valuation. Potential buyers… Yahoo! for example is looking to grow it’s search by getting into social networks, I think Twitter is both an amazing social network and the next tool for searching the most up to date information. I’d even dare to call Twitter “a human powered search engine index of the most current information in the world”, and that also has to be appealing to @Google which only a week ago has created a few Twitter accounts and it’s a little scary to see Google for the first time interacting live with people, doing replies, and even RTs (Re-Tweets, a name for forwarding what others have twittered).

I hope that after doing this very simple analysis you also find it funny when you read or hear people saying that “Twitter doesn’t know how it’s going to make money”. No VCs in their right mind, in this economy, would drop $55 million dollars on a company that didn’t have their shit straight.

When I hear these kinds of comments, I feel glad there’s very naive or short sighted people in this world.

I feel better now, I just wish I could invest money in it. For now I’ll be glad to have a few more followers