search

Yesterday, I wrote how ads are a valid revenue model for online businesses, and not necessarily anti-consumer. Today, I write how display ads don’t even really work.

Intuitively, you know that to be true. How often have you actually looked, processed and clicked on an ad, much less act on it? Take those probabilities and divide them in half, because according to Google, only 44% of all display impressions were even seen by actual human beings.

The definition of seen is quite generous: at least half the ad’s pixels have to be viewable and for at least one second to be counted. So Google is counting even the ads that appear on the side that you completely ignore as you read the web page’s main body of content.

Under this definition of seen, ads that appear just “above the fold” (i.e. are viewable as soon as you arrive) and ads that are vertically long are seen more often.

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wpid-wp-1416717300177.pngI recently noticed that my Android phone was draining battery a lot faster than usual. So I checked out the battery page and discovered that Google Search was my top source of battery drain, more than Screen! That’s insane. None of my settings had changed so I didn’t understand why this was suddenly happening. Rebooting didn’t fix the problem.

Google Search was definitely the cause. From its app page, I saw that that Google Search was using up to 500 MB of storage, and was constantly restarting every minute or so and rebuilding that massive index. No wonder it was taking so much battery!

Searching online showed that other Android users has/had the problem, and that it wasn’t limited to my OnePlus One. So here’s my fix, after a painful day of research and experimentation:

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I’ve had the Surface Pro 3 for less than a week, but unless things change by the next, I will be returning the device. As you can tell from my first impressions post, I loved it, so what brought the change of heart?

Three things. First, the tablet gets unbelievably hot frequently and when it does it’s incredibly uncomfortable to hold. It’s not much of a tablet when you don’t even want to hold it. What kind of tasks, might you ask, was I doing while its vapor magnesium was brought to a boil? Intensive, taxing stuff like web browsing, email and OneNote of course.

Second, the battery life isn’t great. I’ve consistently gotten 6 hours of screen time. This is on a balanced power plan, 37% screen brightness and sleep after 2 minutes of inactivity. I was expecting 9 hours of battery so 6 is disappointing.

Third, there’s something funky with the WiFi. Sometimes the connection is just awful slow and it’s not the fault of my connection; a reboot fixes it.

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Lots of really good stuff at Google’s I/O conference.  I’m sure we’ll be delving into Android L and other announcements in more detail in the coming days, but today I’m shooting from the hip and unpacking what caught my attention.

If you haven’t watched it already, see the gargantuan 3 hour keynote here:

My most immediate reaction is “Wow.”  Google is killing it.  Android extends its lead over iOS and Microsoft is way behind in the rear view mirror.

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A good friend asked for my feedback the other day for his start-up, still in stealth mode.  It’s a finance website with lots of cool ideas, but I thought the website and especially the homepage was a bit of a mess.  (He agrees.)

Given a choice between one big feature or many small features, it’s better to have one big feature.  You don’t want to be the product that can do lots of little things but nothing great enough for users to remember you by.

People don’t have the energy or desire to understand your product’s nuances; they need to be grabbed right away with that one thing they must know about you.

My friend’s website has a lot of useful tools and interesting content, but it wasn’t well packaged.  You don’t know what you’re supposed to do when you first visit it.

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