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April 18, 2012

Ideas for the Future

It's been about a month since I last updated this site so there's much to catch up on.

I had some ideas today for what I'd like to to with this site.

Firstly, modify the blog entries to be more XML based. Though I'm used to doing this with XHTML, I'm sort of wondering how this would work with the new HTML5 elements. It's an experiment I'm really interested in trying as it would allow posts to be viewed individually in the future, tag lists to be added, publishing control (published and drafted), and make posts searchable from within this site. It's been something I've been interested from the start.

It would also pave the way for a search engine idea that is part Google and part Shimmie, an imageboard software that allows users to refine their searches by adding terms and excluding them. The combination would be a throwback to Northern Light back when their search engine features were public.

If anyone remembers who Northern Light was back in the Dot-Com Era, they were the search engine that claimed they were "U.S. Patented" with blue folders that filtered search results. To me, I thought this was a good search engine as the blue folders where related terms that were often used in other searches.

Shimmie 2 behaves somewhat similar, but it's applied to a list of images that are part of an image gallery that users have to submit pics. So far, the use of Shimmie has been used by anime geeks what appears to be some folks with a lot of free time. (Let's not elaborate for what. The Internet can be creepy at times!)

A better use for the latter would be to apply it to webcrawling or as search engine. For now, I think either modifying it or creating something similar to combine with the simple Tumblr-esque features that I'd like to use with this blog. Eventually using Shimmie as an example would also be idea for its original purpose (as an image gallery) and to present files for projects. I've decided to study its data structures as it would be beneficial and a breathe of fresh air compared to Wordpress's need to track and tag everything.

If fact, that brings me to my biggest point about the search engine idea: NO MORE TRACKING! At least not for Joe Six Pack who just wants to find whatever he wants. Spam keywords will definitely get you tracked. As much as Google likes to follow people around for "marketing purposes", the civil liberties folks have reason to be wary about Google's intentions. Not because of Google itself specifically, but because of all the corporations that are not Google who are trying to leverage governments into having Google fork over their data so that these other companies can cast influence upon others.

A website called Duck Duck Go has been getting a lot of praise lately for not tracking users and for not "bubbling" users within a set of common search results. The pitfall with Duck Duck Go is that it still relies heavily on Google and Bing for many search features. If Duck Duck Go really wants to impress some folks, they would create their own spiderbots (programs that search the web for web pages) and not be influenced by outside entities that have been trying to control and censor the Internet as of late.

On your end, you can easily stop the tracking by major search engines by modifying your ad-blocker to deny Google Analytics, and what ever Bing uses that is similar to Google Analytics. You can also tunnel your web connection through a proxy server. Basically, this is what Duck Duck Go does. It searches Google and Bing for you so that the big search engines track them instead of you.

So if there is no tracking and no bubbling, and definitely no DATA STORAGE--of which if you're going to need a lot of expandable, well-ventilated space if you're going to track so much information generated by people every day and just as much energy to run it all--there's no reason for companies like Google and Microsoft to buy up all this extra land to fill it with trailers full of energy-chomping servers and air conditioners for other companies that aren't tech savvy enough to hire a hacker to grab the data for free instead of doing it the legalese way where lawyers, judges, and juries have trouble picking out a computer at Best Buy just to make Google and Bing work for them instead of the way things currently work the other way around.

This would seem like a project that anyone can do (and has been done many times before by college students out of their dorm room) who have the knowledge and a few friends who are business majors and law majors to ensure that neither large businesses or their lawyers can take advantage of their technology as if the programmers who made the new next thing were naive. In reality, programmers are pretty aware of how one company with an obsession for software patients can easily hinder the technology of the future Yahoo!, Facebook, or Google simply to preserve the status quo. That's worked so well in Detroit with the Auto Industry. I can't imagine the implications of such a thing in Silicon Valley!

Perhaps we should ask Oracle that once they are done suing Google over the Android operating system that's been using Java well before Oracle bought Sun Microsystems for the purpose of snagging MySQL.

So there's much to think about in the future for this website, the Internet, and computing in general. I'd just really like to get started on working on a project like this with a few other people.

This weekend's project will be to wrap up the Numerical Analysis program I promised. It's currently being prototyped in Perl, but I'd really like to migrate the good parts back to C++. After that, this beautiful HTML Canvas idea that I sketched up last week.

It's a busy day tomorrow. And I'm looking forward to it.

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