Jiva Technology

The Smallpiece Trust

Studying engineering or a STEM-based university course is no easy option; I know, because I spent four years doing just that.

Of course the flip side is that it often leads to an incredibly diverse and interesting range of careers. Yesterday, my brother tipped me off about the Smallpiece Trust, an educational charity dedicated to bringing short courses to pupils in years 6-12. I think it’s a brilliant idea, so I’m going to do my small bit in promoting their efforts. I think it’s brilliant because too many people are put off before they start; either because they don’t realise the possibilities or have no way to dangle their toe in the water. The world needs more organisations like this if we’re to generate more interest in studying

Google, Algorithms and the nature of human beings..

I’m about to embark on a one week experiment that I’m possibly going to regret: I’m switching my default search tool from Google to Bing. I’d like to make the change to DuckDuckGo, but Apple doesn’t seem to have that in the preferences (reasons on a postcard, please). You might ask yourself what’s prompted my foray into the long grass of internet search and the answer would be simple: all I see in the results is SEO’d content. It’s a downside of being a business insider. We in the business know that people are essentially lazy, that they won’t go past the first page of results and that the chances of getting any click-throughs declines rapidly as you move down the page. It’s also human nature: once people know there’s an algorithm, they’ll try to game it. Of course, Google try to stay ahead of the game by promoting original content of a certain type, but at the end of the day, it’s a computer algorithm and not a person that decides what’s good and what’s not. Google even admit as much when you look to improve the way you use search terms (see point 2). I know what you’re going to say, “it’ll be just as bad on Bing”, which is probably true, but I know that people don’t spend half as much time trying to game Bing as they do on Google.

Wish me luck and I’ll see you in a week or so…


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