You have to wonder about any publication that employs a fact challenged guy like Andrew Orlowski. Have a look at the latest article he has, which made it to Digg today. In a discussion about supposedly bad search results from Google (I hadn't noticed, and this is the first I've seen anyone talk about it), he says this:
Recently, we featured a software tool that can create 100 Blogger weblogs in 24 minutes, called Blog Mass Installer. A subterranean industry of sites providing "private label articles," or PLAs exists to flesh out "content" for these freshly minted sites. And as a result, legitimate sites are often caught in the cross fire.
But the new algorithms may not be solely to blame. Google's chief executive Eric Schmidt has hinted at another reason for the recent chaos. In Google's earnings conference call last month, Schmidt was frank about the extent of the problem.
"Those machines are full," he said. "We have a huge machine crisis."
And there's at least some anecdotal evidence to support the theory that hardware limitations are to blame.
That's a fairly nasty bit of selective quoting. Orlowski leaves the impression that "full" machines are causing search problems. Follow the link though - that comment came in reference to the huge capital infrastructure spending that Google is engaged in:
Google continued to make substantial capital investments, mainly in computer servers, networking equipment and its data centers. It spent $345 million on such items in the first quarter, more than double the level of last year. Yahoo, its closest rival, spent $142 million on capital expenses in the first quarter.
Referring to the sheer volume of Web site information, video and e-mail that Google's servers hold, Schmidt said: "Those machines are full. We have a huge machine crisis."
Jordan Rohan of RBC Capital Markets called Google's capital spending "unfathomably high," noting that it spent the same percentage of its revenue on equipment as a wire-line phone company.
Boy, it sure sounds different when you actually put it in context, doesn't it? This seems to be Orlowski's stock in trade though - pulling stuff out of context and making wild assumptions - sometimes he just makes crap up.
The stupid thing is, you could write a worried sounding article about Google and their capital spending from the source he links to - heck, one paragraph down from what I quoted above, Rohan says the following:
"If Google's market share continues to increase, and its position as the central hub of the Internet is reinforced, an extra $1 billion is a worthwhile investment," Rohan said. "The day market share peaks, we have a problem."
Now there's potential grist for a story. Orlowski seems to be blind to actual stories though, even when he links right to them.