Google … an amazing entity …
From my early days on the Internet, I have been facinated with Internet Directories and Search Engines. The various players have come and gone … and some have stuck around. Yahoo! is still one of the “old-timers” in the industry, as Excite, Infoseek, Lycos, and Altavista have all gone there own ways.

The one “newer” player that has come to dominate the landscape is Google. With their radical new architecture for gathering, storing, and indexing web content, and then “ranking” based on URI linking frequency, they have created an amazing solution for managing the wealth of information on the Internet. Ouside of all of this technology, there is also the “clean” and lightweight design of their website. Google appears to be the most used resource for searching the web.

There is another side to Google that many people do not see, nor understand. It is the core technology, and how is can be used and repurposed … and expanded. This is what I am most interested in with Google. If you have not visited their Advanced Search page, or explored the Google Labs, then you might not have seen some of the other aspects of Google.

Over the next month of so, I am going to be posting about a model that I have created in my observations of Google and what they are developing. I am hearing more and more about the impending IPO of their company … and I have to admit that I believe they are on to something. I believe they are creating something that is truly amazing.

Time Management for kids and ???
While I’m here writing about Utah companies, I might as well mention Time Scout. Time Scout is a cool little product for controlling the amount of time that any electronic product is used. The target market is for parents who want to control the amount of time their kids watch TV, play video games, or even use the computer.

It’s based on a simple hardware device that plugs into the wall. The electronic device is then plugged into the Time Scout and locked. There is then a simple control panel that consists of a card scanner and LCD display. The child is given a card that identifies them, and the parent assigns an amount of time in minutes. When the child wants to play, they scan their card and the LCD display shows their remaining time and counts down the minutes. When they are done they scan their card and it stops the counter.

This is a pretty cool gadget that allows parents to allocate an amount of time, and allows the child to learn how to manage the time that they have. I’m thinking that there might even be other uses for this product … I’ll be thinking about them!

Skiing with my MP3 Player and Cell Phone …
With this latest snow fall (which is still going as of today!) I can only start thinking about getting out and doing some skiing and snowboarding. Lately when I have been going, I like to take some CDs or an MP3 player. Of course I also carry my cell phone.

One of the problems with this is how do you listen to tunes, and also be aware of your cell phone? Well, a little company called Skull Candy from Park City, Utah has a solution. With their product, I can plug a single set of headphones into my MP3 or CD player, and my cell phone at the same time. I can then listen to tunes, and hear my phone ring. I can answer the phone and then return to my listening.

I’m really thinking of getting one of these to try. The one limitation that I can think of is that I carry three devices with me … not two. When I ski or board, I’m always carrying my tunes, my cell phone, and a Motorola FRS radio. My friends and family use the FRS radios to stay in touch on the slopes.