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Facebook’s search issues and building Nest: top stories you should read

Hey, remember when Google launched Project Glass? Remember the feelings of desire you felt when you saw the first pictures and understood just what it might be capable of. Well, unless you’re wealthy and privileged you could be left with just that desire. If you do have the cash though, you can Google how the tech giant got flu wrong, or the Nest guys came to build a smart thermostat of all things. You can do so safe in the knowledge that, in the real world at least, your search engine is better than Facebook’s. Or,if you’re not one of the fortunate few, you can read all about these things in our collection of some of the best stories published around the web this week.

You’re not gonna like it: Facebook’s new search struggles with the real world

When Facebook launched graph search just over a month ago, the reactions to it ranged from seriously creeped out to completely disinterested. But how does it work in reality? Can you really find the information you need? Are the likes its using to generate results really valid? The Verge investigates the limitations of a product built on a currency of likes and suggests how graph search could start impacting how we check-in and interact with pages on Facebook.

The post post-PC era: will Apple, Google, Samsung, Amazon or Microsoft win?

It’s no secret that the race for dominance in the tech field is largely composed of a handful of tech giants… but which ones will be the leaders in years to come? This article tracks who is likely to take over the market in everything from smartphones to hybrid laptops, discusses the future tech that could shake the foundations of previous monopolies and suggests which brand could become the one that crushes its competitors in emerging economies.

Nest’s smarter home

It’s possibly the sexiest thermostat that has ever existed — and the team behind Nest is leading the way towards the future of the internet of things, being named as one of MIT Technology Review’s 50 most disruptive companies of 2013. The co-founders speak to the magazine about their history at Apple, the day that sparked the idea of creating the smartphone-controlled eco-friendly thermostat that learns your habits and how they put it all together.

When Google got flu wrong

As web-based methods of mapping everything from disaster areas to regions affected by seasonal flu become more numerous, so do the potential for problems: and Google’s method didn’t work so well this year, vastly over-reporting the cases of the illness based on web searches. Systems have existed for decades to track the outbreak of diseases — but can web traffic and social media ever be used as the definitive methods of gathering that information in future?

Disruption: it moves in mysterious ways

With the release of the latest Project Glass concept video, critics have new fuel to add to their arguments that Google’s augmented reality super glasses will be nothing more than an expensive accessory worn by the rich and geeky. But Giga Om’s Om Malik still sees the potential the specs could hold for Google and the wider tech industry, and how the project could become the type of industry disruptor that the iPad and Square have become.

Author | Lauren Granger

Lauren Granger
While studying towards her Bachelor of Journalism degree at Rhodes University, Lauren gave into her fascination with everything digital. As she was more interested in creeping tech sites and Twitter than she was in picking up one of those printed things called 'newspapers', she decided to specialise in... More

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