Google dominates searches

After emerging victorious from the search engine bloodbath of the late 1990s, Yahoo Inc. now faces a fight against a company it helped put on the map.

Over the past couple of years, online users have been dumping one-time favorite Yahoo for Google Inc. as their search Web site of choice, according to a new report.

“Yahoo and Google have been battling neck-and-neck for months,” according

Google’s gain is Yahoo’s loss

BY DAVID SPEAKMAN

After emerging victorious from the search engine bloodbath of the late 1990s, Yahoo Inc. now faces a fight against a company it helped put on the map.

Over the past couple of years, online users have been dumping one-time favorite Yahoo for Google Inc. as their search Web site of choice, according to a new report.

“Yahoo and Google have been battling neck-and-neck for months,” according Geoff Johnston, a vice president at WebSideStory, which analyzes 30 billion Web page views each month.

He says Google’s growth has been nothing short of phenomenal — as well as a little ironic — since he says Sunnyvale’s Yahoo Inc. is partially responsible for it.

When it comes to search technology, Mountain View-based Google Inc. has been in the lead for years.

The company first gained prominence in summer 2000 when Yahoo chose Google’s technology to replace that of Foster City-based Inktomi Corp. for Yahoo’s search engine.

Without that deal, Johnston says, “there would be no Google as we know it today.”

At the time of the summer 2000 deal, WebSideStory’s numbers showed Yahoo with about a 50 percent share of online searches, with the slack taken up by a Who’s Who list of once-giant, but now-dead — or arguably comatose — Silicon Valley-based search engines.

Remember search dot-coms Infoseek, Excite, Lycos and AltaVista?

“Those other guys really fell off the map,” Johnston says as he points out Yahoo also lost market share as Google witnessed astounding growth.

Overtaking Yahoo was not part of the early plan at Google.

“The focus at that time was on delivering a useful service,” says Cindy McCaffery, Google’s vice president of marketing.

“No Super Bowl ads here,” she says, explaining Google only recently launched small targeted advertising campaigns to increase corporate sales.

This low-key approach worked as users adopted Google on their own.

“Google has grown with little or no advertising,” confirms Jill Whalen, owner of Boston-based search engine advising firm Highranking.com. “It’s all been word of mouth and Google just spirals upward.”

One Internet user who left Yahoo for Google is Laura Straub, local manager of client services for Indianapolis-based advertising measuring service Marketing Resources Plus.

Straub says the main reason she switched was Yahoo’s intrusive use of pop-up advertising.

The numbers show Straub was not alone as droves of Web users abandoned Yahoo and went to the source of its search technology.

Using a measuring system that counts search referrals from Yahoo.com and those originating from its Google.com Web site, WebSideStory says the horse race began almost immediately.

In the first 12 months, Johnston says Google went from virtually no traffic at its own Web site to capturing 17.5 percent of the market by July 2001, while Yahoo’s share fell from about half the market to 38 percent.

Tack on another year and by July 2002, both Yahoo and Google each claimed about 35 percent of the online search referral marketplace, Johnston says.

“In the past three to four months,” he says, “it really has been neck-and-neck. Depending on the month, either Yahoo or Google come out on top.”

But, Yahoo says Google should not be crowned king yet as it’s still asserting its claim to the search engine throne.

Yahoo spokesperson Diana Lee says WebSideStory’s numbers only measure search referrals outside the Yahoo network of Web sites.

“We have been trying to keep our users on [our] site and we are seeing success with click-through rates,” she says.

Those numbers show as of the week ending Dec. 1, the average visitor stayed at Yahoo for 44 minutes. Google users on average stayed there about 7 minutes.

“Everyone knows us as a search engine,” Lee says, “and we are investing to ensure we continue to be the leader.”

“Many people are loyal to Yahoo, and use it for its robust content offerings” such as e-mail and the HotJobs help wanted classified ads, Johnston says.

But, he says, for the down-and-dirty Web search, Google comes out on top.

“When people use Google,” Johnston says, “they only want to do one thing.”

Lee says Yahoo is not resting on its laurels and is improving its service and says another advantage Yahoo has is its people.

She brushed aside Google’s publicity, which touts its use of mathematical algorithms instead of people to interpret and present its search directory.

“Our people understand the mindset of users,” she says, “and can provide more intuitive results — something ones and zeros cannot do.”

McCaffery says Google does offer a people-powered directory option through the Open Directory Project.

And if the numbers are right, Web users already know which player is best.

“It’s Google’s game to lose,” says Highranking.com’s Whalen.

Walking Papers

“They shook my hand and said, `Merry Christmas, we’ll try to call you back – no promises; no guarantees. Turn in your uniform. See ya.’ It was that cold,” said Bart Sexton, retelling the events after a local United Parcel Service Christmas party last year.

A recently discharged Navy veteran of the

 The alarm is silent. Your wallet is empty. Such is the life of someone who’s been laid off.

By DAVID SPEAKMAN 

“They shook my hand and said, `Merry Christmas, we’ll try to call you back – no promises; no guarantees. Turn in your uniform. See ya.’ It was that cold,” said Bart Sexton, retelling the events after a local United Parcel Service Christmas party last year.

A recently discharged Navy veteran of the Panama invasion and the Gulf War, Sexton said he had been hired at UPS in October 1995. Although startling, his quick holiday-time dismissal was expected – and common. Sexton joined a select group of workers that many industries depend on – seasonal help. These workers, many in the 18- to 30-year-old range, usually are hired in October and become an important part of the corporate team.

When the holidays are over, and things slow down a bit, though, these “migrant workers” of the ’90s are dismissed. The good ones sometimes are called back when future jobs open. But not always.

Sexton knew at the time of hire “the possibility of layoff was an almost certainty.” But that didn’t make him feel any better.

Twentysomethings are bombarded by a series of firsts. First car, first permanent full-time job and, unfortunately, first pink slips.

Young adults are particularly vulnerable to unemployment, according to Gary Gatman, planning director for JobWorks, a northeast Indiana private sector employment and workforce development service based in Fort Wayne.

“Younger workers and part-time workers – usually mothers in two-income households – are among the hardest hit,” Gatman said.

Making matters worse, he said January through March is the most difficult time for the unemployed to find work. In general, the economy tends to slow down during this time period.

Although about the same number of unemployed are processed through JobWorks each month – about 30 in Allen County – Gatman said the program had a 60 percent job placement success rate in December but only a 17 percent success rate for January.

Although both Sears Roebuck & Co. and GTE have announced the possibility of reduction-in-force layoffs, a U.S. Postal Service mail processing center opened last year in Fort Wayne and soon is expected to hire another batch of part- and full-time workers.

Older workers sometimes fear that twentysomethings, who are traditionally paid less than their older counterparts, are a threat to their job security. Gatman said that wasn’t necessarily the case.

“Lower wages (for twentysomethings) is an advantage of sorts,” he said, “but that is offset by less experience. Employers want a proven work and attendance record. Settling for lower wages is not a major benefit.”

Dealing with first-time unemployment can be a scary thing, but it usually isn’t the end of the world. Tim Williams, a 25-year-old former sales administrator at The Essex Group in Fort Wayne, has been dealing with unemployment since he lost his job a year ago.

“First, you look at finances and see what you’re going to be able to pay,” Williams said. “I got rid of my new car, gave up my apartment and scanned the classifieds.”

Then there’s 29-year-old Julia Kirchhausen, who was with the Buffalo, N.Y., Philharmonic from January 1993 to July 1994. During her tenure, she was laid off – twice.

“They sent us registered letters at home,” said Kirchhausen, who has since moved up in the orchestral world and is now the marketing director of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. “It was very short and photocopied and not personalized at all. It was devastating, even though we knew it was going to happen.

“We knew what the cash flow situation was, and we knew that there wasn’t any,” she continued. “We went on unemployment, which is a humbling experience, because here you are a supposedly professional person who has been to college and done all the right things and has worked hard and worked well.”

And because bills can’t be paid without money, a possible source of funds is unemployment checks from the local Indiana Workforce Development office.

Although some frown on the use of public assistance, Sexton explained: “If you’ve worked, you’ve paid your dues. I don’t plan on living off the system for my entire life. Unemployment claims are a part of a job like medical and dental benefits.”

DEALING WITH DEBT

  • Claiming unemployment
    Why: If you’ve worked at least three months, these checks could keep you from starving or moving back with the parents.
    Where: Indiana Department of Workforce Development, 5821 S. Anthony Blvd.
    Phone: 447-3575
    Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
    What to expect: It’s first come, first served. Show up as early as possible. Expect at least two hours of waiting in line, answering a computer questionnaire and waiting to speak to a counselor. The counselor will schedule an appointment for a mandatory 90-minute course. Because of paperwork and red tape, benefits will be delayed at least one week from your application. Bring your social security or green card.
    What you get: Providing you have worked long enough to qualify and your past employer doesn’t deny benefits, you can expect to get between $50 and $217 each week for a maximum of 26 weeks in a one-year period – depending on your former salary. No taxes are taken out. You are required to sign a weekly form that lists at least one company where you are trying to get hired.
  • Food Stamps
    Why: Unemployment checks can’t cover all the bills – especially if you have children.
    Where: Allen County Division of Family and Children (formerly Welfare), 4820 New Haven Ave.
    Phone: 458-6200
    Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
    What to expect: Paperwork galore – especially if you don’t live alone. You can’t buy beer or cigarettes with food stamps. Call before showing up to be sure you bring correct identification and other information to the meetings.
    What you get: Specific dollar amounts depend upon demonstrated need.

Attorney thwarts courtroom suicide

Gilbert Franklin Black, Kendallville, almost succeeded in a courtroom gun suicide attempt Tuesday afternoon in Noble County Circuit Court. He was at a sentencing hearing.

Black, 53, had been convicted at an earlier hearing for sexual battery on an 11-year-old girl. He appeared in court for sentencing before Judge Robert C. Probst.

The child and her family were present at the hearing.

According

(Albion (Indiana) New Era – Page 1 – March 1, 1995) 

By David Speakman

Gilbert Franklin Black, Kendallville, almost succeeded in a courtroom gun suicide attempt Tuesday afternoon in Noble County Circuit Court. He was at a sentencing hearing.

Black, 53, had been convicted at an earlier hearing for sexual battery on an 11-year-old girl. He appeared in court for sentencing before Judge Robert C. Probst.

The child and her family were present at the hearing.

According to an aunt of the girl, Probst announced Black would serve three years in prison – the maximum sentence for his conviction.

According to witnesses, Black stood up after the sentence was announced and was asked to await transport by police to the jail.

The aunt said she saw Black’s attorney, Richard Thonert lung as Black pushing him.

Then onlookers could see that Black had removed a small caliber handgun from beneath his jacket and placed it under his chin.

He pulled the trigger while his attorney tried to stop the action, witnesses said.

A single shot was heard throughout the building.

“After the gunshot, the girl’s mother ran from the courtroom,” said the aunt.

A witness at the scene saw the mother and various family members run from the courthouse and exit the east side of the building.

Employees at the county clerk’s office heard a female voice shout, “Call an ambulance, he’s shot himself,” then heard another voice say, “No, don’t. He deserves to die.”

Black was released fro McCray Hospital after treatment of superficial injuries around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday into county police custody to be transported to the Indiana State Penitentiary.

“I’m glad he didn’t die,” the aunt said, expressing further that he deserved to be behind bars.

“He can rape a little girls,” she said, “but can’t face three years in jail.”

 Black was transported by EMS to McCray Memorial after an original Trip to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne via Samaritan helicopter was aborted as unnecessary.

Town, county and state law enforcement officers responded tot he call of gunfire in the courthouse.

Ii is not against the law in Indiana to carry a firearm into a courtroom, providing the carrier has a permit, according to Bruce Bryant, administrative assistant for the Indiana State Police Firearms Section in Indianapolis.

lack could be charged, however, with contempt of court, violations of discharging a weapon within town or county property, criminal recklessness and other crimes related to the firearm discharge.

As recently as their Monday regular meeting, Noble County Commissioners have been discussing courthouse security measures.

Noble County Prosecutor David Lauer said the three county judges expressed continuing concern for the prevention of firearms in the courthouse.

“It doesn’t matter how many deputies are in the building or how quickly officers respond,” Lauer said. “By the time shots are fired, it’s too late.”

WIPB cancels homosexual movie

WIPB-TV the campus-based Muncie PBS Affiliate, has decided not to air the controversial dramatization, The Lost Language of Cranes.

Based upon David Levitt’s 1986 best-selling novel of the same name, the tale unfolds as a father and son reveal their homosexuality to each other.

The British movie, directed by Nigel Finch, features gay characters in lead roles. Actors such as Angus

(Ball State Daily News – Thursday, June 25, 1992)

By DAVID SPEAKMAN
Staff Reporter

WIPB-TV the campus-based Muncie PBS Affiliate, has decided not to air the controversial dramatization, The Lost Language of Cranes.

Based upon David Levitt’s 1986 best-selling novel of the same name, the tale unfolds as a father and son reveal their homosexuality to each other.

The British movie, directed by Nigel Finch, features gay characters in lead roles. Actors such as Angus MacFayden, Eileen Atkins, Corey Parker (thirtysomething) and Brian Cox (the original Hannibal Lector in the film Manhunter) round out the cast.

Some scenes that may have led to this decision to stop the telefilm include the portrayal of shirtless men talking in bed and same-gender kissing.

At press time, station officials were unavailable for comment on the last-minute cancellation of an airing scheduled in local listings.

“I’m surprised that it is not showing,” said Kerry Poynter, Lesbian and Gay Student Association internal vice president.

“At first I was surprised that it was listed as showing in Muncie because it had to do with gay issues,” he said.

LGSA members said WIPB has chosen not to air other programs that deal with homosexuality, including the documentary, Tongues Untied

“Gay and lesbian people also donate money to the station and ought to see what they want to see,” Poynter said.

The only Indiana-based station airing the program is the Indiana University-owned PBS affiliate.

“In a college town people tend to be a little more open minded and a large portion of people would be interested in seeing a story like Lost Language of Cranes,” Poynter said. “I’m upset and I’m going to call them. Other people should call Channel 49, too.”

Poynter and other callers to the station last night reached an answering machine.

Other students were not surprised by the decision not to air the critically-acclaimed film.

“I think that this re-validates the point that Muncie is 40 years behind the times and is unwilling to support diversity,” said Robin Schreiber, Student Association director of Communication.

“I don’t understand why Channel 49 is trying to act like a mother for the Muncie community,” said Mike Branham, SA Judicial Court justice. 

Perot snares 4,600 local signatures

Local Ross Perot supporters collected thousands of signatures in a grass roots effort to put the independent candidate on Indiana’s fall election ballot.

“We collected over 1,500 signatures in the first day,” said Carolyn Wenz, Perot’s Delaware County Coordinator. “During the two weeks we were out, we collected 4,600

(Ball State Daily News – Page 2 – May 14, 1992)

Texas billionaire expected to be on Hoosier fall ballot

By DAVID SPEAKMAN
Staff Writer

Local Ross Perot supporters collected thousands of signatures in a grass roots effort to put the independent candidate on Indiana’s fall election ballot.

“We collected over 1,500 signatures in the first day,” said Carolyn Wenz, Perot’s Delaware County Coordinator. “During the two weeks we were out, we collected 4,600 signatures total.”

To qualify for the Indiana ballot, candidates must collect 29,919 signatures. “Now I believe we are over (the required number of signatures),” Wenz said.

Wenz, a one-time presidential campaign coordinator for Robert Kennedy in 1968, said the country is at a crucial moment. “We are at a crossroads – a make-or-break moment. If this man gets in the White House, we will change the course of history.”

Wenz is not alone in her assessment of the political scene. “The Republicans and the Democrats don’t know how to run the country. It wouldn’t hurt to give Perot a chance,” said Jean Thurman, office manager at WBST radio.

Thurman explained why she signed Perot’s petition. “I didn’t like any of the other candidates. But I did like how Ross Perot came from a poor background and established his business,” she said.

“The choice we have between Bush and Clinton is pathetic,” said Wenz.

“George Bush has forgotten middle America.” Wenz pointed to Bush’s cut of the luxury tax on yachts. “That tax cut really helped me out.”

“Bill Clinton lost his credibility when he said he smoked marijuana and then claimed he never inhaled,” she said. “Yeah, right.”

While many political pundits are writing Perot off as a protest candidate, his supporters say otherwise. “He has a definite chance to win, and I’m not saying that just because I’m working for him,” said Wenz.

“As the summer goes on, Bush will continue to sink in popularity and Clinton will fade away,” Wenz said. “Ross Perot is popular right now and a lot of people don’t even know who he is.”

“Look at the polls,” she said. “He hasn’t officially announced his candidacy and he is winning in Texas and California.

Keillor Does Twain

Thanksgiving is over, and, as of today, there is one month until Christmas. Next Saturday is the start of December, and many people in East Central Indiana are expecting everything from Good tidings to earthquakes this holiday season.

WBST is jam-packed with more than 40 good tidings of special programming this month to celebrate the season. And it all starts at 6 p.m. Saturday.

On

By DAVID SPEAKMAN
For The Muncie Star (Page T-15)

Thanksgiving is over, and, as of today, there is one month until Christmas. Next Saturday is the start of December, and many people in East Central Indiana are expecting everything from Good tidings to earthquakes this holiday season.

WBST is jam-packed with more than 40 good tidings of special programming this month to celebrate the season. And it all starts at 6 p.m. Saturday.

On that day, Garrison Keillor takes his American Radio Company of the Air on location for a live broadcast from the Mark Twain Memorial in Hartford, Conn.

The 2-hour broadcast is the first of 13 tour broadcasts scheduled this season.

How did Garrison Keillor come to select Mark Twain’s famous Hartford home as a broadcast site? The answer rests in part with Keillor and with the executive director of the memorial, John Boyer.

Keillor’s articles for The New Yorker and other publications, and his broadcast for American Public Radio have evoked similarities with Twain in the minds of fans and critics alike. Knowing of that connection, Boyer contacted Keillor during a Connecticut appearance this past summer, and invited him to visit the memorial.

Keillor quietly accepted by coming to Hartford unannounced, buying a ticket and joining a guided tour on his own. Upon his return to New York, he immediately contacted the memorial, asking if his show could broadcast from the Twain home.

According to Chris Tschida, producer of American Radio Company, part of the show will feature music from Twain’s era – the latter part of the 19th century.

“We’re looking at spirituals and other forms of music which Twain would have known and enjoyed. There will be a Keillor monologue as well, undoubtedly tied to Twain themes, plus some other surprises.”

Special guests for the broadcast include the Gregg Smith Quartet, a sub-group of the Gregg Smith Singers, the most recorded vocal choir in the world. Also appearing will be Rob Fisher and the Coffee Club Orchestra and the Broadway Local Theatre Company.

Recovering the Past

Although December looks to be a very good month for our listeners, the last few days of November are alive and kicking.

At 5:30 tonight, Horizons host Vertamae Grosvenor continues her series of in-depth reports on crisis in the lives of our country’s minorities.

“Giving Up the Past: Indian Ceremonial Objects,” tells the story of how traders, geologists, soldiers, anthropologists and sometimes the Indians themselves have stolen or purchased many sacred objects from tribal communities.

For hundreds of years, Native Americans have created ceremonial objects vital to their spiritual life.

This program focuses on Native American tribes attempting to retain and strengthen their ancient cultures by retrieving important ceremonial objects from galleries, private art collections and museums, like the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art in Indianapolis.

In December, Horizons will round out its 1990 season with a colorful array of documentaries exploring the many sides of life in America – past and present.

Horizons will take listeners back to the 1960s to examine the black theater movement, tracking its influence on contemporary dramatic arts.

Other documentaries include as story about a San Francisco-based training program helping troubled youth in American cities and a story by Horizons host Vertamae Grosvenor about popular Zydeco star Queen Ida.

Alumnus nominated for national award

(Ball State Daily News – Page 2 – July 5, 1989) 

By DAVID SPEAKMAN
Staff Writer

An alumnus was recently announced to be a finalist for the Indiana Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching.

If Gary Emmert, a Teacher’s College graduate, wins the competition, he could receive a $7,000 grant to be used for classroom needs and a trip to Washington, D.C. to be recognized by President Bush, the Indiana Department

(Ball State Daily News – Page 2 – July 5, 1989) 

By DAVID SPEAKMAN
Staff Writer

An alumnus was recently announced to be a finalist for the Indiana Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching.

If Gary Emmert, a Teacher’s College graduate, wins the competition, he could receive a $7,000 grant to be used for classroom needs and a trip to Washington, D.C. to be recognized by President Bush, the Indiana Department of Education announced.

Emmert was nominated by David Shull, principal of Ben Davis Junior High School in Indianapolis. Shull had previously nominated Emmert for the award in 1988.

“Gary is an outstanding educator. He’s very dedicated and effective at teaching all ability levels. He believes that all kids can learn,” said Shull.

This year Emmert is one of three Indiana finalists for the award in mathematics teaching. State Superintendent of Public Instructions H. Dean Evens said that the winner would be announced during the first week of September.

A national panel of scientists, mathematicians and educators will judge the finalists on the basis of experience, education and professional memberships, recommendations, essays, and proposed use of the awards for classroom activities.

Emmert, nominated for the National Science Foundation award for the second time, works well with others, Shull said. Emmert is also well regarded by fellow teachers. This year he was nominated by his peers for the Wayne Township teacher of the year award.

“Gary is a good team player. He’s no prima donna. He is still humble and admits freely that he learns from those around him,” said Shull.

Emmert also incorporates principles of physics onto his math classes, Shull said. This past year Emmert had his classes do such projects as create a capsule that would protect a raw egg when dropped from the top of the school and design and build boats for a race after the students estimated the amount of water displacement would be caused by the weight of the team.

Emmert also acts as the faculty advisor and founder of the Ben Davis Junior High chapter of Odyssey of the Mind, a national student problem-solving organization.

This year, the team was challenged to come up with a machine that would perform twelve tasks on its own. The team’s gadget won the state championship and placed in the top 15 in the national competition in Boulder, Colo.

The three years of Emmert advising Odyssey of the Mind teams has produced three state championships and placement in the national top 15 twice.

“In the four years that Gary has been at Ben Davis Junior High, he has stood for academic excellence,” Shull said. “I wish we had a school full of teachers like Gary Emmert.”

Emmert is on academic leave for the summer, according to Ben Davis Junior High, and could not be reached by the Daily News for comment.