Thursday, April 02, 2015

Are there some things Google isn't telling us?

Here's a little something that's amusing but barely explicable about Google.

First I have to mention a couple of things about data modelling.  When dealing with data, an attribute tells you something about an object, such as its colour or date ordered.  In a dimensional data model, objects from the real world are set up with dimensions, which are essentially more structured versions of attributes, with multiple representations of each, such as day, month, date.  So in fact the terms are generally used in slightly different contexts.

Does that make enough sense?  Or can Mr Google find a way of explaining it more clearly?  Let's see:

So far, so good: it's anticipated my question.  But if you're a quick typist, you'll be most of the way there already.  At this point, Google somehow gets rather more... mysterious...

Dimension vs Alligator??

You may be asking, why not attribute at this point?  Someone discussed this recently in the back of New Scientist recently, in the context of predictive text on phones.  Inter alia, they noted that if you keep on typing, the algorithm figures the initial predictions are not what you wanted, and tries something... different...

Sadly, if you really wanted to know the difference between dimensions and alligators, Google goes all huffy, and compares alligators with crocodiles instead.  What are you hiding, Mr Google?