Google's Orkut Experiencing Privacy Problems

Google's social networking site, Orkut has been unavailable off and on since yesterday, possibly for upgrades to prevent data mining of members' personal information. One non-Google website allows users to trace Orkut member connections on a US map using data scraped from the site. The map interface is based on older data and rumor has it that "Orkut police" stopped the mining. Reports from and


All The Google IPO News You Can Take

If you're not yet sick of reading about the big Google IPO, here's a few of the better stories out there. One of the more interesting is This One from the NTimes, which includes the Letter From the Founders that was included with the filing. In short, the NYTimes says Google is doing everything they can to fight the shortcomings of going public.
ITWorld Says the IPO could provide a boost for other technology companies seeking to raise public funds. says the innovative ways in which they will come to market won't make Google's stock a good investment.

Other coverage at Contra Costa Times, CNET, Reuters, and, of course, Wired who says Google execs have a profound contempt for Wall Street types.
And finally, From CNN, It may sound strange, but a company in the bluest of blue states may play a big role in helping to return President Bush to office this fall.


Google files for $2.7 billion IPO

CNN/Money Reports Google registered for a $2.7 billion initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday.
In the filing, Google said that it generated revenues of $961.9 million in 2003 and reported a net profit of $106.5 million. Sales rose 177 percent from a year ago although earnings increased by just 6 percent.


What can't you find on Google? Vital statistics

An Anonymous Patron writes The Observer has this story on Google.

"The computing engine that powers Google is the largest cluster of Linux servers in the history of the world. One university presentation, for example, claimed that Google handled 150 million queries a day, and 1,000 per second at peak times. They also claim to have '4+ petabytes' of disk storage, and have let slip that each server is fitted with two 80 gigabyte hard drives. Now a petabyte is 10 to the power of 15 bytes, so if Google had only 10,000 servers, that would come to 400 Gb per server."


Google changing Algorithms addressing HATE SITES

SEO writes "Because of a recent controversy regarding Google SERPs,Google will seek to change it's Algorithms to eliminate HATE SITES.Google Story Here. Search engine Google has received praise from the Anti-Defamation League for responding to the result rankings of extremist websites. The issue comes from, an Anti-Semitic site, being the top search result for the keyword "Jew".In a letter to ADL, Google President Sergey Brin apologized to users who found the search results for the word "Jew" upsetting and promised to work for a solution that would satisfy ADL's concerns and those of users offended by the #1 ranking of an anti-Semitic Web site."We are extremely pleased that Google has heard our concerns and those of its users about the offensive nature of some search results and the unusually high ranking of peddlers of bigotry and anti-Semitism," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Google has shown great responsiveness to this issue and a willingness to consider changes to better identify extremist Web sites, so that users can still have the benefit of Google's unique search technology while being alerted when they are about to enter into a hate zone.""


Google's chastity belt too tight?

A critique of Google's SafeSearch from CNET News featuring a quote from Librarians' Index to the Internet's Karen Schneider: proudly touts itself as the Net's No. 1 source for audio, video and speaker components--but online shoppers who rely on an optional feature in the Google search engine to block porn sites would never know it.

By an accident of spelling, the domain name of the Ohio electronics retailer includes an unfortunate string of letters, "sex," which is enough to block the Web site from Google's filtered results.

Complete story.


CDT on GMail

Louise writes "The Center for Democracy and Technology has a policy post about the GMail controversy. Whether you agree with their round-up or not, they lay some points out clearly, which is helpful."


The Power of Search

The Age (Melbourne) has a good article about search engines, largely from a librarian or information professional perspective. The article discusses various search engines and also new collaborative relationships between search engines and organisations such as the Library of Congress. The OAIster Project, a collaboration between Yahoo and the University of Michigan, is outlined as are various recent research projects into the “tacit connections� of internet searching and attempts at increasing search engine functionality. Ends with a timeline of the development of the search engine.


Forbes Tests Google E-mail - Review writes
  "Invited to try-out the service,Forbes' Preliminary Evaulation of Goole E-mail is overall FavoribleRead the FORBES story here.Google invited us to experiment with the early version of the service, and taking into account that it remains under construction, we have a few preliminary observations.First, Gmail is good for the e-mail pack rat that many people are becoming. Most people delete old e-mail messages because they have storage constraints--or think they do, or because they just don't like to see a cluttered inbox. But if you're the type who likes to refer back to old e-mail in order to remember what you or another party said, Gmail's 1-gigabyte storage is certainly a welcome change.Another feature that makes it easy to re-trace the steps in an e-mail exchange: say you need to remember a few action items sent by e-mail from the boss. Once you find the one of the e-mail messages that is part of that exchange, Gmail displays it with related messages in the window. Gmail calls these exchanges "conversations." And clicking on one expands it so that more than one relevant message is displayed at a time. A link at the right of the screen says "expand all," and it expands all the messages that are part of a conversation.Finding those messages is far easier and faster than with any other e-mail program or service we've ever experienced. A search field at the top of screen lets you search for practically any word that may appear in any part of the email, including the subject, the name of the sender or what may be in the body of the message. If there's one thing Google does well, it's search. We entered in words we knew we had used in messages sent and they popped up instantly. Another search using the last name of the moderator of a certain mailing list we subscribe to was equally fast and comprehensive."

Topic: FAQ

Check out the FAQ for answers to all your GoogleQ's. It includes answers to questions that appear especially
frequently in the newsgroup
The Glossary does an outstanding job of explaining many common 'net terms you may have heard, but didn't understand.

Link stolen from ResearchBuzz! because Tara is so groovy.



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