Google

Using Google for Background Checks on People

search engine web sends us three interesting tales on "Googling":

The first concerns a lawsuit filed by an accountant versus several search engines (including Google) claiming that the results of his search for his own name constitute libel.

The second concerns a teen who learned by Googling his name that he was being searched for by his custodial parent (which wasn't the one he had had lived with for the past 14 years).

The third describes how a woman, curious about the man she was going on a date with, discovered that he was a fugitive.

These bring up some interesting issues: is there any expectation of privacy on the internet? are search engines liable for incorrect results?

In Google they trust

nbruce writes ""In one sense, with Google, everything is knowable now," said Esther Dyson, who publishes Release 1.0, a technology-industry newsletter. "We were much more passive about information in the past. We would go to the library or the phone book, and if it wasn't there, we didn't worry about it. Now, people can't as easily drift from your life. We can't pretend to be ignorant." But the flood of unedited information, she said, demands that users sharpen critical thinking skills, to filter the results. "Google," she said, "forces us to ask, `What do we really want to know?' "
Full story at NYTimes"

In the search game: Google 1, Librarians 0

Bob Cox hips us to this article from the Star-Telegram.

Librarians are being written off as pre-1996 search relics, unable to compete in an era of robotic search engines.

Google founders to set up charitable organization

http://search-engines-web.com/ sends us news on Google's new charitable endeavors. From the article:

"According to Reuters the pair want to extend the principles behind Google the company into Google the charity...'We want to make the world a better place and so we're embarking on the Google Foundation and we're in the process of setting it up,' Page is reported as saying."

Behind the rise in Google lies the rise in internet credibility

The New York Times (free registration required) offers us another article about Google, this time reflecting on how Google's evolution is tied to our evolving views of the Internet as a legitimate and useful source of information.

Search Beyond Google

An Anonymous Patron writes about an interesting article at Technology Review concerning Google's place in the websearch wars. Competition, their potential IPO, and the future. Read the full article at Technology Review.

Yahoo v Google

At the risk of boring everyone with another Google story, the Times has a really good article that explores all the possible repercussions of Yahoo no longer using Google as the search tool in its directory. While predominately the opinion of Kim Gilmour, a features editor of Internet Magazine, the parts about ways in which Search Engines (particularly Google) are branching out are interesting.

Starting to feel threatened

A Sydney Morning Herald article details some of the changes being made by Google in response to the growing competition from Yahoo and Microsoft. These include adding around 1 billion pages to its index and five major changes to its algorithmic formulas (including a special secret formula).

Journalists' Abuse of Google

misseli writes "In case anyone is still licking their wounds from Joel Achenbach's Washington Post piece on how Google is making libraries (and librarians) obsolete, "Lies, Damned Lies and Google takes journalists to task for ascribing too much relevancy to Google's search results.

From writer Lionel Beehner:
Sad to say, plugging Google in a story has become almost a telltale sign of sloppy reporting, a hack's version of a Rolodex. Journalists, especially ones from highbrow publications like The New Yorker, should be sourcing hard stats, not search-engine evidence, to bolster their stories."

Learn the basics of Google.com

Bob Cox writes, The Cincinnati Enquirer has an article, Learn the basics of Google.com", on the dangers of using Google and how to use Google more effectively.

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