Google Under Scrutiny

ZDNet Austrialia reports that Google has removed controversial political and religious websites from search result listings. The article focuses on and They have removed white power sites from these versions of google because of legal action posed by German and French groups. Certain speech (such as pro-Nazi material) doesn\'t enjoy the same protection in those countries as it does in the US. Read the full story.Related link: - a website that monitors \"the legal climate for Internet activity.\" Many copyright, IP, free speech, and filtering issues are discussed.Original link via MeFi.


\"Standards of truth\" compares Google to Library of Alexandria


This essay at the \"Disenchanted\" website includes the following summary:

A robotic descendant of an ancient library\'s servants forces a new generation to learn some skills that they just don\'t teach in school, these days.

But that doesn\'t do the article justice. The author begins by comparing the Library of Alexandria\'s practice of stealing books from incoming vessels to Google\'s spiders caching webpages. Later, he or she talks about common fallacies reported in schools and other reputable sources, and shows that Google often has more and better material refuting these than supporting them.

I don\'t know if I\'m doing the article justice either, but trust me. You want to read this.


Google Needs People

Here's One by Peter Morville, on the new News Service At Google. Google says they generate the news entirely by computer algorithms without human editors. Peter says Google's hyperbole sent shivers down the spines of graphic designers, software developers, information architects and other humans who earn a living building Web sites and Intranets.


Conspiracy Researcher Says Google's No Good

Jen Young noticed This One over on Alternet about Daniel Brandt, they guy who runs
Brandt believes that the search engine is unfair, and it doesn't -- as many people think -- return the best search results. He says Google's PageRank algorithm, the celebrated system by which Google orders search results, is not, as Google says, "uniquely democratic" -- it's "uniquely tyrannical." PageRank is the "opposite of affirmative action," he has written, meaning that the system discriminates against new Web sites and favors established sites.


Google Degraded? Geeks Aghast

Wired Is Saying the \"inevitable\" backlash finally appears to have hit the world\'s most popular search engine. They say Google results have been degraded rather than improved by the latest tweak to its proprietary scoring algorithm for Web pages, known as PageRank. Though, it may just be bloggers who are bothered.


Why the Search Engine Isn\'t Always Right

NoOne writes \"Here\'s An Interesting Story.
Google, when given a query for the term \"go to hell\" kicks back the home page of Microsoft. The official home pages for AOL Time Warner Inc.\'s America Online division and for Walt Disney Co. also come in among the top five results under the \"go to hell\" query.

Although Google offered no explanation on the \"go to hell\" matter, Google\'s site is famous for its \"link analysis\" method of producing search results. When users enter a word or term, they get back not just those Web sites containing that term but other sites as well, that are linked to those that contain the word or phrase, in question.

Microsoft\'s home page, in other words, may not contain the phrase \"go to hell\" anywhere, but there are apparently a lot of other sites out there that mention Microsoft (or AOL, or Disney) and going to hell in the same context.

I got quite different results just now when I did it.


Google News Search Breakdown.

News Search, while still calling
itself \"beta,\" is already an \"alpha\" amongst news
search engines
.  Its news breakdown includes: Top
/ World
/ Business
/ Sci/Tech
/ Sports
/ Entertainment
& Health

Like AltaVista\'s news
(via Moreover), Google
is including thumbnails of photographs from some news stories, though Google
is being far more aggressive in its \'transformative fair use\' of the images. 
Google is also a NYTimes partner,
offering direct, \'no registration needed\' links to NYTimes articles.

Some of the most useful features are the \"related\" links that
bring up similar articles from any of about 4,000 news sources currently
being crawled by Google.  The \"In the News\" feature appears
to be a top 10 Zeitgeist
of current news events.  Doing a news search defaults to \"Sorted
by relevance
,\" so click the \"Sort by date\" button for a 30 day
chronological display of backdated news articles.  Read more: about
google news


Google News Search Option Included With Some Search Returns.

Google just started including a [News]
tab with some search results that automatically applies your search query
to it\'s current news database.

Apparently they\'re testing the feature - it only came up once for me


Gone Googlin\'

When Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page first hatched the idea of Google in their Stanford dorm room in 1998 I doubt they knew what a good idea they had. Google is no longer just a search engine, for many, it is the primary way to find information on the Web. People don’t search any more, they “Google.” If you’re like most librarians, searching the Web has become one of your primary job functions. (your secondary tasks probably include email, and of course, meetings.) If you’re like me, when you’re searching the web, you’re using Google. Google’s not the only game in town, but it is clearly the search engine of choice for most librarians.


Google mirror beats Great Firewall of China

The New Scientist is Reporting that China\'s widely criticised blocking of the web\'s most popular search engine Google can be defeated by viewing a strange Google mirror site through a mirror, New Scientist has discovered.



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