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steven bell writes \"John Derbyshire, columnist for National Review Online, in his Nov. 14 column \"The Age of Google\" give his readers the following advice: \"Throw out your Merriam-Webster, throw out your Fowler and Follett — throw away your whole shelf of reference books, in fact.\" You can probably guess where Google-fanatic Derbyshire is going with this column. That\'s right. Now that you can \"google\" all day, there\'s pretty much nothing else you need when it comes to finding information. Even though he does note that not everything in on the Internet yet, he states that \"A vast world of knowledge — all the knowledge in the world, in fact — is opening up to anyone with an $800 computer and an internet account\". I did like one of Derbyshire\'s remarks. He said that in the old days if someone made an observation about what Kierkegaard said (or quoted him) he or she had probably actually read Keirkegaard. Now, says Derbyshire, anyone can fool anyone else by sounding knowledgeable when in fact he or she probably just \"googled up\" that information. You guessed it. No mention of librarians here. So much for that \"human search engine\" campaign. Read the whole column at:
Carl Fogle passed along word on Live Query, a project that can be seen at Google\'s headquarters. It shows, in real time, updated samples of what people around the world are typing into Google\'s search engine.
``You can learn to say `sex\' in a lot of different languages by looking at the logs,\'\' said Craig Silverstein, director of technology at Google.
They say Google\'s worldwide scope means the company can track ideas and phenomena as they hop from country to country.
I guess Google Zeitgeist is the closest thing we can see.
Steven Bell writes \"A Nov.28 NYT article, \"Postcards From Planet Google\" explores the social relevance of the dominant search engine - over 150 million questions a day from 100 countries. Google collects every search query and enters it into a database. The article focuses on the stories these queries tell, and what can be learned by analyzing the question patterns. For example, why was there a sudden spike in queries about Carol Brady\'s maiden name (you\'ll have to read the article to find out). Even your local public librarian knows that something is up after the 17th grade-schooler in a row asks for the same information. Google just needs to do this on a massive scale with no knowledge of its user community. The big question: can the data analysis be used to turn a profit? The marketers are showing up at Google. Read more (registration needed) at The NYTimes \"
ZDNet Austrialia reports that Google has removed controversial political and religious websites from search result listings. The article focuses on google.de and google.fr. 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: Chillingeffects.org - a website that monitors \"the legal climate for Internet activity.\" Many copyright, IP, free speech, and filtering issues are discussed.Original link via MeFi.
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.
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.
Jen Young noticed This One over on Alternet about Daniel Brandt, they guy who runs google-watch.org.
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.
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.
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.