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Google

Hard-Coded Bias In Google Search Results? 257

Posted by timothy
from the where-the-pigeons-roost dept.
bonch writes "Technology consultant Benjamin Edelman has developed a methodology for determining the existence of a hard-coded bias in Google's search engine which places Google's services at the top of the results page. Searching for a stock ticker places Google Finance at the top along with a price chart, but adding a comma to the end of the query removes the Google link completely. Other variations, such as 'a sore throat' instead of 'sore throat,' removes Google Health from its top position. Queries in other categories provide links to not only Google services but also their preferred partners. Though Google claims it does not bias its results, Edelman cites a 2007 admission from Google's Marissa Mayers that they placed Google Finance at the top of the results page, calling it 'only fair' because they made the search engine. Edelman notes that Google cites its use of unbiased algorithms to dismiss antitrust scrutiny, and he recalls the DOJ's intervention in airlines providing favorable results for their own flights in customer reservation systems they owned."

Reviews: Star Trek 544

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-finally-got-to-expense-a-movie dept.
On these pages, admitting that you are a Trekkie is not a mark of shame; it's more like admitting that you are a carbon-based life form, which is true of almost all of us. I watch every movie. I've seen every episode of every series. And as my wife will tell you, I scream "F*** you Rick Berman!' during the credits every time I see it. So when JJ Abrams got a crack at a reboot, I was hopeful. The short review is that I liked it. Keep reading; I'll keep the spoilers down to a minimum. (Continued below.)
Supercomputing

Flu Models Predict Pandemic, But Flu Chips Ready 216

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the false-positives-incoming dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Supercomputer software models predict that swine flu will likely go pandemic sometime next week, but flu chips capable of detecting the virus within four hours are already rolling off the assembly line. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which has designated swine flu as the '2009 H1N1 flu virus,' is modeling the spread of the virus using modeling software designed by the Department of Defense back when avian flu was a perceived threat. Now those programs are being run on cluster supercomputers and predict that officials are not implementing enough social distancing--such as closing all schools--to prevent a pandemic. Companies that designed flu-detecting chips for avian flu, are quickly retrofitting them to detect swine flu, with the first flu chips being delivered to labs today." Relatedly, at least one bio-surveillance firm is claiming they detected and warned the CDC and the WHO about the swine flu problem in Mexico over two weeks before the alert was issued.

Comment: Re:Prideful Putin ? (Score 4, Interesting) 600

by Lux (#26669493) Attached to: Comrade, You Are So Not Getting a Dell

He's got a point. Building computers is simply not a terrifically difficult business.

I was in St. Petersburg (Putin's hometown) a few months ago visiting in-laws, and I helped them pick out their first computer from a local vendor. What they got was a pretty nice machine for the money. The selection was good. A fine consumer experience, overall.

Do they need a foreign corporation in that market locally? Would they benefit immensely from that? Not really.

Comment: Re:Google may be afraid of Ad Blockers (Score 1) 290

by Lux (#25859915) Attached to: Google Chrome OEM Strategy To Take On IE

Yeah. Exactly. I don't trust chrome, because Google is a company that makes all of its money off of advertizing. Advertizing revenue is inversly proportional to user privacy. We rely on our browsers to protect our privacy via mechanisms like the same origin policy. In the future, as the web evolves, we can expect to need new browser features to protect our privacy.

MS also wants to be heavy into ad revenue, but for now, MS makes its money off of other things, so there isn't as big a conflict for the team picking which featuers make it into IE. In fact, MS is so focused on crushing Google, I could see them championing user privacy and hurting their own ad revenue numbes just to undermine Google.

But of course, Firefox has the least financial interest in undermining privacy. In that department: Firefox > IE >> Chrome.

Google

Reading Google Chrome's Fine Print 607

Posted by kdawson
from the here-be-tygers dept.
Much ink and many electrons are being spilled over Google's Chrome browser (discussed here twice in recent days): from deep backgrounders to performance benchmarks to its vulnerability to a carpet-bombing flaw. The latest angle to be explored is Chrome's end-user license agreement. It does not look consumer-friendly. "By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any content which you submit, post or display on or through, the services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the services and may be revoked for certain services as defined in the additional terms of those services."
Networking

New Algorithm Boosts Network Efficiency 114

Posted by Soulskill
from the more-is-better dept.
palegray.net writes "Researchers at the University of California have developed a new network routing algorithm that has the potential to significantly boost Internet traffic routing efficiency. This new approach focuses on the needs of dynamic networks, where connections are frequently transient. From the article: 'What the team did with their new routing algorithm, according to Savage's student Kirill Levchenko, was to reduce the "communication overhead" of route computation — by an order of magnitude.' For the technically inclined, the full research publication (PDF) is available."
Television

TV Viewers' Average Age Hits 50 331

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the hey-i'm-almost-that-old-now dept.
Ant writes "Variety reports on a recent study that says TV viewership's median age is outside the 18-49 years demographic: "The broadcast networks have grown older than ever — if they were a person, they wouldn't even be a part of TV's target demo anymore." These totals exclude DVR users, and apparently the oldest since they started tracking it. Of course you know what the means ... TV is for old people! The internet has confirmed it.
Biotech

Where To Draw the Line With Embryo Selection? 727

Posted by Soulskill
from the godwin-bonanza dept.
Tjeerd writes "There is currently a discussion going on in the Netherlands about embryo selection. The process means that when using in vitro fertilization, you can check what kind of genetic defects will definitely become activated during life. When embryos with those defects are identified, they can be avoided or destroyed. The next step the government is considering is to make it possible to select against genetic defects which might become active in life, such as breast and colon cancer. Of course, this is a very difficult discussion; where do you start, and where do you end? People are worrying that there is no real limit, and that you could potentially check for every genetic defect. I think if you're in a situation where you or your family have genetic defects, you surely want to check whether your children would have them too. What does the Slashdot community think about this?"
Google

Google Sued for $1B Over Outlook Migration Tool 332

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the thats-a-lotta-bucks dept.
A two-count lawsuit filed by Chicago company LimitNone alleges that Google misappropriated trade secrets and violated Illinois' consumer fraud laws when it developed "Google Email Uploader" which competes with LimitNone's "gMove" application. "Google claims its core philosophy is 'Don't be evil' but, simply put, they invited us to work with them, to trust them — and then stole our technology,'" said Ray Glassman, CEO of LimitNone, in a prepared statement. The lawsuit was filed by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, the same commercial litigation group which challenged Google over the company's online advertising system.
The Internet

How To Frame a Printer For Copyright Infringement 325

Posted by timothy
from the point-the-finger-point-it-well dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Have you ever wondered what it takes to get 'caught' for copyright infringement on the Internet? Surprisingly, actual infringement is not required. The New York Times reports that researchers from the computer science department at the University of Washington have just released a study that examines how enforcement agencies monitor P2P networks and what it takes to receive a complaint today. Without downloading or sharing a single file, their study attracted more than 400 copyright infringement complaints. Even more disturbing is their discovery that illegal P2P participation can be easily spoofed; the researchers managed to frame innocent desktop machines and even several university printers, all of which received bogus complaints."
Yahoo!

Microsoft Offered $40 a Share For Yahoo 306

Posted by kdawson
from the maximizing-shareholder-value dept.
fistfullast33l writes "Bloomberg is reporting that a recently unsealed court case by shareholders against Yahoo reveals that Microsoft offered $40 a share for the Internet search company in January 2007 and Yahoo turned it down. We've extensively discussed Microsoft's bid for Yahoo earlier this year for $33 a share, which was rebuffed. Investor Carl Icahn has launched a proxy fight against Yahoo over the spurning of the Microsoft deal." CWmike notes Computerworld's coverage of the revelations: "The complaint places much of the blame on [Yahoo CEO Jerry] Yang, describing him as someone with a 'well-known' antipathy toward Microsoft who acted out of a personal interest to keep Yahoo independent. Something wrong with that? Oh, yeah... public company."

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