Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Deal of the Day - 6 month subscription of Pandora One at 46% off. ×

Submission + - Google algorithm now punishes bad reviews. (

gurps_npc writes: The New York Times recently published a story (warning, login needed) accusing an internet retailer of intentionally providing bad service. The theory was that every bad review generated increased their google score, placing them higher in the rankings. While a Google search for the company name resulted in the bad reviews, if you searched for a brand name, that company came up very high because of all the bad reviews. So people would search for brand name products and end up using the company with the worst reputation.

Google apparently took this to heart because as per PCworld article, they recently announced a new algorithm that will punish a store if they get too many bad reviews. Right now, the algorithm just punishes "an extremely poor user experience", but they say they will continue to work on the issue.

In the (paraphrased) words of Coots and Gillespie:

They are making a list, And checking it twice; gonna find out who's naughty and nice


Submission + - Google algorithm discriminates against bad reviews (

j_col writes: According to the official Google blog, Google has altered their PageRank algorithm to not give back linking points to bad reviews of websites belonging to online retailers, following the publication of a recent article in the New York Times describing one woman's experiences in being harassed by an online retailer she found via Google. The specific changes to the algorithm are of course a guarded secret. So considering that these changes are already live, how do we know how the algorithm determines a bad review from a good one, and whether or not innocent online retailers will be wrongly punished by having their rankings downgraded?

Researchers Discover Irresistible Dance Moves 215

sciencehabit writes "To find out if certain dance moves are more attractive to women than others, researchers recruited a bunch of college guys and used motion-capture to create avatars of them dancing. When women watched the avatars (2 videos included in story), the men they found most attractive were those who kept their heads and torsos moving without flailing their arms and legs. The researchers say dancing is thus an honest signal to women of the man's strength and health, just as it is in crabs and hummingbirds, who also move in special ways to attract mates."

Submission + - Job-cutting bosses get paid more than their peers (

wiredmikey writes: The CEOs who cut the most jobs during the recession earned more than their peers, according to a study being released today by a liberal think tank in Washington.

Separately, the report estimated that the CEOs of the nation's largest publicly traded companies make an average of 263 times more the typical U.S. production worker.


Apple Reverses iPad "No Cash Purchase" Policy 377

ZipK writes "After a few days of bad publicity, Apple has reversed its no cash purchase policy, explaining that the policy was originally implemented to limit the number of iPads an individual could buy during the introductory period of short supply. Now that supply has caught up with demand — and the story has hit front pages and gained national attention — Apple has reversed its policy, and taken the opportunity to put a bow on the story by giving the formerly scorned Diane Campbell a free iPad."

Cheap Incubator Backpack Could Reduce Infant Deaths 76

Boy Wunda writes "In just one six-month period in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2006, 96 newborn babies who were in need of medical care died before they could get help. In many developing nations, these deaths could be prevented simply by providing better ways for medical responders to transport infants properly over rough terrain and keep them alive until they can reach hospitals and clinics. Now, a group of Colorado State University seniors has designed and filed a patent for a medically equipped incubator backpack unit that they believe can reduce baby deaths in medical emergencies both in the United States and in newly industrialized nations."

Supermassive Black Hole Is Thrown Out of Galaxy 167

DarkKnightRadick writes "An undergrad student at the University of Utrecht, Marianne Heida, has found evidence of a supermassive black hole being tossed out of its galaxy. According to the article, the black hole — which has a mass equivalent to one billion suns — is possibly the culmination of two galaxies merging (or colliding, depending on how you like to look at it) and their black holes merging, creating one supermassive beast. The black hole was found using the Chandra Source Catalog (from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory). The direction of the expulsion is also possibly indicative of the direction of rotation of the two black holes as they circled each other before merging."

Comment Re:Noble, but sad (Score 2, Insightful) 290

Except that I wasn't planning on buying it at all. Now I'll buy it and pay something for it. Something > Nothing.

I'd imagine that most people who wanted it would have already bought it by now. They're squeezing money out of people who wouldn't have bought it at the higher price.

Although, I have a feeling that sales will plummet after this week.


OLED Film Could Provide Cheap Night Vision For Cars 120

thecarchik writes "Night vision systems are already available in the higher-end luxury sedans from companies like Toyota, Volvo, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. It's expensive technology that few drivers can afford, and at $4,000 for the system without a display, it's a pricey upgrade. That may all change soon, as DARPA-funded scientists have developed a cheap way to turn any infrared light into visible light with a thin film."

Every cloud has a silver lining; you should have sold it, and bought titanium.