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Google Does the News 330

rizen was among the countless readers who submitted that google does the news. They've added a new tab to their interface, and a CNNish sorta web page that indexes thousands of online news sites. Their technology section is showing some Slashdot stories too (sweet!). I like that they combine related stories on the same subject. Nifty setup.
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Google Does the News

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:28AM (#4311298)
    technology section is showing some Slashdot stories too (sweet!).

    I don't see why they would. They probably already posted the article Slashdot is linking to before slashdot posts the story.

    Slashdot isn't a news site as much as a community site. Most articles are just pointing to real news sites. Its the comments that gives this site the edge.
  • What About.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Sites that require a user/pass (nytimes, etc)?
    • Re:What About.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by geckofiend ( 314803 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:41AM (#4311448)
      They have a partner agreement with NY Times at least that bypasses the registration requirement.
    • Sites that require a user/pass (nytimes, etc)?
      They have links to some sources woth registartion requirements like the Chicago Tribune and Nando Times. As always, you have to register and get the cookie to see the story.

      BTW, this is a repeat on Slashdot. I've been checking out Google News since the first time is was posted here as a Beta.
  • Ooo, irony (Score:5, Funny)

    by Winterblink ( 575267 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:28AM (#4311307) Homepage
    New news makes the news. *snicker*
  • by Bonker ( 243350 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:29AM (#4311309)
    I can load relevant headlines without waiting for my browser to time out on CNN's AOL/Netscape banner every time.

    Still, I wonder how the other news sources are going to react. They make their revenue on advertisting and if Google is skimming off the top of their viewership, I have to wonder if they're not going to start kvetching pretty quickly.
    • by Quaryon ( 93318 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:35AM (#4311379)
      Well, Google only links to headlines at other sites, rather than publishing the articles themselves - so I suspect there will soon be a race by each of these sites to figure out how to get the top article in each section..!

    • by garcia ( 6573 )
      Well, considering that most of those papers were still FULL of advertisements when I clicked any of the links, I am sure only a small part of their revenue will be gone.

      When I clicked the link for a story that was from NYT it came up w/&PARTNER=GOOGLE in the headline (or something similar). Seems that b/c they have been linking to them before it isn't a problem, or they have new permission to do this?
    • by greenhide ( 597777 ) <{moc.ylkeewellivc} {ta} {todhsalsnadroj}> on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:55AM (#4311560)
      These types of links are called deep links [].

      There has already been quite [] a lot [] of controversy [] regarding deep links, dating all the way back to 1999 [].

      In fact, one major free website hosting company, whose name escapes me at the moment, does not allow you to deep link to their members' pages. Instead, you are forced to go to that member's home page first (I imagine that they are checking for referers or some such thing).

      Clearly, deep linking is beneficial [], but some companies just don't get it.
      • by p3d0 ( 42270 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @11:18AM (#4311759)
        Deep linking is also bullshit. It's called "linking" and it's no different from linking to a home page. It's just a URL. There appears to be no basis [] to think that any kind of linking is illegal in any way.

        If companies want to force viewers through a predetermined path, the web is simply the wrong medium.

        • they can stop deeplinking with a simple HTTP_REFFER statement in their language of choice. Just because they are to lazy to implement it doesnt mean they need to get lawyers involved...
          • HTTP_REFFER is technically optional -- the browser doesn't have to pass that value. Also, if you manage a web site or two, scan the referrers in your logs on occasion. It can be somewhat humorous; I've seen some pretty funky referrals. Sometimes, it seems, IE randomly appends a URL from the user's cache onto that value. Of course too, the value can also be easily spoofed.

            Granted, 99% of the time this method wold work, but it's not foolproof. I never use that method for tracking clickthroughs or for a serious method of security.
        • Or they could just check the HTTP_REFERRER and deny anyone from another domain than their own.
          Or (if they really wanted to screw with the 1% who know or care how to forge a http-header) they could have pseudo-random url:s that change every hour or so.

          If I ever saw a problem that needed a technical, not, I repeat NOT a legal solution, this is it.
          Why the hell sue people when you can easily stop them from "infringing" (or whatever they call it).

          Or they could just wise up and see "deep linking" for what it really is. A benefit to everyone involved.
          If you don't allow deep linking your site will become a hassle to use, and large numbers of your customers will probably go elsewhere in search for a more user friendly experience.

          Of course, any of the above would require those companies policy making wonks to have any clue at all.
          Sadly, tech savvy people in management is all too rare.
          I just wish they could stopped being so anal.

          To sum up: Foot, meet bullet.
      • I've read a lot of stuff about people thinking that using HTTP_REFER is a good idea to lock people out of deep links. HTTP_REFER is NOT required. It is simpley a nice idea provided by the browser. A better solution is this: Only allow setting of a session variable (on the server) at the main page of the site. Then, require that the session variable be set at the pages that require access. This can be done transparently on the server. It also prevents the "I'm a cool hacker, I can fool you into thinking I am from your site." It can all be handled server side, which is good since if you are hosting news on the web, you are most likely running a server! This is purely a technical solution.

        Not, why the hell you want people sludging around your site looking for an interesting article and why you think this improves your site, that is a mental problem for the site. If I cannot link directly into a site to the information I want, I don't go to the site.

    • I know I had never used some of the sites that I was reading from just a minute ago until I stumbled upon . So, I figure in the end a lot of sites are only going to garner new hits?
    • robots.txt (Score:3, Insightful)

      by FyRE666 ( 263011 )
      I'm guessing Google still respects this, so it's pretty simple to stop it from deep linking...
    • Have you noticed that the file extension on the Netscape toolbar is "twhat"? How friggin' perfect is that? I can't believe the person who came up with that didn't read it the way I read it.

  • by DAldredge ( 2353 ) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:29AM (#4311317) Journal
    That dup detection code would do wonders to help slashdot. Any chance that Google will license it to /. ?
  • Regions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nick255 ( 139962 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:30AM (#4311318)
    At the moment it has World and U.S. sections. I think what it could really do with is different regional sections, which would be default to different regions URLs. (eg. having a UK section). It really doesn't interest me that much that South Dakota is to vote on extending jury rights!
    • Re:Regions (Score:5, Funny)

      by gnovos ( 447128 ) <> on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:51AM (#4311524) Homepage Journal
      Waaaaaaaaaitaminute... Are you honestly trying to tell me that the rest of the world doesn't wait with bated breath for any and all developments that come out of American state legislatures? Come on now, next you'll be telling me that you guys don't celebrate the Fourth of July!
    • Re:Regions (Score:4, Funny)

      by laserjet ( 170008 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @11:03AM (#4311617) Homepage
      Then why don't you limeys create your own search engine that rules? Then you can do whatever you want with it!

      (that was a joke).
    • Re:Regions (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Peyna ( 14792 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @11:12AM (#4311694) Homepage
      It would be even better if they offered more stories from news sources arond the world. I've noticed in the past that if I read a story on [], and then go read it on El Mundo [] or Le Monde [] that you tend to get a very different point of view. Especially with stories that look at the United States or International issues. A real good example was the recent problems in Argentina and how the US news presented it, and how international news sources presented it.
      • Re:Regions (Score:3, Insightful)

        by writermike ( 57327 )
        It would be even better if they offered more stories from news sources arond the world. I've noticed in the past that if I read a story on, and then go read it on El Mundo or Le Monde that you tend to get a very different point of view.

        I agree with you. I think this would be a very nice addition to the site. You should suggest that to them.

        In the meantime, you want World News Review [].
      • Re:Regions (Score:3, Interesting)

        by wsapplegate ( 210233 )
        What would be even better is link up that with their translation service, so I could get the American/British/Spanish/Whatever point of view in my native language (French in my case). Even if it would be a bit difficult to grasp the writers' ideas through the brain-damaged junk outputted by the translation software. Still, just having localized news pages (like the other services) would be great for a start. I encourage you to write to them about that.
    • I totally agree with you, I already emailed them about this. I basically said they should try doing it like BBC News [], with different subsections for various parts of the world (middle east, europe, south asia, the americas, etc.). Along the same lines, I can't believe the Sci./Tech section. They definently need do something to allow for a higher degree of specificity. Micrsoft buying Rare and Phillip Morris being suing online cigarette sellers is all well and good, but maybe I'd like to see just space stories, or just computer stories. If they set it up so Sci./Tech had different subsections (the internet, space, computers, video games, etc.) it would be a lot more user-friendly.
    • Here's why that won't happen :) shtml
  • by Bravo_Two_Zero ( 516479 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:30AM (#4311321)
    I know lots of news pages exist, but this is nice and clean. Plus, they seem to have a good amount of international news. I can see using this every day. Plus, it's nice not to be beaten over the head with layers, flash and such. Imagine that... just the news!
    • by d^2b ( 34992 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @11:26AM (#4311820) Homepage
      Hmm. I know its not cool to pick on people's English when you don't speak their language, but living in Munich I was amused by the following quote from the Islamic Republic News Agency
      "This government will only govern for a very short time," Stoiber told his disappointing supporters at a gathering in Munich, broadcast live on German television.
      I mean, hey, Bavarians are a unique bunch, but disappointing seems a bit harsh, especially during Oktoberfest :->

      Seriously though, I wonder just how the IRNA one paragraph story got to be number two on the list of sources.

      B.T.W., and this is probably redundant, but if you think slashdotting is cool, wait till google news points at your community newspaper.

  • Methodology? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Spazholio ( 314843 ) <slashdot@lexal. n e t> on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:33AM (#4311355) Homepage
    I thought Google's indexing/spidering system was innovative because it ranked pages in terms of how popular and prevalent they are on OTHER pages. I would think that it takes a small amount of time for this kind of "popularity" to build up. Are they changing their methods for the news section? Using their traditional methods, it wouldn't be "news" anymore. Is it just taking the headlines from the most popular websites and posting them there? Don't get me wrong, Google's the best at what it does, so this will probably end up being a good thing, I'm just curious about the methodologies employed.
    • About News Search (Score:5, Informative)

      by overunderunderdone ( 521462 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @01:39PM (#4312790)
      It doesn't say much but their is an FAQ []

      The most it says about the technology is this:
      How does Google decide what stories are published on the Google News homepage?

      The headlines on the Google News homepage are selected entirely by a computer algorithm, based on many factors including how often and on what sites a story appears elsewhere on the web. This is very much in the tradition of Google's web search, which relies heavily on the collective judgment of web publishers to determine which sites offer the most valuable and relevant information. Google News relies in a similar fashion on the editorial judgment of online news organizations to determine which stories are most deserving of inclusion and prominence on the Google News page.
      I'm guessing that the sources themselves are ranked in the usual manner. The same story from different sources are grouped and finally the placement of the story is determined by how many sources (weighted by their rank) ran it and how those sources positioned it themselves.
  • by briancnorton ( 586947 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:33AM (#4311358) Homepage
    the best part of it is that Cricket is the headlining sport.
    • Re:the best part (Score:2, Interesting)

      by abhinavnath ( 157483 )
      Oh hell yes! You don't know how hard I've looked for quality cricket and NFL coverage on the same page. The BBC has great cricket and a little NFL, but Google's page is great.

      Strange how it didn't have much on the Premiership or other football though. I guess the ICC Champions Trophy [of cricket] is getting more coverage than whatever football there is.
  • ...are gleaned from other news sites 95% of the time (the exceptions being book reviews, interviews, and Ask Slashdot). It's not like Slashdot is a source of original content. (Somehow this reminds me of people using pop culture names for their web handles, then complaining when someone else uses the same handle.)
  • Meta (Score:5, Funny)

    by interiot ( 50685 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:35AM (#4311377) Homepage
  • Well done... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by truesaer ( 135079 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:35AM (#4311380) Homepage
    This even has my college newspaper. Normally that wouldn't be much of a feature, but they do have coverage of our football team that no one else has. So I'm fairly impressed. The timestamp when the articles were spidered was really nice as well.

    This is a long overdue feature....its automatic, robust, and I've often wanted to read another take on the same issue when I've read a news article. I hope that they have it set up to filter out all the repeated AP articles that are on 2 zillion different websites. But I'm guessing they did, it would just be similar to filering out similar results in general searches.

    • This is a long overdue feature...
      It's been there awhile--you just had to look through google for a minute instead of clicking on that tab.
  • Here's the story [] from CNET.

    The news page is nice, but the big thing is that google now searches "4,000 publications around the world. Previously, the site had searched 150 publications every hour."

    Maybe now, Google execs won't have to publicly admit that All the Web [] ha[d] a better news search. ;-)
  • by Soko ( 17987 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:38AM (#4311419) Homepage
    Their technology section is showing some Slashdot stories too (sweet!).

    What if Google links to this story? Then you get the Slashdot slashdotting Google, who will slashdot Slashdot, who will bounce it to Google, who will bounce it back to Slashdot, who will retur*Runtime error: Endless recursive loop encountered, stack overflow. Brain dump follows.*

    Heh. Bandwidth firefights - this oughta be cool. Nifty setup indeed!

  • The only really new thing about this is the fact google is now linking to it from the front page. I know that for over a year this interface has been in beta and has been getting better.

    It's important to remember that they don't actully report any news, they just link to it. (Kinda like slashdot.) You will still read the stories on the provider's website. This makes it not the greatest place to get breaking news and personally don't allways trust AP. (Though they do link to several other news site for each story.)

    The is a whole bunch of google "beta" sites. I know they have a catalog section and I think they have a few other more interesting sections.
  • I was reading an intersting angle on Google's new toy over at [] where the blogger suggests poking a stick in the eye of old-media by combining tools such as the Google API & SOAP::Lite with the Blogger API & some XML-RPC library.

    Of course, my thought is considering the lengths Google goes to to thwart scrapes and scripts, I doubt such a tool is possible.
  • by salimma ( 115327 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:41AM (#4311436) Homepage Journal
    .. it's just linked to the main page now. For something extra-schweet though, try their experimental keyboard-navigable [] search interface - found it from Mycroft [], the Mozilla search bar plugin project.
  • Just a suggestion (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nicedream ( 4923 ) <> on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:44AM (#4311464) Homepage
    Maybe since slashdot's stories are being picked up by a big news site, this would be a good time to implement some spelling/grammar/fact checkers.
  • by Boss, Pointy Haired ( 537010 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:47AM (#4311491)

    Connection failed. :o(
  • by Schlemphfer ( 556732 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:48AM (#4311495) Homepage

    I'm surprised nobody seems to have known this , but Google has been offering news searches for something like the past six months, at The only things that have changed are now there's a tag on Google's front page, and the front news page now features an attractive layout and contains graphics from stories.

    Google's primary news-search feature has been available for I think well over six months. I've been using Google news as my primary news searcher ever since it came out. On its first day, I spent an hour or so comparing it to yahoo's news search engine [], and I found Google's search was way better. I especially like that, when you do a news search, you can choose between having returned items listed according to relevancy or according to date. When you sort by date for any kind of common news story, you can often find great items that have been published within the past hour.

    Two more things of interest. First, even though the news search is now available on google's front page, the site still says that the engine is in beta. Second, the reason I found out about Google's news engine right when it came out is I frequently visit [], which always seems to have the scoop on the latest internet search technologies.

    • It's been much more longer than 6 months, they always had a very simplified text based news page, which gave you about 3 headlines on each pressing story of the moment from different sources. I want to say it's been there for well over a year, but my sense of time is skewed.
    • More than that, I've been using their News Index site for a long time now. It has no links to individual stories, but rather has tons of links to various news websites, worldwide. You should read Pravda sometime... they have an interesting sense of humor. It's also interesting to get the People's Daily (Chinese state-sponsored news) viewpoint. Lots of times when I'm bored, I like to go browse quite a few of the news sites listed. It's always refreshing to get a lot of different viewpoints; allowing yourself to be spoon-fed news by only a very narrow few sites (cnn, fox) seems like a good way to get completely brainwashed by someone's agenda, somewhere.
  • I don't like it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mattygfunk1 ( 596840 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:53AM (#4311544)
    As much as I respect google, I for one am not happy to hear the news (no pun intended). In my opinion google has built an indredible userbase by supplying the top quality search service with a simple UI, and stood out because it was not a portal wanna be.

    I am worried that google will loose focus on the primary reason that people go there, and the search service will suffer because of it. Fair enough that the service will be usefull, but when you're on top you need to work twice as hard on your primary product to stay there.


    omg it's wallpaper australia []!

    • I think that's a pretty narrow way to look at it. Yes, their initial product was a search engine but you may want to think of Google News as an extension of what they do. I'm sure they used a lot of the search/index tools for their search engine to create the news site. They've certainly used to find the stories and then provide related stories thereafter (just like Similar Page for link results).

      Also, I don't think they've gone all out and created a portal (at least in comparison to what's out there). What really struck me was that they had almost no graphics and pure content. Portals, in themselves, are not bad; I just think many people have done them bad.

      Lastly, I don't think they are really working twice as hard on this. It just seems like a way to extend their user base and grow. If they just stayed with a search engine that would mean a lot less expansion of the company (and companies usually always need to expand and re-invent themselves to stay in the game).

      Congrats Google!
    • Google News has been my primary news source since I discovered it a couple of months ago. I like it precisely because its _not_ a portal, at least not in the sense of Netscape News or Yahoo News.

      Google News provides the same clean UI to news sources that we've all come to treasure for Google's web search. Occasionally I look at Google Headlines [], but more often I go directly to Google News Search [] I've been wishing for a long time that Google would provide a search of news sources. I've lived overseas (Asia, Africa) about half the time in the last 15 years and have found it extremely difficult to get news about places I care about. Google news has changed that. I just typed in the name of the small resort town where I lived in Northern India and found 14 stories from 9 sources. That's the power of Google!!
    • Google is a way to find information

      This just provides me another way to find information is still a page with a few very small images and a input field, this jsut allows me to use do more if it will be usefull.
    • I have a feeling that google is not wasting time or resources on this. Most of these news stories came up in the search engine if you hit on one of their keywords anyways.

      It's also been reported here that google has enough computing power that even when they were hit the hardest after 9/11/01, they only pegged ~60% of their computers, so I don't think news/portal-like services are going to slow down the searches.

      Also, they're still *so* far above anyone elses searches at this point, that they can dawdle on really useful tools like this. The tortoise isn't even awake yet...the hare has time to play.

  • by pVoid ( 607584 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:54AM (#4311554)
    This thing is like Escher's hand drawing itself:

    Google searches for the news []
    ZDNet- 1hourago
    Google unveiled on Monday an expanded test version of its search engine for current events and news, the latest step in the company's move into new markets.
    Google Launches News Service []PCWorld
    Google launches news search site []TelecomPaper(subscription)
    CNET []- and5related []

  • they have a mighty nice sci/tech page
  • News at Google (Score:2, Informative)

    by z_gringo ( 452163 )
    The beta news site [] has been up for some time. I guess they have finally put it into production. (Although it still says beta)

    Also available, and still in beta, is the Catalog site [], which provides photo versions of actual printed catalogs, including my favorite []. (Radio Shack)

    Google is truly breaking new ground..

  • by elquemao ( 610791 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @10:56AM (#4311573)
    " This page was generated entirely by computer algorithms without human editors. No humans were harmed or even used in the creation of this page."
  • by tuxedo-steve ( 33545 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @11:04AM (#4311627)
    I was just saying to my girlfriend that if there's any one company that I have more respect for than any other company in the world, it would be Google.

    And then this came out. I got to point and say, "See, this is why!" Then I ran around the room in my underwear laughing maniacally. I think I'm sleeping on the couch tonight.
  • From Google's "About Google News []" link:

    The headlines that appear on Google news are selected entirely by computer algorithms, based on how and where the stories appear elsewhere on the web. There are no human editors at Google selecting or grouping the headlines and no individual decides which stories get top placement. This occasionally results in some articles appearing to be out of context.

    This is an interesting development for Google. Ruling out the possibility of paid placement (for now), it seems as though PageRank [] doesn't apply to the news aggregator. (And how would it? Stories are updated continuously.) It's not likely to be completely random, either, although such an approach could lead to some very interesting story angles.

    • This is an interesting development for Google. Ruling out the possibility of paid placement (for now), it seems as though PageRank doesn't apply to the news aggregator. (And how would it? Stories are updated continuously.) It's not likely to be completely random, either, although such an approach could lead to some very interesting story angles.

      First of all, I think they only spider a select list of news sites. What they probably do is assign each site a weight based on page rank. If more highly-ranked sources run a story on a given topic, it gets to the top. They probably had to hack together an aging aspect, as well.

  • by Alranor ( 472986 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @11:18AM (#4311756)
    we slashdot the site, here's [] a link to the google cache. :)
  • Mozilla Crashing (Score:3, Informative)

    by Skidge ( 316075 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @11:19AM (#4311768)
    Anyone else having problems with Mozilla (1.1) on the Google News site? Twice now I have had to reboot my Win98 machine after Mozilla crashed hard while I was scrolling down the Sci/Tech page. It has me a little gun-shy about revisiting the site, at least with Mozilla.
    • On a similar note, anyone else noticed that Mozilla's table rendering is really screwy? I mean the way it first displays text kinda any which way, then reformats it.

      Anyway, the page that gave yours fits works okay in Mozilla 0.99 (the version I happen to have on this Win98 machine), but I've also noticed this 0.99 build isn't nearly as crash-prone as v1.0 from May, which I have on my other (Win95) machine. That v1.0 throws up so much it's unusuable (it's the ONLY app EVER to BSOD that machine).

      I normally use Netscape 3.04 by *preference* (images and js off), and I have to say that in NS3.04, renders really fast and the results are 100% legible. I don't normally visit headline portals because most are so friggin' slow and display like crap, but this one may change my habits. :)

    • No problems here.

      Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.1) Gecko/20020826
  • by asv108 ( 141455 )
    Obviously this is a beta when a cricket game [] is the top sports story.
  • a story from the Onion makes

    (This is pretty nifty. Beats flipping through several sites, or as other posters have said, waiting for banners to load on Now if they offer it a couple of other languages, my life will be complete.)
  • by bmooney28 ( 537716 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @11:58AM (#4312067) Homepage
    It has been mentioned that Google has covered news stories for quite some time. The best place to get info on Google's current projects is Google Labs... []
    • by Da Schmiz ( 300867 ) <slashdot@pryden. n e t> on Monday September 23, 2002 @12:16PM (#4312202) Homepage
      I second this... even though it's still technially in beta, the Google Glossary [] has long since replaced both and the Webopedia in my bookmarks.

      Google Labs... another reason why I think Google is probably the best technology company on the face of the planet right now...

      • Here's a problem with Google's Glossary:
        Put in "fuck" and you get quite a few links to correct definitions and synonyms. But these [] links [] take you to pages that define it incorrectly as "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge" as we know by this page [] among others.

        Google will give you links to anything you want on the web that it knows of...but you can't trust everything you read on the using Google as a reference book is not the best way to go until they can provide some sort of knowledge filter or something similar to the PageRank system for qualifying certain links over others.

        For the doubters who say "well, how can you trust snopes over VanHalen Links to be correct?"...Snopes references their information better.

  • Now all we need is for google to start adding some flawed by interesting editor commentary to each article they link to and provide the ability for users to comment on such articles with a flawed self moderation system to somehow allow us to only read the halfway intelligent comments.
  • Witness: Palestinian's Death Unjust
    ABC News - 5 minutes ago


    Auto-generated 13 minutes ago

    Anyone care to explain?
  • Slashgoo (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zero-one ( 79216 ) <> on Monday September 23, 2002 @12:41PM (#4312378) Homepage
    Slashdot is a site for commenting on the news, finds the news. What about combining them to make a fully automated news discussion site? All the server would have to do is pick off the top n stories from Google news and feed them into the slash engine (or one of the slash cones). For bonus points, it could divide the news into different areas of interest. Anyone care to lend me some nice fast servers on with a fast Internet connection?
    • Strikes me that this is more Kuro5hin's gig than /.'s.

  • Google is getting *way* to slick and useful. We've all seen it happen, and get hurt by it before (the "Original" Hotmail, dotMac, etc.) that a free service has wide appeal, and offers a truly valuable service. They make the competition irrelevant. They suck you in.

    And then they start charging. Or they start advertising. Or they start offering paid placements.

    Beware the free service.
  • I'm less impressed with the news page itself (which is pretty good) then with the technology behind it. Web sites that aggregate content are a dime a dozen. But until now, they've been labor intensive enterprises that don't really help the user focus on specific topic areas. This new service not only does a much better job -- it apparently does the job with no human intervention at all.

    The new site will be popular and profitable. But what will really line Google's pockets is licensing this technology to content provider and builders of intranet portals.

  • Hm (Score:3, Informative)

    by zapfie ( 560589 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @01:18PM (#4312663)

    In case you didn't know, you can see all the latest stuff Google is working on here [].

    Check it out.
  • which is fine, but I've been using Memigo [] for a while now, and have really gotten accustomed to it as one of my primary news sources.

    Probably the best thing I like about Memigo is what they call peer ratings of news stories []. This allows you to see stories your peers also liked. You can view news chronologically, or by top rated stories (by day or by week).

    They've got other features I don't really use - private messaging, for example. They also allow you to define a group of "peers" - other folks that along with you rate stories (like minds, I guess).

    Your channels content then, is defined by this peer grouping. Sorta interesting.

    They still seem to be in a "start up" mode; by that I mean lots of news is sourced off Yahoo!, and a few other services. Haven't seen any NY Times or CNN stuff in their feeds so far (might be wrong though).

    Anyhow, considering how much Google adapts and changes, it wouldn't surprise me at all if they incorporate some of these features into their news tab shortly.

  • Out of curiosity, I typed in '' a few months ago and saw the site. I figured it had just always been there.

    Apparently it was an open test.
  • Exellent! But.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jonr ( 1130 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @02:59PM (#4313414) Homepage Journal
    Would it be possible to localize it more? Right now it is -1, Too US-Centric []. This could be my startup page. :)
  • Figures (Score:3, Insightful)

    by guttentag ( 313541 ) on Monday September 23, 2002 @03:13PM (#4313508) Journal
    Late last night I finally uploaded my news aggregator, "Buddy: Your Digital Retriever []," to SourceForge. So as luck would have it, Google had to choose today to pseudo-launch its news feature.

    I've been aware of the Beta for some time. The search feature has been great, but the portal left much to be desired. It was basically a cluttered list of five sources for each news story. This new layout seems better, though it still leaves me wondering which stories are supposed to be the most newsworthy. And I see a fundamental problem with Google's approach.

    Taking a cross section of all the news that's out there is not going to result in good coverage. One of the big differences between a good newspaper, like The New York Times, and a poor one, like The New York Daily News, is the collection of stories the editors choose. The Daily News needs to get its readers fired up to sell papers, so it covers the most provocative stories it can find and sensationalizes them. The Times has the luxury of knowing its readers trust it to inform them of the most important news.

    I know it sounds like an elitist position -- "we know what's best for you." I was once accosted at a party by a USA Today employee who began ranting about how arrogant it was of my paper to assume people wanted to read about human rights abuses in Africa. I asked him what we should be featuring and he detailed a series of articles his paper ran on business travellers who get laid by stewardesses at 30,000 feet. I didn't argue with him, but I felt somewhat more confident that we were choosing the right stories.

    If Google covers the news based on what's out there (which is primarily of the USA Today variety), as opposed to applying news values, its offering won't be very informative. It may appeal to the largest number of people who confuse entertainment with news, but I think most Slashdotters will find it very shallow.

    There's also the question of Google's "partnerships" with news sites and how that will affect the rankings.

    While I still like the news search feature, I prefer the collection of shell scripts I just released. They grab the top headlines and blurbs from a number of major newspapers and put them together on one page, organized by newspaper, so you can browse "trusted" news sites quickly without having to wade through cumbersome javascript navigations, flash ads, registration. You still visit the newspapers' Web sites to read the stories that interest you, but this way you get to check out the merchandise before you commit to jumping through the content owner's hoops.

    My aggregator also provides updated lists of all the headlines that have appeared on the wire services in the last several hours. The editors at the news sites are watching these same lists for updates when breaking news occurs... even the major sites that have a large number of reporters. They can't cover everything themselves, and they need to have some coverage until their reporter can get to the story.

    It also covers computer news sites like Slashdot (note: the list is currently very Mac-centric because the shell scripts require Curl [] to trick servers into thinking the download program is a Web browser... I'll try to do the same with wget for Linux, but that's not ready yet), grabs sports scores, the weather report, comic strips, and fetches slippers.

    If you're using Mac OS X, or you're willing to install Curl on your Linux box, give it a try. It's free and it's open source.

Evolution is a million line computer program falling into place by accident.