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Google

Submission + - Google Search Screws Over SomethingAwful.com

An anonymous reader writes: You may have heard of the humour website SomethingAwful.com. Apparently, for all of their long history they've been having a problem where their website is listed far down Google's results (often last) for searches related to the site (such as the names of features and articles on the site). For example, when I google for "Photoshop Phriday", the site isn't in the first ten pages of results, despite the fact that Google has indexed the relevent page. In fact, the first result is a noproxy.us proxied version of the relevant page, and the rest of the results are blog and forum entries referring to Something Awful. (Results are apparently better on many non-English versions of Google, however.)

It's far from clear what's causing this; the site's PageRank is apparently fine. Attempts to contact Google have fallen on deaf ears and dumb autoresponders. The site was even recently redesigned in the hope of fixing the problem, with no luck so far. Is the world's most popular search engine really this broken, and how much money are people bringing in from knowing the black magic to work around it?
The Internet

Submission + - Non-Proft Web Site Uses Pyramid Scheme for Good

jsburke writes: "The Darfur Wall is a web site that raises money for Darfur, Sudan, where 400,000 people have been killed and over 2 million displaced since 2003. The site recently introduced a referral program called 'Advocates,' which it describes as a 'pyramid scheme for good.' From their blog: 'The program works by providing a participant — an Advocate — with a personalized web-link. An Advocate shares this link with friends and asks them to click on it, visit darfurwall.org, and donate. The Darfur Wall recognizes the link and awards points to the Advocate ... Like a multi-level marketing scheme, the program creates a network effect. But Advocates is no Amway. One hundred percent of the money it generates supports peace in Darfur.'"
Software

Submission + - MPAA Steals Code, Violates Linkware License

GRW writes: "TorrentFreak reports that the MPAA is using blogging software, called Forest Blog by web developer Patrick Robin, in violation of the "linkware" license. They have removed all links and references to the Forest Blog website, and have not purchased a commercial license. Is this a case of "Do as I say and not as I do"?"
Communications

Submission + - Telus to offer adult material over cell service

icepick72 writes: Canadian B.C. businessman Gordon Keast is suing Telus, a North American phone carrier, after the company refused to let him out of a three-year cellphone contract because he objects to Telus offering what he says is a pornography service. Meanwhile a priest in Vancouver is urging Catholics to boycott Telus because of the adult content. Telus is the first North American provider to directly offer such a service. While the priest is directing others regarding this issue, the businessman just wants out — should he be allowed to break his contract? (Cue jokes: A Canadian businessman, a Telus representative and a priest go fishing ...)

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It was pity stayed his hand. "Pity I don't have any more bullets," thought Frito. -- _Bored_of_the_Rings_, a Harvard Lampoon parody of Tolkein

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