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Comment Re:Really bad idea. (Score 1) 1173

Err... there are quite a few roundabouts in this city, and they have been there for a long time. Some people don't really learn.

Roundabouts need pretty good coordination between drivers to work their best. The outbound flow limits the inbound flow, and everything flows nicely; it really is quite an elegant solution. However, it only takes one driver in the circle who doesn't know what to do to screw the entire thing up for everyone.

Comment Re:I think this article says everything... (Score 1) 380

He is laying out the facts as described in the followup article... you needn't get incredulous. This article is by the same person that wrong the original accusation article.

Public information cannot be trade secrets. Search results are public. Proprietary search algorithms are not.

The users are tracked because they used Bing Toolbar, which apparently has some opt-in tracking. It's a legit thing to criticize, but I'm not going to argue about that, since neither company has a stellar record in that regard.

Comment Re:Follow up from Danny Sullivan who broke the sto (Score 1) 380

Everyone needs to read this link. The PR dance is getting ridiculous, but this story is also making /. demographic's disappointingly irrational side show through. Seriously, both companies are trying to play with public opinion; the whole thing is consistently being mis-characterized to elicit reaction.

At least try to read about the facts

Comment Re:Evidence and Explanation (Score 1) 596

They got the related search term because it was entered into the Bing Toolbar search... That's like the search thing in Firefox where you can pick the actual search engine used. I think the tracking is part of 'Suggested Search' feature.

I don't actually agree with tracking completely, and I don't know how clear IE is about the tracking, but MS explanation is actually pretty sound.

Comment Re:Evidence and Explanation (Score 5, Insightful) 596

Sigh... they are acquiring association data from the tracked users. These fake users entered 'delhipublicschool40 chdjob' into the Bing search bar, then clicked on a link to 'a Credit Union website'. If they were copying directly from Google, then 100% of honeypot search terms should have worked...

It's not like that explanation even makes MS look good per se, but I'm almost guaranteed to get modded down again.

Comment Re:Evidence and Explanation (Score 1) 596

Just want to add one thought experiment that hopefully illustrates my point:

Let's say Google did their same sting, but their employees always clicked the 5th result down instead of the top one. Then, if MS isn't lying, that could mean the 5th result shows up on Bing search. Consider that if these were real search terms, that would actually mean that Bing is providing the more useful result. So... how does a person copying provide a better answer deterministically if all that person is doing is copying?

Comment Evidence and Explanation (Score 5, Interesting) 596

Ok, I'm quite irked by this story, and I got modded troll a bunch of times by trying to point out that Google's experiment doesn't really support their accusation. I know some people will immediately label me a shill or apologist just for having a different opinion. What's stupid is I use Google search, and never Bing.

Anyways, the following is my understanding and some opinion. The secret knowledge of the search engine is the association of a search term and a result (usually a url). So to say that Bing is copying (I think 'cheating' might have the what was used, but copying is a lot of people's interpretation), implies they are acquiring Google's association data; conversely if the Bing search comes to the same result coincidentally, then they can't be 'cheating'. It wouldn't be that surprising if two search engines return same results for certain words. However, Google did their sting with fake terms... so obviously Bing is copying right?

So let's talk about their sting. They created (100?) honeypot search terms where a fake word would return a real link 'sss4yxyxy -> returns www.myresult.com'. Then they had 20 employees using IE and Bing toolbar w/ Google search and kept using these fake terms, then clicking the resulting link. Some time later, some of these fake terms return the same results on Bing.

A few things: Google employees opted into tracking w/ the Bing toolbar. (This is somewhat beside the point anyways, since Google isn't exactly in a position to point the finger about tracking.) Note that my understanding is that few of the (100?) honeypot terms actually worked on Bing.

The explanation from MS is that the Google employees gamed their user tracking mechanism to produce a result which makes it appear as if Bing is 'copying' Google. Basically they tracked the user search term, then the link they clicked through, and used this as part of the data for Bing. Google successfully gamed this because those terms are fake, and therefore the only data about them came from the sting.

So my opinion is that this isn't copying. If 100 of 100 honeypots showed up on Bing then that would support their accusation better. If their 20 employees only used Google normally from IE, without going through the toolbar, then that would strengthen the case. Without these, I have a hard time understanding how even the people at Google have rationalized their own accusation. Now maybe MS is lying and I'm a chump, but at least I'm taking the time to consider the evidence as presented.

Comment Re:Not that suprising. (Score 1, Troll) 693

Arg... I'm never going to get my point through the noise, so I'll just respond to you directly. The part that keeps getting omitted is that Google had its Bing tracked employees clicking on their fake result.

The accurate fast-food analogy is this: McDonalds creates a fake 'McRat Burger', then sends a group of its employees to Burger King to sign up for the King's Court Happy Club, part of which requires them to fill out surveys on fastfood habits (Bing Toolbar, and tracking). These employees are then told to consistently goto McDonalds and order the 'McRat Burger'. Burger King then receives survey results indicating that the 'McRat Burger' is hugely popular, and soon make the 'Rat Whopper Supreme' a top menu item. Now is that proof Burger King is copying McDonald's marketing data?

I'm not even saying MS isn't doing something wrong. My point is that this 'experiment' doesn't prove a thing, and to point the finger on this kind of evidence is extremely childish.

Comment Re:Oblig Car Analogy (Score 1, Interesting) 693

"When the experiment was ready, about 20 Google engineers were told to run the test queries from laptops at home, using Internet Explorer, with Suggested Sites and the Bing Toolbar both enabled. They were also told to click on the top results. They started on December 17. By December 31, some of the results started appearing on Bing."

As I have pointed out elsewhere in the thread. Google gamed the Bing toolbar by having their monitored users actually click on the these fake results! This could easily be attributed to Bing Toolbar monitoring user behavior, instead of Bing using ranking information from Google.

I have noticed that whoever brings up 'fanboi' is usually the real 'fanboi'. Perhaps that should be a new internet meme.

Comment Re:Not that suprising. (Score 1) 693

"When the experiment was ready, about 20 Google engineers were told to run the test queries from laptops at home, using Internet Explorer, with Suggested Sites and the Bing Toolbar both enabled. They were also told to click on the top results. They started on December 17. By December 31, some of the results started appearing on Bing."

This is from the source. Bing Toolbar is probably collecting user behavior. It's not necessarily being prioritized because it is the top result on Google, it is probably being prioritized because the monitored users actually clicked on those results. Maybe MS is just monitoring Google directly; I wouldn't be that surprised, but this story is pure troll.

Comment Re:Not that suprising. (Score 0, Troll) 693

This is just stupid... their 'proof' is that they searched and clicked results on Google using Internet Explorer, and with Suggested Search and Bing Toolbar activated... wtf. So Bing Toolbar is collecting information to improve Bing Search... shocking.

Why didn't they do this with Bing Search, then accuse MS of 'cheating' using Bing results. This is just braindead stupid; so ridiculously childish.

Comment Re:Honest Game Reviews: A Procedure (Score 1) 148

I do something similar, but different. I think low outlier review scores often has to do with reviewers using a point deduction scheme, which isn't all that indicative of how fun a game is.

What I do instead is I go to metacritic and note both the aggregate score for critics reviews and the aggregate score for user reviews. Critics reviews can be paid for, or sometimes nitpicky, whereas user reviews can be a gut reaction, based on superficial impressions, and susceptible to 'fanboi/hater' extremes. However, I find that the contrast between the two aggregate scores can be an indicator of shenanigans (an over-hyped game, or a flawed but really fun game)

Comment Re:Gluttons for abuse (Score 1) 299

Why? Setting aside this notion that anybody actually takes the position of 'I support lock down and customer control'. Why are you concerned?

Apple's approach doesn't preclude alternatives right? And open is better than closed right? So what's the concern? Whatever additional factors such as marketing, or fashion, anybody conveniently wants to blame for Apple's success, are these things unavailable to open products?

Comment Re:Gluttons for abuse (Score 5, Insightful) 299

That's a straw-man.

'People' do not buy something 'they must jailbreak'. The vast majority buy a product that they want because it does enough of what they want for it to be worth the price. The jailbreakers do what they do because they find some enjoyment in doing it. The people who use the product jailbroken are often just messing around. They use jailbreak because the can. Those that buy a product that does not meet their need, then use jailbreak to make the product meet their need are mythical, except perhaps when there are in fact no alternatives at all.

Frankly what's really tragic is that so many people insist on whining about products they clearly don't want instead of just buying and enjoying what they do want. It's also tragic that so many keep rationalizing their 'superior' choice by denigrating others.

Comment Retention Department... other discount plans (Score 2, Informative) 199

I only have experience with the canadian cell companies, so I don't know if this is true more generally. Pretty much every cell company here has secret hidden plans only available if you phone customer service and say the magic words 'cancel service'. Some of the bonuses available might include roaming plans. You don't get to know the real pricing unless you do the song and dance. Also, you could look for group discount plans... maybe your student union, or school has some deals available. Those should be somewhat comparable to the types of discounts you can get from a retention department.

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