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Hacker group uses Google Translate to hide phishing sites | ZDNet
The trick isn't complex at all. The idea is that phishing groups send their normal phishing emails, but instead of linking directly to their phishing page's domain, they pass the phishing page URL through Google Translate and use the newly generated Google Translate URL instead.

This Google Translate URL for the phishing page is then used inside the email instead of a direct link to the phishing site.

This means that when users press any buttons or links inside the phishing emails, they're redirected to the Google Translate portal, where the phishing page loads with the regular Google Translate toolbar at the top of the page.
security  google  translation 
february 2019 by juliusbeezer
Opinion | How Silicon Valley Puts the ‘Con’ in Consent - The New York Times
The average person would have to spend 76 working days reading all of the digital privacy policies they agree to in the span of a year. Reading Amazon’s terms and conditions alone out loud takes approximately nine hours.

Why would anyone read the terms of service when they don’t feel as though they have a choice in the first place? It’s not as though a user can call up Mark Zuckerberg and negotiate his or her own privacy policy. The “I agree” button should have long ago been renamed “Meh, whatever.”
attention  internet  privacy  google  facebook  amazon 
february 2019 by juliusbeezer
Google fined record £44m by French data protection watchdog | Technology | The Guardian
The fine was levied, CNIL said, because Google made it too difficult for users to find essential information, “such as the data-processing purposes, the data storage periods or the categories of personal data used for the ads personalisation”, by splitting them across multiple documents, help pages and settings screens.
google  privacy  france 
january 2019 by juliusbeezer
Information Processing: PanOpticon in my Pocket: 0.35GB/month of surveillance, no charge!
Both Android and Chrome send data to Google even in the absence of any user interaction. Our experiments show that a dormant, stationary Android phone (with Chrome active in the background) communicated location information to Google 340 times during a 24-hour period, or at an average of 14 data communications per hour. In fact, location information constituted 35% of all the data samples sent to Google. In contrast, a similar experiment showed that on an iOS Apple device with Safari (where neither Android nor Chrome were used), Google could not collect any appreciable data (location or otherwise) in the absence of a user interaction with the device.

e. After a user starts interacting with an Android phone (e.g. moves around, visits webpages, uses apps), passive communications to Google server domains increase significantly, even in cases where the user did not use any prominent Google applications (i.e. no Google Search, no YouTube, no Gmail, and no Google Maps). This increase is driven largely by data activity from Google’s publisher and advertiser products (e.g. Google Analytics, DoubleClick, AdWords)11. Such data constituted 46% of all requests to Google servers from the Android phone. Google collected location at a 1.4x higher rate compared to the stationary phone experiment with no user interaction. Magnitude wise, Google’s servers communicated 11.6 MB of data per day (or 0.35 GB/month) with the Android device. This experiment suggests that even if a user does not interact with any key Google applications, Google is still able to collect considerable information through its advertiser and publisher products.
google  android  surveillance  telephony 
september 2018 by juliusbeezer
Alternatives to Google Products (Complete List) | Restore Privacy
It’s been fun Google, but it’s time to say goodbye.

Have you noticed?

Google’s entire business model is based on you surrendering to their corporate surveillance. That’s it. All they do is repackage mass corporate surveillance into convenient, free, trendy applications that suck up all your data. Your private data helps Google dominate the online advertising market.

You are the product.

The other key issue to consider here is that Google is tracking and recording your activity in order to build a user profile, which can be used for various purposes. Google has many ways to track your activity, even if you are not logged into a Google account:
google  privacy  internet 
june 2018 by juliusbeezer
Extremism pays. That’s why Silicon Valley isn’t shutting it down | John Naughton | Opinion | The Guardian
In the old days, if you wanted to stage a coup, the first thing to do was to capture the TV station. Nowadays all you have to do is to “weaponise” YouTube. After all, its first motto was “broadcast yourself”. Accordingly, if governments of the western world really wanted to cripple these disruptive forces, then shutting down YouTube would be a giant step forward. It wouldn’t prevent other such services springing up, of course, but none would have the power and reach that YouTube’s billion-strong network effect provides.

This doesn’t mean that YouTube’s owner (Google) is hell-bent on furthering extremism of all stripes. It isn’t. All it’s interested in is maximising advertising revenues. And underpinning the implicit logic of its recommender algorithms is evidence that people are drawn to content that is more extreme than what they started with – or perhaps to incendiary content in general.
google  facebook  socialmedia  politics  us 
march 2018 by juliusbeezer
Asking the Right Questions About AI – Yonatan Zunger – Medium
“Three white teenagers” turned up stock photography of attractive, athletic teens; “three black teenagers” turned up mug shots, from news stories about three black teenagers being arrested. (Nowadays, either search mostly turns up news stories about this event)

What happened here wasn’t a bias in Google’s algorithms: it was a bias in the underlying data. This particular bias was a combination of “invisible whiteness” and media bias in reporting: if three white teenagers are arrested for a crime, not only are news media much less likely to show their mug shots, but they’re less likely to refer to them as “white teenagers.” In fact, nearly the only time groups of teenagers were explicitly labeled as being “white” was in stock photography catalogues. But if three black teenagers are arrested, you can count on that phrase showing up a lot in the press coverage.
photography  ethics  coding  google  machine_learning 
february 2018 by juliusbeezer
Google's true origin partly lies in CIA and NSA research grants for mass surveillance — Quartz
In 1995, one of the first and most promising MDDS grants went to a computer-science research team at Stanford University with a decade-long history of working with NSF and DARPA grants. The primary objective of this grant was “query optimization of very complex queries that are described using the ‘query flocks’ approach.” A second grant—the DARPA-NSF grant most closely associated with Google’s origin—was part of a coordinated effort to build a massive digital library using the internet as its backbone. Both grants funded research by two graduate students who were making rapid advances in web-page ranking, as well as tracking (and making sense of) user queries: future Google cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

The two intelligence-community managers charged with leading the program met regularly with Brin as his research progressed, and he was an author on several other research papers that resulted from this MDDS grant before he and Page left to form Google.

The grants allowed Brin and Page to do their work and contributed to their breakthroughs in web-page ranking and tracking user queries. Brin didn’t work for the intelligence community—or for anyone else. Google had not yet been incorporated. He was just a Stanford researcher taking advantage of the grant provided by the NSA and CIA through the unclassified MDDS program.
google  search  us  politics 
december 2017 by juliusbeezer
Tim Berners-Lee on the future of the web: 'The system is failing' | Technology | The Guardian
The spread of misinformation and propaganda online has exploded partly because of the way the advertising systems of large digital platforms such as Google or Facebook have been designed to hold people’s attention.

“People are being distorted by very finely trained AIs that figure out how to distract them,” said Berners-Lee.

In some cases, these platforms offer users who create content a cut of advertising revenue. The financial incentive drove Macedonian teenagers with “no political skin in the game” to generate political clickbait fake news that was distributed on Facebook and funded by revenue from Google’s automated advertising engine AdSense.

“The system is failing. The way ad revenue works with clickbait is not fulfilling the goal of helping humanity promote truth and democracy. So I am concerned,”
google  facebook  news  web  internet  attention 
november 2017 by juliusbeezer
Google makes it harder to search for results from other countries
For a long time, there was an easy way to conduct a Google search in a country other than the one you're in. If you wanted to get results specific to Japan, for instance, you would visit; to get Australian results you would visit -- but this trick no longer works.

Google has announced that it will now always serve up results that are relevant to the country that you're in, regardless of the country code top level domain names (ccTLD) you use. The reason given is a little bizarre.

The search giant says that the change has been introduced because of the way people are using the search engine these days. It says: "around one in five searches on Google is related to location, so providing locally relevant search results is an essential part of serving you the most accurate information."
google  search  searchengines 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
One man’s online politics is another man’s poison | John Naughton | Opinion | The Guardian
As a recovering techno-utopian, I still celebrate the empowering aspect of the internet – the way it can give everyone a voice and a platform for their views. But when viewed from inside my “liberal” filter bubble, I am also distressed by the nastiness, untruthfulness and cant that flooded on to the net during the Brexit and US presidential campaigns. I see this abusive torrent as confirming my view that the technology holds up a mirror to human nature and that much of what we see reflected in it is appalling.

One man who feels this sharply is the Harvard scholar Yochai Benkler. His landmark 2006 book The Wealth of Networks celebrated the democratising power of the internet. But his research on the 2016 election campaign confronted him with an uncomfortable truth. “An important part of what happened in this election,” he said afterwards to the New York Times, “is that a marginalised community, with views that were generally excluded, forced their way into the mainstream.”
internet  politics  bubble  socialmedia  us  facebook  google 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Stop Expecting Facebook and Google to Curb Misinformation — It’s Great for Business
There are a few numbers these companies live and die by. One of these numbers is the quantification of “engagement,” a term kept deliberately vague so it can be expanded more easily; it essentially translates to “things happening on the website.” For Twitter, this means tweets, retweets, favorites, and various other clicking activities. “More” is directly equivalent to “better for business,” no matter what exactly there is more of. For Facebook, this translates to writing posts, sharing posts, liking posts, and so forth. The more people are staring at Facebook or clicking its click-ables, the higher this engagement number goes, and the better the company looks to investors and advertisers, the two parties that determine whether an internet firm will be massively lucrative or dead. Google’s position here is slightly different in that individual user accounts matter less, but the gist is similar: The more people looking and clicking, the better. You only need to spend several minutes on the internet to realize that a lot of this looking and clicking includes things like racist witch hunts, white supremacist evangelizing, deliberate hoaxes, and maybe even electoral interference of some sort (it seems entirely plausible that foreign governments might take to Facebook to throw wrenches in our civic life because they know we love wrenches). For years now, the major internet information brokers have been promising and promising to improve, but delivering only the most marginal signs of improvement. This isn’t a sign of failure but of lack of effort. We have yet to see what it would look like for a major technology company to make a serious, concerted attempt to filter out deliberate acts of harm and deceit.

The notion that Twitter couldn’t curb spam bots and Nazis or that Google couldn’t blacklist 4chan from its news overview is absurd. The issue is that, for revenue purposes, engagement with the informational equivalent of a leaking septic tank is indistinguishable from engagement with news sources that aren’t explicitly trying to deceive and defraud readers.
facebook  google  business  attention  twitter 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Yes, Google Uses Its Power to Quash Ideas It Doesn’t Like—I Know Because It Happened to Me
The criticism of Google had culminated in Lynn posting a statement to the think tank’s website “applauding” the European Commission’s decision to slap the company with a record-breaking $2.7 billion fine for privileging its price-comparison service over others in search results. That post was briefly taken down, then republished. Soon afterward, Anne-Marie Slaughter, the head of New America, told Lynn that his group had to leave the foundation for failing to abide by “institutional norms of transparency and collegiality.”

Google denied any role in Lynn’s firing, and Slaughter tweeted that the “facts are largely right, but quotes are taken way out of context and interpretation is wrong.” Despite the conflicting story lines, the underlying premise felt familiar to me: Six years ago, I was pressured to unpublish a critical piece about Google’s monopolistic practices after the company got upset about it. In my case, the post stayed unpublished.

I was working
google  freedom 
september 2017 by juliusbeezer
Google Begins Biggest Crackdown on Extremist YouTube Videos - Bloomberg
Starting on Thursday, Google will police YouTube like it never has before, adding warnings and disabling advertising on videos that the company determines crosses its new threshold for offensive content.

YouTube isn’t removing the selected videos, but is instead setting new restrictions on viewing, sharing and making money on them. A note detailing the changes will go to producers of the affected videos on Thursday, according to a spokeswoman for the Alphabet Inc. company.
youtube  google  video  censorship 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
One man's mathematical formula for happiness | The Independent
one man says he has come up with a mathematical solution. Mo Gawdat was miserable for several years in his twenties and thirties despite his high-flying job, income and happy family unit. Determined to turn this around Gawdat, an engineer by trade who is now an executive at Google, formulated an equation for happiness.

A couple of years later, he put this to the test when his 21-year-old son Ali died unexpectedly in what should have been a routine operation.

He has now shared the secrets to his formula for being happy – no matter what life throws at you – in his new book Solve For Happy...

Due to the circumstances of Ali’s death, senior officials in Dubai that Gawdat knew asked if he would mind them requesting an autopsy...

“Nibet said in her own very wise way, as always, ‘Will it bring Ali back?’’ This question came four hours later [after Ali’s death] and we were completely anchored in reality.

(via siobhan on fb, dccomment:

"The speaker is Mo Gawdat. Hmm. He's right in a way of course, though it is a potentially conservative (with a small 'c') philosophy. Should we be happy with the world as it is? According to the Independent his "21-year-old son Ali died unexpectedly in what should have been a routine operation"; should his son's surgeon share this philosophy?")

Gawdat's book reportèdly promotes "intelligent design" over naturalism. Hmm.
google  psychology  medicine  ethics  philosophy 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
Social Media Needs A Travel Mode (Idle Words)
Both Facebook and Google make lofty claims about user safety, but they’ve done little to show they take the darkening political climate around the world seriously. A ‘trip mode’ would be a chance for them to demonstrate their commitment to user safety beyond press releases and anodyne letters of support.

What’s required is a small amount of engineering, a good marketing effort, and the conviction that any company that makes its fortune hoarding user data has a moral responsibility to protect its users.
facebook  google  privacy  politics  us  surveillance 
may 2017 by juliusbeezer
Build a Better Monster: Morality, Machine Learning, and Mass Surveillance
There are very few levers of power over the big tech companies. Because they are essentially monopolies, consumer boycotts don’t work. Opting out of a site like Google would mean opting out of much of online life. Some people could do it on principle, but it is not something we can mobilize a mass movement around.

Indirect pressure through their actual customers—the publishers and advertisers—can work for limited goals (for example, the current panic around “brand safety” that is helping defund sites like Breitbart). But if the goal is more fundamental reform, we’re stuck. We can’t apply pressure through a system we’re trying to abolish.

Shareholder pressure doesn’t work, because the large tech companies are structured to give founders absolute control no matter how many shares they own.

Regulation is tricky. The large tech companies have capable lobbyists and massive legal resources.

Press campaigns are unlikely to work because Facebook and Google control most online publishing. Moreover, what remains of the press has just endured a painful transition to online advertising, and is wholly dependent on that business model to survive.

The one effective lever we have against tech companies is employee pressure. Software engineers are difficult to hire, expensive to train, and take a long time to replace. Small teams in critical roles (like operations or security) have the power to shut down a tech company if they act in concert.

We’ve seen some small demonstrations of the power of employee pressure. The pledge pushed companies that had been silent for months to publicly commit to not working on a Muslim registry. The employee walkout at Google in support of immigrants during the travel ban prompted the founders and CEOs to issue statements of support.
internet  facebook  google  politics  advertising 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
Language Log » Electric sheep
Google's NMT system system differs from Karpathy's experiments in several key ways, including the fact that it deals with "wordpieces" as units rather than letters, and the fact that it was trained on trillions of words, rather than hundreds of thousands or millions. But like Karpathy's system, its recursive character means that it's capable of turning meaningless input into complex and seemingly unpredictable hallucinations that nevertheless evoke aspects of its experience.
translation  tools  google 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
Easier said than done – David Graham – Medium
I pointed out that in a book review in the British Medical Journal (“The Paradox of Progress,” BMJ, May 27, 1995; 310:1418) Douglas Carnall wrote:

Not everything that can be counted, counts; and not everything that counts can be counted. Sir George Pickering’s splendid epigram apparently graced Einstein’s wall, and it is a good summary of the spirit of James Willis’s personal and anecdotal foray into the philosophy of holism.

As I wrote at the time, “I’m sure there are much more authoritative sources than that. If Einstein displayed that quote on his wall (I’ve seen accounts that said he had chalked it on his blackboard at Princeton), did it lead people to mistakenly attribute it to him — and if so, are we perpetuating an error on a massive scale? Is there a way to determine whether it was Pickering or Einstein who actually said that — and does it matter?”

[Pinboard500, saved locally under PickeringQuoteFile]

This sparked some internal debate, and Google quietly killed Quotes of the Day.
dccomment  bmj  google  aphorisms 
march 2017 by juliusbeezer
Introducing the self-driving bicycle in the Netherlands - YouTube
This spring, Google is introducing the self-driving bicycle in Amsterdam, the world’s premier cycling city. The Dutch cycle more than any other nation in the world, almost 900 kilometres per year per person, amounting to over 15 billion kilometres annually. The self-driving bicycle enables safe navigation through the city for Amsterdam residents, and furthers Google’s ambition to improve urban mobility with technology. Google Netherlands takes enormous pride in the fact that a Dutch team worked on this innovation that will have great impact in their home country.
cycling  funny  google 
february 2017 by juliusbeezer
Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: What Crawl Budget Means for Googlebot
Crawling is the entry point for sites into Google's search results. Efficient crawling of a website helps with its indexing in Google Search. Q: Does site speed affect my crawl budget? How about errors? A: Making a site faster improves the users' experience while also increasing crawl rate. For Googlebot a speedy site is a sign of healthy servers, so it can get more content over the same number of connections. On the flip side, a significant number of 5xx errors or connection timeouts signal the opposite, and crawling slows down.
search  searchengines  google 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
Porn videos secretly hidden on YouTube as pirates bypass Google's sexual content controls | The Independent
uploading video and not publicly listing it, which means that they can embed it on their own site. That means that it gets served to users straight from Google, but won't be seen on YouTube or by the company's Content-ID system or administrators.

Since the videos can still be embedded into external sites, pirates and others are still able to host them on their own pages and get the traffic and ad revenue from doing so.
google  video  privacy 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
Pollution numérique : Greenpeace pointe du doigt les mauvais élèves
Plus de 4.000 centres de données extrêmement gourmands en énergie, et qui sont bien souvent alimentés par des énergies fossiles donc polluantes : c'est ce que passe en revue chaque année l'ONG Greenpeace dans son rapport sur la pollution numérique, c'est-à-dire l'effet physique de nos connexions numériques sur la planète.
energy  internet  apple  amazon  google  facebook 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
Terror Scanning Database For Social Media Raises More Questions than Answers | Motherboard
On Monday, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube announced a new partnership to create a “shared industry database” that identifies “content that promotes terrorism.” Each company will use the database to find “violent terrorist imagery or terrorist recruitment videos or images” on their platforms, and remove the content according to their own policies...
Facebook removes “content that expresses support” for groups involved in terrorism or organized crime. Even “supporting or praising leaders of those same organisations, or condoning their violent activities” is banned from the platform. So for example, a video that praises ISIS might get taken down by Facebook. The Facebook employee or contractor taking it down might choose to hash the video, and share the hash through the database. The database will flag the same video when it’s uploaded on YouTube.
facebook  twitter  google  censorship 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
Google interview university
This is meant for new software engineers or those switching from software/web development to software engineering (where computer science knowledge is required).
coding  software  google 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
Reflecting on the Right to be Forgotten
But some Data Protection Authorities argued that people could still find delisted links by searching on a non-European version of Google such as So in March 2016, in response to the concerns of a number of Data Protection Authorities, we made some changes. As a result, people using Google from the same country as the person who requested the removal can no longer find the delisted link, even on,, or

But one Data Protection Authority, the French Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (the CNIL), has ordered Google to go much further, effectively instructing us to apply the French balance between privacy and free expression in every country by delisting French right to be forgotten removals for users everywhere. Ultimately, we might have to implement French standards on Google search sites from Australia ( to Zambia ( and everywhere in between. And any such precedent would open the door to countries around the world, including non-democratic countries, to demand the same global power.
privacy  search  google  france 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
Facebook and Google make lies as pretty as truth - The Verge
The difference between the two is the result of AMP, an HTML framework that Google created to make mobile pages that load faster. (It also likely caused the 70news piece to be aggregated into a "top news" carousel.) AMP has the side effect of making mobile websites look a little more homogenous, narrowing down the details that publishers can customize, at least without aggressive tweaks. In a small way, the system normalizes and standardizes designs like that of 70news that otherwise would look obviously askew, tacitly accelerating traffic to questionable sites and further confusing readers who haven’t learned to discriminate.

""It’s hard to make a site look like yours in an AMP format.""

Websites that operate on these homogenizing platforms, whether they offer real news or fake, exist under the same digital gloss no matter their production budget, which presents a problem for upscale publishers wanting to stand out. "It’s hard to make a site look like yours in an AMP format," CEO Neil Vogel, told Digiday in October. "You can change the header, you can change the fonts, but it’s not yours."

Over centuries, print media developed a visual language of credibility that became second nature to most readers: crisp type and clean, uninterrupted columns communicate integrity, while exaggerated images, messy layouts, and goofy text inspire doubt. On a physical newsstand, it’s still easy to tell the National Enquirer from, say, The Atlantic. Online, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate between the two.
design  google  attention  internet  blogs  news 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
How Google Search Really Works - ReadWrite
As we begin to answer a certain kind of query, people ask more of them. 16% to 20% of queries that get asked every day have never been asked before. We estimate that there have been about 450 billion unique queries asked of Google since 2003. It’s a pretty staggering number.

What makes it really challenging are the things you’ve never seen before, and yet you have to be prepared to answer. And as we get good at answering those things, people will ask us yet new things that we’ve never seen before.

Queries get longer and more complex, and a lot of the ranking changes are handling that length and complexity. That progress happens relatively silently, right? A query that didn’t work yesterday worked today, and a more complex query tomorrow won’t work, and it will work the day after. So that’s the nature of the progress.

We’re also going down the path of understanding entities with things like Freebase [an open structured database of semantic information acquired by Google in 2010]. Understanding the relationships between things.
google  search  searchengines  semantic 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Google Search Statistics - Internet Live Stats
Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average (visualize them here), which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. The chart below shows the number of searches per year throughout Google's history:
google  search  searchengines 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
DSHR's Blog: Lurking Malice in the Cloud
13.7% of Amazon S3 repositories and 5.5% of Google repositories that we inspected turned out to be either compromised or completely malicious. Among those compromised are popular cloud repositories such as Groupon’s official bucket. Altogether, 472 such legitimate repositories were considered to be contaminated, ... infecting 1,306 legitimate websites, including Alexa top 300 sites like, Alexa top 5,000 sites like, etc.

The details are in Section 4.2 of the paper. Briefly, many of the compromised repositories had:

a misconfiguration flaw ... which allows arbitrary content to be uploaded and existing data to be modified without proper authorization.

Because the legitimate renters of the bucket had not been sufficiently careful to fully define the bucket's access policy:

by default, ... the cloud only checks whether the authorization key (i.e., access key and secret key) belongs to an S3 user, not the authorized party for this specific bucket: in other words, anyone, as long as she is a legitimate user of the S3, has the right to upload/modify, delete and list the resources in the bucket and download the content.
amazon  google  internet  security 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Confessions of a Google Spammer
He took the stage with a big smile, introduced himself and then proceeded with this presentation called “F#$%! Link Building”...
I swore I wouldn’t let Google make us stop hustlin’. But Rand was right. Within 2 months, our entire network of 5,000+ blogs — for which we paid more than $80,000 — was deindexed, dead, simply kaput. Our $100k/mo business was ruined.
search  google  journalism  spam 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
The Future of Search | chad wellmon
Furthermore, Google’s PageRank technology makes no claims about the internal content of the pages it tracks. It makes no claims about that content’s truth. e value or worth that PageRank measures is the importance of a website as determined by other websites. PageRank measures how well connected the New York Times website is—its popularity, not the accuracy of its information. In fact, some gossip websites have far higher PageRank scores than many other more accurate sites. PageRank levels the standards of legitimacy so that traditional notions of epistemic authority—expertise, cultural and social capital, scholarly peer review—have little place in its calculations.

For some, such as Michael Lynch, a professor of philosophy at the University of Connecticut, Google PageRank represents everything that is wrong with knowledge in the digital age. It is central to what he calls in The Internet of Us “Google-knowing,” not just the way we use Google’s search engine but the way “we are increasingly dependent on knowing” by means of it and other digital technologies. Although Lynch acknowledges the ample benefits of such technologies, he worries that our increasing reliance on them will ultimately “undermine” and weaken other ways of knowing. He is concerned in particular about how “Google-knowing” impedes ways of knowing that require “taking responsibility for our own beliefs” and understanding how “information fits together.”
google  search  philosophy 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Official Google Blog: A remedy for your health-related questions: health info in the Knowledge Graph
when my infant son Veer fell off a bed in a hotel in rural Vermont, and I was concerned that he might have a concussion. I wasn’t able to search and quickly find the information I urgently needed (and I work at Google!). Thankfully my son was OK, but the point is this stuff really matters: one in 20 Google searches are for health-related information. And you should find the health information you need more quickly and easily...
We worked with a team of medical doctors (led by our own Dr. Kapil Parakh, M.D., MPH, Ph.D.) to carefully compile, curate, and review this information. All of the gathered facts represent real-life clinical knowledge from these doctors and high-quality medical sources across the web, and the information has been checked by medical doctors at Google and the Mayo Clinic for accuracy.
search  google  health  healthcare  medicine 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking - ProPublica
for nearly a decade, Google did in fact keep DoubleClick’s massive database of web-browsing records separate by default from the names and other personally identifiable information Google has collected from Gmail and its other login accounts.

But this summer, Google quietly erased that last privacy line in the sand – literally crossing out the lines in its privacy policy that promised to keep the two pots of data separate by default. In its place, Google substituted new language that says browsing habits “may be” combined with what the company learns from the use Gmail and other tools.
google  privacy  surveillance  advertising 
october 2016 by juliusbeezer
Google’s iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary | Ars Technica
Play Services is a closed source app owned by Google and licensed as part of the Google Apps package. Any feature you see move from "normal" Android to Google Play Services is also moving from open source to closed source. This app pulls off the neat trick of not only enticing users with exclusive, closed source features, but locking in third-party developers with Google's proprietary APIs as well.

Taking the Android app ecosystem from Google seems easy: just get your own app store up and running, convince developers to upload their apps to it, and you're on your way. But the Google APIs that ship with Play Services are out to stop this by convincing developers to weave dependence on Google into their apps. Google's strategy with Google Play Services is to turn the "Android App Ecosystem" into the "Google Play Ecosystem" by making a developer's life as easy as possible on a Google-approved device—and as difficult as possible on a non-Google-approved device.

If you use any Google APIs and try to run your app on a Kindle, or any other non-Google version of AOSP: surprise! Your app is broken. Google's Android is a very high percentage of the Android market, and developers only really care about making their app easily, making it work well, and reaching a wide audience. Google APIs accomplish all that, with the side effect that your app is now dependent on the device having a Google Apps license.
google  android  amazon  openness 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
Why would you use OpenStreetMap if there is Google Maps? - Geoawesomeness
In 2008, the company introduced Google Map Maker, which used a similar approach and interface to the OSM in order to gather local data from people willing to contribute where map data was hard to purchase.

The main difference between these two services is that every edit you make to OSM is owned by you and the community, while every change you make to Google Maps… will be owned by Google.

The OSM community is what makes the project so special. Thousands of volunteers from all around the globe are updating the map as their world changes around them. Every update is immediately visible to all other users and is version controlled. There are no corporate map cycle releases, approvals and KPIs that are typical to large organizations.
maps  google  open 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
How the internet flips elections and alters our thou...
We predicted that the opinions and voting preferences of 2 or 3 per cent of the people in the two bias groups – the groups in which people were seeing rankings favouring one candidate – would shift toward that candidate. What we actually found was astonishing. The proportion of people favouring the search engine’s top-ranked candidate increased by 48.4 per cent, and all five of our measures shifted toward that candidate. What’s more, 75 per cent of the people in the bias groups seemed to have been completely unaware that they were viewing biased search rankings. In the control group, opinions did not shift significantly.

This seemed to be a major discovery. The shift we had produced, which we called the Search Engine Manipulation Effect (or SEME, pronounced ‘seem’),
search  politics  google  facebook  psychology 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
Power Searching with Google - Course
Google Search makes it amazingly easy to find information. Come learn about the powerful advanced tools we provide to help you find just the right information when the stakes are high.

NOTE: The course is now OPEN!
MOOC  google  search 
february 2016 by juliusbeezer
When a google image search has a lot of results, google divides what you're searching for into useful categories.
google  photography  images 
february 2016 by juliusbeezer
Google Europe Blog: Powering the Internet with renewable energy
Today we're announcing the largest, and most diverse, purchase of renewable energy ever made by a non-utility company. Google has already committed to purchase more renewable energy than any other company. Now, through a series of new wind and solar projects around the world, we’re one step closer to our commitment to triple our purchases of renewable energy by 2025 and our goal of powering 100% of our operations with clean energy. 842 MW of renewable energy around the world Today’s agreements will add an additional 842 megawatts of renewable energy capacity to power our data centers. Across three countries, we’re nearly doubling the amount of renewable energy we’ve purchased to date. We’re now up to 2 gigawatts—the equivalent to taking nearly 1 million cars off the road.
google  energy  renewables 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
Fuming Google tears Symantec a new one over rogue SSL certs • The Register
In September it emerged that Symantec's subsidiary Thawte generated a number of SSL certs for internal testing purposes.

One of these certificates masqueraded as a legit cert for, meaning it could be used to trick web browsers into thinking they had connected to Google's site when really the browser had connected to a potentially malicious server.
security  google  internet 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
European Publishers Play Lobbying Role Against Google - The New York Times
The publishers, including Axel Springer of Germany and Lagardère of France, arguably have the most to lose from the dominance of Google and other West Coast companies, as they look for revenue on the web to replace losses in print.
google  publishing  news  journalism 
august 2015 by juliusbeezer
Digital surveillance 'worse than Orwell', says new UN privacy chief | Technology | The Guardian
Joseph Cannataci singled out British surveillance oversight as being “a joke”, and said the situation is worse than anything George Orwell could have foreseen.

He added that he doesn’t use Facebook or Twitter, and said it was regrettable that vast numbers of people sign away their digital rights without thinking about it.

“Some people were complaining because they couldn’t find me on Facebook. They couldn’t find me on Twitter. But since I believe in privacy, I’ve never felt the need for it,” Cannataci, a professor of law at the University of Malta, said.
privacy  surveillance  law  google  twitter  facebook 
august 2015 by juliusbeezer
Sundar Pichai, le nouveau patron discret et surdoué de Google - Libération
Pour gérer désormais Google, dont il était jusqu’à hier le directeur général, Larry Page a trouvé un successeur en la personne de Sundar Pichai, son prometteur dauphin embauché dans la société depuis 2004.
google  business 
august 2015 by juliusbeezer
Literature is not Data: Against Digital Humanities - The Los Angeles Review of Books
Page and his team subsequently ran into a problem too knotty even for their ever-untangling minds: the literary world. The legal case brought by the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers against Google was a revelation, as important, if not as celebrated, as the obscenity trial of D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover. In the face of the openness and honest labor of engineers, the priestly class closed ranks. Instead of accepting the gift of digitization, the possibility of bringing the wealth of the tradition to the widest possible public for free, literary people immediately set about doing what they do best: vapid, internecine squabbling. The librarians stepped in. Authors wanted to be heard. The situation soon became untenable.

Google’s mistake was listening to all this chatter, respecting it, and actually trying to broker a settlement, which was naturally impossible, like trying to negotiate with a flock of sparrows. In hindsight, perhaps, Google should have followed the law for “fair use” of copyright, come to agreements with the world’s major libraries to provide the Book Search to public institutions in perpetuity, and stepped aside.
digitalhumanities  literature  ebooks  google  open 
july 2015 by juliusbeezer
Stevey's Google Platforms Rant I was at Amazon for about six and a half years,…
His Big Mandate went something along these lines:

1) All teams will henceforth expose their data and functionality through service interfaces.

2) Teams must communicate with each other through these interfaces.

3) There will be no other form of interprocess communication allowed: no direct linking, no direct reads of another team's data store, no shared-memory model, no back-doors whatsoever. The only communication allowed is via service interface calls over the network.

4) It doesn't matter what technology they use. HTTP, Corba, Pubsub, custom protocols -- doesn't matter. Bezos doesn't care.

5) All service interfaces, without exception, must be designed from the ground up to be externalizable. That is to say, the team must plan and design to be able to expose the interface to developers in the outside world. No exceptions.

6) Anyone who doesn't do this will be fired.
amazon  google  programming 
june 2015 by juliusbeezer
The digital language divide
which articles relate to different places in separate language editions on Wikipedia. The dominant language – English – has the densest information and greatest geographical spread. However, if you explore what the world looks like if you speak Hebrew or Arabic, a very different picture is painted. There are huge information vacuums in non-dominant languages, where people, places and cultures are swallowed into the dark...
In a case study of the West Bank, searching for “restaurant” locally in Hebrew, Arabic and English brought back different results for each language... only 11% of people are multilingual on Twitter (pdf), and 15% on ..Wikipedia (pdf), these multilingual individuals are more active, writing more tweets and creating and editing more Wikipedia content. These people, he believes, could potentially challenge the Balkanisation of information and discussion online. Whether it is translating and bringing foreign concepts into different language editions on Wikipedia, or moving breaking local news stories to new language communities and different geographies, they have the power to be influential.
internet  language  web  search  google  wikipedia  exclusion 
june 2015 by juliusbeezer
How Companies Turn Your Facebook Activity Into a Credit Score | The Nation
rather than overt discrimination, companies can smuggle proxies for race, sex, indebtedness, and so on into big-data sets and then draw correlations and conclusions that have discriminatory effects. For example, Latanya Sweeney, former chief technologist at the Federal Trade Commission, uncovered racial bias on the basis of Google searches: black-identifying names yielded a higher incidence of ads associated with “arrest” than white-identifying names. It’s discrimination committed not by an individual ad buyer, banker, or insurance broker, but by a bot. This is likely what happened to Nicole: Facebook’s huge repository of data has strong indicators of users’ socioeconomic status—where they attend school, where they work, who their friends are, and more—and the company targets them accordingly.
google  facebook  privacy  finance  advertising 
june 2015 by juliusbeezer
Courts docs show how Google slices users into “millions of buckets” — Medium
This wild west of unrestrained online profiling can’t go on indefinitely. It is particularly ironic that the National Security Agency — despite all the recent controversy — is subject to far tighter legal oversight than online advertisers like Google or Facebook.
google  facebook  privacy  surveillance  irony 
may 2015 by juliusbeezer
Cheaper bandwidth or bust: How Google saved YouTube | Ars Technica
YouTube was burning through $2 million a month in bandwidth costs before the acquisition. What few knew at the time was that Google was a pioneer in data center technology, which allowed it to dramatically lower the costs of running YouTube.
youtube  google  video  business  networking  internet 
april 2015 by juliusbeezer
Has Google+ Really Died? - Forbes
As I had never spent any time “hanging out on Facebook,” these pleas didn’t represent significant enticements, but I decided to give it a try. I opened a Google+ account and I was immediately confronted with the task of organizing correspondents who wished to interact with me into “circles.” As this categorizing took extra effort, my heart wasn’t in it, and so, like more than 99% of Google users, I became an inactive user of Google+....
By contrast, Twitter was a much more natural fit with my work patterns, both in terms of disseminating news about articles I am writing and in terms of learning what others in related fields are working on and interacting with them. Twitter required no active decision about whether anyone was a friend or a colleague or something else entirely. The conversation simply happened. So I became quite active on Twitter and even acquired thousands of Twitter followers.

I have also been active in responding to comments on my column on, including those correspondents who disagree with me, sometimes ferociously. On occasion, the deluge of comments is simply too much to keep up with. But I have done my best to maintain a dialogue with all comers in a spirit of professional interchange.

In writing about social media, I write as an average user, not as a specialist.
twitter  google  facebook  socialmedia  socialnetworking  commenting 
april 2015 by juliusbeezer
Philosophical Disquisitions: Should libertarians hate the internet? A Nozickian Argument against Social Networks
In the remainder of this post, I outline the basic elements of that libertarian anti-internet argument.
As mentioned, the libertarian view I am going to work with is a fairly unsophisticated version of that presented by Robert Nozick in his classic book Anarchy, State and Utopia. Consequently, I must start by outlining some of the core features of the political philosophy defended in that book. As many readers will know, Nozick’s book was written in response to Rawls’s classic A Theory of Justice. In the latter book, Rawls defended an egalitarian model of political justice that supported the redistribution of property (wealth) from rich to poor, provided certain fundamental principles of justice were complied with. This in turn provided support for a big government, collecting taxes and engaging in certain acts of social engineering.

Nozick rejected this view in favour of the robust protection of individual property rights and a minimal state. Central to this view was his conception of individual rights, specifically individual property rights.
internet  theory  philosophy  politics  facebook  google  socialnetworking  socialmedia  economics 
april 2015 by juliusbeezer
Google wants to rank websites based on facts not links - 28 February 2015 - New Scientist
Google's search engine currently uses the number of incoming links to a web page as a proxy for quality, determining where it appears in search results. So pages that many other sites link to are ranked higher. This system has brought us the search engine as we know it today, but the downside is that websites full of misinformation can rise up the rankings, if enough people link to them.

A Google research team is adapting that model to measure the trustworthiness of a page, rather than its reputation across the web. Instead of counting incoming links, the system – which is not yet live – counts the number of incorrect facts within a page. "A source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy," says the team ( The score they compute for each page is its Knowledge-Based Trust score.

The software works by tapping into the Knowledge Vault, the vast store of facts that Google has pulled off the internet. Facts the web unanimously agrees on are considered a reasonable proxy for truth.
google  search  searchengines  ontology 
march 2015 by juliusbeezer
Physician guidelines for Googling patients need revisions -- ScienceDaily
in what circumstances is it appropriate for a doctor to research a patient using online search engines?

"Googling a patient can undermine the trust between a patient and his or her provider, but in some cases it might be ethically justified," Baker says. "Healthcare providers need guidance on when they should do it and how they should deal with what they learn."

With regard to future guidelines, Baker and her co-authors suggest 10 situations that may justify patient-targeted Googling:
medicine  ethics  search  google  confidentiality 
march 2015 by juliusbeezer
Google Feud
Fun quizzes based on common google search requests
google  search 
march 2015 by juliusbeezer
An online community that deletes itself once it's indexed by Google - Boing Boing
Unindexed is an online community that anyone can contribute to; it runs a back-end process that continuously scours Google for signs that it has been indexed, and securely erases itself once it discovers evidence of same.
search  google  funny  internet  web  linkrot 
march 2015 by juliusbeezer
Never trust a corporation to do a library’s job — The Message — Medium
In 2001, Google made their first acquisition, the Deja archives. The largest collection of Usenet archives, Google relaunched it as Google Groups, supplemented with archived messages going back to 1981.
In 2006, Google News Archive launched, with historical news articles dating back 200 years. In 2008, they expanded it to include their own digitization efforts, scanning newspapers that were never online.

In the last five years, starting around 2010, the shifting priorities of Google’s management left these archival projects in limbo, or abandoned entirely.

After a series of redesigns, Google Groups is effectively dead for research purposes. The archives, while still online, have no means of searching by date.
google  search  archiving  internet 
january 2015 by juliusbeezer
Why Google made the NSA — Medium
We knew this already didn't we?
("In-Q-Tel" "the highlands forum" "the core" "the gap" "the men who stared at goats" "general idiots" "perverters of social science" and other sadly misguided individuals and initiatives)

"The latest mad-cap Pentagon initiative to dominate the world through control of information and information technologies, is not a sign of the all-powerful nature of the shadow network, but rather a symptom of its deluded desperation as it attempts to ward off the acceleration of its hegemonic decline.

But the decline is well on its way. And this story, like so many before it, is one small sign that the opportunities to mobilize the information revolution for the benefit of all, despite the efforts of power to hide in the shadows, are stronger than ever."
google  surveillance  war  us  facebook  anthropology  sociology  psychology 
january 2015 by juliusbeezer
Google Scholar Help
Crawl Guidelines

Google Scholar uses automated software, known as "robots" or "crawlers", to fetch your files for inclusion in the search results. It operates similarly to regular Google search. Your website needs to be structured in a way that makes it possible to "crawl" it in this manner. In particular, automatic crawlers need to be able to discover and fetch the URLs of all your articles, as well as to periodically refresh their content from your website.

1. File formats

Your files need to be either in the HTML or in the PDF format. PDF files must have searchable text, i.e., you must be able to search for and find words in the document using Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Each file must not exceed 5MB in size. To index larger files, or to index scanned images of pages that require OCR, please upload them to Google Book Search.

[via Ross Mounce]
search  google  scholarly 
january 2015 by juliusbeezer
Is Google Now a Publisher Offering Other Publishers an Inadequate Deal? | The Scholarly Kitchen
Google has always had “the ability to use editorial judgment to modify search results.” We humble users would wish it so: the price of decent search results is eternal vigilance against SEO, content farms, spammers, etc etc, not to mention paywall publishers who want to show up in search, but then don’t want to abide by the convention of the web that the content then be freely downloadable;(So-called “cloaking”).

I don’t know if you remember the days of AskJeeves, OpenDirectory, and AltaVista, Kent, often bizarrely irrelevant results, with spammy paid links indistinguishably mixed in–I seem to remember Coors bought the word ‘beer’ on one search engine–and all that after a wait over dialup.

The appearance of Google beta search in 1999 quite literally transformed the utility of the web. And if another search engine comes along that serves our needs better, we are but one click away from changing our allegiance, and Google knows it. I for one would love to use a search engine that strongly deprecated in its search rankins any publisher not in conformance with an ideal web: presenting open access, freely and fully downloadable, archivable content, alongside a responsive and honest commenting system. Life is short, I have no shortage of materials to read, and I’d rather favour those that play nicely with my attention. I certainly don’t want my search results spammed with paywalled stuff I can’t afford and won’t be buying. Keep it for your hundreds of subscribers!

So I agree with Mike: if you find your old business model isn’t working on the web, remove your content: the rest of us will just have to get by on the few crumbs that are left.
search  jbcomment  google  publishing 
january 2015 by juliusbeezer
Homicide Watch D.C. uses clues in site search queries to ID homicide victim | Poynter.
Laura Amico, editor of Homicide Watch D.C., describes how she used site analytics to identify a homicide victim — again. Early Sunday morning, she saw a police department news alert stating that a juvenile male had been killed. She wrote an initial post. When she looked at Google Analytics, she saw a few different search queries that seemed to be related to the killing: People were searching for information on a killing the night before on the same street as in the news alert. After an hour of searching on Twitter and Facebook, she thought she had found the victim, a 17-year-old with a name similar to the one people were searching for.
search  google  twitter  facebook  journalism 
december 2014 by juliusbeezer
Google Europe Blog: New numbers and a new look for our Transparency Report
After doing things the same way for nearly five years, we thought it was time to give the Transparency Report an update. So today, as we release data about requests from governments to remove content from our services for the ninth time, we’re doing it with a new look and some new features that we hope will make the information more meaningful, and continue to push the envelope on the story we can tell with this kind of information.

More about that shortly—first, the data highlights. From June to December 2013, we received 3,105 government requests to remove 14,637 pieces of content. You may notice that this total decreased slightly from the first half of 2013; this is due to a spike in requests from Turkey during that period, which has since returned to lower levels.
censorship  agnotology  google 
december 2014 by juliusbeezer
People trust NSA more than Google, survey says - CNET
On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being "I am shivering uncontrollably with fear") the idea of Google or a similar concern having access to all your private data got a concerned score of 7.39.

The idea of the NSA having its eyes and hands all over you? 7.06. What about your boss snooping? That merited a mere 6.85. While the notion of your parents knowing it all got a 5.93.

Of the options open to the respondents, they were most relaxed about their spouse or significant other seeing their everyday warts. This idea scored a mere 4.55.
privacy  facebook  google 
december 2014 by juliusbeezer
The Convenience Factor in Information Seeking
While participants saw information evaluation as important, the most important factors in determining what resources they used were the amount of weight given to an assignment and the time allocated to work on it... What really struck me, though, was the emphasis of study respondents on the convenience factor. “Convenience trumps all other reasons for selecting and using a source.” The anticipated amount of trouble it would take to find what people wanted was the major determinant of what sort of search tool they would use... I’m concerned, because, if I have anything resembling an information literacy philosophy, it is this: Dumbing down the research process in the interest of convenience is almost always a poor choice, especially when we have the option of educating researchers to excel. Search engines promote convenience. In fact, convenience is their main marketing tool. The resulting elephant in the room is the fact that convenience only breeds a desire for more convenience, not greater skill. Despite our efforts, information seekers continue to prefer Google to library databases...So maybe we should move our information literacy efforts into our users’ arena by teaching them how to optimize Google and Google Scholar, find dissertation archives, and create good search strategies. I already do that in my graduate credit courses but with a crafty twist: First, I have students use the library’s databases to do a search assignment. Then they do the same assignment with Google Scholar. Their reaction? Almost universally, it is that Google Scholar sucks.
informationmastery  search  google  scholarly 
december 2014 by juliusbeezer
Spooks behaving badly | Light Blue Touchpaper
The likely outcome of GCHQ’s posturing and MI5′s blame avoidance will be to drive tech companies to route all the agencies’ requests past their lawyers. This will lead to huge delays. GCHQ already complained in the Telegraph that they still haven’t got all the murderers’ Facebook traffic; this is no doubt due to the fact that the Department of Justice is sitting on a backlog of requests for mutual legal assistance, the channel through which such requests must flow.
security  surveillance  us  uk  google  spam 
november 2014 by juliusbeezer
Google Scholar pioneer on search engine’s future : Nature News & Comment
'Scholarly' is what everybody else in the scholarly field considers scholarly. It sounds like a recursive definition but it does settle down. We crawl the whole web, and for a new blog, for example, you see what the connections are to the rest of scholarship that you already know about. If many people cite it, or if it cites many people, it is probably scholarly. There is no one magic formula: you bring evidence to bear from many features.
scholarly  google  search  searchengines 
november 2014 by juliusbeezer
The Gentleman Who Made Scholar — Backchannel — Medium
“It’s pretty much everything — every major to medium size publisher in the world, scholarly books, patents, judicial opinions, small, most small journals…. It would take work to find something that’s not indexed.” (One serious estimate places the index at 160 million documents as of May 2014.) But like it or not, the niche reality was reinforced after Larry Page took over as CEO in 2011, and adopted an approach of “more wood behind fewer arrows.” Scholar was not discarded — it still commands huge respect at Google which, after all, is largely populated by former academics—but clearly shunted to the back end of the quiver.
google  scholarly  search  searchengines  sciencepublishing 
october 2014 by juliusbeezer
Google’s Cold Betrayal of the Internet | Dissident Voice
Asinine national loyalties are rife throughout Google’s book. After insisting that Assange is harmful, Google proceeds to celebrate Alexei Navalny, a dwarf in the anti-censorship battle compared with Assange, for no reason other than that Navalny criticizes the Russian government rather than the US government (p. 45). Their rationale for this is never explained, and yet further examples of special pleading and hypocrisy are found throughout their book.
The overall thesis of The New Digital Age consists of special pleading that only the US can justify censorship or state secrets, and that only the United States should be sheltered from the anarchic political influences unleashed by the internet. The rest of the book is fluff to elongate the word count and make Google look like an authority whose political opinions should carry more weight than the average blogger, and almost every claim made in the book turned out to be false within months of publication.
google  censorship  china  us  politics 
october 2014 by juliusbeezer
Google Europe Blog: Dear Rupert
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp sent an open letter to the European Commission complaining about Google. We wanted to share our perspective so you can judge the arguments on their merits.
google  journalism  news  business 
september 2014 by juliusbeezer
At Julian Assange's Book Party, A Mix of Energy Drinks, MIA, and Google Bashing | Motherboard
Google's co-founder Larry Page "is constructing this giant machine," said Assange, "but it has no color. It’s like white rice." But Schmidt “is the soy sauce. He comes along with certain political and geopolitical flavor and he’s poured that all over Google.”

“If the future of the internet is to be Google, that should be of serious concern to people all over the world,” Assange writes. “A ‘don't be evil’ empire is still an empire.”

As for how to fight such empires, Assange has much less to say. His avatar did have one piece of advice for the crowd at Babycastles: “Every time you go to a party and take a picture and post that picture to Facebook, you’re being a rat,” he said with stone-cold severity. “You're being a narc.”
assange  facebook  google  surveillance 
september 2014 by juliusbeezer
h+ Magazine | Review: When Google Met WikiLeaks by Jullian Assange
The disagreement evident in this part of the discussion is apparently shown in Schmidt and Cohen’s book: they alleged that “Assange, specifically” (or any other editor) lacks sufficient moral authority to decide what to publish. Instead, we find special pleading from Schmidt and Cohen for the state: while regime control over information in other countries is bad, US regime control over information is good (p. 196).

According to the special pleading of Google’s top executives, only one regime – the US government and its secret military courts – has sufficient moral authority to make decisions about whether a disclosure is harmful or not. Assange points out that Google’s brightest seem eager to avoid explaining why this one regime should have such privilege, and others should not. He writes that Schmidt and Cohen “will tell you that open-mindedness is a virtue, but all perspectives that challenge the exceptionalist drive at the heart of American foreign policy will remain invisible to them” (p. 35).
google  wikileaks  surveillance  us 
september 2014 by juliusbeezer
Devonian Times » We’re opting out of Google Analytics
In the last few years we used Google Analytics on our website. It helps us to learn more about our visitors, which pages they look at, and where they come from. But, being a Google product, Analytics also comes with many privacy concerns. Starting today we’ve removed all Analytics code from our website and replaced it with Piwik.

Contrary to Analytics, which runs on Google’s servers, Piwik is installed locally. We host it, we own the database it uses, and we control the data it collects. It doesn’t share any data with anyone outside of our company. Also, Piwik respects when you don’t want to be tracked (click here to learn how to activate this feature of modern web browsers).

Please feel free to install the excellent and free Ghostery web browser extension, too.
search  google  privacy  surveillance  software  tools 
september 2014 by juliusbeezer
Inside DuckDuckGo, Google's Tiniest, Fiercest Competitor ⚙ Co.Labs ⚙ code + community
very year, we've grown 200-500%," Weinberg says. "The numbers keep getting bigger." As of early February, DuckDuckGo was seeing more than 4 million search queries per day. One year ago, that number had just barely broken 1 million.
search  duckduckgo  privacy  goldsmith  google 
september 2014 by juliusbeezer
From Google to Amazon: EU goes to war against power of US digital giants | Technology | The Observer
he is in favour of regulation that allows competitors to use the Google platform fairly. The pushback against Amazon has also begun: as of last year, the online retailer can no longer stop independent sellers on its German website from offering their own goods cheaper elsewhere, including on their own websites.
google  amazon  ebooks 
july 2014 by juliusbeezer
The EU's Right To Be Forgotten Is A Mess & How Google's Making It Worse
it led this week to censorship of content from at least three major EU news publications.

Google, which initially objected to this new right, has now collaborated with it. Google has readily seized upon the role of censor, something that in other countries it has rejected with reluctance. Worse, Google’s attempts at transparency about its censorship have only lead to more confusion.

Below, I’ll go through some of the issues that we’ve seen develop since the right was established in May of this year
censorship  google  news  privacy 
july 2014 by juliusbeezer
Google, Merrill Lynch And The Right To Be Forgotten - Business Insider
There is nothing incorrect in the post, in fact it's a rather mild account of O'Neal's incompetence during the period. O'Neal was forced out of the company after he began discussing selling it without informing his board of directors. This is ancient, well-established history. Having it removed from Google doesn't undo the fact that it happened. But there is a new generation of 25-year-old investment bankers who perhaps do not have a firm grasp of the 2007 crisis that reshaped banking globally. Their grasp will be ever more slightly weaker due to this new law.
privacy  google  law  censorship  agnotology 
july 2014 by juliusbeezer
EU's right to be forgotten: Guardian articles have been hidden by Google | James Ball | Comment is free |
The Guardian has no form of appeal against parts of its journalism being made all but impossible for most of Europe's 368 million to find. The strange aspect of the ruling is all the content is still there: if you click the links in this article, you can read all the "disappeared" stories on this site. No one has suggested the stories weren't true, fair or accurate. But still they are made hard for anyone to find.
search  censorship  eu  google 
july 2014 by juliusbeezer
On MetaFilter Being Penalized By Google: An Explainer
Stories such as what’s happening with MetaFilter aren’t new. Google’s penalties have hit sites small and large for years. But often when those sites are hit, there’s something in them that doesn’t draw a great deal of sympathy.

You can (and I have) dig into some “small business” that claims to have done absolutely nothing wrong only to discover they’d been buying links or doing other things that many would agree were unsavory. Last week, I spent several hours looking into one such case that at first seemed all innocent but turned out to have layers and layers of garbage.

As for big businesses, after many called for Google to do something about “content farms,”
google  search  censorship  attention 
june 2014 by juliusbeezer
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