August 28, 2010

Google does it again

From PC World:
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal, PC World
Aug 28, 2010 2:38 pm

A curious thing has been happening on Google Maps -- the Lincoln Memorial is being misplaced in favor of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial [see screen capture from early today and compare it to the now correct map on Google] which is a good half a mile south of the more famous memorial.

According to the Geographic Travels blog, this "misplacement" has been happening for about two days now. Typing "Lincoln Memorial" into the regular Google search bar brings up a number of listings related to the Lincoln Memorial, yet shows a map of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial.

Is this a Google Maps glitch, or could this have anything to do with the fact that conservative radio and TV host Glenn Beck is holding a controversial "non-political" rally at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday?

Beck's rally, which is called the "Restoring Honor" rally, is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Eastern Time today on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. 

I saw this wrong map for myself several times, as late as about dawn EDT on Saturday.

This is part of a growing scandal of Google abusing its near monopoly power for (currently) petty political purposes. Google maintains plausible deniability by making minor "mistakes" (sending Glenn Beck's followers to the wrong place, turning Pat Buchanan into a unperson in the Prompts for awhile, and so forth). Misplacing the Lincoln Memorial is, of course, not a mistake, it's, at best, a prank. I don't know whether these dirty tricks are caused merely by individuals at Google abusing their authority, or whether Google, normally a most methodical company, is testing what it can get away with politically.

If it's the former, has anyone at Google ever been punished for these political dirty tricks? I've never heard any follow up to the Pat Buchanan unpersonization, no apology, no press release, nobody reprimanded. So, it may well go down in company annals as a successful little experiment in what Google can get away with by picking  on the unfashionable. We'll see if they get away with misplacing the Lincoln Memorial.

Similarly, a lot of my VDARE.com articles tend to come and go from Google intermittently. For example, a few months ago, I needed to look up the long stream of closely reasoned abuse I've directed at Bill Gates' educational philanthropic efforts over the years. Funny, I couldn't find it through Google. So, I went to Microsoft's Bing search engine and, bingo, there were all my attacks on Bill Gates, right at the top of Microsoft Bing's list.

My personal guess is that Google will be able to get away with manipulating its data for political purposes as long as its masks its manipulations as mistakes that can be "fixed" instantly when the heat gets too intense. Google is too powerful and too scary for most media figures to question publicly. My strategy is the opposite: to speak out about Google's political scandals. We'll see...

111 comments:

OneSTDV said...

There was also the "Islam is..." prompt. Only for Islam, as opposed to all the other religion, did no results return an allusion to violence.

Anonymous said...

I hardly ever use Google.

I tend to use alltheweb.com. Now owned by Yahoo I believe.

There is also the scroogle search engine. They submit your search to Google, but Google can't in turn collect data on you.

Anonymous said...

The vice president in charge of Google Maps was an Iranian and may still be. The British accused him of helping terrorists target British forces with mortars by updating maps of southern Iraq with the maximum frequency and accuracy despite their repeated requests to do otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Ask any small business owner who has been banned from advertising on Google Adwords what they think about The Gorg. They are an extremely arrogant company and really need to read the story of Icarus flying too close to the sun.

Anonymous said...

While we're talking about the evils of Google, I should put in a plug for ixquick.com -- a pro-privacy search engine.

sabril said...

This is a lot more serious than the other incidents. If Google intentionally sends someone to the wrong location and they get hurt as a result, Google is looking at serious liability.

Anonymous said...

I also use alltheweb.com. I don't know much about the people at Yahoo!
but Google's attitude has always given me the willies. I guess that I wasn't seeing nothing.

Truth(er) said...

Google needs to be regulated as public accommodation.

dr kill said...

Dude, Google needs to be regulated? Stop using it and self-regulate please. Be a citizen.

Anonymous said...

Alltheweb.com

Dogpile.com

Bing.com

Ask.com

Yahoo.com

lycos.com

cuil.com

Conservatives do not have to give their money to liberals who castigate them......


BTW---David Frum wants to have a national "yard sale" to help us with our debt, and to sell the TVA and our national parks to private investors, all of which were paid for and off in the past by taxpayers. Just when you thought the era of "public-private-partnerships" was over.
http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/07/26/frum.sell.assets/index.html

none of the above said...

The old MSM model of the world was that the most important media had tremendous power over what was and was not discussed. Some ideas and topics simply didn't come up in public--if the newspapers didn't talk about them and the TV and radio didn't talk about them, they were simply not issues.

That power was really useful, and really valuable. I believe its loss is one reason why so many MSM companies are losing so much money, though obviously competition from online ads and news sources is a bigger factor.

Google, either as a company or as individual employees within the company, would probably find that power useful. And fairly subtle manipulations can be used to make some facts or discussions or ideas harder to find, relative to others. The unsubtle stuff like getting rid of the prompts for some names or phrases is easier to see, but I suspect it's less powerful in the end. I mean, imagine if you could just make some inconvenient facts very hard to find or write about. Whether those facts favor one political side or another is less important than the existence and use of such power: That power automatically makes us dumber as a society.

One obvious countermeasure is following links from trusted sources. Once you find someone whose ideas you find valuable and useful, you can follow their links to say "Wow, the guys at Gene Expression write some really good stuff, and they link to this iSteve guy, maybe I should check him out."

There's another way in which this strategy is different. Google is a huge and impressive company, but it's not the New York Times in terms of infrastructure and such. Other companies can rise up and take its place in any number of areas, very quickly, as has happened with Altavista and Yahoo and AOL and Netscape, all terribly important once and now either gone or much reduced in power and importance. Google continues to exist by keeping people coming back and viewing ads, by way of providing really useful stuff for free. If the stuff it provides becomes less useful, it will find itself with fewer and fewer people coming to it.

Cat Stevens said...

OneSTDV

Well duh. Islam is the only religion of peace.

Perhaps when other major religions can free themselves of violence that seems such a part of their nature and practice of their followers they too may enjoy the same good reputation as Islam.

Anonymous said...

"PUNISH" Google.....?

What for?

Should we "PUNISH" you? for your crime-thinking?

I bet you don't think so.

Google can do whatever it wants with its own service, Mr. Sailer.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Mr. Sailer, what you want is affirmative action from Google.

You can't compete in the free-market of ideas.

Anonymous said...

as u know, i despise whiners..... and it looks like even intellectual "truth teller," "tough guy" is whining about Google: http://isteve.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

get this through your head Steve, Google is not a public governemnt funded institution.

get that? ??

HankS said...

Well. If google actually get someone lost, they had the chance to spat at the face of the men, that created the time bombs of unfunded liabilities, that will destroy the value of their savings.

AC said...

If you want to cost Google a few pennies, one way is to go to Google Maps, turn on the satellite view, then use zoom in fairly far and use MouseKeys to hold down the East button overnight. They'll need to constantly send you data and that will cause them some server strain.

Kylie said...

There's no need to monitor Google's "glitches" to see its left-leaning political slant.

You have only to look at which holidays and birthdays it commemorates by altering its logo and which it willfully ignores.

Anonymous said...

I think it is great Steve has given up these heads up about Google and please keep filling us in. It is our responsibility to be wise consumers.

AC said...

Correction: you need to use the Earth tab for this to work.

Anonymous said...

I'm digging the recent crop of belligerent trolls. Welcome aboard, ladies!

-bushrod

Anonymous said...

The following Google search

olof aschberg site:isteve.blogspot.com

ought to produce a direct link to this iSteve article:


We can only hope the title of this 2008 book isn't already obsolete
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
http://isteve.blogspot.com/2009/03/we-can-only-hope-title-of-this-2008.html

...Although an enormous amount has been written about "Nazi gold" laundered through Switzerland, the much larger amount of "Bolshevik gold" laundered through Sweden in 1918-1923 has previously received little attention. Lenin's problem was that gold ingots stamped with the tsarist Russian seal were obviously stolen by the Bolsheviks, so they traded at a large discount. He found a capitalist, Stockholm bank Olof Aschberg, to sell him the rope. Aschberg would buy Russian gold in Estonia, ship it across the Baltic, and have the Swedish Royal Mint melt down the gold and put its own insignia on this. In return, Aschberg would sell the Soviets weapons needed for their civil war and subsequent 1922 war with their own peasantry...


Someone at Google [or some group of people at Google] is very, very determined that the name, "Olof Aschberg", not gain wider circulation.

PS: Google owns Blogger/Blogspot, so they are intentionally censoring their own intellectual property [or at least Steve's intellectual property, off of which they would otherwise earn advertising revenue].

Anonymous said...

Wow.

Judging by the trolls who managed to slip through Komment Kontrol, someone has touched a raw nerve...

David said...

>get this through your head Steve, Google is not a public governemnt funded institution.

>get that? ??<

Private institutions are still under the law, kid. And lying in a context where a reasonable expectation of honesty is present is unlawful.

Are all the twentysomethings at Google ignorant of ethics, law, government, and the canons of civics and civilization, or is it just this one hothead? Libertardianism on the march!

Matt said...

Woah, simmer gown guys. In a free market you can punish whomever you wish simply by not patronizing the offered service. I don't think Steve's suggesting the FTC bend Google over a table, just that people who don't like Google's creepy censorship can take their business elsewhere. Bing, for instance.

Anonymous said...

The entire high technology and internet industry only exists because of massive R&D from the government and universities. Computers were not profitable for the first few decades after their development. Companies in this field should have a responsibility to the public, just like we should have demanded some concessions from Wall Street before handing over $700 billion.

Couchscientist said...

You idiot commenters are correct that Google has the right to conduct its business as it wants, but you're wrong if you think Google shouldn't be punished by consumers for this kind of crap. I would think that most consumers want to find the places they are looking for. And I would think most consumers would like their search results to bring up the most relevant hits, not some sanitized version. Google should exercise a little transparency and let consumers make an informed choice.

stari_momak said...

altavista.com -- was using it in 1995

Eileen said...

Anonymous said: "'PUNISH' Google.....?"

Steve didn't suggest that someone ought to punish Google. Learn how to read more carefully.

The public should definitely be made aware of these little "glitches" though.

"Do no evil." Yeah, right. :-/

Anonymous said...

While we're talking about the evils of Google, I should put in a plug for ixquick.com -- a pro-privacy search engine.

Whoa - this is really weird.

Yahoo and Bing also censor the direct link to the Olof Aschberg piece:

YAHOO - olof aschberg site:isteve.blogspot.com

BING - olof aschberg site:isteve.blogspot.com

Sorry, I can't figure out how to "deep link" to ixquick, but it looks as though ixquick is finding the correct answer via AlltheWeb:

ALLTHEWEB - olof aschberg site:isteve.blogspot.com

This is really strange, given that Yahoo owns AlltheWeb.

My guess would be that Yahoo and Bing have some secret agreement to use only Google's search results when searching Google-owned domains, but that maybe the guys at AlltheWeb didn't get the memo [yet]?

Really, really weird stuff.

PS: Qkport is the only other site [used by ixquick] which gives the correct answer, and that in turn suggests to me that Qkport is pulling its results off of AlltheWeb.

Anonymous said...

get this through your head Steve, Google is not a public governemnt funded institution. get that? ??

But isn't google a "public accommodation"?

Anonymous said...

" Yes, Mr. Sailer, what I want is affirmative action from Google.

I can't compete in the free-market of ideas."

That's better.

Anonymous said...

If you distrust Google, why do you have your blog on one of their properties?

Anonymous said...

A little off-topic [although not by much], but I just saw this JPG for the Yahoo above-the-fold blurb for this article at match.com.

And I immediately thought of Whiskey - The Powers That Be are really shoving that agenda right down our throats [or at least right down our women's throats].

Anonymous said...

Google is equal to Steve Sailer. I'll take that as I'm sure will Steve.


Dan in DC

Anonymous said...

"I'm digging the recent crop of belligerent trolls. Welcome aboard, ladies!"

I think it's just one guy. Bad speller, hysterical tone, an aversion to caps, repetitive content.

He managed to be the first poster a few times, which likely means that he obsessively refreshes iSteve in order to catch Steve's posts just as they appear. Probably has such a varied social life too.

Jack Aubrey said...

Yes, Google, as a private company, has the right to push it's own political agenda.

Yes, blogs, newspapers, talk radio, and tv shows have the right to make the public aware of this abuse.

They are both parts of a free market. The free market cannot work without the sharing of information.

Me personally, I simply avoid clicking on any of the top sponsored links in a Google search query. And after this fiasco I will certainly look into using another search engine.

Also, I think that search technology will rapidly approach a point where improvements in results are marginal, at best. The difference between Google results and results from any of its competitors will soon approach zero. Depending on how it does with its other products, you might consider dumping GOOG stock, if you have any.

Let's! said...

Google's auto-complete also gives you plenty of ways to search "faux news" but comes up with nothing for "msdnc" despite over 50,000 results for the term.

Anonymous said...

Try this experiment: run the same google search - perhaps a search a with multiple terms - at different times on different days over the course of 2 or 3 weeks and see if the results and number of hits you get vary substantially. In the past, I have found this to be the case. This may be some kind of glitch that helps explain some search terms temporarily disappearing.

Anonymous said...

The difference between Google results and results from any of its competitors will soon approach zero. Depending on how it does with its other products, you might consider dumping GOOG stock, if you have any.

Unfortunately for Bing, they [originally] tailored their product for the folks in the middle of the bell curve, and recently admitted that they lost "the long tail" at the right end of the bell curve - where Google earns so much money.

Kylie said...

Anonymous said..."Wow.

Judging by the trolls who managed to slip through Komment Kontrol, someone has touched a raw nerve..."

I wonder what side these defenders of free speech and private institutions took when James Watson was "punished" by being compelled to resign as Chancellor of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

Anonymous said...

"Private institutions are still under the law, kid. And lying in a context where a reasonable expectation of honesty is present is unlawful."

[citation needed]

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure this was done by other people, not by Google directly.

Check out this Redstate article for example - http://www.redstate.com/absentee/2010/08/27/a-funny-thing-happens-on-the-way-to-the-lincoln-memorial/

If you look at the picture, you'll notice it says "This place has unverified edits."

If an address is off-place, you as a regular user can move it in Google Maps under certain circumstances. If a number of liberal pranksters did this, it can move. I noticed it points directly now - Google noticed and fixed it.

I'm not the biggest Google fan, but they're innocent. In this case.

Anonymous said...

The old MSM model of the world was that the most important media had tremendous power over what was and was not discussed. Some ideas and topics simply didn't come up in public--if the newspapers didn't talk about them and the TV and radio didn't talk about them, they were simply not issues.

Thats still where we are now I'm afraid.

Reading sites like Steve's and others one gets used to the real issues being picked over constantly and in great detail. When I see similar topics mentioned in the MSM I'm now amazed by how shallow and simplistic they seem (leaving aside any malice and deliberate manipulation which Im certain is there too).

In the recent British election I thought we might really begin to see the efect of the internet on the electoral process. No. The TV won the war. The mass of voters still get most of their opinion handed to them by TV.

Over here its still routine for leftists to complain about the 'right wing' press. This seems to be a willful ignorance about the role of TV in opinion formation. Im sure the papers play a part but its TV where the game is at.

Some issues may be out there on the internet but are relentlessly ignored by the MSM.

Twitter is massively popular amongst journalists and politicins. I cynically assume its because it allows them to easy communication but its highly restricted size (140 characters?) per post dumb it down to the point where nothing of importance can raise its head.

Anonymous said...

Google is creepy in a way that can't possibly be explained by a simple desire to make money. They want to know:

- All your search engine queries
- The content of all your email (anything sent to or from Gmail)
- All your IM logs (if you use Google Talk)
- Every website you visit (they know a lot of this even if you don't use their browser, since so many sites use Google Analytics)
- Your entire social network
- Everywhere you go (Droid is quite literally a tracking device)

And as we can see with this Google Maps incident, they're clearly directing at least some effort at subtly using information to screw people over.

There's been lots of well-deserved hostility directed at Facebook as of late, but Google is a much bigger threat. I have ceased using all Google products (I honestly think Bing is now a superior search engine to Google - the idea that Google's search is something particularly special is essentially a myth, even without the censorship), and I suggest others do the same.

Steve, you should seriously consider moving your blog off of Google-owned Blogspot. Getting your own hosting and setting up Wordpress would be simple and cheap, and there's a better selection of free templates available for Wordpress, so your site would look nicer to boot.

Svigor said...

Try and imagine you're such a lowlife that you abuse power in this fashion, while morally preening and strutting about the way G**gle does.

The stuff you find in your sink trap is superior to these systemic liars (try and imagine lying to millions of people on a constant basis in order to manipulate them, simply because you (totally wrongly) think you know better than they).

Anonymous said...

"I'm pretty sure this was done by other people, not by Google directly.

Check out this Redstate article for example - http://www.redstate.com/absentee/2010/08/27/a-funny-thing-happens-on-the-way-to-the-lincoln-memorial/

If you look at the picture, you'll notice it says "This place has unverified edits."

If an address is off-place, you as a regular user can move it in Google Maps under certain circumstances."


Which circumstances?

"If a number of liberal pranksters did this, it can move. I noticed it points directly now - Google noticed and fixed it.

I'm not the biggest Google fan, but they're innocent. In this case."


In which case this entire thread has been a complete waste of time.

"Google is creepy in a way that can't possibly be explained by a simple desire to make money. They want to know:

- All your search engine queries
- The content of all your email (anything sent to or from Gmail)
- All your IM logs (if you use Google Talk)
- Every website you visit (they know a lot of this even if you don't use their browser, since so many sites use Google Analytics)
- Your entire social network
- Everywhere you go (Droid is quite literally a tracking device)"


Oh enough with the Google fear mongering already; Microsoft, Yahoo, Twitter, Facebook, and everyone else in the search/advertising/social networking game wants to know this exact same type of information. There's nothing particularly unique about Google here, except that they are bigger and better at this game than everyone else. And as for "can't possibly be explained by a simple desire to make money"...seriously, do you not understand how Google makes its money?

Drop Google and go to other services if you like - but you're still going to be tracked, analyzed, and categorized. These types of services are "free" for a reason; no one wants to pay for anything online but everyone complains about advertising and "privacy" concerns. Companies will find a way to make money with online services and that means targeted advertising and pseudo-non-privacy online. Get used to it because boycotting Google isn't going to change these facts.

Bill said...

Wouldn't surprise me if it was someone in the Seattle office, which is involved with Google maps. Lots of immature, highly partisan smartasses in Seattle. I went to one of the local trivia nights near the Google office the other day (along with a Microsoft and an Amazon employee), and the questions were so politically loaded I had to laugh a couple times. We still won.

But speaking of Google's power, I just had an old friend from Beijing get in touch, and they don't use Google much at all in China. Microsoft services are far more popular, and that's a huge market. If Google goes all-out American hipster they won't do so well in the international arena, and will eventually lose credibility here in the states as well.

This kind of petty stuff like fiddling with the maps for political reasons will come back to bite them pretty hard eventually. It certainly doesn't look very professional.

Anonymous said...

In response to Jack Aubrey:
"Also, I think that search technology will rapidly approach a point where improvements in results are marginal, at best. The difference between Google results and results from any of its competitors will soon approach zero."

As someone who's done SEO full time since 2004, I wonder if we're there now. Seriously, do a search on Google, Bing and Ixquick, and the results are basically the same thing.

Around 2007, Google had search solved, and, since its competitors are a few years behind them, they've now got search solved as well.

It's kind of like how Microsoft basically had Word perfected in 2001.

So at that point, once the big corporation has its software as good as it's going to get, you're now in a dilemma: how do you keep "improving" it? (It's seemingly impossible for a big corporation to leave things alone.) In Microsoft's case they re-did the menu structure of Word (ruined it, in my opinion), etc.

In Google's case, they have been moving into other things, such as "personalized" search by tracking previous searches done by your IP address. Pro-privacy advocates were strangely silent about that one, by the way.

Duncan said...

I work in the map production industry so I know that google used a professional workforce to bootstrap their content but relies to a high degree on community input (similar to wiki) for the ongoing maintainence. This can lead to tunnelvision (the map reflects the focus of the most active members). At worst it gets political.

Duncan said...

By the way there are only two major contenders in the highest end commercial map production (TomTom via its teleatlas acquisition) and Nokia (via navteq). Both are now essentially European companies after the most recent consolidation. Google walked away from buying commercial to go its own way. It is not considered ready for turn by turn nav by some observers.

Duncan said...

This is totally parallel to wikipedia

It is an inherent side-effect of crowd sourced inforkation.

none of the above said...

Anonymous:

But now, a lot of stories that would have died get picked up, and there are places where you can see high-quality discussion of issues that used to simply never appear on the national scene. You might have read between the lines of a New York Times article on education or national security on your own, but it took some time and energy and there was little high-quality discussion available. Now, read Steve's comments on an education article in the NYT, and the comment thread--you get high quality discussion of stuff that used to simply not be mentioned. Similar things apply to discussions of criminal justice and policing on Radley Balko's weblog, or national security on Glenn Greenwald's, or economics on Naked Capitalism, or a bunch of issues on Andrew Sullivan's blog or Jerry Pournelle's.

I find I disagree with all these guys (including Steve) more often than I do with the conventional wisdom as conveyed in The Economist, say. But that's a win, because if you're never exposed to stuff you disagree with or find offensive, you pretty much never learn anything. Discussions that offend you by their very existence are a warning sign that you have emotionally cut off looking at some question honestly.

And these discussions are percolating out into the wider MSM world, with interesting effects on public discussions even on TV and in the New York Times. That will continue. Some topics (the many weird bits of US-Israel relations, for example) can only be managed by not letting the discussions go beyond some very constrained range of ideas and facts. Start getting too detailed about the quality of life in Gaza or the billions of dollars we send per year, and the discussion is likely to spiral out of anyone's control. We're seeing that starting now, I think. Similarly with education policy. Even when dumb and evil ideas win, they're winning now with resistance and discussion of a kind that they probably can't survive for long.

BamaGirl said...

"There's no need to monitor Google's "glitches" to see its left-leaning political slant.

You have only to look at which holidays and birthdays it commemorates by altering its logo and which it willfully ignores."

Kylie is right.

L said...

What an extraordinarily petty company! I can't imagine any other large company being that outright political - anyone know of examples?

Also, I'm not sure this is an example of leaning to the Left. I wonder if Google is run by just a bunch of Democrats.

I like the reccs for alternative search engines - are there any good alternatives to google maps?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Steve,
Please review your recent post on projection.

Albertosaurus

Couchscientist said...

I wonder if Google tries to "fix" its Youtube results or will try in the future. Through MSM things that were entertaining were filtered out on a politically correct basis so that even though something had entertainment value, it wouldn't get airtime. For those who have not seen the Youtube sensation "Bed Intruder," you really should. The viral phenomenon started out as a news story about a rape attempt in the projects of Huntsville, Al. The brother of the victim, a gay black man ranted on camera, calling out the suspect, telling him that he is dumb and will be found. Nothing unusual about that, but the brother is hilarious, in a laughing-at-you-not-with-you way. Youtube watchers all over America watched the video with a great glee. A group of white musicians decided to cash in on the video and turned the brother's words into a song. Popularity swelled, making the song number 3 on itunes R&B chart. In total the video has received views in excess of 34 million. What makes this video and song so entertaining? Is it the irony of the brother calling someone "so dumb"? Is it schadenfreude? Is it just laughing at black people? I don't know, but this video would never have been a hit in the days before Youtube because its stars are poor, uneducated, unfortunate blacks. Will Google make an effort to keep these kinds of embarrassing videos from sweeping the nation?

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/19/bed-intruder-rant-buys-family-a-new-home/

Anonymous said...

No street view for Israel in Google Maps?

MQ said...

Steve has serious delusions of grandeur if he thinks Google is manipulating search results to conceal his articles. I suspect most all of this is a combination of paranoia and weird tics in google's search routine.

l said...

The liberal defenders of Google would soil themselves with rage if Google "misplaced" gay pr0n.

MQ said...

The two results that popped up when I googled "Lincoln Memorial" were an article about the Glenn Beck rally and another article about the google maps displacement. Then after the wikipedia link there was a Youtube link to Sara Palin's rally speech. Attaway to propagandize the American people!

Anonymous said...

Try typing "Steve Sailer" into google. The third item on the auto-suggest, after "Steve Sailer" and "Steve Sailer vdare" will be "Steve Sailer racist".

Could be just the algorithm, right? -- maybe a lot of people type that.

Well, try typing "John Derbyshire" into google. Google seems to hate the Derb even more than Steve, because "John Derbyshire racist" is the second item on the auto-suggest, after just "John Derbyshire".

Whichever Google employee disabled the "Pat Buchana--" auto-suggest seems to be up to more tricks.

(Note that the searches could turn up different auto-suggests on your computer depending on how much data Google has mined on your computer -- before accessing google I always clear all browser data, use Spybot to clear their spyware off my system, and use a VPN (=IP address disguiser) to reach them. Oh, and my computer isn't registered in my full name, just my first name. If you're at all worried about Google or anyone else knowing about your isteve habit, you should follow these steps also.)

walter condley said...

How come Google shows two different locations for "The White House" on its map of that area? Sorry, I only scored 1310 on the old SAT.

NLA said...

I have Google news as my home page, and the "spotlight" section is heavily weighted toward left-wing articles, with a steady stream of links to leftist crap from Huffpo, Frank Rich, Daily Kos, etc. I don't think I've ever seen a link to National Review or Hot Air, or any of the leading conservative blogs. It's painfully obvious that they're pushing an agenda over there. But what do you expect from a company that hires lunatics like this?

Anonymous said...

You have only to look at which holidays and birthdays it commemorates by altering its logo and which it willfully ignores."
bingo.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention that Google news now heavily favors the NYT and other traditional mainstream globalist media. I remember way back when news first started - shock - the Lebanon daily star would pop up at the top of the stories on the middle east... or al-jeezera. well some people were not happy about that.

Melykin said...

A lot of blacks were angry about Beck having the rally, so it doesn't surprise me that there were dirty tricks.

Al Sharpton was ranting about Beck's rally. He was also ranting about the Dream not being realized because of The Gap.

At King's rally in 1963 there were blacks and whites. Now each race has its own rally, mainly because of The Gap. The blacks are angry about the existence of The Gap, and the whites are angry about affirmative action.

Can race realism sort this mess out? I doubt it. Can anyone imagine Al Sharpton meekly accepting that The Gap is biological?

Anonymous said...

FWIW, google maps never gives me really accurate placements for my house or the local subway shop either.

Melykin said...

Off topic: I notice that the American MSM has little or no mention of the recent arrest of 4 people in Canada who are allegedly part of a Muslim terrorist cell. They are all Canadian citizens who have been in Canada since they were children. One of them is a medical doctor who just completed a pathology residence at McGill in Montreal. Apparently they planned to blow up the parliament buildings in Ottawa, and the subways in Montreal. Thanks goodness they were arrested.

Daytripper said...

Um, isn't Blogspot owned by Google?

Personally, to do a summation first, corporations have little incentive to use their data to blackmail you. Doing so would kill their profits and customer base. So if that's what you're worried about, you can feel safe.

Not to mention that Google news now heavily favors the NYT and other traditional mainstream globalist media.

More than likely it's just favoring the most popular links. But I did notice that when the new iPhone debuted with a glitch that Google News seemed to be linking daily to a different Apple-bashing article. In no way related to their Android competitor, I'm sure.

Google is creepy in a way that can't possibly be explained by a simple desire to make money. They want to know:
- All your search engine queries


Use Apple Safari or IE with InPrivate Filtering activated. Use an anonymizer service, also. Configure your browser to clear out cookies after every session. Even then, someone can know where you've visited - at the very least, your ISP will.

I have an Android OS phone, and one thing I've noticed is that even when I clean out the history, cookies, etc., the Google homepage still remembers my searches, unless I go in and clean them out - which I have to do several times before it's cleaned them all. I'd have to be a fool to think that Google still isn't logging them all.

Using the Android default browser I also notice that in Google News you are unable to open a link in a separate window, while other pages allow me to use that feature. Is this to track which links you're clicking on?

Solution: load a different Android-compatible browser.

Another solution: minimize your exposure to a single company, so that no one company has all of your data. Use Google search, but not their browser or Android OS, etc.

Daytripper said...

- The content of all your email (anything sent to or from Gmail)

I have a Yahoo email account. Since connecting it to my current phone I've started downloading emails with new subject headers but where the content is actually from emails I deleted from Yahoo, in some cases, years ago. So I suspect other email providers are hanging onto this data for far longer than you'd suspect - or want.

Online retailing? Amazon still has records of every purchase I've ever made, and I've been buying from Amazon for over a decade.

- Your entire social network

And you don't really have much choice if someone else hands Google all of your private data without your consent. Updating/backing up your contacts on an Android phone involves sending them through a Gmail account.

What info do those contacts include? Names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, employers, even birthdays and clothing sizes, in some cases - all given to Google, without the consent of the individuals.

To a great extent privacy is dead, and there's nothing any law or any degree of personal effort can do to get it back. People can post information about you on the internet, accessible to anyone, without your consent. They can post pictures, with you tagged, without your consent. You can lock down your Facebook account as tightly as you want, but if your friend's account is open to the world then so is anything you post on his page, or any photo he posts of you.

Tagging of friends is just the beginning. Facial recongition software means that, eventually, any photo taken of you anywhere, by someone who doesn't even know your name, can be tagged with your name.

To some degree we're just going to have to deal with living in a more transparent society. Hell, we've done this before - when we all lived in small towns where everyone knew everything about their neighbors. The big city made us anonymous. Well, not anymore. Now, that small town includes all 7 billion people on the planet.

The upside is that as more information becomes public there are fewer things we have to worry about, because most everyone has embarrassing stuff out there.

To some degree Congress needs to force these companies to clean out old information, though the NSA/CIA/FBI probably doesn't want them to, and though compliance will be difficult.

But there's one fact working to the advantage of the individual: the fact that, to a large degree, these corporations have little ability or incentive to blackmail you, because the minute they try to their customers will flee.

Whiskey said...

Good point on the dating rules article. I often see in ads, biracial couples, but only White women and Black guys. I never see in ads the other way around.

The problem with non-Bing search engines is that Google provides the back end for guys like Dogpile, Ask, Lycos, etc. Bing powers Yahoo! So that is what you are left with, on the back end.

The problem with search is that it requires scale. Lots and lots of servers, in lots and lots of data centers, providing ever more accurate search results. Google's aim is to exploit that scale by selling your data, as I've blogged about.

Its not just Google, Facebook, MySpace, all the rest including Twitter will sell your private data, to pretty much anyone. This means that you have little effective privacy, which is a two-edged sword -- neither does anyone else.

[Google's fight over China is less in my opinion a fight over principles like not violating user privacy to enable crackdowns on democracy advocates in China and more on Google's anger at being the target of Chinese state-sponsored espionage and data theft. Google's money *IS* data. Nothing more, or less.]

Gene Berman said...

Melykin:

Of course he accepts it--totally. It's the source of his income and position.

tom said...

I think Steve's conspiracy theory has the wrong focus.

Google would risk a lot of PR damage if anyone ever showed that the company manipulated results for political purposes. And doing so for small targets would seem crazy. Imagine if a single internal email got out saying "here's the list of righties that we need to make disappear or connect to racism."

Occam's Razor would probably say that if motivated users can change Google results, they will. And they can. So if we need a conspiracy theory I'd guess it's much more like that a Soros-funded group like Media Matters, or an independent group of 25-year-old activists have become very familiar with how to manipulate results, and do it. For fun, probably, not for pay. "John Derbyshire racist" isn't a big leap from "George Bush Miserable Failure." And I bet Google is less sophisticated about this type of manipulation than it is about advertisement/commercial search result manipulation. In fact, the guys doing this could also be professionally involved in gaming Google ad-type searches. I don't know how people would making some of Steve's individual articles hard to find, but I would guess that half of gaming commercial search results is depressing the results for your competitors so it would not be a shock to find out that people know how to design searches to do this.

Again, the consequences of Google getting caught are so high that I do not believe the company would do something like this. There is a simpler theory that could answer it.

Daytripper said...

You have only to look at which holidays and birthdays it commemorates by altering its logo and which it willfully ignores.

Well Page and Brin are whatever, but Google CEO Eric Schmidt is aggressively liberal. He was a major fundraiser for Al Gore, an advisor to Barack Obama's campaign, and as CEO of Novell he even removed the Boy Scouts from eligibility for corporate matching donations because of their policy on gays. That is, the corporation would not even match employee's voluntary donations to the Boy Scouts as it did to hundreds of other charities of their choosing.

Udolpho.com said...

Hey, did anyone notice whether it was a PREDOMINANTLY WHITE CROWD at the Beck rally? I scanned a few news reports but, darn it, they didn't say...

ogunsiron said...

And i knew those guys would turn out to be pakistanis ...

Anonymous said...

"BTW---David Frum wants to have a national "yard sale" to help us with our debt, and to sell the TVA and our national parks to private investors, all of which were paid for and off in the past by taxpayers. Just when you thought the era of "public-private-partnerships" was over.
http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/07/26/frum.sell.assets/index.html
"

Didn't we give away the digital spectrum also?

I was just reading TR's autobiograpy today and he said somehing about this, "Whoever takes public property for private profit should pay for what he gets."

I find it hard to believe we would get what they are worth. Britrail sold everything to private investors and it was called the biggest ripoff of all time. The "investors" paid almost nothing for what they got and still get subsidized.

Anonymous said...

"I have Google news as my home page, and the "spotlight" section is heavily weighted toward left-wing articles, with a steady stream of links to leftist crap from Huffpo, Frank Rich, Daily Kos, etc. I don't think I've ever seen a link to National Review or Hot Air, or any of the leading conservative blogs. It's painfully obvious that they're pushing an agenda over there. But what do you expect from a company that hires lunatics like this?"

Why doesn't this programmer give up his job to a minority then?

He was lucky to be born with a high IQ,just like someone was unlucky to be born with a low iq,but what does that have to do with racism? This guy probably thinks everyone has the ability to be a programmer.


HBD can justify a welfare state because some people are inherently smarter than other people,so why not help the less fortunate? But these people can't even admit that a person is superior to another.

Anonymous said...

"Can race realism sort this mess out? I doubt it. Can anyone imagine Al Sharpton meekly accepting that The Gap is biological?"

That could be a reason to have a welfare state,but they can't admit the difference.

Anonymous said...

"Off topic: I notice that the American MSM has little or no mention of the recent arrest of 4 people in Canada who are allegedly part of a Muslim terrorist cell. They are all Canadian citizens who have been in Canada since they were children. One of them is a medical doctor who just completed a pathology residence at McGill in Montreal. Apparently they planned to blow up the parliament buildings in Ottawa, and the subways in Montreal. Thanks goodness they were arrested."

Isn't immigration great? Canadians lives have been so enriched by this type of immigration.

Mr. Anon said...

It would not surprise me in the least if Google was fudging its search results in the interests of furthering its politics. But what interests me more about this story is the rally itself. What the f**k is wrong with Glenn Beck? Is he trying to wrest away MLK's shield of unassailability and use it to cover his over-ernest republitard political movement?

I have no need for so-called conservatives who want to wrap themselves in King's "legacy" (whatever that even is, anymore). I want conservatives who will point out that King was a left-wing pious fraud. I don't want big-tent conservatives with perpetual idiot-grins plastered on their face. I want get-the-hell-offa-my-property conservatives who are as likely to scowl as smile.

This rally is just part of FOX's latest campaign to hijack the genuine sense of disgust and betrayal that many americans feel, and and use it to further implement the big-business / neo-con agenda.

ben tillman said...

Bravo.

ben tillman said...

"PUNISH" Google.....?

What for?


For immorality. For lying.

Should we "PUNISH" you? for your crime-thinking?

I bet you don't think so.


Of corse not, because it's not wrong.

Google can do whatever it wants with its own service, Mr. Sailer.

Just like I can do whatever I want with my own pistol?

You're an idiot.

ben tillman said...

The entire high technology and internet industry only exists because of massive R&D from the government and universities. Computers were not profitable for the first few decades after their development. Companies in this field should have a responsibility to the public....

Wrong.

Everybody has a responsibility to the public.

ben tillman said...

"Private institutions are still under the law, kid. And lying in a context where a reasonable expectation of honesty is present is unlawful."

[citation needed]


Hey, dumbass, you ever heard of promissory estoppel?

If you induce someone to come to your web site under false pretenses, and he reasonably relies on those pretenses to waste his time using your "search engine", you are liable to him under the doctrine of promissory estoppel, and you must compensate him for the damages he has suffered in reliance on your false representation.

That's black-letter law.

Claverhouse said...

An Anonymous says:

'Steve, you should seriously consider moving your blog off of Google-owned Blogspot. Getting your own hosting and setting up Wordpress would be simple and cheap, and there's a better selection of free templates available for Wordpress, so your site would look nicer to boot.'

A few months ago I made a comment elsewhere on the extraordinary propensity of right-wing commentators to use Blogger.

I was wandering through the right-wingers when I noticed an awful protocol: They all use Blogger, Google's own free blogging platform ( nearly all... ). There are other free hosting softwares, wordpress.com, livejournal, free thoughts etc., but that is only the lesser part of the puzzle. These are fierce libertarian or authoritarian classic liberals who denounce anything less than utterly free markets where the poor are bought and sold like chickens at a country fair and wholly excoriate every single aspect of enervating welfare states and people getting anything they have not paid for by their own earnings.

However, such hypocrisy as lies in their jumping on the free hosting is also minor --- no doubt they mumble reproaches to themselves enough 'I'ma rotten freetard, I'ma parasite' before drifting off to sleep.

Nope, it's the fact that as highly rewarded professionals who work as lawyers, academics, businessmen, computer engineers etc., well-paid from their own dedication and abilities, who want to take time to denounce Islam or Israel ( not both ); welfare statism; Obama; George III; socialism; wars ( except WWII and WWIII ) ; healthcare; monarchism; FDR liberalism; George W. Bush; communism etc., and generally obsess about IQs and ancestor-worship the Founding Fathers: they can't afford to spring for very cheap hosting and install something free from wordpress.org or Drupal etc. ?

Then they complain when Google shuts them down on a complaint from some offended random loonie.

I would exempt Steve from this hypocrisy since, thankfully, his blog is not geared to libertarian excess and the weirder right-wing obsessionism; but I don't get how any blogger dealing in matters the Establishment detests can give up control.

Go down the fraternal links on any such blog and at least 70% will link to Blogger sites: I imagine for the bigger ones, bandwidth and reliability are the main considerations; yet what use is that if Google can vanish them in an instant like the memory of a dream ?

ATBOTL said...

"The British accused him of helping terrorists target British forces with mortars by updating maps of southern Iraq with the maximum frequency and accuracy despite their repeated requests to do otherwise."

People who fight foreign soldiers who invade their country are not terrorists.

Curvaceous, etc. said...

"but only White women and Black guys. I never see in ads the other way around."

Then you're not watching closely.

E-Harmony is doing exactly that.

Anonymous said...

Im a bit late here, but I think this was probably just a make from the notoriously unreliable Google Maps. They had a supermarket and bank and pharmacy all located on a residential street instead of a highway which happened to have the same name, until I got tired of it and emailed them with a correction. Presumably the assignment of place names is done by computer and not always checked by human.

--Stopped Clock

CuChulainn said...

Of course they did. The leftist media and schools have twisted untold millions of Americans into lemmings who have internalized the left's desire to destroy their heritage and future to fulfill their need to be accepted.

CuChulainn said...

Of course they did. The leftist media and schools have twisted untold millions of Americans into lemmings who have internalized the left's desire to destroy their heritage and future to fulfill their need to be accepted.

David said...

>Steve,

>Please review your recent post on >projection.

>Albertosaurus<

Are you really Albertosaurus? The one I know is not a twit given to dropping puzzling non sequiturs.

Mr. Anon said...

"ben tillman said...

Wrong.

Everybody has a responsibility to the public."

Well said, sir.

Kylie said...

Anonymous said..."HBD can justify a welfare state because some people are inherently smarter than other people,so why not help the less fortunate?"

If you mean by "less fortunate", people with Down Syndrome, sure. But if you mean "people with slightly lower IQs who can adequately function as service workers and laborers but no more than that based on merit", forget about it.

"Less fortunate" is a phrase you'd have to define a lot more stringently to get me on board with any more redistributive schemes. But then again, I'm betting you haven't spent as much time around the projects as I have or if you have, it's been in some official capacity (in which case they automatically lie to you and play dumb in Oscar-worthy performances). You might be surprised at how people who seem too dense to fill out simple paperwork or remember to show up for an appointment can cagily and cunningly trade advice on how to scam social service workers, getting extra allotments for food, clothing, etc. so they can spend their (your) money playing.

Libertarian said...

Of course they did. The leftist media and schools have twisted untold millions of Americans into lemmings who have internalized the left's desire to destroy their heritage and future to fulfill their need to be accepted.

IOW, the media has picked up where the churches have left off.

none of the above said...

That was my thought when I first read the bell curve, years ago. Once you recognize that a lot of your success in life is outside your control (genes and early environment), it makes some version of the welfare state make a lot more sense. More fundamentally, massive income equality based on winning/losing the gene lottery becomes damned hard to accept. In many ways, this realization would benefit liberals more than conservatives. But it's unpalatable both because it undermines the idea that themfundamental inequality can be fixed, and because it's linked to the whole race/IQ/inequality minefield.

Anonymous said...

http://ixquick.com/ this search engine does not keep your personal information or spy on you.

Svigor said...

Then you're not watching closely.

E-Harmony is doing exactly that.


True. They're homozygous liberals, sorta like the handful of Jews who want multiculturalism and open borders for Israel.

Truth said...

"Are you really Albertosaurus? The one I know is not a twit given to dropping puzzling non sequiturs."

He isn't????

bruce said...

Ha! I'm downloading Firefox with google chrome and it says 'This file will harm your computer'.

harmony said...

For all its publicity about matching people according to personality traits, goals, long-term desires, etc., E-Harmony apparently has a reputation for being used in trolling for sex, not long-term relationships and commitment. I got this info from a friend who has used on-line match services for years. She knows whereof she speaks.

Anonymous said...

harmony: For all its publicity about matching people according to personality traits, goals, long-term desires, etc., E-Harmony apparently has a reputation for being used in trolling for sex, not long-term relationships and commitment. I got this info from a friend who has used on-line match services for years. She knows whereof she speaks.

Was she trolling, or being trolled?

[If the former, then can we get a cell phone number and/or an email address?]

In all seriousness, though, I have long thought that there is a golden business opportunity waiting for an entrepreneur who could get online dating "right".

And I think I know what the internals would look like.

Has to be said...

"I have no need for so-called conservatives who want to wrap themselves in King's "legacy" (whatever that even is, anymore). I want conservatives who will point out that King was a left-wing pious fraud. I don't want big-tent conservatives with perpetual idiot-grins plastered on their face. I want get-the-hell-offa-my-property conservatives who are as likely to scowl as smile..."

...I want the liberal control of all branches of government forever.

harmony said...

"Was she trolling, or being trolled?"

She just answers people who email her and meets them for coffee, if there is any attraction at all. Occasionally she sees a guy more than once, but rarely. I don't think she's gotten "physical" with any of the ones she's met that way. But she's been meeting guys through ads since the 80s, off and on. Don't know why, except that she lives in D.C. and even in the days when she was 25 years younger and very good looking (which she still is), there were more women than men around.

Anonymous said...

"If you mean by "less fortunate", people with Down Syndrome, sure. But if you mean "people with slightly lower IQs who can adequately function as service workers and laborers but no more than that based on merit", forget about it. "

I wasn't stating I was for the welfare state. I was just stating that people could use the difference in abilities to further their cause for various programs,but they keep wanting to say blacks on average are equal to whites in IQ. I used to be more for the welfare state,but now am against a lot of it because I have heard of things happening like you said. It's eaiser to help people at the local level when you can see who really needs it and can call people on free riding and tell them that there is a job for them if they want it. It's such a anonymous society now that people can abuse the system. Now,there is unemployment and I am for that kind of insurance.I don't think the markets will provide for everybody all the time either.

Anonymous said...

Google will not be caught dead celebrating any mainstream Christian holiday like Easter, but they will pee all over themselves to dedicate their landing page to some oddball modern artist, or whoever else 23 year-old leftist nerds follow nowadays.

Lucille said...

Realistically, though, how can any dating site prevent users from using their service for "trolling for sex"?

Mitchell said...

OneSTDV: 'There was also the "Islam is..." prompt. Only for Islam, as opposed to all the other religion, did no results return an allusion to violence.'

When I try it, I get:

islam is of the devil
islam is
islam is bullshit
islam is the light
islam is not a religion
islam is a religion of peace
islam is a cult
islam is google
islam ishmael
islam is a lie

'Christianity is' is even more negative, 'Buddhism is' is much the same, 'Judaism is' is less negative. And there are no references to violence anywhere.

Evan said...

Does anyone understand what skills, background, credentials would be useful in helping a local police department set up a surviellance system based on a Google Maps sort of platform?