Murdoch: We’ll probably remove our sites from Google’s index

Rupert Murdoch has suggested that News Corporation is likely to make its content unfindable to users on Google when it launches its paid content starategy .

When Murdoch and other senior News Corp lieutenants have criticised aggregators such as Google for taking a free ride on its content, commentators have questioned why the company doesn’t simply make its content invisible to search engines.

Using the robots.txt protocol on a site indicates to automated web spiders such as Google’s not to index that particular page or to serve up lionks to it in users’ search results.

Murodch claimed that readers who randomly reach a page via search have little value to advertisers. Asked by Sky News political editor David Speers why News hasn’t therefore made its sites invisible to Google, Murdoch replied: “I think we will.”

Mumbrella: Murdoch: We’ll probably remove our sites from Google’s index

(via Jay Rosen)

I’d be quite happy to see News Corps shoot themselves in the foot, but I have the feeling people who actually know what they are talking about will stop this from happening.

Google unveils protocol for an interplanetary internet

Vint Cerf, Google’s internet evangelist, has unveiled a new protocol intended to power an interplanetary internet.

The Delay-Tolerant Networking (DTN) protocol emerged from work first started in 1998 in partnership with Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The initial goal was to modify the ubiquitous Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) to facilitate robust communications between celestial bodies and satellites. […]

The core issue is that TCP assumes a continuous (and fairly reliable) connection. DTN makes no such assumptions, requiring each node to buffer all of its packets until a stable connection can be established. Whereas TCP will repeatedly attempt to send packets until they are successfully acknowledged, DTN will automatically find a destination node with a reliable connection, and then send its payload just once. Given the latency of space communications and the minimal power restrictions placed upon satellites, DTNs approach seems prudent.

However most people don’t have a need for regular satellite communication (well, our columnist Warren Ellis has that death ray of his), but Cerf sees his robust protocol having more down-to-Earth applications. Mobile networks, for example, must regularly cope with long periods of delay or loss – a train tunnel rudely interrupting a YouTube stream, for example. Perhaps looking to gain an edge on its competitors, Google has already integrated DTN into Android’s networking stack.

Wired UK: Google unveils protocol for an interplanetary internet

(via Wade)

Blurred Out: 51 Things You Aren’t Allowed to See on Google Maps

Dick Cheney’s House: The Vice President’s digs at Number One Observatory Circle are obscured through pixelation in Google Earth and Google Maps at the behest of the U.S. government. However, high-resolution photos and aerial surveys of the property are readily available on other Web sites. […]

The city of Utrecht in the Netherlands: Some sites say that the ban on this Dutch city was an apparent mistake, but it does hold relevance as an ancient city and has served as the religious center of the Netherlands since the eighth century. […]

HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) Antenna Array on the Alaska/Yukon Border: This is part of the site for HAARP, which studies ionospheric-radio science.Miscellaneous

Focus: Blurred Out: 51 Things You Aren’t Allowed to See on Google Maps

(via Disinfo)

Save energy by using Blackle instead of Google

In January 2007 a blog post titled Black Google Would Save 750 Megawatt-hours a Year proposed the theory that a black version of the Google search engine would save a fair bit of energy due to the popularity of the search engine. Since then there has been skepticism about the significance of the energy savings that can be achieved and the cost in terms of readability of black web pages.

We believe that there is value in the concept because even if the energy savings are small, they all add up. Secondly we feel that seeing Blackle every time we load our web browser reminds us that we need to keep taking small steps to save energy.


(via Wadester23

Wikia Search is dead

Looks like Wikia lost the first round of what I called the Google-Wikipedia, Secrecy-Transparency war.

It is going to take more than just an open search platform to take on Google. Wikia co-founder Jimmy Wales announced today that he is shutting down Wikia Search, the company’s experiment in creating better search results through crowdsourcing. Wikia Search attempted to port the Wikipedia model over to search by allowing anybody to modify results by including new links or moving natural results up the page. The initial launch last year was awful, but the experience improved over time. Still, it never really attracted anything more than a trickle of searchers. We are placing it in the deadpool.

Full Story: TechCrunch

(via StevenWalling)

Are there any other players in the “transparent search engine” field?

Paid Links are for Little Fish

Disclosure: Renegade Futurist sells paid link advertisements.

This article explains how paid links are not actually the way well financed interests manipulate Google. They have more insidious ways to manipulate search results.

Paid Links and Sponsored Conversations are minor problems compared to SERP-engineering of this magnitude – however, what can really be done about such tactics? This isn’t just a matter of paid links – it’s the wholesale creation of a large ‘paid network,’ tied in with real world, offline events optimized to manipulate search engine results.

And keep in mind that the example above is just one piece of one small and relatively primitive operation (from ‘way back’ in 2006, and privately funded). This is the merely the point of the tip of a huge, honking iceberg. Reputation Management SERP manipulation will only get more subtle, powerful, and pervasive, as more and more money is put behind the effort and as tactics are honed.

In the face of the power of money, does Google really have a hope of keeping the ‘World’s Information’ free from massive “inaccuracies and inequities”?

And how hard will they really try?

I Want to Believe – in the Internet’s Great Promise, and in Google’s commitment to “Not Be Evil” while “providing unbiased, accurate, and free access to information.” I really do. So if there are any White Knights of Truth in the Googleplex, keep up the good fight. Rage, rage against the dying of the light …

But sadly, it’s difficult to reasonably hope that the internet can fare any better against corruption than any other information medium so far has. Print, radio, television … all almost totally co-opted by power and money. The internet, giving citizens the ability to search for information rather than merely have it fed to them, has such potential to break this trend – but only if that very ability to seek and find the truth is not, itself, corrupted.

Full Story: Pass the Mayo

(Thanks Justin)

Brainloop: A Brain-Computer Interface For Google Earth

“Researchers from Austria and Slovenia have developed a device called Brainloop which can be used to navigate in Google Earth:

Brainloop is an interactive performance platform that utilizes a Brain Computer Interface (BCI) system which allows a subject to operate devices merely by imagining specific motor commands. These mentally visualized commands may be seen as the rehearsal of a motor act without the overt motor output; a neural synapse occurs but the actual movement is blocked at the corticospinal level. Motor imagery such as “move left hand”, “move right hand” or “move feet” become non-muscular communication and control signals that convey messages and commands to the external world. In Brainloop the performer is able – without physically moving – to investigate urban areas and rural landscapes as he globe-trots around virtual Google Earth. Through motor imagery, he selects locations, camera angles and positions and records these image sequences in a virtual world. In the second half of the performance, he plays back the sequence and uses Brainloop to compose a custom soundtrack by selecting, manipulating and re-locating audio recordings in real time into the physical space.”

(Be sure to check out the video on the Neurophilosophy site)

via Neurophilosophy


Business 2.0: Burning Man grows up

Each Burning Man has a different theme, chosen by Harvey. This year’s theme is “The Green Man.” Burning Man, an extravaganza characterized by the consumption of huge quantities of fossil fuel, has discovered environmentalism. It is attempting to offset the 28,000 tons of carbon it estimates the event generates (counting all those flights and long drives for its far-flung attendees), and the organization is belatedly switching to biodiesel generators to provide most of the event’s electricity.

Most controversially, the organization wants to bring as many green-energy companies as possible into what Harvey calls a world’s fair of clean tech. Google (Charts, Fortune 500) is going to help produce an online 3-D search service called Burning Man Earth.

Full Story: Business 2.0.

For those seeking a small, free alternative, Autonomous Mutant Fest starts this weekend. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m going to make it down there this year, but I believe Nick Pell and some other esoZone/Portland Occulture folks will be on hand.

Erik Davis on Yuri’s Night party at NASA Ames Research Center

Like the a bespectacled kid brother of Earthdance, Yuri’s Night has taken off. This year there were well over 100 events around the globe, from Beijing to Prague to Lagos, and though some of them were probably little more than astrogeeks playing Moby records, the Yuri’s Night held in Mountain View, something more unusual happened.

The event took place at the NASA Ames Research Center, which is where they do stuff like build space-faring robots and study microbes on extra-solar planets. The Center is an imposing, vaguely Ballardian environment: enormous hangers, wind tunnels, empty runways and defeated institutional buildings lying on the edge of the Bay. But on the evening of Friday the 13th, the center opened its doors to raw food vendors, Black Rock sculptors, feral half-nude hoopers, and the nasty electronic breakbeats of the Glitch Mob. In other words, Burning Man spilled onto the nerd turf of the military-industrial complex.

Also on hand were robot designers, private astronauts, shills handing out Google schwag, and a handful of rumpled NASA scientists behind demo booths talking to people wearing purple cowboy hats and furry brassieres about earthquake prediction devices and cutting-edge global visualization tools.

Full Story: Techgnosis.

Homeless Wisdom

I was kind of tripped out reading this article about Jorn Barger – blog pioneer and man behind the great Robot Wisdom blog – a while back. Jorn as a homeless blogger wearing a Google cap and carrying a panhandler sign that reads “Coined the term ‘weblog,’ never made a dime.” This scene signifies something, but I don’t know what.

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