Law and Order
Google’s autocomplete function is both humorous and harmless, but as it turns out, it’s getting the company in trouble in Japan. A Tokyo District Court ruled yesterday that the search giant must modify its results so it no longer incorrectly incriminates people for things they didn’t do.
Google’s autocomplete functionality, which suggests search terms as you type based on how often the terms are searched for, is a boon for lazy typers and people who aren’t sure how exactly to spell “Massachusetts” (how many s’s???). But autocomplete can be a life-ruiner if it proves that people frequently search for your name + an unflattering adjective/event.
Take the case of Australian surgeon Dr. Guy Hingston, whose autocomplete results suggest you search for “bankrupt” when Googling his name. Dr. Hingston is so upset at the inaccurate portrait painted by the GOOG that he filed a suit in a California court, claiming the negative autocomplete results have cost him business as a plastic surgeon.
French newspapers believe it’s unfair that Google profits from ads. They’ve been pushing their government for a law that would essentially make search engines like Google and Bing pay for the content they index. Google, concerned that the French government agrees with the publishers, has issued a warning about the effort:
We’ve all done it: An argument breaks out at the bar/dinner table/book club meeting, about a half-remembered line of poetry or factoid about the American Revolution. What was Mick Jagger’s childhood nickname? Only Google can tell you for sure. So someone hauls out a smartphone and lickety-split, the matter is settled. Back to brunch!
Well, the matter isn’t settled as far as Google is concerned, reports The New York Times. Rather than being a mere 30-second in-case-of-emergency argument ender, the company wants its search products integrated ever-deeper into your socializing, like that one dude who doesn’t know when to stop dropping Trivial Pursuit factoids at the cocktail party.
According to the Times:
Searching Towards Bethlehem
Talk to anyone who primarily works on the Internet, and you’ll eventually bump into the same grievance, no matter the industry: site search–the mechanism that allows users to search your website for key words–is broken. Actually, broken might be too soft a word: fucked is really more apt. On the whole, site search is fucked.
Last week we were at a bar with a fellow Observer staff writer, when the conversation turned to site search. “I abandoned my Tumblr because their site search doesn’t work,” he declared. We all nodded our heads in agreement.
But it’s not just Tumblr. Have you ever tried to search this very website?
Apples and Androids
This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder & CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can follow him at @garysguide and reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.
Unless you’re living under a rock, you know that Apple last week announced its quarterly earnings and the entire tech industry let out a collective gasp and then promptly went into a swoon. Apple’s now overtaken Exxon as the world’s most valuable company and has almost $100 billion in cash reserves. Thats higher than the market cap of 474 of the S&P 500 companies. Apple’s been very careful when it comes to spending its cash. Expect it to continue the trend of locking in a better deal on components in its supply chain boosting its own profit margins and increasing prices (and scarcity) for competitors. Also expect it to snap up important IP that can provide a generational leap to advance core features of its hardware (camera, screen, battery, memory, CPU). Beyond that (‘n all the cool wearable computing rumors), one of the things thats imperative for Apple to do (if its not doing it already) is to finally build its own search engine. Here’s why.
The markets reacted to Google’s acquisition of venerable guide brand Zagat, pushing Open Table’s stock price down eight percent. The move is based on the assumption that Google is trying to get closer to the action in terms of reviews, reservations and someday payments.
JP Morgans analyst Doug Anmuth thinks Google will integrate Zagat Read More
Tech Bubble Watch
Stack Overflow’s dedicated user base has made it the web’s best resource for questions on topics as far flung as computer programming, cooking and amateur photography.
Now this trove of knowledge will be integrated with upstart search engine Blekko, which is taking on giants like Google and Bing by offering users heavily curated results.
Blekko’s Read More