Social Networking Sites Beat Porn in Internet Searches
Social networking sites are the hottest attraction on the Internet, dethroning pornography according to Bill Tancer, general manager of global research at Hitwise, who has analyzed information for over 10 million web users to reach his conclusion. Details at Porn passed over as Web users become social: author. [JH]
Crownsourcing Cuil, the "Google-buster" Search Engine
Twitterati and many, many others have published less than stellar reviews of the just launched Cuil search engine. Will the new SE may be the latest in a long list of failed challenges to Google's search engine? Details at Twitterati Pan Launch of "Google-buster" Search Engine Cuil. [JH]
Law Prof as Toolmaker
A Law Librarian Blog interview with PreCYdent's Thomas A. Smith (San Diego) on the development and status of this new legal research search engine was published today. Smith is asking for feedback on PreCYdent. [JH]
Who's Doing All This Searching?
Jeremy Crane reports that the top 1% of searchers performs a full 13% of all searches in a given month. If you extend this to the top 20% the number of queries increase to roughly 70%. So in contrast to the standard 80-20 pareto it appears that in web search there is roughly a 70-20 distribution. [JH]
Search Technology from the Other Side of the Pond
In the first of several articles on European search engine research, Pandia takes a look at the French search engine Quaero. Check it out. [JH]
Is Google a Tax Evader?
Cincinnati law prof Paul Caron has the story on TaxProf Blog. [JH]
Yahoo Executives Grilled by House Foreign Affairs Committee
George Washington University Law law professor Donald Clark reports on Yahoo executives testimony about the company's role in the prosecution of Shi Toa on Chinese Law Prof Blog.
See also Tech Law Prof Blog's coverage. [JH]
The Googlization Of Everthing Blog
The Googlization Of Everthing Blog, the result of a collaboration between Siva Vaidhyanathan and the Institute for the Future of the Book, is dedicated to exploring the process of writing a critical interpretation of the actions and intentions behind the cultural behemoth that is Google, Inc. Vaidhyanathan's book will answer three key questions: What does the world look like through the lens of Google?; How is Google's ubiquity affecting the production and dissemination of knowledge?; and how has the corporation altered the rules and practices that govern other companies, institutions, and states? [JH]
Should Google Police Itself?
What Google Knows: Privacy and Internet Search Engines
Omer Tene has deposited What Google Knows: Privacy and Internet Search Engines in SSRN. Here's the abstract:
Search engines are the most important phenomenon on the Internet today and Google is the gold standard of search. Google evokes ambivalent feelings. It is adored for its ingenuity, simple, modest-looking interface and superb services offered at no (evident) cost. Yet increasingly, it is feared by privacy advocates who view it as a private sector big brother posing perhaps the biggest privacy problem of all times. Google is an informational gatekeeper harboring previously unimaginable riches of personal data. Billions of search queries stream across Google's servers each month, the aggregate thoughtstream of humankind, online. Google compiles individual search logs, containing information about users' fears and expectations, interests and passions, and ripe with information that is financial, medical, sexual, political, in short – personal in nature. How did Google evolve from being a benevolent giant seeking to do no evil into a privacy menace reviled by human rights advocates worldwide? Are the fears of Google's omniscient presence justified or overstated? What personal data should Google be allowed to retain and for how long? What rules should govern access to Google's database? What are the legal protections currently in place and are they sufficient to quell the emerging privacy crisis? These are the main issues addressed in this article.
Trademark Doctrines in Google Search Litigation
Rutgers law prof Greg Lastowka has deposited Google's Law in the bepress Legal Repository. From the introduction:
Google has become, for the majority of Americans, the index of choice for online information. Through dynamically generated results pages keyed to a near-infinite variety of search terms, Google steers our thoughts and our learning online. It tells us what words mean, what things look like, where to buy things, and who and what is most important to us. Google’s control over “results” constitutes an awesome ability to set the course of human knowledge. As this paper will explain, fortunes are won and lost based on Google’s results pages, including the fortunes of Google itself. Because Google’s results are so significant to e-commerce activities today, they have already been the subject of substantial litigation. Today’s courtroom disputes over Google’s results are based primarily, though not exclusively, in claims about the requirements of trademark law. This paper will argue that the most powerful trademark doctrines shaping these cases, “initial interest confusion” and “trademark use,” are not up to the task they have been given, but that trademark law must continue to stay engaged with Google’s results.
SIMS Lectures on Search
The following guest lectures were presented at UC Berkeley's School of Information in the Fall of 2005 for a course titled Search Engines: Technology, Society, and Business.
Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin's views on search, Google, and life.
Yahoo's Dr. Jan Pederson & Dr. Daniel Rose on user experience issues in web searching.
Stanford linguistics professor and NPR commentator Dr. Geoffrey Nunberg on how search engines shape users' perception of the web.
EFF IP attorney Jason Schultz on intellectual property and search.
To view all lectures for this course that have been made available on YouTube, check out the play list.
Last week, UC-Berkeley announced it was distributing class lectures like the above on YouTube. Read more about it. [JH]