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des
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I saw this thing on Jim Lehr News' Hour last night re: Google.

 

2 students from Stanford started it as kind of a project.

 

It is worth $120 billion-- more than Ford, Disney, GM, Amazon, The Washington Post, the NY times, and the Wall St. Journal combined.

 

It is now a noun and a verb.

 

It can field 3000 searches per second.

 

New features G-mail, Froogle, image management (this was awesome as I really use this last year). It is entering markets like internet mail.

 

Every search you make in Google is stored by Google forever (or at least so far, forever). Makes privacy experts (and me) a little nervous.

 

Google's corporate motto is "don't be evil". I think referring to Micro$oft and how it became the evil empire-- swallowing up little companies ( I think B.Gates is atoning right now.)

Got to be the wierdest company motto ever.

 

My own thought: I think it is one of the most common almost household new terms and very few people know what the term google really means. That is a 1 with a hundred zeros after it.

This is google:

10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

00000000 !!!!!

 

 

(Other mottos rejected by Google:* Google! Dance with the devil, but go home before it gets serious. * Google! We won't commit genocide in most circumstances. * Google! Don't eat no babies. * Google! We could do good, but we're like, whoa. * Google! Begone, demon! )

 

See the article if interested:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/cyberspace/...ogle_11-30.html

 

--des

Edited by des
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More trivia goodies:

 

Google is also a calculator. You can type in an equation and it will solve it.

 

 

Google is a misspelling of the math term googol. The term googol was invented by the mathematician Kasner's 9 year old nephew (who knows how *he* would spell it

:-)-- but it was a misspelling. Just as well as googol.com was already taken).

 

THere is nothing significant about the mathematics of googol, per se. It has been used to teach math though, as a handy reference for a very big no.

 

A typical calculator gets you a little under googol.

 

A googol is greater than the particles of the known universe.

 

A googolplex is 1 with a googol of zeros after it. The Googleplex is where the googlers (employees of google) work.

 

Googlers have a super delux dining hall that serves just about everything for free (one of the fringe benefits).

 

They have an unlimited supply of M&Ms.

 

 

--des

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Every search you make in Google is stored by Google forever (or at least so far, forever). Makes privacy experts (and me) a little nervous.

Well, as usual, the "privacy experts" aren't technology experts, so they hear "Google saves its searches forever," and assume that means that there's some database out there that links your searches to your name, phone number, and the last mocha you ordered at Starbucks.

 

The search itself is stored by Google forever -- that is, what you typed in and what links matched -- because Google uses this information to improve their calculation of search term relevance. A website can't link a request back to any personal information, unless you've specifically given them that information previously, and then given them permission to remember who you are when you come back. (And if you're paranoid about searching on sites like amazon.com, yahoo.com, etc., where you have created a personal account, just log out or sign off before doing your searches. If you're still paranoid, delete all your cookies, but be prepared to log in and reconfigure every site you visit on a regular basis!)

Edited by FredP
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My hubby mentioned last night that the google searches that you should be worried about are the "search your desktop" searches, but that even that may have changed. (?)

 

It used to be (still is?) that google would basically take a snapshot of your harddrive when that search option was used.

 

THAT makes me nervous. :unsure:

Edited by AletheiaRivers
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My hubby mentioned last night that the google searches that you should be worried about are the "search your desktop" searches, but that even that may have changed. (?)

 

It used to be (still is?) that google would basically take a snapshot of your harddrive when that search option was used.

 

THAT makes me nervous.  :unsure:

Mostly, it indexes your hard drive on your hard drive, so that you can efficiently search for files. There are very explicit legal issues governing how much information they can take from you, and it all has to do with improving the performance and relevance of searches you make. You may permit them to capture information about sites you visit for relevancy purposes, but that's never stored on a personal basis. It's more like putting a Nielsen module on your web browser. But uploading a snapshot of your hard drive is completely unfeasable from both a bandwidth and a storage standpoint. There are very specific mathematical limits to how much your files can be compressed, and what is Google going to do with 100,000 people's hard drive contents anyway?

 

You probably already have some kind of value card at your local supermarket, so they know exactly what you buy and how often. It actually helps to predict supply and demand patterns, so that surplus goods don't go bad, and prices (ostensibly) can stay lower. It's essentially the same thing.

 

The stuff to be scared of involves deliberately putting back doors into cryptographic algorithms so that Uncle Sam can listen in on your electronic communications that really are private.

 

It's unfortunate that people use public misperceptions about the power of technology to worry the public about the wrong things.

 

Sorry if that sounds cranky. Just imagine how I get when people forward me emails claiming that I'll receive a gift card from Best Buy if I forward it to everybody on my email list.

 

:D

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It didn't sound TOO cranky. ;) But I do agree, there is too much misinformation out there, (but also not enough true information).

 

I think it pays to be cautious. Hackers are getting more and more tricky in what they do. My hubby and I just had a trojan "browser helper object" that NO spyware remover would remove (and most didn't even see it) put into the win32 system file. The trojan is designed to watch online bank transactions. I had to call and change all my online passwords with the bank, change card numbers, etc ...

 

Have you ever read The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom?

 

Here's the link to Amazon

 

The editorial review says this:

 

David Brin takes some of our worst notions about threats to privacy and sets them on their ears. According to Brin, there is no turning back the growth of public observation and inevitable loss of privacy--at least outside of our own homes. Too many of our transactions are already monitored: Brin asserts that cameras used to observe and reduce crime in public areas have been successful and are on the rise. There's even talk of bringing in microphones to augment the cameras. Brin has no doubt that it's only a matter of time before they're installed in numbers to cover every urban area in every developed nation.

 

While this has the makings for an Orwellian nightmare, Brin argues that we can choose to make the same scenario a setting for even greater freedom. The determining factor is whether the power of observation and surveillance is held only by the police and the powerful or is shared by us all. In the latter case, Brin argues that people will have nothing to fear from the watchers because everyone will be watching each other. The cameras would become a public resource to assure that no mugger is hiding around the corner, our children are playing safely in the park, and police will not abuse their power.

 

No simplistic Utopian, Brin also acknowledges the many dangers on the way. He discusses how open access to information can either threaten or enhance freedom. It is one thing, for example, to make the entire outdoors public and another thing to allow the cameras and microphones to snoop into our homes. He therefore spends a lot of pages examining what steps are required to assure that a transparent society evolves in a manner that enhances rather than restricts freedom. This is a challenging view of tomorrow and an exhilarating read for those who don't mind challenges to even the most well-entrenched cultural assumptions.

 

I haven't read it, but do own it. :rolleyes: That seems to be the case with many books I have.

Edited by AletheiaRivers
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My understanding of the google search is that the search IS tied to your IP address, and someone else can find you that way. But the purpose is to make intelligent searches. I think that it is not correct that they are just stored without any relationship to you. They are stored with the IP address. The point of doing that is not be creepy (I still think that it is creepy), but to do intelligent searches in the future. The idea is that they know that my IP address has done these searches, say related to reading, so that I get reading related searches if I do something like search for a program called Words. Right now I would just get thousands of irrelevant URLs. I think that when you know a stalker that you become a little more paranoid as you see how a stalker (or someone working for the more paranoid elements of the Dept. of Homeland security could use it. But do I think that the average person actually has much to worry about-- no I don't. However, the story on tv (and my understanding) was not that they have personal info as such (phone, name, real address).

 

In fact, I think most of the privacy concerns might be more "creepiness factor" concerns. Don't you think it is just a little creepy that the grocery store with a savings card records your purchases and then could conceivably (so far not-- mostly they want to sell me junk food that I never buy) individualize the kind of "deals" it offers you? I think it is creepy, but I think it is mostly harmless. I think the imaginations of what could possibly be done rachet up the creepiness factor but there is more to it than that.

 

I don't think cookies have much to do with how google stores the info. The only exception would be that you normally have traces on your hd of your URLs to get you there faster the next time around. I don't think these have anything to do with more permanent traces that google lays down.

 

It also doesn't really have anything to do with your hard drive-- just the IP no, and the trace I mentioned.

 

BTW, concern about privacy is not entirely silly. My best friend ran from a stalker. He was able to find out all sorts of things about her from public info, easily available. She was just about killed by him. Such people will go to unbelievable trouble.

 

Funny thing about this thread. I put just about the same thing on another forum. Differnet people with younger average age. In that forum the conversation is all about googols, googolplexes, math, etc.

 

 

 

 

--des

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just a little creepy that the grocery store with a savings card records your purchases and then could conceivably (so far not-- mostly they want to sell me junk food that I never buy) individualize the kind of "deals" it offers you?

 

 

The future is here - our grocery chain has been doing this for years. The creepy one to me is the GPS in cell phones... plans to sell your routes to advertisers to customize billboards that you see on your commute. 911 coverage my %^&@!

 

As for the cynicism/paranoia level here... sadly it fits well and is nice to have a place where other people see the obvious. Otherwise - off to the funny farm where life is beautiful all the time (can you hear the singsong tune???) - I think it's based in Texas now. :>

Edited by Cynthia
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he future is here - our grocery chain has been doing this for years. The creepy one to me is the GPS in cell phones... plans to sell your routes to advertisers to customize billboards that you see on your commute.

 

Sounds like "The Minority Report." In the future, retailers (all businesses) scan the retinas of all passersby so that an interactive holographic billboard can shout out "Hey Cynthia! How did you like that Gap teeshirt you bought? Can we interest you in a new pair of khakis?"

 

THAT would be rather strange!

 

Cool movie. One of my favorites. :D

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Prototypes of this kind of stuff was largely developed under corporate sponsorship at places like The Media Lab at MIT in the 80's and 90's which was under the directorship of a guy named Nicholas Negroponte at the time.

 

I don't know if he is related to the neocon John Negroponte or not (he's the uberintelligence guru that you haven't heard anything about since the Bushies appointed him earlier this year), but it sure would not surprise me if they weren't brothers or something. The darker side of human affairs really likes to stick with genetic lineages that they are familiar with in order to work their warped wonders.

 

John also was an ambassador appointed by Reagan to Nicaragua, Honduras, or some country in Central America when all the really bad stuff like death squads, etc. was going on there in the 80's. What a surprise, huh?

 

Innovative technologies are ALWAYS a two sided proposition. There is the light, and there is the darkness.

 

flow.... B)

Edited by flowperson
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My understanding of the google search is that the search IS tied to your IP address, and someone else can find you that way. But the purpose is to make intelligent searches. I think that it is not correct that they are just stored without any relationship to you. They are stored with the IP address.

Yes, but your IP isn't nearly as much of an identifying mark as you think. For one thing, most residential IP addresses are still handed out dynamically when you connect to the internet -- even my DSL service which stays up "all the time" typically reconnects 2 or 3 times a week and gets a new IP. Most corporate IP's are mapped dynamically to the local intranet network, so there's not necessarily a relationship between what your IP is on the outside and what it is on the inside. Moreover, only your internet provider has the information about what IP was allocated to what user at what time, and they also have strict privacy guidelines about whom that information is made available to. So even for routed DSL (the minority) and cable users who have fairly static IP addresses, if they don't map to a well known DNS (domain name service) record, there's really no way for anyone without a lot of relevant authorization (like law enforcement, etc.) to track an IP to any personal information about you.

 

In fact, I think most of the privacy concerns might be more "creepiness factor" concerns. Don't you think it is just a little creepy that the grocery store with a savings card records your purchases and then could conceivably (so far not-- mostly they want to sell me junk food that I never buy) individualize the kind of "deals" it offers you?

I love it. :) Although the best use of the information would be to stop sending my junk mail I don't want.

 

I guess I attribute it mainly to the fact that the internet has been a part of almost my entire adult life, so I've come to trust the "security of obscurity." There's so much information floating around out there, that it's highly unlikely that anyone will realistically use it against me. It's about as likely that someone will break in and rob my house, or find my credit card number in a garbage heap somewhere.

 

Funny thing about this thread. I put just about the same thing on another forum. Differnet people with younger average age. In that forum the conversation is all about googols, googolplexes, math, etc.

I just picked up on this line of discussion because I happen to know a lot about internet security. I worked on a network security product for a number of years, that actually had a bit of government interest for awhile, until our engineers started infighting and the whole thing got derailed.

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