Google Algo: Business Dominates Sci/Tech

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This letter is addressed to the feedback group responsible for
reading public responses to google's news search algorithm. It is
cross-posted to the usenet newsgroup

Dear Google Beta News Feedback Team,

I think your news algo needs tweaking. Recently the top-ranked
sci/tech stories have merely been business stories about tech
industry mergers, acquisitions, partnerships, and lawsuits. There
has been almost no actual science reporting making it into the
top ten or twenty stories. As a concerned reader who is searching
for actual science and technology news, i find your current
News/Beta search results unrewarding and frustrating.  

Here are the "sci/tech" top stories for May 11 2004 around 10:30
pm Pacific time, with my comments. Notice the repeated appearance
of words like "market," "roll-out" "lawsuit," "merger," "vendor,"
"bottom line" "corporate" and so forth -- and be aware that these
keywords have very little to do with science.

     Microsoft in online game pact with EA
     CBS MarketWatch - 20 minutes ago
     SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) - Microsoft
     continued to use the Electronic Entertainment Expo to take
     the wraps off of more offerings for its Xbox Live videogame
     service, including a new pact with
     games giant Electronic Arts.
     Microsoft and Electronic Arts agree to play Guardian
     Xbox Gears Up to Challenge PlayStation PC World
     Washington Post - CNN - Forbes - iT News - and 216 related

--- A business news story about corporate marketing of
entertainment. No science or technology content.

     Enterprise Security Today
     Microsoft Updates Sasser Cleanup Tool - 9 hours ago
     Microsoft has updated its Sasser removal tool to
     take into account the newest variant of the worm,
     Sasser Computer Worm Update NPR (audio)
     Sasser Variants Raise Questions PC World
     USA Today - Hillsboro Argus - iT News - InfoWorld
     - and 459 related

--- A very mild tech story focussed on corporate marketing of
antidotes to anti-corporate pranking by hackers.

     IBM rolls out new middleware software
     eChannelLine - 3 hours ago
     IBM has unveiled new technology for a
     middleware-based software model intended to blend
     Web-based computing and traditional desktop PC
     environments to create a dynamic provisioning
     environment for serving applications to end-users.
     IBM Lotus Middleware Gives Microsoft Users a Workplace
     Alternative NewsFactor Network
     IBM Debuts New Workplace Middleware CRM Buyer
     NewsForge - PC World - Information Week - CRN -  
     and 182 related

--- A business news story about corporate marketing of software.
No science or technology content.

     Intel Takes New Process, Mobile Chips to Market
     TechNewsWorld - 9 hours ago
     The new Pentium Ms, 855 chipset family and
     PRO/Wireless network connection communication
     technologies all make up Intel's Centrino mobile
     technology that is aimed at increasing performance
     and wireless capability while extending battery life.
     Intel Readies More Mobile Chips PC World
     Intel's New Chips De - Emphasize Clock Speed Information Week
     EE Times Online (subscription) - Wireless NewsFactor
     - CNN - NewsFactor Network - and 158 related

--- A business news story about corporate marketing of hardware.
No science or technology content.

     The Inquirer
     Sony makes over Vaio line
     CNET - 14 hours ago
     Additions to the line include a new portable
     hard drive-based music player, a diminutive Windows
     XP PC and new PCs with enhanced AV functions.
     Also, the company revealed the development of
     a hard-disk recorder with more than a terabyte of storage ...
     Sony Takes Aim at Apple But iPod Seen Safe for Now Reuters
     Sony to launch iPod rival
     Slashdot - The Inquirer - - Dance Front Door
     - and 43 related

--- A business news story about corporate marketing of
entertainment. No science or technology content.

     National Geographic
     For Cicadas, Life Is Better in the Burbs
     Washington Post - 3 hours ago
     If you feel yourself besieged in the coming
     days, with cicadas whirring overhead, crunching
     underfoot and shrilling from the treetops,
     you may have yourself to blame, at least in part.
     They're Here -- Cicada Cycle Fascinates Regions Reuters
     The invasion of Brood X Independent
     National Geographic - Yahoo News - Christian Science Monitor
     - Genome News Network - and 140 related


     Digital Connect
     News (subscription)
     Microsoft discontinues wireless hardware products
     Forbes - 5 hours ago
     SEATTLE, May 11 (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp.
     (nasdaq: MSFT - news - people) said on Tuesday it
     will discontinue most of its wireless hardware
     products in order to "refocus" in line with its role as the
     world's largest software maker.
     Microsoft Exits Wi - Fi Hardware Business Information Week
     Microsoft's Wi-Fi woes  PC World - eWeek - - CNET - and 31 related

--- A business news story about corporate marketing of hardware.
No science or technology content.

        CIO Today
     Google blog somewhat less than 'bloggy'
     CNET - 4 hours ago
     Google has officially started publishing a
     corporate Web log, keeping up with the Joneses it
     aspires to serve.
     Google Vs. Yahoo! Forbes
     Evan Williams Posts Official Google Blog Slashdot
     Motley Fool - CIO Today - Search Engine Journal - - and 200 related

--- A business news story about corporate marketing of software.
No science or technology content.

     MCI, Microsoft join forces for business communication
     solutions Xinhua - 10 minutes ago
     LOS ANGELES, May 11 (Xinhuanet) -- MCI Inc. and
     Microsoft Corp. said on Tuesday that
     they will form a strategic
     partnership in jointly developing and
     marketing business communication solutions.
     MCI And Microsoft Partner On Conferencing Information Week
     MCI, Microsoft Partner on Web Conferencing XCHANGE
     IT World - - CRN - eWeek - and 20 related

--- A business news story about corporate marketing of software.
No science or technology content.

     The Hindu
     Britons able to watch Venus crossing Sun for first
     time since 1283 Independent - 10 minutes ago
     Children will join amateur and professional
     astronomers to witness one of the rarest events seen from
     Britain -the planet Venus moving across the face of the Sun.
     Scientists Prepare for Rare Astronomical Event Reuters
     Venus transit 'chance of a lifetime'
     The Times, UK (subscription) - Scotland on Sunday
     - The Hindu - New Kerala - and 21 related


     Universe Today
     Death of a star caught on camera
     Guardian - 15 minutes ago
     It resembles a stairway to heaven. In fact,
     it is a series of steps in the death of a
     distant star. Using the Hubble space telescope,
     astronomers in Europe have peered across 2,300 light
     years of space to examine the strange structure of HD44179, ...
     Rungs of gas and dust Astronomy Magazine
     Hubble Shows Red Rectangle Nebula Details Yahoo News
     Universe Today - Longview Daily News - Quad City Times
     - The Globe and Mail - and 52 related


     IBM switches on Brocade for blade servers
     CNET - 11 hours ago
     IBM and Brocade have teamed to add another way for Big
     Blue's blade servers to access network data storage.
     IBM, Brocade Tie SAN Knot
     IBM Adds Brocade Fabric Switches To BladeCenter TechWeb
     CRN - Enterprise IT Planet - Search Storage
     - - and 26 related

--- A business news story about corporate marketing of hardware.
No science or technology content.

     BBC News
     New Mexico will host X Cup competition
     KVIA - 1 hour ago
     New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson called the
     competition for reusable launch vehicles the
     "NASCAR of space races." ...
     New Mexico to be launch site for private
     spaceflight contest CNN
     New Mexico chosen as X Prize site Kansas City Star  
     (subscription) MSNBC - New Mexico Business Weekly
      - BBC News - Yahoo News - and 82 related

--- A pseudo-science story about an engineering contest.

     Dallas Morning News (subscription)
     For Hubble, a knight in shining armor?
     Dallas Morning News (subscription) - 3 hours ago
     BALTIMORE This time, the Hubble Space Telescope
     may be saved not by Story the Spacewalker,
     but by Robby the Robot.
     Analysis: Hubble's salvation inevitable United
     Press International
     NASA Weighs Robotic Mission To Aid Hubble Washington Post
     Rocky Mountain News - NPR (audio) - Yahoo News
     - 94Country WKKJ - and 40 related

--- A business news story about funding for a scientific
observatory (the scientific discipline is astronomy).  

     ABC Online
     Police raid computer whiz's office
     Japan Times - 5 hours ago
     Police on Tuesday raided the office of an elite
     computer engineer who was arrested a day earlier
     on copyright-related charges for developing and
     offering software that allows people to swap
     movies and video games.
     EDITORIAL:Winny creator arrested Asahi Shimbun
     Anonymous file-swapping programmer arrested New Scientist
     The Inquirer - Wired News - Slashdot - - and 65 related

--- A crimes news story about anti-corporate sharing of
entertainment. No science or technology content.
     Microsoft Resumes Lindows Attack - 7 hours ago
     Lindows officials are in a Dutch court this
     week after Microsoft lawyers argued the desktop
     Linux vendor is in violation of their original settlement.
     Microsoft Keeps Heat on Lindows with New Suit eWeek
     Microsoft Goes After 'Lindows' in Fine Print - Desktop Linux - TechWeb -
     InfoWorld - and 22 related

--- A business news story about corporate legal problems. No
science or technology content.

     Openwave Opens Wallet for Acquisition - 12 hours ago
     In a merger of mobile phone software makers, Openwave
     Systems (Quote, Chart) will buy privately held Magic4 for
     $82.6 million in cash and stock.
     Openwave in agreement to acquire UK's Magic4 Forbes
     Openwave Agrees To Acquire Magic4 TechWeb
     Wireless Week - RCR Wireless News - Electronic News -
     The Register - and 14 related

--- A business news story about corporate marketing of software.
No science or technology content.

     What's Next for Consumer Gadgets?
     PC World - 6 hours ago
     Researchers describe a future with long-lived
     batteries, tiny devices, and new levels of convergence.
     MIT Aims for the Bottom Line Wired News
     Motorola Eyes iPod Market CRN
     Mac Daily News - and 6 related

--- A business news story about corporate marketing of hardware
and software. No science or technology content.

     Has Microsoft gone soft on piracy? - 6 hours ago
     commentary Microsoft is perpetually scourged by software
     pirates but in a paroxysm of compassion, the computing
     giant will soon go easy on the culprits.
     Microsoft readies XP SP2 giveaway
     Microsoft corrects: no XP SP2 for pirated copies Help Net
     Security - - - Warp2Search - and 25 related

--- A business news story about corporate legal responses to
anti-corporate piracy. No science or technology content.

     NewsFactor Network
     Rambus' cheek knows no bounds
     IT World - 15 hours ago
     In the latest twist to the huge fights going on
     in the memory market, Rambus Inc. is now trying to
     license its DDR RAM interface technology to the
     very companies it is suing for patent infringement
     and anti-trust activities.
     Rambus Releases DDR Designs PC World
     Rambus starts selling DDR RAM interfaces Tom's Hardware Guide
     CNET - The Register - PC Pro -
     EE Times Online (subscription) - and 23 related

--- A business news story about corporate marketing of hardware.
No science or technology content.

As you can see, a simple exclusion of a few key terms having to
do with mergers, acquisitions, roll-outs, anti-trust laws, patent
infringements, consumer electronics and the like, would allow the
non-science stories to be placed in the business category, where
they belong, and would present interested science news readers
with a clearer picture of current scientific news.

Hoping you take your mission as algorithm designers seriously and
are not secretly trying to subvert science reporting in favour of
corporation merger news, i remain,

Cordially yours,

cat yronwode

Hoodoo in Theory and Practice -

Re: Google Algo: Business Dominates Sci/Tech

On Wed, 12 May 2004 06:24:48 GMT, catherine yronwode

Quoted text here. Click to load it

<healthy snip>

Quoted text here. Click to load it

You didn't read what I said about Google's new keyword strategy, did
you Cat? Google are trying to establish themselves as a responsible
corporate entity now, with shareholders to worry about. And anyway,
where's my catalogue (sniff)?


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