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'Reading Level' Filter Added To Google Search 266

entotre writes "A new feature has been added to the advanced Google search: reading level. From the blog post: 'The feature lets you filter or annotate the search results by reading level. The reading levels include basic, intermediate and advanced. You can either have Google label or annotate the results with those labels, only show basic results, only show intermediate results or only show advanced results.' At the time of writing, Slashdot is 1 % advanced, 64 % intermediate and 34 % basic."

Google To Block Piracy-Related Terms From Autocomplete 275

An anonymous reader writes "Google is making changes in the way it presents web search results to try to exclude links that may be tied to pirated content. In a move enthusiastically praised by the RIAA, Google says it will not include terms closely associated with piracy from appearing via autocomplete. The company acknowledged that it can be hard to know what terms are being used to find infringing content, but 'we'll do our best to prevent Autocomplete from displaying the terms most frequently used for that purpose.'"

The Future of Android — Does It Belong To Bing and Baidu? 171

hype7 writes "Given the recent publicity about Android and Google, the Harvard Business Review are offering another interesting perspective. They argue that Google runs a serious risk of losing control of Android, as competitors such as Bing and Baidu move in. It certainly presents an interesting possibility — that Android could win but Google wouldn't see any benefit out of it."

Whitehat Hacker Moxie Marlinspike's Laptop, Cellphones Seized 484

Orome1 writes "The well-known whitehat hacker and security researcher who goes by the handle Moxie Marlinspike has recently experienced firsthand the electronic device search that travelers are sometimes submitted to by border agents when entering the country. He was returning from the Dominican Republic by plane, and when he landed at JFK airport, he was greeted by two US Customs officials and taken to a detention room where they kept him for almost five hours, took his laptop and two cell phones and asked for the passwords needed to access the encrypted material on them."
The Internet

Blekko Launches a Search Engine With Bias 133

Pickens writes "Previous specialized search engines including Cuil, Hakia, Powerset, Clusty, and RedZ — each had a special trick, but they've all faded from memory, some after crashing in flames, some after making their founders rich. Now Rafe Needleman reports at Cnet that along comes Blekko, whose claim to fame is that you can tilt your search results in the direction you like by using a category of bias, like 'liberal' or 'conservative.' Categorization lists are applied by appending a 'slashtag.' The query, 'climate change /conservative' will give you politically slanted results, for example. 'Climate change /science' will restrict your results to hits from scientific Web sites. Blekko won't have a real, Web-wide impact unless its concept — that bias is good and more aggressive search filtering is needed — gets some traction, writes Needleman. But 'Blekko is a solid alternative to Google and Bing for anyone, and more importantly it's got great potential for researchers, librarians, journalists, or anyone who's willing to put some work into how their search engine functions in order to get better results.'"

Inside Google's Anti-Malware Operation 105

Trailrunner7 writes "A Google malware researcher gave a rare peek inside the company's massive anti-malware and anti-phishing efforts at the SecTor conference here, and the data the company has gathered shows that the attackers who make it their business to infect sites and exploit users are adapting their tactics very quickly and creatively to combat the efforts of Google and others. While Google is still a relative newcomer to the public security scene, the company has deployed a number of services and technologies recently that are designed to identify phishing sites, as well as sites serving malware, and prevent users from finding them. The tools include the Google SafeBrowsing API and a handful of services that are available to help site owners and network administrators find and eliminate malware and the attendant bugs from their sites. Fabrice Jaubert, of Google's anti-malware team, said the company has had good luck identifying and weeding out malicious sites of late. Still, as much as 1.5 percent of all search result pages on Google include links to at least one malware-distribution site, he said."

10 Oddly Useful Specialty Web Browsers 72

snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Peter Wayner looks beyond Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, and IE to uncover 10 alternative browsers that offer specialized advantages for 3-D searching, social networking, easy scriptability, powerful page manipulation, and the like. Each provides a targeted browsing environment, enabling users to browse Web tables into spreadsheets, browse leaner, browser in text, browse socially, browse musically, or browse smarter on the Mac. 'A purist might object that these hybrids are not much different from a standard browser with extra plug-ins. There's some truth to this, but not always — some of the unique capabilities can only be done deep inside the software. In any case, the job of parsing the terms and creating an exact definition of the Web browser isn't as much fun as embracing the idea that there are dozens of alternatives.'"

Facebook, Microsoft Team Up Against Google 297

Pickens writes "In a move that could be the biggest threat to Google's search standing yet, Microsoft and Facebook announced that they're teaming up for social search. When someone uses Bing's search engine to look for a new car or a book, she can see which ones her friends liked. While industry watchers say this is an interesting move for search, what's most notable is that Facebook turned to Microsoft for this deal and not to the market leader, Google. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says there is a specific reason he wants to go with Bing: 'They really are the underdog here. They're incentivized to go out and innovate. They have all these smart people and are trying to do all these new things.' The real importance of this week's announcement is that it highlights the growing strategic conflict between Facebook and Google, says analyst Ray Valdes. 'There is a battle for the future of the Web, and it is not about search engines, but about the social Web.'"

China Blanks Nobel Peace Prize Searches 326

1 a bee writes "CNN is reporting that China is attempting to block all communication regarding Peace prize winner Liu Xiaobo. Even texting is affected: 'Text-messaging on mobile phones is not immune from censors, either. A Shanghai-based netizen, @littley, tweeted his unfortunate experience: "My SIM card just got de-activated, turning my iPhone to an iPod touch after I texted my dad about Liu Xiaobo winning the Nobel Peace Prize."' Might as well add Slashdot to the censored list." Further coverage is available from NBC.

GoogleSharing, Now With No Trust Required 152

An anonymous reader writes "GoogleSharing, the popular Google anonymizing service created by well known privacy advocate and security researcher Moxie Marlinspike, has released a major new version today. The biggest change is leveraging Google's SSL search option to provide an anonymizing service which doesn't require you to trust either Google or GoogleSharing. This means that anyone who wishes to opt out of Google's data collection practices can now do so without having to trust the operator of the anonymizing service."

Seven Words You Can't Say On Google Instant 257

theodp writes "Back in 1972, Georgle Carlin gave us the Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television. Thirty-eight years later, Valleywag reports on The Definitive List of Words Google Thinks Are Naughty. You've probably noticed how the new Google Instant tries to guess what you're searching for while you type — unless it thinks your search is dirty, in which case you'll be forced to actually press ENTER to see your results. Leave it to the enterprising folks at 2600 to compile an exhaustive list of words and phrases Google Instant won't auto-search for."

DuckDuckGo Search Engine Erects Tor Hidden Service 87

An anonymous reader writes "Viewable with Tor installed, search engine DuckDuckGo has erected a hidden service for secure, encrypted searches through the Tor network. While past attempts at hidden service search engines failed due to uptime or quality issues, DuckDuckGo marks the first time a real company operating a public search engine has offered a solid search engine as a hidden service for Tor users."

Did Google Go Instant Just To Show More Ads? 250

eldavojohn writes "Google, already the largest search engine in the United States, went instant a few weeks ago. MIT's Tech Review asks why Google went instant and is skeptical that users actually look at search results before they finish typing their query. Othar Hansson, Google's lead on the initiative, informs them otherwise and claims that Google's traffic monitors didn't even blink at the extra data being sent across — primarily because of its insignificance next to streaming one video on YouTube. Hansson also reveals that Google's search engine is no longer stateless and therefore takes up a little more memory in their server hives. The Tech Review claims that 'sources at the company say Google Instant's impact on ad sales was a primary focus in testing the service. Google only gets paid for an advertisement, or sponsored link, when a user clicks on the ad, and ads are targeted to specific searches. By displaying a search's ads onscreen a couple of seconds sooner, the frequency of users clicking on those ads could only go up.' So money seemed to be the prime motivator and the article also coyly notes that the average length of time a user spends between typing in any two characters is 300 milliseconds — much too fast for old JavaScript engines. Of course, you might recall Google's efforts to change all that with JavaScript speed wars. Do you find Google Instant to be useful in any way, or does it strike you as just more ad gravity for your mouse?"