Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Google

The Problem With Google AMP (80x24.net) 26

Kyle Schreiber has raised some issues about Google's AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), an open source project unveiled by the company in 2015 with which it aims to accelerate content on mobile devices. He writes on his blog: The largest complaint by far is that the URLs for AMP links differ from the canonical URLs for the same content, making sharing difficult. The current URLs are a mess. They all begin with some form of https://wwww.google.com/amp/ before showing a URL to the AMP version of the site. There is currently no way to find the canonical link to the page without guessing what the original URL is. This usually involves removing either a .amp or ?amp=1 from the URL to get to the actual page. Make no mistake. AMP is about lock-in for Google. AMP is meant to keep publishers tied to Google. Clicking on an AMP link feels like you never even leave the search page, and links to AMP content are displayed prominently in Google's news carousel. This is their response to similar formats from both Facebook and Apple, both of which are designed to keep users within their respective ecosystems. However, Google's implementation of AMP is more broad and far reaching than the Apple and Facebook equivalents. Google's implementation of AMP is on the open web and isn't limited to just an app like Facebook or Apple.
Android

Android Will Now Store Google Searches Offline and Deliver Them When You Get Signal (theverge.com) 26

Google is rolling out an update for its Android app that makes it easier to search on the web with an inconsistent internet connection. Users can make searches when offline and the Google app will store them, delivering the results later (with an optional notification) when the devices get signal again. From a report: As Google product manager Shekhar Sharad writes in a blog post: "So the next time you lose service, feel free to queue up your searches, put your phone away and carry on with your day. The Google app will work behind-the-scenes to detect when a connection is available again and deliver your search results once completed."
Google

Sensitive Data Stored On Box.com Accounts Accessible Via Search Queries (threatpost.com) 29

msm1267 writes: Last week Box.com moved quickly and quietly to block search engines from indexing links to confidential data owned by its users. That is after security researcher Markus Neis surfaced private data belonging to a number of Fortune 500 companies via Google, Bing and other search engines. Box.com said it's a classic case of users accidentally oversharing. Neis isn't convinced and says Box.com's so-called Collaboration links shouldn't have been indexed in the first place. Box.com has since blocked access to what security researchers say was a treasure trove of confidential data and fodder for phishing scams.
Google

Google Mobile Search Shows Recipe Suggestions When You Look For Food (engadget.com) 26

In the past few years, Google has used its so-called "knowledge graph" to make search results far more useful than just a list of links -- you can get lots of info on a variety of topics right in Google without having to click on any search results. The latest addition to Google search is something foodies should take note of. Now, when you search for food on mobile, you'll see a carousel of recipes at the top of the results page. From a report on Engadget: Google also added some filters to those recipe results -- right below the search bar are additional suggestions you can use to refine your results. Searching for "fried chicken" gave me the option to add "oven-fried," "buttermilk," and "southern fried" filters to narrow down the recipes. You can also tap "view all" to move out of the standard search page and see bigger, more detailed recipe cards that show a picture and quick preview of the recipe.
Google

Google Responds On Skewed Holocaust Search Results (bbc.com) 332

Google says it is "thinking deeply" about ways to improve search, after criticism over how some results -- including ones discussing the Holocaust -- were ranked. From a report on BBC: Searching for "did the Holocaust happen?" returned a top result that claimed it did not, as Guardian journalist Carole Cadwalladr reported. Now, the ranking has changed for US users. The page -- from white supremacist site Stormfront -- remains top in the UK. "This is a really challenging problem, and something we're thinking deeply about in terms of how we can do a better job," said a Google spokesman. "Search is a reflection of the content that exists on the web. The fact that hate sites may appear in search results in no way means that Google endorses these views."
Google

Google Is Testing User Ratings For Movies, TV Within Search Results (techcrunch.com) 11

Google has confirmed to Search Engine Land that it is testing a feature allowing users to rate movies or TV shows directly in the search results interface. "We're currently experimenting with the feature but have nothing to announce at this time," a Google spokesperson said. TechCrunch reports: Unlike other movie and TV rating platforms, Google's feature is not on a scale from one to five but instead offers a binary choice: like or dislike. Information about weather, ticket purchasing options and more used to be available on unique, individual websites. Today, however, Google has incorporated this information and functionality into the search results layer of its own service. Within the movie ratings feature, users will also be able to see the Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb ratings for the title, as they always have. You can view a screenshot of the rating system here.
Google

Google Is Removing 'In the News' Section From Desktop Search After Criticism (businessinsider.com) 74

Google today confirmed that it is removing "In the news" section from the top of desktop search, and replacing it with a carousel of "Top stories," similar to what exists on mobile. From a new report on BusinessInsider: This move had been planned for quite some time, and is being rolled out globally, according to Google. The removal of the word "news" will, hopefully, help draw a sharper line between Google's human-vetted Google News product, and its main search product. Last month, Google faced scrutiny when one of its top results for "final election count" was fake news. The top result in Google Search's "In the news" section was a Wordpress blog named "70 News," which falsely claimed Trump won the popular vote by a margin of almost 700,000. (He didnâ(TM)t). Google's search results, in contrast to Google News, are not assessed for "truth."
Google

Google Asked to Remove a Billion 'Pirate' Search Results in a Year (torrentfreak.com) 68

Copyright holders asked Google to remove more than 1,000,000,000 allegedly infringing links from its search engine over the past twelve months, TorrentFreak reports. According to stats provided in Google's Transparency Report for the past one year, Google was asked to remove over one billion links -- or 1,007,741,143 links. From the article: More than 90 percent of the links, 908,237,861 were in fact removed. The rest of the reported links were rejected because they were invalid, not infringing, or duplicates of earlier requests. In total, Google has now processed just over two billion allegedly infringing URLs from 945,000 different domains. That the second billion took only a year, compared to several years for the first, shows how rapidly the volume of takedown requests is expanding. At the current rate, another billion will be added by the end of next summer. Most requests, over 50 million, were sent in for the website 4shared.com. However, according to the site's operators many of the reported URLs point to the same files, inflating the actual volume of infringing content.
Google

Google Will Tell You How Crowded Places Are In Real Time (pcmag.com) 64

Google is updating their "Popular Times" feature in Search and Maps with real-time data that will be able to tell you how busy a place is in real time. PC Magazine reports: "Just in time for the Black Friday swarms, we're adding a real-time look at how crowded a place is right now, to help you decide where and when to go," Google Product Manager Jamie Aspinall wrote in a blog post. "Whether you're rushing to pick up a last-minute gift or seeking a lively bar for some festive spirit, check Popular Times for a sneak preview of what to expect when you arrive." If you're one of those people who always needs a plan, you're going to love the next new feature. You can now see how long people typically stay at a given location, so you can "plan your itinerary to the minute." "After all, you want to be sure you leave enough time to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate at your local sweets shop before heading to your dinner reservations," Aspinall pointed out. In addition, Google will be able to deliver more accurate business hours for your favorite establishments. "You'll know what time to pop by the pharmacy..., when food delivery begins at a nearby restaurant..., and what the service hours are at the auto dealership," Aspinall wrote.
Democrats

Google Search Results Have Liberal Bias, Study Finds (thedenverchannel.com) 385

According to a new study reported by The Wall Street Journal, Google's search results tend to lean liberal. "An analysis by online-search marketer CanIRank.com found that 50 recent searches for political terms on Google surfaced more liberal-leaning webpages than conservative ones, as rated by a panel of four people." The Denver Channel reports: "Minimum wage" tended to yield more liberal results, while "does gun control reduce crime" resulted in more conservative ones. Searches for "financial regulation" and "federal reserve" found mostly nonpartisan links. CanIRank used the opinions of four people to determine how liberal or conservative each website was. For 16 percent of the political search terms studied, no right-leaning results showed up at all on the first page of results. CanIRank noted this could be a problem for democracy. A different study found most people click on one of the first five search results. Users rarely move on to the second page. A Google spokesperson said in an email to the WSJ: "From the beginning, our approach to search has been to provide the most relevant answers and results to our users, and it would undermine people's trust in our results, and our company, if we were to change course." According to Google, their results are "determined by algorithms using hundreds of factors" and "reflect the content and information that is available on the internet."
Google

Google Plans To Remove 'In the News' Section From Its Desktop Search Following 'Fake News' Criticism (businessinsider.com) 154

Nathan McAlone, reporting for BusinessInsider: Following criticism over fake news on its platform, Google plans to remove its "In the news" section from the top of desktop search results in a matter of weeks, according to a source familiar with the matter. It will be replaced by a carousel of "Top stories" similar to what now exists on mobile. This move had been planned for quite some time, the source said. The removal of the word "news" will, hopefully, help draw a sharper line between Google's human-vetted Google News product, and its main search product. Earlier this month, Google faced scrutiny when one of its top results for "final election count" was fake news. The top result in Google Search's "In the news" section was a Wordpress blog named "70 News," which falsely claimed Trump won the popular vote by a margin of almost 700,000. He didn't.
Google

Google Surfaces Fake News About Election Results (theverge.com) 243

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Last week, Facebook faced criticism that the platform's habit for surfacing fake news contributed to the election of Donald Trump -- a claim Mark Zuckerberg denied. This week, Google faces a similar problem, as its search algorithm surfaces fake election results. As Mediaite's Dan Abrams first reported, when you search "final election numbers" or "final vote count 2016," the first result in Google's "in the news" box is from a scrappy-looking Wordpress blog called 70 News that appears to be run by one person. The article, posted on November 12th, features the headline "FINAL ELECTION 2016 NUMBERS: TRUMP WON BOTH POPULAR ( 62.9 M -62.2 M ) AND ELECTORAL COLLEGE VOTES ( 306-232)HEY CHANGE.ORG, SCRAP YOUR LOONY PETITION NOW!" First, the numbers in this post are inaccurate. Though millions of votes have yet to be counted, but Clinton has already been shown to be leading the popular vote by a sizable margin. Current counts have her ahead by around 668,000 total votes, with some polling experts projecting Clinton will ultimately rack up a 2 million-vote lead. Second, the writer of the 70 News post claims that the source material for the article is "Twitter posts," specifically, this tweet from a user named Michael. Michael, on the other hand, is sourcing an article from the ultra-conservative tabloid USA Supreme, which argues that Clinton might win the number of votes "counted" but will not win the number of votes "cast" because of ignored Republican absentee ballots. (Michael also believes that Trump has been singled out by God to be president of the United States, a conspiracy theory popular with 4chan users who believe that Pepe the Frog is a reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian deity.) And yet Michael -- by way of 70 News, by way of Google -- has become the sole source for a story squatting at the top of Google's search results. 70 News has since updated its post with a single line admitting that CNN is showing different numbers -- the headline and the body of the post remains the same.
Chrome

Google Says There Are Now 2 Billion Active Chrome Installs (techcrunch.com) 48

An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Google is hosting its Chrome Dev Summit today. There hasn't been a lot of news out of the event, but one number that stood out in today's keynote by Chrome Engineering VP Darin Fisher was that there are now 2 billion Chrome installs in active use across desktop and mobile. This is the first time Google has shared this number. Sadly, Google didn't announce any new user numbers for Chrome today. The latest stat for active Chrome users remains at 1 billion -- a number Google shared in April. While this number is surely higher today than it was six months ago, the company decided to focus on the number of active browser install today. "I wanted to make this point that there are a lot of Chrome browsers out there," Fisher said. "What's exciting about this to you all is that when you think about building for the web, there' a lot of browsers out there that implement the latest web standards -- that implement the latest and greatest web features." The report also notes that Google has a total of seven products with more than a billion users: Gmail, Android, Chrome, Maps, Search, YouTube and Google Play Store.
Google

Google Safe Browsing Adds 'Repeat Offender' Category (thestack.com) 18

An anonymous reader writes: Google's Safe Browsing service will now brand sites which fall victim to malware repeatedly as "repeat offenders." When a site is identified as serving malware -- which usually occurs via an SQL injection attack or through auction-driven network advertising -- Google adds a "This site will harm your computer" tag to domain entries in its search results, and serves further warnings by way of interstitial pages. From today, sites which continue to succumb to attackers will not be permitted to resubmit their domain for consideration via Search Console for thirty days -- enough time to do significant SEO damage. That period does not include additional time for Google to respond to submissions about repaired sites and to remove the warnings.
Google

Gmail's iPhone App Now Has 'Undo Send' and Faster Search (mashable.com) 29

Google has updated its Gmail app for iOS today, which includes a handful of much-welcomed features and improvements. There is now an "Undo Send" button for mobile, a fresh new look, and faster search. Mashable reports: To unsend an email, just tap the "Undo" button in the lower right corner after you've hit the paper plane send icon. But you have to do it fast. You only get five seconds to hit undo before the email sends. And unlike the desktop version, you can't set it to longer intervals up to 30 seconds. You'll also notice Gmail app's got a fresh new look that resembles the Android version, which makes use of Google's Material Design language. Google's also made search faster with autocorrect suggestions and added in swipe gestures for archiving and deleting. In addition, Google has updated its Calendar application for iOS, bringing an overhauled UI and support for Spotlight search.

Slashdot Top Deals