evil Google — curator of your information flow

I put up a couple of recent posts to observe on a surge of obituaries on the news business.   But all y’all internet denizens are still reading news.   You just don’t take daily newspapers anymore, and only a very tiny share of y’all subscribe to any kind of news provider.   That is the way most of us operate any more.   But information flow, especially the flow of recent events information, aka ‘news,’ is now screened for most receivers of news by evil Google.

Yeah, I know; some Ratburghers are boycotting Google by using DuckDuckGo and a couple of other search engine alternatives.   But the problem remains.   Over half of all news articles that are accessed on the internet were landed on through an evil-Google search, which means that evil Google gets a shot at screening the news for over half of all internet news consumption.   This finding comes from a Northwestern University study that was recently presented at the “2019 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems” that was held in Glasgow.

Continue reading “evil Google — curator of your information flow”


The Threat of China

China has been attacking the U.S.A. ever since the days of Richard Nixon, in many ways subtle and not subtle.   But their attacks have grown more devious, more corrupting, and are preparing them for assaults on America that will be devastating when they are unleashed.

Yes, they have been spying and stealing technical secrets, violating copyrights, trademarks and the plain language of contracts for decades.   But the current state of affairs calls for a confrontation, and I am glad to see President Trump bring a confrontation that is clever and likely to succeed.... [Read More]


Saving Journalism

Fake News, you say?  Indeed, this is to discuss the turmoil in the field of journalism, which is both a cause and a consequence of the Leftist tilt of the entire field.   Journalism is in crisis, you see, and Leftist media watchers are looking for scapegoats.   President Trump figures high on their enemies list, with his “fake news!,” “Enemy of the People,” and Sarah Huckabee Sanders.   See my previous post on this topic.   In that post I reacted to a journalist who blamed the end of professionalism in journalism on President Trump.   In this post I will discuss the reasons for the collapse of journalism as we knew it.

I am happy to see the recent obituaries for Big Journalism.  But before we discuss the real problems with journalism, please consider what the crisis looks like to the journalists.   There have been a rash of articles and editorials from journalists that have expressed fear and frustration.   This is an excerpt from an article that appeared in the New Yorker back in January:... [Read More]


Google “responsible development”

I am not suggesting that you perform a Google search for “responsible development.”   I just want to call attention to the demise of the “Responsible Development of AI Advisory Council” at Google.   It was just last week that Google announced the formation of the Advisory Council, intended to debate potential policy related to Artificial Intelligence.   They started announcing persons who were going to serve on the Advisory Council.   One of the persons named was Kay Coles James.

The histrionics from Google staffers were immediate and intense.   Tantrums were thrown and a clamor of angry rhetoric consumed much energy and attention for a couple of days.   Google promptly caved, and today they announced the dissolution of the Advisory Council.   Evidently placating the SJW staffers at Google was much more important than any effort to get ahead of the plethora of ethical pitfalls that beset the development of artificial intelligence.... [Read More]


Big Tech censorship

Donald Trump Jr. has an editorial at  The Hill,  about censorship on the internet.   He runs through a bill of particulars, which concern matters that we have talked about at Ratburger.org.   The following is the middle third of his editorial, which amounts to good old-fashioned journalism about something he saw while at CPAC.

 ... [Read More]


Google Made a Booboo

Turns out that some Nest products have built-in microphones, which fact was only recently disclosed to users. The possibilities for abuse are endless. Looks like Bruce Schneier’s predictions, expressed in his book Click Here to Kill Everybody, are coming true. From the book’s blurb:

From driverless cars to smart thermostats, from autonomous stock-trading systems to drones equipped with their own behavioral algorithms, the internet now has direct effects on the physical world. [emphasis added]... [Read More]


It Isn’t the Cloud: It’s Somebody Else’s Computer

Google+ was launched in June 2011.  It was Google’s response to the rapid growth of Facebook and other social networks.  Just two weeks after its launch, 10 million users had joined.  By October 2013, 540 million users accessed one or more Google+ features.  People created text, images, uploaded images and media, and interacted on the network.  All of these data were stored on Google’s servers.

On October 8, 2018, Google announced that Google+ would be terminated in August 2019.   Subsequently, the shut-down date was moved up to April 2019.  This was due in part to a massive data breach discovered in the spring of 2018 which disclosed the personal data of 52.5 million users.  This was covered up by Google “due to fears of increased regulatory scrutiny”.  According to the October 2018 announcement, 90% of user sessions on Google+ lasted less than five seconds.... [Read More]


“The Creepy Line,” a Documentary Worth Watching…

…and a subject worth reviling and fearing – i.e. the power of Google and Facebook to shape society in the image they, completely unaccountably, deem best. The title, an understatement – “creepy ‘ is much too mild a descriptor – comes from a statement by Eric Schmidt, who in 2010, told an interviewer that Google’s policy is to “get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.”While that makes for a catchy title, it in no way captures the nefarious things being done by a company whose motto is (or was) supposedly, “Don’t be evil.” Facebook does similar things as well.

The film explains how Google began as a search engine, but became something very different. As a non-technical individual, I cannot do the topic justice. Suffice it to say, the stories told by psychologist Robert Epstein and Jordan Peterson (both of whose email and youtube accounts were suddenly shut down without explanation and without recourse) are very frightening.... [Read More]


Saturday Night Science: Life After Google

“Life after Google” by George GilderIn his 1990 book Life after Television, George Gilder predicted that the personal computer, then mostly boxes that sat on desktops and worked in isolation from one another, would become more personal, mobile, and be used more to communicate than to compute. In the 1994 revised edition of the book, he wrote. “The most common personal computer of the next decade will be a digital cellular phone with an IP address … connecting to thousands of databases of all kinds.” In contemporary speeches he expanded on the idea, saying, “it will be as portable as your watch and as personal as your wallet; it will recognize speech and navigate streets; it will collect your mail, your news, and your paycheck.” In 2000, he published Telecosm, where he forecast that the building out of a fibre optic communication infrastructure and the development of successive generations of spread spectrum digital mobile communication technologies would effectively cause the cost of communication bandwidth (the quantity of data which can be transmitted in a given time) to asymptotically approach zero, just as the ability to pack more and more transistors on microprocessor and memory chips was doing for computing.

Clearly, when George Gilder forecasts the future of computing, communication, and the industries and social phenomena that spring from them, it’s wise to pay attention. He’s not infallible: in 1990 he predicted that “in the world of networked computers, no one would have to see an advertisement he didn’t want to see”. Oh, well. The very difference between that happy vision and the advertisement-cluttered world we inhabit today, rife with bots, malware, scams, and serial large-scale security breaches which compromise the personal data of millions of people and expose them to identity theft and other forms of fraud is the subject of this book: how we got here, and how technology is opening a path to move on to a better place.... [Read More]


Too Hot for YouTube

Pat Condell’s most recent video, “A Word to the Google Feminists”, was removed by YouTube two hours after it was posted.  It has since been re-posted on LiveLeak, BitChute, and PewTube.  None of these sites supports embedding video (or if they do, they’ve made it sufficiently obscure that I can’t find the links), but you can view the video by clicking the links above.