Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Category Archives: Search Engines

Information Overload Helps Fake News Spread, and Social Media Knows It

Scientific American: “…We prefer information from people we trust, our in-group. We pay attention to and are more likely to share information about risks—for Andy, the risk of losing his job. We search for and remember things that fit well with what we already know and understand. These biases are products of our evolutionary past, and for tens of thousands of years, they served us well. People who behaved in accordance with them—for example, by staying away from the overgrown pond bank where someone said there was a viper—were more likely to survive than those who did not. Modern technologies are amplifying these biases in harmful ways, however. Search engines direct Andy to sites that inflame his suspicions, and social media connects him with like-minded people, feeding his fears. Making matters worse, bots—automated social media accounts that impersonate humans—enable misguided or malevolent actors to take advantage of his vulnerabilities. Compounding the problem is the proliferation of online information. Viewing and producing blogs, videos, tweets and other units of information called memes has become so cheap and easy that the information marketplace is inundated. Unable to process all this material, we let our cognitive biases decide what we should pay attention to. These mental shortcuts influence which information we search for, comprehend, remember and repeat to a harmful extent…”

Simple Search Is a Browser Extension That Gives You Google Circa 2010

Back to the Future via The Verge – “For the last 10 years, Google has been building new widgets into its search results — and now, a group of journalists has built a browser extension to show you what search would look like without them. Built by The Markup, Simple Search strips out the information… Continue Reading

You Need to Update Chrome Right Now

Gizmodo: “Google rolled out Chrome version 86.0.4240.198 on Wednesday in response to two zero-day vulnerabilities discovered in the wild—the fourth and fifth security flaws discovered in the browser in the last three weeks alone. Although Google has not made details about the attacks involving the zero-days public, the company was reportedly alerted to the vulnerabilities… Continue Reading

Google Streetview shows social importance pedestrian friendly environment

University of Amsterdam – With Google Streetview and Deep Learning, researchers at the University of Amsterdam and the University of Twente identified how the urban environment is linked to the vitality of social organisations and neighbourhoods. They conclude that, if an environment provides more space to pedestrians, this will be conducive to neighbourhood-based social organisations’… Continue Reading

Out of sight and out of mind: Bookmarks are created but not used

Bergman, O., Whittaker, S., Schooler, J. (2020). Out of Sight and Out of Mind: Bookmarks are Created but not Used. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, DOI: 10.1177/0961000620949652/ [paywall] – “Users commonly report problems in refinding important websites. To address this, some create Bookmarks (also called web Favorites) to improve the refinding of these websites.… Continue Reading

Safe visual search engine for kids

“How is Kiddle (via Google) designed specifically for kids? Safe search: sites appearing in Kiddle search results satisfy family friendly requirements, as we filter sites with explicit or deceptive content. Please read more on kids safe search on Kiddle here. Kids-oriented results: the boxes below illustrate how Kiddle returns results for each query (in the… Continue Reading

How to Search Emails in Gmail by Specific Time

Digital Inspiration – “Gmail supports a plethora of search operators to help you instantly find that elusive email message buried in your mailbox. You have size search – like larger_than:5mb – to find the big messages in your account. File search – like has:attachment filename:doc – will locate email messages that contain specific file attachments. This graphic illustrates… Continue Reading

Google to Offer Real-Time US Election Results in 70 Languages

PC Magazine – “YouTube is also adding more ways to find ‘authoritative information’ about the 2020 US election. Google is teaming up with The Associated Press (AP) to provide “authoritative” results leading up to and in the days following the 2020 US election. “Similar to previous elections, when people come to Search and Assistant looking… Continue Reading

This incredible Google experiment lets you time travel to your hometown 200 years ago

Fast Company – “In the 20 years he’d lived in New York, Raimondas Kiveris had seen the city change immensely. “It was a completely different place, a different town,” says Kiveris, a software engineer at Google Research. This got him wondering what his neighborhood looked like even before that—before he’d lived there, before he’d even… Continue Reading

The fight against fake news and electoral disinformation

Oxford University Press Blog: “Just as COVID-19 is a stress test of every nation’s health system, an election process is a stress test of a nation’s information and communication system. A week away from the US presidential election, the symptoms are not so promising. News reports about the spread of so-called “fake news,” disinformation, and conspiracy theories… Continue Reading

Apple, Google and a Deal That Controls the Internet

The New York Times – In a landmark antitrust complaint, the Justice Department is targeting a secretive partnership that is worth billions of dollars to both companies. “…Last Tuesday, the Justice Department filed a landmark lawsuit against Google — the U.S. government’s biggest antitrust case in two decades — and homed in on the alliance… Continue Reading

The Media Manipulation Casebook

“Using the Life Cycle of Media Manipulation, each case study features a chronological description of a media manipulation event, which is filtered along specific variables such as tactics, targets, mitigation, outcomes, and keywords…Led by Joan Donovan, PhD, the Technology and Social Change project (TaSC) is a team of interdisciplinary researchers analyzing how contemporary technologies of… Continue Reading