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Google To Digitize Millions of Old Newspaper Pages

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the all-the-news-that-fits-we-print dept.

Google 201

hhavensteincw writes "On Monday Google detailed new plans to digitize millions of newspaper pages with articles, photographs, and headlines intact so they can be accessed and searched online. 'Around the globe, we estimate that there are billions of news pages containing every story ever written,' Google said in a blog post. 'It's our goal to help readers find all of them, from the smallest local weekly paper up to the largest national daily.' For example, Google noted the availability of an original article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from 1969 about the landing on the moon." When you search the news archive for, e.g., "Chicago fire" or "Rosenberg trial," a significant fraction of the result pages cost money to view.

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Tryone the Linux Nigger speaks... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24929809)

Oooo-BOOOON---TOOOO! OOh ooh ah ah ooh ooh ah ah!

Re:Tryone the Linux Nigger speaks... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24929847)

Gawd DAYUM! Nigga you fly. Thug life: Outlaw Immortal
 
  How many niggaz fell victim to da streetz,
Rest in peace, young nigga, there be heaven as a treat,
Realize, if I told you that I neva thought of death,
My N.I.G.G.A.Z, we da last ones left.

Re:Tryone the Linux Nigger speaks... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24931329)

Try one *what*?

Paydirt! (5, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#24929815)

http://news.google.com/archivesearch?q=%22armadillo+aerospace%22&scoring=t [google.com]

Fuck I wish Carmack would stop using his Time Machine to get 1957 publicity.

Re:Paydirt! (5, Funny)

narcberry (1328009) | more than 6 years ago | (#24929929)

I'd like to contribute.

Where can I mail in newspaper clippings?

Re:Paydirt! (2, Funny)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930123)

He's never been the same ever since he bought his new Ferrari. I'm told it goes up to 88mph.

How about Googling for these headlines? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24930263)

Obama Chigago political machine Tony Rezko Richard Daley William Ayers

First post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24929819)

First post!

Google (3, Funny)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 6 years ago | (#24929841)

From the billions of dollars of public good that is Google Maps to their true lack of evil, from their sucessful attempts to make the world a better place to the way they treat their employees, Google is truly great.

ALL HAIL GOOGLE. ALL HAIL GOOGLE. ALL HAIL GOOGLE.

Re:Google (3, Informative)

alexandreracine (859693) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930043)

You must be new here. Here how you should write it up :

I, for one, welcome our new truly great Google overlord.

You are welcome.

No, I'm New Here (5, Funny)

New Here (701369) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930655)

No, I'm New Here

Re:Google (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930715)

Man those blinkers fit you so well.

Great! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24929869)

Now, all those guys/girls who streaked during Woodstock are going to repent (more).

But seriously...

1. Guy/girl does something goofy in 70s as a teenager.
2. Gets covered by local news (at that time).
3. Google digitises that news.
4. Now CEO (then guy/girl) is suddenly let go.

Who hasn't done something goofy and thought in retrospect wished they hadn't done it (not necessarily something criminal). Google might make their "second chance" disappear.

ps. Carly F. might have seen this coming ;-)

Re:Great! (3, Funny)

telchine (719345) | more than 6 years ago | (#24929891)

[quote]Who hasn't done something goofy and thought in retrospect wished they hadn't done it (not necessarily something criminal). Google might make their "second chance" disappear.[/quote]

If only finding out about these youthful misdemeanours could end someone's career...

http://www.dba-oracle.com/images/bill_gates_albuquerque.jpg [dba-oracle.com]

Re:Great! (2, Interesting)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#24931393)

Traffic offence are acceptable in our society, being a naked hippy is not.

Re:Great! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24929899)

Let them. They are nearly old enough to retire (and a CEO is hardly going to be poor when let go). Yes, it is unfair, but within a couple generations people aren't going to have the same problem with youthful indiscretions - they aren't going to have the same hangups - because it will be impossible for society to function when nearly everyone has several embarrassing moments up on Google, Youtube, etc.

Re:Great! (5, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 6 years ago | (#24929903)

Who hasn't done something goofy and thought in retrospect wished they hadn't done it (not necessarily something criminal). Google might make their "second chance" disappear.

Or it might finally make people realize that we are all human, and a stupid act at 18 doesn't equate to judgment post 30. Naaahhh...

Re:Great! (2, Insightful)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930261)

"Or it might finally make people realize that we are all human, and a stupid act at 18 doesn't equate to judgment post 30. Naaahhh..."

The truth is people are immature, we live short lives and don't get to reflect much on anything because most people are making a living. I forget which author commented upon the stupidity of the working classes due to lack of time, anyone know?

The problems stem for ignorance and false behaving based on false understanding, we let people have their animal prejudices not based on anything, other then personal distaste. I think that has to change in the future personally.

Welcome... (4, Funny)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930453)

Or it might finally make people realize that we are all human, and a stupid act at 18 doesn't equate to judgment post 30. Naaahhh...

You must be new here. Welcome to Earth. We're a little strange here, but you will find that some of us can be relaxed and groovy. Enjoy your stay.

P.S. Please take me with you when you leave the planet

Re:Great! (1)

plen246 (1195843) | more than 6 years ago | (#24929939)

1. Guy/girl does something goofy in 70s as a teenager. 2. Gets covered by local news (at that time). 3. Google digitises that news. 4. Now CEO (then guy/girl) is suddenly let go.

I envision Girls Gone Wild: Damage Control seminars, where now-ex-CEOs can shell out a thousand bucks to find out how to get their lives back on track. Just imagine the crazy, late night infomercials!

Re:Great! (2, Funny)

wisty (1335733) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930697)

1. Guy/girl becomes an alcoholic, dodges the draft, gets arrested for DOI, and otherwise acts like a complete no-hoper for the first 30 years of his life. 2. Gets covered by local news (at that time). 3. Google digitises that news. 4. Now President of the United States (then guy/girl) gets elected for a second term.

Re:Great! (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 6 years ago | (#24931049)

1. Guy/girl becomes an alcoholic, dodges the draft, gets arrested for DOI, and otherwise acts like a complete no-hoper for the first 30 years of his life.

2. Gets covered by local news (at that time).

3. Google digitises that news.

4. Now President of the United States (then guy/girl) gets elected for a second term.

5. ???

6. Profit!

Re:Great! (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 6 years ago | (#24931331)

DOI? What's that, Driving OVER the Influence?

I've seen that happen (2, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#24929943)

Guy/girl does something goofy in 70s as a teenager. Gets covered by local news (at that time).

I've seen that already. I looked up an executive, and Google returned a hit from a student newspaper from the 1960s that they'd digitized from microfilm. The story mentioned the guy being a member of the Socialist Workers Alliance.

Re:I've seen that happen (5, Insightful)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930163)

Guy/girl does something goofy in 70s as a teenager. Gets covered by local news (at that time).

I've seen that already. I looked up an executive, and Google returned a hit from a student newspaper from the 1960s that they'd digitized from microfilm. The story mentioned the guy being a member of the Socialist Workers Alliance.

Oh no! Exec dabbled with left wing ideology in youth! By the way I was a member of the Socialist Worker Student Society when I was a student because I was trying to impress a girl. Why would anybody care?

The people that freak me out are Young Conservatives. Those guys are creepy.

Re:I've seen that happen (2, Insightful)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930297)

> By the way I was a member of the Socialist Worker Student Society when I was a student because I was trying to impress a girl. Why would anybody care?

A new right-wing McCarthy gov might prevent you from working in Schools, Universities and government jobs, you might even be barred from Hollywood.

Re:I've seen that happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24930313)

> I was trying to impress a girl.

Since you are posting on /., I take it that didn't work out?

Re:I've seen that happen (5, Funny)

YourExperiment (1081089) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930367)

Oh no! Exec dabbled with left wing ideology in youth! By the way I was a member of the Socialist Worker Student Society when I was a student because I was trying to impress a girl. Why would anybody care?

I can see why this would be harmful to his career. As soon as word got out that, at some point in his past, he actually cared about people, his reputation as a business executive would be ruined. He might never get another six-figure salaried job again.

Re:I've seen that happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24931363)

Cared? As in caring so much as to elevate themselves to superhuman level - claming they know others' subjective evaluations better than themselves. And then, after bathing in this glorious knowledge, lifting themselves above the law (real law) to steal everything from everyone to distribute how they see fit.

That sounds pretty selfish to me. They aren't 14 or 15 or whatever when they go to university so I think they'd be more likely to be sacked for being an ignoramus.

Re:I've seen that happen (3, Funny)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930585)

The people that freak me out are Young Conservatives. Those guys are creepy.

They're in it for the women.

Re:I've seen that happen (5, Informative)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 6 years ago | (#24931317)

Bullshit. You get more action at peace rallies. Liberal chicks are easy.

And the post-coital "I voted for George W" reveal is awesome.

Re:I've seen that happen (1)

Setherghd (942294) | more than 6 years ago | (#24931427)

The people that freak me out are Young Conservatives. Those guys are creepy.

I don't mean to troll, but...

I agree. Brainwashed children are creepy.

Re:New universal explanation (1)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 6 years ago | (#24931445)

Folks should accept that everything in their past is necessary to get them to being who they are today. Beyond that, follow up with "besides, I was trying to impress a girl," and your harshest critics should start mumbling and looking at their shoes (cuz they've done it too.) Hell, I'd be more concerned if you didn't have youthful indiscretions, because that indicates you're more likely to do stupid things as an adult ... you didn't get it out of your system as a kid, and haven't learned your lesson yet.

Re:I've seen that happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24931495)

Ah Hello Michael, I see back in 1753 you were convicted for rape and executed. I'm sorry you are not the sort of person we are looking for.

Re:Great! (4, Funny)

n dot l (1099033) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930311)

Who hasn't done something goofy and thought in retrospect wished they hadn't done it (not necessarily something criminal).

Those that didn't get caught?

Re:Great! (3, Insightful)

Meviin (1360417) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930519)

As you say: Who hasn't done something goofy? With news about all of the goofy things everyone has done easily accessible, it will be a relatively level playing field. So commonplace to be able to find out the exploits of CEOs as teenagers that 'purity' would be unattainable.

Better than the current system where every old story is a scandal. A corollary would be the production of artificial sugars. The first one out was relatively safe (cancerous, but less so than all subsequent sugars), but it was the only one that got media attention, so people started using the even worse sugars. Because the FDA's information was less easily available to the public, people were more susceptible to media hype against a good product. Ideally, news archives would be a step against this sort of hype.

Re:Great! (1)

krygny (473134) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930861)

Oh, so it's not good enough that in the past 5-10 years people are having their lives ruined by spontaneous (and stupid) acts captured by cell phone cameras and put up on the web. Now, we have to go back in time and ruin the the lives of people who thought they were home free.

I agree. Fuck 'em.

Re:Great! (1)

Sporkus (840586) | more than 6 years ago | (#24931307)

I went to college in the age of Facebook and Myspace, so many of my goofy misadventures have been well-documented on some social networking site or another. It's something I've had to keep a close eye on, of course, because some employers do extensive internet searches on their potential employees.

But older job applicants haven't really had to monitor their search engine profiles to the same degree. I can easily be traced back to certain political groups I was affiliated with in college, yet some who grew up in the 60s is not so easily researched.

Maybe this will level the playing field a bit?

At last! (5, Interesting)

telchine (719345) | more than 6 years ago | (#24929883)

I welcome this news. For too long, research on the Internet has been a frustrating task. For any events after about 1997, there's oodles of information. However there's a giant hole in the amount of information available for events before then. Google Books went some way towards addressing this, but it was still an intense task because a lot of the time, you still have to find and buy the books (or find them in a Library).

I really hope they plan to go as far as putting local, regional newspapers online as well.

Re:At last! (3, Interesting)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930039)

The thing that bothers me about Google to this day is that there's no way to rank normal web searches by any type of date criterion. If I search keywords looking for pages related to contemporary news with a normal Google search, it's quite probable that among the top hits will be an article from 1997.

Google News is much more functional in this regard, obviously, but it would be nice if a normal Google search were date sensitive. Yes, I know that that would require proper metadata tagging of the entire Internet if one wanted to implement such a schema in a proper fashion. But since we're dreaming, I dare to dream.

Re:At last! (4, Informative)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930185)

Google Scholar is also date-searchable for obvious reasons. It wouldn't be too hard to implement this for regular Google going forwards, since it would only have to remember when it indexed everything. I vaguely remember when every web page had a 'last-updated' line at the bottom. You don't see that much anymore, maybe because it made people look bad.

Re:At last! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24930323)

stardates would go a long way towards fixing this.

Re:At last! (2, Informative)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930763)

... there's no way to rank normal web searches by any type of date criterion ...

They're working on it [google.com]

Re:At last! (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#24931213)

Forget about stuff before 1997.

I was recently researching a local event that occurred in July 2007 and was on the front page of the local paper at the time.

I have to use the paper's pay-per-view to get a digitized copy or paper reproduction of the article or find a paper copy in my local library's archive (if they even have a copy).

And this newspaper has a pretty nice web page with search and everything.

At last, something GOOD, from Google! (5, Interesting)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 6 years ago | (#24929895)

At last, something that looks really GOOD, from Google! With free access, this will really change the world, even more.

History revisionists will find it even more difficult to dupe.

Maybe there are serious drawbacks, but, for the time I cannot see anything but the positive aspects.

Re:At last, something GOOD, from Google! (3, Insightful)

ulash (1266140) | more than 6 years ago | (#24929999)

Actually history revisionists will not be affected by this at all. Remember many, if not most, of the "news" in the newspapers are (and have been) editorialized by various degrees. To make it worse, if you go back long enough you hit times where communication was so difficult between different countries that the news was basically "We heard that he heard that she heard that this is true".

Gather enough newspapers from all around the country and pretty much anything you find will be almost as reliable as finding something written by a random blogger on the web.

Re:At last, something GOOD, from Google! (5, Insightful)

sanjosanjo (804469) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930701)

Gather enough newspapers from all around the country and pretty much anything you find will be almost as reliable as finding something written by a random blogger on the web.

I find this comparison a little shaky. Major newspapers have long used professional (paid) journalists who are overseen by professional (paid) editors - both with reputations to protect. I don't see this type of control from a random blogger.

Re:At last, something GOOD, from Google! (4, Insightful)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930951)

This idea you seem to have that paying someone somehow enhances their responsability is so much against every single piece of evidence! Do youalso believe that being elected to a position somehow implies that you are going to do what yuu told your voters you'd do?

Re:At last, something GOOD, from Google! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24930957)

...and if you think there are political slants in newspapers today, you should see what it was like in historical papers. You can look at two papers coverage of an event and they'd be completely different.

Re:At last, something GOOD, from Google! (5, Interesting)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930301)

Maybe there are serious drawbacks

There are serious drawbacks, but mostly they aren't actually Google's fault.
 
The problem is, this kind of preservation costs serious money - so it's only done once from one master. Then that one master is distributed widely.
 
An anecdote from the early 90's, when moving newspaper archives onto microfiche really got started in a serious way. A friend was doing research for a college thesis, and the microfiche copy at his university of an obscure and long defunct western paper was missing a page (a page of the newspaper had been lost sometime in the past and thus was not in the microfiche copy) - the precise page he needed in fact. So he called around and got photocopies (real photocopies back then) from other universities whose libraries held microfiche copies of that newspaper.
 
  Each and every one of them was missing the same page.
 
Turns out one library had paid to have their archives copied onto microfiche - and then recouped their costs by selling copies. Each and every library that had held dead tree copies had replaced them with this microfiche and then heaved the hardcopies into the dumpster.
 
That page is now forever lost to history.

Should be great for armchair historians... (4, Interesting)

Anik315 (585913) | more than 6 years ago | (#24929907)

I hope they aren't restricting it to just newspapers. I've saved tons of interesting web articles from official news websites that have mysteriously disappeared over the years. They're not even in the Google cache. Hopefully, most of them will be in the Google News archive.

Re:Should be great for armchair historians... (4, Informative)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 6 years ago | (#24929931)

Have you tried the wayback machine? http://www.archive.org/index.php [archive.org]

Re:Should be great for armchair historians... (1)

Anik315 (585913) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930079)

It only archives about 10 percent of smaller sites like college news portals. The Google news archive is usually better, but it's still hit or miss.

Ugly! (-1, Offtopic)

Solra Bizna (716281) | more than 6 years ago | (#24929917)

Just what I've always wanted. A never-ending loading screen with frames and ads.

No, I won't switch to Firefox. Konqueror suits me just fine.

-:sigma.SB

Re:Ugly! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24930097)

Well, if you won't switch, then just enjoy your never-ending loading screen with frames and ads.

Your choice, your cross to bear.

They even kept the peep show ad (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#24929937)

Bravo! And, as a Pittsburgher, I was elated to see the Kennywood ad, back before they made the "new" new Noah's ark....

Uh-oh! (5, Funny)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 6 years ago | (#24929947)

I hope to god that they edit out the advertising otherwise all us consumers will be frantic with longing for products that are no longer available, what with advertising not being a huge sham and all!

Re:Uh-oh! (4, Interesting)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930059)

Funny enough, I checked out the example just to see the advertising on the paper. We all know enough about the moon landing I really don't need to see a 1969 paper of the info. I wanted to see 1) How big the headline is (you notice that you don't see the old 200+pt size headlines on papers now that we used to see for things like wars ending, man on the moon, ect), and 2) Getting a kick out of the old school graphic design and ads in the paper. I was zoomed in reading the movie listing on the opposite page (I guess the back) from the moon-landing story. I didn't see any prices for admission (something to raise my ire at the current $7 "matinee") but I didn't see any evidence they had removed it either.

Re:Uh-oh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24930145)

Around 1969 I could go to a matinee, snag a soda pop, popcorn and a candy bar and still had change left over from the 50 cent piece I got for that weeks allowance. Mind you that was at the theater on the base where my father was stationed. Inflation started getting pretty hectic shortly after that, heck in just the next 3 years new Mavericks and Volkswagons went from $1400 to $1700! Then from '72 on inflation has been absurd.

More on topic, the government seems to be taking an interest in Google. [cnet.com] They might just have to stop spreading so widely.

Re:Uh-oh! (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930239)

A few years ago when I was a student I could get a cinema ticket for £2.95, adult tickets were possibly in the region of £4. That was around 5-6 years ago. Now adult tickets are over £7! Thankfully at one chain of cinemas you can get an unlimited pass for £12 a month, so unless you only see one film a month there's no reason not to get the pass!

Actually come to think of it, what with all the advertising before the films, the prices should be at least staying constant rather than going up so much. Sometimes the ads are funny and worth watching, but more often they're just incredibly dull.

Re:Uh-oh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24931437)

you notice that you don't see the old 200+pt size headlines on papers now that we used to see for things like wars ending

Check newspapers from Sept. 12, 2001 - though with modern photography advances and full-color front pages, giant headlines are often reduced to make room for giant pictures. Especially if someone snaps a rather iconic photo of an event.

screw the kennedys (2)

mikeinoz (1360487) | more than 6 years ago | (#24929951)

Most amazing thing to me is on the next page is a story of the fucking asshole kennedy and his murder of Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick...nice one Google.

Interesting, considering pay-for NYT archives (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 6 years ago | (#24929953)

I recently did some research that had me looking in the NYT's article archive. Thankfully, it was in the 1900-1920 period, so all the articles I wanted to access were free.

However, if I had been doing research in a later time period, say 1930-1940, I would have had to pay for access to the articles (well, probably not me - I'm sure we have institutional access, but someone would have had to pay).

Google seems to be offering this free of charge to viewers, at least initially. It sounds like they've obtained the rights, or are working in partnerships with publishers. I wonder if NYT will continue to require payment for access to some of their archives?

Feeling a bit ill (5, Funny)

plen246 (1195843) | more than 6 years ago | (#24929971)

My thirty-year, $50-billion plan to consolidate the microfiche market may well be in the shitter.

Re:Feeling a bit ill (4, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#24929997)

Quick! Run to Congress and buy some laws to protect your ailing business model!

There's no time to waste!

Re:Feeling a bit ill (2, Funny)

plen246 (1195843) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930307)

If I unroll the tubes, I think I can I make the Internets flat enough to microfiche.

Just buy databases? (4, Interesting)

TFer_Atvar (857303) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930003)

Why doesn't Google just purchase some of the better newspaper archive databases, such as NewsBank, and simply release all the stories for free? It'd likely be a lot cheaper than duplicating effort, and would help information be released more quickly.

Incidentally, if you're close to a university or a good library, many of these places already hold subscriptions to such services and offer the use of them for free. I'd love to see Google expand upon this already-good base rather than duplicating effort.

yes, and while they're at it (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930845)

Perhaps Google could just send some money directly to me.
 
Don't get me wrong, I would love to see this happen, but I'm not sure google would conclude that there's a lot in it for them to do this.

Re:Just buy databases? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24931013)

They've been doing it. They bought the one I used to work for. They left it running for free and will be rolling the data into their archives.

But - the value isn't really in the databases. If the paper is old enough, the copyright has expired. Since digital scanning from microfilm is easy and cheap, it is often cheaper to start over.

Why did they buy the one I worked for? We had the only copies of the microfilm.

News cartels... (2, Interesting)

Brain Damaged Bogan (1006835) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930005)

I wonder how the news cartels will react to their copyrighted works being copied and put online... they've tried to sue google just for displaying content available on their sites and referenced from their sites with links...

The Times are already out there (5, Informative)

frenchbedroom (936100) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930045)

You can already access the archives of The Times online :

http://archive.timesonline.co.uk/ [timesonline.co.uk]

It's quite interesting to read about Marie-Antoinette's execution or Jack the Ripper's crimes, I especially like the writing style :)

Re:The Times are already out there (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930829)

The navigation box in the corner doesn't work in Google Chrome :/

Maybe that's why United's stock tanked Monday ;) (1)

baegucb_18706 (773765) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930049)

It dropped like a rock after news (from 2002) ended up online. Google and the Tribune Co. say each other is at fault. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-moneyblog9-2008sep09,0,1609687.story [latimes.com] What next? A news story about Pearl Harbor being attacked?

Distributed computing? (4, Funny)

AsciiNaut (630729) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930055)

I've latterly been thinking about the googlization of everything digital. I've latterly also been thinking about the spread of botnets (Storm, Kraken and the like). This has led me to conclude there is a Google Black Ops department intent on replacing Google's vast server farms with users' own PCs - i.e., Google aims covertly to use our computers as its hardware!

From Google's perspective it makes perfect sense to use idle cycles on Aunt Harriet's aging Dell to serve googlicious applications to an eager populace. Why shouldn't she host your gmail account?

The whole concept can even be justified from an environmental point of view: scaling is naturally proportional to demand and load-spreading is extremely efficient. In the long term, Google won't need any of its own hardware other than expensive corporate buildings equipped with limitless executive toys and a few dumb terminals. Hell, we're beginning to see that already. Everyone benefits.

As for the the spam emanating from botnets, this is a mere smoke-screen (or should I say cloud-screen?) designed to keep us off the scent.

I, for one, salute our new Gotnet overlord.

Awesome (2, Funny)

rea1l1 (903073) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930071)

Now I can find out everyone I knew who's died with Google archiving the obituaries.

Re:Awesome (4, Interesting)

plen246 (1195843) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930191)

Now I can find out everyone I knew who's died with Google archiving the obituaries.

I'm not sure why this was modded "Funny". If Google really is doing regional and local papers, given enough time and effort on Google's part, I may well be able to find stories and obits detailing the lives of relatives and grandparents with whom I never had the opportunity to talk.

Now, if Facebook gets in on this action, things could get a little bit creepy. I don't look forward to being cyber-stalked by the dead.

As the old saying goes... (3, Funny)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930107)

"The Google makes work for idle scanners."

I can see it already: (2)

Antwerp Atom (1306775) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930151)

Google news, brought to you by the department of truth! :)

Let's hope they'll not be too selective in which articles they publish.

A cure for seasickness? (2, Funny)

WillKemp (1338605) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930155)

I don't care if they take over the world, just so long as i don't have to scroll through years of microfilmed newspapers ever again - it makes me feel seasick!

nail in the coffin (3, Funny)

n3tcat (664243) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930193)

At last, I can finally go back and tell my 3rd grade teacher THIS is why I didn't need to learn how to use a flippin microfiche!!

Re:nail in the coffin (1)

Meviin (1360417) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930479)

Then again, the people scanning everything in will need to learn how to use microfiche. Unless they have fancy scanners that do that for them.

Hardly the first... (5, Informative)

Catmeat (20653) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930201)

So... just like the London Gazette [gazettes-online.co.uk] has already been digitized. The difference is, the Gazette began publishing in 1665 [wikipedia.org] . Sod the moon landings! You can read the front-line reports about the American Revolution.

Re:Hardly the first... (5, Funny)

MrMr (219533) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930343)

Just checking the 28 september 1776 issue. It appears that parliament has forbidden any dealing with the colonies of New Hampfhire, Maffachufett's Bay, Rhode Ifland, Connecticut, New York, New Jerfey, Penfylvania...
I am curious about OCR fearch engine refults on this publication.

Re:Hardly the first... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24930625)

It has quite possibly confused a 'long S [wikipedia.org] ' with a lowercase f.

Re:Hardly the first... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24931107)

The s's that look like f's are a major pain in the ass when dealing with OCR of historical newspapers.

Some of the fonts do have slight differences between the lowercase s and f that a well tuned OCR engine can be trained to differentiate. Sometimes you can use a dictionary check to correct the scanned text.

Re:Hardly the first... (2, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 6 years ago | (#24931295)

They also reported that the colonists' Declaration included a statement about "Life, Liberty, and the Purfuit of Happineff."

Paperspast (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24930233)

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz
(already being done in New Zealand for some years thanks to the work of the National Library of New Zealand) papers available back to 1839. With text search too! Cool!

Now if only the book police... (3, Interesting)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930237)

... would allow google to do the same thing. There's been so many times what was interesting came up in a book google searched only to have pages blanked out. Sometimes I wonder if they should just put advertising on the book itself and pay the owners/authors directly (for the hits/adclicks/being read, etc).

Re:Now if only the book police... (1)

john83 (923470) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930499)

I'm sure they'll run into similar problems, but there's a lot of interesting newsprint which is out of copyright. I wonder how they'll handle the more recent stuff - how many papers will let them copy their material? Maybe the solution is for Google to offer to help them set up a website with their own material, and in return, Google indexes it for search. As for ads in books, I've already pretty much given up on magazines, and to some extent newspapers. Even DVDs have ads in them now. Don't take that last medium away.

So when is google going to..... (2, Funny)

Fengpost (907072) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930447)

So when is google going to start scanning The National Enquirer or other tabloid newspapers, so the slashdotters can look up Natalie Portman's news with grits handy!

Google kills the library star... (5, Insightful)

yogibaer (757010) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930649)

and we are all going to regret it. Remember the public library system? Or the archival organizations? A bunch of highly trained people with literally centuries of experience in classifying and cataloging information, preserving the originals and investing heavily in digitization to help with that task and to make them more accessible? Most of their services are free or at a minimal cost, especially for students and researchers. And completely ad-free (at least here in Europe). Sure, their marketing sucks, they do not have the latest Web x.0 gimmicks. The tend to be a bit stuffier, old fashioned and not as flashy as our bubble heroes of the "do no evil" (but don't do anyting good either) kind, but then they on average tend to think in decades and not in quarterly results. Data (even massive amounts of it) is not information and Google is not a research tool. Google will always tweak search results towards higher advertising revenues. It is at best a brute force instrument with a vey low signal to noise ratio. It is a pest because it leads people to believe that keyword search is a solid method for research and it adds to the funding problems for libraries because who needs a library, when you can "google" everything. Google sucks up all it can get and leaves behind a desert without structure, significance or context, Support and use your local (national) library, while you still have it.

Re:Google kills the library star... (4, Interesting)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#24931315)

Libraries will adapt.

Maybe google will sell pre-filled servers to libraries that contain a terabyte of the news archive and a way to update directly from google.com for a nominal fee.

Maybe libraries will just use the google archive and save all the expense and space of the microfilm archive and put it to better use.

Ever hear of a slow news day? (1)

krygny (473134) | more than 6 years ago | (#24930793)

Compared to the summer of '69, this is a slow news year . Yes, I'm old enough to remember all that stuff. I don't remember it happening all in the same day, but it sure is interesting.

why are you reading about the rosenberg trial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24930867)

citizen, show me your identification papers.

And... (1)

whoop (194) | more than 6 years ago | (#24931073)

And on the next page, the headline reads "Kennedy Faces Charge in Fatal Crash." Hehe, funny how things work out.

Oh shit.... (1)

rugatero (1292060) | more than 6 years ago | (#24931135)

...now I know what Google really is! [wikipedia.org]

Digital Newspapers are great... (1)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 6 years ago | (#24931185)

... from wrapping up your Fission Chips.

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