×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

171 comments

Obvious sign. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14548713)

Google News coming out of Beta is a clear indication that Google has jumped the shark.

Alas, poor Google. I knew thee well.

So Google News is out of Beta? (3, Interesting)

thewldisntenuff (778302) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548720)

But what does that mean for Google? Wasn't the point of keeping it in beta to insulate it from lawsuits from a lot of the bigger newsgroups (Reuters, AP, et al)?

No, it wasnt (5, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548773)

Of course not, thats a bunch of hooey perpetrated by idiots on slashdot.

Think about it for a second, why in God's name would having the word 'beta' stuck in front of it be any kind of legal insulation? The population can still access it, the "damage" if any would still be done.

The truth is that there is nothing wrong with anything Google is doing, all they are doing is grabbing headlines and snippits. It falls under "fair use", and they direct the traffic to your news site anyway, so where's the problem? If you personally don't want your site involved all you have to do is opt-out. It is clear as day.

Re:No, it wasnt (1)

bookemdano63 (261600) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549644)

I don't think it is so clear it is fair use.
Would it be fair use to photocopy headlines and first 3 lines from all the major papers and sell that as "my" paper?
And the argument that the news companies can just opt out is not true since Google is now the de facto search monopoly. If a company wants to have an internet presence it has to be searchable by Google, that does not turn over the copyright to Google.

Re:So Google News is out of Beta? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14548843)

I recall hearing them claim that it was still in Beta because they were still looking for a way to make money off of it.
I dont see any difference now, though. So I guess they gave up on that idea...

Re:So Google News is out of Beta? (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548902)

Now that they've had their IPO, they can stop pretending that each and every one of their various projects will ever produce income.

I love Google, but their approach to everything is very pre-bubble-burst. The only possible business case for hosting stuff like GIS, Google Translations, etc., is that it keeps up the brand identity.

Re:So Google News is out of Beta? (1)

SierraPete (834755) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549645)

Hell, they figured if they could take on the DoJ over the subpoenas, why not a couple of insignificant organizations like AP and Reuters.

Thank God! (4, Funny)

TWX (665546) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548721)

I guess that since it's now not beta anymore, we can all finally use it! All of those of us who held back until it was ready for market can rest assured!

Google news is my homepage (1, Troll)

sgant (178166) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549387)

It's the first thing I fire up in the morning to get up-to-date with the world. I scan it, look at the sources for the stories of course, and read what intrests me. Then I head to CNN.com and the NYTimes website. I don't have a TV, so these are my main sources for news.

Then and only then do I head to Slashdot. Unless I've left a comment recently and I rush to see if I was modded a troll. It's really my only purpose for waking up, to see what I was modded as.

links to post at bottom of the blog (1)

DarkClown (7673) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548723)

look at all of the links to the post at the bottom of that blog - they're like snowflakes or something.
it really has improved since i started to use it a year or so ago, nice job google news team.

Implications. (2, Interesting)

caffeination (947825) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548727)

Can we use this figure of "more than 3 years" as any indication for the rest of their products?
This is a question for software developers - does a company like Google have a system that generally produces "1.0 quality" software after a certain amount of time, or does it depend entirely on the nature of a particular project?

I only ask because I can't wait for Gmail to go "live" for real.

Re:Implications. (1)

szembek (948327) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548873)

Google maps was brought into google local and out of beta much quicker than this. There must have been other reasons why google news in particular took so long. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that they were entering an already well developed market, whereas with maps they offered much innovation to the online maps market.

Re:Implications. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14548931)

Let me use an analogy. Would you expect every house built by the same company to take the same amount of time to build, or would it depend on what each house is like?

I know you aren't a developer, but please, how about a little common sense?

Re:Implications. (1)

generic-man (33649) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549245)

Google itself was in beta for years. I remember back around 1999 when it started, the Google home page had a ilttle "beta" tag snuck in there.

http://www.google.com/ [archive.org] ">Google on December 2, 1998

http://www.google.com/ [archive.org] ">Google on April 23, 1999

Other hits on the Wayback Machine yield Google home pages with gray boxes where the logo should be. I forget when exactly it was that Google decided to be a search engine in its own right; way back when, you got links to "perform your search on Yahoo, Altavista," etc. when doing a Google search.

Re:Implications. (1)

generic-man (33649) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549279)

Shame on me for not using preview. I ain't gon' get fooled again!

http://tinyurl.com/36hj8 [tinyurl.com] (1998 version)

http://tinyurl.com/dk37w [tinyurl.com] (1999 version)

Re:Implications. (1)

Pollardito (781263) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549487)

clearly the term beta means something different to them. in the same announcement that says that they're no longer beta, they announce a new feature :
So today we're adding a way to automatically recommend stories for users with Personalized Search.
it seems like this new feature should have hit a beta version, if beta is a designation for a testing area. under most people's definition of beta a product shouldn't change as it moves from beta to production, beta is where you're making sure that the changes made previously work. was there some other non-public beta in parallel to the previous beta? is alpha testing enough? if either of those is true, than google news beta wasn't a beta at all. i'm sure that idea is not going to be a revelation to anybody, but certainly if a company has an definition of the term beta that would seem to have more to do with marketing than actual product quality or readiness than you're not going to be able to apply any information about this beta lifecycle to another product.

Does it still have a built in bias? (0, Flamebait)

beforewisdom (729725) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548735)

Several months ago there was an article on slashdot claiming that the algorithm for google news had a built in bias to favor politically conservative/right wing news sources?

Is this still true?

Re:Does it still have a built in bias? (4, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548746)

Was the initial article right? You're asking if it "still" has a bias, but you're basing this on a Slashdot article, which often is about as accurate as a man standing on the street corner talking to Jesus with no pants on.

Re:Does it still have a built in bias? (1)

caffeination (947825) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548871)

a man standing on the street corner talking to Jesus with no pants on.
You sir, are an inspiration to my inner webcomic artist. You deserve this [caffeination.net] . May I suggest you print it out and frame it, as it is in your honor?

Re:Does it still have a built in bias? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14549227)

If I saw Jesus on a street corner with no pants on, I would probably talk to him too.

Re:Does it still have a built in bias? (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549490)

Don't you think the accuracy really depends on if it's Jesus that has no pants, or the person on the street corner.

Re:Does it still have a built in bias? (5, Funny)

mihalis (28146) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548765)

Several months ago there was an article on slashdot claiming that the algorithm for google news had a built in bias to favor politically conservative/right wing news sources?

Is this still true?

Yes, the article is still on Slashdot.

Chris (ever helpful)

Re:Does it still have a built in bias? (2, Informative)

mccalli (323026) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548824)

Several months ago there was an article on slashdot claiming that the algorithm for google news had a built in bias to favor politically conservative/right wing news sources?

Didn't see the article you're referring to, but I doubt the allegation is true. On the UK site, I sent a note pointing out that at one time it disproportiately picked up The Scotsman and The Guardian. Don't know what the Scotsman is considered, but The Guardian is a soft-left newspaper here.

I didn't think it was political bias even then, just thought the algorithm needed a kick to get a greater spread of sources. I suspect the same algorithm would have been used for both the US and UK sites, and so I imagine in the US by chance the appearance of bias fell to the right, rather than to the left as it did in the UK.

Cheers,
Ian

Re:Does it still have a built in bias? (1)

beforewisdom (729725) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548877)

I didn't think it was political bias even then, just thought the algorithm needed a kick to get a greater spread of sources. I suspect the same algorithm would have been used for both the US and UK sites, and so I imagine in the US by chance the appearance of bias fell to the right, rather than to the left as it did in the UK.
There is no reason to think that the same algorithm for choosing sources would be used in the US and the UK. There was yet another slashdot article that revealed that Google willingly censored content for the People's Republic Of China at the request of that government.

Re:Does it still have a built in bias? (1)

PastAustin (941464) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549522)

There is no reason to think that the same algorithm for choosing sources would be used in the US and the UK. There was yet another slashdot article that revealed that Google willingly censored content for the People's Republic Of China at the request of that government.



Google doesn't respond well to US Government requests. They're totally Punk. I bet they were listening to The Ramones when they got their subpoenaed.

Re:Does it still have a built in bias? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14549131)

Considering that Google News picks and highly ranks "news" sources like The Guardian (which may be soft-left in the UK, but is extremist-Communist here in the US), Xinhua (that good ol' reliable Chinese State paper), and hand-picks from blogs like "Daily Kos" and "Democratic Underground" (both extreme-left blogs) it makes me wonder where people even got the vague notion that Google was "right of center". That is a laugh.

Then again, from the posts around here - it's easy to see that there is a leftist bias at Slashdot, so it Google News should fit right in.

Someone tell the Google art department (-1)

Kainaw (676073) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548748)

I just went to Google News and the top has a pretty logo that says "Google News Beta".

Re:Someone tell the Google art department (1)

DarkClown (7673) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548774)

Either they changed that 2 minutes later or you were looking at browser cache.....

Re:Someone tell the Google art department (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14549251)

I still get the beta logo when I search. ie. the search results page

And yes I refreshed my cache.

Wow! (4, Funny)

creepynut (933825) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548760)

Re:Wow! (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548839)

Via Link: In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 17 already displayed.

And among those links are:
  • Google News Out of Beta
    Techtree.com, India - 2 hours ago
  • Google News Is Out Of Beta
    InformationWeek, NY - 13 hours ago
  • Google News finally emerges from beta
    Computeractive, UK - 3 hours ago
  • Google News out-of-beta
    TechWhack (press release), India - 5 hours ago
  • Google News is out of beta
    iT News, Australia - 17 hours ago

Etc., etc., etc. We should be lucky Avian Flu doesn't spread this fast.

Hare Krishna! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14548769)

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

So When Are The Algorithims Going To Be Fixed? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14548770)

Google News has a severe and heavy bias towards certain types of media. The Google creators claims it is because their algorithims cause certain sources to show up near the top - but they have been caught "tweaking" results before.

Can Google News answer to the charges that they are purposely altering search results for News?

Re:So When Are The Algorithims Going To Be Fixed? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14549019)

Google News has a severe and heavy bias towards certain types of media.

That's a pretty vague statement. Would you mind specifying which types of media Google is biased towards, and providing some sort of evidence for your claims?

The Google creators claims it is because their algorithims cause certain sources to show up near the top - but they have been caught "tweaking" results before.

Again, that's rather vague. What sort of "tweaks" have been made, what exactly are these "certain sources", who caught them, and most importantly, where is your evidence?

Can Google News answer to the charges that they are purposely altering search results for News?

Can you even state a specific charge for them to answer? If this alleged bias is really so "severe and heavy", then it seems that merely browsing Google News would reveal it instantly. However, it doesn't. If you want answers, then I'm afraid you'll have to ask actual questions, instead of making vague, unsupported accusations of some mysterious bias that you can't even specify.

Nothing to celebrate (3, Interesting)

SimianOverlord (727643) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548787)

Google news is rather dubious. There's no real insight into how it selects headlines. There are reports that it will happily take as 'news' press releases from the BNP in Britain, which is a little like giving news releases from the Ku Klux Klan the same prominance as the NYT. Google caved under pressure to China to screen thoughtcrime out of its results. I'm not sure I like Google anymore.

I recently read Joel Bakan's The Corporation, which argues that due to their defining characteristic of only being beholden to profit and money, corporations are, in human terms, irredeemably psychotic. Google is an interesting case study, as it's set itself a higher moral standard, and has much further to fall. Google News was the beginning of that inevitable fall.

Re:Nothing to celebrate (1)

eekygeeky (777557) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548940)

This is not a rumour. a little digging on Gogle News on relatively obscure or narrow-interest news stories will reliably turn up fake news stories, press releases, obviously astroturfed blog entries and etc.

its always been a problem; here's an example

http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&ie=UTF-8& q=pocket+knives+china [google.com]

Google News. like Google search , is useful only in two ways- superficial examination of topics relevant to others and watching the attempts of interested parties to gain influnce.

real research and real news gathering need the services that truly provide valuable data aggregation, like Lexis and Pubmed, OED, etc. You gets what your pay for.
 

Re:Nothing to celebrate (3, Insightful)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548957)

I'm not sure I like Google anymore.

Well, hey, you get +1 insightful for saying you don't like google, and I get flamebate for saying I like google. Hmm.

I recently read Joel Bakan's The Corporation, which argues that due to their defining characteristic of only being beholden to profit and money, corporations are, in human terms, irredeemably psychotic. Google is an interesting case study, as it's set itself a higher moral standard, and has much further to fall. Google News was the beginning of that inevitable fall.

Yeah, I saw the film. The deal is that collections of people are the same as one person. Corporations, nations, states, sub-culture groups, etc all have "personalities", and collectively, they behave like an individual would behave.

The problem with many corps, is that they are selfish, self-centered, and greedy, just like the individuals that own and/or run them. There are exceptions. To this date, I believe Google is still an exception there. The concerns I have with them, is how much control will they be able to maintain now that the company is publicly traded and their stock is very overvalued.

The two cofounders of Google are worth between 7-11billion a piece, yet few even know their names, and they are still bluejean wearing casual guys, that do not own 20,000 square foot mansions or a boat that costs $300,000 to fill the gas tank (look it up).

At this time Google has a strong commitment to their users (read not customers, ie advertisers). This is something that people seem to miss. Sure Google takes cash from the advertisers, but that is not their focus. Their focus is to be the best, most accurate, and fastest searching thingy in the world.

I think Google will be alright for a while.

Re:Nothing to celebrate (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549228)

...a boat that costs $300,000 to fill the gas tank (look it up).

US$300,000 to fill up the tank? I believe that I will look it up.

Let's assume that you're buying diesel at your local neighborhood Shell station, all road taxes and everything included. Right now, average price [doe.gov] in the US, at the pump, is $2.472 per gallon. Diesel is around 7.1 lbs per gallon, so that works out to be $0.348 per lb, or $767.58 per tonne (~2204 lbs).

$300,000 would equate to 3,908 tonnes of diesel fuel at pervalining on road prices. Thats nicely refined diesel, not fuel oil. As a comparison, Cunard's QE2 [cunardline.com] , a ship I can comfortably claim will be bigger and less fuel efficient than your average millionare's play-toy, holds 4,381.4 tonnes, consuming about 1/10 of that for every day of sailing. If you were to price out marine-grade fuel oil rather than diesel, you'd end up with more than a QE2's worth of juice. Even so, you'd have enough to send that liner over 7,000 miles before hitting empty.

Ah, the power of Google. But to your original claim, sir, I must call foul.

Re:Nothing to celebrate (1)

ndansmith (582590) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548965)

From the Google blog post, concerning the issue of press-releases:

We've certainly gotten a lot of feedback from both readers and editors. For example, readers told us they loved the news clusters but they didn't want press releases on the home page (although they are still useful to have in the search results).

So hopefully there will not be any BNP press releases on the front page anymore. As for China, I know nothing! I swear!

Re:Nothing to celebrate (2, Insightful)

Funakoshi (925826) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549091)

While The Corporation is an interesting read, its' argument is that if a corporation were a person, it would be psychotic. But they are not people. Moreover, a corporation (excluding non-profits, of course) exists for one reason: to increase shareholder wealth. While there are many people who have a problem with the tactics that are used in some instances to achieve such a goal, it does not change reality. Google is a corporation and they exist to increase their shareholders' wealth.

This seems to be something that Slashdot readers miss sometimes with regards to the major companies (Google, Microsoft, Intel, etc). Futhermore, the readers here love to hate them for their success. I have no idea whether or not Bill Gates can program worth a damn, but I do know he is a business genius, and by God people hate him for it.

Someone recently posted here that people who work for "the man" are this generations' version of "slaves" and that people should start their own businesses. I agree to some extent that entrepreneurs should be commended, but they had better hope they do not experience huge success, because then they will be another Bill Gates/Michael Dell/Sergey Brin/Larry Page; idolized one minute, detested the next.

/rant

Well (1)

SimianOverlord (727643) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549394)

You seem to agree with Joel Bakan's theory; indeed it is a fairly obvious point, once it is out in the open and fully examined: that corporations ARE psychotic, by any human standards. You might view this with a matter of fact shrug, but I, for one, view Google's position as the planets number one trader of information, and the fact it will begin to pursue possibilities to completely capitalise on its position without regard to any moral responsibilities as something truly frightening.

I'm sure plenty of people reading that will think I'm a little overwrought about something which, if it does happen, is far into the future, but I really see this as inexorable, because of the nature of what Google now is.

Re:Nothing to celebrate (1)

jschrod (172610) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549580)

You mix up corporations as a general concept with the subset of public corporations where shareholders have full voting rights. (Hint: What do you think that Inc. stands for?) AFAIK, there are more private corporations than public ones in the US.

Re:Nothing to celebrate (2, Insightful)

rtaylor (70602) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549134)

Google caved under pressure to China to screen thoughtcrime out of its results.
That's okay. The Chinese think a number of American, Canadian, European, etc. laws are pretty wacky too.

If Google wants to do business in $country then they generally need to follow that countries laws regardless of what people from outside $country think.

I imagine many Americans would be fairly upset if Google started to encourage 15 year olds to have a glass of wine or beer with dinner or a smoke after sex which is considered normal behaviour (if not encouraged behaviour) for people of that age in some countries.

Every place has wacky laws when you are not used to them.

That's a little disingenuous (2, Insightful)

SimianOverlord (727643) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549308)

The screened out results aren't some 'customs of the country' peculiar local ways. They are dissident sites that criticise and publicise China's human rights record. If there is one issue that transcends the borders of nation states it is people's favour of, and commitment to, human rights.

Re:Nothing to celebrate (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549388)

I would like to note in Texas a minor can have alcoholic beverages with their parents (as long as their parents are present and give consent). I don't know how young it applies to, but I know at least 18 and above can be served alcohol with their parent's consent and presence.

As for legislating that you have to smoke after sex; that is just sick and twisted. I mean what if you have sex in a public place, you can get stoned to death for smoking in public in certain cities in the US ;)

Re:Nothing to celebrate (1)

2short (466733) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549506)


Yeah, lot's of people have laws that seem "wacky", but who are we to judge?

Aparthied South Africa, Stalinist Russia, Nazi Germany...

In short, bullshit on your cultural relativism. Some governments do things that are wrong, and responsible persons and corporations should be expected to determine this, and should refuse to abet them. Helping the Chines government quash dissent is wrong, and "But I have to to make money" is not a defense.

Re:Nothing to celebrate (2, Insightful)

mblase (200735) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549408)

Google news is rather dubious. There's no real insight into how it selects headlines.

Too be fair, though, there's no real insight as to how any other online news source selects its headlines, either. You're either leaving it up to the whims of the editor(s), or the whims of an automated database.

Re:Nothing to celebrate (2, Insightful)

wsherman (154283) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549614)

There are reports that it will happily take as 'news' press releases from the BNP in Britain, which is a little like giving news releases from the Ku Klux Klan the same prominance as the NYT.

Actually, that's something I like about Google news - you get to hear the other side of the story. Now, I already have a pretty good idea what the KKK believes (and I don't agree) so that's not particularly useful. On the other hand, Google News is very useful when it comes to understanding something like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict where there are wildly divergent viewpoints and where the US media is afraid to present anything other than consensus viewpoint in the US.

And this is breaking news? (4, Insightful)

xoip (920266) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548791)

Been using Google News since the beginning and thee have been few changes that I noticed... so what are the new features that come out of a full version release?

Re:And this is breaking news? (3, Informative)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549166)

Been using Google News since the beginning and thee have been few changes that I noticed... so what are the new features that come out of a full version release?

Beta is supposed to mean feature-complete, but still in testing. The term is misused a lot.

Re:And this is breaking news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14549568)

other language versions, customization, personalization

Subversion (3, Insightful)

unixcorn (120825) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548793)

I just read the blog. I have not used Google News and have no axe to grind. However, I can't help but worry about a service that "finds or picks" my news for me using algorithms. Isn't anyone worried that someone could be tweaking the search criteria to control what is displayed? When the news comes from many sources you learn to read into the articles what each organization's hidden adgenda is. By leaving the choices of what is presented up to a machine that is ultimately controlled by a few people rather than many editors across several outlets, we make ourselves vulnerable to suggestion or manipulation. I can see why they were worried about lawsuits....just a crazy rant.

Not happening yet (1)

thepotoo (829391) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548907)

By leaving the choices of what is presented up to a machine that is ultimately controlled by a few people rather than many editors across several outlets, we make ourselves vulnerable to suggestion or manipulation
And this is why, when you go to google news, it says, in green font at the bottom of each story, FOX News - CNN - ABC News - New York Times - all 2,351 related

So far, it seems to me that taking the summary from one article and linking to several more is a pretty nifty idea.
But then, I get all my news from slashdot, so I don't have to worry about the evils of google news ;)

Re:Subversion (3, Interesting)

j-cloth (862412) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549006)

I think that the way it works makes it less prone to bias than traditional news reading. Normal people go to cnn.com, or cbc.ca or bbc.co.uk or (god forbid) foxnews.com (see, I just inserted my bias. Wouldn't you like to be able to read a similar post from a right wing viewpoint to counterbalance mine right now?). Each of those sites has its own bias, and its own editors who may or may not be upfront about their agendas. The beauty of google news is that I can look at what each of these news sources has to say about the same story and get a better understanding of the actual story. For example it was very interesting to read the difference in opinion coming from Toronto and Miami when Canada passed same sex marriage legislation. Or today, I like to see at a glance what the Americans, Australians, and heck, even the French think about Last night's election [google.ca]

Re:Subversion (1)

sumi-manga (948999) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549099)

I think one of the most exciting points of Google News was the fact that is was programmatically selected. Chief editors also have the ability to reject and edit stories they eventually will letyou read, as well.

Re:Subversion (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549213)

However, I can't help but worry about a service that "finds or picks" my news for me using algorithms. Isn't anyone worried that someone could be tweaking the search criteria to control what is displayed?

Wow. "News" is not really news anymore. It often has other agendas. See my .sig for an example.

The US is in some nebulous "war on terror", which has pretty much reached joke status for 25% of its population. When Bush was trying to get reelected last time, remember when he randomly bumped up the "Terror Threat Level", and that in turn raised his popularity in the polls, so he dropped it down again. Recently, there were headlines floating around how an audiotape of bin Laden was threatening to attack the US. The CIA verifies it, the FBI doesn't (or vice versa), but the official "terror threat level" does not change.

I find it interesting that I cannot find a copy of the tape. I did find a transcript here http://www.nbc4.com/news/6251748/detail.html [nbc4.com] Although, I don't too much trust that either. I would assume that the tape is not in English, so at best this is a translation. The final paragraph is the clincher:
Finally, I say that war will go either in our favor or yours. If it is the former, it means your loss and your shame forever, and it is headed in this course. If it is the latter, read history! We are people who do not stand for injustice and we will seek revenge all our lives. The nights and days will not pass without us taking vengeance like on Sept. 11, God permitting. Your minds will be troubled and your lives embittered. As for us, we have nothing to lose. A swimmer in the ocean does not fear the rain. You have occupied our lands, offended our honor and dignity and let out our blood and stolen our money and destroyed our houses and played with our security and we will give you the same treatment.
Again, I don't know if this is real or not, but basically it says, "Hey, stop killing people in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even a majority of the US population is over the destruction there. But hey, like it or not, we are revengeful people, and if you keep it up, well...."

Regardless of who is right or wrong, look at the data. 9/11/2001 was weird, but its over. Less than 3k people died. Compare that to flu, local murder, car accidents, and add a little time, it simply does not have the same effect as seeing the planes fly over and over again into the towers, and then seeing them fall. Since that date, we have killed on order of 30k Iraqis and Afghanis. About 2k of our own soldiers, and we have yet to have an official explanation for the beginning of the war. WMDs? Nope. Saddam == Laden. Nope. Terror? Maybe, but the actions of the US are not ones that would reduce terror in any way possible. I have received mail on two occasions from the "Homeland Security" office, and I was terrified. To me, it should be the other way around.

Re:Subversion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14549242)

However, I can't help but worry about a service that "finds or picks" my news for me using algorithms. Isn't anyone worried that someone could be tweaking the search criteria to control what is displayed?

Hang on a sec... you are worried that a human might be tweaking the algorithm for this news filter... as opposed to every other news source in the world, which is hand-picked by humans directly?

Sure, it's possible, given nefarious intent on Google's behalf, that human bias is apparent in their results. But the worst case scenario for Google News is the best case scenario for the alternatives. I think you're missing the wood for the trees here.

Re:Subversion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14549315)

The same concerns apply to all concensus based systems. Even Slashdot's. One can moderate away information as a form of data hiding, same as Google's news algorithms. At the same time, one can give priority to information those in control want to bolster.

Re:Subversion (1)

Flwyd (607088) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549533)

Are you not also worried, then, that the results of your search are left up to algorithms (not open source) in a machine controlled by a few people? No human or super intelligent mouse reads your Google search, does a little research, considers what would be best for you to read, and then prepares the list for you. Google is not a research librarian, but people find it useful anyway.

There are already news sources where someone decides what should be presented. They're called, among other things, newspapers, radio, television, and Slashdot. Google, being a company devoted to automatic information retrieval, does things a little differently. If you want filtered news, don't use the service. Similarly, if you want fact checked and well-researched news, you should be wary about blogs. (To be fair, you should be wary of TV news too.)

Let me join the chorus (0, Offtopic)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548803)

That's really good news.

Now all my old, embarrassing cross-posts to alt.flame, alt.fan.warlord, and alt.sex.nice.ass.paulina will be preserved for eternity.

And you wonder why I use a pseudonym? I learned a late lesson.

Err (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14548845)

You are thinking of Google Groups, not Google News.

Good thing you're using a pseudonym, or else your error would be associated with your name for all eternity.

No, not that News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14548869)

Now all my old, embarrassing cross-posts to alt.flame, alt.fan.warlord, and alt.sex.nice.ass.paulina will be preserved for eternity.

Your thinking of Google Groups, this is about Google News, which is their news search engine, not the usenet search. Your embarassing flames are already preserved for all eternity.

And to celebrate... (1)

SleepyHappyDoc (813919) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548816)

They've added an extensive new feature. Isn't the point of a beta supposed to be (in theory, when it's not just a marketing ploy) to test such things and iron out bugs?

Google News FAQ #4 (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548828)

4. [google.com] How do I find everything the Prosimian Times wrote about Gentle Lemurs in the last month?

Try the advanced search page to refine your search. Specify a news source, date range or location to find exactly those articles you're looking for.

That is really cool - I never knew that they had newspapers in the Eocene Epoch, let alone that lemurs have a gentle side to them.

Google news --- News the way I like it (4, Insightful)

XMilkProject (935232) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548842)

I agree with alot of the posters calling google news "dubious" and such. There does seem to be a lack of information as to how they determine what exactly is news worthy.

That being said, they seem to choose all the headlines that I'm interested in, and I find it quite pleasant to browse the stories there.

Perhaps the decision making process for what qualifies as a headline is: "What will google users find interesting" -- Which seems perfectly fine by me.

That's Absurd! (5, Funny)

TheBrutalTruth (890948) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548850)

Only 3 years and 4 months in Beta? Haven't they learned not to rush a product to market?

Re:That's Absurd! (1)

dlelash (235648) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549502)

Well, surely Google Groups has been in beta longer than that, so maybe it's just the News team that's a little overeager to ship.

Going to drop vanity "press release" sites? (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548872)

One annoyance with Google News is that they include vanity "press release" sites as news sources. And since most of those sites do absolutely no filtering on submitted PR, that means any nut or hoax can get their .. release .. to the top slot in a news search category.

Re:Going to drop vanity "press release" sites? (1)

dwayner79 (880742) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548928)

From the Article:
We've certainly gotten a lot of feedback from both readers and editors. For example, readers told us they loved the news clusters but they didn't want press releases on the home page (although they are still useful to have in the search results). A major area we wanted to address was personalization. We offered email alerts, as well as the ability for users to create a personalized page, but many users don't have the time to specify exactly what they want. So today we're adding a way to automatically recommend stories for users with Personalized Search.

Every click is tracked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14548911)

GoogleNews now tracks every link you click in GoogleNews. That's not how it used to be just a while ago. I had to stop using GoogleNews because of that.

I guess the next step will be to track every click in search results.

Do no evil. Do less evil. Evil is not really that bad, it's for your benefit, you know.

Beta? (5, Funny)

Dzimas (547818) | more than 7 years ago | (#14548913)

Beta. "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Re:Beta? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14549209)

User: You are amazing.
Google: I ought to be, after 20 years.
User: Oh, there's something I ought to tell you.
Google: Tell me.
User: I'm not in beta either.

And I had, like, seven invites left (0, Redundant)

93,000 (150453) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549036)

And I had, like, seven invites left that I hadn't sent out yet. I guess they're worthless now that ANYONE can use it.

A benefit to society (1)

derekb (262726) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549052)

From the blog:

'we thought it would encourage readers to get a broader perspective by digging deeper into the news -- reading ten articles instead of one, perhaps -- and then gain a better understanding of the issues, which could ultimately benefit society.'

You know, I completely agree with this. I find myself looking at different perspectives on the same news item - comparing BBC to CBC to Fox News to Al Jazeera to Pravada, and so on.. not everytime, mind you :) But it does help you try to get an overall objective perspective.

Not out of Beta according to news.google.com (1)

Kylere (846597) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549081)

Not out of Beta according to news.google.com it still shows beta in the graphic, it seems like the announcement and changing http://news.google.com/images/news.gif [google.com] could have been coordinated.

Re:Not out of Beta according to news.google.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14549197)

Seems like the announcement and your clearing your browser cache could have been better coordinated.

Too big (1)

JFrizzle (948953) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549175)

I think Google has just become so big that they forgot to change the graphic that says 'beta' two years ago. Oops. ;-)

I am still looking for... (3, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549237)

... a news site like slashdot. Not for the dupes, mind you. But for the ability to comment on the news, to hear different opinions from different parts of the world, with a mecanism like slashcode moderation (that works better than nothing, as flawed as it is) able to filter the noise. Would anyone be aware of such a website ?

Google News is still way below what it should be (2, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549277)

Their screening process for new entries is a little... biased. They'll let Landover Baptist (a virulently anti-Christian parody site) and some Neo-Nazi group get their content added, but wouldn't add Michelle Malkin, a blogger who is a professional journalist, get added because she "doesn't have an editorial staff."

I personally have little use for Malkin, but I cannot help but wonder about the people who turn her down, but let the kissing cousins of the National Alliance and Stormfront get indexed instead. Little Green Footballs was rejected for the same reason.

By now, you'd think that they'd have a customized service where you could create your own personalized Google News which allows only certain sources, allows you to add your own sources to categories so you can triple the size of one category, etc.

Still crappy (2, Insightful)

EVil Lawyer (947367) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549290)

I used Google News for a while a number of years ago. I gave it up because it wasn't really doing a good job doing what it was supposed to: Presenting relevant news articles. About a week ago, I checked it out again. It still sucks. There were two articles on the front page that contained "news" at least two days old. Yes, the _articles_ were new, but the content in the article was days-old. I wonder if Google News took a little bit _too_ much influence from Slashdot.

groups (1)

jjoyce (4103) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549343)

Groups is still in beta and has been since I can't remember. I think it's been around 5 or 6 years.

Check Your Stock Monitor (1)

Kuvagh (947832) | more than 7 years ago | (#14549496)

Google needed something positive for people to talk about in order to help their stock recover recent losses. So far, their stock is up 3.26% for the day. Expect them to bring other services out of beta whenever they need a little bit of positive news.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...