Problems With Google | INFJ Forum

Problems With Google

Discussion in 'Computer Science' started by invisible, Feb 2, 2016.

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  1. invisible

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    I use Google a lot with some work I'm doing at the moment and I wonder whether other people experience any problems with it. Any type of problems!

    I have really noticed how often it ignores my key words. It keeps telling me, by way of a typological strikethrough on my keyword that is displayed following each result, that it has rejected the relevance of my keyword. I find this fairly difficult to deal with and I'm continually fiddling with Google to get it to respond in the way that I plainly require for it to respond. Listen to what I'm asking you to search for, Google!

    There is no Wildcard search operator for Google. It seems like as though there pretends to be a Wildcard operator, but (for example) I can't get Google to recognise an incomplete word with a Wildcard at the end of the letter string. There seems to have been no development of the potential of Wildcard operator. My imagination suggests to me that Wildcard could potentially fill an unspecified gap in a search term, eg. "Wil*rd". But however Google (the company) doesn't seem to think about developing this operator.

    Another thing that surprises me is that there appears to have been zero development over the past ten years of the "suggested terms" feature. It works just the same as it did ten years ago. For example: Google does not suggest that other similar vowels might replace those vowels that you have input. Its suggested terms algorithm does not seem "intelligent", but appears to continue to rely on search term patterns that have been input by previous users. How is it possible that Google has not been taught to perform in more intelligent ways?

    I think I heard somewhere that there is a "readability" type algorithm involved in Google usage now. It will make judgments about your literacy levels, and return results to you that it judges to be closest to your literacy, based on previous documents that you have viewed. So that say if you are primarily a recreational level browser at home, but an academic level browser at work, then when you are searching for academic articles at home, Google will present you with more recreational level search results, and it will be more difficult for you to find academic results.

    In libraries, there is a kind of policy that has emerged over recent years that user borrowing records are not retained unless the library user nominates for them to be retained. This policy was developed for ethical reasons following terrorist strikes in the US - because the library establishment has the philosophy that access to information should be possible without judgment or fear, even if you are reading about bombs. To my knowledge, Google doesn't have a policy such as this.

    Don't get me wrong... Google does a lot of stuff that is very useful. But other times I am a bit "suspicious" of the kinds of things that it could be doing. I don't feel like there is any kind of "conspiracy" involved in the kinds of things it's doing - I just think that its priorities are not always very awesome, and I sort of wonder what it is busy with developing, since it appears not to be busy developing those features that I would find truly valuable when I am searching for very specific or more obscure information.

    Sorry that this is not highly coherent, I'm just really interested in hearing thoughts of others on Google and the kinds of things that it does. It's such a big part of our lives, but it seems like most people I know don't really think about it, and most seem to just think it's "cool".
     
    #1 invisible, Feb 2, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
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  2. OP
    invisible

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    Does anyone regularly use alternative search engines, such as Bing?

    One thing that is quite cool about Bing is that it allows you to image search according to rights license.

    I would definitely be interested in learning about other well developed search engines.
     
  3. ImaginaryBloke

    ImaginaryBloke Well-known member

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    I use DuckDuckGo since several years. It is the best private search engine, I think. It averages search results from several other search engines. www.duckduckgo.com

    StartPage averages Google searches from several locations. It is like Google worked in the beginning, location-neutral. www.startpage.com

    I use Google when I need to find local information, eg stores. For example, where I can find ecological food in my town.
     
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  4. OP
    invisible

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    Do others use the maps very much? How do you find them?

    I use Google maps a lot and it has an excellent feature that switches between topography and satellite photography. Its search approximation is also useful, but sadly with very little control - it is an "I feel lucky" type of function. However, I also use openstreetmap.org, which seems to have much more detailed and accurate description of geographical features, and also provides geographical names from other sources, even with coordinates. (I also use some excellent standards based systems... but usually only for their very well developed naming standards.)
     
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  5. ImaginaryBloke

    ImaginaryBloke Well-known member

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    [MENTION=1814]invisible[/MENTION], now you know how to stay invisible from the search engines. Stay true to who you are. :heh:
     
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    invisible

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    Haha. I do know a bit about it. I'm just really, really lazy, and set in my ways.

    I do sometimes stop and think, "Wowww... all of this data about me practically is me, and it's being colleted by some massive corporation, and I have no idea what they will do with it, either now, or hundreds of years from now."
     
  7. ImaginaryBloke

    ImaginaryBloke Well-known member

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    Try the Open Source variety Open Street Map: http://www.openstreetmap.org
     
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    invisible

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    Yeah, that's the one I mostly use. It's excellent. I can find the most obscure geographical features on it, all named.
     
  9. OP
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    I've never used Google the way that I am using it now - which is pretty much that I use it all day, every day. (I use a number of other search tools too.) I just really have to say that the more that I use it, the more aware I become of how crappy it is. You would think that considering that they are the industry leader that they would have put some money into developing their search algorithms over the past ten years, but it seems as though they've put the money towards marketing-based crosswalks with other corporate giants like Facebook, or in developing their other stuff like Docs and Drive. Well, Docs is great and so is Drive. But Google is known for its search, and when I use this search engine, I am constantly being confronted with disappointments about my expectations. I'm thinking, "This is supposed to be the most advanced search engine on the planet. Why is it giving me these abysmal results, that have nothing at all to do with what I asked for?" Its functioning seems to be dominated by algorithms that have zero to do with performing according to my actual search requests.

    I'm not wanting to push a conspiracy agenda. I guess I am just wanting to encourage people to be critical about Google. When you hit that splash page it looks all gorgeous, like the definition of hip, but looks can be deceiving. It's not actually there for its users, it's there to make money. Just because you can't find what you're looking for, doesn't mean it's not there. Just because you get something as a priority result, doesn't mean that it has anything to do with what you asked for, regardless of whether it is labelled as an advertisement or not. It could even be there for reasons that are directly contrary to those reasons that you formulated within yourself for conducting an information search. What is important is the information that you are looking for. Keep looking for your information... don't give up just because Google doesn't find it for you.
     
  10. OP
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    Just a couple of articles about the strange directions Google is taking these days.

    Dennis Cooper fears censorship as Google erases blog without warning

    It would certainly have been courteous for Google to have warned Cooper and to given him a chance to remove his material.

    Google warns sex bloggers: clean up or get out

    None of this surprises me, but it does sadden me somewhat. So far as I can see this isn't a rights problem, because of course as one of these articles describes, this is a service that is provided by a commercial enterprise for free, so as far as I can see, it is their prerogative to determine terms of service. For a change when it comes to Google, I'm not getting all excited about that aspect of it (although I think Google is a group that in general, acts with increasingly questionable ethical consideration).

    For me it represents a shift in representation of diversity of perspective when a major free hosting provider restricts content types. Well of course I'm sure that many people who describe themselves as sex-positive would describe me as sex-negative if they got to know me, and they would probably be right; but despite all that I do support people who describe themselves as sex-positive to describe and explore the experiences that they decide are right for them, with other mutually consenting adults. Sex is a part of who we are as a species.

    It says something about what Google is as a company that they are deciding to behave in these ways. The crappy thing about it is that it is increasingly difficult to escape their reach these days while continuing to participate in the mainstream digital environment.
     
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  11. Wyote

    Wyote Xenoi
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    I did a lot of a/b testing and multivariate testing years ago which was basically like the single-celled organisms of eventual AI. Google itself is like an amoeba at this point, but it's quickly becoming a fish or frog or something. Getting better at capturing other human attention. The point or end game is pretty much having an omniscient being by our side at all times and perhaps even physically in our brain, accessible instantaneously. I have an amazon echo that I talk to regularly, so you know, it's already creepin' into the psyche.

    It's a new frontier that nobody is really too sure about. That's what we have always done with exploration, just kept pushing the limits.

    Google is a testing ground. The whole internet is a testing ground, but Google has way more iterations and data to work with. They really do know what you want better than you do in a lot of cases which is a very uncomfortable thing. We don't like our minds being invaded. It will be interesting to see how we combat that resistance as technology gets better at prediction. Some Minority Report shit right there. Google, or whatever company that rises up in the future will become more godlike to us. We may all pray to Yahoo one day instead of Yahweh.

     
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  12. aeon

    aeon Ooh, a bunny!
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    Use quotation marks to force parsing as-is. I think foot-and-inch marks work OK.

    https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/2466433

    That said, I do not know if it functions as part of a word as opposed to a whole word, but perhaps this can be forced with as-is terms.

    Also:

    https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/35890

    This seems to work for me quite well. I’m not sure if we are seeing different results, or inputting similar strings.

    If this is happening, I am not aware of it. That said, I do some searches not logged in, and for some I use DuckDuckGo, and I run a Mac OS X tool called Little Snitch at all times. It gives me full control over who, when, and how my Mac talks to the outside world. For sure, I am very selective in what I let Google, and everyone else for that matter, get back from my computer.

    And it is a blessing to see no ads anywhere, YouTube, sidebar, inline, or otherwise. It also makes pages load so much faster, and they are so much cleaner. And trackers and third-party tie-ins and cookies be damned. If you want to be really cookied, tracked, and cross-licensed, go to Buzzfeed, or TMZ, or similar. It is absolutely insane.

    Yes, and this is concerning.

    No need to apologize for a great first post to start a thread, I think.

    DuckDuckGo, yes...Bing, never. Google can search according to rights license as well in Advanced Search.


    Cheers,
    Ian
     
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  13. aeon

    aeon Ooh, a bunny!
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