Censor'd! Google's censorship disclaimer, translated

According to the local law laws and regulations and the policy, partially searches the result does not demonstrate.
(Original Chinese, which shows up fine in my post view and preview, even if not here: 据当地法律法规和政策,部分搜索结果未予显示)

That's the message Google appends to the bottom of search results that have been censored to comply with Chinese government requirements -- at least as provided by Google's own "Chinese (Simplified) to English BETA" translation of a Google.CN search for [falun].

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Two views of history: google.cn vs. google.com

The best Slashdot comment I've read in years, from our old friend Anonymous Coward no less:

Anonymous Coward @ Slashdot: Hypocracy apparent: google.com vs google.cn (Score:5, Informative)

For those idiots who say that censored information is better than no information; consider these two views of history from Google.COM vs Google.CN.

The censorship completely changes history.
It's a powerful visual contrast. And yet, I'm one of the "idiots" to whom this comment was addressed.

I buy the Google rationalization, in this case. Some presence is better than none. Companies have to obey the laws of the anointed 'authorities' where they operate -- even when those laws are wrongheaded, arbitrary, and unjust. Corporations are rarely the proper vehicles for righteous civil disobedience.

Whether and how China will politically liberalize looks like the biggest question in worldwide welfare and US security for the next couple of decades. The opportunity is that participation of empowering services like Google could help the process occur faster and more peacefully than otherwise, even operating within restrictions. For those Chinese who are occasionally able to compare Google.CN and Google.COM results, the contrast will help demonstrate that a more open approach works well elsewhere -- so why not in China? The danger is that if Google.CN eventually becomes the largest business within Google, does the tail then wag the dog -- with CCP censorship policies flowing back into United States services, driven by their economic leverage over Google?

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Regex Powertoy: major update

Regex Powertoy has received major updates, and a new home URL: regex.powertoy.org.

As originally demoed at Bar Camp last August, Regex Powertoy lets you interactively tune a regular expression inside a web browser. This version fixes a number of glitches and adds many new capabilities, including:

  • Perl-style syntax option (now the default)
  • Replacements with backreferences
  • Highlighting alternatives: emphasize matches, edits, replacements, or splits
  • Improved capturing group detail display
  • Bookmark patterns and settings to a 'matchmark'
  • Regex syntax reminder help
All matching is done locally by an applet -- there's no network traffic after the page loads.

Regex Powertoy was developed in Firefox with Java 5 (aka 1.5) applet support, but mostly works in IE6, and should work with Java 2 (aka 1.4).

Comments, suggestions, bug reports, and patches are all welcome!

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


Crawling backwards in time: recovering lost websites

Frank McCown of Old Dominion University: Warrick - Tool for Reconstructing a Website
Warrick is a command-line utility for reconstructing or recovering a website that has been lost due to a hard drive crash, fire, failed backup, etc. Warrick will search the Internet Archive, Google, MSN, and Yahoo for stored pages and images and will save them to your filesystem.
Aaron Swartz: arcget: Retrieve a site from the Internet Archive

Servers die. Companies collapse. URLs change. The Web is a very messy place. Thankfully, the Internet Archive is there to record it all.

But once it's in there, how do you get it back? Sure, the Wayback Machine is nice for getting a couple pages, but anything more than that and it's a royal pain. Wouldn't it be nice if there were some easy way to get back that data? arcget is that easy way.

arcget asks the Internet Archive for all the files it has of that site, then goes through and tries to find a working copy of each one. It gets it, strips out the modifications made by the Wayback Machine, and places it in a properly named file.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Ugliest Google page. Ever.

Google: Dell Start Page

This real Google page is worse than the unauthorized knockoff google.by (Belarus) homepage.

(via Battelle's SearchBlog)

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Only average, on the autism quotient

Newsweek @ MSNBC: Autism Spectrum Quotient Test

Your AQ Score:


How to Interpret Your AQ Score:

(most women score about 15, and most men score about 17)
23-31above average
32-50very high
(most people with Asperger Syndrome or high functioning autism score about 35)
ObTrivia: Simon Baron-Cohen, prominent autism researcher who helped develop this test, is first cousin of Sascha "Ali G"/"Borat" Baron Cohen.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Price discrimination at Starbucks

Tim Harford at Slate: Starbucks Economics - Solving the mystery of the elusive "short" cappuccino
This secret cappuccino is cheaper, too—at my local Starbucks, $2.35 instead of $2.65. But why does this cheaper, better drink—along with its sisters, the short latte and the short coffee—languish unadvertised? The official line from Starbucks is that there is no room on the menu board, although this doesn't explain why the short cappuccino is also unmentioned on the comprehensive Starbucks Web site, nor why the baristas will serve you in a whisper rather than the usual practice of singing your order to the heavens.

Economics has the answer: This is the Starbucks way of sidestepping a painful dilemma over how high to set prices. Price too low and the margins disappear; too high and the customers do. Any business that is able to charge one price to price-sensitive customers and a higher price to the rest will avoid some of that awkward trade-off.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,