Did you mean stupid?

Apparently Ashley Cole’s lawyer is demanding answers from the Oligarchs of search, Google Inc. over his
client’s representation in a Google search of his name (type in ‘Ashley Cole’ and google offers the suggestion Did you mean ‘Ashley Cole gay’):

Shear (Cole’s lawyer) has now asked Google to explain this anomaly with their search engine, telling Pink News: “I am keen to find out whether the decision to automatically include the term ‘gay’ to the keyword ‘Ashley Cole’ was an editorial decision or one made by a computer based on the volume of searches for ‘Ashley Cole’ linked to the word ‘gay’.

Arghh, ofcourse it’s automatic. Does this guy honestly think there is some dude sat in Googleplex looking at the typed searches and going ‘now lets see?….this person typed studip, did he mean stupid? Yeah that’ll be it’

Maybe if he used google to find out:

Please note that our spell check feature is completely automated, and we cannot make manual changes to individual suggestions.

Ofcourse if anything this is just likely to perpetuate the problem, especially as the newswires are picking up on the story.

One | Two | Three

The lost art of filing

Interesting article over at the Beeb (link). It discusses the concept of using a web based email system such as Gmail to store information (pictures, phone numbers etc). This certainly something I do on a regular basis. Infact if something doesn’t exist in my inbox then I am unlikely to action it. Further I have taken to sending myself emails to remind me of certain tasks and things for future reference as do others: “You want to remember something, so you send it to your mailbox.” .

However there are certain things I have noticed in such a system. This is something that people are never trained in using. Information management is an extremely complex subject, sure Google et al. can build very powerful search tools, but the searches require people to have entered the information correctly in the first place (rather akin to looking up a word in the dictionary without knowing how to spell it). For example you search for a phone-number – what do you type into the search? If the user has not entered Phone-Number in the body of the text or the full name then it could produce incorrect results. Or possibly zero results leading the user to believe that the entry was not there.

I was once researching information management and an interesting concept was discussed about electronic information management. It basically suggested that when many office tasks shifted from the real to the virtual many roles such as secretaries were no longer necessary. This was because people now had access to word processors and filing systems, yet the skills that the secretaries boasted such as filing were not ever passed on into the electronic sphere.

As I can see it much electronic information is poorly labeled and poorly organized making the task of retrieving it much more difficult. People like Google go a long way to helping us trawl through the mess, but surely effective information management and good practices must be considered.

Top of the Blogs

Today’s Blog mining experiment (or mining the mining) has thrown up some interesting findings, not least from the content but the juxtapositioning of the data and the editing:

Man treated after attempting to nail himself to cross:

“When he realized that he was unable to nail his other hand to the board, he called 911,”

The most influential reporters and bloggers on the web.
“This list is generated by counting unique references (links) to articles and posts authored in the last 60 days and mixes bloggers with reporters from traditional media.”
Bit of a strange one as I got this link from a XML feed tracking web trends. Ooh self-referential…what came first?

When Slebs Swear
Channel 4’s self-promotional ad showing Scrubs stars, Tony Robinson, Richard & Judy et al swearing like Dockers.

Get this for a list of people (this is in order of display!):
Tony Blair
Adolf Hitler
Margaret Thatcher
Allen Iverson
Ashton Kutcher
Virginia Woolf
William Shakespeare
Jackie Chan
Karl Marx

The mind boggles what that lot would talk about…

and finally BlogPhrases:
The White House is understandably upset about SENATOR JOHN KERRY’s assertion that many foreign leaders are eager to see an end to the Bush….
Clintons legacy lives on

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