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Google Businesses The Internet Censorship Your Rights Online

Google Image Index Just Not Updated 411

Posted by michael
from the breaking-news dept.
We ran a story earlier today about the lack of Abu Ghraib photos in Google's image index. We now have a response from Google stating that the image index simply hasn't been updated recently, as well as a fairly convincing demonstration from a Slashdot reader: Rahga writes "I put together a page that counters the 'Google Censors Abu Ghraib Images' story. It is the tale of a Morgan Webb picture on images.google.com that's been driving a ton of traffic to my webserver 7 months after it was removed." The Abu Ghraib story broke in April 2004 (and officially became a non-story on November 2, 2004), so Google's index is indeed quite far behind.
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Google Image Index Just Not Updated

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  • I can vouch for this (Score:5, Informative)

    by metlin (258108) * on Sunday November 07, 2004 @05:47PM (#10749327) Journal
    Like I mentioned in this post [slashdot.org], I can vouch for this.

    For the longest time, the search for my name on Google images would bring up really old images and it would never update them. So, in order to test this, I just removed those images and used a redirect (this was about 3-4 months ago) -- Google still did not update the pictures.

    However, my academic page at my school did show up pretty soon, although it was created just recently. What more, it even showed the image of my latest schedule, and not an earlier one as in the other case.

    So I guess Google probably uses some kinda weird algorithm to determine which sites are likely to be dynamic, and which are not -- and update/not update them accordingly.

    Besides, everytime there's been a problem/censorship (say, due to DMCA) -- Google has been nice enough to notify the users during the search. Not to mention the amount of scalability doing something like this would require of them (which makes even less sense if they were the ONLY ones asked to do so).

    So all in all, just a false alarm, I suppose.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I still get more traffic trying to find a site that I dont even host anymore than for my actual site... So I can see how this happened, but it still makes me sad, somehow :(

      --
      JS
    • by Anonymous Coward
      So wait, you mean ...

      I'm guesing that this is another case of our administration confusing "National Security" with "Politically Undesirable".

      It isn't that the Bush administration told Google to remove the photos and then Google did it? I mean, when I saw that I was like "Yeah, that must be it. No doubt about it. That's gotta be it. There is no other possibility."

      Rob Malda is well over 14 -- Posting shit like that is embarrassing. Does he think it's cool?

    • How does their explanation account for the fact that the pictures WERE available; but have since been removed?
      Re:Google just sucks (Score:2)
      by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Sunday November 07, @01:35PM (#10747505)
      (http://www.musecube.com/l0ungeb0y/ | Last Journal: Monday February 09, @06:38PM)

      No, that's not the case at all. Google had plenty of Abu Ghraib pics not too long ago. Now they are gone.
      • The image search also looks through pictures in the recent news, but no older than about a month or so. Earlier this year the photos were all over the media; now that the furor's died down, it's out of range again.
    • Google's servers are probably too busy indexing text to spend much time on images. A couple of weeks ago I started setting up a Vioxx information site [vioxx-laws...tions.info] and I submitted my URL to Google for indexing, not expecting the pages to show up in the index for quite a while. The GoogleBot made its first appearance one day after my site went live, and it showed up in the index just a couple of days after that. I bet they're just not devoting horsepower to it trying to keep up with the normal text stuff.

      Eric
      How to de [ericgiguere.com]

    • by fontkick (788075) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @07:04PM (#10749945)
      Google doesn't index as thoroughly or as often as Yahoo, a search engine that's trying very hard to increase their search capabilities and that includes image searching.

      I have one small personal site and administer my company's (very basic) site, and Google doesn't index my personal site at all, versus Yahoo which has about 75 pages indexed (and some page come in on the top of a keyword search). Our company site receives search hits because we pay Google. If we didn't, nothing would be indexed. Image search for this site is also way, way behind (as in 6-12 months).

      Google is great but Yahoo is catching up fast. The logs of my personal site show Yahoo's spider crawling it on a daily basis. Google is never there. I've complained to Google about not even being indexed on Google when Yahoo has me in several top 10 search results, but nothing has changed.
    • Yes, you are right. Everytime that Google has had problems of censorship beforehand, they have informed the users. That was before they had a Board of Directors and a stock quote though.
      • While I can't speak for Google, practically all "start-up" firms run on outside investment; they therefore almost all are incorporated and have a board of directors.

        Those investors also want a return on their investment and in many cases they have more control than investors in a publicly traded company do.

  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Sunday November 07, 2004 @05:49PM (#10749360)
    This just goes to show that /. groupthink isn't always on target, and Google isn't the all-spidering oracle we think it is either.

    Google's image search is not to be confused with Google's news search. If you search for Lyndie England against the news search, one of the pictures in question comes up in a thumbnail next to the first set of results. Google had plently of coverage of the Abu Ghraib story on its news pages, and its web search also has plenty of coverage of the topic. If Google was intentionally censoring, you think they woulda tagged all their search engines in the process.

    For Google to be 6-months or more behind on reindexing their image storage to me seems about right. The link rot on the image search is starting to get annoying, but we've seen worse from the likes of Alta Vista in the past. Webcrawling seems simple but it's a very bandwidth intense process, and that means it costs money. Image spidering is even more expensive because pictures take up a whole lot more bitspace than HTML docs.

    So, move that Slashdot story from earlier today from the Censorship category to the Almighty Buck category. That's the real reason why the pictures weren't there.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 07, 2004 @06:44PM (#10749782)
      This just goes to show that /. groupthink isn't always on target,

      Actually, just the opposite. An inaccurate story was posted, and it was torn apart by the comments. The hive-mind that is slashdot preformed quite well, IMHO.
    • the original google-censoring story had a mention that the IMAGES WERE THERE, but did no longer appear on the image search like they had few weeks earlier(thus the (re)indexing excuse being damage control or 'google is da god' groupthink).

      • by Dun Malg (230075) on Monday November 08, 2004 @12:26AM (#10752064) Homepage
        the original google-censoring story had a mention that the IMAGES WERE THERE, but did no longer appear on the image search like they had few weeks earlier(thus the (re)indexing excuse being damage control or 'google is da god' groupthink).

        I've noticed that the google images search seems to catalog two distinct kinds of pics: the high-turnover images from high traffic sites (mostly news sites), and the deep spidering of essentially random images from all the other sites. Since news-type sites have a lot of "churn", google re-spiders them frequently and the images search database gets updated for those sites fairly regularly. All other sites are pretty much just "when the spider gets around to it". It's not surprising that the Abu Ghraib pics would "fall off" the images index when the news sites moved on to the next titilating scandal of the week, and the slow-ass "rest of the 'net" image spider has a half-year-plus lag time in updating old entries. So you can't find Abu Ghraib pics. You also can't find "Alexandra Kerry in her black dress at Cannes" pics. But you can find plenty of pics of Paula Radcliffe, the marathon runner, running with the Union Jack and wearing number 576, even though those pics are under a day old. Good luck finding those same pics of her in a week though!

  • Why so long? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by moofdaddy (570503) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @05:53PM (#10749383) Homepage
    Anyone have any ideas why they would be updating their image index so infrequently? Could it be because of the size of the files they are dealing with?
    • Re:Why so long? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NotQuiteReal (608241)
      Because there is a LOT of stuff on the web?

      If you don't like how the professional search engines work, you can always run your own spiders, I guess...

      • Re:Why so long? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by moofdaddy (570503)
        Um. My site results change in the standard google index every couple of weeks. They are saying that the images hasn't been updated in 7 months. My question is, why the disparity between the regular index and the image index.
    • Re:Why so long? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by anethema (99553)
      Maybe they are focusing resources on other [gmail.com] things. [google.com]
    • Re:Why so long? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by globalar (669767)
      It's probably a combination of things:

      1) As you say, this could potentionally be a huge index.

      2) The software methods are probably still being played with.

      3) Perhaps the value of the index itself in question. For example, Google probably does not want to index all the porn ads, gif edges, etc. Think about number 1 again. This could be a potentional resource sink. I don't know if Google has made a cost-benefit relationship out of this one yet, so refreshing the index may be viewed as a waste.

      4) Imag
  • by AtariAmarok (451306) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @05:54PM (#10749391)
    They have some bugs to work out. A search on "to be or not to be" typically produces from 2 to 3 error results in the first ten. That is, if you search on the phrase (including quotes) you get page results that do not contain the phrase.
    • by skraps (650379) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @06:00PM (#10749447)
      They also consider the text of links that point to a particular page. The search terms don't need to appear on the page.
    • That's not a bug. Suppose lots of sites link to page X, and many of the links contain the text "to be or not to be". Then Google will think page X has something to do with "to be or not to be", even if page X doesn't contain that text.
      • From Google's own top-level documentation:

        "To enter a query into Google, just type in a few descriptive words and hit the 'enter' key (or click on the Google Search button) for a list of relevant web pages. Since Google only returns web pages that contain all the words in your query, refining or narrowing your search is as simple as adding more words to the search terms you have already entered..."

        Look at the emphasized words. It clearly states that the results will contain the query. They do... sometim

  • Rights? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 07, 2004 @05:55PM (#10749399)
    Why is this "Your Rights On-Line"???

    Since when does google have to do anything other than what they wish?

    Lame...
    • Take a [nytimes.com] look. [google.com]

      In response to a complaint we received under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint for these removed results.
      • Interesting that Google isn't hosting the takedown notice itself, but is pointing to another website in that obviously custom text.
  • dogpile.com? (Score:5, Informative)

    by earthforce_1 (454968) <earthforce_1@@@yahoo...com> on Sunday November 07, 2004 @05:55PM (#10749401) Journal

    It is a fairly minimialist search engine that searches Google, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, About, LookSmart, Overture and FindWhat. I tried it a few times and find it occasionally returns a few more useful results than Google, and doesn't have an annoying clutter of ads.

    (I supposed if it did I wouldn't know, I have mozilla configured to block even flash ads, and my firewall is configured to route most known ad servers to 127.0.0.1)

  • Wow... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Moofius.the.Cow (828077) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @05:55PM (#10749407) Journal
    And here we were, expecting Google to deliver us the latest in free pr0n images and thumbnails, and it's been shafting us with old crap the entire time!
  • by EnsilZah (575600) <EnsilZah.Gmail@com> on Sunday November 07, 2004 @05:56PM (#10749410)
    The sky is falling!
    The sky is falling!
    Oh wait.
    Nevermind.
    • The sky is falling!
      The sky is falling!
      Oh wait.
      Nevermind.


      So it's just like most health and science news you see anywhere else then. Good.
  • non-story? (Score:5, Informative)

    by mark_lybarger (199098) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @05:56PM (#10749418)
    (and officially became a non-story on November 2, 2004)

    maybe the mass media isn't covering the prision over there in the sandy beach, but it's not all quiet, and definately deserves attention of those not deployed over there.

    americans are still dying every day in that prision (which is controled by the americans). american troops are deployed in and around that prision sometimes for months at a time with no productive mission other than to be deployed so a general or such can get another stripe on their shirt. this is what our tax dollars are being used for.

    there's units that have their own cooks but can't use them due to contracts with another food supply "company". what are these cooks doing? not a damn thing. there's people who are budgeted for a years deployment, but have replacements aready there. what happens to these troops? they get re-deployed to another closer area. these aren't the full time troops either, these are the reservists who are being forced to sit on their arse in the desert.

    by the way, there's policy in abu-grabib now that photos MUST have faces digitally distorted. meaning if a solder takes a photo of someone who's leg has been blown off, make sure there's no face in the picture. i'm not even sure if they're aloud to send photos out w/o permission these days.

    sign up folks, it's in the name of democracy after all.
    • Re:non-story? (Score:5, Informative)

      by JourneymanMereel (191114) <jake@bug z i l l a . org> on Monday November 08, 2004 @04:48AM (#10752919) Homepage Journal
      Quick question for you, mark_laybarger.... where are you getting your information? I ask this because I'm sitting inside the prison facility that is Abu Ghraib (notice the correct spelling) and only some of what you say is even close to the truth.

      americans are still dying every day in that prision (which is controled by the americans). american troops are deployed in and around that prision sometimes for months at a time with no productive mission other than to be deployed so a general or such can get another stripe on their shirt. this is what our tax dollars are being used for.
      First, the nit-picky part. I believe you meant to say "so a general or such can get another star on their shirt" as Generals in the Army (or any US branch, for that matter) don't wear stripes but instead wear stars. You see, stripes are worn by the enilisted soldiers that actually do the real work yet don't get anywhere near officer's pay.

      Now for the meat of that paragraph. American's die every day in this prison? Wow... I wasn't aware of that. In fact, I'm only aware of 2 fatailies since I've got here in March (one Marine in April and one civilian recently). We have had some injuries... one even really serious, but that's it as far as American causulaties at his prison.

      there's units that have their own cooks but can't use them due to contracts with another food supply "company". what are these cooks doing? not a damn thing. there's people who are budgeted for a years deployment, but have replacements aready there. what happens to these troops? they get re-deployed to another closer area. these aren't the full time troops either, these are the reservists who are being forced to sit on their arse in the desert.
      Amazingly enough, the first part of this paragraph I actually agree with. I think it's absurd that the government pays KBR 10 times (possibly exagerated, probably not) what they'd pay a soldier who's already trained to do a job. Our company alone brought numerous cooks, but we still have civilians doing all the cooking. That's not to say that cooks are doing nothing. Some are in "supervisor" postions inside these civilian run DEFACs and others have been given other tasks to do that don't relate to cooking but still need to be done.

      And about being re-deployed to another closer area because your replacements are there but you're still budgeted for deployment. BS. I will not give specific numbers as those are, quite frankly, none of your buisness, but I can tell you that the majority of soldiers who got here in February '04 are still here. Some have been sent south to a prison faclity near the Kuwait border and some have gone home (either individuals for individual reasons or a few that had neared their "2 years in 5" deployment mark. Oh, and the nit-picky point here: "re-deployment" is the Army term for going back to the states. I know, it doesn't make much sense, but that's the way it is.

      by the way, there's policy in abu-grabib now that photos MUST have faces digitally distorted. meaning if a solder takes a photo of someone who's leg has been blown off, make sure there's no face in the picture. i'm not even sure if they're aloud to send photos out w/o permission these days.
      Believe it or not, this is not some policy they pulled out of thing air. To the best of my knowledge, the Geneva Convention prohibts taking pictures of Prisoners of War or Civilian Detainees with their faces visible as a personal momento. That seems logical to you, doesn't it? And for what it's worth, I can send pictures home without asking first.

      But what do I know... it's not like I'm in a potion to know a single thing about Abu Ghraib prison.
  • by BortQ (468164) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @05:59PM (#10749438) Homepage Journal
    I am pretty happy with the outcome of this story. Good on google for answering the allegations. Even when they must reveal some disparaging facts about their image search by doing so.
  • by mrbrown1602 (536940) <(mrbrown) (at) (mrbrown.net)> on Sunday November 07, 2004 @06:04PM (#10749481) Homepage Journal
    /. is always so quick to jump on anything that screams vast right wing conspiracy... and this time they got egg on their face. GOOD.
    • by rcs1000 (462363) * <{moc.liamg} {ta} {0001scr}> on Sunday November 07, 2004 @06:59PM (#10749904)
      "This time they got egg on their faces"!

      Hooray. We got one up on the vast left wing conspiracy that is Slashdot, and who attempts to create myths about a vast right wing conspiracy that any right thinking American knows is just a communist, or foreign, or Jewish or Muslim conspiracy.

      And this post itself is just a clever part of that. By appearing to parody the gianormous left wing conspiracy that is Slashdot we hope to persuade a few of the undecideds that there really isn't a massively enormously giganticly big LEFT WING CONSPIRACY to subvert and pervert and divert and distort the course of true Christian justice. Or was it Jewish justice or justice for people wih wheelchairs. Frankly I don't care. It does not make sense. And if it does not make sense, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, then you must acquit.

      And one last thing. Gloating is so November 3.
    • Agreed... Funny how /.ers think they are smarter than the average idiot, guess what - just cuz we like tech doesn't make us smart.
    • Perhaps the egg is a vast right wing conspiracy to make slashdot look bad...

      It is entirely possible a right wing zeolot submitted the story, abusing weaknesses in the "moderators never actually consider the rationality of what they post" system.

      /me adjusts tinfoil hat.

      I'm off to write a book.
  • Old index indeed... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rgb465 (325668) <(gbk) (at) (insightbb.com)> on Sunday November 07, 2004 @06:06PM (#10749490) Homepage
    If you do a google image search for "www.google.com", one of the first results you get is an image of Alyson Hannigan. That image resides on my server.

    I havent the foggiest idea how that image got associated with the string "www.google.com", no why it would be ranked so high. I havent linked to that image directly in over a year, and only on a page that Google shouldnt be trowling for images anyhow.

    BTW, a good 70% of the traffic to my server is people looking for that image.
  • What? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by VivianC (206472)
    The Abu Ghraib story broke in April 2004 (and officially became a non-story on November 2, 2004)

    How did this become a non-story? Are you saying that the press will no longer keep running it since it no longer helps Kerry? Did Bush pardon the soldiers involved? Were the prisoners freed and given settlements? Maybe it's a non-story now for the media, but it is still a story for those involved and for everyone smeared by the broad brush.
    • Re:What? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by killjoe (766577)
      More importantly whatever happened to those second batch of pictures that were supposed to be released "sooner rather then later"
  • (very end) - Almost any picture of Morgan Webb on your website will draw at least 2,000 hits per month. Too bad that doesn't help any who don't already have a photo since Google hasn't udpated in seven months. Oh well.
  • To quote myself here [slashdot.org]:

    Customers need to be able to make informed choices, and in this case there is flagged a strong possibility of censorship. Or incompetence in that their engine really should have picked these up.

    Either way, it's valuable information. People know that Google is less likely to be able to find images that they wish to locate, and this is the kind of feedback that consumers need to be able to make rational decisions.

    I'd suggest that using an alternative image search is likely to brin

  • by michaeldot (751590) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @06:35PM (#10749710)

    Since the editors seem to have momentarily forgotten:

    1. Google, Apple, Novell are the good evil corporate conglomerates.
    2. Microsoft, SCO, MPAA are the bad evil corporate conglomerates.
    3. Profit!
  • Huh what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @06:37PM (#10749731)
    The Abu Ghraib story broke in April 2004 (and officially became a non-story on November 2, 2004)

    To simpletons in the American electorate, that might be true. But, if anything, Nov 2nd made the story much more relevant to about a billion muslims who view it as proof positive that the current US government may talk a good story, but where it counts, in real life, their actions are a whole lot different.
    • Re:Huh what? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by stubear (130454)
      "...the current US government may talk a good story, but where it counts, in real life, their actions are a whole lot different."

      And you have proof that these soldiers were acting on orders from the Pentagon? Well, that's a relief. You'll save the US tax payers millions in wasted investigations into this matter.
      • And you have proof that these soldiers were acting on orders from the Pentagon? Well, that's a relief. You'll save the US tax payers millions in wasted investigations into this matter.

        It does not matter if I have proof or not. You completely miss the point.

        What matters is how the story plays out in the population of about a billion people for which Osama is still one of, if not the most, common names given to newborn boys.

        And if you are going to smugly ask them if they have proof or not, you better fir
    • Re:Huh what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Trailer Trash (60756) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @07:48PM (#10750319) Homepage
      You (and many others) may have missed the fact that Lynddie and her fuck buddy are rotting in a military prison awaiting trial, and some of their accomplices have already been sentenced.

      Compare this country to anywhere on earth. Go ahead. Some Israeli soldier put 20 bullets through the head of a 13-year-old girl (who had already been shot in the leg and was struggling to get away) last month and he got a reprimand for losing the confidence of his subordinates. That's par for the course.

      When was the last time you heard of any other country that disciplined its military people for war crimes? Seriously.

      I'm not saying the US Army is perfect, and I think that too many innocent people have died that could have been avoided. But you people act like it was a fucking frat party with Saddam in power until we came and messed it all up.

      Making men do fake sex acts is disgusting, but compared to Saddam's meat grinder, electrocution rooms, chemical baths, Uday's iron maiden, and the rest of it, this seems a bit tame. And our soldiers are still facing charges over it. Which is how it should be.

      But get a grip, people.
      • Re:Huh what? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 07, 2004 @08:31PM (#10750651)
        Canada - During the 1995 peacekeeping effort in Somalia a young looter was tortured and killed. The perps were jailed (one tried to kill himself but survived the attempt although in a vegatative state) and the Canadian Airborne Regiment was disbanded. And it wasn't even an election year.
      • Re:Huh what? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hyfe (641811) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @09:00PM (#10750805)
        When was the last time you heard of any other country that disciplined its military people for war crimes? Seriously.

        During WWII, under the german occupation of Norway, a girl was raped by a german soldier in my hometown Horten.

        Some citizens complain to the Commander of the garrison there. Within days he had tracked down the guilty soldier. The following day the soldier was promptly executed publically in the town square.

        • Re:Huh what? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by GQuon (643387) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @09:20PM (#10750950) Journal
          Wow. I guess some of that Preussian dicipline was still present in the Wehrmacht and hadn't been done away with by the Nazis.

          The flipside is that Norwegians were also members of the master race. If that happened to a slav or a Jew, and the commander had done the same thing, he could have been demoted or worse...

          What many people forget is that some of the Allied forces, part of that noble generation that I still thank for liberating us, also commited war crimes, shot surrendering Axis troops and so on. They weren't prosecuted. On the top level, the generals were guilty of bombing purely civilian targets. If a Forward Air Controller makes a mistake or the guided bomb lands next door it's bloddy murder, while the firebombing of Dresden is mostly forgotten. Yes, we talk about Hiroshima and Nagasak, that's natural because a new weapon was used, and because our parents spent the cold war with the nuclear threat hanging over them.
          But they forgot that the war to end all wars seldom is, and letting our allies get away with war crimes could set a precedent for future wars.
      • Re:Huh what? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by shking (125052) <(babulicm) (at) (cuug.ab.ca)> on Sunday November 07, 2004 @09:58PM (#10751189) Homepage
        When was the last time you heard of any other country that disciplined its military people for war crimes? Seriously.

        You mean like in 1995, when Canada disbanded an entire regiment [wikipedia.org] and put soldiers on trial?

        Your bluster just demonstrates that, like many Americans, you are profoundly ignorant about what goes on in the the rest of the world... or for that matter, right next door. Next you'll be telling us that europeans are lucky not to have experienced terrorism first hand. In fact, they've been living with it for more than 30 years. Ever hear of the IRA or Bader-Meinhof?

  • I asked two questions in my posting on the first slashdot article

    1) What does the way slashdot runs their search engine have to do with the administration? Answer: nothing.

    2) Does someone have an automated search engine tester?

    I'd still like to see the answer to the second question. Now that we have a vast army of search engines competing for our use, who is going to rate and rank them?

    Google's indexing problems look like a great opportunity for some of the other engines.
  • OK. Then why did the photos of Alexandra Kerry wearing a surprisingly daring dress disappear from google's searches. Ms Kerry is a film-maker, who wore a dress to an event during the Cannes Film Festival that had a special feature. It looked like a normal, classy black dress under normal circumstances. But when photographed with a high-power flash the dress became translucent, revealing a lovely figure, and a lovely bosom. At the time these photos could be found using google.

    But a month or so ago g

  • how come all of the political stories lately on slashdot have been slanted towards favoring the left?

    oh yeah i know this is slightly offtopic or whatever, so mod me down so I can't be heard, I don't care.
  • by flushtwice (802474) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @06:52PM (#10749849)
    I run a web server from home and can see all the referring logs from visitors. Back in the beginning I used to have some joke pictures such as "bigass.jpg" and "passedout.jpg" but as time went on I started to consider the IP laws that could affect me. Those images were removed nearly a year ago, but they still live on in deadlink thumbnails.

    It originally started with Google, but I sent a message requesting they removed them, and I'll be damned if they didn't graciously comply! Now Google no longer had record of those images, but Yahoo must have taken a copy of their archives when those two severed ties, because I saw refernces from Yahoo for things like "bigass.jpg" and "passedout.jpg". Imagine my joy... I was getting 404's out the bigass.jpg, and Yahoo wouldn't listen to me to take me out of their image index... Now, after several more months (and several dirty tricks), I no longer am included in Yahoo's index.

    Does it stop there? No. Someone, somewhere along the way got a copy of those image thumbs out to every two bit search engine wannabe. To this day I still field 404's for stuff that I know had only been searched and indexed by Google, but has since found it's way via 3rd party routes into corners of the web I cannot begin to fully comprehend. *sigh* It's like a gnat bussing around my head... It's not hurting anything, I guess... but it's still annoying.

    These days, I put the content="NOARCHIVE" meta tag on every web page I serve. It's not that I don't want visitors. I could deny them with a robots.txt exclusion to that end. I just feel that search engines still lack the ability to capture the nuance of what it is I do... And these days, it has nothing to do with bigass.jpg or images of drunks passing out.

    (Not that those aren't fun things...)

  • Pesky 32 bit limit (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 07, 2004 @07:12PM (#10750018)
    4,285,199,774 pages is what they say they index. That's a 32 bit number and one that has been pretty much UNCHANGED for an entire year. People don't seem to bother google about the 32 bit thing much at all either. .. but THINK for a moment!

    If they are stalled at the 32 bit limit and a simple webpage contains just 1.01 images... then they are grinding up against a selection issue. No, its not just money, but as simple algebra shows there would have to be MASSIVE problems selecting which images to update.

    Multiply this hypothetical problem with just the distractions created by 'hearding brilliant people' and the plausible distractions of 'satisfying goverment and datamining requests' and pretty soon the stack will be full, pushing the plausible todo list item of '64 bit indexing' down the stack.

    Thus.. while, sure, you can simplify this all to 'bandwidth costs money', I put forth that such a simplification is shortsighted. System complexity does not increase in a linear fashion and given that google is 'old enough' to have its systems grow to stress out and magnify whatever shortcomings went into and on top of an originally simple model I bet that slow image search updates are merely a symptom of a much deeper, much simpler than 'money' design hitch which the system that is google.. e.g. the tech/ brains/ people-know-how is a a loss to properly address in a radical way as, with an 'image' to maintain it has become much harder for them to transcend the limits of the 'google-system' and to effectively address the root of the 32 bit problem.

    so, yes.. google's number of indexed pages has publically been at the 32 bit limit for a good year.

    yes, the hot air and geek dreams projected on the 'google system' have kept anyone from noticing and only now that its impacting the expectations of some folks are people noticing reality. impacted as they are by 'money' they of course project the problem to be solvable by 'money'.

    Systemantics dictates that its an inability to maintain self-transcendence which has kept them to keep from having the 32 bit limit catching them with their pants down.

    pesky dot 64 dot cl at spamgourmet dot com
  • They have to balance inbound/outbound net, and image search is *really* bleeding edge in case u didnt notice. So don't scream at them. If they gave all the bandwidth to the research hounds, we wouldn't be
    able to use them....

    Closes eyes recalling a SciAm article a few years back...

    If u really want to suck in the *whole* net as images, I guess your server would do a great black hole impression...

  • by pherris (314792) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @07:30PM (#10750169) Homepage Journal
    It seems that they have taken a different track in their management style with their motto "You can make money without doing evil" [google.com]. How many companies would reply to any issue on a Sunday?

    I think they know if start playing back room politics people will very quickly move to another search engine. It's a rare thing today to see a big company doing the right thing, and Google is one of them.

  • No offense, but DUH. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by venomkid (624425) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @07:31PM (#10750174)
    Yeah. Maybe you slashdot editors should do a little investigating before you start posting uninvestigated speculation as news. *cough*FOXNEWS*cough*DRUDGEREPORT*cough*

    Seriously. It took, what, all of a few hours for the truth to out? But no. You couldn't wait.

    Pfft.
  • by grcumb (781340) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @08:13PM (#10750502) Homepage Journal

    Some will be quick to decry how slashdot is quick to jump to conclusions. They'll draw fairly pointed comparisons between slashdot and 'real' journalism.

    As far as they've reasoned it, they're right. But that's only because they haven't reasoned it quite far enough.

    This is exactly the process that happens in the major news media. A journalist spots something unusual, thinks there might be a story there. An investigative team looks into the evidence, tries to get feedback from the source(s), and either corroborates or refines the initial hypothesis.

    The difference that we're seeing here is that the story is not landing in our lap, fully formed and packaged according to the publisher's wont. In the past, we never saw the messy part of any story, just the finished product.

    I happen to like being able to see the 'messy part' . I like it a lot. In fact, it's why I come to slashdot. If I trusted Big Media to properly digest and format my news, I'd have no need to come here at all.

    The truth about slashdot is that, amid all the noise, the silliness, the kvetching and moaning, there is a great deal of solid fact-checking going on. Assumptions do get challenged, news is removed from its 'frame' and picked at. Opinions get challenged or supported by a large number of qualified peers[*].

    [*] And admittedly, a smaller but significant number of unqualified peers. 8^)

    How many media companies have the same resources available to them? Not many. Most don't even hire fact-checkers any more. And believe it or not, slashdot fact-checkers really are better than none at all. 8^)

  • Retraction (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) on Sunday November 07, 2004 @08:17PM (#10750537)
    A retraction for the attack on Google, but another attack on the Bush Administration? Abu Ghraib was bad, but the issue here is Google's perceived censorship of the images, not the event itself.
  • Gasp! There's more than one search engine out there besides Google. And you can't police them all. So, maybe, instead of searching all the time, use some of the other search engine brands like lycos or even the pre-google favorite, alta-vista, just to keep google honest.
  • by pjt48108 (321212) <pjt48108@noSPaM.yahoo.com> on Monday November 08, 2004 @12:39AM (#10752116) Homepage
    "The Abu Ghraib story broke in April 2004 (and officially became a non-story on November 2, 2004)"

    With White House counsel Alberto Gonzales--a figure central to the internal discussion of 'when is it not torture' at the White House--on a very short list of Supreme Court nominees, this issue may very well flare up again sooner rather than later.

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