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Category Archives: Search Engines

FTC Sues Amazon for Illegally Maintaining Monopoly Power

Tech Crunch: “Attorneys general from 17 states joined the FTC in the lawsuit, alleging that Amazon leverages a “set of interlocking anticompetitive and unfair strategies” to maintain a monopoly. The states that signed onto the FTC’s action are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.”

Tech Crunch: What is Amazon’s [redacted] ‘Project Nessie’ algorithm? “The FTC’s lawsuit against Amazon alleging anti-competitive practices is largely full of things we already knew in a general sense: price hikes, pressure to use Amazon fulfillment and so on. But then we get to a sea of redactions and the mysterious “Project Nessie.” What is it, and could it possibly be as alarming as the unredacted sections make it sound? The project, product or process is referred to more than a dozen times in the complaint filed by the FTC. And it’s one of those situations where the redactions probably make it sound scarier than it actually is. Probably. The first reference comes on page 6: Amazon has also [redacted] through a [redacted] operation called “Project Nessie.” [redacted] Amazon’s Project Nessie has already extracted over [redacted] from American households. What is it extracting? Money? Data? Something quantifiable, or else the document would not say “over.” Though I wouldn’t put it past Amazon, the context does not suggest anything physical or private, like video or biometrics. An Amazon blog post from 2018 spotted by GeekWire describes Nessie as “a system used to monitor spikes or trends on” Much of the timeline in the lawsuit takes place since then, however, so this definition (such as it is) may no longer be accurate, if it ever was…”

DOJ finally posted that “embarrassing” court doc Google wanted to hide

Ars Technica: “The US Department of Justice has finally posted what Judge Amit Mehta described at the Google search antitrust trial as an “embarrassing” exhibit that Google tried to hide from the public. The document in question contains meeting notes that Google’s vice president for finance, Michael Roszak, “created for a course on communications,” Bloomberg… Continue Reading

Firefox 118 brings browser-based website translation “Web browsers have had tools that let you translate websites for years. But they typically rely on cloud-based translation services like Google Translate or Microsoft’s Bing Translator. The latest version of Mozilla’s Firefox web browser does things differently. Firefox 118 brings support for Fullpage Translation, which can translate websites entirely in your browser. In… Continue Reading

Privacy washing: Google claims to support privacy while lobbying against it

Proton Blog: “In the public eye, Google presents itself as a champion of privacy. “Privacy is at the heart of everything we do,” its CEO said (new window / X-Twiiter posting). But behind closed doors, Google is telling a different story to policymakers and actively fighting against privacy laws that would protect you from online… Continue Reading

ChatGPT can now search the web, as OpenAI races to keep up with rivals

Washington Post [read free] “OpenAI said Wednesday that its ChatGPT bot now has the ability to search the web using Microsoft’s Bing search engine, putting the chatbot on equal footing with Microsoft and Google’s Bard as the start-up fights to compete for dominance of the booming AI industry. Microsoft and Google already let their chatbots… Continue Reading

What is Bing Chat? Here’s everything you need to know

ZDNet: “In early February, Microsoft unveiled a new version of its search engine Bing, with its standout feature being its AI chatbot that is powered by more advanced technology than ChatGPT, OpenAI’s GPT-4.  With Bing Chat, you can ask the AI chatbot questions and get detailed, human-like responses with footnotes that link back to the original sources.… Continue Reading

I Was Wrong About the Death of the Book And Umberto Eco was right.

The Atlantic [read free]: “Fifteen years ago, in What Would Google Do?, I called for the book to be rethought and renovated, digital and connected, so that it could be updated and made searchable, conversational, collaborative, linkable, less expensive to produce, and cheaper to buy. The problem, I said, was that we so revered the… Continue Reading

Wikipedia search-by-vibes through millions of pages offline

“What is This? This is a browser-based search engine for Wikipedia, where you can search for “the reddish tall trees on the san francisco coast” and find results like “Sequoia sempervirens” (a name of a redwood tree). The browser downloads the database, and search happens offline. To download two million Wikipedia pages with their titles… Continue Reading

Gliding, not searching: Here’s how to reset your view of ChatGPT to steer it to better results

Via LLRX – Gliding, not searching: Here’s how to reset your view of ChatGPT to steer it to better results – Human factors engineer James Intriligator makes a clear and important distinction for researchers: that unlike a search engine, with static and stored results, ChatGPT never copies, retrieves or looks up information from anywhere. Rather,… Continue Reading