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  1. Play Google Feud to Turn Auto-complete Search Suggestions Into a Bizarro Family Feud

    "This game ____________." Has destroyed my productivity?

    We've all played the non-competitive version of this game, which is typing something into Google and seeing what completely bonkers autocomplete suggestions will populate. But Google Feud takes that passive time-waster and makes it a little more active with a Family Feud-style scoring system.

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  2. Dogpile’s Autocomplete Is Gleefully Insane

    Back in the day, before Google established its reign, there were a whole bunch of different search engines to choose from: Alta Vista, Ask Jeeves,Webcrawler, Lycos, Yahoo!, and of course, Dogpile. Dogpile in particular, seems to be suffering from lack of use these days. You can tell because it's autocomplete suggestions have gone completely off the rails.

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  3. France Sues Google Over Autocomplete’s Pairing of Names with “Jewish”

    Google's autocomplete can be a very handy feature, but it's also getting them into more and more trouble. Due to what you might consider "unfortunate" or maybe even "libelous" pairings, a Japanese court has ordered Google to shut down their autocomplete feature, and an Italian man has filed a suit of his own. Now, a French anti-discrimination group is getting in on the action too. SOS Racisme is suing Google over autocomplete results not because they cast subjects in a negative light, but rather because they suggest that subjects of certain searches are Jewish.

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  4. Japanese Court Tells Google to Stop Search Autocomplete in Japan

    A Japanese court has ordered Google to shut down its autocomplete feature in Japan after a man took a complaint to court that said autocomplete feature was casting him in a negative light. The mans' name was not revealed, though the complaint said autocomplete coupled his named with over 10,000 negative words, and it is negatively affecting his career.

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  5. New Chrome Beta Will Load Pages Before You Finish Typing

    There's an ancient proverb that states: "You gotta go fast. You gotta go fast. You gotta go faster. Faster. Faster, faster, faster." The new Google Chrome Beta browser has taken this principle to heart and added functionality that will actually start pre-loading pages before you've finished typing their addresses. If you're not familiar, the Google Chrome Beta browser has all the space age functionality that isn't yet fit for a standard Chrome release, and is available to anyone who wants to play with it. The question is, are you really comfortable with having Google Chrome reading your mind?

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  6. Google Was Successfully Sued for Libel Over Autocomplete Text

    An Italian court has sided with a case brought against Google that the search engine's autocomplete text contained libelous information, and was subject to censor. The case was brought by an unnamed Italian man who found that when typing his name into Google's search bar, it brought up words such as "fraud" and "con man." Google had attempted to fight the case by claiming that it was simply hosting the data, a role which is protected by the E-Commerce Directive. But Carlo Piana, the lawyer for the unnamed claimant, held that Google's autocomplete text was created by Google, and the search giant was therefore liable. On his blog, Piana emphasized the limited scope of the case.

    All I have to say is that it is by no means an endorsement to censorship, as notice to the sued company was given well in advance, the alligations of the complainant were fully discussed with them before even considering to go to court, and the requests was and is only for a very exceptional set of string (two). All cases are different, therefore there is no assurance that similar cases would see the same outcome.
    Piana goes on to note that Google already censors some search results, citing in particular Google's practice of removing search listings that could lead to copyrighted material. Google has said that they are reviewing their options, and an appeal is no doubt forthcoming. Though censorship of the Internet is always a distasteful thing, this case seems to have not brought an enraging, overly broad interpretation. Instead, it has established some kind of precedent that could give users greater control of their own information. But it is worth asking how much control users deserve. This case aside, people could benefit greatly from seeing "con man" pop up in a search about a nefarious fraud. (Carlo Piana via ZDNET)

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  7. Google Quietly Removes Torrent-Related Queries from Instant Search

    Add these to the list of terms Google won't fill in with its autocomplete and instant search: uTorrent, BitTorrent, RapidShare, and any query containing the word "torrent." In December, Google reassured copyright holders that it would "prevent terms that are closely associated with piracy from appearing in Autocomplete," and Google watchers say that today appears to be the day that this block is going into effect. (While torrents do not uniformly infringe copyrights, a recent BitTorrent census found that 99% of shared files did.) As of posting, a number of torrent- and cyberlocker-related searches, including "The Pirate Bay," "BitComet," "Vuze," MediaFire," and "Demonoid," will still autocomplete. While some have referred to Google's quietly tweaked search as a form of "censorship," the search results are still there if you type out all the letters. That is, if you type in "utorrent," remains the first search result. And while the word "torrent" may not show up in search, Google has left intact the far more direct way of finding torrent files by adding filetype:torrent to a search -- for instance, filetype:torrent ubuntu. Incremental though it might be, what's bothersome about this change, as TorrentFreak points out, is that Google has changed the way its search works in response to a corporate lobby. Slippery slope arguments are always -- well, slippery, but this sets a precedent that could potentially be abused, especially as Google takes an even bigger role in the less-regulated Wild West of mobile search. (TorrentFreak via Techmeme.)

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