Baidu, Google, Yandex, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, May 18th, 2015


From IT Business: 6 Ways to Back Up Your GMail Account.


From the Irish Times: How to De-Google Your Life. “Instead of cash, people pay Google in kind: with their identity, their behaviour, their habits and their preferences. Google collates and analyses this user data on a global scale, sells it to advertisers and, according to Edward Snowden, more than occasionally gifts it to US and other intelligence services. Viewed from a distance, Google is operating the largest instalment plan in human history.”

So apparently Elon Musk is worried that Google’s Larry Page is going to accidentally destroy mankind with a robot army? The only conclusion I can reach is my friends aren’t interesting enough. The only thing I’m worried about my husband accidentally destroying is my sweaters if he washes them in hot water (again).

Chinese search engine Baidu is getting into artificial intelligence. “The new computer, called Minwa and located in Beijing, has 72 powerful processors and 144 graphics processors, known as GPUs. Late Monday, Baidu released a paper claiming that the computer had been used to train machine-learning software that set a new record for recognizing images, beating a previous mark set by Google.”

From BuzzFeed (and it’s not every day that I link to something in BuzzFeed): E-mail shows how Google Gets Things Done in Washington. “On the evening of March 23, Johanna Shelton, a senior lobbyist at Google, emailed an official at the Federal Trade Commission with a pointed request: release a public statement that would help the search giant deal with a negative story. Two days later, the agency did just that.”

Former Google PR people are just basically everywhere. “The Google PR ‘diaspora’ now runs communications at many of the most important Valley companies. That includes Facebook, Twitter TWTR -0.62%, Tesla, Square, Yahoo YHOO -0.46%, Lyft, Uber, Pinterest and Snapchat (that one, technically not in the Valley, but of the Valley). ”


The Next Web: Why I’m Breaking Up With Google Chrome. “When Chrome debuted for the first time in 2008 it was the fastest browser on the block. It was light, nimble, extensible and easy to use compared to Firefox, which had become slow and cumbersome. In the past few years, I’ve stuck with it, even as it became a memory hog, unstable and a major drain on battery life.” When I work I have Firefox, Chrome, and Chromium open at the same time, with occasionally Opera thrown in for good measure. Chrome has not given me nearly as many problems as Chromium has.

This is interesting! Phil Bradley takes a look at Russian search engine Yandex as a possible alternative to Google.

From Indian Country Today: Zuckerberg vs. Crazy Horse. “Apparently the maestros behind the scenes of your favorite online guilty pleasure-social media experience known as FaceBook (FB) think that Native Americans could not possibly have such absurd surnames as Nighthorse, ManKiller or Crazy Horse. Take the case of Ms. Deloria Many Grey Horses. Over the past few weeks FaceBook has suspended Ms. Many Grey Horses’s account for using a ‘fake name.'” Good afternoon, Internet…

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2 replies »

  1. Re “Zuckerberg vs. Crazy Horse” — friend of mine married a man who has tried multiple times to get Facebook to accept his real, legal, from-birth name that happens to be a homonym for an off-color insult used in another English-speaking country (an excellent example of the Scunthorpe Problem). Because Facebook has never relented, there are now two individuals instead of one using fake names in Facebook.

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