Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Search Engines

Two astrophysicists from Michigan Technological University are using Twitter to search for...

At this juncture in time, humanity does not know how to travel into the past, or even if such a concept has any meaning. So if you are an astrophysicist who wants to uncover evidence of time travel, what do you do? If you're Michigan Technological University astrophysics professor Robert Nemeroff and his PhD student Teresa Wilson, you look for time travelers on Twitter.  Read More

British PM David Cameron plans to filter all adult content from all UK Internet connection...

On Monday, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced a sweeping censorship plan that would block internet users in the United Kingdom from accessing online pornography unless they specifically request otherwise. British ISPs will be obliged to contact each of their customers to ask whether they want their content filtered, and if no answer is forthcoming, the filter will be applied by default. Speaking of how "online pornography is corroding childhood," Cameron also proposed that search engines stop showing returns for child pornography – and in doing so demonstrated a lack of understanding of the medium.  Read More

Google's competitor in China, Baidu, is reportedly making its own Google Glass competitor ...

Five years ago, it was easier for a company to sneak a revolutionary tech product onto the market. Today the whole world is nervously watching. Anything that looks like it could be the next big thing attracts a crowd of copycats. Take, for example, Google Glass. Unproven though it is (not to mention months away from release), Google’s search rival in China, Baidu, is reportedly prepping its own Glass competitor.  Read More

Graph Search – the new social search engine from Facebook

Facebook has unveiled a new social search engine at an event at its Menlo Park headquarters. The feature, currently in beta, will allow users to search Facebook content, returning personalized results. The social network giant has also partnered with Bing to provide certain web results to the service.  Read More

Search under 'emergency department' using YossarianLives!, and this is what you might get ...

Conventional search engines are definitely something of a paradox – you use them to find out new information regarding a certain topic, yet the top hits that you receive mostly contain information that everyone already knows. Not only does this hinder peoples’ efforts to think about things in new ways, but it can also reinforce mistruths and stereotypes. That’s where YossarianLives! comes in. Named after the main character in the paradox-centered book Catch-22, it’s a “metaphorical search engine” that’s designed to generate new knowledge instead of reinforcing existing knowledge.  Read More

Google now offers Search by Image on desktop computers

While Google is still by far the most dominant search engine on the Web, it can't afford to rest on its laurels with Microsoft constantly adding new features to its Bing search engine. At Google's 'Inside Search' event, the company has announced several new features designed to ensure it stays on top of the lucrative search engine game. Users will now be able to search using images, enter search terms by voice and have the top search results pre-rendered so they appear instantly.  Read More

Bing has been caught recycling Google search results.

Google doesn't have a lot of competition in the search world – it rose from obscurity in the late 1990s to its current position of utter dominance on the back of its clever results ranking algorithm; Google is the megalithic entity it is today, because for the last decade people have chosen its results over MSN, Yahoo and other search options. And now it seems Microsoft's new(ish) search competitor, Bing, is copying Google results in order to make its own search results better. In an embarrassing sting operation, Google claims it has proven that Bing is taking Google search results and displaying them as if they're coming from the Bing engine – and you'd have to imagine the guys at Google are absolutely delighted.  Read More

A report compiled by the FTC proposed a 'do not track' mechanism for browsers that would l...

Nearly all companies with a big Web presence, and search engines in particular, are known for gathering the user's browsing history and other personal information to improve on the services they offer, such as by offering better targeted advertisements. A preliminary report compiled by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) addressing the lack of transparency and user control over how companies gather Internet browsing data from their users, proposes a "Do Not Track" feature for Internet browsers that would allow users to opt out completely and protect their privacy.  Read More

Yahoo's Time Explorer lets users peer into the future (Image: modified from seanmcgrath or...

Earlier this month we took a look at Recorded Future, a company that uses information scoured from thousands of websites, blogs and Twitter accounts to make predictions about the future. Now, Yahoo’s Barcelona research lab has created a similar prototype news search engine called Time Explorer. It creates timelines based on search queries that not only provide a way to check the accuracy of past predictions, but also allows users to view predictions that are yet to occur.  Read More

Google integrates multi-language virtual keyboards into search

If you are trying to search the web using a language other than English and you don't have the correct keyboard handy, well, there's bound to be a problem. Google has come up with a solution by integrating virtual keyboards into its search engine. Now up and running in 35 languages, the on-screen keyboards allow input in a local language script without any additional software and no matter what computer you are using.  Read More

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