Sunday, May 22, 2005

Google News Tricks

If you haven't already: try this neat trick. Go to "Google news" and read the headlines for the U.S., then shift the country in the box to "UK" or "Canada." Notice the difference? All the English language papers seem to have the American deal between Republicans and Dems. over the filibuster as the number one story, but the second story in the US is about Bush and Karzai signing a "Strategic partnership." For India, Britain, Italy and Canada the big international story is the string of deadly car-bomb attacks in Iraq, which killed 49 Iraqis yesterday.
Juan Cole, as always on top of the events, notes that among these was the death of the newly appointed anti-insurgency director in Iraq:

AFP says, "Major General Wael Rubaye, the new commander of a special operations room recently set up by the ministry for national security to coordinate the fight against insurgents, and his driver were shot dead by insurgents in the capital early Monday, the cabinet office said in a statement." When your coordinator of the fight against insurgents is shot just after he is appointed, you can conclude two things. 1) You have been heavily infiltrated. 2) Your security is not good.

(How does Google decide which stories to place first? According to Google New's FAQ:
Google News has no human editors selecting stories or deciding which ones deserve top placement. Our headlines are selected by computer algorithms, based on factors including how often and on what sites a story appears online. This is very much in the tradition of Google web search, which relies heavily on the collective judgment of online publishers to determine which sites offer the most valuable and relevant information. Similarly, Google News relies on the editorial judgment of online news organizations to determine which stories are most deserving of inclusion and prominence on the Google News home page.
Other items:
This morning on the DailyKos, there's more stuff about British memos.
I also saw some disturbing news about Venezuela a couple of days ago. There's an interesting story about Fox from the "Newshounds," whose slogan is "we watch Fox so you don't have to." The story, which describes outright lying, distortion, etc. is a window into Fox's journalistic "methodology."
Speaking of wing-nuts, I just found a story on "GOPUSA" (that's right, the people who brought you Jeff Gannon) referring to the Republican compromisers as a bunch of "Republicans in Name Only."
Yesterday, I received a tattered mailing from my alma mater and discovered that my old pal, Dave Noon, has what he refers to as a "surprisingly successful blog": "Axis of Evel Knievel."

Finally, in my late as usual relationship to big stories...I've been reading William Shawcross's "Sideshow" which has long been on my list of books to read. When I went looking for some updates about the author I discovered that he's become a major apologist for imperial power. It's too bad, because he's quite a good writer.


davenoon said...

Hey, Rebecca! I can't believe they actually put my phrase "surprisingly successful" in that newsletter -- what a howler. By "suprisingly successful," I actually meant, "I haven't gotten fired for it yet, in spite of all the swearing and blasphemy."

Glad to know the U of M has produced such committed procrastinators.

Anonymous said...

Google Hires Neo-Con Headbanger

"...Its latest executive appointment. Dan Senor, the company's new Global Communications and Strategy VP.... A former Senior Associate at the Carlyle Group, Senor was briefly Scott McLellan's deputy as White House spokesman before becoming head of the the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq's information department. The White House web site bills him as Senior Advisor to Presidential Envoy L. Paul Bremer III. Fox News hired Senor as a panelist in February."