google weirdness

Saturday, May 13th, 2017 02:25 am
darkoshi: (Default)
This search query ("I'm the fire of your") returns 5 results:

This search query ("I'm the fire of your desire") returns 10 results:

*and* the 2nd one says at the bottom, "In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 10 already displayed. If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included."

It doesn't make sense. Yeah, I got the lyrics wrong, but still, it doesn't make sense that adding more words to an exact-match query (within quotes) makes it return more results.

Hmmm. Google must automatically filter out pages with the word "desire" unless you specifically use it in your query. Or maybe it filters it when you put it together with another word like fire. Maybe if I were logged into a Google account when doing my queries, and had my settings set to not filter anything, it would act differently.
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This Is How Your Hyperpartisan Political News Gets Made - interesting to me because of this comment: The stories read like they were stamped out of the same content machine because they were. Using domain registration records and Google Analytics and AdSense IDs, BuzzFeed News determined that both sites are owned by American News LLC of Miami.

Google Analytics and AdSense IDs. So that is one way to link sites together, when their domain registration details are private/hidden.

I searched the page source of the 2 sites mentioned by the above articles, and found a section of script with an ID like UA-########-# (see below). This seems to be the Analytics ID. I've read that AdSense IDs start with "pub-", but I did not find that on those pages.

The 2 sites have different Analytics IDs. But doing a Google Search on them shows other sites using the same IDs. I presume that the number after the 2nd dash can identify multiple sites owned by the same publisher. So search without including the last number.

(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),
ga('create', 'UA-87513966-2', 'auto');
ga('send', 'pageview');


Search results for the first number indicate that (as mentioned in the article) and have the same owners.

I still don't know where one can find the AdSense IDs; maybe that is how they linked the 2 sites together, as the Analytics ID doesn't link them.


Thursday, November 10th, 2016 01:43 am
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Yesterday afternoon, it occurred to me that if Clinton won, it would be 12 years in a row of a Democrat being president. How would that feel to the losers, the non-Democrats? It would make them more discontent, more angry. Maybe it is a necessary thing that each of the 2 major parties wins every few elections, to give each side a feeling of "having their turn". The longer a stretch goes on of not "having your turn", the worse and worse the other side seems, and the better you imagine things might be with your side being in charge.

It occurred to me that if elections really were rigged, if the same people are behind both parties, pulling strings and faking election results, it would make sense for them to switch between parties every few elections. To keep people placated, to make people feel like the results are real. It would make sense for the results to always be near 50/50, so that people wouldn't find it too unbelievable whenever the balance tips the other way.

I got to wondering what's the longest stretch of time that one party has won the presidential elections. I remembered Wikipedia having a page listing all the U.S. presidents along with their party affiliation. Google search results, however, failed me yesterday. It kept showing only other results like "popular presidents" and "best presidents", and stuff related to the current election.

I edited my search phrase from "list of presidents" to "list of u.s. presidents" to "list of all u.s. presidents", with no luck. (Although today, those all work fine, and the desired page is the first hit.) I kept adding onto my search phrase, up through this one, which still didn't work:
list of all u.s. presidents ever from george washington damn google you are not working today no i don't want the popular ones or the best ones I want a list of all of them for fucks sake how hard can that be

I finally found the page by searching directly on Wikipedia: List of Presidents of the United States

Other than the 12 years of Reagan/Reagan/Bush, the longest recent stretch of a single party president was from 1932 to 1952, FDR and Truman, Democrats.
darkoshi: (Default)
This evening, I watched a repeat of "The Reichenbach Fall" on TV (over-the-air). I was able to follow most of the story pretty well this time, although a few bits still went by too fast. I started thinking about the next episode, which I remember parts of, but I'm not sure they ever gave a real explanation (as opposed to the mock ones) of how Sherlock survived the fall from the roof.

So, I start typing into Google, "did they explain", and the first auto-complete prediction is "did they explain how sherlock survived".

So out of all the things in the world possibly needing explanations, that is the #1 thing which people ask about? Or is Google clairvoyant?

is it just me?

Friday, September 4th, 2015 01:05 am
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The new Google logo reminds me of Sesame Street and the Cookie Monster.
darkoshi: (Default)
I had an app installed on my phone which was quite useful during a trip last year. After the trip I uninstalled it, as it kept throwing an error message whenever I turned on the phone (but the app itself still worked).

I figured I could always reinstall it again later when I did need it, as I had bought it on Google Play, and Google Play keeps copies of your stuff for you, right?.

So today I was going to reinstall it, but the version of the app now on Google Play is no longer compatible with my phone. So I'm not even given the option of reinstalling it. Furthermore, it says "Installed" even though I had uninstalled it.

Does Google Play really not store a copy for you, of the version of the app that you originally purchased?

live scum oh what am i

Thursday, July 16th, 2015 09:01 pm
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Google totally fails to answer the question "what is a live installer?". It is a small install program that downloads the bulk of the actual software to be installed as part of the install process itself (so that the install won't succeed unless you have an internet connection available during the process). Right? For a moment I wasn't certain. Now maybe this answer will come up if someone else searches on it.


The small pond at work is at a low level, due to the heat and not much rain. As I was driving by on my way home, it looked like young green grass growing out of the pond scum on top of the water! Yet I walked by the pond at lunch time and didn't notice anything then. Maybe I wasn't paying attention? Maybe it's some quick-growing fungus? Google fails me there too.


I decided which trees in the yard to get cut down. A few are half-dead. A few are simply making the back yard too shady, dark, dreary, and mosquito-ridden. Yet they do also block some of the view of the neighbors' yards which is a positive thing. And even the half dead ones... I actually like the look of bare gray limbs... on one tree, that is even more aesthetically pleasing to me than the leafy parts. And my wonderful Japanese Cherry Tree with the beautiful blossoms in the spring-time! It's half dead, but also still half alive. Am I making a horrible mistake??? I told Qiao he'd better hurry and call up some people to get quotes for the work, as otherwise I might change my mind. I'd been considering this for a while, but probably would have put it off longer had the neighbor not also mentioned trees needing trimming.


Next post about pronunciations! But Windows wants to reboot first.

Happy New Year

Thursday, February 19th, 2015 10:58 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
I love Google's lunar new year doodle.
darkoshi: (Default)
Terrorists used false DMCA claims to get personal data of anti-islamist YouTuber

First, I'll mention a few items from the original German article that I didn't see mentioned in the other English posts I read.

The automated emails sent by YouTube to the channel owners clearly stated that 1) the channel owner had to provide their personal data in order to counter the copyright infringement claim, and 2) that this personal data would be shared with the person who submitted the claim.

YouTube alternately allows you to provide the contact information of an authorized representative (such as a lawyer) rather than your own, but the channel owners didn't discover that until afterwards.

Neither of the 2 main presenters of the channel were willing to share their contact information. Sabatina James (not her real name) was already in a victim's protection program, and in the habit of moving every few years for her own protection. In the past, she received death threats from her own family after fleeing an arranged marriage in Pakistan.

They suspected that the person making the false claim was an Islamist, and they repeatedly tried to tell YouTube this. But they were ignored.

After YouTube received 3 copyright infringement claims and no counter claim, the channel was shut down. After the channel was shut down, one of the channel's collaborators offered to provide his contact information in order to get the channel reinstated. It was this person's personal data that was provided to the false claimant and subsequently made public.


According to Google's help pages, one can submit a copyright infringement complaint by web-form or email. The web-form requires you to enter your full legal name, address and phone number. But curiously, the email option only says that it requires your contact information "such as an email address, physical address or telephone number".

Whereas, when submitting a counter-notification by email, you are required to include a full legal name, email address, physical address, and phone number.

So it sounds like someone can file a claim by providing only an email address, whereas to fight a claim, one has to disclose much more.

doodly goodness

Sunday, June 29th, 2014 05:53 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
I'm really enjoying all the Google World Cup doodles, even though I haven't watched any of the games.


Qiao gave me a really nice surprise gift. I found it in the garage one day last week after driving home from work.


A few days ago, undecided as to which box of pasta to make along with dinner, I opened the kitchen cabinet and said to him, "Choose your noodle."


It occurred to me that it's the 21st Century, and that somewhere, there surely must be someone whose first name is Buck and whose last name is Rogers. But I was remembering the century wrong.
darkoshi: (Default)
Ok, the game goes much faster and easier the 2nd time through. But I still can't figure out how to keep the graveyard ghost from repeatedly killing me, other than random luck. Have any of you figured that out?

update: Well, this page says... )
darkoshi: (Default)
For about a week and a half, I experienced excessive flatulence. I couldn't figure out what might be causing it, as I wasn't eating anything out of the ordinary. Then I realized that I *had* been eating more dried fruit in my breakfast cereal than usual, due to not having any corn-flakes to mix in with it.

It had never occurred to me before that dried fruit (or even fresh fruit) could cause flatulence, but apparently it can, due to the fructose and fiber which are both hard to digest.

[!AAAH! Google has a Dr.Who doodle game thingy!!! Hhahahah....
oh god it took me 33 minutes to finish the game and I don't know how many doctors died in the process.]

So anyway, after having that realization, I switched to hot oatmeal for the next breakfast, and then the next day, cold cereal without fruit. The flatulence disappeared. Then I switched back to eating the muesli and raisin bran, with some other cereal mixed in, and have still been fine since then.


Qiao got me a pedometer. They say that to stay fit, one should walk about 10,000 steps per day. Based on the pedometer, on days when I go to work and walk outside around the pond at lunchtime, I get between 5500 and 6500 steps. On a Saturday doing yard work, I got 6200 steps. On a Sunday when I stayed home and didn't do yard work, I got about 3000 steps.
darkoshi: (Default)
While checking my browser cookies, I noticed some curious ones named __utma, __utmb, __utmv, etc., from a few LiveJournal and Dreamwidth domains. It turns out they are a part of Google Analytics, which can be used to track visitor traffic to your websites.

Apparently, blocking cookies from doesn't block these cookies, as they belong to your website, not to google's website. I wonder whether blocking Javascript from the Google-Analytics website (which I've had NoScript set to do) disables the tracking information from being collected, or not. In my browser, I generally don't enable Javascript from that site.

Both Dreamwidth and LiveJournal support the use of Google Analytics.

So I figured I'd set up a Google Analytics account to use with my journals, to see what kind of info it generates. But it's likely I won't be checking it very often, because...

This reminded me that I hadn't checked the boingdragon counter info for my website in a very long time (a year and a half, it turns out). So today I checked it.

The Curses page remains my most popular one. A year and a half ago, it was getting around 10 hits a day. Now it's getting more than 40 a day.
darkoshi: (Default)
My phone plays a startup sound every time I turn it on. I actually enjoy the sound, but at work, I don't want everyone else to hear it. The startup sound plays regardless if I put the phone in silent or vibrate mode before turning it off, and it still plays at a normal volume, even if I have turned down all the phone volumes to the lowest settings. It's insane.

From what I read, renaming the sound file will get rid of the problem.
It's a system file, so to rename it requires the phone to be rooted, and super user access.

Luckily, my phone is already rooted, and I can install the super user app.

I decided to try avoiding installing an app like Root Explorer for renaming the file.

It seems that using "adb" (Android Debug Bridge) via the computer should let me rename the file.

For that, it seems that all I needed to do was
- download and install the Android SDK
- download and install JDK v6, which is a requirement for the Android SDK
- create an Oracle account, as JDK v6 is not the latest version, and Oracle doesn't let you download old versions without you having an account.
- download and install the phone's USB drivers (not only the default ones I had which already let me access the SD card)

- run adb, etc.

It's insane.

But I'm still waiting for the super user app to get downloaded to the phone from the Google Play site. Why isn't it downloading? It's almost 4am! Grrrrr.

I suppose Google expects me to leave my phone on while I go to sleep. Pfah. Fat chance. If I were the kind of person to leave my phone on all the time, I wouldn't be having this adventure to begin with, now would I?

On Monday I installed/downloaded an app with no problem! Why isn't it working today?

Oh, it was because I had disabled Background Data... Now it finally installed.

google interfaces

Thursday, August 29th, 2013 11:22 pm
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On the Google Play website, where can you view the permissions required by an app, before downloading or installing it? I seem to remember when browsing apps a few months ago, each app had a link or tab for showing the required permissions. But the site looks different now, and I can no longer find the information. Oh**, nevermind.

Note: I prefer to browse the available apps on my computer before downloading the chosen ones to my phone. And I'm using Firefox - that shouldn't limit what I see, should it?

I'm trying not to gripe much about Google products seeming user unfriendly, as my difficulties may simply be due to my inexperience with the interfaces.

Yesterday evening while trying to do a web search on Chrome, I got annoyed by a microphone window unexpectedly popping up. I muttered "F*ck You", and it proceeded to show a page of search results for "F*ck You". That was amusing.

I then tried some other verbal searches... but it didn't give me time to finish my thoughts, and instead searched on the first few words I had said. I suppose I'd need to formulate my question before starting to speak it.

At work, I found a free app/plugin/whatever-Chrome-calls-it, on the Google site, that I wanted to install to my Chrome browser. Besides not being able to find the permissions, there was no obvious way to install it. There was a button at the top of the page labelled "Free". When I eventually clicked this button, it showed me the required permissions, and after my accepting them, apparently installed the plugin. As I recall, I didn't get a confirmation message that it had been installed, but when I checked the installed plugins, it was listed. Why do they label the install button "Free" instead of "Install" or "Add to Browser"?

When I tried to use the plugin, I got a prompt requesting extra permissions. Why weren't all the permissions listed to begin with? And then to top it all off, the plugin didn't even seem to work. It kept showing an hourglass.

** This page says that the only way to see permissions now is to click the Install button. But it seems that the install button doesn't display unless you're logged in with a Google account. Even then, if it's an account other than the one you've set up for your phone, you *still* won't be able to see the permissions. You'll just get a message "You haven't accessed the Google Play Store app (the white shopping bag icon) on your device with this email account." Sheesh. gripegripegripehategooglehategooglegripegripe

No option for turning off the navigation bar auto-hide "feature" when using Chrome on a tablet. gripegripe. Even Opera for Android seems to have done the same thing! grrrrr.
darkoshi: (Default)
Several times now, when I've been searching for scientific information, I've come across research papers with relevant/interesting sounding abstracts. In many cases, the sites hosting the papers have restricted access to the full text of the papers - one needs an account to view them. In order to get an account, one must be a member of a medical or educational institution, etc. In some cases, the sites in question also offer the ability for other people to buy/download the full paper, for a fee. If the fee were small (under $5), I'd consider it. But the fees I've seen so far are more in the range of $30.

So I end up doing a web search on the paper's title, to see if I can find it elsewhere. On more than one occasion, I've found the full paper freely available on Google Docs.

So I wonder:
1. Why do sites have fees / restrictions for viewing the papers in the first place? Who gets the money - is it used for site maintenance costs, or for what? Do the authors of the papers get any of the money?
2. Why does Google Docs have the papers freely available, when they aren't freely available elsewhere? Are these documents on Google Docs by mistake, or on purpose?
darkoshi: (Default)
Go to and slowly type in (type it in; don't copy and paste) "do a/c cages work?"
darkoshi: (Default)
I used Google Translate to check what the Swedish title (Män som hatar kvinnor) of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" means. As I typed the words, I seemed to recall that kvinnor means "women". But the translation displayed as "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". In fact, even "hatar kvinnor" by itself was translated as "Dragon Tattoo". Not-Very-Helpful, oh ye translating tool! I quite doubt that is how one says Dragon Tattoo in Swedish. Only by entering each word separately did it give me the presumably correct translation "Men who hate women".

The title of the 2nd book "Flickan Som Lekte Med Elden", does literally translate to "The Girl Who Played with Fire".

The title of the 3rd book "Luftslottet Som Sprängdes" (The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest) seems to mean "The Air Castle that was Blown (Up?)". No weirdness with that translation.

I finished reading the first book today. I'm not planning to watch any of the movies until I finish the books.

Spoilers... )

Google car sighting

Thursday, August 11th, 2011 11:16 am
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Qiao just called me to say he saw the Google street-view car with the 6-foot high tripod with cameras on the end. It passed him while he was driving on Pine Belt Rd. He said it was a small white funny-looking car with stripes on it.... must have been like this one.

I checked Google maps, and the area between Pine Belt Rd, Two Notch Rd, and Beltline Blvd doesn't have street-view available yet, so the car might have been doing imaging of that area. I'm curious whether Qiao's car got into any of the images. We will check Google maps in the future to find out.

search engines

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011 02:52 pm
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I want to diversify my search engine usage. I like Google, but some of its "features" annoy me. Such as when it slows down my typing by searching on every keystroke, and when it returns results for a similar search phrase rather than the exact search I entered. Some of those features can be turned off, but it requires being logged in and/or allowing Google to store cookies, which I'd rather not.

I suppose I could simply use a different interface to the Google Search engine, rather than using its website. But I'd also like to branch out and start getting results from other engines too. So a meta-search engine might be ideal. Or perhaps a plug-in that searches multiple configurable search engines at once.

I've found lists of lots of search engines. But if any of you would like to share with me which ones other than Google are your favorites, please do.