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06.01.09

Is This Bing or is it Bong?

Posted in Google, Microsoft, Search at 6:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Smoking pipe

Summary: Is Microsoft high or is Bong[sic] broken by engineering?

IN SIX previous posts we wrote about failures of Microsoft's latest name for a search engine [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. A new identity alone cannot resolve an identity crisis. There are four more failures and observations which this post shares. Here is a quick list.

Failure #1: Anti-Linux Bias

We already know that Microsoft tweaks search results to promote its commercial agenda. Stefano Forenza shows that Bing is biased against GNU/Linux, possibly by design.

What’s this crap ? It’s obvious that Microsoft didn’t payed those guys. (well.. maybe the first :-P ). But why Windows came up as a suggestion for the Linux search, and why the first two posts talk respectively about ‘Linux being inferior to Windows’ and ‘the issues in switching to linux’ ?.

If I were to think bad I would think Microsoft did tweak the Windows keyword to have more relevance than the others. Hyperlinking and pagerank would do the rest.

More details and some screenshots are included in the full post.

Failure #2: Anti Opera

Opera is giving Microsoft a real headache in Europe. What does Microsoft give to Opera users? Nothing.

Bing.com no gentlemen when you run Opera web browser

[...]

Hello, Mrs Kroes, …! It reminds you so much of the old DR-DOS tricks but this is even more silly for a new search engine which was supposed to get it right. One of the best and most popular web browsers, Opera, is not supported? Surprisingly everything works seems to work fine anyway when you select “Go to the map using this browser”.

The map service looks great, but it is not fully translated yet into German language. Additionally to the usual satellite images it adds a bird view perspective. I am from Germany’s largest navy port and I am quite surprised that you can get detailled bird view pictures of our military facilities. In the real world signs scare you that they may shoot at you. And if you take pictures, the police might be very interested in your identity and your actions may be interpreted as a criminal offence by a court.

Failure #3: Pro Pornography

Microsoft is blocking Google for allegedly being unsuitable for children. How hypocritical is that? Whereas Google makes pretty successful attempts at eliminating child-unsafe content for particular crowds, Microsoft has no shame.

This is just too good. One of the features of Microsoft’s just launched Bing search engine is that it auto-plays videos in results when you hover over them. Naturally, the first thing a number of people, like Loic Le Meur, did was search for “sex” or “porn.” The results are majestic — if you’re a teenager looking for a way around porn filters on your computer. And this isn’t artful porn or something like it, it’s straight-up, hardcore pornography.

Failure Extraordinaire: Microsoft Buys Bingsucks.com

Tony Manco has found out that Microsoft acquired the domain Bingsucks.com. Microsoft is obviously expecting people to express themselves using such domain names.

Tony shows:


whois bingsucks.com ||  Domain Name: BINGSUCKS.COM
    Registrar: MARKMONITOR INC.
    Whois Server: whois.markmonitor.com
    Referral URL: http://www.markmonitor.com
    Name Server: NS1.MSFT.NET
    Name Server: NS2.MSFT.NET
    Name Server: NS3.MSFT.NET
    Name Server: NS4.MSFT.NET
    Name Server: NS5.MSFT.NET

Here are the details for Microsoft’s corresponding nameservers:


 Administrative Contact:
         Domain Administrator
         Microsoft Corporation
         One Microsoft Way
          Redmond WA 98052
         US
         domains@microsoft.com +1.4258828080 Fax: +1.4259367329
     Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
         MSN Hostmaster
         Microsoft Corporation
         One Microsoft Way
          Redmond WA 98052
         US
         msnhst@microsoft.com +1.4258828080 Fax: +1.4259367329

Has Microsoft already bought Bingfails.com? How about Bingdiscriminates.com?

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3 Comments

  1. notzed said,

    June 1, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    Gravatar

    Bung?

    Actually, since nobody’s tried to game it yet, it could potentially provide more useful results than google for a while. Google afterall have their own private rating system, which not only can be gamed it seems it can be bought (why is cloaking allowed for journals for instance?)

    Unfortunately many results in bung aren’t very relevant or useful even at this point, and will probably get worse with time. They seem to have similar results, but the ranking is even worse – the whole point of using a search engine in the first place. And the famed ‘decision engine’ thing seems quite poor (which is presumably the ‘adwords’ style part of the results).

    e.g. if i search for ‘gpl3′ google has direct links to the fsf on the front page. not so for bung.

    e.g. if i search for a specific local computer shop by name and city, google’s first answer is a link to the right home page and a map. in bung it’s not even on the first page, and it also shows a competitor’s site (which has a similar name) a few results down.

    On the other hand, a search for ‘balanced tree implementation’ links to libavl (one of the few good quality implementations available freely – gpl3) indirectly on page 1 and directly high on page 2 in bung, yet in google it only shows up on page 3 – and page 1 and page 2 have quite a few links to pay gateways such as springerlink, ieee.org, or acm.org which are completely useless as well as annoying. And those pay gateways show up even more if you use ‘algorithm’ somewhere in your search. Google books results are similarly useless and annoying and show up in a lot of searches of this type.

    Another (lgpl) avl tree implementation – avlmap is the first result in bung, and wasn’t in the first 10 pages of google results (although i could’ve missed it). And yahoo has both avlmap and libavl on page 5 of results (but without any ‘google books’ or paid gateways that I noticed).

  2. zelrik said,

    June 2, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Gravatar

    I am sorry but I dont see the anti-linux bias in bing. The first result I get is Linux.com … then wikipedia…then ubuntu… looks pretty relevant to me. Even if I look in the news, that looks normal actually less biased than in Google news it seems.

    As for the Porn thing, every single search engine has porn. It’s old news, and there is actually nothing wrong with porn IMO.

  3. Dario said,

    June 4, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Gravatar

    Same here, i didn’t see the anti-linux bias in bing
    Look, the results seem pretty relevant to me too.
    http://img193.imageshack.us/img193/3827/pantallazob.png
    anyway i woudn’t use it cause it microsoft’s. i prefer the google monopoly =P

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