Bonum Certa Men Certa

In the Land of Microsoft, China-like Search Engine Censorship Now a Standard

Can we trust what Microsoft tells us?

"The elements of the evangelical infrastructure - conference presentations, courses, seminars, books, magazine articles, whitepapers, etc. – should start hitting the street at the start of the Slog. They should be so numerous as to push all other books off the shelf, courses out of catalogs, and presentations off the stage.

"Working behind the scenes to orchestrate “independent” praise of our technology, and damnation of the enemy’s, is a key evangelism function during the Slog. “Independent” analyst’s report should be issued, praising your technology and damning the competitors (or ignoring them). “Independent” consultants should write columns and articles, give conference presentations and moderate stacked panels, all on our behalf (and setting them up as experts in the new technology, available for just $200/hour). “Independent” academic sources should be cultivated and quoted (and research money granted). “Independent” courseware providers should start profiting from their early involvement in our technology. Every possible source of leverage should be sought and turned to our advantage. "

--Internal document, Microsoft (read more)



Some months ago, Mary Jo Foley wrote about Live search being seemingly 'broken' and returning results that support Microsoft's business agenda. This was by no means an isolated observation and we covered many additional examples before. Some of these examples you can find in:



The complaints keep on coming. Here is one of the latest reports.

I was looking to see what search sites might have a particular bug that I (ahem) came across and was trying the search for the number 0 in various places. There is a pretty good Wikipedia page about zero. Zero has a rich and interesting history and there are many other potentially reasonable results.


Microsoft and Yahoo have, for quite some time as a matter of fact, been collaborating with the Chinese government on search engine censorship, disclosure (unmasking), spying and the like. It's just something to bear in mind. Microsoft's patents said a little more about this.

Interestingly enough, it was only yesterday that the BBC published the following good article which warns about closed system that restrict information and can be exploited by large corporations to feed minds in a self-serving fashion. It's an eye-opening example of the need for what the article calls "programmable" systems.

He contrasts generative devices with "sterile appliances", closed systems which appear to give consumers access to the net.

He argued such devices were damaging innovation and potentially putting easilly-abused powers into the hands of a few companies and governments.

"Consumers are eagerly asking for technologies, which can be used to surveil or control them," said professor Zittrain.


So, when will Google release some code to the public? This was the rationale behind the birth of Wikia.

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