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Tech: Does your computer learn what you want?

Sawzaw 18 Jun 11 - 10:47 AM
JohnInKansas 18 Jun 11 - 12:09 PM
GUEST,Grishka 18 Jun 11 - 02:24 PM
Bill D 18 Jun 11 - 03:16 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 18 Jun 11 - 03:37 PM
Geoff the Duck 19 Jun 11 - 06:47 AM
GUEST,Howard Jones 19 Jun 11 - 06:57 AM
dwditty 19 Jun 11 - 08:20 AM
Rafflesbear 19 Jun 11 - 09:59 AM
Tootler 19 Jun 11 - 04:20 PM
Rafflesbear 19 Jun 11 - 04:25 PM
GUEST,framus. 19 Jun 11 - 07:27 PM
JohnInKansas 19 Jun 11 - 09:46 PM
Rafflesbear 20 Jun 11 - 03:02 AM
Darowyn 20 Jun 11 - 08:07 AM
framus 20 Jun 11 - 07:29 PM
Esdeonfi 20 Jun 11 - 10:09 PM
JohnInKansas 21 Jun 11 - 12:21 AM
Sawzaw 19 Oct 11 - 10:54 PM
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Subject: Tech: Does your computer learn what you want?
From: Sawzaw
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 10:47 AM

I have been told that my computer has tailored itself to the kinds of websites that I want and is blocking me from the others. That Computers learn you and then give you only what you want.

Is this possible?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Does your computer learn what you want?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 12:09 PM

All search engines (that I've looked at in any detail) censor the results they show you based on "what's popular" with the illiterate masses of people who use them, on the assumption that you only want to see what everybody else wants.

None that I'e heard of block your access to sites you choose to visit; but it can be difficult to "explore" the web if the searches only show you the places in the Idiotville part of the web.

Site blocking can be easily accomplished by your mother, using any of the popular "parental control" settings/programs, but that's a problem for you and your family.

Most "good" AV systems should give you warnings about sites that are known to have been malware distributors, or that include "suspicious content" in the initial page download; but they usually will allow you to easily override the warnings if you choose to charge on in.

Google has experimented with filters that attempt to determine the kinds of sites you prefer, and list similar sites first; but you should be easily able to tell if something of this sort is installed by looking in settings on your toolbar. Again - it "front loads" the search results, but doesn't block access to anything. You should be able to turn the "feature" off easily. Other search engines may have offered similar junkware.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Does your computer learn what you want?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 02:24 PM

Not your computer, but various web "services" collect data about you, based on cookies your browser stores on your computer. The "services" will then show you ads for things you are most likely to buy. That's where the money comes from.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Does your computer learn what you want?
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 03:16 PM

However... if you want to search for something specific, you can learn to construct search terms to get past the popular,'everybody goes here' sites.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Does your computer learn what you want?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 03:37 PM

I wish mine would bloody learn that when I tell it I want icons and not tiles, it means I WANT ICONS AND NOT TILES. And when I make a shortcut on the desktop it means I WANT A SHORTCUT ON THE DESKTOP and not out in never-never land where it's been swept off to by an over-eager automaton "manager". Etc.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Does your computer learn what you want?
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 06:47 AM

Of course my computer can learn what I want. If it didn't, how could it be so consistent about preventing me doing it...
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Does your computer learn what you want?
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 06:57 AM

It says in my newspaper (so it must be true!) that both Google and Facebook "personalise" results so you only see what their algoriths decide you're most interested in. They quote the example of someone who googled "BP" and was given results about the oil spill while a friend was given business-oriented results.

I can't decide whether to be annoyed that Google and FB think they know better than me what I'd like to see, or grateful that they filter out at least some of the crap.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Does your computer learn what you want?
From: dwditty
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 08:20 AM

Yes, they are watching us

http://www.ted.com/talks/eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_bubbles.html


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Subject: RE: Tech: Does your computer learn what you want?
From: Rafflesbear
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 09:59 AM

Hi John

Over here in the UK we have had universal education for many years to ensure that our masses are not illiterate.

If you suffer from mass illiteracy in Idiotville, Kansas I suggest you lobby your representatives to try to get something similar.

RB


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Subject: RE: Tech: Does your computer learn what you want?
From: Tootler
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 04:20 PM

Over here in the UK we have had universal education for many years to ensure that our masses are not illiterate.

And we still return a bunch of idiots to represent us in parliament.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Does your computer learn what you want?
From: Rafflesbear
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 04:25 PM

:-)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Does your computer learn what you want?
From: GUEST,framus.
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 07:27 PM

Not strictly relevant, but does anybody know how permanently to disable 'Google Instant'.
I have disabled it in preferences DOZENS of times, but it keeps coming back.
Any ideas, please?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Does your computer learn what you want?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 09:46 PM

framus -

Asuming you have the Google toolbar(?) - at the "wrench" icon, or at "Tools" if you've turned on the old menu version, "Options" gets you to where you can "untick" the instant search. Just in case you've missed the obvious (unlikely as it seems) anytime you change an option the "Save" button should turn on. If you don't click it before going to another tab or closing the tool, it seems that sometimes the change doesn't "stick" the next time you open your browser.

It shouldn't be necessary to "Save" manually and sometimes just closing the tool does do a proper save - - but sometimes it doesn't, for unknown reasons. (And sometimes you'd like to "exit without saving" if you've really messed around in a tool, but there doesn't seem to be an obvious way to do that consistently in this tool.)

You may have something else going on; but this is one little step that I've found doesn't always work as expected, and might possibly help you get turned off.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Does your computer learn what you want?
From: Rafflesbear
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 03:02 AM

Does anyone know how to get the local price of a french hotel in Euros?

Even when I use a french browser to view the french language version of the hotel website the price still comes up in GBP.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Does your computer learn what you want?
From: Darowyn
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 08:07 AM

I was doing a short piece for an Italian class assignment. We were supposed to be practicing the vocab for booking a hotel room.
I decided that (because of a song that I like) I'd pretend I was visiting Sorrento and just for the sake of authenticity, I'd use the name of an actual hotel there.
Since then a lot of web pages contain adverts for hotels in Sorrento.
I feel a cookie-cull coming on.
Incidentally, I did get the price in Euros, simply by changing currence perferences on the hotel's booking form.
Je crois que c'est la meme chose on Francais.
Cheers
(Salut and Ciao too)
Dave


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Subject: RE: Tech: Does your computer learn what you want?
From: framus
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 07:29 PM

Thanks John, but I've tried that a lot, saving preferences and all.
It just keeps coming back, and really annoys me!
Sometimes it works for days, other times it's back before the session ends.
But ta, anyway.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Does your computer learn what you want?
From: Esdeonfi
Date: 20 Jun 11 - 10:09 PM

Yes.

I have an extension installed in my browser (Google Chrome for Mac) that prevents it spying on me (theoretically). Before I added it, every site I was on I got ads for Webs (since I spent so much time on knitting websites otherwise. It started to get really creepy, so I decided I needed the extension.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Does your computer learn what you want?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 21 Jun 11 - 12:21 AM

tootler says:

Over here in the UK we have had universal education for many years to ensure that our masses are not illiterate.

I have noticed that the UK "greenies" I've worked with almost never move their lips when they read stop signs, but I figured it was just because of the "typically British" bad teeth. They all have seemed to "bite themselves" every time they open their mouths.



John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Does your computer learn what you want?
From: Sawzaw
Date: 19 Oct 11 - 10:54 PM

It you use Scroogle Scraper, it searches Google as a proxy. It insulates you from the cookies so Google cannot identify you,

You can do a search at Google and then do the same search at Scroogle and compare the results.

I don't see any difference in the results. This blows a galaxy sized hole in the "fact" I was given by someone who brags about their accuracy.

Scroogle = Screw Google


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