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Tech: Google keeps getting smarter and smarter

Jim Dixon 05 Sep 13 - 02:02 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 05 Sep 13 - 02:51 PM
treewind 05 Sep 13 - 03:31 PM
GUEST,Grishka 05 Sep 13 - 04:15 PM
Jim Dixon 06 Sep 13 - 06:21 PM
GUEST,Grishka 06 Sep 13 - 07:31 PM
JohnInKansas 07 Sep 13 - 06:39 AM
Mr Red 07 Sep 13 - 07:00 AM
GUEST,Grishka 07 Sep 13 - 07:59 AM
Greg F. 07 Sep 13 - 08:59 AM
Bill D 07 Sep 13 - 11:35 AM
Jim Dixon 09 Sep 13 - 08:48 AM
JohnInKansas 09 Sep 13 - 10:20 AM
Jim Dixon 09 Sep 13 - 08:25 PM
JohnInKansas 09 Sep 13 - 10:16 PM
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Subject: Tech: Google keeps getting smarter and smarter
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Sep 13 - 02:02 PM

I use Google Chrome. I can't remember how many extensions or options I've installed, but I pretty much say "yes" to everything Google suggests.

Today I had a text box open, and the text I had typed said "Michael Martin Murphy". I happened to notice that that "Murphy" had a row of tiny green dots underneath it. I right-clicked on it, and Google suggested "Murphey" as an alternative spelling.

Sure enough, "Murphey" is the correct spelling in this case, although it's an unusual spelling, compared to "Murphy".

What is going on here? Is Google looking at the context? Does it know that when "Murphy" appears after "Michael Martin" it ought to be "Murphey"? Or does it simply always suggest "Murphey" as an alternative to "Murphy" regardless of the context?

Apparently the green dots mean something different than the red squiggly line, which is what you see when you commit an egregious misspelling, like "Murpxy".

And you know what's even weirder? I can't make the same thing happen again. In THIS text box, "Murphey" gets the red squiggly line and "Murphy" gets nothing.

You guys will just have to trust me, I guess, that this thing really happened.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Google keeps getting smarter and smarter
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 05 Sep 13 - 02:51 PM

In google search entering Michael Martin Murphy returns results for Michael Martin Murphey, with an option to search for the other.

Google does have a lot of context information available and uses it - it's one of the principles that google translate uses, looking at translations of texts to get the best translation in context. I've also read a paper that used a method of ocr correction by passing segments (say 5 word groups) to google and using the did you mean... suggestions to correct errors in the ocr (it did lead to improvement over the basic ocr).

I don't know what Chrome does (I haven't got it installed at the moment, though I do still have Chromium) and from your post it looks like it may be a feature of one of your add-ons, maybe for proper names.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tech: Google keeps getting smarter and smarter
From: treewind
Date: 05 Sep 13 - 03:31 PM

I don't get the green dots here with SRware Iron, which is the non-spyware version of Chrome, but this is also not the latest version.

But yes, Google does check for context when making suggestions, and it also pops up completions and extra keywords as you type. I think much of this is based on search term combinations other users have entered recently, rather than looking up context from its index of the entire web.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Google keeps getting smarter and smarter
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 05 Sep 13 - 04:15 PM

It is called Murphy's law. Whoever says "yes" to everything Google suggests, is beyond advice.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Google keeps getting smarter and smarter
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 06 Sep 13 - 06:21 PM

That's fine; I wasn't asking for advice.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Google keeps getting smarter and smarter
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 06 Sep 13 - 07:31 PM

Jim, that is what I alluded to: you do not even realize that you are badly in need of advice - and so are all of us. Google is smarter than anything George Orwell could have dreamed of.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Google keeps getting smarter and smarter
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 07 Sep 13 - 06:39 AM

At a few levels, Google continues to make improvements.

Unfortunately, since Google "hits" are based largely on "popularity" of the available sites, and the majority of people aren't interested at all in anything very informative, its "smartitude" for finding "useful information" appears (to me at least) to have declined significantly in recent months.

There's also been an obvious "creep" in the number of "paid ads" that appear in first results, so that one has to dig through lots more pages of results to get to the first intelligent hits (if there are any).

While some of the "gadgets" are nice, my respect for Google as the best way to learn something has suffered quite a bit recently. Too bad there isn't something else enough better to be relied on.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Google keeps getting smarter and smarter
From: Mr Red
Date: 07 Sep 13 - 07:00 AM

call me peadant but
It is called Murphy's law. Whoever says "yes" to everything Google suggests, is beyond advice.

Should read "Murphey's Law" because :

Murphy's Law relates to things that go wrong, in this case it is a deliberate action. Google are in control.

Except at Rouge Towers where we use Firefox and Yahoo. But the long fingers of Google are definitely inserted in parts FF. I have used the sledge hammer..............


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Subject: RE: Tech: Google keeps getting smarter and smarter
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 07 Sep 13 - 07:59 AM

Mr Red, it takes more to be accused of pedantry by me.

Murphy's law applies to the general Internet worship and optimism, Google (among others, of unknown intentions and alliances) taking the role of "what can go wrong". Our technology, including operating systems and browsers, is still based on the assumption that all humans are good.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Google keeps getting smarter and smarter
From: Greg F.
Date: 07 Sep 13 - 08:59 AM

Our technology, including operating systems and browsers, is still based on the assumption that all humans are good.

And on the assumption that all humans are mindless idiot sheep.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Google keeps getting smarter and smarter
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Sep 13 - 11:35 AM

"And on the assumption that all humans are mindless idiot sheep."

naawwww..just that enough of them are.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Google keeps getting smarter and smarter
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Sep 13 - 08:48 AM

It happened again. I typed "the main think" which was a typo for "the main thing." The green dots appeared under "think". Now, how could Google have known "think" was the wrong word unless it was considering context? Obviously, it was considering context.

Maybe you all knew that, but I'm glad I now have proof.

I think that's great, and I'm glad I have Google to do that for me.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Google keeps getting smarter and smarter
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 09 Sep 13 - 10:20 AM

Jim D -

As mentioned, Google hits are based on popularity of the sites it has indexed. If lots of people have searched for "the main thing" and fewer people have searched for "the main think" it's trivial for Google to assume that you made a typing error and you're one of the lemmings who wants to go to the beach with the rest of them.

In most cases, they're probably right, since few people can type with any accuracy at all; but there's little real cleverness in this method.

An "associated technique" (that may have originated with Amazon(?)) is the occasional "hint" that "others who searched for xxx also searched for yyy;" but if you follow any of those links you usually find they're mostly "Google advertisers."

If you happen to be the first one, or one of the first few, to search for something, the probability of getting a useful hit from Google is near zero (and declining). (IMO)

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Google keeps getting smarter and smarter
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Sep 13 - 08:25 PM

John: Perhaps I wasn't clear. I am not talking AT ALL in this thread about using the Google search function. I am talking about using Google Chrome as a browser and then typing stuff into a text box, such as I am doing right this second--typing text that will be posted to Mudcat. This is exactly the same thing that everybody does when they post messages to Mudcat, except that they might be using other browsers. It is within this text box--the one that has a "Submit Message" below it--that I am seeing typos being flagged with red or green underline.

I realize some of the same technology that is used to detect and correct typing errors when I type a search argument at Google.com might also be used to detect and correct typing errors when I type text to be posted at Mudcat.org--but before you tell me "there's nothing remarkable about that" please tell me: DOES ANY OTHER BROWSER DO THAT?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Google keeps getting smarter and smarter
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 09 Sep 13 - 10:16 PM

Jim -

Sorry if I misunderstood what you were talking about. With the Google toolbar in IE that function was available several versions back, but wasn't particularly helpful so I turned it off "back then" and haven't looked for it again since. Can't say if it's in later versions of the tools other than on Chrome.

For a look at even newer Google cleverness - more applicable to your subject(?) - you might want to take a look at:

Security experts question if Google's Chrome Apps is worth the risk

By Antone Gonsalves | CSO | 09 September 13

Google's launch of Chrome Apps, a new breed of browser-based software that will run on top of any operating system, has left skeptical security experts wondering whether Google is creating a needless opening for cybercriminals.

Launched late last week, Chrome Apps is Google's latest step toward embedding its many services in the operating systems of rivals Microsoft and Apple. The goal is make apps running on Google's platform appear to run natively on either Windows or Mac OS X, respectively.

...

While the goal makes good business sense, security experts worry that Google is creating a layer of complexity that will introduce a new set of vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit. Much of the concern is based on the huge security headache caused by other cross-platform technologies for running applications, such as Adobe Flash and Java, which was developed by Sun Microsystems. Sun was acquired by Oracle in 2009.

"Sun pioneered the write once, infect everywhere model that Oracle has perpetuated," said Randy Abrams, research director for security adviser NSS Labs.

Because Google gathers enormous amounts of user data, Chrome Apps are unlikely to be welcomed by companies, Abrams said. "There are serious concerns as to privacy and data leakage when it comes to Google," he said. "Chrome Apps will be a huge concern for enterprises trying to protect intellectual property and other sensitive data, as well as a new security headache."

...


Also perhaps of interest:

Internet Explorer 10 blocks more malware than Chrome or Firefox, test finds

After testing the latest version of each of the five browsers against 754 malware-infected URLs over 28 days, IE10 (running on Windows 8) achieved a raw block rate of 99.9 percent, ahead of Chrome's 83.1 percent, Firefox's 10 percent, Safari's 9.9 percent and Opera's 1.8 percent.

John


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