A Flea in the Fur of the Beast

“Death, fire, and burglary make all men equals.” —Dickens

Tag: google

I Can See You, Google Search Edition

by evanmcmurry

At least one reader of this post got to our site by means of Googling for “Kill Grover Norquist.” Behave yourself, internet.

Adventures in the void

by evanmcmurry

Article’s tone is a little off, but nonetheless a seriously fascinating look at how Target gets better ad results by intentionally showing ads for things you don’t want, thereby creating the illusion of randomness, as opposed to, say, something tracking your searches:

“Once a marketing campaign reaches a threshold level of sophistication, it is impossible to distinguish between genuine mistakes in data collection and analysis from intentional mistakes designed to put the audience at ease.”

Freedom of Information, French Edition

by evanmcmurry

Nobody wins in this one: either Google (which remains, despite its freeform image, a corporation) gets to consolidate an information market to the point of monopoly, with obvious dystopian implications, or a company succeeds in monetizing information, effectively making it a crime to give away information for free. Boo-urns.


by evanmcmurry

“It appears to be a Google ad, meaning that the Romney campaign may have simply purchased ad space from Google linked to the keyword “Santorum” without considering the likelihood that Google would automatically place the ad on the vulgar site. On the other hand, it would be shocking if the Romney campaign weren’t aware of what pops up on Google when one enters that keyword.”