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back to article Murdoch calls for world+dog to 'expose' Google

Rupert Murdoch, the Mr Burns dotty uncle of media barondom chairman of media conglomerate News Limited, has darkly hinted that … Actually, it's pretty hard to work out what is on the mind of the Dear Leader, given that he seems to be operating his Twitter account himself, or at is dictating it stream-of-consciousness style to a …

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Anonymous Coward

Did someone mention senility?

Not me...

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Rupert IS the sysadmin...

and he does not know how to set robots.txt or delete tweets. So there.

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Alien

Re: Rupert IS the sysadmin...

He probably knows how to delete tweets, but the idea with "Oops! Better ignore last tweet" is that you should not ignore it and he never meant it, honest. He knows about the robots.txt too but he cannot afford to disappear from Google and he would like to have some more money.

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He wants the traffic from Google but he also wants Google to pay him to give him traffic

He's still trying to figure out how to have his cake and eat it too

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Google are invasive and a bit creepy, but given a choice between which camp to back it's them over Murdoch every time.

At least Google planted the intent of "don't" in their "be evil" unofficial corporate motto

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Anonymous Coward

At least Google planted the intent of "don't" in their "be evil" unofficial corporate motto

That's exactly my problem. On the one side, lies, complete BS, and an ignoring of any laws that get in the way of profit, on the other side, well, pretty much the same.

You'd almost root for Murdoch - at least he no longer pretends. But no, I'd be happy with both of them in jail. Maybe in the same cell, with a 24/7 camera, a sort of celebrity bad brother..

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...both of them in jail... 24/7 camera, ...celebrity bad brother...

>>I'd be happy with both of them in jail. Maybe in the same cell, with a 24/7 camera, a sort of celebrity bad brother..

I like it. Think of the advertising revenue opportunities.

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Your description fits Microsoft more than Google.

Not saying goggle hasn't made mistakes; but it really depends on which country you are in as to what is illegal.

Google doesn't have anything in France, so how Google can violate French laws is a bit confusing.

EU laws, on the other hand, maybe - but there are so many different venues it would be easy to violate one.

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Re: Your description fits Microsoft more than Google.

"Google doesn't have anything in France, so how Google can violate French laws is a bit confusing."

So why did I see a white citroen blazened with 'Google for pros' on it in the G colours whith a rather attractive woman driving while coming home tonight?

Google are very much present in France pushing their ad revenue stream...

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robots.txt???

Given Googles history of treating other people's IP content as an all you can eat buffet. Does this actually stop Google doing anything, or simply tell them to acquire what they want via other means less blatantly?

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Re: robots.txt???

Google respects robots.txt, which means that it does index links to pages disallowed by the robots.txt, but never attempts to read what is in those pages. This is as far as I understand what robots.txt is supposed to do.

What Murdoch and co would like is an intermediate settings between "rank this super low because I don't know what's inside" and "read everything on this page, and put everything on Google news, ensuring that people never bother to go read it".

The robots.txt protocol is indeed a bit coarse, but I understand that the propositions from Google to the EU included some sort of mechanism to give websites more control over what data Google can grab and display.

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Re: robots.txt???

Since The Times and The Sun are behind paywalls, who cares anyway?

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Re: robots.txt???

When someone tries to tell me how robots.txt works, I've found someone who has never used it.

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Re: robots.txt???

The robots.txt protocol is indeed a bit coarse, but I understand that the propositions from Google to the EU included some sort of mechanism to give websites more control over what data Google can grab and display.

Arguing that this is some form of legal protection is an inversion of the law in any case. You need permission to scrape content. You don't need to put "hands off" notices all over the place but in any case there are copyright notices and terms of use for all of his sites so they are arguably already there.

I don't know why I speaking up for Murdoch here but the law is clear - robots.txt has exactly zero legal clout.

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Re: robots.txt???

I assume you're a lawyer with extensive experience of internet-related copyright issues.

You'll easily be able to point out which law prevents publicly accessible web-pages from being scraped then?

What's that? No you're not and no you can't. That's a surprise.

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Re: robots.txt???

"Google respects robots.txt, which means that it does index links to pages disallowed by the robots.txt, but never attempts to read what is in those pages. This is as far as I understand what robots.txt is supposed to do."

Well not quite. You are nearly there though, don't be disheartened, it can take a while to learn how the Web* works (although annoyingly some people like me pick it up almost instantly!)

robots.txt is a file to help robots find their way around the Web. It basically tells them not to come into your website. If you have a sprawling website with lots of HTML Frames you will want to install a robots.txt file to keep out robots. If you don't do this your website can become full of lost robots and will slow down.

Some robots have started adding humans.txt files to their websites in retaliation, but as robots have no legal status in law you are free to disregard their claims. Not that it'll do you much good to view a robot website anyway given it'll be written in Machine Code! (which is impossible for humans to understand, although experts such as myself have ways...)

*Web is shorthand for World Wide Web

-(Bio) NomNomNom is a Visionary Software Tool. A Web Netizen for eight successful years, having graduated from school with a GCSE in IT. He is currently developing Software that will allow ideas to be embedded in URLs. Agile.

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Re: robots.txt???

And there I was thinking that robots.txt was just a Project Gutenberg e-text of a collection of short stories by Isaac Asimov.

Silly me.

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Re: robots.txt???

You'll easily be able to point out which law prevents publicly accessible web-pages from being scraped then?

You mean, like, I don't know, the Berne Convention? It's only been law for 100 years or so. The law does not change according to what you want it to say.

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Pint

'What exactly was Rupert thinking?'

'What exactly was Rupert drinking?' is probably the more pertinent question.

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Pirate

Re: 'What exactly was Rupert drinking?'

Whatever it was, it needs more hemlock. This, with crossbones --->

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Re: 'What exactly was Rupert thinking?'

Dark thoughts, as ever.

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Re: 'What exactly was Rupert drinking?'

Acetone?

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Anonymous Coward

Diversionary Tactics

What have *you* got to hide Rupert?

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Regardless of potential senility (I am not a doctor, and this is not a diagnosis) ...

... he's right. google is evil and should be shunned.

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Doesn't robots.txt request Google to display a message saying that a site hasn't been indexed, and then index it anyway?

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Yes, exactly. It has to index it so it isn't to be indexed :-/. The robot file is a bunch of bullshit. Anyone telling you it works has obviously never dealt with it.

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WTF?

"Anyone telling you it works has obviously never dealt with it."

So what you are telling us is that you've never dealt with a robots.txt file then.

A properly behaving robot will request the robots.txt before requesting anything else, it will then process the directives in the file. After that, assuming the robot isn't blocked, should proceed to default document while respecting any directives it was given by robots.txt. It should also never index the robots.txt file and discard anything it retrieved from it upon completing indexing of the website. The file is small and can easily change, so there is no reason to index it or even keep a copy of it around.

From my years as a web server admin, I know that all the major search engines actually do this.

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Unattended octagenarian

Sad old codger, Wend's gone and his nursemaid must've left the room. Probably dribbling as well as twitter tweeting.

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HMB

Android

It's because he's got an Android phone, clearly. He's gotten all into the fancy (and rather pretty) Ice Cream Sandwich user interface restyle, then been upset by the music app now being white and orange.

It's a move as popular as the one to drop decades old national road colour schemes and turn all roads in Google maps either white or a shade of orange. Yay!

Google - Making software we all love, then destroying it slowly with annoying updates.

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Anonymous Coward

there's a quote about motes and beams .. If only I could remember ,,,

..."Remember, everyone innocent until proven guilty, entitled to fair trial in most countries."

Sadly not applicable in any of the countries where he publishes ...

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Re: there's a quote about motes and beams .. If only I could remember ,,,

I was thinking the same thing, early 90's every week there would be a headline in the sun proclaiming someone to be a dangerous paedophile.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: there's a quote about motes and beams .. If only I could remember ,,,

Like in the UK right now. Every man is a pedophile until proven otherwise, and even then he might still be a pedophile.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: there's a quote about motes and beams .. If only I could remember ,,,

"Like in the UK right now. Every man is a pedophile until proven otherwise, and even then he might still be a pedophile."

What is that? Someone who likes bicycles?

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Have you forgotten

that in certain places 'liking' bicycles is a big no no and will get you on the register and in The Register

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Have you forgotten

'liking' bicycles is a big no no

LOL. Monday morning hasn't even finished yet and I can go wash my keyboard :)

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PJI
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Headmaster

Re: there's a quote about motes and beams .. If only I could remember ,,,

Close, someone who likes feet. Well, I hear that there are people with a foot fetish. At least the writer did not write, "peedofeel".

Another point in these posts: why have English media and "contributors" reverted to pre-Shakespearean "gotten" and "proven" (apart from in Scottish, archaic legal terminology)? I suspect that even grammatically, it is being used wrongly and indiscriminately. Do the yoof or meeja suddenly think it's cool?

I look forward to the (correct) use of "thee", "thy", "thine", "thou" and so on, along with archaic subjunctive forms. Next we can change spellings and reintroduce the old letters representing "th", the extra "s" that looks almost like an "f" and so on. Of course, we will be reverting to a language that even Elizabethans were starting to consider to be archaic or dialect, or to the deliberate separatism practised by some extreme religious groups, particularly those who emigrated to the new American colonies. I've just been reading a book by an 18th century seaman: there were none of these archaisms in his writing (and for that matter, his spelling was pretty much as in modern British English, with just a few "vallies" and so on).

Just read any English writing from even just a couple of years ago, probably just from last year and you will see no "gotten" except in take-offs of Southern USA speech, likewise that abomination, "gonna", that actually almost no one speaking non-USA English actually says even if they think they do. I suppose the users also go to the "bathroom" in a pub even when all they want to do is piss and, one hopes, wash their hands (heard someone talk about the bathroom when walking in the woods and excusing himself recently).

I know recent reports note the greatly reduced literacy of those under 24; but surely people in these forums pretend to be a little bit literate. Who says the effects of foreign films etc. are negligible?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: there's a quote about motes and beams .. If only I could remember ,,,

"Like in the UK right now. Every man is a pedophile until proven otherwise, and even then he might still be a pedophile."

And heaven help him if his name just happens to be Peter File!

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Re: Every man is a pedophile until proven otherwise

So sayeth the Pedo-Finder General!

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Headmaster

Re: there's a quote about motes and beams .. If only I could remember ,,,

'I look forward to the (correct) use of "thee", "thy", "thine", "thou" and so on, along with archaic subjunctive forms.'

I would include in this the correct use of the 'your' archaic form, just for completeness of course :-)

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Go

Bike likers

Alas, thou art Anonymous, and I may not forward thee an invitation to join the Society for the Re-introduction of the Diphthong (which now that the tyranny of ASCII recedeth, mayhap have a glimmer of success). Wikipædia, thy turn will come!

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Re: there's a quote about motes and beams .. If only I could remember ,,,

Bring back the yod! We need our Anglo-Saxon alphabet!

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Headmaster

Re: Bike likers

It's not the diphthong that ASCII threatens, it's the ligature; "ae" replaces "æ". To be fair, the death of the ligature is old news; even in the days of hot metal, many fonts, and many more compositors, didn't support ligatures. Strictly, neither "ae" or "æ" is a diphthong, which consists of consecutive vowels with distinct sounds (exhaustive information here).

The "ae" combination seems to have been on the way out for some time, anyway: "mediæval" is now mostly "medieval", even among a population as reactionary as medievalists, and I don't think "pedagogue" has been "pædagogue" in living memory.

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Pint

Re: there's a quote about motes and beams .. If only I could remember ,,,

"Like in the UK right now."

On second thought, let's not go there. 'Tis a silly place.

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Wait...what? Did the guy who owns the Sun tweet about people being innocent until proven guilty? ....I'll just leave this here http://www.theguardian.com/media/2011/jul/29/sun-daily-mirror-guilty-contempt

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Yet uses Google to his Advantage...

The Sun's pay wall "SUN+" detects if you're google via the User Agent and then gives you free access past their pay wall to allow Google to index their content.

This would actually be against Googles T&C's and they should be using the "First Click Free" system; if it were a smaller independent news site, they'd be penalised and thrown off Google's SERPs for such methods.

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Re: Yet uses Google to his Advantage...

Really? So I could go and check my website logs, determine the GoogleBot's user agent string, and then set up a browser to hop over The Sun's paywall? I'd do it for fun, only I'm damn sure I wouldn't find anything on the other side that makes it worth the effort.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yet uses Google to his Advantage...

Well, you'd find all the Page 3 girls behind the paywall... so I've heard.

(Yes it does seem like a lot of effort when Google Images can show you a lot more for free)

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Anonymous Coward

Ha ha ha ha haah hah haaa

"Big media trials in London in 2 weeks. Remember, everyone innocent until proven guilty, entitled to fair trial in most countries."

Ha ha h ahaaaaaa ha haaa....

For one minute, I thought the trial by media slime bag bag that the world would be better off without (I tend not to want people to die, but this I withold on this piece of low life shit) was serious...

Wait! What? He Is?

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Rol
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Re: Ha ha ha ha haah hah haaa

More like "One man and His Dog"

Sheep dog trials, where only the dog gets blamed for biting sheep while the owner responsible insists he whistled "cum bah" not "sic him"

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