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Mozilla's Mycroft Project is an excellent community resource of custom search engines you can add to your browser. +Brian Croxall provides a great write-up.

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Interesting look at DuckDuckGo, a small search engine that doesn't track you or store your search data.

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Awesome video about the structure of the web and how we're using it and it's using us to become a smarter machine. Six years old, which in internet years is ANCIENT, but it holds up very nicely.
I still love this video and it's hard to believe it is 6 years old. Still relevant! Thanks to Kim Wilkens  for sharing this video in WomenLearningTech.

The Machine is Us/ing Us (Final Version)!

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An interesting piece on how Google's search algorithm relies on our own intelligence. It also contains one seriously useful search tip: eliminate all words that have high frequency of occurrence and only search for those words that would appear on the pages you're looking for.

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Interested in how the National Security Agency trains its agents to do their spy work online? Their manual, Untangling the Web: A Guide to Internet Research, was just made available through a Freedom of Information Act request. Very interesting stuff!

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Some awesome time-saving tips in this TED Talk. What are your favorites?

Just saw post from John Graves about the course. It tells quite a story! Very cool experience all around. 

Ok- so I have been far behind in viewing and reading ( If I don’t have a clear deadline or time to accomplish something it never gets to the “front of the line”).
That being said, I am thoroughly enjoying this course. The latest videos and readings ( Module 3) have been enlightening, and the readings truly eye opening.  Specifically, "The Answer Factory: Demand Media and the Fast, Disposable, and Profitable as Hell Media Model"  gave me a real understanding of the motivations and the methods of the different information “services”.  I will surely be looking at the videos and the advice given on sites such as  EHOW.COM  with a different set of lenses.

The notion that one can’t count on some of the information gathered on the web was always understood. But the thought that even info which is purported  to be factual or informational  may very well be written by someone who has not spent any real time in investigation, was not something that crossed my mind before.

This quote concerning Demand Media’s focus on getting as much information out as quickly as possible, with very little concern of quality was disturbing, to say the least.  “The second algorithm also looks at how well past titles with similar words have performed in terms of ad revenue. Demand has learned, for instance, that “best” and “how to” bring in traffic or high click through rates, while “history of” is ad poison. At the end of the process, the company has a topic and a dollar amount — the term’s “lifetime value,” or LTV — that Demand expects to generate from any resulting content. The focus on LTV keeps Demand away from any kind of breaking news coverage or investigative work, neither of which tends to hold its value.”
 
One other quote  from the article “Rethinking Privacy in an Era of Big Data” that struck a note with me was:   “Defaults around how we interact have changed,”. “A conversation in the hallway is private by default, public by effort. Online, our interactions become public by default, private by effort.” 
 
I am eager to try out web searches such as  DuckDuckGo and Instagrok.
 
 

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