Josiah Cole

The official blog for Josiah Cole.

SPAM in Mahalo Possible?

Mahalo Penetrated by SPAM
I was browsing Mahalo on this sunny afternoon in an attempt to find information on credit cards (curiously I found nothing) and found what looks to be the first reported SPAM in Mahalo.

On the Jesus in Food page, constructed by Mahalo veteran Jonathan I found the following link: Put your face on a grilled cheese WARNING: Pop-Ups

The subsequent website you are taken to when clicking the Golden Palace link has no content relating to Jesus in Food nor does it spawn pop ups in FF or IE6 (as Mahalo warned me it would).

What’s the deal? I thought the Mahalo approach was SPAM proof? Did Golden Palace put up content and then pull the ol’ bait and switch with the editors at Mahalo?

I registered with the site and reported it in the Message Board.

Mahalo Search Bar

I was just visiting the Mahalo site, specifically the How To Add Mahalo To Your Search Bar page and received an error when I tried to install the search bar functionality to my copy of Firefox.

Here’s a screenshot:

Mahalo Search Bar Error

Skype Outage Highlights Mahalo’s Faults?

No offense Allen but you’re just plain wrong here. Yes Mahalo doesn’t pick up “new” news as quickly as automated bots, again just like Alexa as long as you understand how the data is collected this shouldn’t be a surprise.

The important question here is; Will the Skype outage of Thursday August 16th 2007 really go down as a “newsworthy” topic? One that would warrant a complete page on Mahalo?

The answer is No, of course not, the story barely belongs in Google’s index as I’m sure it’s already been resolved and 99.99998% of the population didn’t even notice.

As far as Mahalo using social news site to promote original articles I don’t really take issue with that, Jason will just need to be careful not to focus too much on that sort of social baiting. As you can see from Digg, most social communities tend to boil down the the least common denominator as the audience exands.

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Skype’s Outage Another Example of Why Current Mahalo is Doomed

MahaloAs nearly everyone online knows by now, Skype is out of commission. It’s down for the count. I was one of the first people to post about the Skype outage this morning, and since then, hundreds of others have as well. It’s a hot topic on Google Hot Trends (#45), and I am seeing 500 people an hour from my first page Google result.

But where is the Mahalo page? The Mahalo Skype page has 3 headlines of which 2 are semi-outage related. Otherwise, searching for “Skype down” or “Skype outage” provides no result. Yet Google has indexed my page from 6AM and already shows it as one of the top pages.

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Google Removing torrent Results, Open Source Search Engine Anyone?

TorrentFreak has the story on Google censoring torrent search results. It’s nothing new, as Google has been removing results for years on the requsts of various media companies like the RIAA/MPAA etc.

Which brings me to my call for an open source, offshore (possibly) search engine that allows the community to determine what gets censored.

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Google Filters Torrents From Search Results

Google has been filtering its search results for years. That’s proven very useful for the Chinese government, and of course content owner representatives like the MPAA and RIAA. According to Google, the filtering of torrents from the search results is a response to the DMCA complaints they receive.

So, apparently one day Google decided that it is illegal in nearly every country of the world to host a .torrent file that (allegedly) links to infringing material. Strange, because there is no legal precedent for this decision in most countries.

Google Filters BitTorrent Sites

The owner of SumoTorrent told TorrentFreak that he discovered that A search on Google for sumotorrent now triggers the following message at the bottom of the results page:

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Somebody Call The Waambulance, Google Isn’t Perfect

Everyone is up in arms lately about Google’s TOS and search robot lockout. People point to the hypocrisy of the situation citing that Google relies on ‘openness” from other web properties for it’s news service.

Everyone in the blogosphere needs to get over it, and realize that Google is a typical competitive corporate establishment that doesn’t always “do the right thing” and will aggressively look to protect and grow their business model.

Why do you think they are crusading against paid links? ( Ad Words anyone)

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TechMeme founder Gabe Rivera makes an interesting observation on the Google News story all over the blogosphere today.

One thing that bugs me: they’re now hosting original news content, yet they prohibit other aggregators from crawling it (per robots.txt restrictions and TOS). Of course Google News relies on the openness of other organizations with original news content.

Google crawls news sites and grabs their content for republishing on Google News. They rely on the willingness of those news sites to get distribution on Google. But Google restricts others from crawling Google News itself via their robots.txt file and terms of use, which state that “you may not…use any robot, spider, other device or manual process to monitor or copy any content from the [Google News] Service.”

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