Google Rules

It isn’t just bloggers who rely heavily on the Google search engine, it seems. Ian Firns, the Perth-based Newcastle University contract lecturer who uncovered the fact that 30% of his Malaysian students had plagiarised large slabs of their assignments by copying and pasting from Internet sources, made his discovery by using Google to search for distinctive (and suspiciously well-expressed) phrases used in essays by NESB students whose English language standards were otherwise much lower. Of course, it didn’t do any good, because his employing institution appears to have been more concerned with preserving the full fee-paying foreign student cash cow than maintaining any semblance of academic standards.

(via Pineappletown) Elsewhere, it’s been revealed that the International Atomic Energy Agency used Google to discover that the documents purporting to show that Iraq was trying to obtain uranium from Niger were fake:

“Within two hours they figured out they were forgeries,” one IAEA official told NEWSWEEK. How did they do it? “Google,” said the official. The IAEA ran the name of the Niger foreign minister through the Internet search engine and discovered that he was not in office at the time the document was signed.

It made me think back to the bad old pre-Google days of trying to perform Internet searches using Alta Vista, or one of the even more primitive search engines that preceded it. We tend to take Google for granted nowadays, I think, forgetting what a marvellously powerful, accurate and user-friendly tool it really is. I feel hopelessly handicapped if I’m forced to use a PC without the Google Tool Bar sitting at the top of the screen ready to find any resource I want at a moment’s notice, and seldom any need to construct laborious Boolean search parameters.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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James Russell
2022 years ago

Agreed entirely. This is why I don’t like the computers at TAFE; none of them have Opera on them, so to use Google requires actually visiting the site itself, as opposed to just typing shit into the “search with Google here” box. (The box gives the option of searching with Altavista too, but why would you?)

Alan
Alan
2022 years ago

Ah, but if you were using Safari you’d find Google built into the browser so that control-clicking selected text calls up a Google search automatically. runs and hides in the certain knowledge that blogflames over Iraq are as nothing beside blogflames over operating systems

cs
cs
2022 years ago

It is indeed a most extraordinary facility … a wonder of the (post)modern world, which I’ve always had as my screen-saver home page thingo. The interesting thing is it seems there is still some fair dinkum competition going on in the business, which may take it further. I recall recently hearing of a substantial investment going into Yahoo to take on Google. Where will it end?

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

I was much relieved this am to hear the always on-to-it Jenny Macklin identify Brendan Nelson as the person responsible for the Malaysian plaigiarism scam. Issue solved in one. Wonder if she uses Google?

Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
2022 years ago

Actually I think Wisenut is a tad better.

dj
dj
2022 years ago

Google is good, but it does have shortcomings. Have a look at this site if you’re interested –

http://www.google-watch.org

Yahoo owns a number of search engines.

Yobbo
Yobbo
2022 years ago

Google Toolbar is great. I ended up uninstalling the Opera browser because it crashed my system all the time. I missed being able to search google from any page (it’s built into to Opera. Yay for google toolbar. Another nice side effect is that I get to check on my “pagerank” every day, which is almost as exhilarating as checking my hit counter.

Stewart Kelly
Stewart Kelly
2022 years ago

Yahoo is much improved lately. Much more relevant search results.

dj
dj
2022 years ago

If you’re paranoid, i wouldn’t be using Google Toolbar :)

James Russell
2022 years ago

a substantial investment going into Yahoo to take on Google

I don’t get this. Isn’t Yahoo’s search function already powered by Google?