tv C-SPAN2 Weekend CSPAN February 25, 2012 6:00am-7:00am EST
you might have clicked on the second page of results be commended in the same search in another search engine. all of these are very healthy techniques. another reason i wrote the book as i want people to learn how to use google in a better way. i use google every day, dozens of times a day. i use google to find a way to the store. i am not in anyway going to advocate that we not use google, but i'm going to advocate the use google and a wiser way, not just a smarter way, a wise way. i want us to understand that google has biases and limitations in its algorithms and google is a company, a publicly traded company that best satisfy the desires of shareholders to enhance values and that's it job and it's been so good at that, so wealthy that it can afford to be good and so it has for the most part and even when it's bad that thinks it's been good which is part of the problem. but with all that, we could be
better. the real problem is we are so addicted to the speed and convenience of that lovely set of results that come from a set of 10, and value attached to each and we trust it. we trusted so much that almost nobody clicks past result number three in the first page of results, let alone the second page. that's absurd. in fact, next time you do a google search, click on the second page. you never know, right? hussein said after study show that people do not even question the judgment that google makes. people do not question the judgment to the point of clicking on results four, five or six. this one, two or three. if people click on to it soon becomes number one. so with all that, it is incumbent upon us to mix it up a little and bring a little bit of
diversity and tour information ecosystem and make sure what we want google to keep getting better in-service so well, in a way that all we really care that is this list of our desires. and that is not that bad of a place considering the value in spite of our lives. but let's do it in a more intelligent and wiser way and understand what the real risk and costs are and that we actually have the power to manipulate with google learns about us and how it follows says. he takes about seven clicks. most people don't want to make the seven clicks. we don't want to do it on facebook when it's clear we should be. on google you can customize the information you give google to a large degree. that's another important thing we need to learn about google. if you customize the way google tracks you can limit the amount of information and kinds they follow about you, you degrade the service google gives you an estimate of obvious trade-off once you click on those things. you start seeing google no
longer helps you shop is so but it might help you learn a little batter is as google becomes better for shopping numbers for learning, databases are really important question for us as citizens. i happen to think there's more to life and shopping. but not today, please shot. shop shy here and a lot. after you get out of get out of. i'm off to shop so much. when you think about the extent to which we depend on this medium of the world wide web to learn about the world, maybe we need to imagine differences. maybe we need to invest more in systems like public libraries and university libraries and their outrageous to other communities. maybe we have to imagine we could build a system that i take the ears to build a system that can equalize the maldistribution of information across the world to the point where and i don't think this is impossible, that a child growing up in south africa
has no disadvantage compared to a child in sweden when it comes to access to information. we have the tools to make it happen right now. we might have the political will to make it happen right now. we haven't even tested it. the reason is that google has been too good to us. we have been doing on believing the cotton candy is real food. google keeps feeding us great services that simulate this equality of information, democratization of information and google of course is sincere that he would like the number of web users to increase exponentially and i would love as much as i would love for every 12 wrote growing up in south africa to have access to amazing information and is pouring money into such projects and that's beautiful, but we should not rely on this tokyo company to guide that effort because over time there will be her choice is to make in terms of policy, hard choices in terms of technology, hard choices to make in terms of this. so i think that if it to start
asking questions about whether we want google to handle all of our shopping and all for learning needs. and if we don't and if we recognize google in 20 years is almost certain to be very different company, maybe even known at that time that somebody completely different like the reincarnated head of rupert murdoch. who knows what will happen down the line. but at that point, google won't be the google recruiter please. the mature google of different pressures. who will note the world wide web is in 20 years. we didn't know 20 years ago. and as we move more of our information seeking habits and shopping seeking habits to lock down close devices that aren't really on the web, but connected to digital networks on the lattice. the less money google will make in the long term unless he can keep expanding market. this is an interesting battle going on that we should pay attention to.
google wants people to be comfortable with the web is a certain beginning and is doing everything it can to keep the unit open and free because that is good for google, not just because it is just happens to be good for us, but over time not everything good for google will be good for us don't have to be prepared for that diverges. at those moments we have alas, i did ames really want to preserve and extend and build that google should not do for us or could not do for us. under those conditions, we might want to decide to take some of the root. crazy as it may seem, the route we might want to take is the old-fashioned public library. we might want to invest more in its presence and power and expansion because that reasonable good old-fashioned republican with a smaller institution and is there to help us as citizens and information seekers as learners and students and teachers. we take it for granted because it worked so well that we make
this sort of false conclusion that google sends information to us so efficiently that we need the public library that is, in fact americans these days is the public library with another. americans these days are visiting libraries in record numbers. the americans who have a new visiting library with record numbers don't subscribe to broadband access at home. in fact, they can't actually write a check from comcast broadband and that's what we have to remember because our goal as citizens should be for maximum empowerment of all citizens. our goal is consumer should be to get the best prices. again, that is such a different way of being in the world i think it's time we take both will seriously instead of just one. tonight very much and i thought to answer questions. [applause] >> i'm blown away off my feet what a pro-google presentation
assays. and the only way we should worry that google isn't doing his could not. i'm concerned about the search traces that google collects about individuals. what if i want to learn about something batter in afraid to or about the threat i read about or if that person or gambling and google and surely know about the incident a few years ago where a well published supposedly anonymous and some woman from connecticut was kitten right down their social security number and the wikileaks in the politics of the middle east as far as in tunisia. ..
to keep federal investigators away from expeditions and their data. unfortunately for us and google our laws are on the side of the government said that's the problem for the government and not for google and this is an important part. we become dependent on companies beating well. we become dependent demanding the company's we use in our lives treat us well and responsible that we forget sometimes it's not up to them. the fact is our leaders wrote some bad laws that not only give investigators way too much power
that had no real oversight and accountability and that didn't have a long ago and doesn't seem to be changing for the better in recent months either. but on top of that, google isn't the only private company in the chain. comcast and at&t and verizon and time warner are all a part of the surveillance system and keep the date on what we do as well. if you work for a university the keep logs of much of what you do as well and sometimes the purge will all but sometimes they don't. right now the government is on a big effort to get internet service providers to seize purging the law and they want to have a record the ortiz for investigation and data mining and so the companies don't actually want to be part of that, they don't want the
responsibility toward the expense so it's not like the defending our interest they are defending their own interest to just evans most of them do want to protect us if the camp. the rather be on our side than the government not out of love. it's actually out of concern for having too much hassle nonetheless we are losing in those companies. so you're absolutely right to be concerned that affect any of us can get snagged in some sort of expedition. it's too easy to come up with what are called false positives in the data and analysis and we've already seen the case of innocent people dragged into that situation to extricate themselves from because they have the wrong data points in the system. that is a much bigger problem. i'm not ready to write that book. i'm angry enough but i'm not qualified enough to write that book. now, i'm not antigoogle but why am against is our own faith
based increase of google and that's why i think there will be times and privacy is one of these areas there are times when we might want to and i do want to invoke the power of the state to restrict the information that companies can hold about us and the manner in which they hold. that's important and it's going to be more important every day. that's an argument we need to have it has to occur at a better level than trust us we've never done you wrong. that's where i'm coming down. we need to be more responsible engaged citizens and users and we do want to use the power that people have which at times involves the state to take care of our interest. and google scholar was a neat idea that came out of this
policy that google has where the let employees then one day a week, 20% working on projects that don't serve the bottom line that are not about their prime project and a couple of folks decided there's all this literature that's really helpful and might be really valuable to people outside the environment. i get access to this amazing information to the scholarly journals by working for the university but if you don't work for the university or go to the university you are out of luck. a standard doesn't bring this up. the invented google scholar and got permission from the publishers to come through and let them index their information to present these articles. if you have used it to know you are not in the university environment you have to pay ultimately for the article that you find but at least you can find the article. so that's great and that is super up to a point. but again it's how you do it.
how the do the search system for one thing. because there by its built into that search engine to read one thing that the articles is they don't wink to each other. if i write a scholarly article, as i have and my friend jonathan here whose mother professor but it's a scholarly article if they are not the same subject if we set each other in the footnotes there is no electronic link, no hyperlink light on the web and that is the magic thing they follow so what is it that makes them rank one result over another? nobody knows and i used enough to know that it's not dependable. you lose a lot of stuff and miss a lot of stuff and if you do the same search a week later you get different results. the instability is maddening as someone who needs to pay attention to where articles are. if you do in exact title search for author you generally find when you want, but if you are just grazing around a subject area its mad.
better than nothing but poorly designed. it doesn't make google any money they are not likely to make it better. i tell my students especially graduate students starting with google scholar is fine but don't stop there. there will be a lot of articles that they do not show you and the only way to do that is to walk through the index available in the library. but again you have to be affiliated at the university to get that level of access and that is a shame. that should be on the agenda of likely human knowledge project, this plan to give everyone decent access. yes, sir. >> i want to make a comment about getting access to the browsing habits and whatever. i thought at this point i'm not really sure but i thought from my friend that the federal government has a subpoena
control or request. i thought i was a pretty standard situation at this point. >> what happens right now [inaudible] the requires no oversight. that's an fbi agent saying i want to do this and not having the power to compel someone like a bookstore to hand over records of what people have purchased, but it also has it a built in so that the subject of the security letter is not allowed -- the firm that is handed the letter isn't allowed to tell the subject of the investigation of its existence so you don't get to defend yourself. >> that's part of the patriot act? >> yes and no. the national security letter sar but there are other elements of their investigative power that come from their earlier law in the clinton year and basically
what we have now is a system in which if you are a really bad person doing really bad things you don't have to worry that this powerful investigative power because he will use strong encryption in a really smart way because it doesn't take that much investment so the bad people in the world are totally escapes in the surveillance. it's just a dumb people and you've read about them, they got arrested for being dumb coming up plans the were never going to work because they were too dumb to use in corruption and used e-mails that forged their plans and they get busted and everybody cheers but we have a situation that people want to do bad things are basically outside of the power of law so the fbi has to show it's doing something in up snagging people who are not that dangerous. >> i was thinking more of the browsing a pattern where people would go and information.
it's not a question of sending the problem intercepting the messages and reading them, that kind of thing you're talking about with encryption but as far as you know, tracking patterns of anyone which are maintained in a small so where are the people going to go with their browsers, what you're doing, not necessarily in addition to the information coming back to them, but it's a question of the motion and how were on the net. they are also concerned about that like a person wants to say in afghanistan or something it's very important for the cia to know that. >> they could get into the server and say i think what's happening right now with some of the isp like at&t and comcast
they are fighting i think the government accessing those for the web service themselves and that's a very contemporary issue. >> all of this goes above and beyond the service which is what i concern myself with. i think there is a much larger challenge in enhancing security and jobs and i don't think we are serving either of those will in the current system but again that's another but i haven't written and it's probably not the subject i should be addressing right out here on c-span. yes? >> you talk about google being a young company can you talk about its life span in human terms which doesn't seem terribly accurate. a restaurant is 12-years-old is a very old and much for one and given your comment about how fast things change, i know it
just seems disingenuous to me to compare it to an adolescent because a 12-year-old human being is an adolescent so lives wondering if you would comment in company terms where does it go and again is the length of its life even a relevant issue? >> you are right. in internet company years it is actually quite old and established that that speaks to my point i think in a stronger way than my cute way of expressing earlier and by that i mean because internet time is so compressed 12 years is a time that demonstrates its power and success to read it speaks well to its ability to thrive and he could look at it as balancing and quarterly reports as well. the environment shifts so quickly into the nature of the
value chips quickly and internet company years or so compressed that for that reason we can't expect it at 20 to resemble what is at 12th. general motors has been around 75 years and that's impressive but it's not what it was as a that's a long company but it's in an industry that builds things that last and what of the government and make sure it had subsidies not just lately. that is a game to lead to different game so that industry has a different time compression factor than the internet industry. while you are right i wanted to really compare it to the older institutions with deep roots that are ultimately i think the proper information system. libraries and universities and not just limited but the sense of the collective culture, this
notion devotee we should have a diversity of interests and we should respect the gather wisdom of these institutions and the people who work there and not just be dazzled. that was my point. yes, sir. >> i am curious what you see as the biggest danger or threat it poses in a particular environment. >> it's cheap or free in universities right now are under such pressure to do with the can for almost nothing so most universities i know of are now considering the haven't already shifting their e-mail hosting to google letting google host their e-mails and with students if not staff and faculty and what's going on with that is basically google gets customers for life a student graduates and wants to keep that e-mail consistent because he or she already has a lot of job search information on that for instance that person is going to remain a google
customer so it is a nice trick for them. but nothing really sleazy about it. the danger of course is that universities are supposed to keep the highest level of privacy respect for their students and that's compromise wants to shift important information to a third party. and i'm not convinced that in that instance and instances where professors are being urged to use google documents service in class's and as a part of the courseware. in those cases i'm not convinced universities are looking out for the rest interest. fearing for the chief and the ec and not necessarily building a proper safeguard for the negotiation because there is almost no reason to negotiate for someone that's giving you something for free but that is in the real world someone is trying to give you something for free on the street he should be aware and negotiating because that is until it is working in the university's right now.
>> any record of the students' grades like a paper that's been greeted or comments about the performance or recommendation letters i happen to write for a student are not supposed to be distributed beyond the authorized recipient. if i write a recommendation letter in which i will often say how the student perform to my class only the riss of the end of that with the student's permission is allowed to read and the student has to waive the right to read it him or herself legally according to the wall and any great report can only be shared with the student i can't even tell parents that the grades are which drives them crazy but that's important because you never really know who you were dealing with on the other side of the phone. so respected that sort of relationship and treating students as adults is an important part of the culture of our institution and federal law. and i am afraid we are letting it slip in different ways when we invite facebook into the classroom and youtube, we are encouraged to do increasingly, we run a lot of risks and i
don't think that we've got the ball through. islamic you don't really want to touch on the idea like as the resurgence of how the fbi gets the reformation is kind of weak, but other than just using the library and other sources, how can we manipulate using the information they get without just stopping using it? to meet you can go to the privacy settings and come up with a privacy let level but when you do that you limit the functionality of a lot of it services. the other thing is to just know if you are aware everything you tied into the google search box is used in some way either by associating it with you in some we were collectively as a part of your community you might actually be a little careful about how to construct a search. you might want to turn off the ability for google to follow you for certain searches and turn it back on when you are doing innocent searches or might not be misconstrued. there are destined clever ways
to use google, the tools to give but the problem is the defaults are set and always set for the maximum vacuum information rate puissance google wants you to be all pretty comfortable and not suspicious and therefore willing to give it everything to be used in every way and shared as widely as possible the default is always maximum. it's up to us on fortunately to train ourselves to be wary come to be careful, to worry and then take action. i think this is the wrong way to have a system and i wish that were law would actually get so that the companies have to convince us to turn on the spigot the companies have to say by the way if you let us collect following information we will give you a better service and this is what it will be. that's an honest transaction but to have the default on maximum and help us have to guess what we should set it to, that's actually not three honest small
company that claims to be responsible to be with us a think it's dishonest. yes? >> helm google response to and reacts to its competitors. facebook is an interesting mumbai brackett the publishing company, and so how it interacts with apple and amazon in particular interests me. last week or two weeks ago apple comes out and announces the will have magazines and charge publishers 30% and then they see we will do the same for 10%. how are the kind of responding to the marketplace? >> google has so many competitors. think about the fact they now have a mobile phone company so nokia is a competitor and so is apple, and so is blackberry so that's one market in much it has an intense competition. in the area of publishing what google is involved and build a bookstore but it's also trying to offer sales and access to electronic versions using the
system, and there's deals they negotiate with vendors and publishers are forming -- thorny. i'm not upset the university libraries are suckers and went to this corporate welfare deal without getting enough out of it if google months to do this and pretty cool things that make money from at what they are doing in the periodicals and with books is undermining the position that amazon has been for a number of years. amazon is the problem in the publishing industry. and believe me if i thought i could sell even one book i would write about amazon that they would make sure that i would never sell book. amazon just wants to sell.
that's actually part of the problem. they're good and efficient and by driving down the price considering every book to be a commodity rather than a discreet cultural item they do great harm to people that write books for a living and sell and publish books for a living. at the same time, people who read it's a great deal so that is the trade-off. it just so happens that we subsidize. we have huge government subsidies because if you buy my book in this store who have to apply to the copay sales tax and if you buy on amazon you don't have to pay sales tax. i didn't say that. we have government policies that make amazon richard and challenge stores like this and that's a shame and shouldn't happen because the case. amazon has had a heavy hand in all its negotiations with publishers. in dictating the terms of percentage the publishers get, the royalties authors get in some cases and it's been trying to force down the price of
electronic books to the commodity level of $9.99. it doesn't respect the fact publishing isn't that simple. every book isn't going to yield a return if it is priced $9.99 and if they get used to that and consider a free booklet there is 100 pages or four injured pages to be worth $9.99, then you are going to have a tough time selling books we know can't sell more than 502,000 copies. i'm talking of scholarly books mostly. we know they might feel or are likely and we saw a few thousand and the publisher but would sell 50,000. for books like that it's important to come up with a price plan that covers the money in the production process. but amazon wants to disrupt the system and treat all books like a commodity. what's happened with the competitors like google and now apple giving its bookstore and barnes and noble contributing electronic books and interesting ways as well and that gets lost
in the big newspaper coverage of the industry. you have now more players able to work and more competitive ways so publishers now have the ability of a rarely happens to say no to the amazon and that wasn't the case before that seven or eight months ago were a year ago. to say no to amazon in the book distribution because the google is involved because it is sent out to cash in a big way in the sale of books. that's the end of the major side project for google but always a side project and so the role in the publishing industry and with newspapers and magazines over time i think will be beneficial at least that's what looks today to all of those industries and i'm happy to see them deal in a
less coercive way. it to see them feel any less coercive way with the publishers because if i were just amazon, we would all be in trouble. >> i was interested when you were talking about everyone going to google and i noticed certainly with microsoft in the two areas slowly they are incrementally in encroaching on the control and i was wondering if people are becoming more aware were celebrating their searches so google doesn't have the whole industry and the battle you mentioned about higher education but it's a battleground in the call with windows and google 4012 information starting when they are little if you could comment on that. >> in terms of competition, in the united states, google has for the last couple of years have 70% of the search activity and that number hasn't changed
even as bing has gone up because most of the new users bing is bringing in as taken from yahoo! which is actually a partner in bing so it is a zero sum. it is taking some of the searches away from google ... but it's also growing not so much in the u.s. that tremendously across the world so for instance in western europe google is more than 90% of the searches in most western european countries to fit in places like the netherlands and portugal it's more than 96% and i don't know why. i don't know why it's more popular in europe even though it's held under greater suspicion there. we loved google in this country but we don't use it as much as the people that you're in europe. that's weird but that's happening. there's tremendous growth in africa and the arab nations and india where google has managed to come out with multiple language search engines for the
various 14 to 15 languages and india. it's come out with most of those. i lose count how many of them. no indian company had the audacity or the money to sink into that complicated linguistic challenge. google did it so there are a number of home grown search engines that have since failed because google can now not only to do through the language search or hindu but can take you through a really effective surge in the language of commerce which is english so the growth has been tremendous. the two places that google hasn't been able to grow is russia in the people's republic of china and it's not so strong in japan or south korea for different reasons. in south korea the government helped investor early on in a search engine that specialized in the search to get every language is a different challenge because the syntax is
different in every language so doing these relations among the words and terms is a complicated thing and google does well in english despite having one of its founders born in russia it's not that good in acrylic apparently and within russia there is a strong sense of nationalism so the homegrown search engines and russia are much more powerful and popular than google even though there's little web censorship. in the china of course you have the explicit web censorship and a huge relationship between google and people's republic of china and a number of search engines sponsored by or at least allowed to thrive by the government and there's other reasons the search engines do better in a china van google does and google is doing worse. that said, in the united states and think that google is more concerned about facebook than it is about bing. bing is out shopping. nobody goes to bing to research climate change. you go to google to research
climate change and that isn't always great but you go to bing to book an airline ticket. as it says in the commercials it's a decision engine. you will never see use bing to find out about dinosaurs. it's not going to happen. they are not interested in driving you that way because it's harder to make money that way, with dinosaur planks. but, for that reason, google is adjusting to what bing is doing by becoming better for shopping but more importantly, google must to keep you happy with the open web steel spend less time on facebook because that is a competitor. they are afraid facebook will manage to leverage all that information we get about the things we love and people we love and turn that into an efficient advertising machine. as of four facebook hasn't mastered it which is why our pages or filled with ads that are not appropriate to us much of the time that everyone is pretty concerned and confident
but it is a combination of those things. even though if we can't back up with documentation we really don't have much. >> at a certain point in the process you mentioned you hand off information to the campaign and advertising people. do they come back to you? do you have the right to sign off on the end product or are there occasions when you feel something you might have found is exaggerated or blown out of proportion with advertising you see on the air? >> it varies. when we turn the report, they are done with and we move on. sometimes they will