Thursday, March 1, 2007

Google News

I'm becoming so enthusiastic about Google services and offers that, sooner or later, people are likely to accuse me of being either a fool or a financially-interested admirer, or maybe both. I think I'm neither, and I'm prepared to climb up onto the rooftop and scream if ever I were to discover that Google is less than what I thought it to be.

If you've been hiding in the jungle for the last few years, and you don't already know Google News, click this image to see what it's all about:

To be perfectly honest, I myself only emerged from the jungle quite recently, because I used to be tuned in regularly to CNN International before discovering Google News, and I was continually blowing out my bodily safety valves whenever I felt offended by CNN reporting: that's to say, at least once a day.

What I like first and foremost about Google News is their delightfully ingenuous warning at the bottom of their main page:
The selection and placement of stories on this page
were determined automatically by a computer program.

This seems to say: "If you don't like what you see, please don't blame us. It's the computer's fault."

In fact, I like what I see, because Google News enables us to see almost everything, from excellent professional journalism down to the worst shitty comments from narrow-minded scribblers.

I really don't know if the Google approach to real-time universal news is ethically perfect, because I ignore the legal environment in which they succeed in borrowing stuff—as it were—from all the media organizations of the planet. I can imagine that such-and-such a scruffy news-sheet from a remote village in the media backwoods would be thrilled to find its stuff announced on Google News. But I don't know whether the big newsgroups react similarly. Maybe, one of these news, Google will let us know what's happening at that level. The news, the whole news, and nothing but the news.

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