Thursday, January 8, 2009

Three Google Complaints

1. Google has gotten a lot more annoying helpful about offering search results from other grammatical forms of search terms. So if you're searching for, say, coffee pudding creamy, you'll have to pick through lots of search results with cream rather than creamy. The counterintuitive-to-anyone-but-a-total-geek solution: put quotes around single words where you figure Google may be inclined to be annoying helpful. E.g. coffee pudding "creamy".

Even more intrusive...I own Livewire ear buds (manna for musicians struggling to hear each other onstage), and searching for livewire yielded just as many results containing live wire as livewire. Putting quotes around "livewire" fixed it.

2. A few days ago I achieved a web searching miracle and ferreted out the English language web site of a Budapest tailor who can darn holes in wool. That may sound prosaic to you, but darning is a "lost art" in America. About a half dozen ancient ladies (they're all women) nationwide still remember how to reweave sweater holes and such, and they charge up the wazoo and boast impossibly long waiting lists. I figured there might be more such holdout craftsmen in Budapest - where I'm headed next week to try to score music gigs - and, unsurprisingly, Hungarian seamstresses tend not to have slick Web presences. If they do have web sites, they wouldn't imaginably include English translations. But: I found one! And now I can't find it again, because, like the 850,000 or so disappeared search results for "Bag of Hurt", it's been purged from Google's corpus.

Bag of Hurt has dropped further, to 145,000.

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