Daily Archives: 23 February 2005

Google This

Google is getting slammed for a new “feature” it is
planning to add to their popular tool bar. The feature,
called AutoLink, would alter web pages by inserting its own
links onto the page (read an eWeek article here
for more details).

I don’t know about you, but this just creeps me out.
Perhaps it shouldn’t since it isn’t that much farther down
that road than if you use their search engine and the
advertising on the right panel changes based on what you are
searching on.

But, in fact, when Microsoft tried something similar with
their so called smart tags, the resulting cries of outrage
were heard around the world. As for me, I don’t see how this
feature is different from adware/spyware that hijacks your
browser and inserts its own links onto Google web page
searches (other than you are accepting it, knowingly or
not).

It was bad enough when Google’s Gmail scanned your emails
and inserted their own links based on the contents of the,
you know, the private email sent to you. But now they want to
insert stuff into any web page?. Where does this stop? If you
Google your hard drive, would they insert links to pages
similar to files it found? Is this a good thing? I dunno. You
decide.

As for me, I don’t use their tool bar so it doesn’t matter
to me. But if you use it, does it matter to you?

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Saving Screens

For you dinosaurs who love your screen savers (you know
who you are), Jamie Zawinski has released XScreenSaver
version 4.20 here. It
includes classics like flying toasters and the Matrix.
Needless to say, it runs only on Xserver systems.

Flying Toasters screen saver.The Matrix screen saver

Aloha!