Archived entries for news tech

Web users to patrol us borders

A few days ago i was appalled to read that Scott Silverman, from VeriChip, had proposed implanting RFID tags in immigrant and guest workers. During an interview on “Fox & Friends,” he suggested using their RFID implants to register workers at the border, and then verify their identities in the workplace.

In a related story, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe allegedly said he would consider having Colombian seasonal workers have microchips implanted in their bodies before they are permitted to enter the US for seasonal work.


Today came the news that Texas plans to enlist web users worldwide in its fight against illegal immigration by offering live surveillance footage of the Mexican border on the internet.

The cameras will be trained on sections of the 1,000-mile (1,600km) border known to be favoured by illegal immigrants. Web users who spot a suspicious crossing will be able to alert the authorities by telephoning a number free of charge.

Meanwhile, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has sent National Guard soldiers to his state’s border with Mexico to bolster security along the Mexican border.

Besides, a group of US civilian volunteers that has been patrolling the Mexican border began last week building a fence along a section of the frontier. The Minutemen group started erecting the fence on privately-owned land in Arizona on Saturday, saying it is “doing the job the federal government will not do”.

Via quien vigila al vigilante, see networked_performance and space and culture for an english version of the story.

Image from Border film project.

BMW cheats search-engines, Google removes it from search results

Cory Doctorow:
BMW’s German page has been expunged from Google’s search-results, apparently in retaliation for BMW’s use of sleazy “doorway pages” that display different content to search-engine crawlers in order to fool them into valuing those pages more highly. A Google employee has confirmed the “Google Death Penalty” for BMW on his blog.

This willingness to punish wrongdoing even when it comes from big companies is a marked contrast with the anti-virus companies that had to be arm-twisted into releasing updates to their products to catch and remove the spyware and rootkits that Sony music was caught distributing on millions of music CDs.

It appears that at least some of the JavaScript- redirecting pages have already been removed from, which is very encouraging, but given the number of pages that were doing JavaScript redirects, I expect that Google’s webspam team will need a reinclusion request with details on who created the doorway pages. We’ll probably also need some assurances that such pages won’t reappear on the sites before the domains can be reincluded. I’m leaving comments turned off on this post; there are no doubt plenty of other search engine optimization areas to discuss this.

(via Digg)

ha, what did we say about cheating search engines? 😀

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