Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Oh, please.

Bias keeps Internet from global expansion
The Associated Press
12/18/2003, 2:31 p.m. CT

GENEVA (AP) -- Rahul Dewan typed "India" into the search box of an online stock photo service, hoping to find digital images of his native country. He found only three -- all of flags. Dewan then typed "Switzerland," a country smaller than his, and found 33, while "USA" returned 72.

His demonstration underscores a major challenge in getting the developing world online: Even with access, the Internet remains meaningless to most of the world's population, its Web sites heavy in English and reflecting a Western tilt.

Dewan, managing director of the New Delhi software company Srijan Technologies, ultimately settled for Western faces and hands on his Web site, after failing to find Indian images he could use or a similar photo service catering to Indians.

So much for promoting his company as a homegrown business. [...]
Oh give me a break. All this proves is that the one site he went to wasn't very good. Maybe it's not a case of bias so much as it is of simply not knowing how to do a search. Take for example, a Google Image Search. Type in India, and you get 418,000 results. Sure, some are flags and maps and stuff, but think about the poor Swiss, who have to make do with only 154,000 results. Why, it's RAGING ANTI-HELVETIANISM!! Even po' ol' Alabama only gets 165,000. If Mr. Dewan had tried, he could have found hundreds of India faces, and India hands, and even entire India people.

Surely there are barriers to learning to use the technology, and non-English language sites aren't as well-represented as English sites, but it's senseless to make that case with this example. (It's also senseless to believe if there's a buck to be made that someone won't jump in with an Urdu-bay auction site or HOT! LIVE! girls who want to chat with YOU! in Sanskrit.)

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