1. How do web search tools make it more efficient to find information?
    1. They constantly search the web and build indexes of the information to be prepared for any query.
  2. When you type a word or phrase into the Google search engine, what is the search algorithm that is being used? Explain in your own words the process used by Google’s search engine.
    1. Google uses the words in your search query to search their index to find relevant web content.
  3. What is a captcha? How has the collective efforts of Internet users contributed to analyzing images through captchas?
    1. It is a “Completely Automated Public Turing” test, a way to test if you are dealing with a human or a computer. The user has to type in what is displayed, distorted letters and numbers.
    2. By the shear number or responses by humans to a particular distorted number or letter.
  4. “The architecture of human knowledge has changed as a result of search.” Do you agree? Explain your reasoning.
    1. Yes, I agree. People are depending too much on the ability to “Google” information instead of learning it. Although being able to search for any information you may need is convenient, knowledge that used to be considered basic need-to-know information is no longer considered so. Take for instance changing a flat tire. How many people under the age of 40 can tell you how to do it, without “Googling” it?
  5. What are the differences between Figures 4.10 and Figure 4.11 in the book? Why are there differences even though they are both a Google search results page?
    1. The US one gives mostly pages that define what falun gong is. The China one is slanted toward condemnation of falun gong.
    2. There are differences because of the political implications and applied censoring depending on the country.
  6. How do you think mobile computing might have influenced web searches?
    1. I think the presentation of results has changed because of the screen sizes and is slanted more toward commercial entities like stores and restaurants.
  7. Would you retain your search history or delete it? Why?
    1. I would delete it. I don’t need to utilize resources on information that I can always search again.
  8. Should a researcher place absolute trust in a search engine? Why or why not?
    1. No, because search engines do not index everything on the web, only a small percentage. Important information to their research may not be indexed or be accessible to the search engine and no two search engines return the same sites.
  9. The authors claim “search is a new form of control over information” (p. 111) and “search is power” (p. 145). Why might it be important to talk about the social implications of searching on the Internet?
    1. People tend to believe what the read on the web, whether it is true or not. Public opinion can easily be swayed with misinformation whether accidental or intentional. One must rely on trustworthy and reliable sources before coming to a conclusion on any subject.
  10. How have search trends been used to predict information? What are the positive and negative impacts of using trends to make predictions?
    1. Trends have been incorporated into the search engine rankings that determine what pages rise to the top of the list. The positive impact is search results that show the most likely needed pages at the top of the list. The negative impact is having the algorithm making assumptions of what is wanted.