A Complete Map of What?
October 22, 2000 4:53 AM   Subscribe

A Complete Map of What? Buchanan International claims to have created a complete page-level map of the Internet. I think (the article's not really clear on that). Am I the only one who finds this ridiculous? And their motives are so pure: "the completion of the map is prob-ably (sic) the first big step in the quest to control internet anarchy." Does the Financial Times usually publish such drivel? (via Brian Carnell)
posted by mrmorgan (8 comments total)
C'mon....this is really just the promo for a new TV series, right?
A second, a ruthless tracker of criminals known only as Stew, is unkempt, sleeps in the office overnight and pads about barefoot. "We found Stew in the PC section of a bookshop in Glasgow - the best place to find his sort," says Whitelaw. "The last thing I want is disciplined minds."
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:31 AM on October 22, 2000

A couple of things about this article irritate me, but mostly the poor editing job.

*  '"freaking"' (by which I assume he actually means phreaking - hacking phone systems)
*  the copy editing is miserable. Bizarre hyphen usage, and in different points in the same words. ( "porno- graphy", "pornog-raphy"

Aside from poor editing, the text itself uses all the standard emotional triggers. Credit card numbers, "save the children" anti-porn calls, and a plain ol' letter being used as an assassination order.

...but has also uncovered its Dark Side.

Well duh. Who isn't aware of the potential and actual criminal usage of the Internet? Who isn't aware of the potential and actual criminal usage of guns, or kitchen knives, or a fist?

From Buchanan International's news page comes this:

Drawing on a decade of experience in tracking inappropriate material on the Dark Side of the Web...

The Web hasn't been around for a decade yet. Wait a couple of years, and this won't actually be a statement of their marketing department's technical ignorance.

Moving away from the nit-picking (and there's plenty more out there to pick at), what does this map mean?

Taken at face value, it means they've got the most elaborate search engine out there. They claim to have mapped the "Good and the Bad" so hell, if you've got it let me search against it. Though I highly, highly, doubt they can map the entire damn thing. Yahoo!'s been working at it for years, so has Google, Excite, AltaVista, OpenText and countless others, and even they aren't finished. And never will be.

The article claims they're cataloging 80 gigs of data per day. The amount of man power they'd have to throw at it to determine whether a site's pornographic, or otherwise "Dark Side" ready is astronomical, there's no way they could do it, so who knows how many Breast Chronicle type sites they consider "Dark Side"?

What about server-side generated pages? A quick little PHP script & image database means bots need to be extremely complex to catalog a page, and most spiders and other search engine bots - developed by damn smart people to find and organize information - are unable to catalog such information.

Without even touching on the obvious Orwellian associations, I've already written far too long a post, so I'll leave that to someone else.
posted by cCranium at 6:46 AM on October 22, 2000

Does the Financial Time usually publish such drivel?
Increasingly so - they used to be the country's major source of information on corporate activiy in print, then, like so many of our other papers they seem to have tried to become populist. They have 'hip' TV ads showing constantly at the moment.
Judging by the factual inaccuracy of this article, they've kept the same journalists, just changed their brief and had them write about something they clearly don't understand.
posted by Markb at 8:19 AM on October 22, 2000

Do you think it was written by a journalist?? I thought it was a barely-disguised press release.
posted by theparanoidandroid at 5:12 AM on October 23, 2000

I'd buy the press release line, 'cept Buchanan's news page (link above) has the press release information for the "Dark Side of the Web" dated November 1999.

(woah! spell check!)
posted by cCranium at 5:50 AM on October 23, 2000

Did you know that you can watch The Wizard of Oz and surf The Dark Side of the Web at the same time, and they'll be completely synchronized?
posted by dhartung at 9:36 AM on October 23, 2000

Don't forget the part where the midget hangs himself with an ostrich after being fired by the production manager on the same day his wife killed herself and their children!
posted by cCranium at 9:39 AM on October 23, 2000

The last pornographer to survive gets a copy of the map, and a million dollars.
posted by mrmorgan at 3:43 PM on October 23, 2000

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