RAN Technology

Google gets stung for swiping content thanks to embedded morse code


General Information 0 Comments 06/17/2019 

Dah-dit hits crash dot-dash cash-bash

From The Inquirer:

GOOGLE HAS FALLEN for a sting which is said to have proved the firm is 'stealing' data from a rival website.

Genius.com, a site specialising in providing song lyrics, had suspected that Google had been scraping its site and using the lyrics to populate the 'information panels' often seen in the side of search results.

This isn't that uncommon, but usually Google credits the source; in this case, Genius was getting no credit.

But Genius wasn't going to take that lying down. The company wanted to prove that Google was indeed sourcing uncredited, and set about proving it by matching high tech with low tech.

By changing the punctuation is certain lyrics, swapping out straight and rounded quotes and commas, the firm was able to encode a morse code message to Google.

And the message was "R E D   H A N D E D".

Sure enough, Google pulled the lyric through and repeated the message, without ever knowing that's what it had done.

There are two issues here - the first is easy - is Google nicking content without proper credit? Well, that's pretty much beyond doubt based on this exercise. The second is more difficult - does Genius.com have a reason to complain? Well, that's a bit more complex.

For a start, Genius.com doesn't own the lyrics in the first place. Its entire site is based either of user-generated content or official lyrics swiped from elsewhere. Indeed for the first years of its life, it was Genius.com that was nicking stuff, before eventually going legit in the wake of criticism.

But from Google's side, this is an issue that could open a much bigger can of worms at a time when it is under increased scrutiny for anti-competitive actions. The more uncredited content it puts straight into its results, the fewer hits those sites get - meanwhile, Google earns another chunk from the adverts on its page.

In effect, the issue isn't whether the lyrics are stolen - the lucrative adverts are the real prize.


    The  Dentron MLX-MINII thought it would be cool to use the Dentron MLX-MINI on the Saturday Vintage Sideband Net but it's a little marginal since the rule is "no tubes, go home!".   However hybrid rigs are allowed, and Special Dispensation is given for rigs with Red LEDs.    So I thought the MLX was double-qualifed - even more so after I realized t...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  04/04/2020 
  

AMECO - one of the forgotten ham manufacturers?

A company that was part of ham radio for over 50 years
Category: Vintage Ham Radio
The internet knows a lot about ham radio history, but not so much about a company that everyone recognizes:   The American Elecronic Company - AMECO.AMECO - American Electronics Co.; New York 53, N.Y (1950s).Manufacturer of HAM radio equipment.Also: AMECO - Division of Aerotron Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina (1968).Also: AMECO - Ameco Equipment Corp.; 178 Herricks Road Mineola, L.I. New Y...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  03/29/2020 
  

Mix and Match Radios

VERSA-TR makes it easy to play radio
Category: VERSA-TR Information
I like to play radio!   As a SWL and novice, I'd imagine owning different transmitters and receivers and now that I actually DO own many of them, it's fun to "mix and match" to put them on the air.     That's mainly why I developed the VERSA-TR, which is an RF-sensing T/R and muting switch, so I could easily change out transmitters and receivers ...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  03/07/2020 
  

An Unbreakable Code

Navajo Code Talkers in the battle for Iwo Jima
Category: Historic
The Code Talkers used native languages to send military messages before World War II. Choctaw, for example, was successfully used during World War I. But the Marine Corps needed an “unbreakable” code for its island-hopping campaign in the Pacific. Navajo, which was unwritten and known by few outside the tribe, seemed to fit the Corps’ requirements. Twenty-nine Navajos were recrui...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  03/06/2020 
   Faust Gonsett started the Sideband Engineers (SBE) company in 1962 and introduced their first product, the SB-33 four-band transceiver with a two-page ad in 73 magazine for February 1963 that featured his mugshot on the left page and the introductory ad for the SB-33 on the right.   He talks about how he came out of retirement to start this new company in response to many requests but do...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  02/15/2020 
   Well known radio repair guru and AM fan Jeff Covelli WA8SAJ of Cleveland OH wanted better receiving performance than his stock Nouveau 75 AM transceiver provided - and the VERSA-TR came to the rescue.  Jeff decided he preferred having the board mounted in an enclosure with connectors and the photos show his approach.    The VERSA-TR automatically switches the antenna from his S...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  02/11/2020 
   Ernie Mason, W6IQY, of San Diego CA was a prolific designer and builder of SSB equipment over many years.    Mostly self-taught in electronics through his ham radio experience,  Ernie began working in IBM's Field Engineering organization where he rose into the management ranks, but defying the odds, was able to stay in at his adopted San Diego home town.    H...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  02/08/2020 
  

"B" Bench update

Making my work area suit me rather than vice versa
Category: Technical
 Like most of those reading this, I've upgraded and added to my test equipment inventory over the years, starting with the Heathkit VTVM I built when I was 15 or so.   There's no "right" piece of equipment, just personal preferences, and while I'd be the first to say my work habits are anything but "right" they are what they are, and I'm old enoug...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  02/03/2020 
  

A first-person history by an Airway Keeper's daughter

Life on the (Radio) Range at Medicine Bow WY in the 1930s
Category: Vintage Radio
 Most vintage radio enthusiasts are aware of how intertwined the development of radio and aviation were.   Many still enjoy using low frequency receivers and DX-ing the "beacon band" which was a key element of the first generation of aviation radio and navigation.   Before there were radio beacons, pilots depended on visual beacons - the flashing (rotating) light...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  12/31/2019 
  

Remembering Michael Hopkins, AB5L (SK) - a unique individual

Founder and humble scribe for the Five Meter Liberation Army!
Category: Vintage Ham Radio
Michael Hopkins AB5L is fondly remembered by early denizens of the internet and specifically the "Boatanchors at the Porch" mail reflector.   A truly unique individual, Michael made the internet a happier place through his eclectic interests (ranging from Tecraft converters to ferrets) and his wonderful imagination and storytelling ability.  Through his writing, we le...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (ranickels),  12/23/2019 

VIEW News Item

Announcing the W9DYV Radio Society

honoring SSB pioneer Wes Schum W9DYV
VIEW News Item

Making A Transistor Radio

in memory of Rev. George Dobbs G3RJV (SK)
VIEW News Item

Soviet Spy Radio found in forest

(oh yeah, I put that there...I'll take it now thanks!)
VIEW News Item

Take the Boatanchor Survey!

Let authors and organizers know what you're interested in
VIEW News Item

W9RAN's "VERSA-TR" (as featured in Dec. 2018 QST)

A Versatile T/R solution for SDRs and vintage radios
VIEW News Item

MICROPHONIA! is here

Cool mics from my collection and ones I wish were
VIEW News Item

WBBM-AM tower moves to Bloomington IL

watch the old tower fall (video link below)

(There are currently no Blogs.)