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Slashback: Nigritude, Indignation, Artifacts 181

Slashback brings you updates this evening on a handful of previous and ongoing Slashdot stories: read on below for more on how to manipulate Google rankings, what's wrong with Sun's Java Desktop, Claria's plucky response to L.L. Bean's suit, and a fly in the infinite-twin-primes theory.

How to not make friends and influence rankings. Ben Michel contributes an update to the search-engine optimization (SEO) contest mentioned last month, the object of which was for contestants to create a site ranked highest by google for a nonsense phrase, "nigritude ultramarine."

Michel writes "The first phase of the competition ended last Monday, and the winner was the owner of a forum called nigritude ultramarine--previously known as According to Brandon Suit, the owner of this forum, the key to his winning strategy was "getting high PR backlinks"--having other websites with high Page Ranks link to him and vice versa.

What impact does this have on SEO, and indeed for the rapidly growing search industry in general? The viability of certain underhanded methods in the pursuit of SEO has been clearly reinforced by many of the results of the contest--both Suit and his closest competitor, Philipp Lenssen, posted links in Wiki Sandboxes in order to better their standing. According to Suit, "If you want to manipulate [Google], you can." While search engines certainly have come a long ways from relevance-based searching, it seems that they still have significant changes to make before they can more accurately order results for any given query. The search engines' creators themselves must make countless revisions in their own, perhaps quixotic, quests to create the perfect tools to retrieve relevant data in the vast, ever-expanding realm of the internet."

However, not everyone is as matter-of-fact about this method of increasing search-engine visibility; May Kasahara is one of the webmasters and wiki users who isn't.

Kasahara writes: "The Search Engine Optimization contest previously mentioned on Slashdot has had a detrimental effect on wiki users and admins (including myself) lately , as the words 'Nigritude Ultramarine' have been showing up in wiki sandboxes across the web. A search on UseModWiki's homepage brought me to this informative entry, which in turn led me to Nigritude Ultramarine and the Wiki Sandbox Effect [note -- mentioned last week on Slashdot] and to these accompanying comments, mostly from very annoyed wiki users."

OK, so maybe "infinite" was a strong word. Prof.Phreak writes "Quoting wikipedia: On May 26, 2004, Richard Arenstorf of Vanderbilt University submitted a 38-page proof that there are, in fact, infinitely many twin primes. On June 3, Michel Balazard of Bordeaux reported that Lemma 8 on page 35 is false.[1] As is typical in mathematical proofs, the defect may be correctable or a substitute method may repair or replace the defect. Arenstorf withdrew his proof on June 8, noting "A serious error has been found in the paper, specifically, Lemma 8 is incorrect"."

What are these dashed lines all over your sacred cow? reifman writes "Slashdot's link to my article in the Seattle Weekly helped generate 175,000 page views and numerous letters and comments. The article seemed to touch a nerve in the Mac and Linux communities. I've posted a follow up responding to people's letters."

Updates from the Academic Affairs Division. zenrandom writes "As Case Western has just recently been reported, we may as well mention the initiative that will be connecting many schools in Ohio. Oarnet, a part of the Ohio Supercomputer Center and The Ohio State University is building a statewide academic and research fiber optic network. Composed of multiple metro-rings and over 1600 miles of fiber."

In unrelated college news, Mirell writes "After the FBI previously investigated an open records request filed for the tunnel blueprints at UT, students decide instead to enter via brute force. Hooligans - 1, War Against Terror - 0."

The problem with opening Pandora's Box. WC writes "The previous review on JDS2 ended with no successful installation so it wasn't very helpful on what to expect from the Sun distro. This new review has got a working installation but with a slew of new problems: more installation woes, unusable networking, buggy Nautilus and Mozilla window resizing artifacts among others. The author concludes that JDS2 is --effectively-- nothing but JDS 1.1 with the added Sun server software on top, but the desktop part has the same (and more) issues like JDS1 had."

Looking innocent is not their strong suit. tbase writes "As reported on, Claria, formerly known as Gator, has sued L.L. Bean, charging the retailer with filing a frivolous lawsuit against its advertisers. As covered in a previous Slashdot story, L.L. Bean has filed suit against current and former Claria advertisers for advertising via pop ups over L.L. Bean's site."

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Slashback: Nigritude, Indignation, Artifacts

Comments Filter:
  • PageRank. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by salvorHardin ( 737162 ) <`adwulf' `at' `'> on Thursday June 10, 2004 @08:10PM (#9393609) Journal
    Idea of having lots of high-ranking back-links is most certainly an effective one. I used to have a plain old personal homepage, which was ranked as '1' by google, and then I added a link to my site on my page at h2g2 [], and watched my rank go up to 4 within a week. Sadly, it didn't last...
  • by PetoskeyGuy ( 648788 ) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @08:13PM (#9393631)
    The sandbox is a junk area where users can play right? So change the .htaccess to use Follow, NoIndex and google should be blind to them. Or the robots.txt file to block access.

    Is there some reason you would want the Sandbox indexed?
  • Re:PageRank. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by iserlohn ( 49556 ) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @08:30PM (#9393732) Homepage
    And this property is being exploited endlessly. Google needs to find a way to recognize the contribution of a site, rather than just its content and the links. There are tons of sites out there that the sole purpose is to link to other sites and prop up their rankings.
  • Re:JDS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) <akaimbatman&gmail,com> on Thursday June 10, 2004 @08:47PM (#9393809) Homepage Journal
    Here's another review [] if you're interested.

  • More Googlebombing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bios_Hakr ( 68586 ) <> on Thursday June 10, 2004 @08:52PM (#9393829)

    Recently my local computer user group's blog was spammed with user registration. The same user registered about 200 times with slightly different user names and all his home pages linked to the same website. The user never needed to post a single comment in our forums, just the registration page alone gave him 200 links to his home page.

    If you wanna read a more detailed account of how this works, read here [].

  • by sixpaw ( 648825 ) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @09:36PM (#9394047)
    With the author having withdrawn the twin primes paper in the wake of the discovered flaw, arXiv no longer has the original up so we can see what went wrong. Does anyone have a mirror?
  • Re:JDS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cbowland ( 205263 ) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @10:29PM (#9394320)
    Sort of off topic, but JDS is starting to show up in screenshots of linux machines, even when the main focus of the article isn't JDS.

    See Windows Compatibility for the Linux Desktop [] for an example.

  • by SilentChris ( 452960 ) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @10:45PM (#9394417) Homepage
    "Terrorism is old and busted, and is nothing but a political tool and soundbite op."

    In a political sense, yes. In a practical sense, not on your life. Just like "the war on drugs" was mostly a political tool, there was a REAL underlying problem that existed (and still exists). Just because some polish up phrases and use them as soundbites doesn't mean the root cause isn't important.

    There's some very real people out there that want to do some very real harm to our very real civilians. Are they as numerous as people say? No. Are people be incorrectly persecuted in this country for it? Yes. But taking away the injustices, there's STILL a core group of real people wanting to mass murder US civilians. Ignoring the issue just because it's a political soundbite is almost as dangerous as ignoring the injustices.
  • PlayingWith Fire (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10, 2004 @11:08PM (#9394546)
    Nigritude, ouch...

    Playing with fire. Expect the wrath of the NAACP
    anyday now. Remember the guy who actually got
    fired for using the word niggardly?
  • by teamhasnoi ( 554944 ) <> on Thursday June 10, 2004 @11:23PM (#9394617) Journal
    I'm glad you brought up the 'War on Drugs' - I agree that there are problems with drugs, terrorism, piracy, poverty, illiteracy, and many other things.

    Why is it that every time that a 'War' is declared, we end up fighting the symptoms of the problems and not the root causes?

    We'd probably be somewhat safer from terrorists if we'd stop training them and giving them weapons...

  • by quinkin ( 601839 ) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @11:24PM (#9394623)
    Uni of Queensland [] has a tunnel network underneath it's central buildings aswell. I am told that it was originally designed to be used by the army in emergencies, but I can't find any record of that (although I believe this is a picture [] of the tunnel construction).

    After a few years mapping what entrances were visible, we found a grate that had been left open, so those of us who dared went for a jaunt.

    They must have had silent alarms aswell (I saw the sensors) so I knew we wouldn't have long. The group split in two and went opposite directions (the central tunnel is a large ring circumnavigating the great court). A couple of security guards came noisily blundering along the tunnel towards my girlfriend and I, but then they heard they other group and took off after them, not noticing us lurking in the shadows of an alcove.

    The other group made it to a service entrance before the guards caught up, and we scurried back out the original grate. All in all a fun day at Uni.

    Note for law enforcement: This is an ENTIRELY FICTIONAL account of something that NEVER ACTUALLY HAPPENED.


  • Re:Google results? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by akgoatley ( 787022 ) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @11:31PM (#9394668) Journal
    Actually, if you think about it, what we want is "SCO" to point to "" as people are more likely to search for "SCO" than "litigious bastards". Join the fight! Visit SCO's website! []
  • Re:PageRank. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dasmegabyte ( 267018 ) <> on Friday June 11, 2004 @12:03AM (#9394841) Homepage Journal
    I added my website to my sig. Within a week, I had a shitload of spam attached to my article #1.

    At least I'm still the first link when you google for "das megabyte." Like I'm sure you always do. I'm also the third link down when you google for "Sorry, ryan."
  • by Feztaa ( 633745 ) on Friday June 11, 2004 @12:27AM (#9394982) Homepage
    Sounds like you might enjoy some recreational urban [] exploration [].
  • by Melantha_Bacchae ( 232402 ) on Friday June 11, 2004 @02:03AM (#9395393)
    I agree with you, teamhasnoi. A couple nights ago I watched Ashcroft squirm while Congress grilled him (replayed from that morning on CSpan). Boy that was high entertainment. (He almost got jail time for "Contempt of Congress. ;) But what really caught my attention when he protested that some Patriot Act provision (something to do with police hijinks sans subpoena) was just an extension to terrorism of what they already could do with health insurance fraud. Health insurance fraud!

    Sound like some congress critter owned by the insurance industry already signed away our rights long before 911. I wouldn't be too surprised (now) to find that a lot of the Patriot Act's more odious provisions were simply preexisting cracks widened by it and 911.

    As for the terrorists (the real ones, not the PR ones), apply what's in my sig to our foreign policy, and that little problem should clear itself up. What's sauce for the King of Terror, is sauce for the terrorists. True peace alone (not Bush's fraud) can conquer both. Not peace with terror, but peace with people so their hatred and anger isn't stirred to empower terror. Rumsfeld, in a memo, has already noted that the War on Terror (and especially in Iraq) is stirring up so much hatred and anger that they are making terrorists faster than we can kill them.

    "Lola, kindness is not enough, look for the reason of hatred and anger.
    When you find and understand that, love becomes the strongest power; stronger than courage or wisdom."
    Belabera, "Mothra 3: King Ghidora Attacks"
  • Altavista (Score:4, Interesting)

    by XanC ( 644172 ) on Friday June 11, 2004 @03:22AM (#9395651)
    Funny thing is, Altavista ranks itself below Google in a search for search engine.

    Seems like both search algorithms suffer from low self-esteem.

    I guess nobody figures on people searching for search engines anyway...

  • by Jeremi ( 14640 ) on Friday June 11, 2004 @03:55AM (#9395777) Homepage
    There's some very real people out there that want to do some very real harm to our very real civilians. Are they as numerous as people say? No. Are people be incorrectly persecuted in this country for it? Yes.

    There seems to be a growing trend of people interviewing themselves as a rhetorical technique. Does John Ashcroft do it every time he's on TV? Yes he does. Is it an effective means of controlling the direction of the interview? You bet. Is it starting to grate on my nerves? Absolutely! Will it get old and go away soon? We can only hope.

    (Yeah, it's off-topic, but when the topic is "Nigritude Ultramarine", so is pretty much everything else)

Bell Labs Unix -- Reach out and grep someone.