Google Begins Move to Universal Search

Google today announced its critical first steps toward a universal search model that will offer users a more integrated and comprehensive way to search for and view information online. The company also introduced an updated homepage design and several new navigation features that make it faster and easier for users to find the information they are looking for.

Sites Google Agreed to Censor in China

This site shows screenshots with differences in search results between Google.com and Google.cn. Results about human rights are omitted, as well as information about Tibet and many news sources.

“Google does not censor results for any search term. The order and content of our results are completely automated; we do not manipulate our search results by hand. We believe strongly in allowing the democracy of the web to determine the inclusion and ranking of sites in our search results. To learn more about Google’s search technology, please visit …”
– Google’s full help entry on “Principles – Does Google censor search results?” (January 26, 2006).

“Google is committed to providing easy access to as much information as possible. For Internet users in China, Google remains the only major search engine that does not censor any web pages.”
– The Google Team, September 2004 (in a reply on why Google News self-censors some sources).

Outer Court Blog

Google Toolbar Enterprise Trojan Horse

Rob Mensching has called the Google Toolbar Enterprise edition nothing but a Trojan Horse.

Rob calls it this due to the fact that they state this on the home page for the Google Toolbar Beta for Enterprise

“Google Toolbar Beta for Enterprise enables IT administrators to give your employees the productivity features of the Google Toolbar. Using the Windows installer you can push the Google Toolbar Beta for Enterprise to any of your employees and configure preferences at the administrative level.?

Rob goes into exactly what is packaged in this so called MSI file from Google. It turns out that it is just the GoogleToolbarInstaller.exe file in a MSI wrapper created using the WiX Toolset.

That means the Google Toolbar Beta for Enterprise does not get all of the transaction guarantees and other administrative/repair features that a true Windows Installer package would provide.

If you are an administrator looking to deploy this package, don’t be surprised when you find that this MSI package doesn’t behave exactly like real Windows Installer packages. The Google Toolbar Beta for Enterprise MSI package is really just a “Trojan horse” carrying their custom installation system. I really wish Google had used the Windows Installer technology more appropriately.

Rob Mensching has worked in the setup domain at Microsoft for over seven years. He started as an intern on the Windows Installer then worked on Office XP and Office 2003 setup and now Windows Vista setup. Rob is also the project lead for the WiX toolset and blogs at http://blogs.msdn.com/robmen