Bing.com censoring searches in India

Microsoft’s new search engine Bing.com is censoring searches in India (and apparently several other countries). Setting one’s country option to India and searching for the term sex, porn or even Kama Sutra is censored with a cryptic “THE SEARCH MAY RETURN SEXUALLY EXPLICIT CONTENT. To get results, change your search terms.”  No option for a “safe search” or a grown-up uncensored option like Google has for its image search.  This censoring has been pointed out on a few other blogs and news sites, but no word if this is Microsoft’s doing or a government mandate.

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My guess is that some Microsoft head-honcho in India took it upon themselves to be the moral police for these countries based on some poorly conceived laws in these countries.  India, by the way, makes it illegal to transmit sexual content of any kind. I can’t find the actual law that states this, but I will update when I can.

Religulous – a little disappointing

I finally watched Religulous tonight and I’m glad I didn’t go to watch it in the theatres.  As much as I like Bill Maher and his show on HBO, I found this movie lacking any kind of depth.  I’ve watched him do stand-up in Philadelphia and this movie reminded me a little too much of his comedy routine.  Maybe that was his reason for making this documentary but I was a little disappointed with the outcome.  The movie consisted primarily of two types of scenes: Maher interviewing people and Maher talking into a camera while being driven in a car.

When he interviewed people, he would often try really hard to make fun of them and their beliefs instead of trying to understand and seriously critique their points of view.  Often, he interviewed Middle-Easterners and Europeans and they didn’t quite get his American brand of humor and tended to give him blank stares.  When he was talking into a camera while being driven, there was this weird voice in the background either asking him questions or agreeing with him.  It annoyed me trying to keep up with what this voice was saying.  Again, this is strange because his show on HBO is very polished.

Bill Maher had the opportunity to truly represent the 16 million people he says are non-religious.  A better job at making this an informative, critical, and thought-provoking documentary would’ve gone a long way in making non-religious people feel safe(r) in a country that has, for as long as I’ve known it, been considered a Christian nation by its leaders.

Nate Silver Predicts the Oscars

I love FiveThirtyEight.com. I followed it very closely during the 2008 US Presidential election and I thought Nate Silver wrote well thought out and balanced posts.  I’ve watched him do a couple of interviews during that time, most memorably an interview on the Colbert Report.  On that interview he seemed very polished.  I just saw him do an interview with Keith Olberman earlier tonight about his predictions for the 2009 Oscars.  Oh my Lord, he’s a total geek!

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Indian Unix Engineer almost Brings Fannie Mae to its Knees

Wired is reporting this story about an Indian Unix Engineer who almost brought Fannie Mae to its knees using a logic bomb script: http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2009/01/fannie.html.  Apparently, he was employed by a technology consulting firm but worked onsite at Fannie Mae.  In this time of turmoil in the Indian technology oursourcing market, the last thing the country needs is more bad press about Indians on H1 visas causing trouble in the technology consulting field.

Journey

I have a new found fascination for Journey.  I’ve only recently discovered the extent of the popularity of the songs recorded by this band.  Until the beginning of 2008, I didn’t quite know who they were.  This disturbs me, because I thought I was fairly well educated in the classic rock bands of the 70s and 80s.  I’ve been listening to their music incessently on YouTube – not the greatest quality, but it sufficient.  I also really want to revitalize my MP3 collections, but that is hours and hours of work.  I’ve been wanting to revitalize that for years now.  Some day, some day…