Mistakes That Live On

from the for-at-least-some-time dept

The story of the miners who died in West Virginia, after a "miscommunication" had everyone saying they had survived has resulted in an interesting situation. A News.com reporter has noticed that if you do a search on Google News, you still can see a ton of stories saying the miners survived. This shows one of the limitations of a scanning and scraping model for aggregation, rather than a ping-based model that would let sites update an aggregator when the news had changed (dramatically, in this case). Of course, pinging has its own problems (mostly with overloading servers). So, is the lag associated with scanning acceptable or is there a better solution? Update: Of course, the situation is worse in print, where many newspapers had already printed the survival story before the truth came out. Update: And some interesting stories about newspapers who trashed copies with the wrong story to print up corrected papers.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2006 @ 11:38am

    No Subject Given

    my vote would be for a combination of the two; make it a function of DNS servers so individuals ping them with page updates. The DNS servers can then propogate changes up the DNS tree resulting in one central cache. Then allow anyone to receive/mirror the central cache. This would effectively open up the page index so anyone could startup a search engine without having to index themselves.

     

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  2.  
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    kingmanor, Jan 4th, 2006 @ 11:46am

    It was really bad on TV

    I had the tv on in the background late last night, and on FoxNews the 2 reporters, the anchor, and Geraldo were all waxing ecstatic for over an hour about what happened. Then they spend the morning show talking about how it wasn't their fault. Every channel was like this.
    After the debacle in Florida in 2000, we knew the media would never jump the gun on Election night. Now they'd rather wait until absolutely sure to call a state. This time it wasn't a terribly important news story in the grand scheme of things, but it was one the entire media had been milking for days straight. And they F'ed it up big time at the end. Its nobody's fault but their own.
    Add this to the growing list of times the media runs with a story that is not sourced or fact-checked. Way to go.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2006 @ 12:04pm

    Wishful Thinking

    The story I heard was that miner's families had overheard cell phone conversations about "checking vital signs on the bodies", which they interpreted to mean that the miners were still alive, so they spread the rumor.

    Isn't everyone guilty of wishful thinking, though? The IT industry is full of absurd theories that free markets will somehow solve all the world's problems, or that technology is somehow going to make all our problems go away. It's an industry full of adult Star Trek and LOR fans, who have never gotten over their 12-year-old boy fantasy phase.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2006 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Wishful Thinking

    That's so true. All 12 year olds I know are well-versed in the complexities of free market economics and associated benefits for developing nations.

     

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  5.  
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    Michael Armstrong, Jan 4th, 2006 @ 12:45pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    Unfotunately, DNS is ill suited to do this. DNS is only good at handing out IP addresses when queried for names. Think of it as a phone book -- Internet style. DNS propogation does not work such that it can handle this at all.
    Thankfully, Web servers and the HTTP protocol have this kind of facility built in. It's just that nobody tends to use it. You can query just the header of an HTML page and get back information about the size of the page itself (not including images), last modified date, and other salient info. This is the stuff your browser uses in combination with your cache settings to determine whether it should load the entire page all over again or not.

     

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  6.  
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    Ron, Jan 4th, 2006 @ 1:05pm

    Whatever

    It was a mistake. Give me a break.

    People make mistakes. It's people like you and me who run the Command Center. They make mistakes just like you do. Time to move on from this.

    This is yet another of thousands of stories that get blown out of proportion, when what we should really be discussing are issues that actually matter to society, such as global warming, poverty, the homeless and the war on terror.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 4th, 2006 @ 1:21pm

    No Subject Given

    A shining example of the Dan Rather School of Journalism at work. Isn't it beautiful?

    My local paper (which I don't pay for) still has the "12 Survivors" headline blazed across the front page.

     

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  8.  
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    Mike (profile), Jan 4th, 2006 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Whatever

    We weren't complaining about the mistake, but the after-effects of it and how to deal with it.

     

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  9.  
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    JC, Jan 4th, 2006 @ 1:47pm

    Re: It was really bad on TV

    Geraldo is a moron. Just like A Current Affair, they both insult the intelligence of all Americans. The producers of that show much think we are all a bunch of retards that canít read. LOL

     

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  10.  
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    Paul M, Jan 4th, 2006 @ 2:12pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    Unfortunately, DNS is ill suited to do this. DNS is only good at handing out IP addresses when queried for names. Think of it as a phone book -- Internet style. DNS propogation does not work such that it can handle this at all.


    What about reverse DNS - "PTR" records? CNAMEs, NX, TXT etc?

    Please, leave your ignorance at home.
    DNS has been used for many things, it's far more than name to IP lookup.

     

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  11.  
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    Rikko, Jan 4th, 2006 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Whatever

    issues that actually matter to society, such as global warming, poverty, the homeless and the war on terror.

    Lol. One of these things is not like the other.. One of these things just doesn't belong..

     

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  12.  
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    haggie, Jan 4th, 2006 @ 3:35pm

    Re: Whatever

    Actually, two of these things are REAL because I can see them each day walking down the street. The other two are probably figments of imaginations of people with their own agendas...

     

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