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Google Provides "turning point" in a Felony Arrest




4:03 pm on Sep 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Teen's Felony Case Thrown Out - Wired [wired.com].

"McFall, Robertson's attorney, said the tipping point in the case came when Robertson's mother uncovered new evidence last week that proved he didn't write the story's initial paragraph. After searching for the first sentence in Google, Kathy Robertson discovered the paragraph was part of a template that came on a CD-ROM for an Adobe PageMaker textbook."

I hope if I'm ever accused of a felony, that Google will vindicate me ;-)


5:44 pm on Sep 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

wtg google...


6:12 pm on Sep 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Google never ceases to amaze.


8:31 pm on Sep 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Anybody care to repeat Robertson's mother search query? I couldn't find it in the article. Did I miss it anywhere? Does the same query came up differently from the other search engines, say Alltheweb or even Alta Vista? Have anybody verified that this is such a unique query that only Google have it? If so, Google be praise ;)

Just kidding around :D

Maybe, this might be a better reading about Google -> Is Google the next Microsoft?(The Inquirer, UK) [theinquirer.net]


9:15 pm on Sep 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Anybody care to repeat Robertson's mother search query? I couldn't find it in the article. Did I miss it anywhere?


Yus. It says in the article that she searched for the first sentence of the first paragraph.


1:01 am on Sep 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Okay :)

Let's say "If the order is given to evacuate, you must do so immediately." is the query...

Using exact search
Google -> 1 result
Alltheweb -> 1 result
Alta Vista -> 1 result
(I didn't try other SE)

all results are similar

So what's the amazing thing with Google? What if she happened to use AltaVista in her search. Would that make AV amazing? Would this Board would have such flowery glorification...

Alta Vista Provides "turning point" in a felony case

FYI, Google did not provide the turning point or tipping point or whatever of a case. It is her(Robertson's mother) discovery that leads to an evidence...

[in fact if you look at the Google results there's no indication that the content came from a cd of Adobe Pagemaker which I can only surmise that by her following the 'leads', she found out that that it did came from Adobe]...

Which provides the crucial evidence that the paragraph did came from a template.

Did Google provide the template? At best the title of this thread is very misleading, implying that Google have 'direct' involvement in that case, what a stretch of imagination ;)


11:58 am on Sep 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Whoa...I think you guys are missing the real story here.

An 18-year-old kid was charged with a felony for writing a paper.

This kind of thing reeks of the Patriot Act, but an Oklahoma state statute is actually at fault.

Either way, the 1st Amendment seems to have died long ago.


12:21 pm on Sep 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I agree. The entire case was a joke.


12:42 pm on Sep 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

That's exactly my point :)

Why make this news as Google news? Too much infatuation with Google that even just a passing remark about somebody using Google becomes a major PR announcement...

and as Dolemite have pointed out, everybody lose perspective of the real point of that news article.


12:58 pm on Sep 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member chiyo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

There is too much spin about about google, as if it is a step apart or a magic genie. As far as i can see you could use many other engines including ATW to get "turning points" like this. The point is really how much search services have improved as a whole, rather than google being the end-all and be-all.

Sure, Google shook up the industry and SE technology has always been improving anyway, and certainly Google is one of, if not the, best.

But more interesting to me is how these days access to information for all is much cheaper, easier to find, and much more effective, than pre-Web days.


5:09 am on Sep 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This story has made up my mind. I will be homeschooling my children.

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