Google hearing sees 'idiot' trending – BBC News

Google hearing sees ‘idiot’ trending – BBC News

Google hearing sees ‘idiot’ trending 12 December 2018 These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Typing “idiot” into Google Images search reveals pictures of President Trump The word “idiot” has been searched for more than one million times, following testimony typing it into Google Images threw up pictures of President Trump.
The link between the two was mentioned during a congressional grilling of Google chief executive Sundar Pichai.
He was asked whether this was an example of political bias in algorithms, something he denied.
According to Google Trends, “idiot” is currently the number one most searched for term in the US.
Democratic congresswoman Zoe Lofgren posed the question about why “idiot” highlighted results that included pictures of the president.
“How would that happen? How does search work so that would occur?” she asked. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption WATCH: ‘If you Google the word idiot, a picture of Donald Trump comes up?’
Mr Pichai replied that Google search results were based on billions of keyword ranked according to more than 200 factors, including relevance and popularity.
“So it’s not some little man sitting behind the curtain figuring out what we’re going to show the user?” responded Ms Lofgren.
Republican members of congress continued to grill Mr Pichai, with Steve Chabot asking why, when he searched for news about his party’s health care bill, only negative news appeared.
Mr Pichai replied that equally negative news was highlighted when people used the search term “Google”. Google bombing
The link between the term “idiot” and pictures of President Trump emerged earlier this year, with some linking it to the fact British protesters had pushed Green Day’s song American Idiot to the top of the UK charts during a presidential visit in July.
That was followed by users of the website Reddit posting articles that contained pictures of President Trump alongside the word “idiot”, in an attempt to manipulate the search engine database, in a practice known as Google bombing.
It is not the first time a US president has been linked to an unfortunate tagline.
In 2003, a search for the phrase “miserable failure” highlighted pictures of President George W Bush.
The hearing also revealed that some members of congress had only very basic knowledge of the technology industry.
Republican Steve King asking Mr Pichai to explain why his granddaughter’s iPhone was acting strangely.
In response, Mr Pichai explained the phone was not made by Google. Related Topics

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Theresa May survives confidence vote – BBC News

Theresa May survives confidence vote of Tory MPs 12 December 2018 These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Theresa May: ‘We now need to get on with the job of delivering Brexit’ Prime Minister Theresa May has won a vote of confidence in her leadership of the Conservative Party by 200 to 117.
After securing 63% of the total vote, she is now immune from a leadership challenge for a year.
Speaking in Downing Street, she vowed to deliver the Brexit “people voted for” but said she had listened to the concerns of MPs who voted against her.
Her supporters urged the party to move on but critics said losing the support of a third of MPs was “devastating”.
The prime minister won the confidence vote with a majority of 83, with 63% of Conservative MPs backing her and 37% voting against her.
The secret ballot was triggered by 48 of her MPs angry at her Brexit policy, which they say betrays the 2016 referendum result. Skip Twitter post by @bbclaurak Of course her colleagues in govt relieved that she can try to carry on but it’s a survival not success tonight – another big knock to the PM’s credibility, and no solution at all to the gridlock in Parliament – she’s survived, her brexit compromise can’t in its current form Report End of Twitter post by @bbclaurak
Speaking shortly after the result was announced, Mrs May said she would be fighting for changes to her Brexit deal at an EU summit on Thursday.
“I am pleased to have received the backing of my colleagues in tonight’s ballot,” she said.
“Whilst I am grateful for that support, a significant number of colleagues did cast a vote against me and I have listened to what they said.”
She spoke of a “renewed mission – delivering the Brexit people voted for, bringing the country back together and building a country that really works for everyone”. How have Conservative MPs reacted?
Jacob Rees-Mogg, who led calls for the confidence vote, said losing the support of a third of her MPs was a “terrible result for the prime minister” and called on her to resign.
Brexit-backing Tory MP Mark Francois told the BBC it was “devastating” that more than half of backbenchers not serving in the government had abandoned the prime minister.
“In the cold light of day when people reflect on that number – 117 – it’s a massive number, far more than anyone was predicting. I think that will be very sobering for the prime minister. I think she needs to think very carefully about what she does now.” Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption May survives confidence vote
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling conceded there were “lessons” for the prime minister and the party in the result but former cabinet minister Damian Green said it was a “decisive” victory for the prime minister, which should allow her to “move on and get on with the job in hand”.
Conservative grandee Nicholas Soames urged Brexiteers to “throw their weight” behind the PM as she sought to address the “grave concerns” many MPs had about aspects of the EU deal.
The result was greeted by cheers and applause from Tory MPs as it was announced by backbench Tory chairman Sir Graham Brady.
The prime minister still faces a battle to get the Brexit deal she agreed with the EU through the UK Parliament, with all opposition parties and, clearly, dozens of her own MPs against it. What are the opposition saying?
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the vote had “changed nothing”.
“Theresa May has lost her majority in Parliament, her government is in chaos and she’s unable to deliver a Brexit deal that works for the country.” Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Brexit battles: How May lived to fight another day
Labour has said it will table a no-confidence motion that all MPs – not just Conservatives – will be able to vote in when they felt they had a chance of winning it, and forcing a general election.
The SNP’s Stephen Gethins urged Labour to “step up to the plate” and call a vote of no confidence in Mrs May, accusing the government of “playing games with people’s lives”.
DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds said his party, which helps keep Mrs May in power, was still concerned about the Irish backstop plan, which most MPs were against.
“I don’t think this vote really changes anything very much in terms of the arithmetic,” he told BBC News.
But he said the DUP would not support a no-confidence motion in Parliament at this stage. PM pledges not to fight next election
Mrs May earlier vowed to fight on to deliver her Brexit deal, which she argues is the only option for leaving the EU in an orderly way on 29 March.
But in a last-minute pitch to her MPs before the vote she promised to stand down as leader before the next scheduled election in 2022.
While “in her heart” she wanted to fight another election as leader, she realised her party did not want her to. However, she resisted calls to name a firm date for her departure.
If she had lost the confidence vote Mrs May would have been forced to stand down as Conservative Party leader, and then as prime minister.
But she is now expected to travel to a summit in Brussels on Thursday to continue trying to persuade EU leaders to change the deal – they have previously said it cannot be renegotiated.
The outcome of the vote was welcomed by Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who said avoiding a no-deal exit from the EU was their “shared goal”.

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Google hearing sees ‘idiot’ trending – BBC News

Google hearing sees ‘idiot’ trending 12 December 2018 These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Typing “idiot” into Google Images search reveals pictures of President Trump The word “idiot” has been searched for more than one million times, following testimony typing it into Google Images threw up pictures of President Trump.
The link between the two was mentioned during a congressional grilling of Google chief executive Sundar Pichai.
He was asked whether this was an example of political bias in algorithms, something he denied.
According to Google Trends, “idiot” is currently the number one most searched for term in the US.
Democratic congresswoman Zoe Lofgren posed the question about why “idiot” highlighted results that included pictures of the president.
“How would that happen? How does search work so that would occur?” she asked. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption WATCH: ‘If you Google the word idiot, a picture of Donald Trump comes up?’
Mr Pichai replied that Google search results were based on billions of keyword ranked according to more than 200 factors, including relevance and popularity.
“So it’s not some little man sitting behind the curtain figuring out what we’re going to show the user?” responded Ms Lofgren.
Republican members of congress continued to grill Mr Pichai, with Steve Chabot asking why, when he searched for news about his party’s health care bill, only negative news appeared.
Mr Pichai replied that equally negative news was highlighted when people used the search term “Google”. Google bombing
The link between the term “idiot” and pictures of President Trump emerged earlier this year, with some linking it to the fact British protesters had pushed Green Day’s song American Idiot to the top of the UK charts during a presidential visit in July.
That was followed by users of the website Reddit posting articles that contained pictures of President Trump alongside the word “idiot”, in an attempt to manipulate the search engine database, in a practice known as Google bombing.
It is not the first time a US president has been linked to an unfortunate tagline.
In 2003, a search for the phrase “miserable failure” highlighted pictures of President George W Bush.
The hearing also revealed that some members of congress had only very basic knowledge of the technology industry.
Republican Steve King asking Mr Pichai to explain why his granddaughter’s iPhone was acting strangely.
In response, Mr Pichai explained the phone was not made by Google. Related Topics

Read More…

Gene study unravels redheads mystery – BBC News

Gene study unravels redheads mystery 11 December 2018 These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Image copyright jam noorlander Eight genes linked to red hair have been discovered by scientists, helping to shed light on how redheads inherit their distinctive locks.
The Edinburgh University-led research has been described as the largest genetic study of hair colour to date.
It had been thought red hair was controlled by a single gene, MC1R, with versions passed on from both parents.
However, not everyone carrying two red-haired versions is a redhead, meaning that other genes had to be involved.
The team examined DNA from almost 350,000 people who had taken part in the UK Biobank study.
When they compared redheads with people with brown or black hair, scientists identified eight previously-unknown genetic differences that are associated with ginger locks.
The team also looked at the functions of the genes they identified and found some of them work by controlling when MC1R is switched on or off.
The researchers also uncovered differences in almost 200 genes associated with blondes and brunettes.
Prof Albert Tenesa, of the university’s Roslin Institute, said: “We are very pleased that this work has unravelled most of the genetic variation contributing to differences in hair colour among people.”
Prof Ian Jackson, of the medical research council human genetics unit at the university, said: “We were able to use the power of UK Biobank, a huge and unique genetic study of half a million people in Britain, which allowed us to find these effects.”
The study, published in Nature Communications, was funded by the Medical Research Council and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. Related Topics

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Theresa May survives confidence vote – BBC News

Theresa May survives confidence vote of Tory MPs 12 December 2018 These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Theresa May: ‘We now need to get on with the job of delivering Brexit’ Prime Minister Theresa May has won a vote of confidence in her leadership of the Conservative Party by 200 to 117.
After securing 63% of the total vote, she is now immune from a leadership challenge for a year.
Speaking in Downing Street, she vowed to deliver the Brexit “people voted for” but said she had listened to the concerns of MPs who voted against her.
Her supporters urged the party to move on but critics said losing the support of a third of MPs was “devastating”.
The prime minister won the confidence vote with a majority of 83, with 63% of Conservative MPs backing her and 37% voting against her.
The secret ballot was triggered by 48 of her MPs angry at her Brexit policy, which they say betrays the 2016 referendum result. Skip Twitter post by @bbclaurak Of course her colleagues in govt relieved that she can try to carry on but it’s a survival not success tonight – another big knock to the PM’s credibility, and no solution at all to the gridlock in Parliament – she’s survived, her brexit compromise can’t in its current form Report End of Twitter post by @bbclaurak
Speaking shortly after the result was announced, Mrs May said she would be fighting for changes to her Brexit deal at an EU summit on Thursday.
“I am pleased to have received the backing of my colleagues in tonight’s ballot,” she said.
“Whilst I am grateful for that support, a significant number of colleagues did cast a vote against me and I have listened to what they said.”
She spoke of a “renewed mission – delivering the Brexit people voted for, bringing the country back together and building a country that really works for everyone”. How have Conservative MPs reacted?
Jacob Rees-Mogg, who led calls for the confidence vote, said losing the support of a third of her MPs was a “terrible result for the prime minister” and called on her to resign.
Brexit-backing Tory MP Mark Francois told the BBC it was “devastating” that more than half of backbenchers not serving in the government had abandoned the prime minister.
“In the cold light of day when people reflect on that number – 117 – it’s a massive number, far more than anyone was predicting. I think that will be very sobering for the prime minister. I think she needs to think very carefully about what she does now.” Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption May survives confidence vote
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling conceded there were “lessons” for the prime minister and the party in the result but former cabinet minister Damian Green said it was a “decisive” victory for the prime minister, which should allow her to “move on and get on with the job in hand”.
Conservative grandee Nicholas Soames urged Brexiteers to “throw their weight” behind the PM as she sought to address the “grave concerns” many MPs had about aspects of the EU deal.
The result was greeted by cheers and applause from Tory MPs as it was announced by backbench Tory chairman Sir Graham Brady.
The prime minister still faces a battle to get the Brexit deal she agreed with the EU through the UK Parliament, with all opposition parties and, clearly, dozens of her own MPs against it. What are the opposition saying?
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the vote had “changed nothing”.
“Theresa May has lost her majority in Parliament, her government is in chaos and she’s unable to deliver a Brexit deal that works for the country.” Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Brexit battles: How May lived to fight another day
Labour has said it will table a no-confidence motion that all MPs – not just Conservatives – will be able to vote in when they felt they had a chance of winning it, and forcing a general election.
The SNP’s Stephen Gethins urged Labour to “step up to the plate” and call a vote of no confidence in Mrs May, accusing the government of “playing games with people’s lives”.
DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds said his party, which helps keep Mrs May in power, was still concerned about the Irish backstop plan, which most MPs were against.
“I don’t think this vote really changes anything very much in terms of the arithmetic,” he told BBC News.
But he said the DUP would not support a no-confidence motion in Parliament at this stage. PM pledges not to fight next election
Mrs May earlier vowed to fight on to deliver her Brexit deal, which she argues is the only option for leaving the EU in an orderly way on 29 March.
But in a last-minute pitch to her MPs before the vote she promised to stand down as leader before the next scheduled election in 2022.
While “in her heart” she wanted to fight another election as leader, she realised her party did not want her to. However, she resisted calls to name a firm date for her departure.
If she had lost the confidence vote Mrs May would have been forced to stand down as Conservative Party leader, and then as prime minister.
But she is now expected to travel to a summit in Brussels on Thursday to continue trying to persuade EU leaders to change the deal – they have previously said it cannot be renegotiated.
The outcome of the vote was welcomed by Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who said avoiding a no-deal exit from the EU was their “shared goal”.

Read More…