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[P]
Datamining AOL's LUser Base

By circletimessquare in Internet
Mon Aug 07, 2006 at 12:00:00 PM EST
Tags: AOL sucks (all tags)

Many of you have probably already heard of AOL's recent discovery of the incredible concept called "expectation of privacy." Anyways, via research.aol.com (site is now blotto, link is Google cache), AOL released ~650K user's queries over a 3 month period, April to May, 2006. They did anonymize the user's name into an ID, but apparently the braintrust of geniuses at research.aol.com have never heard of people searching on their name, social security number, credit card number, etc., and then stalking someone online, or being a minister and searching for porn, or being into necrophiliac pedophile bestiality, etc. So what has AOL given us for free? A treasure trove of hilarious, frightening, and plain stupefying search queries made by your typical AOL LUser... who was paying this absolutely awful company monthly to reveal their private secrets to the world, apparently in extremely embarassing glory.


The data was taken offline by AOL on Monday, August 7, 2006, but this being the "Internet" (a strange and inscrutable concept to AOL staff apparently) the data was quickly mirrored and BitTorrented. Here is a link page for some sources. So what the hell? I downloaded the data, unzipped it, and imported it into SQL Server. And oh look, the data comes with a nice "U500k_README.txt":

500k User Session Collection
----------------------------------------------
This collection is distributed for NON-COMMERCIAL RESEARCH USE ONLY.
Any application of this collection for commercial purposes is STRICTLY PROHIBITED.

How much does AOL suck? Apparently AOL wants to lower that bar by an order of magnitude from most of our already exceedingly low consideration. OK, Google has it's Zeitgeist, and Google Labs, so AOL needs some academic credentials too, right? So what should they do? Release their data to a select few academics at some reputable universities complete with ironclad NONDISCLOSURE AGREEMENTS? Nah... I have a better idea. LET'S POST THE SEARCH DATA ON THE WIDE-OPEN WEB... and warn about commercial use. What? COMMERCIAL USE is their primary concern? All I can say is: genius! Let's see what else:

Normalized queries:
36,389,567 lines of data
21,011,340 instances of new queries (w/ or w/o click-through)
7,887,022 requests for "next page" of results
19,442,629 user click-through events
16,946,938 queries w/o user click-through
10,154,742 unique (normalized) queries
657,426 unique user ID's

Drool... I'm so, so sorry AOL LUserland. You really are quite stupid to still be using AOL about 10 years after the rest of us figured out how much they suck, but hey, I still feel bad for how some of you have just been completely raped by this absolutely stupid company. How bad can it get though for AOL LUsers?

Pretty Bad. Really, really bad (scan digger's comments for some of their hilarious and frightening datamining).

Oh the spammers we shall please. The identity thieves we'll fill with glee. The lawsuits we shall weave. So let me have a gander. I'll just open the first 100 rows. Within the first 15 lines, hilarity doth ensue:

2178 inducing dog vomiting 2006-05-26 08:42:31 2 http://dogs.about.com
2178 inducing dog defication 2006-05-26 15:30:49
2178 dog eats uncooked pasta 2006-05-26 15:31:56

The 2178 is the user id. the "2" indicates which search return item was clicked. LOTS of personally identifiable searches I won't reproduce here (peoples names, addresses)... look, oh lordy, you just can't make this stuff up:

24911338 hypnosis 5-31-2006 15:42 102 http://www.danielolson.com
24911338 erotic hypnosis 5-31-2006 16:50
24911338 hypnosis erotic 5-31-2006 16:54 1 http://adult.hypnoticwishes.com
24911338 hypnotic cds 5-31-2006 18:25
24911338 hypnotic cds erotic 5-31-2006 18:36
24911338 hypnotic cds slave 5-31-2006 18:36 1 http://www.hypnoticwishes.com
24911338 hypnotic slave training 5-31-2006 23:36
24911338 hypnotic slave training male to male 5-31-2006 23:37

I'll try a word specific search:
SELECT *
FROM aol
WHERE (CHARINDEX('moral ', Query) > 0)

2550842 moral evedience on masterbation 2006-04-04 18:19:25
3067152 what is the moral of to kill a mockingbird 2006-05-23 23:25:56 1 http://www.sparknotes.com
3079236 masking naught but playwrights of impure thoughts connecting young hearts with alluring words lead to moral demise. such words unknown to be untrue with sinning angels fly lies to fool my head which once i held in pride. 2006-03-13 20:59:32
3443442 what is the connection between habit and moral character 2006-03-07 13:24:30 3 http://tigger.uic.edu
3443442 how has moral ethics changed 2006-03-10 22:17:36
3443442 aristotle views on moral ethics 2006-03-10 22:34:21 3 http://www.philosophypages.com
3541114 moral turpitude. 2006-03-20 08:22:31
3560481 femoral artery rupture 2006-05-15 19:18:26
3812864 laurence kohlberg moral development 2006-03-15 19:17:15 1 http://www.nd.edu
4036643 how should todays yout combat negative moral influences 2006-03-22 23:13:27 7 http://aljazeera.com
5574002 balmoral race track 2006-03-21 21:58:12 1 http://www.balmoralpark.com
5859159 moral mushrooms 2006-04-03 16:42:48 1 http://www.gmushrooms.com
6051591 is abortion a moral decision 2006-04-10 20:48:08 1 http://www.americanprogress.org
6727359 social circumstance and moral development 2006-04-09 10:12:01
6727359 do social circimstances influence moral development moral development 2006-04-09 10:12:41
7006363 memoral myspace layouts 2006-04-28 23:11:27
11709543 artificial insemination and moral issues 2006-03-19 22:06:11 7 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
13650112 moral considerations in framing decisions 2006-03-24 21:43:05 4 http://www.law.duke.edu
14021334 moral in the work place 2006-03-25 15:34:10
15205134 moral court 2006-05-28 12:23:08 3 http://www.imdb.com
683715 what are moral turpitude crimes 2006-04-17 01:22:59 1 http://immigration.about.com
6727165 international moral code 2006-03-04 16:15:41 2 http://onlineethics.org
5231700 system of moral values 2006-04-11 17:10:09 1 http://en.wikipedia.org
4698637 helping youth with moral and ethical decisions 2006-03-02 11:33:33 21 http://www.charactercounts.org
4559124 immoral business decisions 2006-04-11 19:59:55 1 http://www.poznaklaw.com
2771158 moral duty endangered species 2006-05-18 21:08:30 2 http://www.longwood.edu
2771158 business moral duty on endangered species 2006-05-18 21:18:35
2652302 democracy requires a moral people 2006-03-23 19:17:21 5 http://www.acton.org
1971607 demoral for pain 2006-05-28 14:08:45
4786017 presidential candidate moral issues 2006-05-06 23:04:47 1 http://www.thetaskforce.org
4786017 moral values in america 2006-05-07 13:26:42 1 http://www.commondreams.org

Notice the returned URL for "how should todays yout combat negative moral influences". And yeah, make sure you research a "memoral myspace layout" (snicker). "demoral for pain" indeed please. And my personal favorite search goes to... drum roll please:

24906047 cancell aol 2006-05-31 09:46:36 1 http://www.askdavetaylor.com

But I haven't even BEGUN to touch the tip of this iceberg. What else can I datamine? Ask me some searches you are curious about, and I'll add your queries to the body of this story while it's still in editing, and then maybe more later in the comments if this story gets voted up and I'm not ADHDed on some other topic. And please post your own hilarious search sequences you have found as well.

I was also thinking of building a quick and dirty online script so people could search the database themselves... But then TWO OF MY BRAIN CELLS FIRED and I thought "Hey, that might get me in trouble" and then another brain cell fired and said "Hey, that might be irresponsible." I'm very sorry AOL LUsers that an internet troll like me has more concern for your privacy rights than the company that charges you monthly for the benefit of you getting raped... in ever new and creative ways.

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Related Links
o Google
o research.a ol.com
o absolutely awful company
o Monday, August 7, 2006
o Here is a link page for some sources
o Pretty Bad.
o Really, really bad
o http://dog s.about.com
o http://www .danielolson.com
o http://adu lt.hypnoticwishes.com
o http://www .hypnoticwishes.com
o http://www .sparknotes.com
o http://tig ger.uic.edu
o http://www .philosophypages.com
o http://www .nd.edu
o http://alj azeera.com
o http://www .balmoralpark.com
o http://www .gmushrooms.com
o http://www .americanprogress.org
o http://www .ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
o http://www .law.duke.edu
o http://www .imdb.com
o http://imm igration.about.com
o http://onl ineethics.org
o http://en. wikipedia.org
o http://www .charactercounts.org
o http://www .poznaklaw.com
o http://www .longwood.edu
o http://www .acton.org
o http://www .thetaskforce.org
o http://www .commondreams.org
o http://www .askdavetaylor.com
o Also by circletimessquare


Display: Sort:
Datamining AOL's LUser Base | 94 comments (53 topical, 41 editorial, 0 hidden)
"1st holy communion invitation" (2.66 / 6) (#4)
by tetsuwan on Tue Aug 08, 2006 at 04:55:42 AM EST

omg. The banality, the reality.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance

1st holy communion (none / 0) (#81)
by hummassa on Fri Aug 11, 2006 at 10:31:27 AM EST

I don't know if this is a Brasilian-Catholic only fenomenon, but here the first holy communion is almost our equivalent -- in terms of importance in a youngling's life -- to the jewish bar mitzvah. We dress up, invite our family and friends, just like in a wedding. It's not banal at all.


[ Parent ]
Why I wrote "banality" (none / 0) (#89)
by tetsuwan on Sat Aug 12, 2006 at 07:06:18 PM EST

Look at the comments on Digg and search for holy communion. You will see that this important event (called confirmation in Sweden, btw) is surround with searches for porn by the same AOL user.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

First Holy Communion != Confirmation (none / 0) (#95)
by hummassa on Fri Aug 18, 2006 at 03:10:40 PM EST

Seven sacraments of the catholic church (sorry if the names in English are not exactly that, Portuguese between parentheses):
  • baptism (batismo)
  • confession (confissão)
  • communion (comunhão)
  • confirmation (confirmação / crisma)
  • matrimony (casamento / matrimônio)
  • ordering [commandment?] (ordenação)
  • ointment [extreme-unction] (extrema-unção / unção dos enfermos)

confirmation is when you (in your late teens, normally) choose to accept the Catholic religion fully and confirm your baptism (). the First Holy Communion, typically at ages 8-12, is when you are prepared and understand the sacraments of confession and communion, and start attending mass.

() in this, the confirmation, as an adult responsibility, is really closest to the notion of bar mitzvah than the first holy communion.


[ Parent ]

Here, in the cold northern protestant churches (none / 0) (#96)
by tetsuwan on Fri Aug 18, 2006 at 03:34:39 PM EST

1st holy communion and confirmation are conflated and undertaken at 14-15, typically.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

I'm certain to be on lots of gov't lists by now (2.87 / 8) (#8)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Aug 08, 2006 at 01:25:47 PM EST

After spending a couple weeks searching google for stuff to put in my article on nuclear weapons and nerve gas.

Inducing dog vomiting is something every dog owner should be prepared to do. Dogs are engineered to eat stuff they really shouldn't.


If your friend loses his arm to a crocodile, don't stick your fucking head in the crocodile's mouth just to one-up him. --

appropriate diary (1.00 / 3) (#9)
by loteck on Tue Aug 08, 2006 at 01:39:20 PM EST

inappropriate story
--
"You're in tune to the musical sound of loteck hi-fi, the musical sound that moves right round. Keep on moving ya'll." -Mylakovich
"WHAT AN ETERNAL MOBIUS STRIP OF FELLATIATIC BANALITY THIS IS." -Harry B Otch

-1 (1.66 / 9) (#16)
by debacle on Tue Aug 08, 2006 at 05:05:47 PM EST

circletimessquare said fuckknob.

Also, this is an effing terrible writeup.

It tastes sweet.

sorry, fuckknob nt (none / 1) (#18)
by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 08, 2006 at 05:10:12 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
If it's wrong to breach people's privacy... (2.60 / 5) (#28)
by shambles on Tue Aug 08, 2006 at 09:39:24 PM EST

...why are you doing it?

Also when you have done it, why are you posting the results in a public forum?

You could have just put up an article about the leak that discusses the privacy issues and castigated AOL.

Instead you wrote an article in which you spend most of your time laughing at the poor schmucks who have done nothing more than made a bad choice in ISP.

People are more important than Truth - Edgar Malroy
i didn't breach anyone's privacy (1.00 / 4) (#29)
by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 08, 2006 at 10:27:55 PM EST

aol did

and yes, i'm lauging at the schmucks

gee, i'm as evil as an incestuous serial killer, right?

kindly get off your fucking high horse, oh great upstanding citizen

if you wish you castigate me for my horrible, horrible crime, go ahead

next you should make a citizens arrest of the next jaywalker you see

and no more gossiping for you, or looking at any car accidents when you drive by

...hey man, you set the bar, i'm just asking you yourself to abide by the standard of behavior you're setting for me

or perhaps here's another option: maybe you should get the fucking stick out of your ass?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

AOL made you do it? (2.50 / 2) (#30)
by shambles on Tue Aug 08, 2006 at 10:44:03 PM EST

You breached their privacy when you started reading and searching the file, you compounded that breach by publicly publishing your findings. You chose to do all this, which in of it self was the wrong thing to do.

No I don't it's in the same league as incest or murder (I think you are confusing me with another poster), but I do think you shouldn't have done you did.

And I agree with you totally that the world would be a better place if citizens took some responsibility for their environment. I think people should phone the police when they see somebody acting suspicious, come forward when the police call for witness to some event or vote -1 when some arsehat rights a poorly written rant that glorifies a privacy breach and seeks to profit from it (profit in the form of cheap laughs and a front page story)

People are more important than Truth - Edgar Malroy
[ Parent ]
what i did is a crime (1.25 / 4) (#31)
by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 08, 2006 at 11:06:22 PM EST

i'm not disagreeing with you

BUT OF THE SAME DEGREE AS JAYWALKING YOU FUCK

GET OFF YOUR FUCKING SANCTIMONIOUS HIGH HORSE

it's like someone took a dump drunk full of private financial records and dumped it in the middle of the street

and i come along, pick up a statement and go "har har! $20 for Preparation H on July 28th! har har!"

and you come along and land on me in high holy terror, castigating me for picking out the credit card

GEE ASSHOLE...

WHAT ABOUT THE DUMP TRUNK?????????

WHERE DOES THAT STAND IN YOUR AGENDA OF HIGH HOLY RIGHTEOUS FIRE AND BRIMSTONE???

yell at the kids for sitting on your lawn but turn a blind eye to the meth lab next door?

in short you hysterical twit:

FUCK OFF


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

So why haven't you pulled the story? (none / 1) (#32)
by shambles on Tue Aug 08, 2006 at 11:19:49 PM EST

Why are you getting annoyed when people point out to you that it is wrong?

How does writing a reply to your article equate with fire and brimstone? I haven't implied there will be any consequences for what you have done, I just think as a honorable man you should pull the story.

People are more important than Truth - Edgar Malroy
[ Parent ]
yes, that's right (1.25 / 4) (#35)
by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 08, 2006 at 11:46:50 PM EST

it IS more important to castigate the jackass reading the credit card statements than it is to castigate the dump drunk driver for dumping them in the middle of the street

according to you

why is castigating me higher on your list of things to do than castigating aol?

"Why are you getting annoyed when people point out to you that it is wrong?"

you're getting annoyed with ME

and i'm getting annoyed with YOU for not getting annoyed with AOL

get it?

and you're calling me an honorable man? huh? when the fuck did i ever represent that to you?

i'm a TROLL... see the story? read the last paragraph... what did i say again about myself?

dude: GET OFF YOUR FUCKING HIGH HORSE


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Write an article castigated AOL +1 FP (none / 1) (#38)
by shambles on Wed Aug 09, 2006 at 03:02:29 AM EST

Write an article for cheap laughs based on data illegal released by AOL, -1 and a reply questioning your conduct.

People are more important than Truth - Edgar Malroy
[ Parent ]
i understand that (1.25 / 4) (#39)
by circletimessquare on Wed Aug 09, 2006 at 03:16:55 AM EST

it is more important for you to castigate me than aol

dump truck dumps financial records in the middle of the street

i pick up some and start laughing

clearly, it's more important to attack me than the dump truck driver right?

i am so humbled by you

really

because i feel the high holy terror of how concepts like perspective, scale and context inform your sense of right and wrong

...or maybe not

kindly fuck off you smug venal prick

xoxoxoxoxoxoxox

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

You don't understand anything. (3.00 / 3) (#41)
by shambles on Wed Aug 09, 2006 at 03:25:40 AM EST

You never do and you probably never will.

I think it is important to castigate AOL, your article does not do that. In fact it actual takes some heat away from them by focusing on the AOL users.

You're as close minded as ever.

People are more important than Truth - Edgar Malroy
[ Parent ]
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (1.50 / 4) (#43)
by circletimessquare on Wed Aug 09, 2006 at 03:31:26 AM EST

"I think it is important to castigate AOL, your article does not do that"

right! got it!

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

huh? (none / 1) (#42)
by i on Wed Aug 09, 2006 at 03:25:49 AM EST

aol did

aol did, and you did too.

aol published these records.
you published these records.
where's the difference?
no, it doesn't matter who did it first.
no, you are not as evil as an incestuous serial killer. just as evil as aol. ok?

and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

[ Parent ]

right, got it (1.00 / 2) (#44)
by circletimessquare on Wed Aug 09, 2006 at 04:00:15 AM EST

dump trunk driver purposefully dumps millions of financial records in the middle of the road

i pick up 3 and go "ha ha! $20 for preparation h on october 12!"

i'm as evil as the dump truck driver

got it, makes sense to me


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

More like... (1.33 / 3) (#62)
by Comrade Wonderful on Wed Aug 09, 2006 at 03:45:36 PM EST

dump trunk driver purposefully dumps millions of financial records in the middle of the road

i pick up 3 and go "ha ha! $600 for AIDS meds for Norman Gayfellow on october 12!"  then i post this as a k5 story omg lol.

i'm as evil as the dump truck driver

got it, makes sense to me

[ Parent ]

did i mention a name asshole? nt (none / 1) (#64)
by circletimessquare on Wed Aug 09, 2006 at 11:41:45 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
It is not my job to audit you. nt (1.00 / 2) (#73)
by Comrade Wonderful on Thu Aug 10, 2006 at 10:14:07 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Seems weirdly all made up (2.00 / 3) (#33)
by simul on Tue Aug 08, 2006 at 11:27:04 PM EST

1. AlJazeera doesn't show up in a search for "how should todays yout combat negative moral influences" on AOL (or any other search engine i could find) 2. The header of the cached page sayd something about pmwiki, madhckr.com, ESV-i.com and Julian I. Kamil. Somehow this seems more like someone put something up at AOL that looked like leaked data... and then was stupid enough to put a big weird comment in the header that seemingly discredits the leak? 3. I could go on, but I don't want to upset the poster too much, they might go after my site next. ... anyway, it's just too sketchy. Someone should probably report the IP/time of the poster to the FCC.

Read this book - first 24 pages are free to browse - it rocks
wierd and interesting nt (none / 0) (#36)
by circletimessquare on Wed Aug 09, 2006 at 12:09:25 AM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
oh man, stupid fucking AOL, read and cry/laugh: (2.60 / 5) (#47)
by circletimessquare on Wed Aug 09, 2006 at 05:35:43 AM EST

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/09/technology/09aol.html?ei=5065&en=f83b62efc 45c1112&ex=1155700800&partner=MYWAY&pagewanted=print

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

hahahahaha (3.00 / 2) (#51)
by PrinceSausage on Wed Aug 09, 2006 at 06:03:28 AM EST

That really made my day.

[ Parent ]
SQL Server tip: (1.75 / 4) (#58)
by balsamic vinigga on Wed Aug 09, 2006 at 01:38:20 PM EST

WHERE Query LIKE '%moral%'

---
Please help fund a Filipino Horror Movie. It's been in limbo since 2007 due to lack of funding. Please donate today!
lol sql server ain't that shitty (2.00 / 3) (#59)
by balsamic vinigga on Wed Aug 09, 2006 at 01:44:47 PM EST

and even with CTS's probable lack of quality DBA skills, people don't install databases so that they can just grep text in em.

Read up on indexes.

---
Please help fund a Filipino Horror Movie. It's been in limbo since 2007 due to lack of funding. Please donate today!

read the posted article you're replying to (3.00 / 1) (#70)
by army of phred on Thu Aug 10, 2006 at 08:47:02 AM EST

cts imported text into an sql server.

"Republicans are evil." lildebbie
"I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about." motormachinemercenary
"my wife is getting a blowjob" ghostoft1ber
[ Parent ]
postgres is the choice of true champions (none / 0) (#85)
by newb4b0 on Fri Aug 11, 2006 at 07:40:22 PM EST


http://www.netmoneychat.com| NetMoneyChat Forums. No Registration necessary. Ya'll.
[ Parent ]

Interesting write-up (2.80 / 5) (#66)
by Hung Fu on Thu Aug 10, 2006 at 12:58:26 AM EST

No, not you CTS, CNET.
From that massive list of search terms, for instance, it's possible to guess that AOL user 710794 is an overweight golfer, owner of a 1986 Porsche 944 and 1998 Cadillac SLS, and a fan of the University of Tennessee Volunteers Men's Basketball team. The same user, 710794, is interested in the Cherokee County School District in Canton, Ga., and has looked up the Suwanee Sports Academy in Suwanee, Ga., which caters to local youth, and the Youth Basketball of America's Georgia affiliate.

That's pretty normal. What's not is that user 710794 also regularly searches for "lolitas," a term commonly used to describe photographs and videos of minors who are nude or engaged in sexual acts.

This is the ultimate airing of dirty laundry. Ouch.

__
From Israel To Lebanon
yeah that's what is so good/ bad about this data (1.83 / 6) (#67)
by circletimessquare on Thu Aug 10, 2006 at 02:42:56 AM EST

good for us, as we're given unprecedented unedited glimpses of people's stream of subconsciousness

bad for those who we are given a view of

and what we learn is what we expect: people's minds are full of sex and violence

civilization is just a veneer

we're still all mad monkeys, barely on the edge of sane and moral behavior

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I still don't get why you say (3.00 / 2) (#74)
by rpresser on Thu Aug 10, 2006 at 11:44:03 AM EST

it is "good for us" to get glimpses of people's stream of subconsciousness.

(Please don't bash me again for having mentioned the word incest in another comment; I'll stipulate that it was a stupid rhetorical move. Try to stick to this question.)

Why do we need to pry? What do we gain by seeing the traces of other peoples' private lives, other than titillation?
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]

I agree (2.50 / 2) (#79)
by nuntius on Thu Aug 10, 2006 at 10:18:00 PM EST

> Why do we need to pry? What do we gain by seeing the traces of other peoples' private lives, other than titillation?

We should shut down psychology departments around the world.

[ Parent ]

So your motive in reading the AOL stuff (none / 1) (#82)
by rpresser on Fri Aug 11, 2006 at 12:43:49 PM EST

is purely to gain psychological insight, for use in your practice as a therapist?  Suuuuuure.
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]
what nuntius said nt (1.00 / 3) (#80)
by circletimessquare on Fri Aug 11, 2006 at 09:41:16 AM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Not normal? (none / 1) (#93)
by awgsilyari on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 11:25:51 AM EST

Searching for "lolita" is not normal? Get a fucking grip. Look at the search data. MOST people are into child porn in some way. Usually, something that MOST people do is not considered "abnormal."

If you bother to comb through all the data, you'll notice that almost EVERY SINGLE PERSON who searches for child-porn related terms ALSO searches for perfectly normal sounding things. These people lead normal lives, do normal things, they just like looking at naked kids.

The US is a nation of closeted, well-adjusted lolita gapers. It's only a scant few who actually act out on their impulses toward children. That guy in the next cube over from you? He was probably looking at child porn last night, don't fucking kid yourself.

--------
Please direct SPAM to john@neuralnw.com
[ Parent ]

Three good deeds by AOL (2.00 / 3) (#69)
by andersjm on Thu Aug 10, 2006 at 08:06:13 AM EST

  1. Deciding to help scientific progress.
  2. Deciding to anonymise data to protect privacy.
  3. Fessing up to their mistake and doing their best to undo it - which is impossible, but at least they tried.

Trying to label AOL as evil for this is entirely unfair.  Incompetent, sure, but not evil.

What went wrong is an invocation of a key principle in security systems design: Anyone can design a system secure enough that they themselves cannot break into it.  But that doesn't make it secure against the world at large.

An AOL employee anonymised the data in a way that seemed bulletproof.  That's a failure of imagination, but the key lesson is not that the employee is at fault for having not enough imagination.  The employee is at fault for failing to get a second (and third and fourth) qualified opinion on the plan.

Website: http://aolsearchdatabase.com NT (2.00 / 2) (#71)
by shm on Thu Aug 10, 2006 at 09:38:36 AM EST

http://aolsearchdatabase.com/

6497 (2.00 / 3) (#72)
by PrinceSausage on Thu Aug 10, 2006 at 09:52:34 AM EST

My absolute favorite. Searches for speedos, ricky martin, hydrogen bombs and so on.

makes perfect sense to me ;-) nt (1.00 / 3) (#75)
by circletimessquare on Thu Aug 10, 2006 at 04:03:46 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Gah! Too much information ;) nt (none / 1) (#78)
by PrinceSausage on Thu Aug 10, 2006 at 05:56:32 PM EST



[ Parent ]
You've found Michael Crawford's ID n/t (none / 0) (#94)
by davidmb on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 10:01:01 AM EST


־‮־
[ Parent ]
Better it be public (2.33 / 3) (#77)
by m50d on Thu Aug 10, 2006 at 05:31:30 PM EST

so that you can at least see what others can see about you, rather than some research institution knowing things you don't

I voted for this, but something just occured to me (none / 1) (#83)
by JenniferForUnity on Fri Aug 11, 2006 at 06:21:58 PM EST

So I'm reading...

This collection is distributed for NON-COMMERCIAL RESEARCH USE ONLY.
Any application of this collection for commercial purposes is STRICTLY PROHIBITED.

and just to the left of it is...

Ads by Goooooogle
The DNA Ancestry Project
...
Native American Ringtone
...
Try eBay
...
Lebanese Singles: Photos
...
Advertise on this site



irrelevant. (none / 0) (#87)
by Eight Star on Sat Aug 12, 2006 at 04:42:54 PM EST

This is reporting on a news item. The right of the press to explain the stupid actions of a corporation trumps any restrictions they try to place on their data.

Also, given the scale of AOL's release and the small amount of data here, this is fair use anyway. You don't need permission to reproduce this small a snippet of published data, so their restriction doesn't apply anyway.

In fact, that's the real problem here, the little commercial use prohibition doesn't count for jack against a data miner, because they don't have to redistribute the data.

[ Parent ]

Since AOL service is going to be free now.. (none / 1) (#84)
by newb4b0 on Fri Aug 11, 2006 at 07:39:22 PM EST

I guess they don't give a shite about their customers.

http://www.netmoneychat.com| NetMoneyChat Forums. No Registration necessary. Ya'll.

Keyword services (none / 1) (#86)
by cdguru on Sat Aug 12, 2006 at 03:51:30 PM EST

If you have ever subscribed to a keyword service - where they tell you the top keywords used in searches and other related information - you can bet that the information that AOL gave away for free is already being sold by Google, Yahoo, MSN and every other search engine out there.

If there is data, it has a price.  Meet the price and you get the data.  Period.  It is a business transaction.

I seriously doubt people are searching with their own SSN, name, address or anything else.  They are looking for other people's information.  Not a huge surprise here.

Privacy is obviously overrated.  You think you have some, but you don't.  You never did, from the moment you stopped calling different modems from home and started using a single service to route all of your data traffic through.

Everyone you do business with sells your data in one way or another.  Everyone that wants to know something about your buys data about you.  It is a huge portion of the economy now, since manufacturing has moved to better climates and out of North America and Northern Europe.  You think this is only a US problem?  What, did the retailers just stop sending there data to a consolidation service over there or something?

This lead (none / 1) (#88)
by ShiftyStoner on Sat Aug 12, 2006 at 05:09:21 PM EST

to me seeing men getting spikey cock rings placed on their balls tied up balls paddled steped on and getting fucked in the ass with strap ons by hot woman.

I thought it was funny as hell. But it made me hard. Everything does it seems.

 
( @ )'( @ ) The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force. - Adolf Hitler

Web interface (none / 1) (#90)
by maxevil on Sun Aug 13, 2006 at 06:53:02 AM EST

We discuss particular AOL users at http://aol.zanoza.lv

Just found someone with breast cancer: http://aol.zanoza.lv/user/15057624

Prediction (none / 0) (#97)
by Pavel Vozenilek on Sun Aug 20, 2006 at 05:38:31 PM EST

In 2001 Lee Malatesta earned himself visit from FBI for making a comment on K5: Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!.

The Cleveland pipe bomb maker 2097875, wanting to work on the airport is, by this criteria, clear Guantanamo candidate. Or see whom the anonymous analysts found here.

Secret services around the world will push for access to such material and, as a welcomed side-effect, require more funds and more people.

Datamining AOL's LUser Base | 94 comments (53 topical, 41 editorial, 0 hidden)
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