The AOL Search Data and Liquids on Airlines

    August 16, 2006

These are two mostly unrelated thoughts, but that’s what you get some days.

The Search Data Release

I was surprised that nobody asked me about the AOL Search data release at the Search Engine Strategies Conference last week. My take on it is similar to what Nelson said:

I’m glad the leak happened; now everyone can see just how sensitive search data is. And valuable, too. Search logs are the private corporate property of companies like AOL to use (or misuse) as they want. Or for the US government to subpoena. Is that the best world for us?

The way I’d phrase it is that I’m really glad it happened, (a) because now we can talk about how important it is, and (b) because it didn’t happen to Yahoo.

Liquids on Airlines

Just when I thought the airlines and/or TSA couldn’t get anymore stupid, they went and banned virtually all liquids on commercial airline flights. Well you know what? That’s going to far. Way, way too far. I can’t believe that the airlines didn’t push back against these new rules.

If someone asks me to fly somewhere between now and whenever they come to their senses, I’ll politely decline. I refuse to be treated as a potential hijacker. If I’m that dangerous, I should have never been given a pilot’s license by the FAA in the first place.

Never underestimate the power of irrational fear.

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Jeremy Zawodny is the author of the popular Jeremy Zawodny’s blog. Jeremy is part of the Yahoo search team and frequently posts in the Yahoo! Search blog as well.

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