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American Google censors, just like the Red Chinese one? 

While we are talking about conspiracies this week, I was blogging a review on (and it was not that positive) on my personal Vox blog, and discovered something very weird: it is impossible to search for that term on .
   I have searched for al-Jazeera spelt both and Al-Jazeera using both and , using both the Google Toolbar and regular Google, and have done so on two different Windows computers with two different set-ups.
   I have done a total of 12 searches with different combinations, with a 100 per cent rate.
   In the meantime, I have searched for other terms using Google and Google Toolbar, with 100 per cent success.
   I have Arabic installed, so I doubt it is a typographic problem.
   But this is way too weird. A bit like how Chinese people inside Red China try to use Google and have their results censored. Maybe this happens with the American Google now, too?
   I have no way of proving these, but if someone can teach me how to retrieve a crash log, I would be happy to give the search a few more shots and send the information along. Some screen shots follow.
   Maybe try this out yourself and see if you can repeat the error. It can’t just be restricted to this office!

Update: I can repeat this on 2·0; and make that 14 crashes.

Update, 5.57 a.m. GMT: Qwerty and Maureen both report successful searches. Meanwhile, I have discovered I cannot search for Aljazeera (no space): it also crashes the browsers.

Update, 9.21 a.m. GMT: The search does not work with Yahoo! Search, either, on either IE7 or Maxthon. As with Google, all other search queries are fine. Robin Capper thinks it may be the internet connection, which says something about Telstra Clear allowing all queries but for Aljazeera.

Update, 8.40 p.m. GMT: No changes to the crashes, and it’s Monday morning here. Might find others on Telstra Clear or the old Paradise service to see if they experience the same.

Update, Monday, 4.58 a.m. GMT: Have checked with friends running the same ISP, and they report no problems, so I am looking out for those black helicopters above my house. Up to 16 or 17 crashes now.

Regular Google search
A regular Google search, this one of my own name, presents no problems.

Search for Al Jazeera
Note the words in the Google Toolbar. The second I hit ‘Return’ after typing Al Jazeera, the entire browser . This is true on two computers and three different browsers—in other words, six set-ups, and approximately three attempts per set-up, with Al Jazeera spelt with and without a hyphen between the two words.

Second crash window
Clicking on the crash dialogue box reveals this next window.
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That's very odd. I have no trouble running a search for [al jazeera] in Firefox 2.0 or IE7. I'm not using the Google toolbar, though. I don't have it installed anymore. But I did search using the browsers' respective search boxes.

Are you in the US right now? I would have to guess it's more likely something to do with your ISP possibly blocking the domain, and your toolbar attempting to prefetch it. Do you have Google Web Accelerator? That may come with the toolbar.  
Qwerty, thank you for trying that. I didn’t want to jump to any conclusions, which was why I had to make clear it was happening here. I am in New Zealand right now, and al-Jazeera is broadcast here. I can even access aljazeera.net. I just can’t get Google to do a search for it.
   I do not know about the Accelerator. But my Firefox is Google Toolbar-free, and that does not seem to like the search, either.  
Hi Jack. I've got no problems searching for and viewing al-Jazeera here. Perhaps it's your connection rather than the machines, search engines or browsers. Heard any strange clicks on the phone line, black helicopters circling overhead or anything like that?
Just remember that you are not paranoid if they really are out to get you!  
It’s plain weird, Robin. But I have had a history of following the computer or program manual and finding that the geeks are wrong. When I employ the opposite technique—the one that the experts say I should not use—everything is AOK.
   If it is the connection, then I will have a few things to say about Telstra Clear! I’m on a pretty pricey fibreoptic line at the fastest speed they have.
   I might chat about this with the aliens who come by at night, and at my Roswell survivors’ group.  
Say, Robin, you don’t think Telstra is out to get me after I viewed this post, do you?  
Works fine for me, too. Call me paranoid, but since it's IE, I'd be making sure my virus scanner was up-to-date.

On 2nd thoughts, I remember having a problem with Firefox (not sure about IE) where it totally bombed out due to some Asian characters. It didn't happen all the time. It drove me quite mad since Firefox didn't have the crash recovery feature back then that saved the position and URLs of all the opened tabs.

Not many other Firefox users were having this problem according to Bugzilla. I think it was more of Windows problem rather than Firefox per se, but it did stop happening after a certain Firefox upgrade, rather than Win 2000 update.

Of course, neither of these are as fun as black helicopters.  
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Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.

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