QIt's called the World Wide Web, but when I make a Google inquiry I never see references to sites outside the United States, at least not in the top 20 or 30 references. It's the same with Google News; I don't get references to foreign news outlets, not even their English language editions. It appears that Google is censoring what is available. Is there anything I can do?

LARRY BEDARD, Minneapolis

AI don't think it's censorship so much as it's the way the technology works. Because Google tailors results to you, you're more likely to get U.S. Web pages in English. And yes, Google knows that much about you from the things you've clicked on.

You can get more international news sources by asking for them by name. A Google search for the French newspaper Le Monde brings up the newspaper's Web page in French or English. Searching for LeMonde.fr (.fr designates a French Web page) pulls up several news pages in French.

You can seek more diversity in your searches by changing your browser's preferred language setting. The more languages you add to the preferred list, the more non-English Web pages you'll get. (It's worth noting that much of the Web is in English, so if your browser is currently set to that language you're still getting a pretty wide selection of what's online.)

If you use the Firefox browser, go to Tools, then Options, then click the Content tab. Next to the "choose your preferred language for displaying pages," click Choose. Under the list of "languages in order of preference" you'll probably find English/United States at the top. Click "select a language to add" and choose from the list. Note that you can give languages a different priority by moving them up or down the preferred list, or you can delete them entirely. Click OK.

For Internet Explorer, go to Tools, Internet Options and, on the General tab, click the Languages button. Click Add and select a language from the list. It offers a similar list of choices for moving a language up or down the priority list, or for removing it. Click OK.

QI am baffled by your column's use of Tinyurl.com. When I go there, there is no index for the many tiny URL Web addresses you refer to. How do I find an index?


AMany readers have asked this question. There is no index because Tinyurl.com isn't a collection of technology-related Web pages; it's a free Web service that creates short addresses for websites that have long, unwieldy addresses. For example, last week's column is at tinyurl.com/393b33e, which is only half as long as the real address.

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