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Tiananmen Square Tank Man vanishes from Microsoft Bing, DuckDuckGo, other search engines – even in America • The Register

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Thirty-two years ago, on June 4, 1989, Chinese troops killed and arrested thousands of pro-democracy protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, putting an end to demonstrations that began that April.

Microsoft’s Bing has no memory of an iconic moment from that time: there’s no record of Tank Man – the lone protester who faced down a column of tanks – in Bing’s image search index.

A Beijing demonstrator blocks the path of a tank convoy along the Avenue of Eternal Peace near Tiananmen Square

The Tank Man … A Beijing demonstrator blocks the path of an armored convoy along the Avenue of Eternal Peace near Tiananmen Square in June 1989

Source: Getty

At the time this article was written today, searching for “tank man” in Bing Images (Safe Search off, with or without quotes) here in the United States of America returned this response:

“This is due to an accidental human error and we are actively working to resolve this,” a Microsoft spokesperson told The Register.

Curiously DuckDuckGo Images (Safe Search off), which relies on Bing for its search index, also had no memory of the event when asked about “tank man.”

Nor did Ecosia’s Image search, another Bing-powered search service that promises to plant trees and proclaims, “We stand for a better internet.” Well, not today:

Yahoo Search and AOL Search, both of which rely on Microsoft’s Bing, had similar memory problems.

While the situation is the same for China’s Baidu search engine, as might be expected, the query “tank man” does return the famous scene using image search with Google and Yandex.

One of the most widely recognized photographs of the Tank Man was taken on June 5, 1989 by Associated Press photographer Jeff Widener from a balcony overlooking Tiananmen Square. A 1990 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in the category Spot News Photography, it became one of the most memorable news photos of the 20th Century.

When the image first went out over the wires, the AP caption read:

The identity of the man and his fate remain uncertain, except presumably to Chinese authorities, his family, and friends. British tabloid the Sunday Express identified him as “Wang Weilin” (王维林), a 19-year-old student. While that has not been corroborated, the name has been blocked during Tiananmen Square-related censorship efforts.

Within China, the image appears to be largely unknown, thanks to government censorship. On the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square killings, a BBC news crew showed people in China the image, stored on a laptop because it’s not readily available online there, and asked whether they’d seen it before. About 80 per cent of those asked said they hadn’t seen it, though if some of these individuals had, they might be disinclined to say so for fear of consequences.

Chinese authorities have traditionally stepped up censorship whenever the anniversary of June 4, 1989 rolls around, blocking words like “tank” (坦克) on social media platforms. In Hong Kong, police arrested pro-democracy activist Chow Hang Tung, who runs the organization that holds vigils in remembrance of the Tienanmen Square protests.

Recently, Variety reported that users of social media service Douban received notice that their accounts would be muted – ie, no posts – for four days, starting June 2, 2021. The report also said that the online game World of Tanks announced on its Weibo account that its chat service would be down for maintenance until June 8.

The Register asked DuckDuckGo for its side of this story. We’ve not heard back.

Just as this article was about to be published, we saw that at least one photo of the Tank Man can be seen in Bing search results again albeit not very prominently.

In a statement on Thursday commemorating the June 4th, 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said:

“The courage of the brave individuals who stood shoulder-to-shoulder on June 4 reminds us that we must never stop seeking transparency on the events of that day, including a full accounting of all those killed, detained, or missing.” ®

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I can’t charge my electric car cheaply because I’m too close to an RAF base | Money

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A few months ago I decided to switch energy supplier and moved to Octopus Energy’s Go tariff, principally because it offers cheap electric car charging overnight at a rate of 5p/kWh.

I applied to have the required smart meter installed. But after being given a date, I was later declined on the basis that smart meters cannot work at my address because they interfere with the missile early warning system at RAF Fylingdales.

Initially, I thought this was a joke. I have been involved with the construction of hundreds of new homes in Teesside, all of which have had smart meters installed.

Smart Energy GB, the body responsible for the rollout, has confirmed that this is very real, and smart meters installed in the area will not have had their smart capacity turned on.

I was told that a new meter is being worked upon and will eventually replace those already installed.

Meanwhile, I am having to charge my car at a premium rate of 16.76p/kWh which is costing me about £26 more a week than it would be on the Go tariff.

AM, Guisborough

Given that your house is more than 20 miles from the RAF base in question, I, too, was amazed that this could be an issue, but it is – and also in other areas close to bases.

Smart Meter GB has confirmed this is the case and says it is working on a solution – a communications hub that will enable people living near sensitive RAF sites to use smart meters.

It says these will be offered to customers “in the coming months”.

It adds those in the affected area, who had already had smart meters installed should be able to have the hubs retrofitted.

Meanwhile, Octopus has come up with a solution for your problem. It has offered to add you to the trial of these new meters, which, in turn, will allow you to go on the Go tariff.

It says it hopes to install your new meter before Christmas. It has also said that if you get the log from your charging firm, showing how much electricity you have used for the car since the switch took place, it will retroactively apply the savings that you would have gained had the smart meter worked from the start – a generous offer.

We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email consumer.champions@theguardian.com or write to Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Include a phone number. Letters are subject to our terms: gu.com/letters-terms

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China’s Yutu rover spots ‘mysterious hut’ on far side of the Moon

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Cube-shaped object is probably just a rock. Yutu will check it out anyway

China’s Moon rover, Yutu 2, has sent images of a strangely geometric object.…

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Strikepay struck gold at National Startup Awards 2021

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Strikepay, founded by fintech entrepreneurs Oli Cavanagh and Charles Dowd, scooped the top award for its fast-growing cash-free tipping tech.

Irish fintech company Strikepay has scooped the top prize at this year’s National Startup Awards.

The start-up, previously called Strike, was founded in 2020 to enable cash-free tipping without the need for a payment terminal or a new app on a customer’s phone.

Its founders, fintech entrepreneurs Oli Cavanagh and Charles Dowd, raised €625,000 in seed funding earlier this year and said they intended to seek a further €6.5m in investment by the end of 2021.

Strikepay has already begun acquiring and collaborating with other companies to bolster its product offering. In June, it acquired UK payments rival Gratsi and in April it appointed former Just Eat exec Edel Kinane as its chief growth officer.

Earlier in the year, it teamed up with Camile Thai Kitchen to enable contactless tipping for food delivery drivers and partnered with mobility company Bolt to bring its cashless tipping technology to taxis in Dublin.

Strikepay was one of several winners at the awards ceremony, which was livestreamed last night (2 December).

Other winners included health-tech start-up Stimul.ai, customer analysis tech business Glimpse, and sheep monitoring start-up Cotter Agritech, which has been participating in a new accelerator programme at University College Dublin.

As well as taking the top award, Strikepay also won Best Fintech Startup.

This year marked the 10th year of the National Startup Awards. The event was sponsored by Enterprise Ireland, Microfinance Ireland, Sage, Cronin Accountants and McCann Fitzgerald.

Last year’s top award was given to drone delivery service Manna. The start-up had been working with companies such as Tesco, Just Eat and Camile Thai to test its drones, and has seen further growth since then.

The full list of winners at the 2021 awards, in order of gold, silver and bronze, are:

Startup of the Year 2021

Strikepay

Early Stage Startup

Imvizar, CyberPie, The Fifth Dimension

Emerge Tech Startup

Xunison, Helgen Technologies, LiveCosts.com

Fintech Startup

Strikepay, ID-Pal, Itus Secure Technologies

Food and Drink Startup

Fiid, SiSú, Thanks Plants

Social or Sustainable Startup

Altra, Peer, Fifty Shades Greener

Product and Manufacturing Startup

Cotter Agritech, Orca Board, Filter

E-commerce and Retail Startup

FinalBend, The Book Resort, Nufields

Tech Startup

Glimpse, LegitFit, Examfly

Medtech Startup

Stumul.ai, SymPhysis Medical, Bonafi

Covid Pivot or Response Startup

Zoom Party/Find A Venue, KSH Group, Streat School

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