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Why the Web Won't Be Nirvana

"After two decades online, I'm perplexed. It's not that I haven't had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I've met great people and even caught a hacker or two. But today, I'm uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community. Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic. Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth [is] no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works." A view of the Internet's future from February 26, 1995 at 7:00 PM
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 12, 2013 - 41 comments

www.altavista.digital.com

DEC - I mean Digital - I mean Compaq - er, CMGI - no, Overture; rather - Yahoo ... will shut down AltaVista for good next week.
posted by dmd on Jul 1, 2013 - 121 comments

Your wildflower search engine.

Search for wildflowers by location, color, flower shape, flower size and time of blooming. 3,126 plants indexed. This web site helps those of us with limited knowledge of botany to identify flowering plants that are found outside of gardens. This help is provided by presenting you with small images of plants. You can use a number of search techniques to get to the images that are most likely the plant you are looking for. When you click on a plant image the program shows you links to plant descriptions and more plant images. The site has about 5 ways of searching for a plant. You can use these searches in any combination. Some searches eliminate some plants from consideration. Most searches give a "score" to each plant depending on how well the plant matches the search criteria. The plants with the highest score are displayed at the top of the results. Click here for Instructions. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Jun 5, 2013 - 21 comments

The digital equivalent of stashing a dirty magazine under your mattress

When news came through of Yahoo! buying Tumblr, everyone wanted to know what that meant for all the porn on Tumblr. But it turns out that long before Yahoo! signed a check, Tumblr had been quietly doing something about it on its own: stopping adult blogs from being indexed. [NSFW links] [more inside]
posted by themadthinker on May 23, 2013 - 152 comments

Nifty how to get from place to place travel site

Rome2Rio is a handy travel search engine site where you put in the place you want to start and where you want to go. It shows you the map, the cost of the ticket (air, rail, coach, ferry and mass transit routes), duration of the journey, etc.
posted by nickyskye on May 18, 2013 - 16 comments

Based on your history, we know you are interested in cephalopods.

I turned around to face an approaching figure. It was Larry Page, naked, save for a pair of eyeglasses. “Welcome to Google Island. I hope my nudity doesn’t bother you. We’re completely committed to openness here. Search history. Health data. Your genetic blueprint. One way to express this is by removing clothes to foster experimentation. It’s something I learned at Burning Man,” he said.
posted by Horace Rumpole on May 17, 2013 - 30 comments

Million Short: A different way to search the web

"Million Short is an experimental web search engine (really, more of a discovery engine) that allows you to REMOVE the top million (or top 100k, 10k, 1k, 100) sites from the results set. We thought it might be somewhat interesting to see what we'd find if we just removed an entire slice of the web." Developer Sanjay Arora, founder of Exponential Labs, explains the thinking behind his development of Million Short and its inverse, Million Tall, "which ONLY indexes the top million (or top 100k, etc.) sites." [more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl on Sep 20, 2012 - 35 comments

.org! Those Yahoos really Binged that Googling, Siri!

Researchers analyze what you get when you "page Dr Google". [more inside]
posted by tilde on Aug 8, 2012 - 16 comments

The 99% of the Web?

So, would a search engine be more useful if it just didn't include the Most Popular websites? How about the ONE MILLION most popular websites?
Fortunately, it lets you adjust the filter to exclude the top 100,000, 10,000, thousand, hundred or ten. MetaFilter reappears under the 'thousand' setting.
Via WaxyLinks and HackerNews

posted by oneswellfoop on May 1, 2012 - 12 comments

How the World Searched

Fukushima. Osama Bin Laden. The Arab Spring. The Royal Wedding. Natural Disasters. Argentine Soccer Teams. Elizabeth Taylor. Gabrielle Giffords. iPad2 & iPhone 5. Steve Jobs..... Google Presents their 11th annual Zeitgeist: 2011 Year In Review (youtube) "What mattered in 2011? Zeitgeist sorted billions of Google searches to capture the year's 10 fastest-rising global queries and the rest of the spirit of 2011." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 15, 2011 - 26 comments

Google keyword: Pepsi

Two weeks ago, Google disabled the + operator for searches, requiring quotation marks to force inclusion of a word.
Today, Google Plus rolled out a new feature - Pages for companies and brands, so you can "build relationships with all the things you care about". Included is Direct Connect - go straight to Pepsi's Google+ page by searching for +Pepsi.
posted by dragoon on Nov 7, 2011 - 205 comments

Google collects data. A lot of it.

Google and its massive knowledge feedback loop.
posted by Weebot on Oct 4, 2011 - 63 comments

The logical conclusion of our relationship to computers: expectantly to type “what is the meaning of my life” into Google.

It’s for your own good—that is Google’s cherished belief. If we want the best possible search results, and if we want advertisements suited to our needs and desires, we must let them into our souls. James Gleick writes about 'How Google Dominates Us' for the New York Review of Books. [more inside]
posted by WalterMitty on Aug 1, 2011 - 61 comments

Bing Sting.

Google set up a sting operation to prove that rival Microsoft search engine Bing is cheating, using Internet Explorer to track users' Google search results and mining that data to improve Bing. Here's the proof.
posted by 2bucksplus on Feb 1, 2011 - 166 comments

Web Search by the people, for the people

YaCy is a p2p search engine. It is fully decentralized, so it's quite difficult to censor.
posted by - on Jan 29, 2011 - 17 comments

Google - Don't Be Evil

Google's sheer size and power is staggering - and of course a little disconcerting. But ultimately are they ensuring the internet remains open and user friendly? CBC Radio had a great piece on the Algorithm That Changed World on how Google has helped keep the internet useful and spammers at bay. As a user, I have not found any other search engine that come close in giving me useful results. Intelligent Life's take on Apple vs Google, shows how this open system vs closed system philosophical differences plays itself out with product strategy. Of course, Google's user-centric world can suck if you have ever written a book.
posted by helmutdog on Dec 28, 2010 - 106 comments

Zeitgeist 2010

Google presents: Zeitgeist 2010: How the World Searched, based on the aggregation of billions of search queries people typed into their search engine this year. Accompanying YouTube Video
posted by zarq on Dec 12, 2010 - 12 comments

Google Blacklist

Google recently rolled out its new instant search feature which accompanies its older "suggest" function. Both use an algorithm in an attempt to keep the search engine clean and out of trouble. The people at 2600.com are compiling a list of both objectionable and NOT objectionable terms (NSFW). [more inside]
posted by gman on Sep 27, 2010 - 53 comments

Cuil, I Hardly Knew Ye

Former Cuil employees are saying that the search engine is down for good. [more inside]
posted by bayani on Sep 20, 2010 - 55 comments

Religious Search Engines Yield Tailored Results

As reported on NPR's All Tech Considered ("Tech" and "Religion"?) on 9/13. "In a world where Google has put every bit of information at our fingertips, some people are now demanding less information when they surf the Internet" by using religion-based search engines. And folks are worried that Goohoo results might be biased? (SNPRL - Single Nat'l Public Radio Link) [more inside]
posted by Man with Lantern on Sep 14, 2010 - 58 comments

All the News That's Fit to Search

Busk is a search engine dedicated to items which are in the news. It gathers the results from thousands of sites and many of them contain full content including pictures, videos, and podcasts. [more inside]
posted by gman on Jun 2, 2010 - 15 comments

The Cuilest Encyclopedia

Previously discussed search engine Cuil has a reputation for absurd search results. Now the Cuil team is building on their success with cpedia, the new automated encyclopedia. [more inside]
posted by JDHarper on Apr 10, 2010 - 61 comments

Ebook search engine

Inkmesh ebook search engine will search across these sites finding free books and comparing prices. Video.
posted by stbalbach on Dec 5, 2009 - 13 comments

An infinitely expanding field of boxes, each containing one thing

Spezify is a metasearch engine. The interface is in Flash.
posted by ardgedee on Sep 29, 2009 - 38 comments

My favorite was Altavista, because of the Babelfish.

Popular Search Engines from the 90s, then and now
posted by sugarfish on Sep 17, 2009 - 92 comments

Web of Research

"Worio is a discovery engine that works alongside keyword search to expose you to stuff you've been missing using search alone." (via) [more inside]
posted by gman on Jun 17, 2009 - 17 comments

Google x Google

Google has released an experimental search tool, Google Squared, that presents search results in the form of a table. Each column represents some attribute or dimension of the things returned - for example, searching for US presidents yields a column for date of birth, and rows for Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, etc. [more inside]
posted by Zarkonnen on Jun 5, 2009 - 70 comments

Recipe Puppy, a new Recipe Search Engine

Recipe Puppy, a new Recipe Search Engine [via mefi projects] A recipe search engine that lets you search for recipes by ingredients. Simply put in the ingredients you have and the type of food you want, and the search engine will return the recipes you are closest to being able to make. You can also specify ingredients you don't have, and ingredients that absolutely must be included in the recipe. [more inside]
posted by yuletide on Apr 21, 2009 - 41 comments

Search like it's 2001...

To celebrate their 10th birthday Google have brought back their oldest available index dating back to 2001.
posted by HaloMan on Sep 30, 2008 - 110 comments

Where's my image?

TinEye is the first image search engine on the web to use image identification technology. [more inside]
posted by monospace on Aug 21, 2008 - 34 comments

Google Search Engine Ranking Factors v2

Google Search Engine Ranking Factors v2 "represents the collective wisdom of 37 leaders in the world of organic search engine optimization. Together, they have voted on the various factors that are estimated to comprise Google's ranking algorithm." The highest ranked factor is Keyword Use in Title Tag.
posted by Soup on Aug 18, 2008 - 56 comments

cuil kids?

Cuil is a new search engine developed by former Google employees, and claims to index 3x more pages than Google. CNN Money story has the basics. My attempts were met with timeouts. [more inside]
posted by Ynoxas on Jul 28, 2008 - 189 comments

Searchme - Visual Search Engine

Searchme is a search engine that displays results as images of web pages.
posted by xod on Jun 19, 2008 - 22 comments

Search engine battle heats up

According to ComScore, Google takes 59.8% of search traffic in the US, leaving Yahoo, MSN and smaller players to fight for the scraps. Pretty pie-chart here. Slightly different numbers are available from Compete and Hitwise, but Google still rules the roost.
posted by SharQ on Apr 17, 2008 - 25 comments

Got room on that Zimmer for two?

Microsoft offers $44.6 billion for Yahoo! The grand old man of Redmond has finally come out of the closet to woo the loveliest lady in Sunnyvale, offering a staggering $44.6 billion in cash or shares. Cash or shares? Wow! Bearing in mind the...ah...disappointments both companies have suffered over the recent past, is this a marriage made in heaven? Or hell?
posted by Duug on Feb 1, 2008 - 199 comments

Google for Google's Sake

If Google was designed for Google.
posted by armoured-ant on Oct 16, 2007 - 36 comments

DMOZ Payola?

DMOZ Editor(s) seeking extortion for continued inclusion is putting further smudge on the "volunteer" directory. Seems lots of folks have had their hands out over inclusion in the DMOZ, so why hasn't a business been built out of it? Is Best of the Web positioning itself as Google Bait?
posted by FlamingBore on Aug 28, 2007 - 12 comments

Lean back Internet TV

Chime.TV -- it's a new video hyper-aggregator (like VodPod) by MeFite chime that I've been using since it was in development. It's Wii-compatible and tested and can turn your fave sites into channels (including but not limited to MeFi,Boing Boing, Digg, or Fark). You can automatically watch any YouTube channel as well, or just watch your favorites. I'm personally going to suggest you try out the Net100 channel, which is an aggregate of everbody's top 10 videos. Flash player required
posted by taumeson on Jun 12, 2007 - 26 comments

"It's simple - reeeaal simple."

Sputtr is a front-end for searching a variety of popular sites, of course dipped in some Web 2.0 sauce.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on May 12, 2007 - 29 comments

Web 2.0 clichés abound in Yahoo! Oz's new search product

Yahoo! Australia introduces a new search engine that uses OpenSearch and pretty little AJAX tricks to integrate results from Flickr, Wikpedia, YouTube (and so on). You can customize the layout, and even add your own search sources. It’s called Alpha, it’s currently in Beta, and aims to get through the rest of the Greek alphabet by June. (Via podlob.)
posted by Milkman Dan on Apr 10, 2007 - 13 comments

Search this!

Wikiasari search engine. Wikipedia founder plans to offer a new search engine using "the same network of followers" for the process. “Essentially, if you consider one of the basic tasks of a search engine, it is to make a decision: ‘this page is good, this page sucks’,” Mr Wales said. “Computers are notoriously bad at making such judgments, so algorithmic search has to go about it in a roundabout way. But we have a really great method for doing that ourselves,” he added. “We just look at the page. It usually only takes a second to figure out if the page is good, so the key here is building a community of trust that can do that.”
posted by Brian B. on Dec 24, 2006 - 29 comments

Google takes on Paypal

Google Checkout is officially unveiled today; the latest service to join the Google arsenal in their race to control the entire www. It has been suggested in the news that the Google payment service was also a big factor in the recent Yahoo and eBay partnership, since eBay's Paypal service might finally have some real competition. More info on the service here.
posted by p3t3 on Jun 29, 2006 - 32 comments

Google Images Censored in China

Google Images Censored in China A picture says 1000 words, and Google.cn is censoring them all. Check out the side-by-side screens of a search for "tiananmen+square" in Google.com and Google.cn images. Looks like a nice place, with little historical significance. You can try the search yourself. The text on the bottom left is the censorship disclaimer. Very different than our results. A far cry from Google's claim that they do not censor results. Nice to know that they stand up to the government here but not abroad.

A good spoof of the whole thing.
posted by FeldBum on Jan 30, 2006 - 57 comments

Google Music Search

Google music search... It had to happen sooner or later, right? Drop in a phrase, you get artist, album, and song title matches to choose from. Choose an artist, you get a list of their albums and on the album page you get a tracklisting and links to buy the album online, as well as links to do other artist/album/song-related Google searches.
posted by sarajflemming on Dec 15, 2005 - 53 comments

Quick way to find audio / video files

Singing Fish - The search engine for audio and video.
posted by dobbs on Oct 13, 2005 - 13 comments

Yahoo Search for Creative Commons Content

Yahoo Releases a beta tool that searches for Creative Commons content. It even allows you to specify the type of license you're interested in (derivitive works, commercial use). Lawrence Lessig obviously has something to say about it. If nothing else, it will increase awareness of the cause.
posted by o2b on Mar 24, 2005 - 8 comments

How many fingers in how many pies?

Microsoft has unleashed their internet search engine to the world. It currently isn't working, at least for me. Is it wrong of me to wish it stays that way?
posted by ashbury on Nov 11, 2004 - 43 comments

Cuban vs. Google: It's On!

Mark Cuban, who obviously just has too much time on his hands, is teaming up with Icerocket in an attempt to thwart Google for search engine dominance.
posted by Ufez Jones on Aug 3, 2004 - 22 comments

The search engine is dead! Long live the search agent!

blinkx is a new contextual search agent that seems to be causing some excitement. Unfortunately, it is not available for Macintosh or Mozilla at present.
posted by davehat on Jul 15, 2004 - 13 comments

corn is king

I found these images, one, two, when I typed in “tent” in the “search all fields” field and selected image as resource type. The site is OAIster, which is a digital library, which has 3,273,233 records from 301 institutions. Its my new magic eight ball. (via)
posted by JohnR on Jun 20, 2004 - 15 comments

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