June 6, 2003 8:46 PM   Subscribe

The Turbo10.com search engine beta is back online. Here's why it will make Google its bitch.
posted by Space Coyote (32 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I searched for "man psql" and I get a little complicated frame on the left and a big empty white frame on the left. I feel that perhaps it is I who have been bitchulated.
posted by nicwolff at 9:02 PM on June 6, 2003

Frames! It's 1996 again!

I had the same result as nicwolff. It doesn't work. I enter a search phrase and get a big blank screen.
posted by MiG at 9:12 PM on June 6, 2003

Maybe the Register can use Turbo10 to find a proofreader.
posted by swerve at 9:16 PM on June 6, 2003

Alright, so I do a search for Radiohead, and the band's official website isn't listed in the top ten. Nor are any of the great fan websites.
Do the same on Google, and you'll get the official website and four fan websites on the firstpage.

You should never take anything you read on the Reg to heart..
posted by ascullion at 9:19 PM on June 6, 2003

I'll just say that it specifically doesn't work when you type in quotes or logical operators, since it doesn't use them.

What it is useful for, that I've found, is searching thorugh specialized search engines, what it calls the 'deep net'. It dug up a few papers on FPGA synthesis theory that google never found. I posted the Reg link as a bit of an RTFM, since it explains the quotes thing in the first paragraph or so, as well as going into detail on how it actually works.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:25 PM on June 6, 2003

Right, it's still cool they are working on a deep linking solution. Problem is you have to define which sites to deep link too with a limit of 10 sites which makes it hard to do data exploration you have to really know what your looking for and where to find it. Arent there some other projects that address this in the big picture with standards for meta information on each webpage?
posted by stbalbach at 9:32 PM on June 6, 2003

After changing my javascript permissions for the page I managed to get something besides the blank white right frame. A few test searches and I can see that it has some serious potential. I like the idea of connecting to specialist databases, and the topic clustering is a great concept though it doesn't seem to work yet.
posted by Nothing at 9:36 PM on June 6, 2003

They also charge for adding sites.

I get the same problem as the above posters - a blank page instead of search results. There seems to be some problem with the javascript on the page.

Compared to other challengers to Google's throne, this is pretty crummy.
posted by spazzm at 9:37 PM on June 6, 2003

The reg was right about the color scheme.
posted by birdherder at 9:40 PM on June 6, 2003

I got results sets. Not very good ones, though. Colour me unimpressed.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:07 PM on June 6, 2003

That's one of the saddest UI implementations of a search engine I've seen. In order to force users to go through their "click1.cgi" (pressumedly for their logging purposes), they hide the resultant URLs by ROT-13 (shifting each character by 13). Welcome to uggc://jjj.zrgnsvyre.pbz/ indeed.
posted by aki at 10:08 PM on June 6, 2003

Every mention I've seen of this thing in the press has been of the sort of breathless "they're giving Google a run for their money" type of thing. I guess nobody ever tried using it. Turbo10 is garbage. They'll be out of business by September.
posted by spilon at 10:20 PM on June 6, 2003

On second thought, I'd rather say that Turbo10 is flat Sprite with globs of snot floating in it.
posted by spilon at 10:22 PM on June 6, 2003

i tried it for a day, but it was just awful. aki's points are serious. i want to see where i am clicking to. obscuring that is a major turn off for me.

i just can't trust an engine that charges for listing.

and it looks horrible and hideously unclear.
posted by quarsan at 11:08 PM on June 6, 2003

The thing is, if you have a clear idea of what you're looking for, you can already get the results you want on the first page of Google by using logical operators and quotes. Why navigate through "clusters" to find them?

UI issues aside though, I can see how searching deep-linked pages and databases would be useful for more in-depth research, which can take some work on Google. It's hard to want to switch to this as a primary search engine though when Google works so well 99+% of the time for my own needs.
posted by DaShiv at 11:31 PM on June 6, 2003

Well, I just tried to find out what McMamme (I'm on fact-checking today) was via google. It told me nothing. Bored, I came here, read about Turbo10 and tried it. Hello, hit 7, an explanation.

So yes, it looks like a hideous pile of dog crap designed by a college lecturer using Microsoft software, but hey ... it got me my answer.
posted by bonaldi at 3:07 AM on June 7, 2003

Unless I'm mistaken this page, hit #3 on a googling for the word, tells you what McMamme is, bonaldi...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:15 AM on June 7, 2003

(although it is buried way way down the very large page, a quick CTRL-F got me there lickety-split)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:16 AM on June 7, 2003

Hey, you're right Stavros. That's *weird*. I would have sworn blind that link wasn't there earlier. Perhaps google's bloated spiders have become selfaware, noticed my MeFi post and hastily corrected the error. Self-aware google, how scary? Bet it sniggers at us, all the time.

"Oh look, bot #2333435, look's like bonaldi's car has broken down again. What a dumbass."
posted by bonaldi at 3:56 AM on June 7, 2003

maybe it's just seeing a lot of traffic or something, but it's absolutely hopeless for finding badly-photoshopped britney spears pr0n. and if it's no good for that, what good is it?
posted by juv3nal at 5:12 AM on June 7, 2003

Doesn't work in Safari. If they can't learn browser-independant HTML, then they can't make anyone their beey-atch.
posted by Cerebus at 5:33 AM on June 7, 2003

This doesn't seem like anything special to me. In fact, while for some search requests it worked as well as google for others it failed miserably. Also, it's not revolutionary. It uses other search engines to do it's work and concatenates it's results. The revolutionary bit is that it's supposed to do it seamlessly. Big deal. There was another search engine that did that in the 90's, I don't know if it's still around and I don't remember the name.

I think the single most impressive thing about google to me is it's "don't be evil" policy, and that doesn't even help with search results in any way.
posted by substrate at 6:02 AM on June 7, 2003

Doesn't seem to work very well at all, certainly not well enough to warrant the use of the phrase "make Google its bitch." I tried a couple of simple searches which I know Google provides decent hits for and got mainly crap. Sites full of nothing but links and popups, stuff in French and Portuguese for no particularly good reason, etc.

I doubt a search engine can ever be implemented using this dogpile technique and provide a usuable result which is better, qualitatively, than the results of any one of the individual search engines alone. These things just keep popping up, and no one uses them, and we move on. C'est la guerre.

Oh, and that Register article? What utter bullshit. I don't get the hype that has to surround everything on the internet. It's like the Register just threw the URL at some staff writer and asked him to gush all over this engine until he passed out. If Turbo10 (what a terrible name) had the mettle to compete with Google there would be no need for articles like this; we would all simply use it because it would be the better solution.
posted by mmcg at 6:31 AM on June 7, 2003

For those of you who get a blank page:

You have to press the 'search' button again in the left-hand frame before it will bring up any results.
posted by delmoi at 7:05 AM on June 7, 2003

And also: a search for "turbo10" on google.com provides turbo10.com as the first hit. A search for "google" on turbo10.com provides... utter crap. I'm not sure that's a valid benchmark, or whatever, but come on.
posted by mmcg at 7:18 AM on June 7, 2003

The Register has had a bone to pick with Google for the last new months, not quite sure why. Probably just annoyed at the fawning it gets from bloggers among others. Turbo10 isn't replacing my home page any time soon, but at least they've got new ideas, so it's good to have them around.
posted by Space Coyote at 7:20 AM on June 7, 2003

Gawdawful. Looks like something cobbled together in 1996 that somebody forgot to turn off, and works like something that somebody forgot to turn on.

posted by dakotadusk at 7:33 AM on June 7, 2003

Dakotadusk, I think you summed up Turbo10 quite nicely.
posted by tepidmonkey at 11:38 AM on June 7, 2003

delmoi: I did. Several times. I'm capable of reading a screen and figuring out how a web form works. It doesn't work in Safari. Looking at the page source, it looks like shit. These people need to take a class or two.
posted by Cerebus at 12:06 PM on June 7, 2003

What Cerebus said. Anybody who can't manage rudimentary HTML and CGI without completely screwing up is not going to set the world on fire with their technological prowess.

It's if possible even more amateurish than the writing in the Register piece. Which, by the way, is so unreasonably, inaccurately and blindly over-the-top favorable (even to the point of spending about half of the article telling you what you may or may not say when you email the Register about how splendid it is) I think it's safe to assume a business relationship between either the writer or the Register itself and these turbo10 people.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:45 PM on June 7, 2003

As far as I'm concerned, they're claim to search the "deep web" doesn't cut the mustard, as PubMed isn't one of the databases to be searched, nor is the Plants database two extensive, usefull and free databases on the web.
posted by dipolemoment at 9:08 AM on June 9, 2003

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