3/18/2006

Search Engines Don’t Know What They Are

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Today I’ve decided to conduct a simple experiment. I wanted to know if search engines know what they are. This is not a scientific experiment but the results I got where very interesting.

To find if search engines know what they are I simply typed the phrase “search engine? in the leading search engines, which maintain their own index and running their own web crawler (No Meta search engines where tested). I expected that they will list the leading search engines on the first result page, but the results where surprising.

Starting with the leading search engine Google: the query “search engine? resulted with searchenginewatch.com as the first result follows by AltaVista, DogPile, Lycos, WebCrawler, Excite and other meta search engines, but no where on the first page I could find the leading search engines like Google itself, MSN, Yahoo and ASK. These leading search engine where only on the second page.
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Netscape Reportedly Trying for a Comeback

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Several news reports suggest Time Warner plans to resurrect its once high-flying Netscape division by turning it into a social networking hub.

Media tracker Paid Content.org says the Netscape name is soon to be attached to a social networking Web site, in which news stories and other items can be freely traded.

In order to do this, over the last few weeks Netscape owner Time Warner has fired some of its Netscape-focused employees and plans to install a new director, Jason Calacanis, according to the ValleyWag Web site. Time Warner owns Weblogs, which Calacanis runs.

Both reports claim the moves are a new effort to resurrect the once-mighty Netscape brand name.

Source: eWeek

Video game therapy–a new frontier

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Doctors pronounced Ethan Myers brain dead after a car accident dealt the 9-year-old a severe brain injury in 2002. After he miraculously awoke from a nearly month-long coma, doctors declared he would never again eat on his own, walk or talk.

Yet, thanks partly to a video game system, Myers has caught up with his peers in school and even read a speech to a large group of students.

“I’m doing the exact same things as them. I’m getting buddies and stuff,” said Myers, who had relearned to walk and was reading at a second-grade level before his video game therapy began in May 2004.

“I couldn’t remember where I put stuff and now I can. I remember school stuff and people’s names,” he said in a telephone interview from his family’s home in Colorado.

More fundamentally, Myers can now fully open his right hand, which paralysis had curled closed. His brother and sister, who were in the car with him during the accident and each suffered mild brain injuries, have also shown improvement in their memory and other functions.

Ethan and his parents attribute his most recent progress to neurofeedback training on the CyberLearning Technology system, which is often used to play car racing video games.

While this form of treatment has been around for decades, incorporating video games marks a new frontier that taps young people’s fascination with animation and electronics to sweeten often frightening, lengthy and tedious medical treatments.

Video games are being used, for instance, to help sick children manage pain and anxiety during hospital stays.

A young leukemia patient inspired “Ben’s Game,” which let him fight the cancer cells invading his body. A private island called Brigadoon in Linden Lab’s “Second Life” virtual world is open only to people with Asperger’s syndrome and autism.

Source: News.com

Town Auctioned on eBay Up for Sale Again

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The first town ever auctioned on eBay soon will be back up for sale on the online auction site.

Nearly two years after he bought the tiny town of Bridgeville, Orange County financial adviser Bruce Krall said Friday he plans to re-auction the Humboldt County hamlet on eBay next month.

“Due to family reasons, I’m pretty much tied to Southern California for the foreseeable future,” Krall said. “We can’t move up there. It only makes sense to pass it on to somebody else.”

Krall said the auction will open April 4 with a minimum bid of $1.75 million — more than twice what he paid for the 83-acre property about 40 miles southwest of Eureka.

Bridgeville, a picturesque village with about 25 people on the Van Duzen River, sparked a bidding war in 2002 when it became the first town ever put up for sale on eBay.

The buyer, who won the auction with a $1.78 million bid, never came to see the property and the deal fell through. The property was eventually posted on traditional real estate listings, and Krall bought it for about $700,000 in May 2004.

Source: AP

Microsoft goes on $500 million marketing push

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft (MSFT) will pump $500 million into marketing Windows Vista and Office 2007, the latest versions of the company’s dominant desktop PC operating system and suite of clerical programs.

That’s part of the message Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer delivered to senior executives of 500 companies who traveled to New York to hear an hour-long sales pitch about the upgrades, due out late this year.

Ballmer’s theme: Vista and Office 2007 are packed with “people-ready” tools designed to boost efficiency and create revenue. “People do drive business outcomes. People, people, people,” said Ballmer, in his trademark, high-energy speaking style. “And software and technology need to be a tool right there in front of people every day.”

Source: USAToday

Web Site Files Complaint Against Google

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google Inc.’s mysterious methods for ranking Web sites came under attack Friday in a lawsuit accusing the online search engine leader of ruining scores of Internet businesses that have been wrongfully banished from its index.

The civil complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose by KinderStart.com, seeks to be certified as a class action representing the owners of all Web sites blacklisted by Google’s Internet-leading search engine since January 2001.

KinderStart, a Norwalk-based Web site devoted to information about children, says it was dropped from Google’s index a year ago without warning.

KinderStart alleges Google has engaged in anticompetitive behavior and misled the public by positioning its search engine as an objective source for finding Internet content. The suit seeks unspecified financial damages and a court order that would require Google to change its ways.

Source: AP

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