Take a look at their interface, all they are missing is a smiling butler…wait, I know one that’s for sale.
InformationWeek reports on the launch of AskMeNow, a search engine-type service that gives people the option of calling a toll free number to ask any question.
AskMeNow does not charge for basic questions, such as weather, stock prices, directory assistance, driving instructions or sports scores. Those are answered at no charge.
But ask for the closest French restaurant, or why the sky is blue, and the company charges 49 cents for each query. Carriers charge separately for downloading answers, which would fall under a person’s normal data service.
The company hopes to make money through advertising – sending one or two targeted ads with each answer.
Fresh from Enterpise Linux comes news that Google is helping to improve the open-source product, OpenOffice.
According to Chris DiBona, manager for open-source programs at Google, the current version of OpenOffice suffers from a few fairly large problems, such as a large memory requirement and a large download size.
Google plans to hire additional programmers to help the OpenOffice team with these and other issues.
Next time you’re on a plane and the guy next to you is staring intensively at his iPod, he may not be reviewing his Beck album collection – especially if new search engine Guba has anything to do with it.
According to Reuters…
Guba is a subscription-only search engine that culls video files from the Usenet newsgroups, a huge repository of online content — much of it adult, pirated, or both.
Beginning this month, Guba will convert video files from Usenet into the format used by the iPod, known as H.264
“We can kid ourselves, but in the end it’s probably porn that people want,” said Guba Chief Executive Thomas McInerney. He noted that the site offers a “safe mode” to filter out adult content.
Two new product announcements today from Microsoft…
The company will offer “Office Live” to help smaller companies grow and manage their businesses online. The service, which will initially be available by invitation only, will help companies build an online presence, automate key tasks and collaborate, according to Microsoft. It can be used separately or integrated with the Office suite of software used for applications like e-mail, scheduling, spreadsheets and word processing.
For consumers, Microsoft unwrapped a “Windows Live” service that combines tasks like instant messaging and e-mail and a service for creating Web logs. Among the new service’s features, users will be able to move information from one computer to another and can subscribe to a security service to help shield their PCs from viruses and other threats.
My good friend, Mike Grehan, has a great article in ClickZ that downplays the importance of keyword density and instead looks at what you really need for great search success.
More than anything else, perhaps, you’ll realize there’s more to text analysis than the number of times a word appears on a page. And that’s basically all a crude keyword-density analyzer shows you.
As Garcia explained, “Neither term weight nor keyword density scores are measures of term importance, which can only be assessed through semantics, contextuality, and on-topic analysis.”
Yahoo has released details of a survey that further strengthens the relationship betweening online searches and offline sales.
Working with Compete, Inc., Yahoo analyzed the online shopping behavior of a panel of two million internet users and conducted a survey of over 400 apparel shoppers who used search, visited one of 49 apparel retailer or manufacturer sites and subsequently purchased apparel offline.
The key findings include:
Search Influences Offline Purchasing
According to the findings, 78% of people who purchased apparel offline after using Internet search reported that search influenced their store visit and purchase. Nearly half (47%) of these buyers have also purchased apparel online and spend 26% more on apparel annually than those who do not use search.
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