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Who's better: Google or CU librarians? Search me

geckomlis spotted This One From Ithaca on a recent study done by Cornell University's Instruction, Research, and Information Services (IRIS) that pitted Cornell librarians against freelance researchers at Google Answers -- a fee-based system, where more than 800 freelancers answer questions for a minimum of $2.50. The company claims to be able to provide answers within 24 hours.

In the study, 24 questions --ranging from the population of Afghanistan (about 26 million) to where Geoffrey Chaucer died (London) -- were given to library research staff and to Google Answers. Responses were scored by university librarians on a blind basis. The librarians looked at the accuracy and clarity of the answers given, and the validity of sources cited in answers. Cornell's researchers scored just slightly better than Google's in the study.

Microsoft vs. Google

A story from CNN about Microsoft wanting to basically became the new Google. Nothing's been fully developed yet, but it will be a company-wide effort to develop the technology.

"Any time Microsoft builds something into the operating system, they don't want to get that from anyone else," said analyst Matt Rosoff of Directions on Microsoft, an independent research group based in Kirkland, Washington.

Search results tailored to individual users based on a history of their interests and searches is one area that Microsoft is looking at, Koenigsbauer said.

Analysts said such a service would be ideal for Microsoft since it could leverage its control over the Windows operating system, which runs on more than 95 percent of the world's PCs.

Moreover, they said Microsoft's real motive is to build search into its various software products and most likely into the next Windows version, which is code-named Longhorn.

Gates has promised that Longhorn, which is expected to launch in 2005 or 2006, will include database technology to make it easier for users to track and find information on their computers.

"Long-term, all roads lead to Longhorn," Wilcox said.

Google celebrates fifth birthday

The BBC reports Google celebrates fifth birthday.
They say they more than 200 million and Google has become a phenomenon that has transcended its online origins.

It has expanded beyond just searches to encompass comparison shopping, news, web logs and even a service that blocks pop-up ads.

Real-Time Testing of Google SafeSearch Exclusions

Gary Price spotted some interesting results while using the Real-Time Testing of Google SafeSearch Exclusions.
Head over to The Resource Shelf to see what he found. He set out to see how Google’s SafeSearch would handle a couple of basic queries for names of U.S. Presidents. The results are interesting.

Egads! Google News Alerts

From http://www.google.com/newsalerts

Google News Alerts are sent by email when news articles appear online that match the topics you specify.

Some handy uses of Google News Alerts include:

  • monitoring a developing news story

  • keeping current on a competitor or industry
  • getting the latest on a celebrity or event
  • keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams.

    Getting set up with this is quite simple. One must simply enter their query, select how often they would like to be updated (daily or as it happens), then enter their email address.

    Is this cool, or what?

  • If You Liked the Web Page, You'll Love the Ad

    Publishers, including The Washington Post's Web site, which is owned by The Washington Post Company, and the car-buyers advice site Edmunds.com, have turned to Google or Overture to sell ads pegged to the content that each visitor selects. When a visitor goes to the Book World page on WashingtonPost.com, for example, the person is likely to see a text ad for a self-publishing company or some other book-related advertisement, placed there by Google's advertising service.


    The technology is not yet foolproof. The online edition of The New York Post, which is owned by the News Corporation, ran an article last month about a murder in which the victim's body parts were packed in a suitcase, and Google served up an ad for a luggage dealer.

    I wonder what the ads for a story about LISNews would look like?

    Here's the full article [NYT, reg'req]

    via jen

    Digging for Googleholes

    Slate has an good piece highlighting some drawbacks of using Google.

    The 3 Googleholes are:

    It is a fine article, but perhaps a bit confused. It praises Google's Page Rank system, even though it clearly is invloved with the Googleholes the author details. And of course I would have been happier if the article mentioned libraries as a place to fill in Googleholes. So we know how to best teach them, it is always good to be reminded of the problems our patrons have searching.

    Google cache raises copyright concerns

    C|net is running a story with some complaints about the Google cache feature. A New York Times spokeswoman talks about the "problem" of Google's (free) caches of articles in the NYT restricted archives. -- Read More

    Is Google God?

    Jen Young shares Is Google God?, op-ed piece from The NYTimes, by Thomas Friedman.
    He says while we may be emotionally distancing ourselves from the world, the world is getting more integrated. That means that what people think of us, as Americans, will matter more, not less. Because people outside America will be able to build alliances more efficiently in the world we are entering and they will be able to reach out and touch us — whether with computer viruses or anthrax recipes downloaded from the Internet — more than ever.

    Google calls in the 'language police'

    BBC News Online reports the popularity of the name Google, is becoming troublesome for the company.
    Google's problem is one of the paradoxes of having a runaway successful brand. The bigger it gets, the more it becomes part of everyday English language and less a brand in its own right.
    But the current obsession on building brand status has ushered in a new phase in language. So much so, that experts now fear trade mark lawyers are trying to police the otherwise natural evolution of the English diction.

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