August 24th, 2010, by Tim Finin, posted in Google, sEARCH, Semantic Web, Social media
Microsoft’s Bing team announced on their blog that that the Bing search engine is “powering Yahoo!’s search results” in the US and Canada for English queries. Yahoo also has a post on their Yahoo! Search Blog.
The San Jose Mercury News reports:
“Tuesday, nearly 13 months after Yahoo and Microsoft announced plans to collaborate on Internet search in hopes of challenging Google’s market dominance, the two companies announced that the results of all Yahoo English language searches made in the United States and Canada are coming from Microsoft’s Bing search engine. The two companies are still racing to complete the transition of paid search, the text advertising links that run beside and above the standard search results, before the make-or-break holiday period — a much more difficult task.”
Combining the traffic from Microsoft and Yahoo will give the Bing a more significant share of the Web search market. That should help them by providing both companies with a larger stream of search related data that can be exploited to improve search relevance, ad placement and trend spotting. It will also help to foster competition with Google focused on developing better search technology.
Hopefully, Bing will be able to benefit from the good work done at Yahoo! on adding more semantics to Web search.
June 7th, 2009, by Tim Finin, posted in Google, sEARCH, Web
Who’s got the best basic web search engine? One way to approach that question is to conduct an experiment in which subjects rank the results returned by several engines without knowing which is which.
BlindSearch is a simple and neat site that collects ‘objective’ opinions on search quality by showing query results from Google, Yahoo and Bing side by side without identifying which is which and inviting you to select the best.
“Type in a search query above, hit search then vote for the column which you believe best matches your query. The columns are randomised with every query.
The goal of this site is simple, we want to see what happens when you remove the branding from search engines. How differently will you perceive the results?”
As of this writing there have been 1679 votes for preferred results with Google getting 39%, Bing 39% and Yahoo: 22%.
update 2:14pm edt 6/7: Google: 45%, Bing: 32%, Yahoo: 22% | 11,130 votes
February 12th, 2009, by Tim Finin, posted in RDF, Semantic Web, Web
This could be a big step toward the “web of data” vision of the Semantic Web.
Yahoo announced (Accessing Structured Data using BOSS that their BOSS (Build your Own Search System) will now support structured data, including RDF.
“Yahoo! Search BOSS provides access to structured data acquired through SearchMonkey. Currently, we are only exposing data that has been semantically marked up and subsequently acquired by the Yahoo! Web Crawler. In the near future, we will also expose structured data shared with us in SearchMonkey data feeds. In both cases, we will respect site owner requests to opt-out of structured data sharing through BOSS.”
Here’s how it works:
- Sites use microformats or RDF (encoded using RDFa or eRDF) to add structured data to their pages
- Yahoo’s web crawler encounters embedded markup and indexes the structured data along with the unstructured text
- A BOSS developer specifies “view=searchmonkey_rdf” or “view=searchmonkey_feed” in API requests
- BOSS’s response returns the structured data via either XML or JSON
Yahoo’s SearchMonkey only acquires structured data using certain microformats or RDF vocabularies. The microformats supported are hAtom, hCalendar, hCard, hReview, XFN, Geo, rel-tag and adr. RDF vocabularies handled include Dublin Core, FOAF, SIOC, and “other supported vocabularies”. See the appendix on vocabularies in Yahoo’s SearchMonkey Guide for a full list and more information.
A post on the Yahoo search blog also talks about this and other changes to the BOSS service and includes a nice example of the use of structured data encoded using microformats from President Obama’s LinkedIn page.
August 3rd, 2008, by Tim Finin, posted in cloud computing, Multicore Computation Center, Semantic Web, Social media
Cloud computing is a hot topic this year, with IBM, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Intel, HP and Amazon all offering, using or developing high-end computing services typically described as “cloud computing”. We’ve started using it in our lab, like many research groups, via the Hadoop software framework and Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud services.
Bill Poser notes in a post (Trademark Insanity) on Language Log that Dell as applied for a trademark on the term “cloud computing”.
It’s bad enough that we have to deal with struggles over the use of trademarks that have become generic terms, like “Xerox” and “Coke”, and trademarks that were already generic terms among specialists, such as “Windows”, but a new low in trademarking has been reached by the joint efforts of Dell and the US Patent and Trademark Office. Cyndy Aleo-Carreira reports that Dell has applied for a trademark on the term “cloud computing”. The opposition period has already passed and a notice of allowance has been issued. That means that it is very likely that the application will soon receive final approval.
It’s clear, at least to me, that ‘cloud computing’ has become a generic term in general use for “data centers and mega-scale computing environments” that make it easy to dynamically focus a large number of computers on a computing task. It would be a shame to have one company claim it as a trademark. On Wikipedia a redirect for the Cloud Computing page was created several weeks before Dell’s USPTO application. A Google search produces many uses of cloud computing in news articles before 2007, although it’s clear that it’s use didn’t take off until mid 2007.
An examination of a Google Trends map shows that searches for ‘cloud computing’ (blue) began in September 2007 and have increased steadily, eclipsing searches for related terms like Hadoop, ‘map reduce’ and EC2 over the past ten months.
Here’s a document giving the current status of Dell’s trademark application, (USPTO #77139082) which was submitted on March 23, 2007. According to the Wikipedia article on cloud computing, Dell
“… must file a ‘Statement of Use’ or ‘Extension Request’ within 6 months (by January 8, 2009) in order to proceed to registration, and thereafter must enforce the trademark to prevent removal for ‘non-use’. This may be used to prevent other vendors (eg Google, HP, IBM, Intel, Yahoo) from offering certain products and services relating to data centers and mega-scale computing environments under the cloud computing moniker.”