Now that Google is Out, China is Building its own Search Engine

China’s huge population can put it on the top on quite some “world’s most” lists. Following that trend, China has the largest number of mobile subscribers and Internet users.

However, the Chinese Government is not very keen on boasting about these figures. Instead, it sees a reason to regulate this population. China is planning to develop a government controlled search engine in collaboration with many organizations. This would possibly allow the Chinese  Government  to serve completely autonomous content in search results.

Baidu is the prevalent search engine in China. Baidu rose to complete rule in China after the government booted out Google. However, now China’s official news media Xinhua and China Mobile, the largest mobile network in China joined hands to create “Search Engine New Media International Communications Company”, the new face of web search in China.

If this goes on, China can really succeed in pissing off its citizens who happen to be avid Internet users. In such a situation, they will have to be content with the fact that there is another country called North Korea, which is at a worse state when it comes to the Internet!

The actions against Google were simply seeds sown to the tree that can be seen as growing now. Now, we need to see how well Baidu holds up against this recent development.

(Via:  NY Times)

TwtImage Lets You Search Images Shared On Twitter

With more than 100 millions users and billions of tweets every month, Twitter is an excellent platform to share information. In fact, millions of users use Twitter just to share photos and videos with their friends but after a few hours these get buried deep down.

TwtImage is a new web service that lets you search images shared on Twitter. Just head over to TwtImage.com and enter the keyword you want to look for. The first set of results display 25 images but you can click on “load more” to display many more. Alternatively, you can use the cloud tag of popular keywords to see what people have been searching for. Clicking on any thumbnail takes you to the original source of the image.

Currently, TwtImage indexes Twitter images from several sites including TwitPic, TweetPhoto, img.ly and yfrog.com. The tool can be very useful if you are looking for images on Twitter but don’t want to burn yourself carrying out complex queries on Twitter.com. With an easy-to-use interface and dead simple functionality, TwtImage is one of the more useful tools when it comes to images on Twitter.

A Visual Search Gallery For Bing Wallpapers

Bing’s approach for its home page has been tremendously  successful. Not only do the users love it, Google is even accused of trying to copy it for a short bit. the only thing users aren’t too happy about is the lack of any feature to search and view all the past wallpapers in a neat tool. Well, Bing has just launched a visual search gallery for all the previous wallpapers.

The visual search gallery is extra-ordinarily organized and lets you get to the desired image within seconds. The top row displays filters based on regions such as Asia, Europe or North America, while a series of filters on the left let you narrow down your results even further. These include filtering results by country, regional groups, categories, sub-categories, colors and even seasons.

The images can be sorted by date or by name and each thumbnail includes the date of the wallpaper and the location of the image. Clicking on any image displays a larger picture along with the ability to zoom in/out of the image and more information about the venue/subject of the picture. There is also an option to browse through some of the editor’s picks as well as viewing all the past wallpapers on the same screen. The gallery is part of Bing’s visual search beta that allows users to search through images rather than using text.

If you are interested in downloading Bing wallpapers, here is an excellent tool that downloads the fresh Bing wallpaper every day and make it your desktop wallpaper.

Foursquare To Share Data With Google, Bing and Yahoo

FoursquareAccording to Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley, Foursquare is in talks with the major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo to share and include their location oriented data into search results.

Foursquare harvests a lot of user data from its applications on platforms like iOS and Android. They plan to anonymise the data and use it to show venues which are currently trending in real time search results.

The deal will be similar to Twitter’s deal with Google and Bing which allowed them to index tweets and display them alongside their search results in real time.

Our data generates hugely interesting trends which would enrich search. We can anonymise data and use it to show venues which are trending at that moment. Twitter helped the world and the search engines know what people are talking about. Foursquare would allow people to search for the types of place people are going to and where is trending not what.

” Crowley said.

Foursquare is the most popular location based startup and is valued at close to $100 million. It just received a $20 million cash investment from Andreessen Horowitz, a VC firm.

via Telegraph

Google Search for ‘Vatican’ shows Pedophile Website as First Result. Did 4chan Strike Back?

A simple Google search for ‘Vatican’ displayed a  pedophile website as a search result for quite some time on Saturday morning. The website in question turned up as the first result on Google Search.  Google is still assessing the cause of this mishap, which happened early Saturday.

vatican-pedophile-google-search

The website named pedifilo’ is an Italian website and hence the name. However, with the Vatican having its official website of the same name, it is surprising as to how the first result can be different from that. This is clearly a hack carried out by some group.

What is funny is that Google Italy is not even sure if this is an attack or not and goes on to confess this! However, in my opinion, this looks like one of the things 4chan can do. We have seen similar stunts coming from 4chan earlier. With their take on religion, hackers all over the Internet are quite enjoying this momentary show.

The Vatican remains under constant controversy of such matters and this is a serious blow to its reputation.

(Source: Reddit and Source: Montrealgazette)

Yahoo Will Soon Test Bing Powered Search Results, Both Paid and Organic

Yahoo is soon planning to embrace Bing and power a percentage of live Yahoo search using Microsoft’s search engine. According to a blog post from Search Engine land Yahoo sent an email discussing some of the organic Yahoo to Bing transition topics that are on the mind of their advertisers.

Yahoo has confirmed that they are testing the Bingpowered results offline and soon they will be testing the same in the live search results. The email wrote:

Though much of our testing is already happening offline, this month we’ll also test the delivery of organic and paid search results provided by Microsoft on live Yahoo! traffic.

The testing will be impaired on both paid and organic search queries and Yahoo says that the testing volumes will fluctuate during this period. The paid volume will be low on the first weeks, this is to ensure proper ROI of the advertisers.

Hence, if you go to Yahoo and perform a search, chances are that you will see search results powered by Bing. The testing period will last for two months and end on September.

Seorountable found a thread at Webmasterworld which consists of a presentation video by Yahoo and Microsoft of the transition timelines for Bing to begin powering Yahoo on both the organic and paid side of search. Here is a slide from the presentation:

yahoo-bing-powered-results

The Bing powered results will be implemented on both paid and organic search queries and if the experiment goes as planned, Yahoo plans to power 30% search queries using Bing.

Google Now Shows Flight Results in Search

It was just a few days ago that Google acquired ITA software. Keith Dsouza covered this news earlier stating,

Google just got into the travel industry by acquiring a Boston based company called ITA, which specializes in organizing airline data, flight times, availability and prices. With this acquisition Google might be looking to build a more robust and useful travel search engine where they could also possibly make more money through the medium.

It did not take long for his predictions to come true and within a week of the acquisition, Google has started showing flight results data in search.

To search for any flight for a day, you need to use the abbreviation for the airlines and the flight number. The result is shown as:

google-search-flight

This might be the first step to a series of changes that are yet to come. Google might start displaying and providing comparative analysis of airfares as well.

Update: This feature competes directly with Live.com Search for Flight Status.

Bing Gets a Fresh Look, Shows Deeper Content in Search Results

Bing is planning some major changes to their search interface. This includes adding a quicktabsbar just below the search box, showing refined results for specific queries and organizing information without cluttering the search result pages with lots of links.

Lets take a closer look on the new changes made to Bing search results:

Quick Tabs: Earlier, the quick tabs appeared in the left sidebar but now the Bing team has decided to move it directly below the search box.

bing-quick-tabs

The interesting thing about the quicktabs is that they depend upon the search query and you might see different tabs for different queries. For example: if you search for Albert Einstein, you will see images and video quicktabs but this is not the case, if you search for Firefox.

bing-quick-tabs1

This is a very neat idea, query specific quicktabs shows you relevant information without cluttering the search result pages.

The size of the background image has also been reduced to give the quicktabs more visibility and focus.

The Left Column: The left column shows related searches and the most recent searches made by you. Nothing has changed but since the quicktabs have abandoned the sidebar, you can quickly access the related search terms without having to scroll down the page.

bing-related-searches

Note: The Changes are implemented only for a small set of users and you might see the older interface of Bing. However, Bing plans to roll the updates for everyone in a couple of days from now.

SearchEngineLand spotted a few more enhancements. This includes queries related to automobiles, health and Finance.

If you search for honda accord specs, you get the following results on the older interface of Bing:

bing-auto-searches

This is the old layout of search results the different links are shown one after another. However, with the newer design, you get more information regarding Honda specsand Bing takes you directly to the quicktab, as shown below:

bing-newer-design

Each of the orange links contain more information from MSN Autos. This is a very innovative approach to engage the user from the moment he completes a search and show him targeted content which is more likely to be useful.

[ via Bing Community Blog ]

Great Windows Search Replacement – Agent Ransack

search-doc2-ico [Windows Only] A little over two months ago, Mythicsoft released a new version of their well known freeware search tool, Agent Ransack. Agent Ransack is a lite version of FileLocator Pro, and is free for both personal and commercial use.

Even though I normally use the Everything Search tool to find files, I like to keep Agent Ransack installed on my Windows XP machines, because it integrates with Windows and provides a much faster file search and content search when you need it. It will also work in Vista and Windows 7.

Here’s what it looks like when you launch it normally:

agent-ransack-normal-mode

As you can see above, I searched for all files containing the text techie buzzand it returned the results within a few minutes. There’s a nice preview pane that lets you see inside the files you pick from the results. That’s not all the features it has, here’s a list from the web site:

• Boolean expressions
Combine search terms using the familiar Boolean operators AND, OR, NOT.

• Office formats
Support for popular Office formats including Office 2007 and OpenOffice.

• Updated UI
Brings Agent Ransack’s user interface into the modern day.

• Perl regex
Support for Perl compatible regular expressions.

• 64-bit Version
Natively compiled 64-bit version for improved compatibility.

I think the best feature is the Windows integration. You have to enable it using the Tools / Shell Integrationmenu.

agent-ransack-shell-integration

When you have a file folder open, all you have to do is hit the F3 (search) key to fire up the integrated Agent Ransack. In that mode, it doesn’t look much different than the normal Windows file search.

agent-ransack-in-explorer-f3

Using it to search folders in this manner will end up saving you lots of time, and in addition, it will eliminate the Windows XP doggie spy.

Agent Ransack isn’t the fastest search tool around. The search tools that use an indexed search are faster, but an indexed search tool usually runs in the background, continuously watching your hard drive for changes. Often the index databases can be large, sometimes very large (hundreds of megabytes).

• Download Agent Ransack

Techie Buzz Verdict:

If you’d like a good, light weight replacement for the slow Windows file search, you won’t find many tools better than Agent Ransack. I have no problem giving it a highly recommended.

techiebuzzrecommendedsoftware1

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Free Images for Use in Your Website or Blog – MorgueFile

camera-generic Despite the name of the site, MorgueFile has hundreds of free photos and they don’t have anything to do with death. According to the site:

Free images for your inspiration, reference and use in your creative work, be it commercial or not!

You are free:

Remix — to adapt the work.
Commercial — to use this work for commercial purposes.
Without Attribution — to use without attributing the original author.

This collection of photos was started in 1996 by Michael Connors, a multi-media artist in NYC. Michael, his brother Kevin, and a friend named Johannes have continued to manage the site since then. They accept photos and images from anyone who wants to contribute them. So if you have some unique photos or images you want to show off, just sign up to upload them.

The photos and images are indexed and tagged so that you can find what you are looking for. When you type in a keyword to search for specific types of images, you’ll get a nice looking page of thumbnails as shown here.

morguefile-search-result

You’ll be to open any image by clicking on it. In addition, there’s also a tab showing Dreamstime images, but keep in mind that those images may not be free. If you are only interested in free images, don’t bother opening up the Dreamstime tab.

If you can’t find what you are looking for at MorgueFile, be sure to check out PicFindr,    stock photo search engines or the open clipart library.