Thursday, August 25, 2011



During the first IR class Prof. Rao spoke about what we want the web to do. One of the points discussed was Privacy and there was a huge discussion over the importance of Privacy.
I was going through a random list of search engines that currently exist and it was surprising to know that my usage of search engine is limited to Google, Bing and Altavista :( Going through the list I found an interesting article about the long dead search engine Cuil.
Couple of features about the search engine that caught my attention were:
1. Creators were ex-Googlers, IBM, Altavista and was termed as "Google-Killer" ( fancy name!)
2. User Privacy is one of the arenas where Cuil excelled.
I quote directly from one of the articles:
“The one area where Cuil excels is user privacy. Whereas Google stores user-specific searches for up to 18 months, Cuil never stores personally identifiable information or search histories.”
I wonder how genuine this feature is and if true why is Google not adopting it? ( Just a cosmic question.)
3. Interestingly Cuil's demise was one of the fastest amongst startup firms. Why did it happen? Due to the excessive load of users the servers crashed and within hours the company shut down.

I found this interesting and thought of sharing. Here's the link to the article link if interested else ignore :).,8599,1827331,00.html


  1. Another Google Killer as described by this fellow,

    I like Wolfram for finding out the answers to questions which have definite answer, try "birth date of Abraham Lincoln on both.

  2. Try "jaguar" in Wolfram and also in Google. Wolfram shows results of the animal jaguar but google shows all sorts of results (from cars, animal to places). It is probably because Wolfram is still under development.
    Wolfram sounds more like a human engine. Have a look at :

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  4. User Data is really important for google to improve/enhance their search results. For e.g. Google privacy FAQ page lists these reasons:
    "We store this data for a number of reasons. Most importantly, we store data to improve our search results and to maintain the security of our systems. Analyzing logs data helps our engineers both improve your search quality and build helpful innovative services. Take the example of Google Spell Checker." More info here:

    In the absence of good algorithms which should give us the "exact" results we are expecting, the best google can do is to show results based on our profile/preferences/previous searches/location etc. and hope it matches our expectations. I guess completely removing user data and logs will not be an option for google in the near future.

  5. @ Archana, you are correct as of now its under development phase. I tried for searching "Python" it gives result of reptile (I kind of like the Taxonomic network)