We're getting a bit of a Hunch..

by Claire 18/06/2009 10:11
It appears that not only do we need search engines, but we also need 'decision engines' to tell us what we should do, think, or like.  Bing, the new Microsoft search engine, is not only a Google competitor, but also offers an untraditional function of "decision engine," says Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer.

Another sole-purpose decision engine has recently hit the world wide web.  Hunch.com does what Bing does not; it gets to know you, and becomes more intelligent.  It's the concept of a Furbie that tells you what you think, on a website.  Whereas Bing attempts to tell you decisions based around a string of results, Hunch asks you a list of questions, slowly 'getting to know you' - or rather, storing your data - and uses this to answer your query more specifically.  Created by a team of MIT computer scientists and founded by Caterina Fake who is the co-founder of flickr it's already gathered 2,400 questions, and 50,000 possible outcomes, allowing the program to get very specific the more it gets to know you.

It's not all quite as pointless as it sounds though, even if does resemble a pop quiz and persuade your office that no work is occuring in your vicinity (today I had fun 'researching' it).  Away from 'should I go to the park?' it's more informative and can prescribe cocktails, fashion designers, and your new favourite Twitter app.  Yes, unsurprisingly Twitter's there already.  It can also tell you why you're always late: will "it's because you spend too long playing on wasteful internet sites" be a result?

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Special Internet Service Announcement..

by Claire 12/06/2009 05:39
Clark Kent and a fat man in a puffy silver suit are trying to convince me that IE8 is the solution to madness in the new Microsoft today.  Yes, it's more in-your-face entertaining than the Google Chrome one, and there's a crafty face in a monitor whispering about decorative bowls but rather than rush to check IE out, I'm more likely to stay using my current Chrome browser to watch this nice ad again.  It's not groundbreaking, but it makes me smile.
 

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