Alternative Search Engines Day – Call For Alts to Band Together

first_imgI’m at the Alternative Search Engines Day, in San Francisco, an event put on by our network blog AltSearchEngines. We started out with a keynote talk by ASE editor Charles Knight, who noted that alternative search engines only have about 1.7% market share combined. He thinks this is too small, so he wants all of the “alts” – you can see a list of them on our subsite The Search Race – to band together to make a bigger impact on the search market. Charles discussed current aggregation approaches such as Sputtr, which puts multiple search engines onto one page (see screenshot below), but he also outlined a vision for a Virtual World for alt search engines.SputtrCharles pointed out that although Sputtr is a great app, it is difficult for mainstream users to grok. For one thing ordinary users won’t know how to make sense of all the logos. Also people outside the tech industry will not know many of the brands of the smaller search companies. So Charles suggested that a virtual world approach could be the answer, whereby different alt search engines are represented in a 3D world according to the type of search they provide. For example if you are looking for a job, then there will be a virtual representation of this in the 3D world and a number of job search engines available to meet that need.This “federated search” approach, as someone in the audience termed it, is one way for the hundreds of small search startups to increase their overall market share. Another approach is to create a common platform for alts, using APIs and UI standards (suggested over lunch to me by Morgan Snyder from allth.at).Also on the opening discussion panel were myself, Nitin Karandikar from The Software Abstractions Blog, and Henrick Kac from BlogDimension. Nitin recently wrote a post entitled Cooperation of Alt Search Engines: A Manifesto (original here), which outlined 5 possibilities for alts to cooperate – e.g. “Search Federations of complementary ASEs”.Opening panel, photo by Boris Veldhuijzen van ZantenConclusionThe overarching theme to AltSearchEngines Day is to encourage the alts to band together and help each other reach the mainstream audience. Anyone who regularly reads AltSearchEngines will know that there is a ton of innovation in search, literally hundreds of niche and vertical search startups. So this effort to join together to compete with (or complement) the likes of Google and Microsoft is very commendable – and as I mentioned in the panel, ReadWriteWeb heartily supports it.Special thanks to Charles Knight for the vision and pulling this day together, and also LA Lassek and the SeeqPod team for organizing the event. Thanks as well to the sponsors of this event: SeeqPod, UpTake, HealthPricer, MatchPoint, GoPubMed, BlogDimension.When I was doing the intros at the start, I noted that Charles is “the voice of alternative search engines” in this industry. He really is galvinising and leading the alts forward as a group. Be sure to subscribe to AltSearchEngines to track this initiative. Tags:#conferences#search#web Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… richard macmanus A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

Save a panda, save the forest?

first_imgGiant pandas bask in the glow of international stardom, their every live birth or tumble down a hill tweeted by millions. But critics say pandas and other “charismatic megafauna” soak up conservation money and attention, leaving other threatened species in the lurch. Panda proponents have countered that saving the bears can help other animals who share the same habitats—but the evidence has been squishy. Until now. According to a new study, 96% of the panda’s range overlaps with areas identified as the most important “hot spots” for mammals, birds, and amphibians known only to exist in China’s forests, the researchers report online before print in Conservation Biology. In their analysis, the scientists compiled maps on where 132 mammals, 117 birds, and 249 amphibians live in the country, fine-tuning them using elevation data and remote sensing mapping that revealed where forests haven’t been logged. Next, the researchers isolated areas where the number of species in each group was highest—the hot spots—and compared how well those areas overlapped with where pandas occur. In an additional step, they also overlaid maps of China’s system of giant panda national natural reserves to see how well the areas cover these other species, which include the golden snub-nosed monkey, the Tibetan macaque, and the takin (an animal sometimes referred to as a goat-antelope), among others. Surprisingly, they found that the reserves include all of the studied species except for one type of bird. From 2007 to 2014, the number of nature reserves for giant pandas in China doubled from 34 to 67, covering some 33,600 square kilometers. These findings, the scientists say, show that such land conservation matters more than just to the black-and-white bears themselves and the zoo visitors who love them. Still, there are areas where some of these forest animals aren’t protected, the scientists say. To help inform Chinese officials, the researchers identified four areas where future conservation efforts should lie, including in Sichuan province in southwestern China.last_img read more

People take more risks when wearing helmets, potentially negating safety benefits

first_imgHelmets can reduce the risk of traumatic brain injury by almost 20%. But what if we take so many risks when wearing them that we lose the protective edge they provide? This could be the case, according to a study published this week. Researchers observed 80 cyclists under the guise of an “eye-tracking experiment,” pretending to track their eye-motion via a head-mounted camera as the participants inflated a virtual balloon. For some of the participants, the “eye-tracking devices” were mounted on helmets, while others just wore baseball caps, as can be seen in the picture of the equipment above. The further they inflated the balloon without it popping, the higher their reward and their risk-taking score. Participants wearing helmets inflated their balloons on average 30% more than those who wore caps, the team reports in Psychological Science. The finding could affect how we approach safety design and training, the authors say, as increased risk-taking behavior when using safety equipment might counteract the perceived benefit of the equipment. But what causes this effect in the first place? The underlying mechanism might be related to the concept of “social priming,” where people’s actions towards others are altered subconsciously due to exposure to particular words, cues, objects, or symbols. Importantly, this is the first time social priming has been shown to change people’s behavior even when they are not interacting with others, providing potential new insights into human behavior. So, next time you’re out riding with a helmet, think twice before attempting that wheelie.last_img read more

Try these places

first_imgHeading out of the city? Then try these places. PuneChef Cheeru and Praful ChandavarkarMalaka SpiceWalk in to Malaka Spice, Pune’s first standalone Pan-Asian restaurant, which dishes out cuisine from the far east countries. The stylish yet cosy restaurant doubles up as an art gallery for upcoming artists. It also has,Heading out of the city? Then try these places.PuneChef Cheeru and Praful ChandavarkarMalaka SpiceWalk in to Malaka Spice, Pune’s first standalone Pan-Asian restaurant, which dishes out cuisine from the far east countries. The stylish yet cosy restaurant doubles up as an art gallery for upcoming artists. It also has a store that sells T-shirts, lamps and bric-a-brac. Meal for two: Rs 2,000 inclusive of taxes.Where: Lane 5, Koregaon Park.Tel: 09823064050.Owner Damayanti Raje Bhosale at AraliyaAraliyaThe store has more than 50 designers on board offering styles for various occasions and prices. Located at Koregaon Park, Araliya also hosts art exhibitions, music launches, wine soirees and soon plans to start poetry reading sessions. Cost: Leggings for Rs 4,500, top with mythological motifs for Rs 5,500 and mesh earrings for Rs 1,400.Where: Lane No 5, Koregaon Park.Tel: 020-65007535.BangaloreAuthor AnitaNair, musician Stanley Pinto with chef Abhijit Saha at CaperberryCaperberryPick any spot and get comfortable at Caperberry. The cosy restaurant serves modern European cuisine. During lunch besides a la carte options Caperberry serves three course executive meals comprising salads, soups and desserts. Meal for two: Rs 1,000 plus taxes.Where: 48/1, Ground Floor, The Estate, 121, Dickenson Road, Bangalore -560042.Tel: 080-25594567; www.caperberry.in Radhika Poddar at CinnamonCinnamonGo to Cinnamon to witness a slice of India. The store owned by Radhika Poddar houses handwoven saris, home decor products and contemporary jewellery. Don’t miss reversible silk saris from Varanasi, scented candles from Kerala and bidri work (a specialised metal handcraft craft) from Andhra Pradesh. Cost: Rs 100 for candles in coconut shells to Rs 25,000 for a sari.Where: 11 Walton Road, Off Lavelle Road.Tel: 080 22212426. MumbaiadvertisementFashion designer Pria Kataria Puri undergoing amarine plant stem facialMyrahIf you are looking for Asian spa treatments, Myrah is a destination. Located at Juhu, the luxury day spa offers Balinese, Thai and Chinese treatments, among others. Don’t miss their signature therapy, royal hibiscus, and caviar body envelopment, a full body wrap that tones the skin. Cost: Treatments range between Rs 1,000 to Rs 9,000 plus taxes.Where: 11 Palm Spring Society Behind Shoppers Stop, Juhu. Tel: 022 26253963; www.myrahspa.com Mora TaaraWhen you enter Mora Taara you are greeted by a pleasant clutter of home decor items like a sleeping elephant and a baby Buddha made out of sandstone. This home accessories and gifts store sources products from China, Thailand and even Mexico: like a cat statue made of resin. Cost: Rs 100 for an ivory candle and Rs 1,00,000 for a drift wood table.Where: G-6 Maini mansion, Peddar Road.Tel: 022-65754822; morataara@gmail.com PunjabAmrinder Singh Chopra, CEO of The Kikar LodgeThe Kikar LodgeNestled in the foothills of the Shivaliks, Kikar Lodge is spread over 1,800 acres of forest. This private forest reserve is around 70 kms from Chandigarh via Mohali and Ropar. Besides watching wild animals and birds in their natural habitat, guests interested in adventure sports can try rappelling, quad biking and zip lining. Where: Village Kangar, Nurpur Bedi District Ropar Tel: 09478964971; www.thekikarlodge.comHyderabadNagarjuna at NN Give a break to desi ghee and head to star Akkikneni Nagarjuna’s restaurant N for a meal cooked in minimal butter or oil. This Hyderabad restaurant offers a mix of Italian, Mediterranean and Thai. Fresh salads are a good option for vegetarians. Others can relish N signatures like rock shrimp tempura and beef steak tenderloin with porcini mushroom sauce.Meal for two: Rs 2,500 plus taxes. Where: Road No 36, Jubille Hills.Tel: 040-20012009. KolkataByLoom Handmade explains ByLoom best. The colourful handwoven saris from the inhouse label Bailou, designed by Bappaditya Biswas, 39, and his wife Rumi, 38, have already made a name for themselves in the city. Bailou loyalists include Amitav Ghosh, Aparna Sen, Kirron Kher and Amit Chaudhuri. Cost: Handmade soaps for Rs 45 to Bailou’s saris for Rs 40,000 plus taxes.Where: 58 B Hindustan Park. Tel: 033 24198727.last_img read more