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Subject: This Week at You Are Here: Search Technologies
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2002 11:00:00 -0700
This Week at You Are Here: Search Technologies

Internet Strategies for Technology Leaders


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Dear Readers,

I don't know about you, but it seems like the harder I search for
something online, the less likely I am to find it. Google and
its PageRank technology are the de facto standards of the search 
world, and the technology works by measuring the number of links 
to a page as a gauge of that page's popularity. Hence, big sites 
commonly score well in results listings. The problem of course is
that niche sites tend to have the minutiae you're looking for,   
not big ones.  Anyone who's ever searched for help on a cryptic  
Windows problem knows the LAST place you should look is, although that site invariably comes up as the top 
link for anything Windows-related.  Sifting through USENET       
archives typically generates a far better response (and Google   
thankfully offers this feature, too), but today's sophisticated  
Web user needs an update to the hobbled search technologies of   

The good news is that help is on the way, as enterprise search is
attracting dozens of new players who want to show you the way in 
the woolly world of the Internet (and help you find the goods on 
your intranet, too).  The bad news is that this landscape has    
gotten as hard to navigate as the Net itself, with nearly a dozen
competing technology archetypes, each utilized by three or four  
companies.  That's why this month's cover story, "You Are Here" 
(, is sure to be 
one of those clip-n-save articles you'll find yourself referring to 
throughout the next few years.

And if you lose the article, you can always search for it on our 
Web site...


Christopher Null
Editor-in-Chief, New Architect magazine


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You Are Here: Next-gen search technologies

"A report issued by Forrester Research in September 2002 concluded
soberly, "Most companies already own a search engine -- one that 
doesn't work." Indeed, says Paul Sonderegger, the analyst who    
wrote the study, "Part of the problem may still be that users    
still can't find what they're looking for, and when that happens 
they abandon the search." That notion is backed by a WebTop study
that found that American computer users experience "search rage" 
if they don't find what they want within twelve minutes. The     
problem, of course, is that many search engines are ill-suited to
discern what you're really looking for among the ever-expanding, 
Himalayan-sized mountains of data."

Front End: Recent News and Trends

Time to consider hybrid licensing strategies; the RIAA runs out  
of dot-coms to sue, targets you instead; pie menus aim to end the
click-and-drag era; nine thousand Internet washing machines start
their cycles.

Legal Code: Ask Not What the Internet Can Do for You

"Not too many years ago, conversations about our nation's critical
infrastructure would have revolved around the Interstate Highway 
System or the television and radio broadcast networks. Not so    
long before that, the same conversation would have centered on   
railroads. Times certainly change, and while we haven't abandoned
many of the transit and distribution systems of the last century,
we've become dependent on new ones, like the Internet.

Because of the Internet's recent elevation to 
critical-infrastructure status, it is now the subject of a new   
national policy debate about how to secure it. This is a result  
of the increased awareness of security following the terrorist   
attacks of September 11 last year. Internet security and         
stability is now a key responsibility of the fledgling Department
of Homeland Security."

Review: Sun LX50 General Purpose Server

"The LX50 (code-named "Big Bear") is Sun's newest offering on the 
x86 platform, sporting optional dual processors in a 1U form     
factor. It enters an already crowded marketplace, in direct      
competition with stalwarts such as Compaq (Proliant DL360), Dell 
(PowerEdge 1650), and IBM (xSeries 330). One key differentiator  
of the LX50 is the operating system support: The LX50 comes with 
either Solaris x86 OE or Sun Linux 5.0, a new Linux distribution 
that Sun tweaked especially for its Intel hardware. The 
competitors typically support Windows or Red Hat Linux. The      
LX50/Sun Linux 5.0 combination is the first unified 
hardware/software Linux solution from an enterprise vendor -- can
Sun make the most of this potentially potent marriage? I decided 
to test that configuration and find out."

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