tenpastmidnight blog

Making hay while the sun shines

New multi-search engine

A9 is a new search engine in beta. It apparently serves results from Google, Alexa and Amazon's text-within-books search, which is pretty useful.

I managed to hit a small error within the Amazon results in my first search: "I never could get the hang of Thursdays", which correctly identifies it as a quote from The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, and shows 'The Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy' in the book text search (click on the 'Open Book Results' tab to the right of the main results) but the third result down has Thursday spelt with a 'v' rather than 'y', more than likely a problem with the scanning and optical character recognition process. This is the sort of little mistake that will hold things like the book text search back - the translation back to digital text has to be accurate to let it be searched on, or they'll need some good spell checking as Google's searching has now.

A further search for doing an oil change to a Beetle finds the useful pages on the matter, and top of the book searches is John Muir's 'How to keep your Volkswagen Alive', which is the best book for aircooled VWs out there. However, some of the other books selected are a little odd, including "How to be your own therapist" although some might say if you're willing to try keeping your old aged VW on the road, you need a therapist, so perhaps this is the lowest cost way of getting some help. This really shows how good a standard Google search normally is - you're getting plenty of processing in the background that does some decent guessing about what you want to avoid giving high up results like this where a straight text search will give results of something well out of the subject area.
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