Aug 28

New search engine to search inside Wikipedia

Thursday, January 18, 2007 

A new search engine that was announced yesterday finds articles and links within the English Wikipedia. Wikiseek, run by a California based startup company called “searchme”, is a website which aims to be “A better way to search Wikipedia.”

Although most keywords work without problems, Digg users have found search terms that the site does not recognize. If you enter “Chicago” for example, it shows no Wikipedia articles at all, and clicking “Chicago, Illinois” leads to an article on West Chicago, Illinois and other related articles to the subject. Similarly, entering “Christmas”, “United States” or “PlayStation 3” only provides links to related articles on Wikipedia, although they are in the top 10 of most viewed articles in the English Wikipedia. Searching “porn” comes up with commercial websites linked from Wikipedia, but not the relevant articles in the free encyclopedia. For most articles however, the relevant Wikipedia article is the first result or among the results.

The site says that “The contents of Wikiseek are restricted to Wikipedia pages and only those sites which are referenced within Wikipedia, making it an authoritative source of information less subject to spam and SEO schemes.” The site also offers a Toolbar plugin and a Firefox extension to add a Wikiseek search button inside of Wikipedia pages.

Danny Sullivan at the Search Engine Land blog found Wikiseek’s results inferior compared to the results from established search engines. SearchMe CEO Randy Adams stressed that Wikiseek is still in a beta phase. He pointed out that they welcome feedback more than the average search engine, which can be posted on their company wiki.

Searchme put a button on their main page, encouraging beta testers to instantly promote the site on Digg. In August 2006, Digg had half a million registered users.

Some media outlets have reported that Wikiseek was created by either the Wikimedia Foundation which runs Wikipedia, or private corporation Wikia, which hosts a collection of wiki communities. Both rumors are untrue, says Angela Beesley, co-founder of Wikia and chair of the Advisory Board of the Wikimedia Foundation. “Wikiseek is an independent project with no affiliation with either Wikia or the Wikimedia Foundation.”

The Wikiseek site says they contribute the majority of its revenue from advertisement to the Wikimedia Foundation’s fundraising effort.

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Aug 28

Panama: Eleven years of a conflict between PPC and ex-workers of Port Authority

Friday, June 15, 2007 

Eleven years ago the Panama Ports Company (PPC) got a concession to manage Panamanian Ports at the gates of the Panama Canal — Balboa and Cristobal. They made a contract with Panamanian State to get this concession. This concession began a conflict between ex-workers of these Ports (previously managed by Panamanian State by Port Authority) and PPC.

These Port Authority’s ex-workers says PPC violated a law written in 1992. The law states that during any privatization of State property, including land and enterprises, the workers must be offered to buy shares of the land or company. The contract doesn’t state any offer of shares to the ex-workers.

Representatives of ex-workers claim that they must receive a pay, because the shares were not offered to them.

On the last 3 years, Jose Sanchez (pictured) has set some meetings with PPC representatives. Almost all meeting were suspended because PPC representatives have not attended them.

It may seem that no one in Panama outside the engaged parties knows about the dispute. According to Mr. Sanchez there is a mass media campaign to hide events of this conflict.

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Aug 28

Microsoft buys online ad firm Aquantive for $6 billion

Friday, May 18, 2007 

Microsoft have today paid $6 billion (£3 billion) for the online marketing firm Aquantive. The takeover will pave the way for Microsoft to expand into the $40 billion online advertising market currently dominated by Google and Yahoo!.

Kevin Johnson, the head of Microsoft’s platforms and services division, said “This deal takes our advertising business to a new level” and follows the recent acquisitions by Google and Yahoo who bought DoubleClick for $3.1 billion, and the remaining 80% of Right Media Exchange for $680 million respectively.

Aquantive will remain at its base in Seattle with its current staff of around 2.600, but will work as part of Microsoft’s online operations.

The deal is expected to be completed by early 2008, subject to regulation.

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