Category: Services

Alternatives to Google Search Engine

Alternatives to Google Search Engine

Article by Pierre Zarokian.

Perhaps the term “wannabe” is too harsh to describe the following projects; but becoming Google killers is what they aspire to be and in that context they are wannabe’s and nothing less. Google enjoys the top spot in search engines and has not been faced with a decent threat… well, since its conception. Many have tried and failed to knock it off its throne and here are a few noteworthy contenders.

Bing –It was a ridiculous name to start off with; imagine responding to someone’s question with “just Bing it”? Microsoft determined that what the public wanted was a search engine with extras, a funky interface and a navigation menu. As usual, they got it wrong. After the initial buzz that was created, the website has been dropping in popularity with every passing day. The main problem can perhaps be traced to the fundamental point of a search engine – To search and deliver results quickly and effectively. Bells and whistles are nice for a while, but what people want is something that gives you results without taking up bandwidth or time or shoving unnecessary things in front of your nose.

Wikia Search – This project was conceived by Wikipedia’s co-founder Jimmy Wales and his Wikia Co-founder Angela Beesly. Wikia Search was inspired by the success of Wikipedia and the collaborative work that went towards making it a success. “Crowdsourcing” was deemed to be the next big way to power search results. The primary idea was to increase the relevancy of search results and make the process as transparent as possible so that no one would be able to “play the system”. With the transparency angle, the creators wanted everyone to be able to see who modified the search results, where and why. Sadly the project came to an end in March 2009. The economic recession took no prisoners and as a result the funding ran out for the project. Wikia Search has been put on hold indefinitely, but hopefully this innovative concept will return at some point in the future.

Cuil – Pronounced “cool”, Cuil was formed by ex-Google employees as well as several web veterans. The project’s goal was to take on Google head-to-head and come out as the winner. It hope to do this by using its own page rank system which gave merit to relevance rather than popularity (as Google does). So the engine would look for your search term on a web page and then look at the content in the page to see how relevant it was to the term. Search results would be filtered in this way and deliver better results to the user. Unfortunately, things did not work quite according to plan users were disappointed with the results they got. Rafe Needleman of CNET put it succinctly when he said Cuil launched in a blaze of glory which was followed by a collapse in a ball of flames.

Wolfram|Alpha – Technically Wolfram|Alpha is not a search engine in the same context that Google is. It was unfortunately portrayed to be a Google killer by the media and has never quite lived up to that expectation. But make no mistake Wolfram|Alpha could have dethroned Google as the portal to knowledge if things had gone according to plan. The idea behind the project was to have a verified repository of information which users could plunder in their search for facts. The “Coup de grâce” in some ways was its ability to understand natural language – to an extent. Both those features made it an excellent tool research tool, which could have become a premier source of information. However, the initial lack of data coupled with a lack of relevancy for a majority of users has seen it drop from public interest day by day. The project has been boosting its repository with more and more data every day with the hope that at some point the project will take off.



Is Your Software Developer Performing Efficiently?

Is Your Software Developer Performing Efficiently?

There is a plethora of companies offering to do your software programming for you, but you must never jump into a deal right away. Your outsourced software programming and development projects must be put in the hands of skilled professionals who can deliver according to expectations. Many a software programming firm asks good money for very poor work done. Avoid getting yourself into this trap by judging the company and studying their work quality and ethics.

Below are some tips: First, if their rates are too good to be true, you have every right to question the quality of work that’s done. In attempts to save on capital, many businesses are flattered by extremely cheap prices, only to find themselves mad with disappointment and frustration at wasted money, time and effort. A software programming company may ask for little money because they make be lacking the skills and credentials to complete your job for you. Other companies may use their low rates as part of their marketing campaign. The truth is, however, that they will only give you whatever you paid for. Scout and check competing prices for variation. Next, look into their commitment.

A bad software programming company will do the job for you and deliver, with no follow-up care after. You will want to choose a company which works in close collaboration with you to make sure the software is developed exactly how you’d like it to be. Bad customer service is a very clear sign you must not at all costs, sign up with a company. When you entrust your software to a company, you trust that they will be able to provide you with constant feedback on progress. As such, you also trust that they will have a support group ready to cater to your needs even after the software project has been completed. If your prospective programming company does not show signs of stable customer support, save yourself from a huge headache and scout for other companies.

Hiring an IT person

Hiring an IT person

For most people, learning technology is just as tough as learning Greek or Latin while most companies also think that their technology requirements are uniquely complicated and the computer support orange county needs to take a similar approach. Even though one part of it is indeed true, the core technology used is the same for every organization except for a few tweaks here and there that can be easily taken care, so that the business can begin to function smoothly as soon as possible.

IT companies offer computer and customer support to their clients who require professionals with technical expertise in these areas. Even though it does cost a lot to maintain a large in-house team, the IT solutions provided by these companies also ensure that the costs are not too much either.

Interestingly, if one had to look for an organization that can provide technical assistance, one should review their previous track record and the kind of clients they have had to find out whether this organization is suited to your needs.

Whether you are just starting up or intend to switch from a previous IT solutions provider, it is important that you find IT support that fully understands the specifics of the business while also providing support that would turn out to be economical in the long run.
And in leaving technical support to the experts, you can then focus on areas of your business that need your attention.

How to Bring Down Your Electricity Costs

How to Bring Down Your Electricity Costs

You may not realize it but your computer can eat up a lot of electricity. How much it consumes depends on you’re the configuration and also on what other devices you have connected to it.

Usually a desktop PC will have a Power Supply Unit that is rated between 300 and 500 watts. This denotes the maximum power that can be delivered via that PSU. Before you start panicking, the PSU does not deliver the maximum all the time and only does it when required.

There are many culprits that cause a lot of power consumption. Advanced graphics cards draw a lot of power, especially when graphics intensive games are played. Using apps that require a lot of memory and processing power also delivers similar results. Using a large CRT monitor or even an LCD monitor at full brightness can push up your power bill.

To bring down your energy costs, try to do the following:

1. After shutting down the computer, physically cut the power connection to the PC by flicking the switch to the “off” position on the wall socket.
2. If your monitor does not draw power from the PC (enabling an auto switch off), you should switch it off manually after shutting down the PC.
3. Switch off printers and scanners when not in use.
4. Switch off any powered speakers when not in use.
5. Reduce the brightness on your monitor. This will consume less power and also promote long life in the product.
6. Use power management tools provided with the OS.