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Microsoft

Inspecting MSN Search 345 345

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the understanding-the-heart-of-the-beast dept.
ins0maniac writes "I compared Yahoo, Google and MSN's image search. I noticed that, MSN's search had images from only a few sites. I searched for keywords britney spears and randomly checked few pages upto page number 20 and found that the 400 images were only from 3 domains :| 5in9.com, celebritypicturesarchive.com and nabou.com. This is totally weird as it doesn't seem like a search engine, but a collection of few online galleries." There's a number of other interesting notes in the entry about the new search engine. Also, Britney.
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Inspecting MSN Search

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  • mirrordot link (Score:5, Informative)

    by linhux (104645) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @10:30AM (#11550128) Homepage
    http://mirrordot.com/stories/5defdb2c0e9cac7c89624 a2594f96717/index.html [mirrordot.com]

    mirrordot doesn't seem to have archived all the images yet though...
  • by Shardin (696999) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @10:51AM (#11550288)
    To Turn off SafeSearch:

    goto:
    http://search.msn.com [msn.com]

    click settings:
    [Which will bring you to:]
    http://search.msn.com/settings.aspx?ru=%2f&FORM=SE HP [msn.com]

    Try not to get confused and think you're using google...

    On the third section from the top click "off"

    You'll find the "Save" button in the lower right hand corner if you scroll down.

    I was going to read through the source code and post a GET link which would turn it off for you... but I'm not about to read through that code at 8:45 in the morning. Sorry, folks.

    PS.. I notice there are different language settings.. do you suppose MS will offer translation services?
  • by stoborrobots (577882) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @10:53AM (#11550299)
    My all-time favourite illustration from that site has always been the energy levels of the band structure [britneyspears.ac], for varying wavevector...

    Sometimes, it's fun to be a physics grad...
  • Re:Slashdotted (Score:3, Informative)

    by Fulcrum of Evil (560260) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @10:59AM (#11550343)

    Change the resolution, color depth, etc. and I change the checksum for the image, so the index fails to recognize that one picture is the "same" as another, just resized, etc.

    So resize the image to a standard max size and depth (256x256 max size jpeg with retained aspect ratio), then hash the individual luminance data into a thumbprint that can be compared. Checking for dupes becomes easier and similarity checks are doable.

  • Its unusable (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @11:02AM (#11550377)
    I find it unusable, the local weighting is so strong that you get local results regardless of the language your searching with or what your searching for.

    Search .NET and you don't get a Microsoft site, you get nothing but French pages in France. Switch to English language setting and you get English pages for French sites.

    Connect through a Spanish ISP and you get Spanish ones.

    For example .NET comes up as this in Spain:
    1. www.lobocom.es/regdom.html
    2. www.clikear.com
    3. www.clikear.com/aspnet
    4. mexico.clikear.com
    5. www.empleo.net
    6. www.ciberaula.com/curso/masteraspnet
    7. www.ciberaula.com/curso/puntonet
    8. venezuela.clikear.com
    9. ecuador.clikear.com
    10. www.filipenses.net

    No mention of Microsoft and 2,3,4,8,9 are all parts of the same site!

    Search for "Marseille by Night", Google gives you sites about the nightlife of Marseille. MSN gives me:
    1. www.maketon.com/conciertos.php
    A concert by a DJ called "Dj Jack de Marseille"
    2. www.fyl.uva.es/~wgeolid/fajg/solidario/forosocial/ index.html
    About volunteers working NIGHT and day and having a meeting in MARSEILLE.
    3. www.infoconciertos.com
    Again it mentions a concert in MARSEILLE and a DJ playing at Gomma NIGHT.

    Its all complete crap, absolute crap, its not turfing to say it, these results suck big time. They are no even in the same league as Google, Yahoo and the rest.

  • by MCRocker (461060) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @11:07AM (#11550429) Homepage
    Yeah, but if you take out the 'kelly ripa' and just search under 'camel toe' [msn.co.uk] you do get some hits. The eerie thing is that Britney Spears somehow manages to make it into the first page of these search results too!

    Though, as if to prove your original point, adding 'britney' to that search also gets no results.

    P.S. You'll almost certainly like cameltoe.bolt.com [bolt.com]
  • Britney? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @11:15AM (#11550488)
    That just isn't a best example for research, since this term is very competitive, so the results are bound to be heavily manipulated by search engine optimizers. One cannot draw any meaningfull conclusions from such "research".
  • by 0BoDy (739304) <mrgenixus@AAAgmail.com minus threevowels> on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @11:25AM (#11550570)
    you can add the hostname and theip to /etc/hosts (linux) or search for hosts in hidden and system files on your windows drive and add it there, that will give you a way to resolv the hostname to the ip and properly access the vhost
  • by Punchinello (303093) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @11:41AM (#11550726)
    I searched for keywords britney spears and randomly checked few pages upto page number 20 and found that the 400 images were only from 3 domains :| 5in9.com, celebritypicturesarchive.com and nabou.com.

    Perhaps this guy didn't know the default setting on MSN search is to group results by domain. Maybe he should try agian with this setting off if he wants to see more variety of domains providing Britney pics.

  • by cashman73 (855518) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @12:11PM (#11551148) Journal
    Likewise, I did an image search on msn.com for "William H. Gates, III [msn.com]", which only returns 11 images of Bill. There's also four pictures of some older guy who's apparently Bill's dad, and three pictures of Gates Hall, a building named after either of the two (some kind of law school).



    Performing an MSN Image Search for "Bill Gates [msn.com]", returns 2,134 images from a variety of web servers, although newsimg.bbc.co.uk seems to be the most popular server that offers images. They apparently didn't screen these, because the 6th and 10th images are Bill's Albuquerque arrest photo, and the ninth photo is a PhotoShopped image of Bill holding up a bright red nazi-like flag and saluting in nazi-esque fashion,...



    Der Fuhrer Bill [future-technics.de]



    To be fair, a Google Image Search for "Sergey Brin [google.com]", returns 500 images, and a similar search for "Larry Page [google.com]", returns 1,140 images.

  • by mkldev (219128) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @01:05PM (#11551701) Homepage
    One lucky initial contract and a lot of predatory marketing?

  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Wednesday February 02, 2005 @01:50PM (#11552271)

    The advantage that M$ has, over Google, is its huge R&D budget.

    Not really. Their advantage is that they have a monopoly consumer OS's. They will bundle their search with their OS, which is already bundled with their browser and their media player. Most users will never think to install something better, or go to google when their is a search already built in. It does not have to be as good as Google. It does not have to be close. It only has to be functional enough to barely work for most people's searches. It can return only 1/3 of the results Google does and have 10 times the ads and lack most of the cool features. All that it has to do is return basic results for the top 1K searches and it will win. You can't beat a monopoly's bundling without a vastly better system for the average user.

    Think of it this way. If the telephone company gave out free cheese with every phone bill, what would happen to cheese sellers? Most would have to stop selling cheese. Maybe the phone company's cheese is not as good, but if it is not terrible, most people won't go buy more cheese from somewhere else. There will always be cheese and computer aficionados that will pay to get the best, but that is only about 5% of the market. The rest goes to the monopoly (which is why what MS is doing was made illegal in the first place).

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