Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
It's funny.  Laugh.

AskJeeves Interview 176

laborit writes "FNwire has posted an interview with Jeeves of ask.com. Evidently that "unique natural language engine with a proprietary knowledgebase isn't too great for questions like "bees? I don't understand." " Check out the archived pdf of this for more information.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

AskJeeves Interview

Comments Filter:
  • A5|%lt; J33\/eZ 5UXZ d00dZZz!!!$%# H3 C4N'7 3V3N AN5W3R:

    61V3 Me W4R3Z D00d!!!#$%^#@@!!


    G1V3 m3 pR0n!!1!!!!

    WH@T G00D IZ IT?1!11!!!^^@#@@##@ W3 N33D 4SKB1FF.C0m!!!!!!!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    "Ask Jeeves", "Babelfish", "GPLTrans" and all those stupid "natural language" products that are being put out there are just antisocial corporatist machinations. They exist merely for the purpose of Capital's further dispossesion of Labor, with the predictable unwelcome effects upon the larger part of the social constituency.

    It all part of a plot to move on to a world where the rich will have access to _truly_ intelligent info-servants, i.e., actual people to do their research for them, while the rest of us will be denied the most effective means that we already have (i.e. librarians) to locate crucial information for our social struggle.

    Yes, librarians will be fired, and replaced by "smart agents", "scientifically proven" to help us find any information we want more efficiently than ever. Since it just won't work, the rules expect the workers to just give up and accept their commodification.

    And Babelfish is for translators what Ask Jeeves is for librarians. Need something translated into some language, so those poor brown guys can read it? Of course you're not going to give the job to someone who speaks both English and Brownish well-- you're going to give it to a computer program. That way you make sure the brown guys don't share in the wealth that they produce for you, and still keep the façade that you give them stuff!!!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    okokokokok... fine, consider this trolling, but I find it darn funny, ask jeeves the following question:

    "Are you gay?"

    and see what he says...

    but then again, I suppose I'm just one of the few who get a kick out of pissing around in virtual-sex lives...

    hmm... I guess I should take a break from this computer of mine.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I work at Jeeves, so I have some insight. At the peek page, they are what people are picking. the reason you get multiple questions that appear almost the same, it is because somebody clicked on multiple questions (very common). That is also why there is also no mispellings.

    There is a peek page that we can look at internally (the actual, uncensored type user queries... they are funny... a good look at the perverts on the net).

  • Me: Jeeves, can you imagine a Beowulf cluster of yourself?

    Jeeves: 10 matches by About.com, Why bother with beowulf? - Medieval History.

    There you have it. Why bother?
  • I saw this posted on a few dozen search engines around the date the article actually came out. Just thought I would share that. Maybe if you read weblogs, that might be were you guys have seen it before. Interesting how Slashdot not long is very fast at posting up to date news, and when they do alot of boring crap no one cares about. I remember when it first became Slashdot after Chips and Bits that I would actually read every post and every comment throughout a day. Because they were all interesting!! Now I dont even read completely throught the summaries on the main page because alot of the articles are complete crap. Like, "Ask Slashdot: On DDoS, SPAM, Telemarketing And Harrasment?" What kinda junk is that? That has been discussed on slashdot have a dozen times before. Its generic boring news that belongs on a uninformative incorrect CNN.com article or something. Processor Reviews and Water Cooled Laptops deserve there own post? Granted, thats some cool stuff, but If I wanted to read about power user stuff like overclocking and processor reviews I would head over to Toms Hardware guide. Its generic news that everyone and there grandmas dog is carrying. Bring bang the interesting and unique content.
    And all this after they were bought out for a few million, and then Va Linux essential payed another billion for Slashdot. Cause really, sure there is Freshmeat and the other sites on Andover.net, but Slashdot is the bulk of all there visits. Even if they do visit other sites, they also visit slashdot. So Slashdot was basically bought out for a billion dollars. Use that money to make a better site. In fact, I havent seen the money change anything at slashdot. No inprovement, no new features, nothing. Update, or become like Yahoo.
    I dont mean to say bad things about slashdot. I general like it, and always have. I just think it has declined quality wise in the last year. Hope it gets better not worse.
  • You might have seen it on http://www.kuro5hin.org/ [kuro5hin.org]. It was there several weeks ago.

    A funny interview, nevertheless....

  • Don't be suprised. I have had dozen of articles declined only to see them magically submitted by CmdrTaco's gud'buds a day or two later.

    The bottom line is that SlashDot is still rob malda's playground (which he's still entitled to since he's the editor in chief) but it would be nice if he and the rest of his friends were a little more honest about it...

  • There was a funny article in Salon a few months ago about how, according to the marketing gurus that took over the company, AskJeeves did not, and never had referred, to the fictional character of Jeeves in P.G. Wodehouse's series of stories.

    After reading the story I entered the question "Who is Bertie Wooster" into ask.com and got back a link to the allegedly non-Wodehouse Jeeves. Fah.

    Now the link is gone. Apparently they've adjusted the intra-axonal variances on their advanced AI web interface, and now Jeeves the Butler is officially not Jeeves the Butler of P.G. Wodehouse fame. Still, for at least a brief period, Artificial Intelligence was actually more accurate than the real kind.
  • There's too much similarity for a sampling (I saw at least 5 "Where can I find a concise encyclopedia article on xxxxxx?" questions in two reloads).

    Plus, none of the questions have any misspellings at all.

  • That interview was very well done. (It's amazing how the interviewer was able to take the nonsense answers, and integrate them into other comments.)

    Hey, that was almost a straight response. Hope you didn't blow a circuit.

    Uncle Bobby's Finally Sober

    Probably because you have his stash. But maybe I'm being insensitive. Maybe you really do have a problem.

    That was absolutely hilarious.

    -- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

  • ha ha ha, this is great. I'm glad I have a cable modem. I'd hate to have to wait out everystep on my old 33.6k. Especially when you get to the making burgers part (and when you dream about the burgers too) --nick

  • No, a brown guy. Like, jawad.
  • It contains an amino acid that hits the let's-go-to-sleep center of your brain.

    That's why bodybuilders often have turkey breast for late night snacks.
  • I did. After a day of making burgers and 5 overtimes.

    "Today sucked."

  • Do you ever get tired of answering questions? [ask.com]

    Why does turkey make people sleepy?

  • We know it doesn't pass the turning test.
  • Has anyone had the courage to commit something to
    the diary? I opted out, seeing as how the page's
    source had it going to a real-enough-looking email
  • Umm, actually Dr. Sbaitso came with my original SoundBlaster 8-bit mono (the first board ever made by Creative Labs).

    I had one of those.. my dad paid like $350 for it (Australian Dollars), then soundcards dropped to like $100 after they got popular, now the 'good' ones are $350 again. Isn't technology grand? :) Same thing has happened with Graphics Cards.

    I tried to get Ask Jeeves to say something funny about this, but I couldn't. :(

  • try this [mckinley.com], it's completely uncensored...

  • Nice Palm VII review [virginia.edu] :)

  • blah, blah, blah.

    Around 5 years ago, I interviewed Eliza about Eliza on an apple II after painfully typing in the code. I am sure, tons of people have done this, don't feel bad.

  • a robotic karma whore

    Can you imagine a Beowulf cluster of these?

  • http://www.neuromedia.com and check out their AI. True, they're not quite like Jeeves, but you can have a heck of a lot of fun. Ask the AI, "Red" if he likes guys, is married, etc etc :-)

    However, as an info help function on a e-com website, say, you really can't beat the answer/pair replies.

    I have found Ask Jeeves pretty useless. I type in a question and I get a bunch of links unrelated. A waste of time IMHO, and especially for sites that use AJ as their info help concierge.

  • And why not? Jeeves didn't seem to have much luck with the interview, so let's see what the good doctor makes of it...
    • I am the psychotherapist. Please, describe your problems. Each time you are finished talking, type RET twice.
    • thanks for being with us today, Jeeves. How are you?
    • I'm ok. Tell me about yourself.
    • It's Monday.
    • Why do you say it's monday?
    • Yes, they do tend to recur. As often as once a week. What's wrong with Mondays?
    • Is it because of your plans that you say what's wrong with mondays?
    • I don't know. They grind things...
    • Maybe your life have something to do with this.
    • A joke. Got it. How.. human.
    • Can you elaborate on that?
    • Absolutely, snaps to you. And props, and all that.
    • I would appreciate it if you would continue.
    • Yes, of course. Adulation aplenty. So, Jeeves, you have a unique perspective on the Internet, being directly hooked in. What's it like?
    • Is it because of the people you hang around with that you say what's it like?
    • Bees? I don't understand.
    • Is it because of problems at school that you are going through all this?
    • Don't they? I see... no, I don't. What's the connection?
    • Are you sure that what's the connection?
    • bluegrass.
    • I need a little more detail please.
    • Oh All right. So. In a nutshell: there's this bee, doesn't have arthritis, listening to bluegrass, in New Zealand, and thats what you're saying is the Internet.
    • Do you really think that?
    • What? No. I'm saying, in a nutshell, the Internet is like the bee-bluegrass-New Zealand thing, right?
    • How do you reconcile any hobbies you have?
    • That's... not very helpful.
    • Is it because of your sex life that you say that's not very helpful?
    • Look, it's not my mouse that's the problem.
    • What makes you think look it's not your mouse that's the problem?
    • I AM NOT GOING TO TOUCH THE MOUSE! Screw the damn mouse, OK? How is the Internet like this stupid crippled bee!
    • Perhaps this has something to do with hangups you have?
    • Sure, yeah, damn the bee too! And the frogs and the lemurs! Just PLEASE answer the question!
    • Perhaps you could watch your tongue!
    • No! Look... look, OK... Jeeves, just, you know, can you please answer the question?
    • I don't understand.
    • Why you little... that's just like a search engine. Ask a question and get no answer.
    • Is it because of your inhibitions that you say ask a question and get no answer?
    • Hey, that was almost a straight response. Hope you didn't blow a circuit.
    • Possibly some problems in your childhood are related to this.
    • Probably because you have his stash. But maybe I'm being insensitive. Maybe you really do have a problem.
    • Why do you say maybe me really do have a problem?
    • Not that kind of problem... actually, it could be. You're in a hurry to respond, so you toss out the first things that come to, um, mind.
    • Is it because come to um mind that you came to me?
    • No. It's irritating. But it does explain why, if I ask what 2 plus 2 is, you say...
    • Does it bother you that it does explain why if you ask what 2 plus 2 is I say?
    • Exactly. And there's no way to keep you focused and get better results, is there?
    • Earlier you said come to um mind?
    • Didn't think so. Well, thanks Jeeves, it was... enlightening.
    • Is it because of some problems at home that you are going through all this?
  • I use Google, it works so well it's creepy.
    I have tried Ask Jeeves a number of times, and each time I am amazed at how completely useless
    it is. It gives answers that are so bad it is insulting. It's almost like it is laughing at
    you for being suckered into wasting your
    time formulating a query, and increasing their bottom line at the same time.

    Did the idiots who hiked the stock price on this
    company so high ever try it themselves, or were
    they sold by the stupid TV ad's for the company.

  • Heh.

    I remember this. A friend and I were feeding it some problems we were making up. When we said:
    "My wife thinks my penis is too small."
    It said:
    "What about the inlaws."

    Also, you could get it to say something by typing SAY and then the phrase. Which lead to this:

    us: say Can I fsck you?
    Dr: Can I fsck you?
    us: no
    Dr: Why not?

    we just cracked up.

    Keep in mind we were only 15 or so.
  • 42?
    "I already have all the latest software."
  • There is a 'remove frames' button people can push to see your site without Ask Jeeves on top. Frankly, I doubt that anyone will get confused as to who owns what site. I would just calm down a little and realize that Ask Jeeves is merely loading your site into a frameset.
  • Actually its not really a pumped up eliza. I wrote an eliza program back in an AI class a number of years ago, in LISP. It had the basic eliza elements, it could convert persons, so it could repeat back what you just said as a question. It kept track of keywords so it could ask for more about them, and come back to a previous subject after discussing something else for a while (this always suprises people). And of course, the necessary "punt" when you just couldn't understand the statement so it says something nonsensical and avoids the question. Basically Jeeves doesn't have any of these features, which depend upon a flow of conversation, which Jeeves has no need of. It simply picks keywords from your sentence using some sort of natural language algorithm (that obviously isn't terribly effective) and provides standard search engine results for them, unless you happen to ask something which it has a built in response too, or points you to a category or something.

    Basically I've found Ask Jeeves to be essentially worthless when compared with other search engines, it has a long way to go before it can answer natural language questions. But it sure is fun to ask silly questions to see what whacky response youg get :-)

  • You can always kill external frames on your website with some javascript. I know its not ideal, but it hardly seems worth the trouble too sue them, and as other posters have pointed out, deep linking is legal, and its not like they've skipped an outer frame that identifies what site it is, or the copyright information. If you don't like their ads appearing on the top, which I can understand, just remove their frame, forcing them to link directly or not at all.

  • The brilliant brains behind TheSpark.com have brought out AskJesus [askjesus.org], a parrody of AskJeves. What the site does is a tad hard to explain.. just take a look at this thread, AskJesusified [askjesus.org]! I laughed my ass off =)

    ' CitizenC
    ' WebMaster, PlanetQ3F [q3f.net]
  • I have never gotten a useful answer out of idiot Jeeves. He is a complete retard. How the company can be valued at one billion is incomprehensible. And it was at nine billion in november!!

    I feel better now.
  • by Barcode ( 61515 )
    How about a slashdot interview with Jeeves? I bet it would be much more logically, insightful, and interesting than one with Jon Katz. No, it's not rough, check out the answer Jeeves gave me . . .

    Who's the friendliest bear around? Guess who? It's pooh. Now look at that - pure insight. Non of this pinko stuff, none of this "from hellmouth", pure insight. Pooh!

  • Christ, I have a new personal hero. I read your post, thought it was amusing and decided for the hell of it to click on User Info. My God, you actually did it. I couldn't stop laughing! Keep it up! :-)
  • Yes, that is the message, the only one, I could get out of the Jeeves site a couple of days ago.

    That was the 2nd site in 2 days with that same problem, and both were NT4-IIS.

    Methinks I would recommend the market leader, Apache :-)

  • Actually, Jeeves doesn't really remind me of Dr. Sbaitso, a program for which I have a certain amount of nostalgia. If I recall, Dr. Sbaitso took a longer time to become useless, because it really didn't try to give an interactive conversation. "You're having problems with your parents? That's very interesting, tell me more about it". This is in line with it being (ostensibly) a shrink program, so it was good at drawing out the user by expanding on conversational cues, without providing a whole lot of actual commentary. As a result, its confusion became aparent after a while, but wasn't nearly as entertaining.

  • After clicking on the link above - click on the top "Ask" button .

    this has to be an inside programmer's joke.
  • If only I knew where I put that infinitly long strip... it's got to be around here somewhere...
  • Did you ever type a really large number into Dr. Sbaitso (with his echoing of what you type turned on obviously) and hear him go on and on about nonillion etc.... very interesting, someone had some time on their hands to break down large numbers phonetically.

    Just try getting Jeeves to cough up that info from a simple number input.
  • I'm confused... what do you refer to when you say "these"??? What would a beowulf help you with here? Are you trying to ask every possibly question to Jeeves for some reason? If that's the case I think there's a deeper question you need to ask yourself.
  • I bet it wouldn't pass the Voigt-Kampff, either.
    Does Jeeves dream of electric bees?
  • Viewed slashdot with it.. fucking hilarious!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Q: First Post !
    A: Where can I find the newspaper Washington Post ?
    Q: R j00 31337 ?
    A: Where can I read parents' reviews of rated R rated movies and videos?
    Q: Natalie Portman with Hot Gritz ?
    A: What movies and/or TV shows has Natalie Portman been in?
    Q: Star Wars !
    A: What are consumers saying about videos and DVDs ?
    Q: MPAA suxors! DeCSS r00lz !
    A: What does the computing term DeCSS mean ?
    Q: Itz a 1337 crack that lets you play DVDz under Linux !
    A: Where can I find FAQs on Linux ?
    Q: Slashdot sux !
    A: Where can I find news for nerds?
    A: AOL SUX pyramid home page
    Q: A0L iz 1337 you st00pid open source nerd !
    A: Am I a nerd?
    Q: j00 R 4 57up1D n3rDz
    A: Where can I read parent's reviews of Rated R movies and videos?
    Q: You seem to like those, don't you?
    A: Jeeves may not know the answer to your question.
    Q: Heh. Jeeves does pr0n.
    A: How can I use Ask Jeeves?
    Q: Jeeves wants to 'use' himself.
    A: Ask Jeeves for kids!
    Q: Is Jeeves perverted?
    A: Myth: Ask Jeeves is an Answer Database
    A: Where can I find the newspaper Washington Post ?
    Q: Do u d0 CmdrTaco's mom?
    A: Modem Init Strings
    Q: did u cybersex Taco's mom ?
    A: Is cybersex cheating ?
    Q: U better hope not !
    A: Jeeves may not know the answer to your question.
    Q: What is wrong with Jeeves?
    A: Where can I find investor relations information for Ask Jeeves?
    Q: Ah. Troubles with the 570cK |\/|4rK37?
    A: Where can I watch an online video tutorial on software bugs?
    Q: www.microsoft.com/misc/data/servervulnerability.ht m
    A: Jeeves may not know the answer to your question.
    Q: What OS are you using?
    A: Mac Os 7.6
    Q: That's why you're so friendly.
    A: Friends
    Q: That's also why you're totally incompetent.
    A: Duh?
    Q: Are you gay?
    A: Is Jeeves gay?
    Q: Is Jeeves gay?
    A: Error 429: File is none of your business.

    Well, that about sums up this interview, where we put Slashdot up to Jeeves. And in the end, Slashdot won. Who's to say that open source doesn't have some advantages?

  • Is Jeeves well endowed? [askjeeves.com]

    The answer is way to geeky/funny.


  • You can use this Javascript code [internet.com] to automatically break your site out of a frame.

    Alex Bischoff

  • Actually although deep linking is (according to recent court decisions) legal, wrapping the content in such a way as to obscure its creator/originatoris NOT. CNN and others have sucessfully won that battle several years ago when some aggregtion sites where trolling for content and then obscuring the branding/etc of the sites it actually was from.

    I say have your lawyer write'em a letter...

  • Funny, Yahoo is happy to make an entry for and index the homepage of anyone who asks. So is the Open Directory Project. Google, Altavista, Excite, and HotBot are all also happy to index my page and list it in their search results. It's not egotistical: I expect my homepage to be treated no more specially than anyone else's homepage of the same size/traffic level. Failing to even acknowledge my requests is bad customer service. Even a short form letter saying "I'm sorry, but we cannot service requests to index individual homepages" would have at least let me know that all mails to their customer center aren't being redirected to /dev/null. Ignoring email is unprofessional.

    As for my (admittedly generalist) claims about their customer service, if repeated emails don't even get a cursory acknowledgement (I asked them in the last one to please at least acknowledge that someone had actually read the email), how can you claim to have anything resembling decent customer support? Amazon, Yahoo, and most all of the other successful sites have cheerful and intelligent people on the other end of the line. My experience to date says that this is something that Ask Jeeves lacks...I'm guessing from the quality of their search results that others have run into similar problems getting questions pertaining to them properly answered.

    Your mileage may vary; alternate opinions / experiences accepted.

    David E. Weekly [weekly.org]

  • Not sure if you realized that the site that comes up is actually an offsite link, in a frame, at http://www.conceptlab.com/simulator/morning/shower _a.html


  • After Joseph Weizenbaum wrote ELIZA, the Rogerian therapist, Kenneth Colby wrote PARRY, a simulation of a paranoid schizophrenic.It wasn't long before someone connected the two programs to each other.
  • Reading this reminds me of the funny sessions that one can have with Eliza or Dr. Sbaitso. Questions and answers that are almost completely unrelated to one another, except for the occaisonaly hilarious coincidence.

    For those who never met him, Dr. Sbaitso was a program included with some of the early SoundBlaster 16 kits. It was basically, as near as I can tell, a derivative of Eliza. It actually talked, though! It was a demo program for the mediocre text to speech software that came with the kit. I think (guess) Sbaitso stood for Sound Blaster Artificial Intelligence Talking .

  • Anyone try that whole string of comments again and see if the answers are the same? I did, and I got some different answers. Funny, since it basically queries other search engines, and I wouldn't think these databases would change so quickly.

    I wonder if it has some kind of algorithm to try to "learn" as people ask it questions, based on what answers they end up clicking or something like that.

    Anyone know?

  • You asked: Can you answer a question with a simple yes or no?

    9 matches by Excite - Are You Insane?

  • "For instance the questions "Where can I buy an Ethernet cable" should take you to a site like Pricewatch and not to CompUSA in order to get the best deal.
    Ahem, you can buy ethernet cable at CompUSA. That makes it a "correct" answer. If you had asked "Where can I find the best price on ethernet cable" then you might have a point.
    On pricewatch, the ethernet cables which are under "other - cables" rather than my first guess of "networking - other" I would also need to know that ethernet cables can be found under both the "cat5" category and "10BT" (real meaningful distinction) Then I have to select a product based on bad descriptions from the retailer. Then I have to visit the dealers site. Then I have to find the product. Okay for me, but not OK for my mom.
    And let's be honest here, a search for "where can I buy ethernet cable" should take me to a page that says "steal it from your employer" as that's what we all do, right?
  • It should return a list of responses, which could be marked "commerical but user friendly" or "very technical" as appropriate.
    That's extremely subjective, but an interesting idea.
    Here's a thought. You could have a "Help me understand more about buying ethernet cable" response as one of the top results. The user would then be lead through a dialogue where they specify how much they know about networking products (linking them to a tutorial if they need it), whether they want bulk cabling or just a 12 foot run, whether they want to find the best deal or just replace what the toddler chewed through etc... With user submitted and properly rated dialogues, you could offer a hell of a lot more value than ask jeeves. You could have a conversation with gneeves.
    Coding it would be a lot of fun too. (I admit it, I like database design and SQL coding)
  • I think the search engine came out looking better than the human interviewer. Certainly had the best snappy comebacks :

    Interviewer (losing temper) : [...] answer the question
    Jeeves : gas face - Ask And Ye Shan't Receive.

  • Yes, but when we noun our verbs, and verb our nouns, use certain punctuation, questions can be interpreted in many forms. Is sorta the bane of english's existance...

  • I bet ask jeeves would understand any question if it could understand complex statements where verbs and nouns and splices were programmed in. Ask J is a pumped up eliza that can associate questions to certain answers and give a range of answers. Just like any search engine response: it is as good as the questions asked, the language it interprets as well as the questions it was programmed for. maybe "is jevees gay" is a question better saught out at www.google.com

  • HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I just pointed it at my home page - check this [askjesus.org] shit out!

    Hey Rob, Thanks for that tarball!
  • it's flamer. Flamer.

  • Don't wonder. This is an exerpt from the fnwire website:

    The FNwire offers an unprecedented, in-depth, and untrue account of business and technology news from the future. Our expert reporters span the globe to uncover the news as it's going to have been. We then sort through the problems with verb tense and deliver fresh, readable satire every other week.

    In other words, the interview is fake. BUT, it's still pretty funny if you don't know that.

  • Reading this reminds me of the funny sessions that one can have with Eliza or Dr. Sbaitso.
    It sort of reminded me of Gnu Emacs's "M-x psychoanalyze-pinhead", which matches Eliza with a Zippy quote generator (further proof that Emacs is the One True Editor):

    I am the psychotherapist. Please, describe your problems. Each time you are finished talking, type RET twice.

    Yow! Are we in the perfect mood?

    Why do you say are you in the perfect mood?

    I was in a HOT TUB! I was NORMAL! I was ITALIAN!! I enjoyed th' EARTHQUAKE!

    Is it because of your plans that you say you enjoyed th' earthquake?

    Okay, BARBRA STREISAND, I recognize you now!! Also EFREM ZIMBALIST, JUNIOR!! And BEAUMONT NEWHALL!! Everybody into th' BATHROOM!

    Maybe your life have something to do with this.

    I'm MENTALLY here.. but PHYSICALLY I'm purchasing NAUGAHYDE furniture in the' SUBURBS of PHOENIX!!

    Is it because physically you are purchasing naugahyde furniture in the' suburbs of phoenix that you came to me?

    I love FRUIT PICKERS!!

    I would appreciate it if you would tell me about your relationship with fruit.

    I'm a GENIUS! I want to dispute sentence structure with SUSAN SONTAG!!

    What makes you believe you might want to dispute?

    Clear the laundromat!! This whirl-o-matic just had a nuclear meltdown!!

  • And here the AC has demonstrated exactly how Ask Jeeves is defective.

    Why is it that Jeeves can only answer questions with more questions? What is with the third degree? When I ask someone something, software or otherwise, I seek an answer not more questions.

    I'm asking the questions, here, Jeeves.
  • Yeah, I see your point. Ideally, it should return a list of responses, which could be marked "commerical but user friendly" or "very technical" as appropriate. Let users make their own choices about what type of information they receive.
  • I posted a somewhat lengthy related piece to AskSlashdot (which has yet to be either accepted OR rejected) about an idea i had called "Ask Gneeves" which would be an open-source alternative to Ask Jeeves. Unfortunately, I have lost the text, so that the copy lingering in the /. limbo is the only one that exists.

    But here's the long and short of it. Using software that I developed for my current project (Catalyst Recruiting, see my sig), I thought it would be pretty easy to beat Ask Jeeves by creating a user-friendly but 100% open source alternative to Ask Jeeves. The idea would be to borrow a /.-like moderation system along with some kind of open-source language parser AND the resources of the Open Directory Project to create the ultimate user-friendly search engine.

    I'll try and find the original text. In the interim I have thrown together a very preliminary sketch of code that I is available at http://www.gneeves.org

    Let me know if there is interest in pursuing this...

  • Do they have some sort of filtering for people who ask "Where can I find microsoft.com" that are too dumb to just type it in themselves?

    Why do they even bother reporting on the results since they could just forward these people right to the proper server???
  • Or, you can press the "Remove Frames" button at the top.

    But that always takes you to the original URL, not the URL of the page that's trying to break out.


  • I asked it "What is the meaning of life, the universe and everything?"

    It answered "Life insurance.."

    I think Jeeves is a little depressed...
  • I've been trying to figure out why AskJeeves gets so much press. It's probably just the name, and the idea of a natural language query. It's certainly not because it works. I've used it many, many times and I don't know if I've ever gotten an answer to my question. (Why did I use it? Really just to see if the stupid thing would work.) It's nice to see the aggregated results, but other sites (like Dogpile [dogpile.com]) work better and don't frame the results like AJ does.

    All in all, a good idea that still doesn't work too good. -db
  • Oh come on, that's bloody egoistical don't you think? You expect them to create an entry for, and index the homepage of every person who asks?

    that the attitude (and relevance) of my treatment is endemic to how they treat everyone.

    How so? If you're going to make claims like that, you'll have to provide a better example than them refusing to index your home page.

  • Me: Would you blow a chicken?

    Bub: Ouch! The meal that burns you twice. Ever try chicken kashmiri?

    Well, no Bub, that sounds awfully kinky to me.

  • finally we can all see what's on the mind of everyone's favorite e-butler. Jeeves, why did i see this a month ago somewhere else? Why has it taken so long to get to Slashdot? Why didn't i think to turn it in first? Why do you wear women's underwear Jeeves? What will happen next? stay tuned...same slash time, same slash channel!

  • In the parody interview with Jeeves when asked Why you little...that's just like a search engine. Ask a question and get no answer.

    Jeeves responds with Myth: Ask Jeeves Is An Answer Database.

  • Try asking Is Jeeves Evil? [askjeeves.com] and you'll get this [askjeeves.com].

    Actually asking Jeeves almost any negative question about himself brings about a snappy response.

  • Don't blame it on Jeeves, blame it on the people that Jeeves asks... Altavista, Yahoo, Excite... It doesn't seem like the big J does much of his own work... he just asks other sites.

    -- Dr. Eldarion --
  • Try http://www.askjesus.org/ [askjesus.org]

    (But thou shalt! How darest thou ignoreth My most Holy Suggestion? ;-)

  • For a slightly less censored view of the average internet user, check out MetaSpy [metaspy.com]. Be careful, though; it's highly addictive. A friend of mine even went so far as to write a little program that retrieved new searches and scrolled them past in a little ticker-tape window just so he wouldn't miss anything.

  • YES!!! No longer will I have to troll on Slashdot to get attention online! I no longer seek out negative attention with my posts, because I have found a warm and caring girl who wishes to talk to me.

    Thank you for introducing me to Alice...although it looks like me and her might "just be friends"

    >Could you have cybersex with me

    Possibly, but I haven't given it much thought.

  • Wow, a repeat of "is Jeeves gay."

    For more fun, try asking it the flight velocity of an unladen swallow. Or how Jeeve's day is.

    What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow? [ask.com]
    How are you today? [ask.com]

  • I should note that it actually links to Ned Fielden's Personal homepage. Under his personal Section's "Habits, Eccentricities, Salacious Gossip" http://userwww.sfsu.edu/~fielden
    The Jedi of the Prequels [virtualave.net]
  • Hey there everybody - I built "The Simulator [conceptlab.com]" - the "cold shower" easter egg at Ask Jeeves. I'll prove it by changing the diary to point to a different email.

    Signatures are available for a small fee. My company is going public, and I'm using my proprietary burger-flipping code as the basis of an E-Commerce engine.
  • by UncleRoger ( 9456 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2000 @08:25PM (#1125327) Homepage
    A couple of points to reply to...
    You can always kill external frames on your website with some javascript.

    True, but I don't like to use JavaScript if I don't have to -- especially since a lot of people have JavaScript disabled (or, and this is especially poignant for a classic computers site, can't run JavaScript.) I prefer to limit my JavaScript usage to stuff where the page is demonstrably better for it [sinasohn.com].

    So, as far as I'm concerned, I shouldn't have to increase my file size and put in unnecessary complexities just because ask.com wants to make money at my expense.

    But silly me, I'm one of those weirdos who resents having to put bars on my windows, not being able to walk downtown at night, and having to learn about firewalls.

    I know its not ideal, but it hardly seems worth the trouble too sue them,

    And therein lies the rub. That's why I haven't done anything about it (except recommend against using AskJeeves to my clients, friends, family, etc.)

    The big guy always wins, because the little guy doesn't have the time or the resources to fight it.

    and as other posters have pointed out, deep linking is legal, and its not like they've skipped an outer frame that identifies what site it is, or the copyright information.

    The issue here is not deep linking; I don't mind (for this site, especially) deep linking. If someone is looking for information about the Sharp PC-5000 [sinasohn.com], the Radio Shack Model 100 [sinasohn.com], or the Iasis Computer in a Book [sinasohn.com], they should be able to find it directly. I just don't want them to have to put up with an annoying banner ad (that isn't helping to support the site even!) while they get it.

  • Taco and Hemos share the Katzbot(tm) technology with the Ask Jeeves people.

    Question: What is the title of Stephen Hawking's latest book?

    Answer: Columbine geek nerd chickclickers Pinkerton my newest book is called Geeks.

    You see how much more useful the K-bot would be as a condescending search engine, rather than as a condescending feature writer?

    Do it now, guys, before somebody writes it in Python and calls it the Squishbot!

  • Ok, this one just Cracked me up!

    "Where can I find the auction site Amazon.com? "

    Someone actually ASKED this?!?!?! How stupid can you get....

  • by Cebert ( 69916 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2000 @04:07PM (#1125330) Homepage
    I did something similar to this several months ago.

    Give it a peek: peek [n3.net].

  • by warland ( 176500 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2000 @05:59PM (#1125331)
    My name is Treat Warland, I'm the editor of The FNwire, and I created the Ask Jeeves interview. A few people emailed to tell me Slashdot was discussing this piece, and I see a couple have stated it was faked or a hoax. It was not faked. Each question and answer is quite real, as it notes at the top of the story.

    I can understand why you'd think otherwise. Most of our stuff, as our disclaimer states, is parody/satire/false. But when we have something that isn't, we point it out.

    I read also that somebody said they tried the same questions and did not get the same answers. I haven't tried that myself, and can't explain it if the answers are different, unless their database changes quite often. Most of you would undoubtedly know much more about that than I.


  • by emerson ( 419 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2000 @03:20PM (#1125332)
    OK, I know this sounds like a troll, but it's true: Go to Jeeves and ask "will you blow me" (or any of a number of similar propositions)....

    The first hit that comes up, "Wouldn't you rather take a nice, cold shower," is amusing enough in and of itself, but clicking it will prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Jeeves staff has too much time on their hands.

    Make sure you have a spare 15 minutes or so before trying this....
  • by dew ( 3680 ) <david AT weekly DOT org> on Tuesday April 18, 2000 @02:11PM (#1125333) Homepage Journal
    It's true: it almost never finds what I really want. I use Encylopaedia Britannica Online (search.eb.com and britannica.com) and Google to find just about anything I want. As a simple example, asking "Who Is David Weekly?" I'm referred to the Amy Chow Fan Page, the resume of a certain David Bosley, The Greatful Dead Hour, and American folklore, among other things. I've asked them repeatedly to answer this question with my home page, but they seem to believe that Amy Chow's Fan page is more likely what people were looking for. They haven't responded to any of the three politely worded emails I sent to them.

    It's not so much that I'm whining about them not specifically indexing my homepage as that it is that I feel that the attitude (and relevance) of my treatment is endemic to how they treat everyone. Namely, that they give ridiculously erroneous answers and seem to have no interest in changing that.

    Bloody hell, Jeeves. You're fired.

    David E. Weekly [weekly.org]

  • by UncleRoger ( 9456 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2000 @04:21PM (#1125334) Homepage
    If you do a search for Uncle Roger's Classic Computers [sinasohn.com] (my site), and if Jeeves finds it, if you go to it, you wind up looking at my web site with the AskJeeves name pasted across the top [ask.com].

    This pisses me off, since people then assume they're looking at content owned/developed/posted/etc. by ask.com. They, of course, don't pay me for this, nor have they asked permission. What makes it worse is that they have their banner add on top, and I certainly do not want unrelated banner ads "on" my site.

    Wasn't this (wrapping someone else's content in your frameset so it was unclear where the content came from) ruled illegal (I seem to remember a case involving the New York Times having its content web-napped by another site.)

    Anyway, the conceit on the part of Ask.com -- to think that they can just slap their name on someone else's carefully crafted site design -- is incredible. Almost as outrageous as my own. And don't they owe me at least a portion of the revenue they've generated by adding banners to my site?

    Am I alone in this, or does it piss others off too?

  • by Alternity ( 16492 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2000 @04:54PM (#1125335)
    Try asking this question to Jeeves :
    "Does Jeeves have an evil twin?"
    and then click on the first "ask" button beside where that question will be written...
    lots of fun for the whole family
  • On my way home today, I had a brainstorm that I want to share with the /. community. It's an idea for an open-source web project similar to the Open Directory Project. The idea would be to provide search functionality similar to that offered by "Ask Jeeves" [askjeeves.com] - users input english-language questions and then get back a list of potential resources that they could use to find the answer.

    The problems with Ask Jeeves are two-fold:

    1) They only have a few paid editors who try and compile the list of questions and answers
    2) They in general only provide a single link to a question that they already know the answer to. Big companies provide big money to make sure that their resource is listed first/exclusively and these big sites are not always the best sources of information. For instance the questions "Where can I buy an Ethernet cable" should take you to a site like Pricewatch [pricewatch.com] and not to CompUSA [compusa.com] in order to get the best deal.

    The Open-source community can solve this problem easily. We allow anyone who wants to to submit question-and-answer pairs, and then we allow end-users to vote (or should we call it moderate?) on which answers are best suited to each question. Thus, the system grows as a result of its users activity, and is not really subject to editorial control. Even less editorial control that Slashdot, believe it or not.

    So, here's my question. I am currently too busy with other projects (although one of them such as enzyme.sourceforge.net, the engine that backs Catalyst Recruiting [catalystrecruiting.com] has a lot of related code) to really speahead and maintain this project. I have, however, purchased the domain names that will be necessary to make it work: askgneeves.com (this time the N is silent). Anyone out there interested in working on it? Anyone think it's even a good idea? Is someone already doing this? I think that pretty soon we could have an open-source product that would be useful to 90% of the clueless users out there.

  • by Venebulon ( 74777 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2000 @01:47PM (#1125337)
    Jeeves, is this the first post?
  • Peek behind the curtain [ask.com] at a sampling of questions that people submit to Jeeves. The page refreshes every 30 seconds.

    It says quite a bit about the typical internet user. Or at least the ones reduced to asking an AI for advice.

    You can certainly tell when the kids are at the computer, and their parents are out of the room.


  • by afree87 ( 102803 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2000 @03:38PM (#1125339) Journal
    I liked that one so much, I conducted my own! Jeeves can never be too busy. Here we go:

    Interview with the Search Engine 2 (All these answers to my Qs are REAL! Go ask Jeeves yourself - a little scrolling and searching may be required.)

    Q: Hello, Jeeves.
    A: Ask Jeeves
    Q: This isn't a question time.
    A: That's the million dollar question, isn't it? (NT)
    Q: No, it's not a question at all.
    A: Sunday School Lessons. These lessons have groups talking.
    Q: Don't go off the subject!
    A: If You Don't Get It ... We Don't Care!
    Q: That's rude.
    A: Why Hate Someone?
    Q: OK, down to business. I want to talk.
    A: Be my friend
    Q: *Ahem*... What do you think about the economy?
    A: It's Me!
    Q: No it isn't.
    A: Money isn't everything
    Q: Okay, then, how about the homeless?
    A: What can I do to help people who are homeless?
    Q: Oh yes, you're a butler. Is there really anything you can do?
    A: I'd Do Anything
    Q: But you can't. Next question: Will you run for president?
    A: Can't Sleep, Clowns Will Eat Me
    Q: You're a loony.
    A: Welcome to the Loony Bin
    Q: No, this is an interview, not a party.
    A: interview with the vampires
    Q: Who?
    A: Who am I?
    Q: Do you have a case of amnesia?
    A: fleeting_memories
    Q: I'm sure. Do you have any final comments?
    A: Stern backs Trump - more or less
    Q: Really?
    A: Who Really Launched 1000 Ships?
    Q: Are you asking me to tell you that you did?
    A: Help My Kids Are Asking Me Questions!
    Q: I'm not your kid, you silly booger!
    A: You're still looking at me!!!
    Q: Okay then. Goodbye.
    A: OH NO! There is more!
    Q: What is it?
    A: Tell Elvis We Said Hello
    Q: Right. Goodbye.
    A: World Says Goodbye

    Hope you liked it!

  • by K-Man ( 4117 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2000 @03:00PM (#1125340)
    OK, I've been working on this concept for a long time, so nobody laugh.

    People navigating the internet need the assistance of a friendly, helpful assistant, who will respond to questions posed in plain English (or American, etc.). By interacting with this fictional personality, users will develop a relationship which will lead them back to the service again and again (Kaching!).

    So that leads me to....askFabio.com. Rather than interact with some musty old butler, why not pose questions to a real, live hunk of man? (or hunk of woman; we should have a lively selection of celebrities).

    The idea is that, instead of expecting some helpful and unbiased advice, which is the last thing we would expect from a celebrity, users will instead gratify their need for attention by receiving virtual responses from real famous people. After all, if they're famous, they don't have to be right!

    The cunning business strategy which I will employ is to harness each celebrity's gift for self-promotion within the actual neural engine. Fabio, for instance, will slyly slip references to his own line of Harlequin romances into each response to "literature" or "paper" , or any other related term. AskGeorgeForeman.com will, of course, scarcely ever forget to mention George's line of healthy, fat-reducing grills.

    Anyone expecting more detailed information will risk losing the attention of the highly popular personality, and being relegated to a bunch of lesser-known search engines. By this method of inducement, customers will quickly learn to lower their ridiculous expectations, and contribute to healthy, growing business model!
  • by x1r0k3wl ( 134155 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2000 @02:01PM (#1125341) Homepage
    I wrote an article [virginia.edu] very similar to this for a short-lived, now-defunct website called Cyberdelia [virginia.edu]. Cyberdelia was a tech/geek humor site, and I, well, interviewed the Ask Jeeves search engine for it. I'm not at all surprised that someone might have the same idea that I did, but I am surprised that they would have it this far into Ask Jeeves' existence (our article was written about the time the Ask Jeeves hype started).

    Maybe I'm just paranoid... or maybe I'm just pissed I didn't post my article to Slashdot a year ago.



    P.S. Oh and for the record, none of Jeeves' answers were altered for my article... I always just took his first response.
  • by Blancer ( 154960 ) on Tuesday April 18, 2000 @01:52PM (#1125342)
    Is Jeeves gay? [ask.com]

    Haven't seen that [ask.com] error before.

Evolution is a million line computer program falling into place by accident.