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In Some Places, Local Search Beating Google 216

Posted by kdawson
from the think-globally-search-locally dept.
babooo404 points out Newsweek coverage of Google focusing on areas in which the search giant may be vulnerable. In some countries outside the US, local competition is handing Google its head. In South Korea a company called Naver dominates. And in Russia, portal site Yandex leads in both search and advertising. In the Cyrillic language market Google is a distant third in search, and Yandex is trouncing Google in the advertising arena by 70% to 2%.
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In Some Places, Local Search Beating Google

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  • Gotta Love It (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pembo13 (770295) on Monday October 29, 2007 @02:06AM (#21154567) Homepage
    How some people treat everything "Google" as if it were special. It would be news worth *if* Google was beating local searches in foreign areas.
    • Re:Gotta Love It (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MoonFog (586818) on Monday October 29, 2007 @02:27AM (#21154643)
      I agree, this is a non-story really. In Norway we have a search engine called Kvasir (kvasir.no) which is very good for Norwegian stuff. Big surprise, the big American company cannot compete on accuracy versus a search engine specialized on finding Norwegian results? This is surprising how exactly?
      • Re:Gotta Love It (Score:5, Interesting)

        by duggi (1114563) <prathyusha_malyala@NOsPam.yahoo.com> on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:08AM (#21154803)
        It is surprising thus: People (From the English speaking world) have assumed that Google is number 1. Going by its search results, it is definitely a top contender to the post.So much so that it is the common homepage for millions of internet users all over the world. The non English speaking market is generally assumed to be underdeveloped (Africa, Indian subcontinent) or Google already has something for them(Language packs). The relationship between Google and China is well known, so it is expected to dominate the Chinese and along with it, other SE Asian markets, as it did in the English speaking world. The story comes as a surprise for those who have been seeing the world in a hazy, interpolated and homogeneous manner.(I belong here too.) But after the story is published , the haziness has been removed and the story seems pretty obvious. Hence my reaction: "WTF? IS this even newsworthy?"
        • Re:Gotta Love It (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Yetihehe (971185) on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:13AM (#21154819)

          The story comes as a surprise for those who have been seeing the world in a hazy, interpolated and homogeneous manner.(I belong here too.)
          So it IS newsworthy, as it helps you understand world better.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by batje (818323)
          "The non English speaking market is generally assumed to be underdeveloped (Africa, Indian subcontinent) "

          I think you forgot to mention the European Continent where people speak underdeveloped languages like French and German, and Asia of course, which is just slightly bigger than China alone (Indonesia alone has about 240 million inhabitants)

          Besides that, English is rather well spoken in India as well as large parts of Africa, underdeveloped as they might be.

          American primary education, it's tough.
          • Re:Gotta Love It (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Tim C (15259) on Monday October 29, 2007 @05:20AM (#21155273)
            Actually, I rather think that was his point - that when the average American thinks "non-English speaking country" they tend to think of places like Africa and the Indian subcontinent, forgetting that there are a great many high-tech countries with first languages other than English.
            • by tsa (15680)
              Keep in mind that a 'high-tech' country does not have to be a 'developed' country.
          • by rk (6314)

            "I think you forgot to mention the European Continent where people speak underdeveloped languages like French and German, and Asia of course, which is just slightly bigger than China alone (Indonesia alone has about 240 million inhabitants)"

            What part of "or Google already has something for them(Language packs)" was unclear to you?

        • "But after the story is published , the haziness has been removed and the story seems pretty obvious. Hence my reaction: "WTF? IS this even newsworthy?""

          Agreed on the the haziness, but logically, google was built around english so it shouldn't be that surprising that it's workers best know english and they haven't really had enogh experience in other languages, I believe that is a possibility.
        • Hence my reaction: "WTF? IS this even newsworthy?"

          It sort of is. One of the assumptions is that search engine technology requires a lot of hardware resources and brainpower. It's true that building a prototype index with a new algorithm doesn't require industrial scale computing farms and armies of phds, but the conventional wisdom is that if you want to compete in the big leagues, you need a lot of money, hardware, and people.

          What this article is showing is that this conventional wisdom is somewhat wro

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Eivind (15695)
            Google sucks -BIGTIME- if you attempt to use it in languages other than english, atleast the two where I've regularily attempted it, Norwegian and German.

            Indeed, my main *complaint* about Google is that it likes to let its search-results be influenced by the language of the searcher, even when that is explicitly not wished, and it doesn't seem to be possible to turn that off.

            You can "Search the web" (default) "Search pages in German" and "Search pages from Germany", which is fine and dandy, whats less fine
        • The story comes as a surprise for those who have been seeing the world in a hazy, interpolated and homogeneous manner.(I belong here too.) But after the story is published , the haziness has been removed and the story seems pretty obvious. Hence my reaction: "WTF? IS this even newsworthy?"
          And thus you fall into the category of "can't satisfy some of the people anytime." Congratulations.
      • Big surprise, the big American company cannot compete on accuracy versus a search engine specialized on finding Norwegian results? This is surprising how exactly?

        Google has good search technology, and search is automated so it doesn't really matter whether the text is Norwegian or English. In Germany Google has a market share of over 90 percent although there certainly are contenders and there is money to be made, but Google is almost a monopoly. Could be the same in Norway or Russia, but apparently isn't.

        T
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I agree, this is a non-story really. In Norway we have a search engine called Kvasir (kvasir.no) which is very good for Norwegian stuff. Big surprise, the big American company cannot compete on accuracy versus a search engine specialized on finding Norwegian results? This is surprising how exactly?

        Kvasir use Google for net search, and add their own directory listings and stuff on top of it. No web search engine of their own (go to their page on how to get your site indexed, and they link you directly to G [kvasir.no]

      • by nazh (604234)

        I got news for you, Kvasir gets their results from Google.
        http://www.kvasir.no/help/kvasirguide.shtml [kvasir.no](in Norwegian).

      • by Jartan (219704)

        In Norway we have a search engine called Kvasir (kvasir.no) which is very good for Norwegian stuff. Big surprise, the big American company cannot compete on accuracy versus a search engine specialized on finding Norwegian results? This is surprising how exactly?

        How hard are they trying out of curiosity? I'm curious how many places google has failed even after putting in a full blown effort. That article about Russia sounds suspiciously like google just started there not long ago.

        It would be nice to see so

      • by ajs (35943)

        I agree, this is a non-story really.

        I disagree. This is a non-story to non-geeks. For the rest of us, the impact of language-specific heuristics for search weighting is very interesting. We would like to think that relevance can be assessed by looking at the structure of the Web, but as these results show, that may not be true... then again, there may be other, less technical reasons for regional success. It's an interesting thing, and IMHO, only someone who looks at this as a mainstream headline would not be intrigued.

      • If you really want to talk about why local beats global look at the innovations they are creating. Kvasir is just a boring and very plain search engine.

        However if you look at the fantastic Sesam.no they have some great services that beat Google. A search for a name will give you a combination of actual phonebook data, blogs, newspaper articles, addresses, maps, driving directions and even their corporate roles and stock ownership. And not to mention actual *knowledge* of local geography and language. It

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Daengbo (523424)
      Yeah, but here in S. Korea, I don't even think they know who Google is. That's pretty impressive. Want to do an internet search? Naver.com. Want a map? Naver. Want a friend's e-mail address? Naver. Shopping? Naver. Jeez. It's everyone's home page. It searches everything in Korea. No one uses anything else.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by mgblst (80109)
        Just went there, couldn't understand a thing. How can people really expect to use this at all?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Threni (635302)
      > How some people treat everything "Google" as if it were special.

      I think Google is special. They were the first decent webmail service (ie they offered more than 10 megs or whatever, no annoying ads, POP3 access etc). They offer free mobile phone apps to read Gmail, or use Google maps. The language translation works. Google groups is great - ok, it's a bit buggy and you can't employ killfiles, but there's no other way that I know of to search Usenet archives, and it's pretty quick at that.

      That's what
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by PRC Banker (970188)

      How some people treat everything "Google" as if it were special. It would be news worth *if* Google was beating local searches in foreign areas.

      Yes. In China Baidu [baidu.com] is the leader, though search is a general term covering searching many things for many people. Though apparently, Google.cn are very effective in serving and marketing to the higher revenue, more educated, higher earning customer sectors.

      My main purpose for commenting was to point out the article linked solely to Newsweek pages: a Newsweek

    • by SkyDude (919251)

      why does everything have to be harder to do in Windows?

      To keep people like me employed of course.......

  • OTOH (Score:5, Informative)

    by ceeam (39911) on Monday October 29, 2007 @02:15AM (#21154587)
    Still, Yandex is unbelievable crap - results-quality wise. I'd say Top3 go in reverse in this parameter. But the problem I think - apart from advertising (Y had a rather big ad campaign some time ago) - is that Google seriously dropped the ball and showed huge negligence and ignorance when entering local market unprepared - for example, their engine did not even search for different wordforms and Russian of course has an ultra-developed word endings system. So - at first - Google was 99% useless. Plus - Y had been around the longest and most people simply don't care about switching.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by efence (927813)
      Also Google's contextual ads showing up in Gmail for mail in Russian are absolutely irrelevant to the subject most of the time as compared to mail in English. That really tells about the attention to the markets other than English-speaking.
      • by setagllib (753300)
        Kind of interesting that now it's the US technology industry that really leads the world in privacy violation and propaganda (because really, what is advertising if not propaganda?) Russia has really fallen behind in controlling people's lives for power and profit.
        • by Don853 (978535)
          The Russians have gotten smarter - they're going for the energy sector instead.
    • I don't know what you're talking about. Most of the times I use both Yandex and Google for searches in russian, and Yandex have been providing better results consistently over the last years. Again, Google's abilities to process russian texts are surprisingly miniscule (surprise comes from the fact that Sergey Brin is russian, could've known better).
  • Too western? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bushboy (112290) <lttc@lefthandedmonkeys.org> on Monday October 29, 2007 @02:21AM (#21154625) Homepage
    Perhaps in the West, we often assume that Google is the only player in town worth using.
    It would be interesting to get the view of someone in South Korea, for instance, as to how useful Google is to them when compared with local/regional alternatives?

    It's more than likely that Google is far too orientated around the West, both culturally and in terms of results.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fender_rules (720236)
      Naver's greatest advantage lies in its 'KIN' service, which is pretty similar to what www.answers.com provides. But most people don't go to their site for web searching however. Rather they go there for fun reading all the news articles (and all those trolling comments... yeah they're actually fun sometimes), blogs, cartoons, video clips and whatever.

      It's not really comparable to Google. They're apples and oranges IMHO.
    • As a Korean (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ihavnoid (749312) on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:09AM (#21154807)
      The most would-be-shocking fact is that more than half of the non-technical people doesn't even know what google is (for example, my mom). In contrast, I find most of my non-technical friends have naver.com as their first page on IE. In Korea, it's quite common to see TV commercials say "search XYZ in Naver", instead of displaying its URL.

      The biggest reason is because Naver actually hosts content, rather than just indexing content. Not only that Naver is a strong search engine company, it hosts a vast amount of blogs, forums, an online game site (Hangame), user-provided knowledge base, plus third-party licensed contents (such as dictionaries, public transportation routes, news contents provided by other medias, etc.). All these contents are prohibited to robots (via robots.txt), which means Google can't even index them. Thus, no matter how great Google's search algorithm is, it will be almost impossible to match Naver's quality.

      Plus, running a homepage *that looks cool* is a very complicated job for a non tech-savvy person. Thus, they don't get webhosting - they upload contents to big portals. I've even seen many small businesses forget about homepages, and instead have a blog/user-created forum/whatsoever on every major player. It would be much easier for normal users to reach them (since memorizing a URL written in a non-native language would be painful), and cheaper (near zero) to maintain.

      Another downside of Google is that it DISPLAYS English search results, which would be useless to them. Yes, people are lazy enough to select the 'Search for Korean contents only'.

      In terms of actual users, I believe Google would fall even further behind (far behind 10th place), since there is another big portal cyworld (http://cyworld.com/), which provides personal blogging services and web-based communities.

      I use many different searching methods
        - Naver or Yahoo for local information (public transport route, looking for a place for a nice dinner, etc.)
        - Wikipedia for something that's expected to exist on an encyclopedia
        - danawa.com and enuri.com for searching best deals (equivalent to PriceGrabber or whatsoever)
        - Naver for anything else in Korean
        - Google for everything else, or if all methods above doesn't give a good enough result.

      As a result, I get to use google less and wikipedia more, while naver and everything else remains somewhat constant.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        their dictionary, imho, is the best. and generally speaking, searching korean words on the net is such a pita. search engines do not make sense of particles and cannot separate words when they are just written with no spacing. I mean, there's a lot of ambiguity in word separation rules in korean, so it just makes harder for google. I wonder how it works in japanese....
      • Please NO! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Chrisq (894406)

        All these contents are prohibited to robots (via robots.txt), which means Google can't even index them. Thus, no matter how great Google's search algorithm is, it will be almost impossible to match Naver's quality.

        This could be the beginning of a slippery slope. Suppose Google responded by ignoring robots.txt files in Korea and protecting orkut, blogger and its own sites with robots.txt files that it does not obey itself. Up until now there has been an unwritten rule - something protected by robots.txt

        • Ignoring robots.txt (Score:2, Interesting)

          by eniac42 (1144799)
          This is happening already..

          http://www.ewhisper.net/blog/msn-ignoring-robotstxt-files/ [ewhisper.net]

          There are ways to block search engines that do this..

          http://www.ars.net/bots/ [ars.net]
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by tony1343 (910042)
          If Google were to ignore the robots.txt file it is possible to bring suit against Google in the United States. There have been some successful such suits based upon the old english common law cause of action "trespass to chattels" which was a relic of common law history until the internet came along. I believe one such successful action was by eBay against a auction crawler (eBay v. Bidder's Edge or something like that). Some courts I believe are unwilling to hear such a claim unless there is actual mone
      • is the not allowing google or others to index them. If Google, Yahoo, MS or AOL were smart, they would deny indexing to search engines like this, until it is reciprocated.
      • by Hatta (162192)
        So would you say that in Korea, only old people use Google?
      • by crossmr (957846)
        I was coming to make that point. My Korean friends all highly prefer naver, and if I ever try to search something with Google around them I'm afraid I'll get smacked. As is seemingly the custom there if their movies can be believed. While Google is expanding with news, gmail, online office apps, etc, they've got a long way to go before they could compete with the offerings of a site like naver. Even if they matched them, they'd still have to compete with brand. Though I have always wondered about the name.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mgblst (80109)
      The big question is, when they dub over movies, to they change references from google to something else? I imagine this is how a lot of people know about google.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 29, 2007 @02:25AM (#21154631)
    Google searches you! Oh wait...
  • someone at google sent a memo to someone else... AT GOOGLE! story expected to be picked up by /. sports at 11.
  • Not surprising. Till recently Russian currency was not freely convertible.

    As a result, dealing with an external broker for services was too painful to contemplate. This restriction formed a protectionist barrier on any service dealing with relatively small financial transactions. As a result companies like Google were locked out off the market in favour of the local brokers.

    AFAIK they have a freely convertible currency now which changes the rules of the game back in favour of Google and from there on ... Oh
    • by Cyberax (705495) on Monday October 29, 2007 @06:26AM (#21155543)
      Nope. It was fairly easy to work with foreign currency in Russia since early 90-s. Yandex was simply MUCH better than Google because Google have not supported Russian morphology until very recently.

      For example, if I'm searching information about, say, the name of Putin's dog I can use the following search query:
      "Imja sobaki Putina" - (the name of Putin's dog) and Yandex can find documents with the words
      "Imena sobak Putina" - (the names of Putin's dogs - note the plural) or documents with the words
      "Imen sobak Putina" - ([about] the names of Putin's dogs)
      "Imena sobakam Putina" - another grammar case. ...

      Russian morphology is MUCH MUCH more complex than in English. Yandex started working on morphological search in 1996, so it's not surprising that it's still much better than Google.
      • by arivanov (12034) on Monday October 29, 2007 @08:02AM (#21155961) Homepage
        Interesting point... Never thought about that but it makes a lot of sense.

        It is a matter of approach to morphology actually.

        IIRC Google approach to morphology as a whole is to throw brute force statistical analysis at it. They use statistical models and loads of data for translation. This works wonders with languages like English who have more exemptions than grammar rules while having fairly rigid sentence ordering and relatively limited common vocabulary.

        Russian is very difficult to be subjected to this approach. Due to it undergoing a forced language reform at the turn of the 20th century, russian grammar can be expressed in less than 10 pages of strict rules with around 30-40 exemptions. This grammar used to be drilled down with vengeance in Russian schools so it has not changed a bit since formulated 100 years ago.

        While the rules are strict (and relatively easy) the meaning of many key grammar elements is positional-dependant. To add insult to injury it has one of the largest working day-to-day vocabularies and there are probably more ways to say the same thing than in any other language (I mean proper Russian, not "Na huja zhe tebe eto nado blad'"..

        So no wonder an analytical model is more successful than statistical. Thanks for pointing it out.
        • by snarkh (118018)
          Russian is very difficult to be subjected to this approach. Due to it undergoing a forced language reform at the turn of the 20th century, russian grammar can be expressed in less than 10 pages of strict rules with around 30-40 exemptions. This grammar used to be drilled down with vengeance in Russian schools so it has not changed a bit since formulated 100 years ago.

          I would like to see these 10 pages of "strict rules". As far as I know, no such thing exists for any natural language and certainly not or Ru

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by arivanov (12034)
            The "useless" google is your friend:

            http://www.ipmce.su/~lib/osn_prav.html [ipmce.su]

            I used to have a "legit" version at my old house (no access to it at the mo) which was printed by Moscow State. It was 35-40 pages in total with the preface and the contents.

            By the way, when I taught Russian in the USA nearly 20 years ago I had that trimmed to 10 pages for the beginners.

            The problem I found with it is that most English students of foreign languages are humanity students which are heavily into memorising and not trying
            • by snarkh (118018)
              However, those are just "main rules". I believe that the most common rules can be listed in
              30 pages or so. However this is far from the complete description of the Russian grammar (if such thing exists at all).
            • The problem I found with it is that most English students of foreign languages are humanity students which are heavily into memorising and not trying to use rules and logic. They can memorise any number of phrases, the most obscure lexics, etc but they cannot memorise and use formal grammar. At all. As a result they have no problem with French, Spanish, etc but with Russian they hit a wall and run away screaming that it is too hard

              Now, that's informative. Thanks.

              I've beaten my head against the wall num

        • by Cyberax (705495)
          Nope, you're thinking about Russian grammar in the sense 'how to write without grammatic mistakes'. Yes, it's not really hard - English spelling, for example, is much more erratic.

          On the other hand, correct machine analysis of Russian is very hard. Rulesets are nowhere close to 10 printed pages, and a lot of things is so context-sensitive that it's not even possible to do correct analysis. I briefly worked at NLP (Natural Language Processing) area, but cowardly fled it - too much pain for not much gain.
        • by dajak (662256)
          If you apply any kind of analytical model in a generic search engine like Google, you increase recall at the expense of precision, certainly for pages that don't explicitly encode their language. My big problem now with using search engines like Google is the ambiguity between last names (spears) and acronyms (owl) on the one hand, and normal words I am searching for. Applying morphological rules makes this problem even worse.

          I once saw a demonstration of an experimental search engine for (Dutch) historical
      • Russian morphology is MUCH MUCH more complex than in English. Yandex started working on morphological search in 1996, so it's not surprising that it's still much better than Google.
        Wow, Ann Coulter was right. If we killed their leaders, took over their country and converted them to Christianity, we could also teach them English and make their webpages easier to search. Psst...I hear they've got oil.
  • Character sets? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ThirdPrize (938147) on Monday October 29, 2007 @02:42AM (#21154701) Homepage
    How does Google handle all the various extended character sets out there? Can you search in Cyrillic, Chinese or even French?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You can search in Cyrillic (and in other alphabets too), but it only looks for the exact words in the query, i.e. no morphological search. This is often good enough if you know exactly what you're looking for, like lyrics of a song, but if the query is more abstract, local search engines always win.
      • Re:Character sets? (Score:5, Informative)

        by rxmd (205533) on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:45AM (#21154941) Homepage

        You can search in Cyrillic (and in other alphabets too), but it only looks for the exact words in the query, i.e. no morphological search.
        This is actually not true anymore. For example, you can do a Google search for "Putin" [google.com], and it will highlight results in other grammatical cases than the nominative as well. It has been like this for a year or so. It's still not very far advanced yet, but Google apparently realized that they've got catching up to do.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Cyberax (705495)
          It still doesn't work very well. Yandex can conjugate the whole phrases and can work with composited words (words containing more than one stem). Google still uses simple word normalization.
    • by oliderid (710055)
      As far as I know (I use Google/Ms/Yahoo with French, Dutch and English), they deal perfectly well with any western characters. Even better they all manage local "mispelling" like forgetting an accent on a letter.

      But one of my favorite search engine is www.alltheweb.com . I think it is Norwegian or something. Yahoo Bought them indirectly and I don't know what they plan to do with them.
    • How does Google handle all the various extended character sets out there? Can you search in Cyrillic, Chinese or even French?
      You can search in... [google.com]
  • Obligatory (Score:2, Funny)

    by Jello B. (950817)
    In Korea, only old people use Google.
  • They forgot by far the biggest non-US competitor, Chinese http://www.baidu.com/ [baidu.com]
  • by holywarrior21c (933929) on Monday October 29, 2007 @03:28AM (#21154879)
    I am student from Korea so i know very well about Korean websites. Naver gained popularity by providing human generated search engine and user generated contents such as imitation of yahoo's answer page. But there are no good search engine that supports Korean in the face of this planet. At least european laguages share common alphabet, that is the reason why google holds significant share on europe. But Korean is just different from English. As i search internet in Korean, neither google,naver returns reliable results. There are no search engine that supports basic functions like spell correction neither. (Lets say you type Koreea in google and it will suggest you that if you meant to type Korea) web portals and search engines in Korea are more like very well organized catalog with useful advertisements. There are long way to go in developing web search engine in Korean. In fact there are some progress done. Until the new technology is finally embedded into their websites it is just going to be good yellowbook with lots of ads. Funny thing is that when i use google i do my best to ignore all the ads. But when i use Naver, i only look at their ads. funnier things is tho, most scholars use google in Korea when searching Korean, because it has simpler interface.
  • by temcat (873475) on Monday October 29, 2007 @05:03AM (#21155233)
    Google beats the hell out of Yandex and Rambler where results relevance is concerned. It's just that people got used to these and don't bother to switch.
  • by jonwil (467024)
    It wouldn't surprise me if China is on this list in the near future, what with the recent action of the chinese government. Now is a good time to invest in search engines that the chinese government is not going to block...
  • I've had interesting problems at some Internet rooms (PC Bangs) here in Korea. Every now and then you'll see odd websites blocked by some strange sort of filtering system. The one I used to go to had Fark.com blocked, Youtube blocked, ESPN was blocked, and even Google.com was blocked. Now, google.co.kr was not blocked, and when I wanted to check my analytics page, google.com/analytics was blocked, but another google analytics page accessed by https:/// [https] (not http:/// [http] was available. I'm not very bright when i
  • ..engine searches YOU
  • Those are called "areas of potential growth." That's business.
  • I do not like and do not trust Yandex.ru because they mix in paid for ads into the search results without identifying them as such.
  • by kurtis25 (909650)
    This is newsworthy because it seems that Google is less popular in areas with more high-tech wireless devices. Maybe I'm stereotyping tech cultures but Google (or no American company) has a great wireless presensce like many Asian and European companies do. Google is late to the game as far as wireless aps go so they need to convince users to move from what has been working well on the cellphone to Google. Might this be part of the Gphone (rumor) strategy to capture wireless user markets around the globe. I
  • Try it out. The UI is just as good (improved from previous version when Google was better) but the mapping is just better. Live search will automatically alter your route based on traffic conditions. The 45 degree angle shots are way superior to Google's overhead images. The only thing I'd ding Live search for is that SOMETIMES the screen re-drawing is slower. Not sure why. Any ideas from an AJAX expert?
  • As I had never heard of these two portals, being an English speaking American, I googled Yandex and Naver. Interesting websites, but I could not read them. So I used Google to translate the pages into English. Found a nice photo gallery on Naver as well as some comic strips, and Yandex told me a story about how they busted some Chinese restaraunts in Moscow for substituting Dog for Lamb, and another story from Argentina about how "the woman became the man" (I actually knew what they were refering to here as

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