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A Search Engine For The Slower Net

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the most-everyone-most-everywhere dept.

The Internet 309

Makarand writes "According to this BBC News article researchers at MIT are developing a search engine for people using the web on slower net connections. The software will e-mail queries to a central server and receive the most relevant webpages from the search results by e-mail in a compressed form. Since the program is too big to download over a poor net connection it will be mailed on CDs to libraries for people to borrow and install. They are also considering trying to persuade computer sellers in developing countries to install the program on machines."

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Them Modem Linkers (4, Funny)

inertia@yahoo.com (156602) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455251)

About them Modem Linkers,
ain't they kinda odd?
Goin' on the net,
with they little baud.
Look at all those Modem Linkers,
what a thing to see.
Web sites come up really slow,
get's lousy Voice/IP.
Internet at low bit rates,
what a dawgon mess.
Load a web site, take a break,
while 'pache mods compress.
How to be a Modem Linker,
don't need a ticket.
Get a local ISP,
dial up and link it.

Re:Them Modem Linkers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455307)

That's funny. However, there are some valid reasons for doing this, and it's not just MIT who is looking at it. Everybody's favorite search engine is pioneering this technology too [google.com] .

Re:Them Modem Linkers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455354)

You've gotta love Google.

Be warned, parent contains goatse link - nt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455375)


Re:Be warned, parent contains goatse link - nt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455403)

Moderators, don't listen to this guy. He's a fscking troll.

3rd post! (-1)

thr0d ps1t (641973) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455253)

This thr0d ps1t is brought to you by the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation's Model Thr00 Thr0d Ps1t Generator.

Share and enjoy!

Bah to that. (1, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455257)

Use lynx or w3m and search on google like the rest of us, ya Nancy-boys..

Re:Bah to that. (0)

tommertron (640180) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455347)

Funny, but true.

Google is (mostly) text-only. And they actually have a mandate to make sure that their pages will load quickly, even on slow modem connections. Is it really necessary to send CDs out for people to install when the Google flagship page is less than 30K?

Slow people have rights too (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455261)

I know the Internet is complicated - but there's no need to pick on slow people.

Re:Slow people have rights too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455348)

Maybe we should have a user interface that these slow people could lick to move around. Instead of "GUI" it would be called the "Licky". And when they want to go to a specific website they could laugh like a horse. Actually, I think I'll chair a committee to develop this API under the Java Community Process. A lot of Sun employees could benefit from this technology.

A better idea (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455262)

Maybe we could have all webpages categorized by a number, something like 800 for science or whatever, and then we could have a filing cabinet with index cards in it. Then, people could open the filing cabinet, see a number for the page they want and then go directly to the page.

Re:A better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455272)

I'm not sure I want to flip through the 3-billion or so odd pages that google has indexed in the "google card catalog"

Re:A better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455296)

You might as well because you're too slow to get a simple sarcastic joke.

Re:A better idea (1, Interesting)

nsideops (579890) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455314)

It's modded funny, but there is a good idea deep in there. I've basically been thinking about this idea for years. Not quite like a card catalog system as he described, but more like an ever changing directory. Of course it would require quite a bit of man hours to oranize/update/arrange, not to mention linking to the many many different categories and sections one page could belong to. Every day I run into something that I need to search for, but don't really know what exactlly to search for or where to go. I get lots of similar links but it usualy takes about an hour to narow them down to something usefull. I admit, this is part of the greatness of the internet, bucause quite often in this hour search I find valuable information that I need that I wasn't even looking for or stuble upon something that I didn't even know was out there. All of the sites that attempt to do this now are very limited and usually laid out quite poorly. It would be a massive project, but I think it would be quite usefull.

Re:A better idea (0)

dago (25724) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455358)

It has already been imaginated and done partially
about 100 years ago ! (at least the basic idea)

If you go to the mundaneum [mundaneum.be] , in Mons(.be), you'll have access to the card catalog system.


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455263)

in case anyone cares.


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455275)



terriblekarmanow tm (592883) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455425)

But, but, but..... Does she sock the cuck?

Because... (-1, Interesting)

indros13 (531405) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455265)

...Google is so slow?

Honestly, folks, someone please explain how this could substantially save someone time surfing the web?

Re:Because... (2, Insightful)

slimak (593319) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455294)

I believe it is the pages themselves, not Google, that this is an attempt to deliver.

Re:Because... (1)

jasoncart (573937) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455331)

So its a Google API... and a program that zips the pages? Wow, heavy development.

Re:Because... (1)

jtw123 (685762) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455300)

I think the point isn't that Google's returned index is too slow but actually clicking through and loading the pages themselves are prohibitively slow.

I think this would be more appropriate in cases where access was unreliable and intermittent. If you could get on long enough to submit a query, you'd get results back (albeit slowly) even if your access was cut off.

Re:Because... (4, Informative)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455303)

I had the same initial reaction, but after RTFA (I know, shame on me), it seems that the limitation isn't so much time, but continuous time hogging the phone line accessing Google, checking out pages, etc.

Instead, this service would package together selected results of the search, for overnight download into the PC's cache. The user can then browse through the material at their leisure without needing to use the internet connection (which is the scarce resource).

Re:Because... (5, Funny)

panaceaa (205396) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455392)

I tried to RTFA but MIT hasn't emailed it to me yet :(.

Re:Because... (1)

donutello (88309) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455440)

I did RTFA.

So now, you're going to have all the pages downloaded to your PC for you, when it's quite likely that the very first link was the one you wanted anyway?

What about the bandwidth costs of doing that? And exactly how slow are these connections anyway? Google's search page is a few KBs - I can't imagine how downloading every possible hit (say top 20 hits) is feasible where downloading a single page of a few KBs is not.

Re:Because... (0, Interesting)

rocket97 (565016) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455318)

I agree 100%, I just moved to a new place where I am forced to use dial-up because I am in an area that does not have access to DSL, cable, or anything else that is still decently priced... anyway when I run a search on google it takes at most 5 seconds to get the listing back of the results. If this program needs to send an email to the user letting them know the search results this will take at least 2 maybe 3 times longer (in the fastest instance) for the user to get the results. I think that MIT needs to re-think their ideas and come up with something more useful rather than coming up with something that will just cause more headaches to the users forced to use the slow connections like myself.

Re:Because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455399)

I think _you_ need to RTFA.

Re:Because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455415)

I think_you_need to GAFL

Re:Because... (-1)

terriblekarmanow tm (592883) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455450)

Can't I just use your's?

Re:Because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455504)

> I think_you_need to GAFL

Go around flicking lemons? You think that'd help, huh?

Re:Because... (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455435)

You neither have a particularly slow connection - the majority of the net is on dial-up - nor are you (apparently) in a situation where hogging a phone line is a problem. You've probably got unmetered short-distance calls, so whether you're on for 3 minutes downloading a 400k email or whether you're online 30 minutes reviewing those 400 kilobytes of information doesn't matter to you.

In short, RTFA. Sorry.

Not that I'd wager that this is some kind of brilliant, revolutionary idea, but really, the article doesn't even imply that anyway.

Re:Because... (1)

hondo77 (324058) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455469)

Consider areas that only have access to the Internet via radio...at certain, limited times of the day.

Pop! (sound of a lightbulb turning on)

Re:Because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455473)

> I think that MIT needs to re-think their ideas

To their credit, at least this isn't some lame wearable shit, or a stupid musical instrument which spins around or whatever. Jesus, they come up with some fucking crap!

RTFA. (1)

Kickasso (210195) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455340)

It explains. Honestly.

Re:Because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455352)

(Score: -1, Didn't Read the Article)

It's designed for computer's that don't have fulltime internet connection. The program dials up at night and sends off the queries, so then the next day after the dial up/fetch/retrieve, the results are in.

Re:Because... (5, Insightful)

fliplap (113705) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455369)



Google is too slow when your school has one phone line that is used for _everything_, including net access. Not to mention the cost of using the phone anyway. This allows all the students to submit thier searches to a teacher one day, the teacher then submits the all searches with only a couple minutes of dialing up. He can retrieve the compressed results a few days later with only a minutes of dialing up. Now go read the article. Someone needs to mod that post down, hopefully the poster can redeem themselves later in the thread with something insightful.

Re:Because... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455449)


Fuck 'em.

Seriously, the only places with slow access are fucked up arab/muslim places. Emailing google results isn't going to help. These people have a simple choice. Become democratic, start learning from the west about science, the arts, music, hygiene, tolerance for other people etc, and *then*, and only then, do you get to use broadband, take hot showers in the morning, play network games etc.

Re:Because... (1)

donutello (88309) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455462)

He can retrieve the compressed results a few days later with only a minutes of dialing up.

Huhh?? How? If you download just the results page, then that is pretty useless since you then have to click on the links to see if it is the relevant link or not.

If on the other hand you download the actual contents of the top 20 pages then given how slow your connection is supposed to be, I don't see how you could do that in "only a few minutes".

Re:Because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455491)

This sounds as dreadfull as my first experience with programming at school. Punch a set of cards, mail them to the data center, have them mail back the printout, or more likely, the error message.

(Then, I would go home and play with my Altair)

I suppose it's better than nothing, but not by much. I would just use the library.

Re:Because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455387)

Under capitalism man exploits man. Under communism it's the other way around.

Woman loves woman? Isn't that called Lesbianism?

Re:Because... (1, Informative)

EinarH (583836) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455481)

Honestly, folks, someone please explain how this could substantially save someone time surfing the web?
In non developed countries the lack of bandwith is a serious problem.

A year ago I was in Moscow. After 6 days without internet I really wanted to check my e-mail(webmail).
That day we spent some time some kilometers outside Moscow, but still managed to find a internetcafe.
After waiting for 15 minutes (the place was crowded) I started "surfing".
Man that was slow.
25 computers, *sharing* a 64kb uplink. And all the locals (they had an arangement; pay x numbers of rubels and "surf" as long as you want) where downloading with IRC, Kazaa, DC and ftp which resulted in *heavy* packet loss.
I spent 8 minutes getting the Yahoo.com frontpage. And it took me almost 20 minutes before I could read the first mail.

Because Google is too slow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455266)

Works fine on my dial-up at home.

LAME !!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455267)

LAME !!!

How slow are their connections? (0, Interesting)

Santos L. Halper (591801) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455269)

I mean really. I use dial up occasionally, and I can get my search results in 20 seconds instead of 2. What point does it serve emailing your search query off and waiting much longer for the results?

Re:How slow are their connections? (1)

jason0000042 (656126) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455344)

Well, if you read the article, you would know that people in developing countries don't have even constant access to dial up.

And it can cost way more than you would expect for a few minutes on line in developing countries. My business has dealings with some people in Africa occasionally. Sometimes it's even too expensive to send an email.

Plus, the lag between, say, Nairobi, and servers in the US, over dial up and steatite, can be way more than 20 seconds. I spent nine months on a team that duplicated functionality of some old crappy system that everybody in my office used, because some people in china were trying to use it over telnet, and it was too slow. Something like 6 seconds a key press.

Re:How slow are their connections? (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455353)

Not only that, but unless the information returned via CD includes the research FOUND that related to that search query how would this be beneficial? You would still have to search through the results CD and then download the research.

I'm sorry but google.com usually gives me what I want (to the T) on the first page of results.

This doesn't sound like something that would come out of the brains at MIT.

RTFA (1)

lylum (659581) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455364)

"Let us assume you are in Malawi," explained Prof Amarasinghe, "and the computer lab does not have access to the telephone line all the time." "If you want to find some new information about malaria, you are prompted with a message that says 'we are going to send a query through e-mail, it is OK?'. "At night, when the phone line is available, the teacher can dial out and send the queries." The request is sent to computers at MIT in Boston, which then search the internet and gather webpages.

Re:RTFA (2, Insightful)

bongoras (632709) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455428)

"Let us assume you are in Boston, and you have tons of research money in a fund and no clue what to do with it. If you want to find a new way to piss away the money, you've got to be really creative, especially if you want to do it AND claim to be socially conscious at the same time. So what you do is invent a problem. And then invent a solution. Doesn't matter if it works or not."

oh come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455271)

I've been on a 28.8 modem and it wasn't that bad. This is just a way to get publicity.

But if you're on something like a .5kbps connection then it might be worth it.

And what timing! (1)

mtrupe (156137) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455273)

Gotta love how software catches up about 10 years too late...

What program? (1, Interesting)

drdale (677421) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455286)

Could anyone else figure out why this requires a program on the user's end that is too large to be downloaded? Seems like all you need is an e-mail client, and instructions on how to format the information request.

Re:What program? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455356)

Because it's going to be part of Mozilla 1.5

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455287)

what a really really dumb idea. really. i mean, WTF? what's the point?

Perfect for those people... (3, Funny)

fpp (614761) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455288)

...still surfing the internet with their Commodore 64s and 300 baud modems!

Hmmm. (5, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455289)

Seems like a long time to wait for porn.


Re:Hmmm. (2, Insightful)

Mysticalfruit (533341) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455410)

Seriously... something tells me that the serious push for broadband wasn't so grandma could do her geneology research faster... Someone once said that every advancement in media technology only came of age because it could be used to transmit porn.

Now, take a good hard look at your cubemate. You know what they do when they get home... and it's not BF1942... probably gives you good insight into their test bench naming conventions...

Re:Hmmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455490)

That's OK, I've got a big bottle of benzocaine!

Cached searches (4, Interesting)

T5 (308759) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455295)

Might be a nice way to preserve searches for later perusal. Unlike bookmarking, the returned search results are stored in an email.

This would be a good way to preserve stuff that may be the subject of removal due to court order, like xenu.net and other similar de-Googlings.

Hey! (2, Funny)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455298)

MIT guys! Why don't you put your brain into better compression technology? So we can deliver higher bandwidth to those still on crappy 56K lines?

And don't say it isn't doable... If I had the time, I could do it, and I'm a mere highschool graduate...

Re:Hey! (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455391)

If I had the time, I could do it...

Yeah, but those Tivo'd American Idols aren't watching themselves, are they?

Why? (1)

connsmythe96 (576445) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455301)

How is this a good idea? What's faster:
  • Emailing a search, waiting for a response, then downloading a zip of the webpages that might be relevant

  • or...

  • Searching in a webform, seeing a LIST of results with context and clicking only the links you want (i.e., downloading what you need only)

Why download a zip of multiple results when in many cases just the first result is needed?

Re:Why? (0)

anttik (689060) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455397)

Read the article. It isn't for slow connections in our standards, but for slow connections in developing countries. It really matters if you have several students wanting to get an answer and you only have one computer and maybe the phone line can't be busy all the time.

Wow (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455306)

And I thought it was only John Ashcroft trying to make the world more like 1984. Now they're trying to roll back the technology as well!

I wonder if they'll still have the internet on computers back then...

Repackaging of simple tools under a pretty name (1)

TylerL82 (617087) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455308)

Isn't mod_gzip already used with popular search engines?
It's nice that MIT has the processing power and bandwidth to receive data from search engines, uncompress them, REcompress them, and send back to the "queryer".
Sounds like more overhead and more trouble that what's already in place that does the same damn thing! ...Am I missing something?

Finally! I can use Google... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455309)

with my 300 baud modem.

The big problem (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455321)

Is that someone else has judgement over what is to be considered most relevant. Sure you can pick from the sources they give you, but who's to say that the information they give you isn't filtered in some way?

Laos, maybe? (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455322)

I read this story a couple of days ago, and thought it was rather a strange idea. I don't know where access is that slow. At the time, I thought maybe it might be used with the ham radio internet they're going to get in Laos as part of a "empower the farmers" program.

Re:Laos, maybe? (1)

winmutt (150579) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455372)


packet radio is not slow.

148 dead in Iraq (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455324)

link [cnn.com] ...and counting. Good thing the war is 'over'. Good thing, also, that Dubya 'restored dignity to the White House'!

Great!! I so need that... (2, Interesting)

SlimFastForYou (578183) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455326)

for my cable Internet connection at home.

Yes, I am dead serious... Lets just say Charter's cable Internet in my area lately really stinks. I would almost rather be on a 14.4k modem - no joke. I am not the only user... I get lag spikes of over 3000ms when not doing anything, and almost dropped connections. Good thing DSL recently became available in my area =D. One less Charter Pipeline subscriber.

In other news... (2, Funny)

sw155kn1f3 (600118) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455327)

They are developing the program which will replace web forums - you post a message to predetermined mail account and everybody subscribed will receive it very soon (patent pending).
File transfers and weather forecasts are planned in 2006.
This will make a difference.

Slow Net (0)

Kris Thalamus (555841) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455335)

Who needs the internet when we have a perfectly functional postal service [slashdot.org]

It's been done before. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455337)

Sounds exactly like the agora email services from way back in the day.


http://scout.wisc.edu/addserv/NH/95-11/95-11-21/ 00 26.html

I got this idea for a great product. Want in? (1)

packethead (322873) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455338)

Rocks baby! Pet rocks! Get it? Get it?

Or how 'bout this? Seven minute abs? Get it? Get it?

Or, or, or, .....

Re:I got this idea for a great product. Want in? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455472)

Hey, I still have my pet rock

RTFA (5, Informative)

DrewMIT (98823) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455345)

For those of you wondering why someone would do this, how about reading the damn article?

The program doesn't e-mail back with a mere mirror of a google / yahoo results page. It actually filters through the individual results compressing the entire page. e.g. my search turns up a CNN page and a blurb on MSNBC and I get, e-mailed to me, compressed versions of those actual sites, not just links to them.

As far the "my 28.8 modem is just fast enough" crowd -- read the article! Some of these locations the software is being developed for don't even have access to a phone line on a regular basis. And the lines they do have access to are more likely than not to be noisy as hell and not able to support a 28.8 connection.

A Whole Country? (1)

jetkust (596906) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455346)

They are also considering trying to persuade computer sellers in developing countries to install the program on machines.

They are going to develop countries to install the program on people's machines?

Still in use today in the US. (4, Insightful)

_Sambo (153114) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455349)

I am reminded of the Prepaid Legal system of doing business. You call up and ask a question, and the next day, an attorney familiar with the area you are asking about calls you back to answer your questions and advise you. So maybe this isn't all that outdated of an idea after

To have this capability back in 1973 would have been unbelievable. In 1983, to have this available to every library in the US would have been an unbelievable achievement. To have it now is so slow that I start to go google eyed even thinking about it.
This is great for countries that are 20-30 years behind in technology. It will revolutionize the search for information for areas that are not as connected as the US.

What it's really about (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455351)

is not slow connections, but connections that are unreliable

Using the phone in a country like Malawi can be a real adventure. It's not like the US at all.


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455357)

in 1988

Searching over email?? (2)

slackr (228760) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455359)

So why is it that the answer to all of my searches is either "wet teens," "Generic Viagra," or "I am a banker from Nigeria?"

Also good to circumvent censorship (5, Insightful)

pbox (146337) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455360)

Coincidentally (?) it is also very usefult to circumvent the Great Firewall. Way to go, but it would also be nice to optionally have the cached content (ala google) e-mailed as well. That would send the last standing wall crumbling.

Hah! (1)

HyperColor Underware (628462) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455374)

Maybe these poor 14.4-ers should finally get the memo - they're human rights are being violated! Everbody, including those in Estonians [slashdot.org] , know that it is inhumane for them to be stuck piping information through their small RJ11. Starvin' Marvin is weeping for their poor souls.

This sounds like a Solution... (1)

Jhon (241832) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455385)

Looking for a problem.

I recall 'back in the day(tm)' several email services which you could send an email with a URL in the subject and it would return the web page to you in a reply (a -la a lynx like format). That was -- what? 10 years ago?

I've used 19k, 14.4k and even 4800 baud modems to connect to the net and browsed comfortably. Something as simple as unchecking the box [DOWNLOAD GRAPHICS] (or whatever setting your browser uses) will accomplish this.

What kind of 'slowness' are we taking here? 110 baud?


Re:This sounds like a Solution... (1)

generic-man (33649) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455451)

The queries will be submitted to a central repository for transmission via e-mail. The results come back the next day.

Assuming that the results total about 20 KB in size, that represents a baud rate of about (160,000 bits / 86,400 seconds) = less than 2 bits per second.

and for those with no internet.... (3, Funny)

vmxeo (173325) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455388)

And for those people with no internet connection, you can mail your search requests to MIT (Please include self-addressed stamped envelope). MIT will then process your search request within 5 business days, and mail you back the results. You can then peruse the results and marvel at the wealth at information you'd be able to find... if only you had internet access.

Well... (1)

frankjr (591955) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455400)

I saved the html for google and it was 3405 bytes. If my math is correct that would be about 92 seconds on a 300bps connection. It will probably only be useful if you have a really slow connection.

classic waste of money (1)

bongoras (632709) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455406)

I'm gonna get modded down, but fuck it, I have karma to burn and a soapbox to stand on.

These people from mit are getting research money to spend on this rediculous piece of shit project that NO ONE will ever use. Can you imagine, a farmer in Ghana or something and he gets malaria. His first thought is "Hmm, I wonder if there's any information on the internet about this?"

I mean come on.

I mean fucking really.

But ok, I'll even give them that... let's pretend that farmers in countries where the internet connection sucks so bad that google, a site that is optimized to work on pretty much anything, is too slow... even know about the internet and have any use for it... are they going to go to the library, borrow software, take it home and install it on... oh yeah... install it on ... their computer... oops... WHAT FUCKING COMPUTER?

Asshole mit people with nothing better to spend money on.

Wouldn't be needed if... (4, Insightful)

DeltaSigma (583342) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455424)

...only webdesigners had not collaborated to turn the web into the graphics orgy it is today. I mean, have these kids coming out of graphics school even browsed the relevant w3c specifications?

News Flash !

  • The internet is for information, not television!
  • Web sites can look pretty and function better without being a giant photoshop mural!
  • Creating a clean design that's easily searchable, retrievable, and most of all, usable is a work of art!

Compression, NO!!! (1)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455427)

CSLIP already compresses it, most modems made since 1994 compress data, compressing it again at the application level won't help. Nevermind that the mail program will uuencode the data anyway & severely bloat it.

what about gzip compression and paging? (1)

jtotheh (229796) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455433)

First of all, browsers and web sites already can use compression on the fly so I don't see the big advantage there. And google or whatever engine you prefer delivers the first 10 or so at a time in case your connection is slow.

Waiting a day to get an email from a search engine - that is like waiting for batch printouts in 1982 but worse.

Basically I don't see the point in this as it is being described. I suspect though that there is more to it as MIT is not full of dumb people.

Here's a name for it (1)

TerryAtWork (598364) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455434)


uhhh...archie? (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455439)

That's what it sounds like to me.

Free emulator (2, Funny)

gspr (602968) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455443)

For those of you who want to try it out at home, just use one of your several hundred AOL CDs, and voila, you'll have a line slow enough to try it out.

Google Voice Search (4, Interesting)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455453)

Check out the Google Voice Search [google.com] page. This has been up for quite a while now, and though not directly applicable as is, to people with a slow internet connection, it's just another alternative to emails. They should design it to respond by phone though. But again, people with dialup connections would, more often than not, not have a second phone line to request searches by phone.

To try out this demo, please follow these simple steps:

1. Pick up the phone and call the automated voice search system at (650) 318-0165.
2. After the prompt Say your Search Keywords, say your query to the system.
3. Click this link and a new window will open with your voice search results.
4. Say another query, and the new window with the search results will be updated with the new results.

Net connection (1)

non-poster (529123) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455458)

Why not just use Content-Encoding:gzip to reduce the amount of time (text) pages take to transfer over the connection? Or have your ISP's proxy server compress everything on it's way over the pipe? Surely someone has thought of this before...

Pop-ups (1)

Anvil the Ninja (38143) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455460)

This is the first article I've read (in memory) that spawned five pop-ups upon following the primary link. A pox on greedy posters!

Amazing (-1)

skidrowe (688747) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455475)

Guess I won't have to upgrade my 9600 data / 14.4 fax Winmodem...whew...

Other needs (2, Insightful)

ferreth (182847) | more than 11 years ago | (#6455493)

First, for those of you saying 'Google is fast enough even on a 14.4K' - think school with one phone line, perhaps not even available during the day. Or how about connections via satelite phone at $$/min? Suddenly you want super efficient, when you only earn 5 bucks a day.

As to what else this needs, the search engine needs to strip out all the crap before emailing a web page to you (Java, Flash, etc) - should focus on mostly text, small pictures only. Particulary since 486's would be a common platform for people using this, so the search engine better work well on one. You also should be able to strip out all pictures as an option to maximise text info download - remember turning off pictures in Netscape 2.x to speed up your browsing? If you need something it striped out, you should be able to query just for the bits you need later.

Also the ability to share your cache between computers would be huge if they can't have a server to do that for them. At any rate, means of transferring those precious pages you downloaded to another computer - on a floppy, unless you have local email.

What the fuck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6455494)

How are these people connecting to the internet? By mail? Google is fucking text how fucking long does it take to load, even if you're using IE? Fuck!
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