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Google Experiments With Local Filesystem Search

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the better-than-what's-built-in dept.

Google 482

Teoti writes "No, Puffin is not the next name of your favorite email client, but, according to the New York Times (NSA reg. req.), the project codename for a new Google search application coming directly into your desktop, that will let you search your local filesystem efficiently. This is different from, but complementary of, the Google DeskBar that already lets you search the Web. The article also gives a few words on the end of the stand alone browser in Longhorn."

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Cool! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9196958)

Then someone can reverse engineer it and make an open source clone. Hyuck hyuck hyuck!

What operating systems does it work on? (4, Interesting)

JessLeah (625838) | more than 10 years ago | (#9196962)

I certainly hope this isn't a Windows-only thing.

Re:What operating systems does it work on? (1, Funny)

stephenisu (580105) | more than 10 years ago | (#9196989)

Why grep not working for ya?

Lotus Magellan for my linux server (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9197069)

to go thru the wiki, jpg filenames+exif data, home directories, SQL database, etc. A Google type interface is what I'm looking for.

For those infants out there, Lotus Magellan was the greatest, it was Windows Explorer as it should have been done, it searched any spreadsheet, database, or word processor file.

Gawd, Linux needs this. I would pay ~$250.00 for an industrial strength business version.

Re:What operating systems does it work on? (0, Troll)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197089)

right, because we really need it on Linux... Privacy issues and all that aside I don't see how/why you would want to use Google when there are plenty of acceptable tools already out there.

find and grep.

Works for me.

Re:What operating systems does it work on? (5, Insightful)

JessLeah (625838) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197106)

Then why would this system be useful at all? I mean, after all, Windows users could just use the file-hunting animated dog thing...

The Google folks are smart. Surely they've developed something that is more capable than merely find and grep, or file-hunting-dog, or Sherlock...

Re:What operating systems does it work on? (3, Insightful)

NineNine (235196) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197136)

Google is a smart company. They're not going to go out of their way and spend resources on an Os that captures a whopping 1-5% of the desktop market. They're growing, profitable, and they make great products. Thus, they wouldn't make such a stupid business move. My guess is definitely: Windows only.

But the real question is.. (5, Funny)

Sartak (589317) | more than 10 years ago | (#9196965)

Will Google's search application functions feature Clippy? Or that damned animated XP Dog?

Re:But the real question is.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9197000)

No, the real question is will it send data back to Google and display ads based on the "keywords" it finds?

Re:But the real question is.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9197172)

**No search results found for "Jenna Jameson" but we did find simular results of "Child Fuckin" and "Horse Sex"

Please remain calm and in your home as the FBI are on thier way to have a 'talk' with you

Re:But the real question is.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9197096)

Sorry no clippy. Microsoft Bob might make an appearance though...

Re:But the real question is.. (0)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197102)

Holy shit is that hilarious!!! Keep up the good work!

woot! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9196966)

woot!

I think most of us already know... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9196967)

...exactly what "local filesystem image search" will return.

Finally, a way to effectively search through my gigabytes of pr0n!

Re:I think most of us already know... (5, Funny)

stephenisu (580105) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197079)

If this will automatically categorize between hair color, body type, kind of shoot, **deleted content (think of the children)** etc... I could see many people paying more for it than Windows XP Pro.

Re:I think most of us already know... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9197137)

I could see many people paying more for it than Windows XP Pro

Windows XXX-P, perhaps?

Re:I think most of us already know... (2, Insightful)

amstrad (60839) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197100)

Yes. Google will help you ogle at your pr0n.

Finally (1)

SpanishInquisition (127269) | more than 10 years ago | (#9196968)

A way to find good quality porn with Google

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9196970)

aw yeah

About time (3, Insightful)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | more than 10 years ago | (#9196971)

FS searching has absolutely sucked until this. Find By Content from Apple was a step forward, but it never worked too well. Here's hoping this search will make it into OS X!

Re:About time (0)

saddino (183491) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197050)

My company is working on something akin to this, but more focused on extracting a digest of significant ideas/terms from the content of text, Word, PDF, HTML, etc. from your local disk or from the Internet. So it's not quite a pure "search" tool; more of a "research" tool.

If you're interested, and have Mac OS X 10.2 or later, you can check out a tech preview of theConcept [mesadynamics.com] .

I'm guessing in a year (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9196972)

Google will also be able to catalogue the contents of your refrigerator, medicine cabinet, and be able to tell you your car keys are between the couch cushions.

Re:I'm guessing in a year (4, Funny)

ZaMoose (24734) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197077)

Didn't you see the prototype [vunct.com] they're already working on?

(Taken from this [fark.com] Fark thread. Warning/Warnung/Advertencia/Avertissement: "Adult" language contained within link.)

Re:I'm guessing in a year (1)

jared_hanson (514797) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197112)

That sounds exactly like what I've always wanted. There have been numerous times when I've been rumaging around my apartment looking for some small item I've misplaced (keys, screwdriver, etc.) thinking to myself "I wish I could google my apartment."

I'd have saved time and money. I now have a small collection of screwdrivers after fruitless hour long searches that only put myself in the hardware store check out lane.

Good Googling Golly Batman! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9196975)

Will Google ever cease to shock and amaze?!?!

Also on CNET... No NYT Registration (5, Informative)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9196979)

Re:Also on CNET... No NYT Registration (5, Informative)

(54)T-Dub (642521) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197045)

The Reuters version [reuters.com] you linked is shorter than the NYtimes one. Here is the full version:

SAN FRANCISCO, May 18 - Edging closer to a direct confrontation with Microsoft [slashdot.org] , Google, the Web search engine, is preparing to introduce a powerful file and text software search tool for locating information stored on personal computers.

Google's software, which is expected to be introduced soon, according to several people with knowledge of the company's plans, is the clearest indication to date that the company, based in Mountain View, Calif., hopes to extend its search business to compete directly with Microsoft's control of desktop computing.

Improved technology for searching information stored on a PC will also be a crucial feature of Microsoft's long-delayed version of its Windows operating system called Longhorn. That version, which is not expected before 2006 at the earliest, will have a redesigned file system, making it possible to track and retrieve information in ways not currently possible with Windows software.

Google's move is in part a defensive one, because the company is concerned about Microsoft's ability to make searching on the Web as well as on a PC a central part of its operating system. By integrating more search functions into Windows, Microsoft could conceivably challenge Google the way it threatened, and destroyed, an earlier rival, Netscape, by incorporating Web browsing into the Windows 98 operating system.

A Google spokesman declined to comment about the new search tool.

Although Google's core business rests on huge farms of server computers that permit fast searching on the Internet, the company has already taken several steps to move beyond that business.

Last year, Google began testing a free program called the Google Deskbar that makes it possible to search the Web by entering words and phrases in a small dialog box placed in the Windows desktop taskbar at the bottom of the computer screen.

Google also sells a computer search system designed to index and retrieve information created and stored by a single organization.

There is a rich history of less-than-successful attempts to create information search tools for personal computers. In the 1980's, for example, Mitchell Kapor's On Technology developed On Location for retrieving information on Macintosh computers and Bill Gross, a prominent software developer, led a group of programmers to create Lotus Magellan for the PC.

Digital Equipment's Alta Vista search engine group also developed a search tool for data stored on desktop PC's. Today there are a number of commercial products for desktop searches like X1 and dtSearch. Moreover, both the Macintosh and Windows operating systems have file and text retrieval capabilities.

The Google software project, which is code-named Puffin and which will be available as a free download from Google's Web site, has been running internally at the company for about a year.

The project was started, in part, to prepare Google for competing with Windows Longhorn, which according to industry analysts will dispense with the need for a stand-alone browser.

The disappearance of the Web browser and the integration of both Web search and PC search into the Windows operating system could potentially marginalize Google's search engine. Google, well aware of this threat, hired a Microsoft product manager last year to oversee the Puffin project as part of its strategy to compete with Microsoft's incursion into its territory.

Microsoft has shown demonstrations of its new search technology, which emphasizes the use of natural language in queries like "Where are my vacation photos?" or "What is a firewall?" Microsoft believes that Longhorn users will no longer think about where information is stored; they will instead see a unified view of documents stored on both the Internet and on the desktop.

The looming confrontation between Microsoft and Google is coming as Microsoft prepares to introduce its own advanced Web search service, possibly later this year. The company is revising its MSN strategy and backing away from its Internet dial-up service, looking instead to get more revenue from the search advertising market that Google dominates.

Web and PC-based searching is a particularly thorny subject for Microsoft because the company's chairman, Bill Gates, first outlined the idea of "information at your fingertips" in a speech given at a computer industry trade show in 1990. Yet the company did little to innovate in the areas of Internet search or text and file searches on the PC until it discovered how profitable search had become for Google.

Google's strategy is to move quickly while Microsoft is still developing its Longhorn version of Windows, adding programs and services like its recently announced Gmail electronic mail program. The intent, say people who are aware of the company's strategy, is to lower its vulnerability to Microsoft by adding businesses that are "sticky" - in other words, businesses that create strong customer loyalty or are hard to switch away from.

Internet searching is widely seen by industry executives as a powerful commercial service, but one that is difficult to defend. It is widely presumed that Internet users who find a search service that is better than Google's will be willing to defect.

Searches for information stored on a PC, however, could offer an advertising arena that is more readily defensible. Indeed, desktop searching might be particularly valuable for Google's commercial advertisers, which may be willing to pay dearly for the ability to place targeted ads in front of personal computer users.

Such services, while they may be lucrative, will also inevitably force Google to deal with new controversies. Some privacy activists have opposed the Gmail service because they are concerned that the company is automatically extracting information from its customers' Gmail accounts.

Windows + F = useless (2, Funny)

pinchhazard (728983) | more than 10 years ago | (#9196980)

Perhaps I do not realize the full potential of the Find utility in Windows, but MAN does it suck.

Re:Windows + F = useless (5, Funny)

TRS80NT (695421) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197071)

Maybe that's why it's not "Find" anymore. "Find" was evidently too positive a term. Now you only have the ability to "Search".

Re:Windows + F = useless (5, Informative)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197124)

It works a lot better when you enable indexing.

Or so I'm told. My personal experiences with allowing the Windows Indexing service to run in the background have been that it's more trouble than its worth. Yes, on the rare occasion that it's actually -not- indexing when I search, the search is blazingly fast (compared to a non-indexed search).

But if the index is currently being modified, then the Windows search feature can't use it. Period. So when you search, you get the text "Windows is currently building an index of the files on drive C:" and it falls back to the regular, non-indexed search. In addition, the indexer consumes massive amounts of RAM while indexing, so a search run when the index is being modified ends up being about two times slower than usual.

It also doesn't seem to be able to tell when the user is idle. No amount of tweaking seems to fix this, without leaving you with a days-old index. If the index is complete, but you've saved a file since it was completed, that file will not show up in the search at all. I've had it kick on while in the middle of working on something else so often that I finally just turned it off entirely and have resigned myself to slow(er) searches in Windows.

In the interest of fairness I will say that the search seems to work quite well when searching a remote server that is running the indexing service. But running it locally is just a pain.

Re:Windows + F = useless (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197169)

It works a lot better when you enable indexing.

Or so I'm told. My personal experiences with allowing the Windows Indexing service to run in the background have been that it's more trouble than its worth. Yes, on the rare occasion that it's actually -not- indexing when I search, the search is blazingly fast (compared to a non-indexed search).


Disable the Windows indexing service, thrash the Windows + F thing, and get X1 [x1.com] . It'll work on the hard drive occasionally like the Windows indexer, but it's incredibly more fast.

wingrep (4, Informative)

(54)T-Dub (642521) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197179)

As a developer trapped in windows I find this little tool [wingrep.com] incredibly usefull.

Will we see something like this on linux? (1)

xutopia (469129) | more than 10 years ago | (#9196984)

cause honestly I'm not too interested in the Windows version.

Re:Will we see something like this on linux? (1)

lambent (234167) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197066)

We have lots of utilities already.

find, grep, whereis, locate ... take your pick, and remember, man pages are your friends.

The posted article was seriously light on details ... it mentioned that Puffin exists .... but not how it does anything.

The article did, however, mention the possibility that google might try to inject adverts into local computer search results (somewhere down in the bottom of the NYT page). If that's the case (and i'd like to think they wouldn't have the balls to do that), i hope they choke.

Re:Will we see something like this on linux? (2, Informative)

xutopia (469129) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197139)

all those utilities take a long time when searching on a 200G partition. I'd love to have something blazingly fast. Is that too much to ask for?

Re:Will we see something like this on linux? (2, Informative)

ConsumedByTV (243497) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197174)

Locate takes a while to build it's database, but after that locate is very quick.

firtst post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9196986)

FIRST POST!!!

woohoo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9196987)

woohoo first post...yea, i'm a douche

YOU == TEH FAILURE!!11 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9197043)

Nice try though.

Lou sir.

now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9196988)

all your search are belong to google!

Windows Only? (0, Redundant)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9196990)

Will it be windows only like their toolbar?

Re: Windows Only? (1)

danielsfca2 (696792) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197108)

You can count on it.

Okay enough is enough (0, Redundant)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#9196991)

there's finally a Google section, no need to spam it.

wake me up when I can actually download this search program.

Advertisements (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9196992)

Wonder whether they'll start serving me ads based on my hard drive contents...

privacy (4, Interesting)

Councilor Hart (673770) | more than 10 years ago | (#9196993)

So, will I get ads based on my data?

Re:privacy (5, Interesting)

Deitheres (98368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197149)

I don't foresee Google adding ads to a local search function... there are no ads on the Google toolbar, nor are there any ads on the Google Deskbar (save the ones that appear in the mini browser, but those are merely Google.com ads).

Google seems to be as anti-ad as most people on Slashdot. I personally hate ads, but I feel that most of Google's ads are non-invasive and in good taste.

Re:privacy (1)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197170)

My guess is that it will be ad free. Once they complete their internal trail they will release it for download for free to users.

interesting (3, Insightful)

pvt_medic (715692) | more than 10 years ago | (#9196996)

is it me or has google decided to go off on many different dirrections recently. I know they have been growing very strongly, but are they going to reach a point where they stretch their resources too thin?

Answer: (3, Funny)

slash-tard (689130) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197038)

No

Re:interesting (4, Interesting)

Kircle (564389) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197107)

[Google] going to reach a point where they stretch their resources too thin?

Google researchers are allotted 20% of their working time to do outside projects or to follow personal interests. Google News and Gmail were both results of work done during this "20%" time. So in short, no, I don't think Google has really stretched their resources any more so than before.

Re:interesting (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9197176)

This is one of the things that makes Google great: they allow (expect?) their employees to spend 20% of their time working on projects that are unrelated to their main job. Basically, this 20% just needs to be focused on stuff that can benefit Google.

See this article [com.com]

Nifty, but will it have any use? (1)

llamaguy (773335) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197007)

What the title says. This just sounds like another pointless widget to me, since if you're going to be accessing things then chances are you'll remember where you put it. The only possible application I can see for it is if you are writing some kinda big paper and need to reference your already stored works, but again it seems a bit pointless. Maybe I'm just too damn sceptical...

Re:Nifty, but will it have any use? (1)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197039)

I use search on my system several times a week. Most of the time, I can just search the folder(s) I think the file will be in. But several years' worth of files amounts to a huge area to search.

Re:Nifty, but will it have any use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9197109)

Who knows if the Google program will do this but I'd like a nice way of archiving and indexing the large mass of PDF files that I have downloaded... research papers, presentations, and so on. If I wanted to find all of the papers that relate to shadow volumes, global illumination, or rigid-body dynamics, then I could go and just search for that, instead of looking at filenames, guessing at the content, and then viewing each file to verify its topic. I could always go and manually copy the abstracts (or write one if necessary) and stick them in a database, but for over 2000 pdfs, this isn't something I want to do.

There are already programs like htDig that could do this, but for some reason I decided against going that route.

Non-Register Link Please (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9197008)

Will someone post a link to this particular NYT story that doesn't require registration? I would, but I forgot how to do the ?referrer=Slashdot thing properly.

I can't frickin' wait (5, Interesting)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197009)

I recently searched several hundred thousand files on my work machine. It took nearly 90 minutes to complete the search. I expect Google will be able to significantly improve upon that. They're one of the few companies that I really trust to do the right thing.

Re:I can't frickin' wait (2, Insightful)

ParadoxicalPostulate (729766) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197134)


Wouldn't the speed of the search be influenced mostly be the capabilities of your own computer?

I haven't seen the code for either the client or the windows find utility, however I would expect that not too much can be done about your problems in there.

That is to say, Google's utility won't cut your search time to 20 minutes just because they have better code.

Then again, you never know with Microsoft...maybe the code is just that bad.

I doubt it though.

Hmm. (2, Insightful)

James A. R. Joyce (780824) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197013)

I'll bet it still can't compete with slocate and find.

Re:Hmm. (1)

Stinking Pig (45860) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197084)

don't forget the other Unix standby, grep -rin string directory.

The real value is on windows, where the search tools are abysmally bad.

Competing with Microsoft? (5, Informative)

prostoalex (308614) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197015)

NYT claims the Google PC search competes with Microsoft's. Although Microsoft has never been particularly strong in the area with either Search window in 2000 or that doggie in XP. For me in 1 cases out of 10 the text search (inside the documents, search for specific text) just do not work. There are other vendors that Google will be competing against, not necessarily Microsoft.

X1 [x1.com] seems to be the most popular one out there.

DiskMeta [diskmeta.com] , they had this project in beta for a while, the Windows product went into relese just last week, the site says

DT Search [dtsearch.com] , I remember their ads in bunch of computer magazines, although have never used them myself.

EFS [com.com] , found it on download.com, supports MS Office and PDF as well as other formats.

Actually yes (4, Informative)

Pranjal (624521) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197073)


If you have followed Microsoft developments around Longhorn you might have noticed that search is one of the top priority features that microsoft is going to integrate directly into the operating system. So once Longhorn is released Microsoft would become the biggest competitor to Google's search applications on the web as well the desktop(with this application)

Search is the next big thing on which a lot of players are concentrating and Microsoft entering the field has skewed the competition towards the desktop and everyone including Google is preparing for the battle.

Re:Competing with Microsoft? -- in 2006! (2, Insightful)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197074)

They aren't competing with Microsoft today. They are competing with Microsoft 2 years from now when Longhorn is, potentailly, supposed to be released. As the article states, Microsoft is looking towards more of a natural language (ie.. Where are my car pictures?) approach rather than simple search terms. It could be a pretty good battle between them, but I think Google might have a bit of an edge.

Re:Competing with Microsoft? (1)

BigGerman (541312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197092)

or, if you are talking about searching Windows shares on the network as well, EnterFind [enterfind.com] .

Disclaimer: this is my buddy's company

For me, Puffin… (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9197027)

...is a verb.

The thing is ... (1)

Leffe (686621) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197028)

... will the performance be better than the already existing ways of searching a local fs? Percision is not much of an issue when I search for something, either I know the filename or the extension, Google won't really help with that. Maybe they'll use some kind of index to search faster... but I think Windows 2000+ already does that(at least XP).

A whole lot of google stuff already... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9197029)

However, I'm still waiting for my Google XP 3000+ processor,, Google H1 4wd, Google-Cola Light and McGoogle hamburger.

Why do I want another search? (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197031)

Is there any reason at all to use this? The reason Google searches on the web are so cool is that they relate documents that are around a ton of text. If I have a ton of images like DSCFxxxx.jpg, it's not exactly going to present that information in a new way... if it could tell me what the pictures were of automatically, that would be freaking awesome and I would get the tool. Otherwise, I'll just use find.

NYT Article (4, Informative)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197033)

No-Reg Link [nytimes.com]

DO NO EVIL? (1, Interesting)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197034)

what if any, 'aggregate' data will this pass back?

will we see 'adsense' words based on which file we are searching for?

there must be a motive for this, some sort of expected gain, or why?

for the most part, google's actions are benign, I believe the claim that gmail scans are automated and innocuous.

but what's the benefit to google for this one?

Re:DO NO EVIL? (1)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197105)

I'm surprised that there aren't more people freaking out about this. If Gator (SPYWARE!) ... sorry, "Claria" announced this software, we'd all be worried about the privacy issues. Even if Yahoo! offered it, I'd be skeptical. But Google seems to be so trusted and benevolent that the usual skepticism is notably lacking.

Google Toolbar for your browser doesn't appear to offer them any gain (other than bringing people into their search engine, of course). The data they pass back is opt-in.

Since this feature doesn't need an internet connection, I doubt that they would make it require one (by adding in data collection or ad delivery).

Re:DO NO EVIL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9197130)

but what's the benefit to google for this one?


well i'm not suppose to say, but since you asked: WORLD DOMINATION...muhahahaha

Registration FREE link (0, Redundant)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197037)

HERE [nytimes.com]

sorry here (2, Informative)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197095)

HERE [nytimes.com]

This is different from... (1)

bcolflesh (710514) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197041)

Nope, Puffin is the codename for the DeskBar [webmasterworld.com] .

palm desktop (1)

bstil (652204) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197047)

google should also make it capable of (optionally) searching palm desktop contact information, date book, etc. the palm desktop data files are not xml, or text, but binary.

another way to get in to your computer (1)

Ma7RoG (769454) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197048)

Another way to fill your computer with spyware and trace you!

Quick! Patent this business model (1)

PsiPsiStar (95676) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197051)

Rumor has it that this search feature will offer a side bar advertising various work that you should be doing instead of searching your hard drive for porn. If a user chooses to click through to the work they should be working on, a small amount of money will be deducted from said user's credit card.

This clickthrough model may help to move the market of hard drive scanning, currently bundled with free and single fee operating systems, to a fee-for-service basis. Many in industry say the revenues from this would be helpful in supporting further hard drive scanning innovations.

way around reg (1)

Deitheres (98368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197056)

I do not remember the exact link to go to to avoid registration, but if you go to google.com and enter the URL into the search box, then click where it says "If the URL is valid, try visiting that web page by clicking on the following link: www.nytimes.com/2004/05/19/technology/19google.htm l?hp", you will get through. I am pretty sure this is because the referrer is Google.com and they are a NYT partner.

File searchs are slow. (1)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197072)

One of the things I do when I log onto a unix box is index all the files, so I can do quick searchs when I'm working. Even on a raid array, local file-system searchs are slow.

On my home network also, Windows boxes are extremely slow when you get over a few hundred gigs of space. With lots of pictures, mp3s, games, etc, searchs across multiple drives can take upto minutes. Enabling windows file-system indexing doesnt give the performance you would expect for a home user.

I'm looking to anything that can make my pack-rat of an existance quicker at home. Searching for files is a pain, I've already used different HD's for different types of projects to keep my searchs as quick as possible.

Ever download a funny picture or video clip and couldnt remember where you put it? Times that by a dozen years on the net, and its incredible the stuff you can pack away.

Of maybe you have a code snippet you wrote back in college that would fit the exact task you have now?

How many times do you use search/find in a day? Exactly, google is counting on this.

Sorry but.. (0)

Martigan80 (305400) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197075)

find foo

and

locate foo

Work just great for me. I don't need anyone else to help me look for my data.

Re:Sorry but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9197143)

But you are having other people help you look for your data: the authors of the "find" and "locate" utilities. What's the difference? (No raving speculations about the allseeing google's tyrannous plots please.)

Coming from the company... (4, Insightful)

jeremy f (48588) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197081)

The company who puts a cookie on your computer that doesn't expire until 2038 [google-watch.org] , has the ability to see lots of personal information [orkut.com] about you, and who is interested in storing and indexing all of your email correspondance until the end of time, now wants to index my hard drive for me?

Call me paranoid, and mod me down because I'm sharing a negative opinion of Google, but I don't think I'm going to be giving this same company the ability to sift through my entire hard drive.

Will I get targeted Ads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9197082)

From me based on my own searches of my stuff. I have a five-star rating and deliver quickly to myself.

Simple search improvement (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197085)

One feature that I've been wishing for for years is what I call 'layered search', which would search the root, then top level directories, followed by the second-level directories, etc. (basically a fifo queue rather than lifo or recursive). I wrote a simple search app that worked this way in Delphi 1.0 (that shows how long ago), and it was invariably faster than Windows search. I've lost it now though, but I might rewrite it in Perl/TK. It would be cool to have it as a checkbox in Windows built-in search though.

Re:Simple search improvement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9197178)

In other words, you want the traversal to be performed breadth-first.

Wow, seems to me .... (4, Funny)

nbvb (32836) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197086)

Seems to be like a rehash of the AltaVista Desktop search ...

I keep looking at Google and thinking "wow, this is just like AltaVista, without the death spiral!" :-)

altavista (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9197088)

altavista tried this too .. didnt work out for them. Didnt get too popular. I dont know about making google ubiquitous .. one day either them or Big Brother may decide to take advantage of the "resource" ..after all, only rebels need privacy.

site:localhost search (2, Funny)

opec (755488) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197098)

a search of localhost [google.com]

weird huh?

Security... (1)

SmackCrackandPot (641205) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197117)

This is as good idea, so long as it doesn't allow others to search my filesystem.

Article Text (0, Redundant)

Deitheres (98368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197121)

For those of you who hate to register.
Google Moves Toward Clash With Microsoft

By JOHN MARKOFF

Published: May 19, 2004

AN FRANCISCO, May 18 - Edging closer to a direct confrontation with Microsoft, Google, the Web search engine, is preparing to introduce a powerful file and text software search tool for locating information stored on personal computers.

Google's software, which is expected to be introduced soon, according to several people with knowledge of the company's plans, is the clearest indication to date that the company, based in Mountain View, Calif., hopes to extend its search business to compete directly with Microsoft's control of desktop computing.

Improved technology for searching information stored on a PC will also be a crucial feature of Microsoft's long-delayed version of its Windows operating system called Longhorn. That version, which is not expected before 2006 at the earliest, will have a redesigned file system, making it possible to track and retrieve information in ways not currently possible with Windows software.

Google's move is in part a defensive one, because the company is concerned about Microsoft's ability to make searching on the Web as well as on a PC a central part of its operating system. By integrating more search functions into Windows, Microsoft could conceivably challenge Google the way it threatened, and destroyed, an earlier rival, Netscape, by incorporating Web browsing into the Windows 98 operating system.

A Google spokesman declined to comment about the new search tool.

Although Google's core business rests on huge farms of server computers that permit fast searching on the Internet, the company has already taken several steps to move beyond that business.

Last year, Google began testing a free program called the Google Deskbar that makes it possible to search the Web by entering words and phrases in a small dialog box placed in the Windows desktop taskbar at the bottom of the computer screen.

Google also sells a computer search system designed to index and retrieve information created and stored by a single organization.

There is a rich history of less-than-successful attempts to create information search tools for personal computers. In the 1980's, for example, Mitchell Kapor's On Technology developed On Location for retrieving information on Macintosh computers and Bill Gross, a prominent software developer, led a group of programmers to create Lotus Magellan for the PC.

Digital Equipment's Alta Vista search engine group also developed a search tool for data stored on desktop PC's. Today there are a number of commercial products for desktop searches like X1 and dtSearch. Moreover, both the Macintosh and Windows operating systems have file and text retrieval capabilities.

The Google software project, which is code-named Puffin and which will be available as a free download from Google's Web site, has been running internally at the company for about a year.

The project was started, in part, to prepare Google for competing with Windows Longhorn, which according to industry analysts will dispense with the need for a stand-alone browser.

The disappearance of the Web browser and the integration of both Web search and PC search into the Windows operating system could potentially marginalize Google's search engine. Google, well aware of this threat, hired a Microsoft product manager last year to oversee the Puffin project as part of its strategy to compete with Microsoft's incursion into its territory.

Microsoft has shown demonstrations of its new search technology, which emphasizes the use of natural language in queries like "Where are my vacation photos?" or "What is a firewall?" Microsoft believes that Longhorn users will no longer think about where information is stored; they will instead see a unified view of documents stored on both the Internet and on the desktop.

The looming confrontation between Microsoft and Google is coming as Microsoft prepares to introduce its own advanced Web search service, possibly later this year. The company is revising its MSN strategy and backing away from its Internet dial-up service, looking instead to get more revenue from the search advertising market that Google dominates.

Web and PC-based searching is a particularly thorny subject for Microsoft because the company's chairman, Bill Gates, first outlined the idea of "information at your fingertips" in a speech given at a computer industry trade show in 1990. Yet the company did little to innovate in the areas of Internet search or text and file searches on the PC until it discovered how profitable search had become for Google.

Google's strategy is to move quickly while Microsoft is still developing its Longhorn version of Windows, adding programs and services like its recently announced Gmail electronic mail program. The intent, say people who are aware of the company's strategy, is to lower its vulnerability to Microsoft by adding businesses that are "sticky" - in other words, businesses that create strong customer loyalty or are hard to switch away from.

Internet searching is widely seen by industry executives as a powerful commercial service, but one that is difficult to defend. It is widely presumed that Internet users who find a search service that is better than Google's will be willing to defect.

Searches for information stored on a PC, however, could offer an advertising arena that is more readily defensible. Indeed, desktop searching might be particularly valuable for Google's commercial advertisers, which may be willing to pay dearly for the ability to place targeted ads in front of personal computer users.

Such services, while they may be lucrative, will also inevitably force Google to deal with new controversies. Some privacy activists have opposed the Gmail service because they are concerned that the company is automatically extracting information from its customers' Gmail accounts.

Big Brother Google... (2, Funny)

WwWonka (545303) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197122)

Their insurgence into all aspects of our technology is scaring me. Then again it would be nice to have an index of everything so we could do a verbal search for common everyday items:

"Google, find my car keys."

"Thank you sir,
Google World has located them at:
right where you left them when you came home smashed at 2:30am last night from the titty bars."

Ads based on PC content (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9197125)

Does that techonology comes with strings attached (like GMail, you will get 100Megs of space, but we will read your mail).

"We will provide you with the best search possible, but based on the content of the documents you are searching and actual contents itself, we will provides non-intrusive Ads in the corner of the results page".

Everything Old is New Again (2, Interesting)

joabj (91819) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197133)


I remember Alta Vista offered this sort of search-your-own-computer software back in *1998*. This seems to be the most recent version: http://siliconvalley.internet.com/news/article.php /968131

Similar ideas (4, Informative)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197135)

Well, first this idea is part of Microsoft's WinFS plans. The idea with WinFS was partially born when Microsoft developers realized that major parts of the web can be searched faster than a user's hard drive. It will be interesting to see how this application will collide with Microsoft's plans, that's for sure. It's basically fast searches and enhanced metadata support that are the key parts of WinFS, which is in turn a key part of Longhorn.

Second, an indexing software that does the same thing is already available today and worked very well when I tried it out. It's actually almost perfect, except for the fact that it causes occasional hard drive thrashing as it tries to keep the index up-to-date. This is unfortunately a rather major downside, but if you can bear with this, you'll get literally instant file searches on your entire hard drive -- it narrows down the possible matches as you type each letter. It even indexes file contents for small files. I'm talking about X1 [x1.com] .

Antitrust settlement (4, Funny)

Karamchand (607798) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197145)

Google should ask Microsoft for information it has to provide according to the antitrust settlement so that Google's own program can interoperate with Windows as good as Microsoft's!

What? (2, Funny)

mrbcs (737902) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197146)

So now people will have absolutely no incentive to organize their files. Just put em all in the root and let the search find em..

Is it me or they just trying to really dumb down computers?

I have 100 gigs on my server and I can find shit I put in there 5 years ago in about 2 minutes or less. I guess some people just aren't organized ;-)

Is this next? http://ergopod.ca/images/googlekeys1.jpg

This image was on fark but I can't find it now. See how long before my server gets /.'d

Puffin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9197151)

Puffin - it's what you go do while you wait for your filesearch to finish...

NY Times confirms: Google NEEDS Go_Ogle (1)

fruscica (637745) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197161)

From the NY Times article:

"Google's strategy is to move quickly while Microsoft is still developing its Longhorn version of Windows, adding programs and services like its recently announced Gmail electronic mail program. The intent, say people who are aware of the company's strategy, is to lower its vulnerability to Microsoft by adding businesses that are "sticky" - in other words, businesses that create strong customer loyalty or are hard to switch away from."

From our business plan for Go_Ogle [go-ogle.net] , a next-gen 'Friendster meets Blogger':

A provider of customized lifelong learning and career services (CLLCS) -- can achieve runaway market leadership in three stages:

  1. Supply fee-based virtual internships (i.e. the intern pays, like people pay for certification training, test prep, etc.) that will prepare interns to work for private equity firms that specialize in corporate turnarounds. This internship program will be the first of its kind, and will appeal to the most desirable CLLCS consumers: people who aspire to be CxOs (CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CIOs, etc.) of next-generation companies (i.e. Digital Organizations (.pdf)).

  2. Synergize the internship program (and subsequent professional success-increasers) with romance- and laughs-increasing services. Also synergize the romance- and laughs-increasers. Each class of offering, then, will increase demand for the others. These positive feedbacks will lock in 1.0 clients.

  3. Lock in 2.0 clients by providing unique opportunities to network -- professionally and socially -- with 1.0 clients (who will happily cooperate, as doing so will enhance their CLLCS pedigree). Lock in 3.0ers via access to 1.0ers and 2.0ers, and so on.

g2g? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9197165)

Once you have a directory of the contents of everyone's harddrive, you're halfway to one hell of a peer-to-peer network.

That's nothing. (4, Funny)

JasonMaggini (190142) | more than 10 years ago | (#9197171)

Now, when Google can tell me where I put my keys [fark.com] , then I'll be impressed.
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