By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2005-03-18 Print this article Print

Ask Jeeves clustering feature is a result of work from its research labs. The search company eventually plans to give public previews of its research projects through a yet-to-be-launched Web site called Ask Jeeves Alpha. Unlike its larger competitors, though, Ask Jeeves does not plan to keep any projects in alpha mode for long. "The research work we do is very oriented to developing products," said Rahul Lahiri, Ask Jeeves vice president of product management for search. "At this point, were all about adding [research work] very quickly into the products."
To read an interview with Ask Jeeves CEO Steve Berkowitz, click here.
Teomas clustering technology also played a role in Ask Jeeves release of an improved relevancy algorithm for its image search, Gerasoulis said. Earlier this month, the company revamped the way it ranks results for images. It uses an image index from Picsearch. During his presentation, Gerasoulis conducted before and after searches on Ask Jeeves image search, showing how a search for "sunset" changed from results where images of sunsets were interspersed with seemingly random images of people and logos to results more exclusively showing pictures of the setting sun. Separately this week, Ask Jeeves took another step in supporting the Mozilla open-source project. Ask Jeeves launched a Mozilla Firefox version of its browser-based search toolbar. Ask Jeeves previously has talked with the Mozilla Foundation about potentially creating an Ask Jeeves-branded version of Firefox and about contributing codes from Ask Jeeves desktop search product to the open-source community. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on enterprise search technology.

Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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