altavista has new look

I rarely use Altavista to search the web but I often use babelfish to translate, so it’s of some interest to me that they have added some new features. The list is not very impressive and as far as I can tell they didn’t do anything to improve babelfish, so their efforts were nugatory.

The new news page pales in comparison to google news, with fewer headlines and no pictures. The only additional feature they have is a link to translate the articles. Even if they did have all of google news’ features, I wouldn’t switch because they are only copying someone else. The only way I see them attracting more users is by productive innovation. Changing the logo and creating a new design (for the third or fourth time) is not productive, especially for a search engine.

I would much rather use a plain web site with useful features rather than a glitzy one with nothing but a great design. AltaVista, roughly translated, means ‘high view’ in spanish but it also describes their priorities. They’re putting more effort into the look of the site instead of improving the utility of their search engine.


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  1. Somebody was looking for an excuse to use the ‘word of the day’. :)

    I actually found something via AltaVista a while back that Google couldn’t help me with, so it’s not completely ineffectual.

    Comment by Levi on November 12, 2002 @ 9:17 am
  2. I think your comment is nugatory.

    Comment by dan on November 12, 2002 @ 9:44 am
  3. Dude, that word is so yesterday. Your attempt at a multifarious vocabulary needs a bit more effort.

    Comment by Levi on November 12, 2002 @ 12:28 pm
  4. I must aver and thank you for your inscrutable beneficence on my behalf. I simply wanted to employ the words that I learn during my matutinal daily reads. There is no need to parley about this and trammel my efforts to increase my vocabulary. I trust you will heed my clarion call.

    Comment by dan on November 12, 2002 @ 4:50 pm
  5. Duuuuuude!

    Comment by Levi on November 12, 2002 @ 9:07 pm
  6. peenging will bring only frustration over the lack of cognitive understanding and reasoning abilities heretofore mentioned

    Comment by Anonymous on November 13, 2002 @ 9:55 am
  7. peenging? The nameless one is using words that do not exist in any dictionary I know of.

    Comment by dan on November 13, 2002 @ 10:29 am
  8. It’s, as far as I can tell, a word from a Scottish dialect meaning ‘whining’. It’s used in a couple of Sir Walter Scott’s books. Would you criticize his word choice, too? ;)

    And I can’t tell who the nameless one was directing his (her?) comment towards. Apparently one of us is meant to feel stupid, but the ambiguity just makes nameless-one look foolish. Ahh, the perils of pompous posturing.

    Comment by Levi on November 13, 2002 @ 12:35 pm
  9. it also means complaining. I challenge you to a truel!

    Comment by Anonymous on November 13, 2002 @ 1:22 pm
  10. In my world, whining is a form of complaining. Methinks the nameless one needs less knowledge of obscure slang and more of common words!

    Comment by Levi on November 13, 2002 @ 10:06 pm
  11. obviously I am not completely obfuscated with the cadre of intellectual banter that goes back and forth. would you like some cheese to go with the whine?

    Comment by nameless one on November 14, 2002 @ 3:24 pm
  12. Isn’t it funny when people start a sentence with ‘Obviously’ when what they have to say isn’t obvious at all? Wait, that sounds familiar…

    If I’m whining, then so are you; why don’t we sit down and enjoy a nice wedge of Brie?

    Comment by Levi on November 14, 2002 @ 4:02 pm
  13. actually I am a smoked cheddar kind of person. and yes of course I agree that obvious is a word that many are oblivious to the intent of its proper use.

    Comment by he who shall not be named on November 15, 2002 @ 10:49 am

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