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Lycos, FAST launch multimedia search engine

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Lycos and Fast Search & Transfer (FAST) launched a multimedia search product yesterday called Lycos RichMedia Search for finding pictures, films, streams and sound on the Web, at www.richmedia.lycos.com . Search results are grouped, or may be chosen by media category. There are 17 million files in the catalogue at present. FAST claims to be faster than scour.net, which is MP3 only, and more integrated than the new AltaVista multimedia search. We thought we'd try out a search for pictures of the computer pioneer Babbage and were surprised to get 50 hits, most of which were relevant. It's a pity that the first page does not give the number of hits. FAST also has a nifty text search engine at alltheweb.com which was developed in collaboration with Dell and is claimed to be the world's biggest Internet engine, with 200 million documents indexed from the 400 million that had been selected -- the omitted ones were either duplications or considered too low quality. According to an article in Nature in July, the Web then had more than 800 million documents. Data centres are being set up in San Francisco, London and Singapore to increase the catalogue size. FAST is a Norwegian company, quoted on the Norwegian OTC market, with its R&D being in Oslo and Trondheim, but the sales, marketing and support operations are in Boston and Redwood City. The company is licensing its technology to portals, ISPs and content sites. FAST has a deal with Tibco, a Reuters subsidiary, for a high-volume personal filtering service. It has previously worked with Lycos to produce Lycos' FTP search (3.45 million page views in August) and MP3 search (1.1 million page views/day). ®

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