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Where's Wally / Waldo turns up on net search

Now you don't see him, now you do

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The new owners of Where's Wally? are looking to make greater use of the character, and, according to The Guardian, have an internet search engine in mind.

Entertainment Rights already owns Postman Pat and the Lone Ranger, not to mention He-Man and Lassie, and has recently acquired rights to Wally, or Waldo as our American cousins know him.

Normally seen hiding in crowds, children (and some adults) spend hours pouring over pictures searching for the stripey-jumpered chap, though if their loyalty to the books will be reflected in use of a search engine remains to be seen.

"In the future I think you will be saying: 'I'm going to Wally it'," chief executive Mike Heap said, referring to the way people reference Google as a verb.

Children's search engines are a difficult market to capitalise on; while Yahooligans and KidsCick work using white lists of acceptable sites, that is expensive compared to filtering on keywords. The problem with keywords is demonstrated by Zoo, which claims to be kid-friendly and will block a search for "lesbian images", but is happy to search for "images lesbian".

Entertainment Rights said it is still considering all options for Wally, and had reached no decisions on what he would be doing next, so it remains to be seen if you'll ever be able to Wally to find out Where's Wally? ®

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