Feeds

Wikia snatches open search software from LookSmart

Will deliver Grub to mankind. Or whatever

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

OSCON Wikia, the latest effort from Wikipedia co-founder Jimbo Wales, has bought the distributed search software Grub from LookSmart for an undisclosed sum and open sourced it.

Wales, speaking here at OSCON, announced the move during a morning speech. He pitched Grub as being analogous to Seti@home in that users run the client software in the background on their PCs. Grub then indexes URLs and sends the information back to centralized servers. The software had languished under the stewardship of Looksmart, and Wales now hopes to make it a core piece of Wikia.

For the unfamiliar, Wikia is an attempt to create an open source rival to Yahoo!, Google or Microsoft.

"In search, we have a handful of proprietary places," Wales said, during his keynote. "They control the vast majority of traffic on the internet.

"Those search results are an editorial statement even if they are driven by an algorithm. We really have no idea how they are doing it. That process is kept deliberately secret."

So, Wikia will deliver open source algorithms to developers and work to create an open index of the internet. If the project ends up resembling Wikipedia, we don't hold out much hope of helpful search results.

"Together, we can all kick Google's ass," Wales said.

Easy, Jimbo.

From where we sit, an open source search engine that turned up good results and was actually used by lots of people could end up as a very good thing. Google, in particular, has seized too much power with its vast knowledge of the world's desires. In addition, the company has not proven very able at protecting privacy on a satisfactory level.

Would Wikia be a better organization to hold such power just because its code was open? Not really, unless guarantees are made around the immediate destruction of search logs and the like.

You can find very little on Grub here. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Twitter: La la la, we have not heard of any NUDE JLaw, Upton SELFIES
If there are any on our site it is not our fault as we are not a PUBLISHER
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?