Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Copernic Vs Gooliath

In the last weeks, two new wonderful products improve the efficiency of millions of users:
Copernic Desktop Search and Google Desktop Search. Here's my comparative, non-scientific, study. It is based on my feelings about ergonomy and ease of use.

  1. Initial Indexing. Both products are non-intrusive, and silently runs in the background. Copernic deserves a star here for its high level of verbosity and clear indication of its state.
    Copernic: 1
    Google: 0

  2. Search Results: Relevant results on each sides. One star to Copernic for the "timeline" view of the hit list. Two stars to Google: one for the caching that allows to see multiple versions of a file! Another for the sharp integration of web and desktop search.

    Copernic: 2
    Google: 2

  3. Customization: Copernic is the only and clear winner here (+2 star). First, try to exclude a complete tree but a small sub-tree using Google... Is it even possible? With Copernic file inclusion and exclusion, this is easy. Moreover, Copernic gives the complete control over refreshing schedules, file type to handle, and many more handy options.

    Copernic: 4
    Google: 2

  4. Ease of use: Google Desktop dominates the ease of use. It worths one star. Google is web-based and is therefore one click away for any searches. Copernic is "desktop based". You need to open the window, select the file type to search and finally, search.


Overall, I would recommend Copernic mainly for its customization possibilities and the high verbosity of the indexation process (you KNOW what's hapenning).

I ever read that Microsoft knows how to create software, Google knows how to search and Copernic knows both. Is the "desktop search" the place where Copernic convergence pays?

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Google launches Google Desktop

The war of desktop search engines now begins! Many small players were already on the battle field and they were surely hoping this moment to be the farest possible. But today, Google revealed its product. Google Desktop installs in seconds on your computer and allows to search your local files and emails. Stuff from your computer can even appears in a classic google search:

Monday, October 04, 2004

Vivissimo launches Clusty

Clusty is a search engine that clusters results. If Vivissimo was more a technology showcase, with an hard to remember name, Clusty is designed to be an honest competitor in the search market.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Cognitive test

A paper called "Gorillas in our midst: sustained inattentional blindness for dynamic events" (Perception, vol 28, p 1059) claims that if someone look at this video and is asked to count the number of times a basketball is passed between the actors, he should not notice the gorilla that walks in the scene.

I tried it with 1 cobaye, a man, PhD in CS, and he did not see the gorilla. Spectacular ;)
Update: I tried with another cobaye, Ms in CS, and he did see the gorilla. Not so spectacular :(