Build Your Own Search Experience: Yahoo BOSS is pretty amazing
Most of the gang at Bolt | Peters went to BayCHI tonight, and I was really impressed by a presentation from Yahoo about BOSS (Build your Own Search Service).
Turns out that, once you get beat badly by Google, you start to get really open. Nice.
Basically BOSS (bad name, great tool) means that, with a minimal contingency of programmers, you can get a completely custom search running, and apparently you can even manipulate the rankings algorithm. Currently Yahoo is running it without requiring ads or anything. Exciting.
What a great way for a big conservative company to innovate — just let hackers go to town on your fancy database and algorithms. I can't wait to see what comes out of it.
Yahoo Participates in Chinese Censorship
Recently, the mega search engine Yahoo! collaborated with Chinese authorities in jailing Chinese journalist Shi Tao for allegedly distributing state secrets. Apparently Yahoo has taken the initiative to provide the journalist's email address and IP address in order to link him to posts and emails that he was making while distributing information. Why is Yahoo participating in the Chinese censorship program?
Because it's good business. Yesterday Rebecca MacKinnon took the time to illustrate exactly what it's like to search for "Tiananmen Massacre" on the Chinese Yahoo.