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Saturday, January 15, 2005

Searching for a New Search Engine

I just discovered Icerocket. Icerocket is a new search engine ("Where every search is a direct hit!") that has some nice, innovative features. One I like in particular is that your search results include a thumbnail of each website on the list (you can turn this off if you want), and also a "quickpeek" feature. When you click on "Quickpeek" a little Java window opens on the search page, allowing you to peruse the contents of a site right in the search results list, without having to open the site. Pretty neat.

The search page has links for various kinds of searches: Web, Blogs, Phone Pics (search among pics people have put on line from their phones), News, and Find a Friend (searches among dating/matching sites). Another feature: a scrolling scan, in real time, of search terms people are using in Icerocket. Enlightening.

I've been looking at new search engines recently. (See my earlier post about the interesting engine called "Clusty".) For years I've relied on Google. But Google just keeps getting scarier. Especially since they launched their Desktop Search feature.

Think about this. With the Desktop Search, combined with Gmail, Google now has the capability to add to its database everything you've ever put on your hard drive (such as, potentially, passwords, banking info, purchases you've made on the web, credit card and bank account numbers, social security number, drivers license, etc.), your search history over an indefinite period, as well as your name, address, phone number, and the contents of your email. All that personal data seems like a high price to pay for search.

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