July 28, 2008

How cool is Cuil?

I don't know. I checked it out by "Googling" my own name, and I love the way the results look ... except for that picture. Who is that guy?

More info on Cuil here.

ADDED: Partial screen grab to preserve the puzzling picture:



AND: This wasn't too encouraging:
We didn’t find any results for “university of wisconsin law school”

Some reasons might be...
  • a typo. Please check your spelling.
  • your search includes a term that is very rare. Try to find a more common substitute.
  • too many search terms. Please try fewer terms.
Finally, try to think of different words to describe your search.

52 comments:

Palladian said...

There weren't any results for my name either.

Cuil? Not so much.

Palladian said...

Also, it's ugly. I mean the magazine format looks ok, but the black-and-blue looks like one of those "fake" web pages. And it doesn't seem very useful. Again, the magazine thing is fun, but not really as good as just a list when you're actually trying to find something.

Roman said...

I've had similar problems. I had to type my name three different ways (first-last, first-middle-last, "first last") before anything came up. Nothing for "Alaska Community Property" either. "Glenn Reynolds" had a little over 200,000 hits.

AJ Lynch said...

So cool I did not get "cuil" til you pointed it out.

But no great shakes if I go by my 1st impression. I predict Cuil will soon be a synonym for New Coke.

Mr. Virgil Roos said...

In the Althouse biography, somebody forgot

...to include

The Blogger who Forgot the Blog That Time Forgot.

All forgotten.

Palladian said...

Also it seems very poor branding to have a company whose name is pronounced completely differently than it's spelled. Yeah, I know it's a Gælic word... but it's in the context of an English-language website with nothing to suggest it's a foreign word, therefore the rules of English pronunciation should apply. It's Kweel.

Actually spelling and pronouncing it "Kweel" makes it much more appealing.

Randy said...

I liked the layout.

Paddy O. said...

Also not a good sign:

"We’ll be back soon...

Due to overwhelming interest, our Cuil servers are running a bit hot right now. The search engine is momentarily unavailable as we add more capacity.

Thanks for your patience."

A search engine that doesn't like crowds.

perry masonmint said...

So -- anybody have any thoughts about the Knoxville shooting?

Ann's real American Idol, Glenn Reynolds has whitewashed the fact that the shooter was a raging right wing loon, and laughably spins the attack as "anti-Christian." Oh, and he also doesn't mention, conveniently, that the targeted church was gay friendly and progressive and that the guy called himself a Confederate.

Nobody here could be as intellectually dishonest as that, of course...

mcg said...

Ann's real American Idol, Glenn Reynolds has whitewashed the fact that the shooter was a raging right wing loon, and laughably spins the attack as "anti-Christian."

No he didn't, idiot. He's just following the news like anyone else, and he updated his comments as the story evolved.

mcg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mcg said...

Anyway, as for the actual topic at hand: I tried to Google---er, Cuil---myself and got this: "Sorry, an error occurred. Please try your search again. If the problem persists, please be assured that our team is working quickly to resolve the issue."

How are they gonna convince me to use it if I can't satisfy my vanity with it?

perry masonmint said...

mcg said...

No he didn't, idiot. He's just following the news like anyone else, and he updated his comments as the story evolved.


So the guy wasn't a raging rightwing loon who billed himself as a Confederate and hated gays?

Thanks for clearing that up...

mcg said...

The first published reports were that he hated Christians. The later published reports were that he was a right-wing loon. And Glenn Reynolds linked to both reports. Hence you're an idiot.

mcg said...

Quoting Glenn: WELL, THIS MAKES MORE SENSE than that "hated Christians" report, though I suppose the two aren't mutually inconsistent or anything: Police: Accused shooter hated liberals, expected to be killed."

That's whitewashing the fact that he's a right-wing loon? Looks to me that it's an outright acknowledgement.

perry masonmint said...

"Reynolds is a guy who tried to link Tim McVeigh with Saddam Hussein, so this isn't surprising. If the shooter were Muslim, he'd be liveblogging this right now and Michelle Malkin would have about a dozen BREAKING updates. But because the shooter is a right wing crazy -- silence."

I think the real idiot isn't who mcg thinks it is...

mcg said...

Who's spinning now, dickweed? You claimed Glenn whitewashed the story about the shooter. I've demonstrated that it's plainly false. Your further opinions about him are irrelevant.

Go crawl back in your hole and leave this thread to serious people.

perry masonmint said...

Well, at least we've cleared up that the Holocaust wasn't a hate crime.

That's a relief.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Cuil!

Horrible name, though not as bad as "Kum and Go."

I hate the way the search results come up. Where are your eyes supposed to look? Which column contains the most popular links? So many columns! Worst. Design. Ever.

The list format, as someone mentioned, is the only logical way to go. The lady that started CUIL (what an idiotic name) already did her thing over at Google...why couldn't she just be satisfied with that?

CUIL = LAIM

James Wigderson said...

Ann, it looks like Wisconsin State Representative Frank Lasee.

AJ Lynch said...

ZPS asked:

"Where are your eyes supposed to look?"

Hate to sound really ancient but that is how I react when I read ESPN the Magazine. It has like ten or so small tidbit stories on a page and I find it distracting. Where am I supposed to start and end my reading ?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Cuil is confusing. Who are these people and photos that pop up next to the articles? They seem to have no relationship to my search.

Ms. Raylene Flossworth said...

It was a mistake to move here, at this point in time.

Where is the best place for a 24-year-old, right at this moment? In school. ---While you still can. Life is long, but you only have a certain amount of good years---energetic years in which to get things like that done and over with.

And, as we know, LA wastes your time. Getting caught up on all the nonsense little LA dramas, on a daily basis, which don't do a thing to further your goals.

And then if you don't fit in---aren't ethnically interesting enough..... even the ones that do fit in, and have cash.... don't have an easy time of it.

The very worst thing, about LA---the way it takes up your time, and gives back, really, nothing in return.

Such a bargain...

save_the_rustbelt said...

Found all sorts of debris under my name, I publish a lot and give a fair number of interviews.

Also found some very early blog posts before I was smart enough not to use my real name.

And now, I think the server crashed.

Simon said...

Maybe it's just me, but when I click through Ann's link, I'm faintly disturbed to see my own name on the first results page for Ann's name...

David said...

Ann, that guy is you.

It's what you will look like when you come back as a man.

A whole new set of challenges . . .

mcg said...

The server seems to be back up. So I searched for myself, and indeed, my LinkedIn page is the second link in.

Only, like Ann, it has someone else's picture attached to it.

I mean, honestly, that's just not cool. If someone really was looking for me, they'd blow right by the link because they would take a look at the picture and know it wasn't me. What is more, the page being linked to has a headshot of me. So they're not even trying, really, to get it right!

Trooper York said...

Hey is that the guy who came up first on your E Harmony matches.

He must not have seen your blogging heads about being single.

SteveR said...

Searched for my wife's website, six hits and none of the pictures associated are related and in fact so creepy as to be a negative. No one would risk linking to a site with those pictures on it.

blake said...

It seems a little...weak.

Eli Blake said...

From the linked article:

"ex-google engineers debut 'cuil' way to search."

They must be the ones who got fired by Google for substandard performance.

Beth said...

Cuil is Cool, eh, for Finn McCool? Coulda been worse - isn't it also spelled MacCumhail and as far as I know, still pronounced McCool.

Now would be a good time to crank up some Dropkick Murphys.

dick said...

As someone on Just One Minute commented, just don't misspell it culi - the results are definitely NSFW. That should be enough to get them to change the name and soon. Any suggestions?

P. Rich said...

Where am I supposed to start and end my reading ?

Begin in the center, reading outward in a clockwise spiral. When you reach an edge, symbolizing the border of the Infinite, ancient wisdom will be revealed.

blake said...

This is kind of funny. Apparently Cuil can't find itself....

blake said...

(Well, it's always the last place you look.)

Eric Trimmer said...

That's Mitt Romney's high school yearbook photo!

AJ Lynch said...

Blake:

Maybe they planned these crappy search results figuring bad buzz was better than no buzz.

Methadras said...

Epic fail.

blake said...

Ah yes. The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about....

Pastafarian said...

I didn't have good luck with Cuil -- our company manufactures a pretty obscure piece of electronic hardware -- we're one of just two manufacturers of this class of device in the US -- and our company didn't come up in the search results for said device in the first ten pages of results.

Admittedly, our website is pretty dated, but if they're looking at content rather than number of links in and out of the page to determine relevancy, they did a really poor job here. Our website has quite a bit of obviously relevant information on this type of component.

This is disappointing -- I was hoping for a viable alternative to Google. Google's results aren't nearly as good as they were a few years ago -- about the only way to ensure decent placement in Google is by bribing them with Pay per Click.

Brad V said...

Wigderson's correct.

It's WI State Representative Frank Lasee (R-Bellevue).

You may recall Representative Lasee from one of his more prominent propositions - the move to arm teachers in the classroom back in 2006.

Rick Lee said...

"Epic fail" indeed. I like the look, but all the test searches I did came up with a lot of stupid results and the photos listed along with the links were usually completely irrelevant.

mcg said...

I wanted to send them feedback, but... can you find any feedback capability or address on their web site? I can't.

So, as a shot in the dark, I sent an email to "support@cuil.com".

mcg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mcg said...

OK, this is just pitiful. I searched for "convex optimization" (my mathematical field of study) and got this:

http://www.cuil.com/search?q=convex+optimization

The search results themselves don't seem to bad. The first link is what I expect, a book by Stephen Boyd and Lieven Vandenberghe, a seminal text on the subject. Several of the pictures though are misplaced, however, including...

...a picture of Raquel Welch.

What the heck is she doing there? I mean, yes, she is certainly brightening up an otherwise dull page, but really.

Just for grins I searched for Stephen Boyd, and this is what I got:

http://www.cuil.com/search?q=Stephen%20Boyd&sl=long

There's Raquel Welch again! Right at the top, attached to link about Stephen Boyd, an author of interactive fiction. The optimization Stephen Boyd is nowhere to be found.

But further down the page I see something that resolves the mystery. It seems that there was an actor Stephen Boyd. Turns out he co-starred with Raquel Welch in the 1966 movie "Fantastic Voyage". There is a three-degrees-of-separation kind of thing going on there.

But it's still pathetic.

Joe said...

Very poor interface. Very poor execution. Slow. Above all, it doesn't aggregate results from one site. It also sometimes changes how results are returned in columns making it very poor on a usability scale.

Besides, the name Google has just too much of a hook. By contrast, Cuil is a stupid brand name since it's not phonetic.

vbspurs said...

Ann, you're a good-looking lady, but I have to tell you, you're an even more spectacular-looking guy.

That Christopher Lawford look just won't quit.

Cheers,
Victoria

Ben (The Tiger) said...

Ann Althouse: the new David Lat?

AllenS said...

Cuil kinda cuks.

bearbee said...

Cuil kinda cuks.
Google Rival Lays an Egg

Too bad. Would like to see sucessful Google competitor.

rsb said...

so what