Net Xpress: Check out the new Clusty the Clustering Engine

October 04, 2004|SHEILA J. CLARK

A new search engine appeared on the horizon last week called Clusty the Clustering Engine. This search engine is the brainchild of Vivsimo, a new company formed a little over four years ago by a group of Carnegie Mellon University research computer scientists. Although the engine is its beta version, it is quite impressive to see in action.

The standout feature that sets Clusty apart from other search engines is the manner in which the information is organized. The proper term for how Clusty handles the information is referred to as document clustering. Information automatically is gathered, organized and categorized before being presented to the searcher.

Clusty is divided into nine resource tabs, including Web+, News, Images, Shopping, Encyclopedia, Gossip, eBay, Blogs and Slashdot. The final tab allows searchers to customize their searches further by choosing which resources it should use to retrieve search returns.

Clusters can be displayed by topics, sources and URLs. For example, this is what would happen if a searcher chooses to have clusters displayed by URLs. On the left side of the page, under the search term, the search results would be displayed in groups based on the last letters of the Web site such as com, org, edu, net, us, gov, etc.


The site also offers a free download of the Vivsimo toolbar and MiniBar as an enhancement to the Internet Explorer browser. To use the toolbars, you must be running Windows 98/NT/2000/ME or XP and have Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher installed. Learn more about Clusty by visiting the site at

Microsoft update alert

Windows users with older versions of the Internet Explorer browser should look for an alternative operating system or start saving now for their upgrade to Windows XP. The release of XP SP2 marked the end of free updates for older versions of IE. In order to get IE secure, an upgrade to XP is necessary. Learn more.

MSN Live online events

Oct. 4: Musician Peter Cincotti chats at 8 p.m.

Oct. 5: Music legend Mick Fleetwood chats about his new band, The Mick Fleetwood Band, and the release of its debut album at 7 p.m.

VoIP update

*SIPphone is suing Vonage, a broadband phone company, and Fry's Electronics, a retailer for false advertising, in regards to their advertisement of Linksys Phone Adapters. SIPphone claims that the companies failed to disclose that the adapters are tied to Vonage. Read more.

*AT&T's CallVantage broadband phone service dropped in price Friday, from $34.99 to $29.99. Read more.

Net buzzz

* On Sept. 27, Virgin Music launched its online music service, The Virgin Digital. It sells songs for 99 cents each and offers a subscription-based plan for $7.99 a month. The service will be a digital version of the Virgin Megastores. Learn more.

* CNET, a popular technology portal, debuted its new, revamped Web site. Among the new features of the new site are easier access to forums, user showcases and two new features series. Read more.

E-mail me at; fax me at (859) 236-9566; or write me snail-mail at The Advocate-Messenger, P.O. Box 149, Danville, KY 40423-0149.

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