Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Jeff Bezos Unveils “Vertical Search”: Live from the O’Reilly E-Tech Conference

O’Reilly Media’s Emerging Technology conference (now just called E-Tech) got into full swing this morning in San Diego. The theme of this year’s gathering is “Remix,” and the morning speakers described and demonstrated a passel of Web technologies that show…
March 15, 2005

O’Reilly Media’s Emerging Technology conference (now just called E-Tech) got into full swing this morning in San Diego. The theme of this year’s gathering is “Remix,” and the morning speakers described and demonstrated a passel of Web technologies that show how standards like XML and RSS are enabling new, often user-developed functions that marry services such as searching, photo sharing, and mapping.

The highlight of the morning was a talk by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Amazon’s A9.com unit launched a search engine site last year, and has been busy updating its capabilities. One of the group’s key ideas, Bezos said, is to turn A9.com into a highly versatile “vertical search” engine, meaning that users could go to A9 to do either a general Web search or a specialized search within a specific database, such as PubMed, the largest compilation of online publications about health and medicine. “But we can’t build thousands of vertical search engines,” Bezos said. “We’d rather have a simple way of ‘consuming’ other searches and integrating them into the A9 page.”

A9’s programmers came up with a few simple extensions to the RSS protocol (for Really Simple Syndication, a system now commonly used to share or “syndicate” content across web sites) that allow owners of specialized databases to create buttons that A9 users can add to their personalized Web search page. For example, Koders, a group of open-source developers, has created a button that limits searches just to the Koder.com database of open-source code. Bezos’s A9 example was only one of the cases presented this morning of “Web services” finally coming to fruition in ways that invite participation, therefore capitalizing on the intelligence of users.

More details to come later today!

Keep Reading

Most Popular

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Every year, we look for promising technologies poised to have a real impact on the world. Here are the advances that we think matter most right now.

AI for everything: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT reached mass adoption in record time, and reset the course of an entire industry.

Scientists are finding signals of long covid in blood. They could lead to new treatments.

Faults in a certain part of the immune system might be at the root of some long covid cases, new research suggests.

What’s next for AI in 2024

Our writers look at the four hot trends to watch out for this year

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.