The end of Google



  • So I was digging and happened upon a story/link about ChaCha.com: the new search engine on the block.  For those who didn't read the story or go to the site, basically there is a "feature" on the site that let's you search with a guide.  When you do this, you type your query in, and an "expert internet searcher" does a web search for you and gives you a few hand-picked results they think are the best.  This interaction takes place in a mini-chat room with just you and your guide.

     
    I decided to give it a try and see how it works.  Here's the chat log between my expert guide and I:

    (23 seconds goes by after I click "Search with Guide" until the following window shows up) 

    Status: Looking for a guide ...
    (17 seconds)
    Status: Connected to guide: chrisc
    chrisc: Welcome to ChaCha!
    You: thanks
    chrisc: Hello
    You: hi
    (45 seconds)
    You: .....
    You: when do I get my search results
    chrisc: I just sent one it did not show up for you under the search results?
    You: no
    chrisc: We must be having a problem with the system. Are you using firefox by any chance?
    You: Using firefox
    You: yes
    (19 seconds)
    chrisc: We
    must be having a problem with the people that are using firefox. I will
    transfer you just to make sure it is not on my end. I will send
    feedback asap about this problem. So sorry.
    Transfer: You are being transfered to another guide who can help you search even better!
    Looking for guide ...
    (34 seconds)
    Status: Guide not located.

    At this point I'm not satisfied with my non-results plus I don't believe there aren't more Guides just waiting to lend me a hand, so I try another guide search:

    Status: Looking for a guide ...
    (23 seconds)
    Status: Connected to guide: JenniferH
    JenniferH: Welcome to ChaCha!
    You: thanks
    JenniferH: hey there
    JenniferH: :)
    You: hi
    JenniferH: just one moment
    You: ok
    (28 seconds)
    You: did you find anything
    JenniferH: just one momeent while i look
    You: k
    (40 seconds)
    JenniferH: this ann arbor is in michigan correct
    You: yes
    (8 seconds)
    JenniferH: Are these results sufficient?
    You: I don't see anything
    JenniferH: it shows they was sent through
    You: I see "Guide Results" but there's nothing below that
    JenniferH: exit this session and come back in ... it might be your internet explorer
    You: I'm using Firefox
    JenniferH: ohh thats way
    You: firefox isn't supported?
    JenniferH: just exit and come back in
    JenniferH: i dont think firefox is ..
    JenniferH: sorry
    You: so what would exiting and coming back in do
    JenniferH: so you can use ie when you com back...
    You: but I use firefox
    JenniferH: ok Im sorry I dont know what to say. thanks for searching chacha
    JenniferH: :)
    JenniferH: have a wonderful day
    JenniferH: Please RATE ME. Thanks for using ChaCha.
    Status: Session ended.

     

    Watch your back Google. 

     

     



  • Yeah, beware Google, coz you gonna get it!

    Seriously, I love your last sentence, so full of sarcasm :P 



  • Wow! Have they gone public yet? I have to buy some stock!

    I'm sure they can easily take care of the Firefox issue and get the human response time down to less than Google's .16 seconds. And once they get this working on a PDA better than Google does now, it's all over.

     



  • funny thing is, I know these guys, sorta.

    Chacha is run out of the guys house just down the street from me, and I mean literally right in his house.  There has been  alot of turnover and a total of 3 developers on the project, only one of which really controls all of the code. 

    I've heard stories and would almost entertain thoughts of lending a hand just to get an inside look at the WTF that is chacha.  Especially since I have seen other code written by the same people.



  • lol, I just got on there and was searching for something of deism. The guide said Welcome to ChaCha! (I'm sure that part is automated) then they said nothing, no results. I ask if there were any... no responce...hello?...no responce. after about 4 min I gave up and quit. Have you noticed, even their search without a guide take forever? I waited and waited on results for a nonguide search for jabberwocky and gave up when the message about scouring the web never went away. Google gave it to me in .24 seconds.

     



  • The real WTF is that you filtered your chatlog. It should have been something along the lines of this:

    Status: Connected to guide: JenniferH
    JenniferH: Welcome to ChaCha!
    You: OMFG a girl!!!!111!1 A/S/L?
    JenniferH: Um.... huh? Did you have a problem with ChaCha?
    You: r u hawt? kewl!11

    Etc.... :D



  • Status: Looking for a guide ...
    Status: Connected to guide: KeishaC
    KeishaC: Welcome to ChaCha!
    KeishaC: Hi there
    You: hello
    KeishaC: You're looking for search engines that have failed?
    You: yeah, is it actually searching?
    KeishaC: Do you want information on search engines that have failed in the past?
    You: well... yes. that would make sense. :)
    You: am I supposed to be able to see my results by now?
    KeishaC: No - I'm still looking
    KeishaC: Thank you for using ChaCha!
    Status: Session ended.



  • [quote user="shambo"]Status: Looking for a guide ...
    Status: Connected to guide: KeishaC
    KeishaC: Welcome to ChaCha!
    KeishaC: Hi there
    You: hello
    KeishaC: You're looking for search engines that have failed?
    You: yeah, is it actually searching?
    KeishaC: Do you want information on search engines that have failed in the past?
    You: well... yes. that would make sense. :)
    You: am I supposed to be able to see my results by now?
    KeishaC: No - I'm still looking
    KeishaC: Thank you for using ChaCha!
    Status: Session ended.[/quote]

    OK, someone owes my employer a new monitor. :) 



  • I think its funny that they are using Ads by Google



  • So what rating did you give JenniferC?



  • Intelligent design?

    "A smart search engine powered by human intelligence." Dare I say... INTELLIGENT DESIGN?

    Status: Looking for a guide ...
    Status: Connected to guide: MicheleG
    MicheleG: Welcome to ChaCha!
    You: thanks
    MicheleG: Hi there. I will be helping with your search.
    You: that's great I could sure do with some help
    MicheleG: you are looking for information on the meaning of life?
    You: yep
    MicheleG: ok! I will find that information for you. Give me one moment please
    You: no problem been trying to work this one out for a while now
    MicheleG: I hear ya
    MicheleG: here is one answer... I will keep searching
    You: ok thanks
    
    (got 1 result called "God, religion, and the meaning of life")
    
    You: are you religious?
    You: if you don't mind my asking
    MicheleG: I am, yes. However, it has no significance to my search for you.
    You: ok sorry didn't mean to pry
    MicheleG: that's ok! I was just letting you knw that the information I am sending isn't necessarily based on my beliefs. here are a couple more for you to look at
    
    (2 more: wikipedia + some strange new-age page)
    
    MicheleG: Are these results sufficient?
    You: ok thanks, now i will hopefully achieve enlightenment sometime soon.
    MicheleG: haha, if you do, I am happy for you!
    MicheleG: have a good day
    You: yes thank you for your trouble, happy christmas
    MicheleG: thank you, you too
    Status: Session ended.
    


  • [quote user="shadowman"]So what rating did you give JenniferC?
    [/quote]

    I'm sure it wasn't nearly as high as the one he gave JenniferDD



  • [quote user="Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Over."]

    The real WTF is that you filtered your chatlog. It should have been something along the lines of this:

    Status: Connected to guide: JenniferH
    JenniferH: Welcome to ChaCha!
    You: OMFG a girl!!!!111!1 A/S/L?
    JenniferH: Um.... huh? Did you have a problem with ChaCha?
    You: r u hawt? kewl!11

    Etc.... :D

    [/quote]

    LOL!

    Please wait while we scour the deep web ...



  • Every search engine - guide should have a built in function that always answers "42" if you type in "The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything".

    Whoever does that will beat google.

     



  • I searched for 'the meaning of life the universe and everything' and go this:

    Status: Looking for a guide ...
    Status: Connected to guide: shelleyo
    shelleyo: Welcome to ChaCha!
    shelleyo: Hi there. I will be helping with your search.
    You: Hi
    shelleyo: hi
    You: Thank you

    Sends me a God, religion, and the meaning of life
    Meaning of Life Ministry
    http://www.meaning-of-life.info/)
    You: Are you religous?
    shelleyo: Yes

    {then sends me the wikipedia page)
    You: I think thats all I need, thank you
    shelleyo: Thanks for using ChaCha! I hope you had a great search experience!
    You: Thanks, I'm done.
    Status: Session ended.

     



  • at least they are consistent in their answers :)



  • [quote user="ahf"]

    Every search engine - guide should have a built in function that always answers "42" if you type in "The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything".

    [/quote]

          What, you mean like this? 

    [quote user="ahf"] 

    Whoever does that will beat google.

    [/quote]

    That would be just a little paradoxical....

     

     

     



  • I'm afraid google already has this covered... so much for that business plan...

     
    Link

    ----Edit---

     Must... type... faster...
     



  • My cousin "works" for this place. He's still provisional as of last I talked to him, so he gets no money. It sounded quite a bit hokey and broken when he described it. Good to know that it also doesn't support about 10% of users, maybe more. XD



  • I have a better idea.  call my cell phone and ill type your search into google and read off the results.

    the number is 555-555-5000.

    Please rate me at the end of the call by pressing 1 for good, 2 for ok and 3 for WTF.

     



  • I searched for: answer to life the universe and everything

    Status: Looking for a guide ...
    Status: Connected to guide: Jennifer R
    Jennifer R: Welcome to ChaCha!
    You: thanks
    Jennifer R: Can you clarify your search for me?
    You: what don't you understand about it?
    Jennifer R: If that is exactly what you want to know I will find some info on it, thanks for being patient!
    You: ok thanks
    Jennifer R: I appreciate your patience while I find exactly what you need.
    You: thats ok, take your time
    Jennifer R: Are these results sufficient?
    You: should i be seeing something?
    You: all it says is please wait while we scour the deep web...
    Jennifer R: There should be some web page results in the results box
    Jennifer R: There is nothing there?
    You: no, it's blank
    You: well, apart from what i said before
    Jennifer R: I
    think this is a system problem we are having, There is a chance when I
    finish the search that the results will come up. If not, try searching
    again and then some results will come up. Sorry about this
    Jennifer R: I will close out our chat and hopefully you will see some results. Thanks for being understanding!
    You: ok thanks
    Jennifer R: Thanks for searching ChaCha!
    Jennifer R: Please RATE ME. Thanks for using ChaCha.
    Status: Session ended.

    Then the results appeared! Funnily enough they were the same as the first 3 results from google (but not including the google calculator result), and it only took a total of about 5 minutes...



  • Suddenly I have a deep burning urge to write an adaptor so I can let a megahal chat with all these "girls". After a few days, it'll probably be able to replace them (generating search results via google).

    At the end of every session, you can select between one and five stars
    to rate their performance. While we expect you to be honest when rating
    a Guide, ChaCha can also detect any needlessly malicious ratings.

    I particularly like this part - I wonder how they managed to tell the difference between a "needlessly malicious" rating and one that really, deeply needed to be malicious.



  • I searched for something and then after getting results asked to search for something different but related and they said i had to close the chat and start over. What is the point of this service if you can't modify the search?



  • I thought the whole point of computers was to replace human labor because computers are faster and cheaper.  Seems these guys missed that lesson in history class.

    I can just see their next marketing move: outsource their chat people to India and China.  Then we'll really get some great results.

     

     

     

     

    Disclaimer: This isn't meant to be racist, just implying that the addition of a language barrier would diminish the ability to understand the request.



  • Funny/interesting ideas to try:

    Attempt a Guided Search in the wee hours of the morning....say 1am - 4am.  I doubt they have this thing staffed round the clock.

    Attempt a Guided Search for porn.  Stress you only want the best/most hardcore content.

    Attempt a Guided Search for how to make a bomb.

    Attempt a Guided Search for how to bury a dead body.

    Attempt a Guided Search for "ChaCha.com Guided Searches".  Repeat this step as many times as you feel fit.

    Attempt a Guided Search for driving directions.  Giggle when they link you to either Google Maps or Yahoo/Mapquest.

    Attempt a Guided Search on a random STD of your choice.  Mention you need links to sites that help "your friend" clear up the symptoms.

     

    Could be funny to post the results to these as well. 

     



  • [quote user="ItsAllGeekToMe"]

    Funny/interesting ideas to try:

    Attempt a Guided Search in the wee hours of the morning....say 1am - 4am.  I doubt they have this thing staffed round the clock.

    Attempt a Guided Search for porn.  Stress you only want the best/most hardcore content.

    Attempt a Guided Search for how to make a bomb.

    Attempt a Guided Search for how to bury a dead body.

    Attempt a Guided Search for "ChaCha.com Guided Searches".  Repeat this step as many times as you feel fit.

    Attempt a Guided Search for driving directions.  Giggle when they link you to either Google Maps or Yahoo/Mapquest.

    Attempt a Guided Search on a random STD of your choice.  Mention you need links to sites that help "your friend" clear up the symptoms.

     

    Could be funny to post the results to these as well. 

     

    [/quote]

    Most of those are just SO wrong.   I like.
     



  • Oh, lovely search:

    Status: Looking for a guide ...
    Status: Connected to guide: ChereeC
    ChereeC: Welcome to ChaCha!
    Transfer: You are being transfered to another guide who can help you search even better!
    Looking for guide ...
    Status: Guide not located.
    Status: Looking for a guide ...
    Status: Connected to guide: ChereeC
    ChereeC: Welcome to ChaCha!
    ChereeC: Hi there. I will be helping with your search.
    You: thank you!
    ChereeC: how can I help you today?
    You: you didn't see my search? for "daily wtf" ?
    ChereeC: No
    You: ok. And when you're done you might want to have a look at this link: http://thedailywtf.com/forums/thread/105626.aspx
    You: that's a cue baby by the way
    You: cute. looks about the same age as mine
    ChereeC: Are these results sufficient?
    You: thank you
    ChereeC: You are MUCH Welcome
    ChereeC: Is there anything else on this topic I can find for you today?
    You: no thanks but do check out the link I just sent you, you might find it interesting
    ChereeC: OK, Cool, Thanx
    ChereeC: Thanks for searching ChaCha!
    ChereeC: Happy Holidays to you
    ChereeC: Please RATE ME. Thanks for using ChaCha.
    Status: Session ended.

    Got these pages:

     

    1. The Daily WTF - Reply to an Existing Message - [CodeSOD] XML vs CSV : The Choice is Obvious Open 'The Daily WTF - Reply to an Existing Message - [CodeSOD] XML vs CSV : The Choice is Obvious' in a new window
      The Daily WTF - Reply to an Existing Message - [CodeSOD] XML vs CSV : The Choice is Obvious
      http://thedailywtf.com/forums/AddPost.aspx?PostID=102936&Quote=True
    2. The Daily WTF - Pop-up Potpourri: You Can Quote Me On That Open 'The Daily WTF - Pop-up Potpourri: You Can Quote Me On That' in a new window
      The Daily WTF - Pop-up Potpourri: You Can Quote Me On That
      http://thedailywtf.com/forums/thread/97325.aspx
    3. The Daily WTF - A "Priceless" Server Room: Priceless Open 'The Daily WTF - A
      The Daily WTF - A "Priceless" Server Room: Priceless
      http://thedailywtf.com/forums/thread/97096.aspx
    4. Joe Duffy's Weblog Open 'Joe Duffy's Weblog' in a new window
      Joe Duffy's Weblog
      http://www.bluebytesoftware.com/blog/PermaLink.aspx?guid=16a1cf7f-73f6-45a9-9...



  • [quote user="daob"]

    "A smart search engine powered by human intelligence." Dare I say... INTELLIGENT DESIGN?

    Status: Looking for a guide ...
    Status: Connected to guide: MicheleG
    MicheleG: Welcome to ChaCha!
    You: thanks
    MicheleG: Hi there. I will be helping with your search.
    You: that's great I could sure do with some help
    MicheleG: you are looking for information on the meaning of life?

    [/quote]

    Surely this should continue ...

    You: Yes
    MicheleG: Hmm ... Tricky.
    You: but can you do it.
    MicheleG Yes.  But it will take some time.

    Searching ...
    Searching ...
    .
    .
    .
    7.5 million years later, the search returns.

    (got 1 result called "42")

     

     



  • I read the "About Us" page, and wanted to know what actually makes a "dynamic entrepreneur"
     
     
    Status: Looking for a guide ...
    Status: Connected to guide: maryc
    maryc: Welcome to ChaCha!
    maryc: Hi there. I will be helping with your search.
    You: hi.
    maryc: Hello.
    You: this is rather slow.
    You: wheres me results?
    maryc: yes
    You: 2 ads but no results
    maryc: Is there something specific you are looking for regarding dynamic entrepeneur?
    maryc: I haven't sent any
    You: ah right
    You: speciafically: who is a dynamic entrepeneur
    You: (also, how to type)
    maryc: I appreciate your patience while I find exactly what you need.
    You: are you waiting for the video to stop playing?
    maryc: The video doesn't play on my screen only on yours.
    You: cos i don't have any kids and don't want to buy anything for kids
    You: ah right
    You: just so yo know, its selling to the wrong person!
    maryc: Are these results sufficient?
    You: one moment while i check them out
    You: seems to be the same query as google
    You: i was looking for something more relevant to who is the type of person
    You: who coul dbe a dynamic entrepeneur
    (sends a result for scott jones, which coincidentally is one of the founders. Go to his site, its a piece of work and no mistake! http://www.scottajones.com/)

    maryc: How is that last result?
    You: what makes an entrepeneur dynamic, do you think? Maybe thats what I am after?
    maryc: That maybe what you are looking for. just a moment I search that for you.
    I then clicked on a link, and then obviously could not rate her. Shame really, I'd have loved to be quite malicious as it was a completely useless service.
    ------------------
    Had another session, with "Interface design patterns in C#" as a search term, just to test thier techical searches. Actually got useful results, but again, they were in Google. This is the end of the ocnversation:
    You: do you know maryc?
    DeloresB: no I have not met her yet
    You: 'cos i clicked on a link and lost her session so i couldn't rate her
    You: what about scott jones?
    You: he looks like the man!
    DeloresB: I am sure she understands we have that happen all the time
    You: well my dinner break is over i can't sit here chatting ... so goodbye and good luck
    DeloresB: you have a good one too.



  • The goons at SomethingAwful.com have been amusing themselves by searching ChaCha for things that don't exist, such as "stoat box".

    http://www.somethingawful.com/index.php?a=4291

    Here (copied without permission) is one result:

    Status: Looking for a guide ...

    Status: Connected to guide: JasonK

    JasonK: Hi there. I will be helping with your search.

    You: hi

    JasonK: Hello

    JasonK: You are looking for this image?

    You: im after a pic i saw about 3 months ago in a google image search

    You: an elderly farmer in a field with cows

    JasonK: Do you remember what your search terms were

    You: "stoat box"

    You: i think there was at least 2 cows

    JasonK: I'm not entirely sure what stoat box has to do with the search

    JasonK: Could you explain?

    You: ok

    You: it was the year 1967, a difficult time for farmers in the midwest

    You: stoat boxing was common on farms

    You: there werent any stoats in boxes in the picture though

    JasonK: Ok

    You: has anyone ever asked you do find them lesbian porn?

    JasonK: I've never been quick enough to accept the search

    You: right on.

     

     



  • Apparently someone named PaulaD is working at chacha.com, I wonder if there is any relation to PaulaB?

     Also in response to google's answer to "the answer to life the universe and everything." Apparently google goes one step further (as my friend pointed out). Google will do mathimatical operations on 'the answer.'

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&safe=off&q=the+answer+to+life+the+universe+and+everything+times+e+times+log+of+pi+cubed&btnG=Search





  • Hi,

    These guys made the local news media today -



  • so basically, they have retired middle-aged phone sex operators sitting in their mu-mus in their trailer in the midwest, typing your search into google, and sending you back what they consider to be relevent? am i getting the jist of it? =)

     

    edit

    i tried "how to dispose of a body," apaprently they don't like to give out such information...

     
    Status: Looking for a guide ...
    Status: Connected to guide: KristiW
    KristiW: Welcome to ChaCha!
    You: thank you
    KristiW: Session ending due to restricted content
    Status: Session ended.



  • [quote user="SilverDirk"]but a more fun one is

       negative e to the power of (pi times i)



    http://www.google.com/search?client=opera&rls=en&q=negative+e+to+the+power+of+(pi+times+i)&sourceid=opera&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

    [/quote]

     

    That may not have worked, but this did:  (-e) ^ (pi * i)

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%28-e%29+%5E+%28pi+*+i%29

    Gives (-e) ^ (pi * i) = -5.17231862 × 10-5

     

     

     And if you meant -(e ^ (pi * i)), you get

     http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=-%28e%5E+%28pi+*+i%29%29

    Gives -(e ^ (pi * i) = 1
     



  • The guides are guaranteed to know less about what you're searching for than you do, and they'll always come up with less useful results than you did.

     



  • Huh? Is this funny because it is wrong? This is perfectly correct. It's interesting that they cared to do it right. The -e^(pi*i)=1 thing is frequently called the most beautiful equation of mathematics...


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