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Google Desktop Search

Search the desktop

     
2:21 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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[desktop.google.com...]

Have fun :)

[reuters.com...]
orielly [oreillynet.com]

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (Reuters) - Google Inc. (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) on Thursday rolled out a preliminary version of its new desktop search tool, making the first move against its major competitors in the race to provide tools for finding information buried in computer hard drives.

The Google Desktop offering takes direct aim at Microsoft Corp. (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) , which bought a desktop search business in July, as well as current and expected desktop product releases from other companies such as Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research) , Ask Jeeves Inc. (ASKJ.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and Time Warner Inc.'s (TWX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) AOL.

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 11:33 am (utc) on Oct. 15, 2004]
[edit reason] added links [/edit]

2:26 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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From: [desktop.google.com...]
Google Desktop Search may collect certain non-personally identifiable information that resides on your computer, including, without limitation, the number of searches you do and the time it takes to see your results. Unless you choose to opt out, either during installation or at any time after installation, non-personal information collected will be sent to Google.

Why is it that they just can't resist doing this sort of thing?

2:41 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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> If you use the search facility in Windows, it doesn't try to > send reports on your searching habits to Microsoft, does it?

Thats because Bill missed that one. Next time he won't be so stupid!

2:41 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Just uncheck the box, encyclo.

Wrong way round: Google should uncheck the box, and you should check it ;)

That's the point: it's privacy invasion by default.

[edited by: encyclo at 2:42 pm (utc) on Oct. 14, 2004]

mat

2:42 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I wasn't debating the correctness of what they may or may not be looking to collate, but the 'why' list would fill several data-centres.

mat

2:50 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I'm surely slow to be thinking about this, but ... how to rank a site based on frequency of being mentioned in email conversations (see also gmail), IM sessions, page counts in browser-cache as compared to similar sites in same area ... cue lots of tools to fill your cache with pages from same site.

Damn. A black helicopter.

3:07 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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cue lots of tools to fill your cache with pages from same site.

I didn't even think of that! I can imagine it now :(

3:23 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I'm already using Lookout by Microsoft. Why should I use and install Google's Desktop search app?
3:25 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Why is it that they just can't resist doing this sort of thing?

Because they know how useful the data is, and I am sure they can make lots of money out of it.... and unless Google ammended their corporate motto, its not evil to make money :)

3:25 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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So far, I have a reserved reception to it as it is IE integrated only (which I don't understand at all). It also doesn't allow you to specify which directories or actual file types to index. Just not enough info coming out on this thing yet.

I wonder - will certain firewalls block it? I know some serurity software is going to block its operation for sure.

Yep - zone alarm can block it, but I still think it may leak back through ie?!

All-n-all, it's a cool idea. I've been using Lookout for a couple months now, and I think it is just awesome.

3:28 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I tried it. Searched for some files on my messy C drive. I don't know why, but for most of my searches, the top results are always spam. It's time for an update, I think.
3:29 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>spam

set your email client to empty your spam folder more often.

g:\del *.* /s <--- kidding only kidding.

3:30 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Works great in Firefox.

Nice touch:

2004 Google - Searching 5,813 items
3:30 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Thanks, that worked. I can quit my job now.
3:36 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I like it--a lot. Of course, I'm not a securo-freak-paranoid-schizo-worldisending-privacydogma kinda guy.
3:39 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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"Why is it that they just can't resist doing this sort of thing?"

Because it ensures their business model.

[edited by: adfree at 4:23 pm (utc) on Oct. 14, 2004]

4:03 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Where is the index being built? It says indexing will take several hours.. but where is it being built?
I checked the google folder under Program Files.. and there is nothing out there.

Thanks
sdani

4:12 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Where is the index being built?

At google's datacentre's (JOKING) Not sure but it mirrors your files somewhere local probably dug in deep .

4:16 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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dis-assebmeling the code is already in progress to nail down the ranking algo and parameters ...
who wants the latest google ranking algo, I am sure it will be sold to everyone on ebay soon ...

/BP

4:20 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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With a couple of drive mappings, some proxy software and a few scripts. Wouldn't this be able to do 90% of what the Google appliance does for $15,000 less?

If the Google Desktop Search uses any similar criteria for on-page ranking factors as Google.com, this will make controlled testing much easier.

Example:
Create two slight variations of a page on your local computer. See which one ranks higher for a valuable keyword. Repeat.

4:25 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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It appears to work with Opera, but how do you set the preferences NOT to launch ie?

Very interesting insight - insight.

4:27 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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mine automatically used firefow, I guess because it is my default browser.
4:28 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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dis-assebmeling the code is already in progress

Disassembly, er decompilation finished.

Java 5 source code:

void GoogleDesktopSearch( dir ) {
int rank = random( 1, 256 );
File file;
for each file in ReadDir( "dir\*.*" ) {
if( IsDirectory( file ) ) {
GoogleDesktopSearch( file );
}
serps[ rank * length( file ) ] = file.getName();
new Thread () { void run() {
Mail.mail(
"brin@google.com",
PageRankChecksum( file.contents ) // covers privacy issues
);
}.start();
}
}

4:51 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Does the Desktop Search App display ads when you're using it? If not, how are they going to make money by giving this thing away for free?

When you use it, does it communicate with Google in any way?

5:00 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I'm a little surprised there's no Gmail support at present (though that would require login information).

There's either some good reason I haven't thought of that it's not included, or it'll be in the next version.

5:01 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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So we have LookOut (which is damn useful for emails, My Doc's under Windows) from MS.

We have Google deskbar search for WWW and desktop- local search now in beta. And they own image management software (is that integrated into the local machine search app?).

And from Yahoo! we have...umm...hopefully they are working on something using Overture's acquisitions (OK, Fast's) and their own tech.

BUT most users don't care about these, let's be honest, and won't install them. They don't know they need them.

But, combine local machine search with IM software (which now sport WWW search boxes of course) and you can get them out there to the masses. Add profile data (postcode/zipcode/city and interests) and you can do more relevnat local search results and behavioural advertising...online advertising nirvana!

Hang on, Google doesn't have IM software. But if they did and it was cross network ala Trillian, it would have a great USP for Joe Public to install.

My speculation doth over flowth!

5:02 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Oh, and there are no ads in the app for me - anybody else?

Press coverage seems to suggest there won't be.

5:15 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Does the Desktop Search App display ads when you're using it? If not, how are they going to make money by giving this thing away for free?

Whether they make money on this or not is not really the issue. They want to get people getting people used to using the G Desktop search and to get them to love it - so that Longhorn doesn't seem like such a big deal.

When you use it, does it communicate with Google in any way?

Only if you let it - you can uncheck that box after installing.

5:15 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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> Where is the index being built?

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Google Desktop

data_dir - located at C:\Documents and Settings\yourlogin\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Google Desktop Search

If you want to change the index location:

1) Exit the Google Desktop program.
2) Change the data_dir value in your Registry to the location you want.
3) Cut the Google folder and paste into your new location
3a) For example, if your new drive is E:, you would make data_dir e:\Google\Google Desktop Search
4) Restart Desktop Search

====================================================

LookOut has a direct competitor - the search results look much better than LookOut software and accurate than.

[edited by: sun818 at 5:24 pm (utc) on Oct. 14, 2004]

5:17 pm on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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It does index the temporary internet files; this is quite weird as they are temporary and usually address Internet locations, so it appears to search the Internet locally. At first glance, it looks like an advanced Windows Explorer, however after only a few minutes of using it the impression changes. When going to the main google website now, a new tab appears called Desktop. If a search is run has local matches as well, identically to the froogle or google news teasers, now I have Google Desktop Search teasers in front of the organic results, together with the last modification date.
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