What Everyone Is Talking About Today

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- France and Germany dislike the idea of Googling. But somehow we find Quaeroing just doesn’t have the same snap. Last year, French President Jacques Chirac and German President Gerhard Schroeder revealed their plan to create and launch a search engine to rival Google, in part because they fear the Americanization of all culture. Thus was Quaero, Latin for “I search,” born.
Photo: AP
Jacques Chirac

Of course, Google does offer the ability to conduct searches in many languages; more than 100 are listed in its preferences, from Afrikaans to Zulu. (Along with conventional languages English, French, German, Chinese and Russian, users can choose to search in Elmer Fudd, Esperanto, Hacker and Bork! Bork! Bork!) So Quaero will need to offer something other than a world beyond English.

What the Europeans hope Quaero’s point of difference will be is to move beyond keywords. At the moment, if you are searching for pictures of say, Paris Hilton, only pictures actually tagged with the words "Paris" or "Hilton" will turn up. But Quaero will allow users to search using a “query image” by using software that recognizes colors and shapes to identify pictures and videos similar to the “query image.” If that search turns up an image that is not identified, it will attach a keyword to it based on the image used to do the search, thus making future searches faster and more accurate. So when you search for pictures of Paris, France, or Paris Hilton, you're more likely to get the right one. A similar option will be available for audio files.

With Quaero expected to be live by the end of this year, Google is reportedly speeding up its own entry into the world beyond the keyword searches. Nothing like a little competition, huh?

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