Ask.com has quietly launched a news page called "BigNews" that aggregates top news stories from a variety of sites ranging from The New York Times to small blogs.
The company, whose parent company InterActiveCorp is having troubles of its own over plans to split off its different brands, enters a crowded field with more established news aggregators like Yahoo, Microsoft, and even Google, as well as sites like Digg and Topix.
Ask.com says the news page stories are dynamically generated based on freshness, source authority, social media references, article content, and multimedia availability. You can use … Read more
Liberty Media, which owns a majority voting stake in IAC, has filed a court action to remove Barry Diller and others from the IAC board and replace them with Liberty nominees, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription required).
The moves come a week after Liberty and IAC sued each other over IAC's plans to spin off a majority of its business units into new companies. Under the restructuring, announced in November, search site Ask.com and its advertising business will remain inside IAC, while LendingTree, Ticketmaster, and others are spun off.
A zealous band of pro-regulation privacy groups made a valiant effort a few days ago to convince the Feds to forcibly pull the plug on a new feature on the Ask.com search engine.
The groups, which include the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy, told the Federal Trade Commission on Saturday that a formal injunction was necessary to halt some supposedly pernicious practices on the part of Ask.com.
The only problem? Those supposedly pernicious practices don't actually exist.
Ask.com already had voluntarily changed the way it handled its new privacy feature weeks … Read more
Ask.com Chief Executive Officer Jim Lanzone is leaving the company in a management shake-up at parent InterActiveCorp, the company announced late Wednesday.
Lanzone took over the CEO spot in April 2006 when then-CEO Steve Berkowitz left to head up Microsoft's MSN and Windows Live expansion. Lanzone will serve as entrepreneur-in-residence at Redpoint Ventures while remaining in an advisory role at Ask.com for a few months.
The Ask.com leadership change comes as IAC prepares to spin off HSN, Ticketmaster, Interval International, and Lending Tree.
"These changes are intended to strengthen and streamline the operating structure at … Read more
Ask.com on Thursday launched a free service that lets users of Web-enabled mobile devices get directions just by speaking.
With "Click to Speak" you say your location and the address of where you want to go or the closest intersection. Within a few seconds you will receive a text message with a link to directions that can be used for walking or driving. No need to type in addresses.
The system uses technology from Dial Directions, a provider of voice-activated location-based services.
Ask.com Mobile works on any mobile Web browser and does not require a download. … Read more
A group of privacy advocates is asking Ask.com to make some changes to its new AskEraser feature so that it better protects consumers' privacy when they conduct Web searches.
Ask launched its AskEraser feature last week, touting it as a tool that erases traces of a consumer's search activity within hours.
"After a more careful review of AskEraser, we have found at least three significant flaws," a letter addressed to Ask.com Chief Executive Jim Lanzone states. It is signed by Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, as well as representatives from … Read more
Ask.com released its Top 10 list for Web search terms for 2007 on Friday and it was noteworthy as much for what made the list as for what didn't.
No. 1 is MySpace, followed in order by: Dictionary, Google, Themes, Area Codes, Cars, Weather, Games, Song Lyrics, and Movies.
Yes, Google is in the third spot. Now, why would anyone go to Ask.com and type in "google"? Weird!
The irony was not lost on Ask.com spokesman Nicholas Graham, who also insisted to this incredulous reporter that adult or sex terms were not among the … Read more
Here's a collection of links from the "Stuff I'm reading" section. To see these as they post, come back to the Beyond Binary blog and check out the right-hand column. I recommend doing it ten times a day, but, the digest below is here for those that have other things to do:Are Microsoft-served ads slowing down Web sites?--Blogger Long Zheng noticed that his recent visits to Digg had been slowed by ad requests to MSN. He did some more, well digging, and found that some other sites with MSN-served ads are also sluggish. (istartedsomething) … Read more
Are the Ask.com programmers a bunch of beer-drinking Linux lovers with hot cousins, or is this truly what's on searchers' minds?
Among the features added to Ask.com since its sleek makeover in June are auto suggestions that appear as you type.
A friend steered me toward this Thursday night after trying to find out if it's legal for a landlord to charge for water in New Jersey. I reminded him that you no longer have to phrase your Ask.com search in the form of a question, then tried it myself and grabbed this screenshot.
You … Read more