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Firms launch search for people, word meaning

Demo: New products offer ways to search for people, unstructured data not found in Web search engines, items based on word meaning and corporate data launched at show.

SAN DIEGO--The promise of Facebook and the nightmare for privacy advocates has arrived in the name of a people search site called iSearch, one of a handful of search-related products announced at DemoFall on Tuesday.

Intelius' iSearch site links offline and online data to help people find other people. It uses proprietary algorithms to integrate data from public records, online social networks, and professional sources to provide a comprehensive people search engine.

A demonstration of several searches revealed results that resembled dossiers on people. For instance, the company showed how you could find someone using just the first name and a past employer. The bio page retrieved was longer than a page and included a list of previous and current schools and employers, as well as basic contact information.

Searches can be run based on age, relatives, screen name, e-mail address, and interests as stated on social networks and other sites.

Semantic introduced SemantiFind, which offers Web search based on meaning of the keyword being used. For instance, it can separate results for Apple the computer company from apple the fruit. Results are displayed next to those from a search engine. Users can add pages to the catalog to help future searches using the same terms.

Infovell offers a way to mine the deep Web of unstructured data that is hidden from major search engines. The initial focus will be surfacing medical and biopharmaceutical-related information. Results are organized into folders that can be saved and shared with others.

Rebus Technology offers desktop search that helps people find digital documents as well as paper documents that are faxed and scanned. See full story here.

For corporations there was Radiant Logic's Virtual Context Server. It organizes structured data from across databases and applications into meaningful contextual information. The system turns operation data into English-language sentences. Employees can do searches based on phrases and context.

Also launched was TetraBase SDT, software designed to improve the performance of relational database operations by reducing bottlenecks using advanced processing technology. For example, the system can inform the database in advance of expected spikes or recommend techniques to reduce drain on bandwidth during rush hours.