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Tech Industry

NewsBot crawls for headlines

Wired Digital launches NewsBot, an Internet news search engine designed to be a one-stop site for navigating and finding news online.

    Wired Digital today launched NewsBot, an Internet news search engine designed to be a one-stop site for navigating and finding news online.

    Using Verity's Search 97 technology, NewsBot continuously "crawls" the Web and creates a searchable index of the latest news as soon as it is published.

    Users can search by keyword or find the latest stories using NewsBot's daily news guide. The latest headlines are organized in categories ranging from business and entertainment to technology and world news.

    The service may still need some tweaking to yield truly relevant results. Although searches of the major categories led to predictable headlines, a search in the Business/Tobacco Industry category yielded "Gay Party Tour: More Harm than Good?" and "Virginia Election Hits New Peak of Nastiness," neither of which have a direct bearing on the tobacco industry.

    "We need to improve on the search engine filters," said NewsBot production manager Ed Anuff. "We have been working on the site for about eight months and realize that there is still some tweaking to do. We will put in more features in the next three months that will add relevance and accuracy to the searches."

    NewsBot searches about 200 online news sources. Among the daily papers are the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post.

    NewsBot also searches wire feeds, online news sites, and online business and computer publications such as CNET (publisher of NEWS.COM) and PC World.

    Anuff added that NewsBot also plans to give users the option to search the wire services separately. "We need to make sure that news from the wire services is available but that it doesn't flood out other stories." Currently, most of the wire stories are switched off and the emphasis is on editorial content directed to the end user.

    In addition to the news site, users can download a standalone version of NewsBot to have the latest headlines directly on their desktops.