Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tuesday Monku

Today I am taking a break from my string of apologies, as a couple of things bothered me so much I just had to vent about them here.

First thing, my friend Donna alerted me to the debut of a new search engine yesterday, whose URL is www.cuil.com (it's pronounced "cool"). Sorry, but this $33 million waste of money is anything but cool.

It's a venture started by a former Google employee who thought she could do one better than the king of search engines. Funded by $33 million in venture capital, just think how many hungry mouths $33 million would have fed in this world instead of going up in flames for this total waste of cyberspace.

I played around with it on its first day and half the time got no results because the servers were overloaded. Now, that is forgivable since press releases probably drove a ton of traffic to the site, especially when the founder claimed it was basically the next evolutionary step up from Google, that would return more relevant hits. But when the site was working, it might as well have not been working because the results were in a few cases no better than what you would obtain on Google, and in most cases were far worse. Like totally irrelevant.

Here's a few screen shots (click on them for a larger version). The first one, I goog, er, cuiled my name, with quotes to get an exact match (there are no helpful help links on the site so I don't know if they consider quotes superfluous).

Notice that it did return a few relevant pages but it also returned pages that had absolutely no relevance whatsoever, like some anime page, a page in Brazil, a page in Russia, etc. And notice it says in the upper right corner that there were 35 results for my search. Well duh, where are they? There are 9 on that page and that's the only page of results, of which 4 are proper.

Next, I did a search for this blog. It returned the blog at Twisted Oak Winery, which is a valid result since my name appears there along with the word "blog" but wouldn't you think it should return this very blog that I am posting on right now? There were 82,410,549 results yet they show only one on the page.

Finally, I did a search for "cuil." And take a look at the results. No results that even mention their sorry search engine site! They can't even find themselves!!! Oh my, this is a tragedy. Sorry, but you think you're gonna outdo Google? Was your leaving Google voluntary or involuntary?

Okay, next vent: I am so sick and tired of geographical culinary snobs who think that the food in their silly little city is soooo superior to what we have in Los Angeles. Like this post in Chowhound:

Look, Jolly, if you think the Banh Mi in 'Frisco (yes I know people from San Francisco hate having it referred to as 'Frisco) is so much better than anything we have down here despite our thriving Asian population, then why don't you just go back up there and stay put, eh?? I won't even point out that they spelled Banh Mi incorrectly (ignore that last sentence).

And same goes for you New Yawk snobs who think only New Yawk has wonderful New Yawk pizza. If you think our pizza is so lousy out here, then why don't you help our overcrowding problem and go back to New Yawk so you can walk around with pizza drool all over your shirt?

I even replied to that Chowhound post with something to the effect that thinking the cuisine in their own cities is so wonderful is a delusional thing and they romanticize it all out of proportion (to steal a line from a Woody Allen movie), but the Chowhound nazis deleted my post and added something in there about the thread already heading off topic.

We could just as easily do the same thing with So Cal cuisine, you know. This morning there was a post on Chowhound describing what the poster observed at the Costco in Alhambra yesterday. Some Asian man had a slice of combo pizza, which he carried to the condiment area and proceeded to put gobs of ketchup all over it. From there he did the same with mustard, relish and onions. Then he took it to the table and shared it with his wife. The poster said it goes along with having seen people fill up their empty soda cups with chopped onions to take home with them. So I imagine this fellow could just as easily go to Frisco or New York and ask, "Why doesn't the cobmo pizza with ketchup, mustard, relish and onions taste the same here as in Alhambra???" (he'd have to make sure to misspell "combo") "Can't they get it right?"

Don't bother looking for that post, though. I was going to put a link to it but the Chownazis deleted it already.

Anyway, that's my rant and vent for the day. Tomorrow we will return to regular programming and more apologies.


donna said...

Cuil is definitely not cool. I read that CH post and thought the same as you. Isn't it just a regional taste and price was never mentioned either.

Rickie Miyake said...

Just go to google and do a search for "cuil sucks" and see how many results pop up. People hate it as much as we do! And too bad you didn't see that deleted post about ketchup/mustard/relish/onion pizza at Costco.. it was gone too quickly. I was going to do a screen shot of it but they had already deleted it, sigh..

Rickie Miyake said...

When I see "cuil" my inclination is to pronounce it "quee-ill" like, "gimme some of that gumbo and jambalaya cuil food!" Or how Dan Quayle might pronounce his name if he encountered it in a book while reading aloud to an elementary school class.