SAVVY COMPUTING – In Search of Answers

May 2005
by Reid Goldsborough

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Since the advent of computers more than a half century ago, the Holy Grail has been an intelligent machine that provides just the answers you’re looking for. This quest was dramatized with HAL, the soft-spoken fictional computer in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The latest effort in this direction is from a company with a flair for names. The company is called GuruNet, and its service is called Answers.com (www.answers.com). A relaunch of a service that formerly bore the company name, Answers.com is a valiant effort and a useful tool, although it inevitably falls short of providing just the answers you’re looking for.

GuruNet, which has offices in Wesley Hills, NY, and Jerusalem, Israel, has been in existence since 2000. Along with improving the service’s depth of information and ease of use, the company is bravely bucking the trend of free to fee. Instead of charging fees and shrinking its user base, it has just changed from a $30/year subscription model to an advertising-support free-service model.

Answers.com bills itself as a one-stop source of information on over a million topics drawn from a database of over 100 reference sources, says GuruNet CEO Bob Rosenschein.

Accessing Answers

You can use the service in one of two ways. You can go to its Web site and type in your search term. Or you can download a free program to use on your PC or Mac, which is called 1-Click Answers; it lets you Alt-click on any…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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