Cuil search engine and Inspector Chen

I’m alerted by one of my students (thanks Martin) to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald  on a new search engine called “Cuil” pronounced “cool”. When you use Cuil itself and type in a search, the first thing you notice is that Cuil makes a list of suggestions i.e. I typed in visual literacyand half way through, Cuil gave a list of things I might be searching for, including “Visual learning“, “Visual lisp” (meaning?), and“Visual language” . So I continued typing and my search was “visual literacy schools”  – meaning I wanted information on digital literacy in schools. The results came up not in a Google type list but in 3 columns each with a paragraph for each website found and some of the paragraphs had images next to them. The SMH article claims that one day Cuil might replace Google as Cuil claims to have a wider scope and better indexing. We’ll see. The Cuil website states that cuil  is “an old Irish word for knowledge” – and they already have a strapline i.e. “For knowledge, ask Cuil”.

I’ve just finished reading A case of two cities by Qui Xiaolong featuring the enigmatic, intelligent and thoughtful Inspector Chen who is a policeman but also a poet. It’s a very good novel firstly but also a very good crime novel. Chen is always quoting poetry, often from 9th or 10th century Chinese poets. The poems are sometimes rather difficult to understand fully but many have poignant imagery. An author to add to your list. This novel is set both in China and in the USA – you’ll enjoy it.

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2 Responses to “Cuil search engine and Inspector Chen”

  1. Kristin F Says:

    Hi, James! Ugh – Cuil doesn’t get me good results at all, and the images don’t even match the page or domain of the content. Something in the algorithm is off, I fear. Also, what do you think of Cuil presenting results in paragraph form vs. Google’s list form? It made me realize how much I skim — instead of read — online because the Cuil results kind of bog down my skimming speed. All food for thought as you head toward Berkeley to give your plenary presentation on the topic of onlien reading! See you soon, KF

  2. Donna DesRoches Says:

    I did not mind the layout but found that the images didn’t always match the search term also the most relevant hits appeared on the second or third page.

    I recently discovered the Inspector Chen novels and they have made great summer reading.

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