The Real Deal

Wednesday January 17, 2007

Senator Barack Obama has announced his intention to ‘form a panel to explore his possible presidential candidacy’, which is a ludicruously long-winded way of saying he’s gonna run unless some bad shit happens. Watch out for this guy. He’s the most impressive politician I’ve seen in years, with the charisma and intellect of Bill Clinton, but hopefully without the libido. What he doesn’t have, however is Clinton’s experience. Clinton had been Arkansas’ Attorney General and served two terms as governor of the state before becoming presidential candidate. On the other hand, some commentators are saying his inexperience might be kind of fresh-start the American public could be looking for. And it’s certainly true the other more experienced presidential candidates (Hilary Clinton, John McCain, John Edwards), have been tainted by their original support for the Iraq war.

Wikiseek is a very interesting new search engine. It searches Wikipedia pages, or pages ‘which are referenced from Wikipedia sites’, apparantly producing much higher quality search results than Wikipedia’s own search engine, and much less prone to spam. I’ve had a couple of spins with it and was impressed by the results, but also really impressed by the interface. To see what I mean, type in a search phrase, then on the results page refine that search by editing the search text…you’ll see ‘live’ suggestions for refinements. V cool.

Still on the subject of search engine interfaces, there’s a couple of travel sites I’ve been impressed by recently. Firstly, foundem (tip of the hat to whisht) has some nice features when searching for flights and produces satisfyingly quick results. Also with a nice interface, but currently restricted to European flights bizarrely, is Wingmap. Like most Web 2.0 ventures, their USPs are very narrow, usually restricted to a fancy widget here or there, but still pretty nice.

In the interests of balance, here’s a really shit interface for a search engine.

Anyway, it’s 1.30, way past my bedtime and tomorrow is my last day in the office before I go to Riga.

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