Yes, Cuil is pants. Though its founders insist they're building a Google killer, the results turned up by this new-age search engine are even more ridiculous than its name. Which is still pronounced "Cool." Quantum computing queries have been known to reveal random pornography (NSFW) - even when "safe search" is turned on. And …
Palo Alto wasn't always like that...
In the "early" days pre "Silicon Valley", there were nice people in Palo Alto. Growing up there I even met a couple of them. I guess it all changed when the $$$$$$ started flowing from Sand Hill Road (which is actually in Menlo Park!). There was this company called "Hewlett Packard" run by a couple of smart guys who actually understood "Engineering". Now (sadly) the executives don't understand the technology they are selling (dreams for sale), and accumulate workers that need to be "comfy" in order to placate them.
So, now we have this company called "HP" (among others) and touchy-feely sillycon valley types that need muffins and strawberries.
Venture capital corrupts lots of things.
And yet, the company stock will rise fast...
How could it fail to rise, with so much hot air?
Of course, there's 0.01% chance it will be the next facebook...
Are they hiring?
And can I work from Wellington, except in July and August?
You're not paying for strawberries and muffins
You're paying for worker happiness, and by extension productivity. Some of the productivity boost will also come from being able to hire - and keep - the best employees. The doctor's visits cut down on time people spend out of the office for other appointments. The flexible hours tend to be made up for by people working longer hours.
Let's do the math. Strawberries and muffins costs probably a couple of dollars a day per employee. So at most $1k / year. A salary increase providing an equivalent boost to morale and the ability to hire good people would need to be at least 10 times that, at least for most of the people I know in the industry, including myself.
It's not profligacy - it's good business sense. True, it is relatively unique to California (I work in LA, and we do this stuff here too), but it's also true that California does amazingly well in the tech sector compared to areas which don't do these things. This isn't entirely a coincidence.
Who's money was it?
Feckless millionaires greedy for endless return on a 'google beater' ? Or pension funds gambling with the lives of future retirees ?
Carry on as normal Cuilio ! Or hang your head in shame, as appropriate.
There's nothing actually wrong with spending money. And if you pour millions into the hands of bad-managers expect lots of strawberries and muffins and hype.
PH is the gold (covered) standard for reckless extravagance with other people's money ! I've also seen her muffins.
They do *one* thing right - reply to their email
I sent them a message a couple of days ago, and OMG, they replied to it:
from Feedback <email@example.com>
Thank you for helping us by providing this information. We are working on this issue and will have it resolved promptly.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Spurious image
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2008 15:22:14 +1000
From: Trix <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I did some test searches on your website, and found that my domain ... is listed on your site with a spurious image associated with it. In your FAQ, you say: "We do our best to take images from Web pages that accurately reflect the content of the website. Many websites are full of images, so we use advanced algorithms to determine the best image to show the user."
Unfortunately, this image you have chosen is not from MY website..., and does not represent its content. The same image is used for a number of different search results, and I'm sure that it doesn't represent their content either. The image ... appears to be lifted from some kind of advertising material that is probably copyrighted.
If an image is going to purport to represent any of my domains, I want it to be sourced from my domains. If there are no images available, then IF it's necessary to use an image, it should be a truly generic one, and be obviously from Cuil (in other words, design your own cutesy placeholder images, if you must). Finally, an image representing my site should not be used AT ALL if it is copyrighted to someone else.
I'd also like to point out that doing a search for ....[various examples, crap results] - I think your algorithm could do with some work.
Let's see how prompt their "issue resolution" is, eh?
You know they could have justified the crazy spending had they delivered something that actually worked well. Unfortunately, Google is still the king, and Cuil probably has about 3 months before they revoke the business class travel, travel in general, strawberries, and office space.
Maybe having a doc call round weekly is a bit OTT but what is so wrong with been pampered by your boss? Better to see execs squandering "their" cash on employees than give themselves dubious bonuses, coporate jets etc. Maybe you would feel better if ti was a Dickensian style workhouse with grubby faced malnourished urchins scurrying around with missing limbs. I suppose you just go to a Nike factory in Asia to see that now.
Cuil might sink like a stone. But I wish them great success and I hope that work places like become the model for all workplaces. Then I dream to drag my boss, kicking and screaming, around a place like this to show him a way to successfully get people to work for him rather than in spite him.
Apparently it's pronounced "quill"
From : http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/149167/whats_in_a_name_better_not_ask_cuil.html
"That explanation is new to Foras na Gaeilge, the group that is essentially the official keeper of the Irish language, responsible for promoting use of the language as well as developing dictionaries and new terminologies. "I am unaware myself of the meaning 'knowledge' being with the word 'cuil' in Irish," Stiofán Ó Deoráin, an official on Foras na Gaeilge's terminology committee, said via e-mail.
He did caution that accents can make a big difference in Irish. In fact, cuil should have an accent on the "u" if it is to be pronounced "cool," like the company says it should. Cuil, without an accent, should be pronounced like "quill," Ó Deoráin said. His point was that the accent, in addition to changing the pronunciations, can change the meaning of a word."
I smell a rat...
Given that we know the average Reg hack spends Friday trying to figure out a way they can bog off down the pub at one o' clock and charge it to an expense account, is that a whiff of a) hypocrisy and b) envy I can smell? :)
I work for a Japanese company as a fairly senior manager.
I go there a couple of times a year.
Deep discount coach.
I don't stay at the Dai-Ichi.
My employees are happy and well-equipped, but we don't have strawberries and muffins.
One reason we're happy is because we know what our -highly capable- Japanese compatriots' work environments (and hours) are like.
Compared to them, we are in heaven. They climb all over each other to be assigned here.
what cost loyalty
I'd have to agree with Adam and two AnonCows about how seeming "luxury" items (like a fridge full of snacks, paid gym memberships) tend to pay for themselves many times over in employee loyalty and productivity. Even the strictest bean- counters could understand that food on- site means that employees don't necessarily have to leave the premises to take lunch (and are thus less likely to have their trains of thought derailed) and gym memberships mean general overall health increases, fewer sick days, and fewer claims on the health insurance policy.
42 Kick Start AI Virtual Economy Sergeant ........
..... Pepper with Red Hot CodeXXXX with Seriously Cool Algorithm and .ALTitude.
"You know they could have justified the crazy spending had they delivered something that actually worked well." .... By sam Posted Thursday 31st July 2008 02:21 GMT
It is working XXXXStreamly well, thank you. The Service being provided is not just Simple Search a la Google, it is much more sophisticated and grown up in its mission.
However, don't expect to learn anything other than it being a new Search Engine, because some things in Life are Best Delivered on a Need to Know Base for Order, in order to Server and Protect Proprietary Information/Intellectual Property without the Onerous Onus of Patent Application.
Prior Art will protect in that Field.
""A search is only as good as the results it returns" ... Totally bizarre, I think amanfrommars has been helping code their search algorithms" .....By AdamV Posted Tuesday 29th July 2008 10:13 GMT ... http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07/29/cuil_launch/comments/
That is as may be ....however, a search in Woolworth's will never return the same as a search in Harrod's, and as for delving dDeep into anything to do with Quantum and Communication ...... well, whenever you pry into that Store of Knowledge do you require more than just a Titter of Wit and Brains in Broadbands.
Crikey ......Brains in Broadbands.... Milibands?
cc. email@example.com ?!.
And here's a load of old cobblers .... "please ensure that you have included your full name, postal address and telephone number in your e-mail as this will help me to deal with your communication more effectively and you will receive a reply in due course. Without these details it will not be possible to reply." ... because it is possible to reply very effectively immediately without all of that Phisherman's Clutter/ Dinosaur Politics.
If you want Change, Talk the Talk just doesn't cut it with IT unless you can also Walk the Walk in, and into, ITs Virtual Reality.
I think you mean 'Japanese colleagues'. 'Compatriot' means 'someone from the same country' (or possibly 'region', if it's clear from the context).
Since when is 2000 euros $5 million?
It's bog awful
Google was good from day one, being old, I remember how this great search engine was mentioned only amongst friends.
Cuil won't be ready for prime tine for 18 months.
Cuil sucks for porn
Version 1.0 anybody?
My test drive of Cuil was mixed. There were a few missing results on conspicuous topics, but I'd give its ability to find relevant results an 80%. The presentation was pleasant. The execution was just "okay." I'd call it comparable to a lot of version 1.0 products I've used.
As far as creating a great place to work, it might sound like Cuil missed the point of keeping one foot on the floor, but when you're trying to luring the best from the best, you're going to have to outdo them in the perks department.
Maybe I'm missing the point, but it sounds like one superfluous expense was the CEO's strategist!
Paris -- because she's another superfluous expense.
Re:You're not paying for strawberries and muffins
I'd love to see any sort of real evidence that shows that buying strawberries and muffins for your staff and letting them wander in and out when they please increases productivity. You can maintain worker happiness without having to pander to every whim and desire of your employees.
It's all very well to spend money keeping people happy but surely the time to spend to this degree is after you have something that works and is making money (ie after the people have proved they are worth it).
It seems irresponsible and just plain bad business sense to use speculative investment designed to help the company develop it's product line to pay for personal trainers & luxury treats across the workforce.
Just try pitching the suggestion on Dragon's Den and see what sort of response you get.
Full timers, why do you put up with it?
Apart from the few "lucky ones" in the story above;
The average fulltime employee takes it in the arse every day.
I would rather earn 10 times more as a contractor, work for half the year and not have to kiss some middle managers arse every day in return for my amazing pension, that I could get more return on putting £10 into a high interest account every week.
Ahh well, there’s no point in me having cash in my pocket if EVERYONE did.
IT angle, because I always believed that people who worked in IT were the clever ones, who wouldn’t believe all the "company loyalty bullshit"
24 hours makes a difference
Yesterday, on my first attempt of using Cuil the results provided were rubbish. When the same search terms where entered this morning the results were very good. Why does 24 hours change things?
Here in Norway, (working for a large American oilfield services company), we have a bowl of fruit provided in the office every morning.
There is also a couch on which to nap when necessary.
The canteen is a bit pants though, so we tend to head to the nearby client's office to use their discounted canteen.
If you treat people like children or animals, you can expect them to behave like it.
Respect them as individuals with specific needs however, and you will see them take pride and perform to the best of their abilities.
You want anything of any value to come from your employees then pizza mt dew, and amphetamines would be better. Strawberries and muffins will get you cows it's no wonder there's nothing going on but rumination. Oh and you can occasionally run attack dogs through the place just wake the loungers up.
Flame to light a fire under the punks in silicon valley.
Nice GUI though
The layout is really nice, suits the wider screens of today, far prefer it to Google. Backend algo is weak, crawl cluster too small to slow. Doesn't understand relationships between words.
Search firstname lastname and there appears to be no binding to those words.
GUI reminds me of a newspaper format,... what would be nice is if they put a front end on Google and provided that as a search engine.
That I would use (well provided it was delivered by a fast cluster).
Same ol' same. Don't like the ui, either.
Where IS the porn?
I tried using Cuil to find my favourite big beef curtain mature-on-mature action party and I couldn't find any porn for love nor money. I even turned the safe-search feature off.
Cuil is indeed a stupid name. It strikes me as another example of companies using an Irish word for something from some ridiculous need to big up their Irishness, regardless of the fact that other nationalities will scratch their heads over it.
I should point out here that I am as Irish as it's possible to get..
I am amazed firstly at how innocent terms result in hardcore pornographic results, or pages that are full of google adword links!
How on earth did this website get released as it is?
How on earth are the people still in a job!?
Surely the investors are going crazy!?
And..... WHO ON EARTH thought of the name!
OK, that said, I hope they can sort it out cos I like some of the features... would LOVE them if they worked!
They are using my logo...everywhere. What!
I have also just sent them an emil - from my Gmail account, LOL.
My domain, www.heath-church.org logo is used on other random church sites with the same name.
If I do a search for "Heath Church" although my site is no way near the top of the rank, I am surprised to see Heath Church Maine is top of the list, yet using my logo! In fact, several other churches have my logo on the results.
I would be grateful if you could explain why
If you put an accent on the "u" is actually "goal!" in Irish (cuil baire (with an accent on the a as well as the "u" being a goal post). I agree with the guy from Foras na Gaeilge- if you don't put an accent on it (a fada) then it most certainly does not sound like "Cool" when pronounced........ idiots........
With that maths they've got somewhere between 1 and 2 employees. They're going to need them to bloody productive!
OK it's crap, but...
The high profile launch was always a bad idea. Realistically was it ever going to come out of the box and deliver a killer punch to Google?
A low key launch would have made a lot more sense. The best way to do it would surely have been to launch with no fanfare and use a "word of mouth" campaign to advertise. That way it wouldn't have hit the press with such a fanfare on it's launch, and made such a splash with it's failures.
The reason they deserve derision is nothing to do with the capabilities of the search engine, the strawberries and muffins or the business class flights. It's the arrogance of the launch.
And no, I don't use Google. Their corporate arrogance makes Microsoft look like nice guys.
They were after a word that hasn't been domain parked, Irish is trendy in the US, DNS doesn't do accents, it doesn't matter what the word means.
Perhaps Foras na Gaeilge might like to look up the legend of Fionn McCuil (one of the several alternative spellings of the more familiar, anglicised Finn McCool, he of Giant's Causeway fame). Fionn gains great knowledge when he eats a piece of skin from the salmon of knowledge (with which he later goes on to chop down the tallest tree in the forest, or something). For a "group that is essentially the official keeper of the Irish language" they seem surprisingly ignorant (or indeed, unable to google a word).
I complained about the random image alongside my website entry also, It seems today that cuil is no longer showing these random images alongside results...
So... it's now only 99.9% crap.
PS. Chose Bill because even Live.com search is better...
I think the CEO for Cuil could have done without so much publicity in this version 1 of the website.
If I were the CEO or the "strategist to the CEO" ... I would let the website become popular by word of mouth. This way, whatever bugs are reported are only noticed by a few people ... and it gives the company time to make the website better based on the feedback received. Therefore by the time the word reaches a fair few of the internet population, the site would be better and more stable. ... So not so much negative publicity.
Jobs: Cause he's after your money and he's the next Bill Gates.
come work for me!
screw the strawbs and cream, we will have a boatload of thai maidens shipped in, and fill the fridges with massage oil.
of course it's good for productivity ...
Cuil can be cool...
If anyone is interested, and I suspect that the answer might well be "No", in Gàidhlig (Scottish Gaelic) the word cùil (note that the "u" has a grave accent, not an acute accent) is indeed pronounced "cool", but it still doesn't mean "knowledge".
In Gàidhlig, it means a nook, cranny, corner, or recess.
keeping the employees happy
Just about every company for which I have ever worked in England hasn't the slightest idea how to keep an employee happy.
Most think that they can get better productivity making their employees work longer and longer hours ( working up to 9-10pm in the evenings is not productive!). The French have some of the shortest working hours in Europe, but their productivity is one of the highest.
The problem I think stems from old management figures in their 50's that just can't get their head around to accepting that if you create a better and more flexible working environment that people will actually improve their productivity without having to put a lot of extra effort or time into it, it will just happen naturally.
My current employer expects me to travel anywhere in the world at a moment's notice for any length of time they see fit (I'm talking weeks and months here), as many times as is required in a year and not receive any payment for taking 13 hour flights in my own time at the weekends.
We didn't get our bonus this year either and it wasn't a lot of money.
We're expected to work and study in our spare time for no extra pay.
I recently went to work for an employer where we actually received free tea and coffee! How rare that seems to be.
Generally, the way English companies treat their employees is disgusting.
Nice work environments
I hope all those who complain about a company looking after them are simply jealous of not having the same benfits, and not simply stupid...
I changed jobs a coule of years ago as my previous employer, though well paying, treated everyone like crap. I took a hit in salary to move to a much nicer company where people are treated with respect we get all sorts of pleasent perks like those mentioned in the article (although not nearly as far reaching :) - parties through the year, fruit daily, Senseo coffee machines, weekends away beer + wine for after work and in nice summers a beach vollyball court built in the car park)
The result is a company with high moral, and a dedicated workforce who want the company to do well and actively participate in this, rather than 9 to 5'ers who couldn't give a crap as long as they get paid.
As others have said the cost per head is not that high and the benefits of moral, productivity and reduced staff turnover are huge.
Why on earth haven't they fixed the image bug?
Days after, the crap images are still appearing. You'd think they'd at least turn the images off until they've figured out what they did wrong.
I did a search for 'Titanite', a titanium silicate mineral. The wikipedia article linked as one of the first results has a lovely picture of three 'my little pony' type things.
If I was one of their investors, I'd be round there right now shoving the strawberries and muffins up the rear-end of their developers. Except that in Palo Alto the'd probably enjoy that.
> fill the fridges with massage oil
I'd rather have my massage oil slightly warm, thank you. Thai maiden or not, whoever pours cold oil on my naked hairy back is in for a nasty reflex action (such as getting their heads ripped off then shoved in their nether regions, without the benefit of massage oil or any other kind of lubricant).
paris for all the obvious reasons.
NanoNana Crown Group Intellectual Property..... for the Boss Hog Higg's Bosun*
"screw the strawbs and cream, we will have a boatload of thai maidens shipped in, and fill the fridges with massage oil.
of course it's good for productivity ..." ..... By Daniel Posted Thursday 31st July 2008 09:54 GMT
Now that's Real Cool Brain Food, Daniel and much Better for Betas Servered Fresh from Centres of Home XXXXCellence.
* :-) Some would Posit ITs Use for Seventh Heaven/Ultimate Vistas too, but such Specificity may be just too Parochial in such a Universal Genre. It is however, always the Greatest of Pleasures to BetaTest such Novel Ancient Algorithms for Regional Variations which can be Imported/XXXXPorted into Command and Control Protocols.
Muffin the mule is an offence.
The donkey jacket, ta.
Fewer erroneous pictures within more relevant results.
It's definitely improving.
We shall see.
Since the 'Mc' in McCuil (or mac Cumhaill) means "son of", it's hard to see how soemthing he ate can have any connection with his patronym....
You might want to look that up yourself, Jerome. It's Fionn Mac Cumhaill, not McCuil. The modern spelling would be Mac Cúil at best, but McCuil is yet another Anglicisation.
Um... Do you perhaps mean Fionn MacCumhaill? As far as I know, the "MacCuil" spelling is a double transliteration _back_ from the English "MacCool."
If they were thinking of the Salmon of Knowledge legend when naming it, there's far better ideas along the theme of "fishing rod." (",)
Used my own webs URL, all of it. Cuil didn't know about the site. Google found it and placed it on page 2, Yahoo placed it on page 1.
Cuil must do better.