July 16, 2007
Powerset Anti-hype

Jenny Holzer is the only person who should be allowed to use Twitter.

Powerset recently invited 40 people to their offices for a preview/demo/town meeting:

About 10 minutes in I thought that the crowd was being a little too easy on us and I asked the folks to step up and start asking some tough questions. WOW! did it start to get interesting from that moment forward and that's what made the meeting great at the end of the day.

ZDNet has a writeup:

Parsing pages is a scaling and potential performance problem. Newcomb said the barrier is getting it down to seconds per sentence–Wikipedia has 25 sentences on average per page. Powerset has made a big investment in a datacenter. “It takes us one second right now, and we are driving it down every month,” Newcomb said. At this point, Powerset has 720 Intel cores in its datacenter, Newcomb said, and is riding Moore's Law to improve economics and performance.

(one second per sentence sounds super slow to me, but what do I know.)

Even uncov was outrageously (for them) impressed:

Powerset and Meebo have both raised $12 million to fund their operation. Natural Language Search vs. AJAX+Gaim chatting. Which investment seems more justified to you?

I think Powerset has a great shot at success. Makes me wish I were obsessed with search in the way I'm obsessed with flying robots.

Posted by jjwiseman at July 16, 2007 01:52 PM
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