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November 17, 2005

Movin' On Up to the East Side

We would like to take this opportunity to extend a hearty thanks to everyone at Ask Jeeves who helped us move into our new Campbell office. There's no love lost here for the old Los Gatos office whose dingy halls harkened back to the 90's... cramped, stacked and smelling of stale mountain dew. Goodbye and good riddance to Los Gatos (not the city, just the office) and Hellooo Campbell.

Campbell Office
Caption: Ask Jeeves Campbell Office; Apply now and help us fill these parking spaces!

It didn't take long for us to start decorating our spacious 2.0 digs with fake plants, rattan sofas, bean bags and camo netting. But Campbell isn't all about coding, lounging and hiding from the enemy. We're keeping active with billiards, air hockey, parking lot basketball and a sweet new ping pong table . The Bloglines team is especially more productive now that they don't have to fend off deadly aces from the Desktop Search team.

As you can see, there's plenty of room for new people so if you want to join a cool bunch of hard-working, dedicated search engine combattants check out our job listings.

Bocce Ball
Caption: Ask.com Bocce Tournament at Campo di Bocce

Everyone was skeptical when Mark Fletcher suggested we celebrate our recent move with a Bocce competition with some of our colleages in Oakland. But we had a blast! It's a mashup of bowling, lawn darts and croquette. We couldn't remember the name of the little ball so someone renamed it the Snitch in honor of Harry Potter's Quidditch game. Shhhh.... don't tell the Italians.

The Ask.com Campbell Office Residents

P.S. Special Thanks to Pam Bocci [ no relation ;) ] for arranging all the tournament details!

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November 02, 2005

New AJDS Updates

Today we released some upgrades to Ask Jeeves Desktop Search that make it faster to find things on your computer, in your email, and on the Web. 

desktop search

Desktop search presents an interesting challenge, significantly different from Web search.  In crawling files and emails we don't have the benefit of leveraging the social network of the Web to determine relevance (at least not yet).  Instead, most of the content you are searching for has a personal relevance factor and usually has a time component.  You're either looking for something over and over again or you need to find something from a long time ago. 

Here are some of the new features for AJDS: 

-- Folder Indexing Preferences (choose what to index!)

-- Improved PDF indexing

-- Email attachment name indexing

-- Improved Zip file indexing

-- Enhanced previews for Office files

-- Indexing of iTunes metadata (search by title, artist, album, genre, and year)

-- Search term highlighting

-- Full Outlook Express support

-- Pause indexing (with new animated indexing graphic)

-- Improved stability overall 

-- New homepage with most recently viewed files

-- Improved status callouts

-- Writely document search (yes, Web-based word processing search...in a desktop search tool!)

(For those who have been asking about API and Extension support, rest assured they are on the roadmap.)

As always feedback is appreciated!

Jeff Sidlosky
Manager, Desktop Search

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