Sunday, January 09, 2005

Web (server) log

Well the last few weeks have shown the usual people looking for names in the extended family, and the usual run of Eva related stuff — I suppose given I have an Eva fan-fic page that's Asuka-themed, it's not surprising that I get caught in searches by otaku looking for heartwarming fics where she falls into bed with the other female members of the cast, or occasionally Ikari-kun (the surprise of this bunch was the search for Kaji/Misato fics).

The oddities have been the "Ask Jeeves" results - questions about Andrews' Liver Salts; about gerbils learning mazes (Pete Windsor could never have expected that that would be an outcome of his 6th form D&D) and, crazily enough, where a citizen of Massachusetts could take food aid for survivors of the recent natural disaster in the Indian Ocean. And I came top of the list for "how many graves can you fit in a graveyard?" with a page that contained no such information.

These show quite how mindless the pattern matching is for the search; and how misleading the natural language interface is. This is really one of the commandments - "thou shalt not give the user cause to needlessly anthropomorphize."

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