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Cloud Computing: The Dark and Stormy Side

A number of leading authorities have been urging caution on the adoption of Web-based services as a new wave of vendors unveil cloud initiatives. Cloud computing involves computing resources hosted in an off-premise “cloud” rather than an in-house computer room.

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Ask.com Taps Semantics for Smarter Search

Ask.com rolled out a new version of itself Monday. The revamped search engine includes a new user interface with three new technologies — DADs (Direct Answers from Databases), DAFS (Direct Answers From Search) and AnswerFarm — that offer users the ability to search the Web using commonly spoken language.

The enhancements to Ask.com will help the site retain existing users and attract new, said Caroline Dangson, an IDC analyst.

Natural Language Search

Ask.com’s new technologies differ from those used by competitors such as Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) and MSN Search because they enable Web surfers to type real questions, instead of a series of keywords, said Erik Collier, vice president of product management at Ask.com.

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