Claria Goes Into Search

Claria, formerly Gator and allegedly the brief focus of Microsoft interest, has announced it is working on a new search engine technology which “goes far beyond analyzing links to pages and hypertext matching, and instead evaluates how consumers actually interact with search results when they are seeking information on the Web”.

I don’t claim to really understand what they’re doing here, but the press release seems to suggest that Claria would both collect extensive user data but also offer that aggregated data to users so they can better judge search results: Claria’s press release is here:

“Even in this early stage of technology, this represents a clear ‘step function’ improvement in search methodology and relevancy,” said Jeff McFadden, president and CEO of Claria Corporation. “Over time and with more users, these types of personalization technologies will allow consumers a richer, more customized online experience. For example, a college student and a business executive who are both searching for ‘hotels in China’ would appreciate vastly different results. Ultimately, this is the power that personalization can provide – with technology automatically customizing information for the consumer.”

Could be interesting, could be creepy. Certainly personalized search is the next hilltop to scale, and this makes some sense for Claria, who need to get out of the hole they’re in.

Contestant For Worst Phisher Of The Year Award

Phishing carries on, but it seems to be attracting the dregs of the scamming world as well as its masters. Here’s one I just received which must be in line for Worst Phishing Scam Of The Year Award:

From:  Branch Banking and Trust Company[SMTP:SERVICE@BBANDT.COM]
Subject:  Online banking issue

Dear Branch Banking and Trust Company valued member,

Due to concerns, for the safety and integrity of the online
banking community we have issued this warning message.

It has come to our attention that your account information needs
to be updated due to inactive members, frauds and spoof reports.
If you could please take 5-10 minutes out of your online experience and
renew
your records you will not run into any future problems with the online
service.
However, failure to update your records will result in account suspension.
This notification expires on May 14, 2004.

Once you have updated your account records your internet banking
service will not be interrupted and will continue as normal.

Please follow the link below
and renew your account information.

Branch Banking and Trust Company Internet  <http://61.221.243.26/www/b/>
Banking

Not exactly cutting edge. The To field even contained more than one recipient. Back to the drawing board, lads.