In case you haven't heard, Amazon has started a new total text search service. They've scanned the complete text of 120,000 titles so far and plan to get everything online eventually.
This is really cool.
Of course it doesn't really matter when you are searching for something specific. But when you plug in an author search now, you get results for all the books they've authored as well as every mention of them in any other book. This has huge implications for doing bibliographic searches.
Take RAW for example. Searching for his name, Robert Anton Wilson, shoots back an incredible 5443 returns. A bunch are for him, but as you page through the results you start to find titles with text blurbs underneath them showing where the search item appeared in the text of the title.
If anything, this is a little too powerful. 5443 returns for someone like RAW, who, in spite of my belief that he is one of the most intelligent and insightful beings to have walked the earth in the last 200 years, is still rather obscure; what about big names?
Anyway, I thought I'd post about it just in case no one has seen it yet. Slashdot has it here and a discussion of how the Writer's Guild might try to stop them here. Hopefullly that doesn't happen. There is also a longish Wired article available online now that won't publish for a few weeks.Posted by Nutrimentia at October 26, 2003 09:21 PM | TrackBack