Searching For A Fight

Quaero, ergo sum: I search, therefore I am. That could be the new Internet mantra if an ambitious European Internet project lives up to its hype. The proposed search engine, a Franco-German joint public and private initiative, was trumpeted by French President Jacques Chirac as an attempt to "launch with our European partners the first genuinely multimedia search engine" to meet the "global challenge" issued by U.S.-based Google and Yahoo!.

The project's chief selling point is said to be a revolutionary capability to search as well as translate audio and video sources. But details are scarce: Thomson,...

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