Archive for March, 2010

The Times they are a-changing….

News International have announced they will be charging for access to their Times and Sunday Times newspaper websites within a few months. At the same time we have the announcement that the Independent newspaper is to be bought by a Russian oligarch, and may end up as a free publication. This divergence of business models is interesting, but what concerns us at Flax is how technology will help newspaper websites differentiate themselves.

The NLA’s ClipShare and ClipSearch services, which are powered by Flax, are good models for monetizing newspaper content, and are already in use at some of the U.K.’s largest publishers. If you need to quickly find a particular story, see related articles and grasp an overview of coverage you need scalable, highly accurate search technology. Users have been conditioned to expect search to ‘just work’, and they simply won’t pay for anything that doesn’t come up to scratch.

Tags: , , ,

Posted in Business, News

March 26th, 2010

No Comments »

Some new open source file filters & previewers

We’ve just released an early version of Flax Filters, which allow basic conversion of various proprietary formats to plain text ready for indexing. Currently the filters support Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint, the Open Office equivalent formats, Adobe PDF, plain text and HTML, but we’ll be adding more in the future (of course, we’d welcome contributions from third parties). We’re already using these filters in some customer installations.

We’ve also created a previewer, so users can see floating previews of the first page of a document in search results. We’ll be adding this feature to a future release of Flax Basic.

Feedback would of course be very welcome.

Tags: , ,

Posted in Technical

March 12th, 2010

No Comments »