Where’s my instant answer?

As we release more instant answers, we get a lot of great feedback on them.  One common question, also brought up by Scoble recently (with follow up), goes something like this: “I like it when you show the stock answer for queries like msft and intc, but why doesn’t it appear for other valid tickers like play?” We could simply show the answer for all known financial symbols.  The problem is when someone searches for...
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Hack Virtual Earth

Our friends over at www.ViaVirtualEarth.com are helping us run a contest for developers building Virtual Earth mashups.  If you have already written a cool Virtual Earth application or have a great idea for one, now is your chance to possibly turn that application into a prize of $1000.   It might be worth investigating the competition over in the VE Gallery like Poly9’s MSNBC news event map or Nikhil Kothari...
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MSN Search Plugins for Firefox

Internet Explorer is my browser of choice and I’m eagerly looking forward to the enhancements coming in IE 7.  However, some of our customers prefer using Firefox and we respect that choice.  Some developers in our user community have created Firefox plug-ins to make it easy to do searches on MSN from the Firefox search box.  Even though it’s currently buried in Firefox under “Add Engines… Find lots of other...
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Virtual Earth News for Developers at PDC

The VE team made two exciting announcements for developers at this weeks PDC – one practical, the other just pure fun. Let’s get practical out of the way first. When VE was first released in July, it was accompanied by a Javascript library that developers could use to build Virtual Earth maps into their own applications. A license restriction only allowed for the use of the library in non-commercial applications.  But now at PDC...
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MSN Search: PDC Edition

Today at noon we’ll be giving a session at PDC’05 titled Tips, Tricks, & Hacks.  We’ll be talking about advanced search syntax for both web and desktop search.   For the web, I’ve prepared a hack that makes some of our advanced search syntax more accessible, specifically to developers.  The hack is a Trixie / Greasemonkey script that modifies the MSN Search interface at run time with javascript. ...
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Calling All Developers!

For all you developers out there, you’ll be happy to know that you can now build applications that leverage the power of MSN Search through our new MSN Search Web Service.  Our new SOAP Web Service offers an enormous 10,000 queries per application per day, and because the MSN Search Web Service automatically allocates a separate quota to each IP address, users of your application don’t need to sign up for anything for your app to...
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Search API News

There have been hints for a while that we were going to be releasing an API for Search this year, but we had hoped that it would stay quiet for just one more week. It didn’t and there is no reason to cry over spilt milk. The API itself will be released next week, but you can read about it now.  The article is light on details, but we will provide more next week. Chandu Thota posted about the Virtual Earth APIs and did not skimp...
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Microsoft Phishing Filter & Games Add-ins

Hi, I am a PM on the toolbar team. With the help of the MSN Games and MSN Safety teams, we’ve just released two new toolbar add-ins. One is the Microsoft Phishing Filter Add-in and the other is the MSN Games Add-in. Phishing is an attempt to gain people’s credit card, SSN, and other personal info. Quite often the method of attach is luring people to official-looking websites that prompt them to enter this information. The Phishing Add...
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Helping Hurricane Katrina Victims

Our hearts go out to all of those that are affected by Hurricane Katrina in any way.  MSN and Microsoft have been doing a number of things to try and help and we hope you will find these resources useful:MSN Donate: The RedCross site has been experiencing extremely high traffic.  In order to help mitigate these issues MSN has set up a site to take donations: https://donate.msn.com/.MSNBC: has around the clock news of the latest events...
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SIGIR, Index Sizes and VE

Greg Linden shares his thoughts on some of the MSR papers from this year’s SIGIR. You can find the full-list of the papers on the MSR site. MSN Search’s Erik Selberg notes that “Microsoft researchers co-authored 16 of 79 papers accepted into SIGIR (20%). 11 of these came from MSR-A, Microsoft Research Asia, in Beijing. This is a new SIGIR record for a single group; the previous was 5 from Bruce Croft’s lab at the University...
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