Italian professor launches challenge to Google

Feb 06, 2012
Italian computer science professor Massimo Marchiori poses with a laptop showing his new site entitled "Volunia" at Padova's university. Marchiori, whose research helped inspire Google, launched a new search engine and social media network on Monday that he hopes will challenge the US technology giant.

An Italian computer science professor whose research helped inspire Google launched a new search engine and social media network on Monday that he hopes will challenge the US technology giant.

The new site entitled "Volunia" allows to view the components of particular websites to find the subject of interest more quickly and to interact with registered users who might be looking at the same web pages.

"The web is a living place," said Massimo Marchiori, who came up with the for the Internet page ranking service "HyperSearch" in the 1990s and used to teach at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

"There is information but there are also people. The social dimension is already present, it just has to emerge," he said in an online demonstration.

Marchiori said he believed the functions available on Volunia would soon become normal on all the major search engines including Google and Yahoo!

He has been working on the project for four years and has been praised by Italian commentators for giving up a more high-profile career in the United States to return to Italy, where his salary is 2,000 euros ($2,600) a month.

Marchiori teaches at the University of Padua in northeast Italy.

He has been quoted as saying that future founder approached him after a conference in which he presented HyperSearch.

Page "was fascinated by it and asked if he could use it. Since it was not patented, he used it in the best possible way," Marchiori said.

Volunia, which has a US copyright, was only launched to selected users on Monday and will be rolled out more widely and in 12 languages including Arabic, English, Japanese and Russian over the coming days.

Organisers said they hoped to fund it by selling advertising space.

Explore further: Avatars make the Internet sign to deaf people

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Google+ tops 40 million users

Oct 13, 2011

Google co-founder and chief executive Larry Page on Thursday said that its online social networking challenge to Facebook is growing fast and has topped 40 million users.

Google+ opens up to businesses, brands

Nov 07, 2011

Google opened its social network Google+ to businesses and brands on Monday as it seeks to expand the audience for its rival to Facebook.

Google temporarily disables 'Realtime' search

Jul 04, 2011

Google Inc. has temporarily shut down a search engine feature that allows users to find real-time updates from Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed and other social networking sites.

Security that nets malicious Web sites

Mar 23, 2007

Have you ever wondered how fraudulent or malicious websites can rank highly on search engines like Google or Yahoo? Queensland University of Technology IT researcher Professor Audun Josang said a website's ranking was determined ...

Recommended for you

Avatars make the Internet sign to deaf people

4 hours ago

It is challenging for deaf people to learn a sound-based language, since they are physically not able to hear those sounds. Hence, most of them struggle with written language as well as with text reading ...

Chameleon: Cloud computing for computer science

Aug 26, 2014

Cloud computing has changed the way we work, the way we communicate online, even the way we relax at night with a movie. But even as "the cloud" starts to cross over into popular parlance, the full potential ...

User comments : 0