Ask.com Searches Go Deep with Ask3D

Google may be the 800-pound gorilla of the search engine marketplace, but that isn’t stopping Ask.com, which today unveiled a redesign dubbed Ask3D, it latest effort to make Internet searches more efficient for users and, of course, gain some marketshare back from Google.

“On average, it takes people four queries to find what they are searching for online,” said Jim Lanzone, CEO of Ask.com. “Ask3D reduces the amount of hunting and pecking it takes for people to find what they need. We do this by delivering the right information, from the deepest range of content, all on one clean and simple page. With Ask3D, we are taking a leap towards the future of search.”

Ask3D offers an interface revamp to the familiar Ask.com site. Instead of presenting search results in a long list—like search engines have been doing for years—Ask3D breaks information into three separate panels. The left panel, “Query Expression,” lets users quickly refine, narrow, or broaden their search without having to leave the page or retype their query.

The center pane shows more-or-less traditional search results, but enables users to immediately preview a Web page using an improved “binoculars” feature which brings up a graphical preview of the page. Ask3D also shows information about target pages, such as the number of pop-ups they spawn, whether it uses Flash, and the amount of time it would take to load via a 56Kbps connection. The results also shows the top “Smart Answer” for a query, providing quick summaries of information to let users know if they’re on the right track.

Finally, the rightmost column will display information such as images, video links, news results, encyclopedia entries, blogs, weather, and other items which might be directly relevant to a query. users can tap into music and video directly from the search results page.

The new Ask3D interface also offers a remarkably low number of ads=, with some result pages showing no advertisements at all while offering a selection of media and search results.

Ask3D also offers location-based results for users who have created accounts, a video search, and new customized search results designed to give the most relevant results to search query from across Web pages, images, video, and other areas. The new search results work in tandem with Ask.com’s ExpertRank algorithm, which pushes results from identified expert communities to the top of results lists rather than ranking purely on the basis of popularity.

Ask3D is available now on Ask.com and is, of course, free to use.

Emerging Tech

Astronomers plan to beam Earth’s greatest hits into deep space, and you can help

A new project from the SETI Institute (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) will give the public the chance to submit compositions to be beamed into space, with the aim of connecting people around the world through music.
Computing

Tired of all that white? Here's how to change the Google background image

Did you know that you can change how your Google search home page looks? It's a simple process to pick a new theme: We'll show you how to change your Google background, what to look for in themes, and how to download your own pictures for a…
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Mobile

Google hit with another fine by the EU, this time for $1.7 billion

Google has been fined for the third time by the EU, this time for breaching antitrust laws by requiring third-party websites using its search function to prioritize its ads over competitors.
Computing

Own an Asus computer? Malware might be hiding in your system

If you own an Asus computer, your system might have been infected by malware distributed from the tool you typically use to update the BIOS and install other security patches, according to a new report by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab.
Computing

The new Windows 10 File Explorer could look like this in 2020

Microsoft may update Windows 10's File Explorer to adopt Fluent Design principles in an upcoming 2020 update. A report suggests that we'll get our first glimpse at the new-look explorer in upcoming Windows Insider builds.
Computing

Hands-on with Microsoft Chromium Edge: A first look at the early release

We installed a preview of Edge Chromium, and there's now a lot that makes it feel Chrome, but there are also some similarities to the old Edge. So, is the new Chromium Edge the best browser ever? Here's a hands-on look.
Computing

DisplayPort and HDMI both connect to screens, but here's how they're different

HDMI and DisplayPort are two of the most popular connectors for hooking up consoles, gaming PCs, TVs, and monitors, but which is best? To find out, we pitted HDMI vs. DisplayPort and compared their best and worst features.
Computing

Get a new 2018 Apple MacBook Air for $1,000 with Amazon’s latest sale

Online retailer Amazon is currently running a discount on select models of the MacBook Air 2018. You can bring one home starting at $1,000, a full $200 off the usual selling price.
Computing

In 2019, laptops are better than ever. Here are the best of the best

The best laptop should be one that checks all the boxes: Great battery life, beautiful design, and top-notch performance. Our picks for the best laptops you can buy do all that — and throw in some extra features while they're at it.
Computing

From hot rods to budget sleepers, our favorite desktops can handle anything

Are laptops overrated? Experience the power offered by the best desktop computers on the market today, whether you're in need of a budget solution or a fire-breathing, $4,000 premium gaming rig.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Computing

Man pleads guilty to scamming Facebook and Google out of more than $100M

One of the men behind an elaborate fraud that saw Facebook and Google each hand over tens of millions of dollars has admitted to his part in the scheme. Lithuanian Evaldas Rimasauskas faces up to 30 years in a U.S. jail.
Product Review

HP’s gem-cut Spectre x360 15 is the most powerful 2-in-1 you can buy

HP’s 2019 Spectre x360 15 brings this massive 2-in-1 up to speed, literally. It now equips the same six-core Intel CPU as the rest of the 15-inch field, along with a real GPU for some 1080p gaming.