Oedipus Search: FT Agony

July 11, 2008

I feel sorry for the Financial Times. It has a wonderful newspaper. The company relies on a quirky orange tint, making it easy to spot a free one at Gatwick from 60 meters. The parent of the Financial Times–hereinafter, FT–owns half of the Economist, the oh-so-snooty must read for power mongers.

The FT had a bit of bad luck with its search engine a couple of years ago. Now, after a rethink, the company is back on track with the help, according to my sources, of Siderean Software. I have written happy thoughts about Siderean, and the FT online is improving. This may be a rumor but the FT Web site was looking better the last time I checked it.

Then, the tragedy. You can read the full story here ComputerWorld’s Mike Simons reported that the FT’s servers were stolen from a data center in the quite lovely Watford.

Bad luck that. Details are quite muddled. Cable & Wireless, a services provider to various government agencies, including the not-so-flexible managers of the UK Police National Network, suffered a break in.

There are supposed to be various security measures in place; for example, key card access, concrete barriers to keep car bombs from driving up to the front door, reinforced roofing, no windows, and other niceties of hardened facilities.

To cut to the chase, servers were stolen. My thought: inside job. The FT’s thought, “Are we antagonists in a Greek tragedy?”

Stephen Arnold, July 11, 2008


2 Responses to “Oedipus Search: FT Agony”

  1. Hugh on July 11th, 2008 4:09 am

    FAST have been proclaiming that they run the FT search – are you saying this isn’t true any more?

  2. Stephen E. Arnold on July 11th, 2008 10:25 am

    Hi, Hugh, I don’t know much about the FT’s search initiatives. I have heard that one vendor who provides rich text processing has been working with the FT to enhance the search experience. I looked at the FT search recently and found the system a bit snappier and more usable.

    If you hear something, let me know. If I get any more information, I will post it. I do get more and more “did you knows”, and it is entirely possible that this addled goose mixed up who does what to whom.

    Stephen Arnold, July 11, 2008

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