Cuil, a newly unveiled search engine, takes this focus on privacy to an entirely new level by declaring that it does "not collect any personally identifiable information, period." No IP addresses will be collected, logs created or cookies retained. On the one hand, Cuil is sidestepping regulatory hurdles and privacy headaches. But, more questionable is its ability to compete with the incumbents who use vast databases of search histories to fine-tune future results. And, based on initial reports, they are having serious difficulty delivering results at all, as service is intermittent. Although it claims to have dramatically increased the efficiency of crawling the web and present search results in a new manner, does that really matter? People looking at search results don't seem to care that much about crawling efficiency (so far, Google is "good enough") and so far there's been little indication that "privacy" is a real catalyst for switching search engines. And, with many believing personalization being the next big leap in search technology, Cuil has already cut itself out of that market with its privacy settings. So on what factor will Cuil really be able to compete?
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