Mercury News introduces NewsHound p. 33

By: Editorial Staff MERCURY CENTER, THE San Jose Mercury News' interactive service, has introduced a new phase that scans daily more than 3,000 articles and ads for its customers.
Called NewsHound, the system sends documents to match subscriber-created profiles directly to their electronic mailboxes anywhere in the world, it was reported.
By using electronic mail, NewsHound can deliver material on America Online, CompuServe and Prodigy, as well as to any e-mail account with Internet access.
Currently, NewsHound searches each day's Mercury News, most of its classified ads, the New York Times News Service, Knight-Ridder Tribune News Services, Knight-Ridder Tribune Business Wire, Associated Press, Scripps Howard News Service, PR Newswire, the Business Wire and Kyodo News Service of Japan.
The center said it developed NewsHound, using state-of-the-art text-search software from Verity Inc. of Mountain View, Calif.
By measuring the relevancy of articles and ads to the profiles of individual users, the software performs "a significantly more sophisticated search than is possible with traditional search techniques," said spokesman Bill Mitchell.
The system, he said, is designed for home computer users as well as businesses and institutions, using a point-and-click on America Online and easy-to-use, e-mail forms on Internet.
An example, Mitchell explained, would be a house-hunting couple who can check their e-mail to find a list of the latest Mercury News classifieds for three-bedroom homes in the neighborhood they have selected.
In another case, he said, a student studying a foreign country can use NewsHound to get a daily update of related news, much of which was only summarized in the local media.
The Knight-Ridder-owned Mercury News introduced Mercury Center on American Online in May 1993. The service will go on Internet this month.


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