Both these projects have been presented at JavaOne 2008. You can find slides, video and audio materials here:
- The Minion Search Engine - TS-5027, this presentation contains a nice high level comparison to Lucene, which is well established Java open source search engine.
- The Project Aura - TS-5841, an alternative to a Taste project which has been merged with a Mahout project.
For more information you can check blog of Steve Green, one of the authors of Minion and Aura.