Entries from July 2008

Not as Cuil as I Expected

July 28th, 2008 · 3 Comments · General

Today’s big tech news is the launch of Cuil, the latest challenger to Google’s hegemony in Web search. Given the impressive team of Xooglers that put it together, I had high expectations for the launch. My overall reaction: not bad, but not good enough to take seriously as a challenge to Google. They may be […]

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Catching up on SIGIR ’08

July 27th, 2008 · 11 Comments · General

Now that SIGIR ’08 is over, I hope to see more folks blogging about it. I’m jealous of everyone who had the opportunity to attend, not only because of the culinary delights of Singapore, but because the program seems to reflect an increasing interest of the academic community in real-world IR problems. Some notes from […]

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Knol: Google takes on Wikipedia

July 23rd, 2008 · 12 Comments · General

Just a few days ago, I was commenting on a New York Times article about Wikipedia’s new approval system that the biggest problem with Wikipedia is anonymous authorship. By synchronous coincidence, Google unveiled Knol today, which is something of a cross between Wikipedia and Squidoo. It’s most salient feature is that each entry will have […]

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Predictably Irrational

July 19th, 2008 · 1 Comment · General

As regular readers have surely noticed by now, I’ve been on a bit of a behavioral psychology kick lately. Some of this reflects long-standing personal interest and my latest reading. But I also feel increasingly concerned that researchers in information seeking–especially those working on tools–have neglected the impact of cognitive bias. For those who are […]

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Call to Action – A Follow-Up

July 18th, 2008 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

The call to action I sent out a couple of weeks ago has generated healthy interest. One of the several people who responded is the CTO of one of Endeca’s competitors, whom I laud for understanding that the need to better articulate and communicate the technology of information access transcends competition among vendors. While we […]

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Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

July 15th, 2008 · 2 Comments · General

In Psychology of Intelligence Analysis, Richards Heuer advocates that we quantify expressions of uncertainty: “To avoid ambiguity, insert an odds ratio or probability range in parentheses after expressions of uncertainty in key judgments.” His suggestion reminds me of my pet peeve about the unquantified notion of reasonable doubt in the American justice system. I’ve always […]

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Small is Beautiful

July 13th, 2008 · 2 Comments · General

Today’s New York Times has an article by John Markoff called On a Small Screen, Just the Salient Stuff. It argues that the design constraints of the iPhone (and of mobile devices in general) lead to an improved user experience, since site designers do a better job of focusing on the information that users will […]

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Psychology of Intelligence Analysis

July 11th, 2008 · 3 Comments · General

In the course of working with some of Endeca’s more interesting clients, I started reading up on how the intelligence agencies address the challenges of making decisions, especially in the face of incomplete and contradictory evidence. I ran into a book called Psychology of Intelligence Analysis by former CIA analyst Richards Heuer. The entire book […]

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Nice Selection of Machine Learning Papers

July 10th, 2008 · Comments Off · Uncategorized

John Langford just posted a list of seven ICML ’08 papers that he found interesting. I appreciate his taste in papers, and I particularly liked a paper on Learning Diverse Rankings with Multi-Armed Bandits that addresses learning a diverse ranking of documents based on users’ clicking behavior. If you liked the Less is More work […]

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Librarian 2.0

July 7th, 2008 · 6 Comments · General

Many of the words that mark milestones in the history of technology, such as calculator and word processor, originally corresponded to people. Calculating had at least two lives as a technology breakthrough–first as a process, and then as a automatic means for executing that process. Thanks to inventions like calculators and computers, human beings have […]

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