Entries from November 2008

The Difference Between Google and Yahoo

November 18th, 2008 · 1 Comment · General

Today, Yahoo announces a new tool to provide keywords describing search results that they make available to developers using their public BOSS API. Meanwhile Google announces a new tool to tell you what keywords you should be paying Google to use in your AdWords campaign to advertise your site. I imagine that the technology behind […]

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Yahoo BOSS, Now With Key Terms

November 18th, 2008 · 9 Comments · Uncategorized

I’d just hit “publish” on my last post about the challenges of faceted search for the web when I saw this post from Jeff about Yahoo announced an extension to their public BOSS API that provides “key terms” for search results. Jeff quotes this excerpt from their description: Key Terms is derived from a Yahoo! Search capability […]

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Faceted Search for the Web: A Grand Challenge?

November 18th, 2008 · 12 Comments · General

At the HCIR workshop last month, one of the posters was from Microsoft researchers Jaime Teevan, Susan Dumais, and Zachary Gutt, entitled “Challenges for Supporting Faceted Search in Large, Heterogeneous Corpora like the Web“. From the abstract: Those [challenges] that we have identified stem from the fact that such datasets are 1) very large, making […]

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Reporting from the Anti-Spam Front

November 18th, 2008 · Comments Off on Reporting from the Anti-Spam Front · Uncategorized

Surprisingly good reporting in the mainstream media (specifically, the Washington Post) about how shutting down McColo reduced worldwide spam volume by 65%. Here’s a choice quote about why spammers prefer to host their servers in the United States: What’s more, dependability and server uptime are important in cutthroat businesses for which an outage of a […]

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Blogging…Now 99.6% Safer Than Surfing!

November 17th, 2008 · 6 Comments · Uncategorized

OK, this is an oldie but goodie from xkcd, but I saw it in a recent presentation and couldn’t resist sharing. Of course, you’d never know that from the sensationlist press.

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Recommending Diversity

November 17th, 2008 · 10 Comments · General

Another nice post from Daniel Lemire today, this time about a paper by Mi Zhang and Neil Hurley on “Avoiding monotony: improving the diversity of recommendation lists” (ACM Digital Library subscription required to see full text). Here’s an abstract of the abstract: Noting that the retrieval of a set of items matching a user query […]

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Learning by Analogy

November 17th, 2008 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

Thanks to Daniel Lemire for point to this recent paper by Peter Turney on “A Uniform Approach to Analogies, Synonyms, Antonyms, and Associations“. Daniel Lemire consider this paper an example of the “more data beats better algorithms” principle most famously espoused by Google Director of Research Peter Norvig. My take is a bit different. One […]

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Symposium on Semantic Knowledge Discovery, Organization and Use, Day 2

November 16th, 2008 · Comments Off on Symposium on Semantic Knowledge Discovery, Organization and Use, Day 2 · General

Day 2 of the NSF Sponsored Symposium on Semantic Knowledge Discovery, Organization and Use at NYU brought out representatives of the titans of web search: Yahoo: Patrick Pantel (who actually just joined Yahoo) regaled us with entertaining tales “Of Search and Semantics”, whisking us through the history of search, arguing that semantics are making a commercial impact today, […]

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Fight the Spammers that Be!

November 16th, 2008 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

Misery loves company, so I’m reassured to know that I’m not the only recent victim of the uptake in spam. Matt Hurst reports that Political Streams has recently been hit with a lot of LiveJournal spam. A current look at the site shows that the problem still persists, at least for blogs: Matt says that “minor modification to […]

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Google Flu Trends: The Privacy Backlash Begins

November 16th, 2008 · 3 Comments · General

Don’t say I didn’t tell you so. Declan McCullagh reports at CNET that privacy groups are expressing concern about Google Flu Trends: The Electronic Privacy Information Center and Patient Privacy Rights sent a letter this week to Google CEO Eric Schmidt saying if the records are “disclosed and linked to a particular user, there could be adverse consequences […]

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