Entries from December 2008

The Noisy Channel: Now Better Than Sex!

December 12th, 2008 · Comments Off on The Noisy Channel: Now Better Than Sex! · Uncategorized

Well, I’ll admit the evidence is a bit shaky. But an online survey commissioned by Intel reports that about half of women and a third of men would rather go without sex for two weeks than give up the Internet for that long. I’m not quite sure what to make of the survey, or the premise that […]

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Computational Information Design

December 12th, 2008 · Comments Off on Computational Information Design · General

Tonight I had the good fortune to attend a talk by Ben Fry on Computational Information Design at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Ben Fry is one of those rare human beings whose work spans from the heart of academia (he’s worked with Eric Lander on visualizing genetic data)  to popular culture (he work […]

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Upgraded to WordPress 2.7

December 11th, 2008 · 6 Comments · Uncategorized

Just wanted to let readers know that I’ve upgraded to the latest version of WordPress, 2.7 (“Coltrane”). Please let me know if you experience any technical difficulties.

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This is not a corporate blog

December 10th, 2008 · 17 Comments · General

To paraphrase René Magritte, ceci n’est pas un blogue corporate (this is not a corporate blog). Why do I bring this up? Because today I saw a post by Richard MacManus on ReadWriteWeb entitled “Report: Corporate Blogs Not Trusted” and a similar post by Joe Wilcox about how to “Make Your Corporate Blog Believable“. They […]

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Freemium is the new black

December 9th, 2008 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

An article by Claire Cain Miller in today’s New York Time proclaims: “A Web Start-Up Counting on Ad Sales? Good Luck“. The article isn’t kind to the ad-supported model in general, but the particular concern is for startups. The article quotes David Weiden from Kholsa Ventures: “The ad model is somewhat worse but not radically […]

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Why the SEO stakes are so high

December 8th, 2008 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

According to an article published today in IT Business Canada: The typical Web site gets 61 per cent of its traffic from organic (nonpaid) search engine results, and 41 per cent of all traffic from Google alone. In part, these numbers reflect Google’s dominance in web search–41/61 is a whopping 67%, which is within epsilon […]

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Overwhelmed by Email?

December 6th, 2008 · 17 Comments · General

Normally, I don’t post about press releases that people email me. But in this case, the title, “Half of Americans Are Overwhelmed by E-Mail“, hit far too close to home. Having spent the day catching up on a week of email, I’m feeling more than a little overwhelmed. And it’s made me think hard about […]

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Noisy Channel, Back on Manual

December 6th, 2008 · Comments Off on Noisy Channel, Back on Manual · Uncategorized

As the Captain says in WALL-E, “AUTO, you are relieved of duty!” It’s good to be back in the blogger’s seat, so stay tuned for fresh content coming up this week.

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Happy Birthday, Lily!

December 4th, 2008 · Comments Off on Happy Birthday, Lily! · General

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Humans and Machines: Collaborators or Competitors?

December 3rd, 2008 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

Last week, Hal Daume wrote a nice post entitled “Supplanting vs Augmenting Human Language Capabilities“. Drawing an analogy between natural language processing (NLP) and robotics, he says: I would say that most NLP research aims to supplant humans. Machine translation puts translators out of work. Summarization puts summarizers out of work (though there aren’t as […]

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