Entries from January 2009

Amazon: Customers Who Bought Related Items Also Bought

January 31st, 2009 · 14 Comments · General

Perhaps Amazon has had this feature for a while, but today, for the first time I noticed a section labeled “Customers Who Bought Related Items Also Bought” as seen in the screen shot above. I was looking at an unreleased book, which might explain why they couldn’t show me information based on customers who actually [...]

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Opting Out of Ads

January 31st, 2009 · 7 Comments · General

I’m a long-time fan of ad blocking software, from the Siemens Webwasher plug-in in the early days to the Adblock Plus and CustomizeGoogle Firefox add-ons today. I know that some people view the use of ad-blocking software on ad-supported sites as anti-social or unethical. My personal view is that it is no different from physically [...]

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Cyber Pollution: Not a Victimless Crime

January 31st, 2009 · 5 Comments · General

According to Wikipedia: Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into an environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the physical systems or living organisms. Wikipedia does not supply a definition for “cyber pollution”, but Ragy Thomas offers one in a recent post: “the waste of time and energy created by the inconsiderate use [...]

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Reconsidering Relevance: Now on YouTube!

January 29th, 2009 · 4 Comments · General

What happens to a stream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? No, it eventually makes it on to YouTube! Despite some early difficulties, Google has managed to make my recent Tech Talk, “Reconsidering Relevance”, available on YouTube. My apologies to all for the delay. Slides available on SlideShare.

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Search-Related Conferences: Where’s The Beef?

January 27th, 2009 · 7 Comments · Uncategorized

The other day, Stephen Arnold published a post entitled “Conference Spam or Conference Prime Rib” bemoaning “an increasing amount of conference spam” in the enterprise search space. Sharing his frustration with the marketing and hype that passes for technical discussion in this field, I posted a comment extolling the upcoming SIGIR Industry Track as an [...]

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Wikipedia Embracing Information Accountability?

January 27th, 2009 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

Given the recent debate on this blog over the merits of Wikipedia, I’m tickled to see that Jimbo Wales, Wikipedia’s controversial founder, is coming out in favor of requiring anonymous edits to be approved. (via Matthew Webber at UID Teatime Blog). I’m stoked, since this is the one point on which I think Knol beats [...]

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No Privacy Through Difficulty

January 27th, 2009 · Comments Off · Uncategorized

I’ve blogged in the past about the futility of increasing futility of pursuing privacy through difficulty, and generally advocate an approach of “when in doubt, make it public”. But, if you have any doubt about the current state of personal privacy, read what Robert Mitchell’s article in Computerworld entitles “What the Web knows about you“. [...]

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Is Google Google-y?

January 27th, 2009 · 9 Comments · Uncategorized

Interviewing  blogger Jeff Jarvis about his recently published book, “What Would Google Do?“, Nick Summers asks: Are there any areas in which Google itself doesn’t act very “Google-y?” Not disclosing its advertising revenue splits, for example. Jarvis answers: Right. There are areas where Google doesn’t act very Google-y, which are mainly about transparency. It can’t [...]

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Lucid Imagination

January 27th, 2009 · 18 Comments · General

After the big news in the enterprise search space about Autonomy and FAST last week, the announcement of Lucid Imagination raising $6 million may seem anti-climatic. That’s nothing compared to the $775M Autonomy spent to acquire Interwoven, let along the $1.2B that Microsoft paid for FAST last year. And can Lucid Imagination really succeed as [...]

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Microsoft Songsmith: Reverse Karaoke

January 25th, 2009 · 8 Comments · Uncategorized

Some readers have noticed that I often take shots at Google on this blog, but seem to give Microsoft a pass. I assure you that I am not a Microsoft fan boy–in fact, Microsoft’s enterprise search subsidiary, FAST, competes with Endeca more than Google does. But today I’ll prove that I’m an equal-opportunity critic by [...]

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