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Progress on the Migration

Please check out https://thenoisychannel.com/ to see the future of The Noisy Channel in progress. I’m using WordPress hosted on GoDaddy and did the minimum work to port all posts and comments (not including this one). Here is the my current list of tasks that I’d like to get done before we move. Design! I’m currently […]

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Transparency in Information Retrieval

It’s been hard to find time to write another post while keeping up with the comment stream on my previous post about set retrieval! I’m very happy to see this level of interest, and I hope to continue catalyzing such discussions. Today, I’d like to discuss transparency in the context of information retrieval. Transparency is […]

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Where Google Isn’t Good Enough

My last post, Is Google Good Enough?, challenged would-be Google killers to identify and address clear consumer needs for which Google isn’t good enough as a solution. I like helping my readers, so here are some ideas. Shopping. Google Product Search (fka Froogle) is not one of Google’s crown jewels. At best, it works well […]

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Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

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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Librarian 2.0

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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Back from ISSS Workshop

My apologies for the sparsity of posts lately; it’s been a busy week! I just came back from the Information Seeking Support Systems Workshop, which was sponsored by the National Science Foundation and hosted at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. An excerpt from the workshop home page nicely summarizes its purpose: The […]

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Privacy and Information Theory

Privacy is a evergreen topic in technology discussions, and increasingly finds its way into the mainstream (cf. AOL, NSA, Facebook). My impression is that most people feel that companies and government agencies are amassing their “private” data to some nefarious end. Let’s forget about technology for a moment and subject the notion of privacy to […]

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Can Search be a Utility?

A recent lecture at the New York CTO club inspired a heated discussion on what is wrong with enterprise search solutions. Specifically, Jon Williams asked why search can’t be a utility. It’s unfortunate when such a simple question calls for a complicated answer, but I’ll try to tackle it. On the web, almost all attempts […]