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NewsJunkie

By - March 24, 2004

msoft1Microsoft is readying its own entry in the news search game, according to this Mercury News piece on “Newsjunkie,” the latest purposeful leak out of Microsoft’s research labs. Features sound cool, and certainly point to some common themes I’ve heard cropping up in discussions of next generation search engines.

Using principles of artificial intelligence and information retrieval, NewsJunkie keeps track of what a reader has already seen. It reorganizes news stories to rank those with the most new information at the top and push those with repetitive information to the bottom, or filter them out entirely.

NewsJunkie can help improve news alerts beyond key words to offer only new information, the researchers said. Dumais is working on a similar project to make search happen behind the scenes to recognize what you’re working on, search your hard drive and automatically present related files. “In this day and age there’s such replication around,” Horvitz said. “As Google’s news site says, `There are 1,400 other news articles on this topic,’ but there’s no guidance for what you might look at next. You have to say, `How can I cut to the chase?’ ”

The Newsjunkie research paper will be presented at the 13th annual WWW conference in NYC in May. Yow, cool agenda. I want to go.

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