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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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Google IPO Con Man Profiled…

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Following on my earlier post: Two classic NY Post fame and foible stories, with photos, on the man who conned many into giving him money allegedly earmarked for purchase of “pre-IPO” google shares.

GuruNet Founder Interviewed

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guru_logoEMarketer has an interview with Bob Rosenschein, founder of GuruNet, which bills itself as an “answer engine.” GuruNet has been around a long time, as these things go, and is worth a trial. It works by organizing licensed information into some 700,000 topics, which are accessed via a keyword-activated desktop application. In essence, any word or phrase you see – in an email, web page, Word doc, whatever – can be Alt clicked on to produce a GuruNet answer (as opposed to a list of SERPs, as with a search engine). Since it has a Mac OSX trial version, I plan to try it out….

Future of Commercial Search, Cont: Yahoo Autos

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ab30If you want to track the commercialization of search, watch Yahoo. Yahoo has created new commercial search attachments around the theme of cars. MediaPost reports.

After nearly a year’s worth of consumer and advertiser research, Yahoo! has relaunched its Autos section, aiming to build loyal audiences throughout the entire car-buying process and offer advertisers more refined ways to target them….

…One big change: consumers will be able to drill down deeper than before within particular vehicle categories. For instance, a potential SUV buyer can search for and compare autos within the luxury category, and can also drill even further by price or gas mileage. The site will also begin recommending auto comparisons based on what users compare most often…

…After nearly a year’s worth of consumer and advertiser research, Yahoo! has relaunched its Autos section, aiming to build loyal audiences throughout the entire car-buying process and offer advertisers more refined ways to target them….

From what I can grok, seems Yahoo has taken a page from Amazon’s book and will create a deep and rather intimate portrait of your car buying preferences, and make suggestions along the way. I plan to use this service as I happen to be in the market, if I learn anything, I’ll let you know…

Toolbars De Mundo…

By - March 22, 2004

There are a lot of new toolbars out there, and I can’t keep up (especially since I am on a Mac). But Gary Price can….here’s his review of HotBot’s new toolbar. It has local search…and RSS search…

And, speaking of RSS, Dogpile launched an RSS enabled toolbar as well this week…

AP Story: Google Invades Privacy

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Not sure the issues discussed in this piece are Google’s problem alone. In fact, I’m quite sure they are not. But, often the press can’t tell the difference. In any case, the set up of the piece:

“Google kind of makes it easy to connect all the dots together,” said Richard M. Smith, former chief technology officer at the Privacy Foundation. “I think Google is the biggest privacy invader on the planet, no doubt about it.”

But interesting and good to hear Larry quoted in this piece responding to the privacy concerns thusly: “We’re not experts on all possible topics,” Page said. “These (privacy issues) are hugely controversial, and I don’t think it’s a good idea for us to set policy.” And…
“Do you not want Google to make information available that’s available to other people?” Page asked. “I want to know it’s out there on the Web. I don’t want Google to censor it.”

T'rati Goes Live With New UI

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Check it out, new UI, and more features….congrats to Dave, who is sitting behind me (a bit bleary eyed) with a grin on his face.

Dan R, Jonathan Miller at PC Forum

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DanRjonathanaolDan Rosensweig (COO Yahoo, at far left) and Jonathan Miller (head of AOL, near left) have joined Eric onstage. A pretty lengthy discussion of the role of social networking in their businesses, including Orkut. Eric acknowledge that Orkut was strategic to Google’s ability to know more about its users so as to provide better service to them, and when it comes out of beta, it’ll be integrated in some way into Google. Miller says he sees social networking as not having its own business model, but rather as BASF – making other businesses better. Dan (and later Eric agreed) said that social networking is a way to make sense of a world that has 10-20 billion pages that are all indexed and available – providing a context for better and more intelligently filtered information. The entire conversation is pitched in the context – provided by Esther, who is very engaged this year so far – that these companies are playing in a market that is several orders of magnitude larger than the IT business – what Eric called the information/media business. Architecting the information space is their main product, they agreed, and that is a huge business which is in the early innings.