Will IBM's 3rd Generation Piquant Search Technology Trounce Google?

Thread Title: At I.B.M., That Google Thing Is So Yesterday Thread Url: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/26/business/yourmoney/26techno.html Thread Description:

An interesting look at IBM's PIQUANT (Practical Intelligent QUestion ANswering Technology) - although this is (i think) aimed at business use it does seem that they are comparing to Google and thinking in terms of the Web also. PIQUANT uses natural language processing to add meaning to text:

One example is question answering. Google-type search engines are fabulous at retrieving random data, but mediocre at handling subtler queries. Using Google or Ask Jeeves, you can eventually find out how many of the world's Web pages are in each of the major languages, but it's slow and frustrating compared with finding out, say, Mozart's birthplace. Jennifer Chu-Carroll of I.B.M. demonstrated a system called Piquant, which analyzed the semantic structure of a passage and therefore exposed "knowledge" that wasn't explicitly there. After scanning a news article about Canadian politics, the system responded correctly to the question, "Who is Canada's prime minister?" even though those exact words didn't appear in the article.

MR. CICCOLO, the search strategist, said that in a way his team was trying to match - and reverse - what Google has achieved. "As Google use became widespread, people began asking why it was so much easier to find material on the external Web than it was on their own computers or in their company's Web sites," he said. "Google sets a very high standard for that Web. We would like to set the next standard, so that people will find it so easy to do things at work that they'll wonder why they can't do them on the Internet."

I saw this piece this morning but missed the fact that it spanned two pages heh.. so thanks to slashdot posting a thread on it also, i went and had another look.

Does anyone have more insight into this? It would be good to get a little clarification on whether this is going to be used on the WWW aswell as company intranets etc...

Googles More Adwords Feature

Thread Title: AdWords Exposed! Thread Url: http://www.traffick.com/2004/12/adwords-exposed.asp Thread Description:

I don't seem to be able to see this but Cory Kleinschmidt over at the Traffick post threadlinked above (among a whole bunch of others) can.

Here's a snippet from the post:

Unless my normally eagle eyes had been failing me, Google has quietly introduced a way to view all AdWords listings relating to your search by clicking a link titled "More >>" at the bottom of the first-page search results listings. Clicking the link displays a page of nothing but sponsored links, presumably all of the available AdWords advertisers for that keyword phrase.

At first *thought* this seems pretty cool to me, there are searches that just do NOT bring up good results but do bring up great adwords.

Kinda Related: How long as the "search within results" feature been on the bottom of the Google SERPS? Whilst looking for the "more" link i saw that for the first time today and dont remember hearing about it...?

Opinions on More Adwords?

The Pope goes Mobile

Thread Title: Pope John Paul Hits the Little Screen Thread Url: http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=technologyNews&storyID=7171141&src=rss/technologyNews Thread Description:

Trendy, high-tech Roman Catholics won't have to sit at home this Christmas to watch Pope John Paul's Christmas Midnight Mass on television.

They can watch the whole thing from wherever they are on the latest generation of cell phones.

The world is a funny place. via smartmobs

Kids naughty, so dad sells their gifts on eBay

Thread Title: Kids naughty, so dad sells their gifts on eBay Thread Url: http://www.azcentral.com/offbeat/articles/1223ebay-grinch23-ON.html Thread Description:

First things first... Somebody nuke the social worker.

"Lane Coco, a Ph.D. social worker at Depelchin Children's Center, suggested that the embattled parents may have stumbled into an "ultimatum situation" in which everyone loses.

"Perhaps they should have planned some kind of activity..."

Obviously, Mizz Coco didn't grow up with a couple of brothers in the house. (I had 5 brothers, home life was similar to a violent video game.) As for the Dad in the story, good for him!

Search Marketing Paranoia - Removing Footprints and other Tracks

Thread Title: Removing Footprints Thread Url: http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum10/7412.htm Thread Description:

WmW's rogerd has an interesting discussion going in the threadlink above on seo paranoia. Specifically about the need (or not) to remove software footprints and kicks off by listing a few of the easier ones to spot:

Some of the most obvious steps: 1) Remove "powered by" and similar text. 2) Remove on-page "copyright" text or convert to image. 3) Change default installation directory and file names to foil both searches and brute-force attacks. 4) Remove/change other giveaways (ancient SEOs remember the infamous "blueline.gif" that undid many thousands of pages), i.e., anything that a hacker or other problem user could plug into a search engine to easily find sites using particular software.

The way i look at it is this: If you know you are employing high risk tactics, or you think that people using the same software might be, remove everything. In fact, dont stop there - change every conceivable bit about the scripts as you can including templates, urls structures, admin script names - the whole damn lot.

If you're not in that kind of area: Do it anyway.

So, taking it some steps further How paranoid should one be, or is there no need? Other than removing footprints from software, what else can one do to fly beneath the algorithmic radar? Classic pitfalls? Consequences and considerations apart from SE's?

Just how far do you need to go?

M$ want to cripple Programmers by Patenting Object Persistence

Thread Title: Object persister Thread Url: http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=/netahtml/srchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=200402610 Thread Description:

Microsoft are taking the piss with patents again. This time they want to patent object persistence.

For non-programmers This, if it ever got accepted would mean an end to modern programming as we know it - shopping carts, games, search engines - the lot..

So, it'll never happen (one hopes heh..) but sheesh! what are they thinking over there.. Object persistence is a fundamental principle in almost everything of even a slightly advanced level.

Still, look on the bright side, as rayg points out apparently they think HTML is a protocol.. - Muppets.

Herein is described an implementation of an object persister, which serializes an object to preserve the object's data structure and its current data. The serialized object is encoded using XML and inserted within a message. That message is transmitted to an entity over a network. Such a transmission is performed using standard Internet protocols, such as HTML. Upon receiving the serialized object, the receiving entity deserializes the object to use it. Rather than include copies of referenced objects within the serialized object, the object persister includes references to those objects. This avoids redundant inclusion of the same object and potentially infinite inclusion of the object itself that is being serialized.

Has blosxom gone underground?

Thread Title: Has blosxom gone underground? Thread Url: http://www.blosxom.com/ Thread Description:

Back before anyone gave a flip about blogs I favorably reviewed blosxom at wmw. Lately, the buzz (and the installations) all appear to be either wordpress or moveabletype, and I ~frankly~ forgot about blosxom until today. I never see it mentioned and I do read around a fair bit. So, I go check. Still there, though the site does seem kinda quiet. http://www.blosxom.com/

OK, I figure that the community has bailed and therefore pulled the plug on support? Nope. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/blosxom/messages/

Man! The blosx-ites are still talking about static generation --a subject near and dear to me.

I tried installing wordpress, the 5-minute install happened to fail (probably because I don't know jack about mysql). But back when I gave blosx a test run, it did install in 5 minutes.

So, what's going on? Anybody seeing blosxom in the news? Or is it just too damn hard to spell?

A Barcoded View of the Mobile Future?

Thread Title: QuickTime Movie Demo's OP3 Product Thread Url: http://www.op3.com/en/howtosmall Thread Description:

This cool Quicktime movie threadlinked above comes in via Russell and features a vision of what the future could hold for real world barcode hyperlinks - where everything has a barcode that can be snapped by your mobile to take you directly to it's associated info.

Great promo for OP3 - i hope they do well...

Operas New Browser is Voice Enabled!

Thread Title: Look who's talking now Thread Url: http://www.opera.com/pressreleases/en/2004/12/23/ Thread Description:

Opera's new beta download, which will become the next major release is voice enabled. Meaning that you can have your web pages read to you and navigate by voice control - how cool is that?

You can Download it here Win only :(

"We were preparing for the 7.60 release, but as work progressed and we kept adding improvements and functionality, it became very evident that we now have a browser that is so powerful, secure, and easy to use that it exceeds the next logical version number and warrants a major release," says Jon S. von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software, and adds that all those who have licensed Opera 7 will, of course, receive free upgrades. "The new Opera version has dramatic improvements under the hood, in addition to some very helpful new features to welcome more and more users to take advantage of browsing the Internet in a fast, safe, and customizable way."

Opera is the first browser to prepare for a future of Web sites offering interactive, voice-enabled shopping and booking systems. You can also browse the Web using spoken commands, such as "Opera next link", "Opera back", or "Opera speak". The latter command will make Opera read Web page content and e-mail messages to you aloud, adding usability as either a screen reader or advanced dictionary.

There are a whole bunch of other improvements including improved RSS handling and more. If they manage to get a Linux version out I may well have to give it a whirl, it'd make my life a lot easier if it actually worked...

Someone go try it and tell us what it's like!

Affiliate Marketing Predictions for 2005

Thread Title: New Year’s Affiliate Resolutions Thread Url: http://affiliateboards.com/messageboard/index.php?showtopic=3598 Thread Description:

In this thread, Shawn Collins shares his predictions about affiliate marketing in 2005 from an article he wrote for iMediaConnection. He touches on adware, cookie stuffing, affiliate blogs and the persistent rumor about the coming Google/Affiliat/Adwords changes that may be on the horizon.

"Changes in 2005 will result from cogent business decisions, reaction to litigation and following trends.

As we bid farewell to this year’s model of affiliate marketing and embark upon 2005, I’ve got to wonder what sorts of changes we are in for next year.

2004 was something of a turbulent year for affiliate marketers. The year kicked off with nervous and confused affiliate marketers trying to cope with CAN-SPAM, and throughout the year, a number of issues became industry lightning rods.

There were sagas about everything from search arbitrage, whether adware is badware, cookie stuffing, the use of trademarked terms, and more?"

Read the rest here, then come back to discuss it. http://affiliateboards.com/messageboard/index.php?showtopic=3598

Linda

Audi Advertising via USB Sticks

Thread Title: Audi shows latest car via memory stick Thread Url: http://www.revolutionmagazine.com/News/index.cfm?fuseaction=ViewNewsArticle&ID=231343 Thread Description:

Revolution have a small piece on the news that Audi are sending out USB sticks to selected prospects containing a 5min video clip commercial - An Audi branded USB stick of course...

Twofourtv are the agency behind the content - link via MarketingVOX

Now that's a cool way to advertise high end cars no?

Gotta like that guy Ellison

""His forte has never been as the grown-up running the company," he said. "He's the unpredictable mad genius behind Oracle. His life is an adventure, and Oracle is part of the adventure -- but not the whole thing. It's an old joke that they used to call it an Elvis sighting when Larry was actually in Redwood Shores. It's understood he's the company visionary and an itinerant CEO."

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/12/14/BUGADABB8U1.DTL

"Benevolent or paternalistic aren't words that have ever been seriously associated with Oracle or with its founder and CEO, Larry Ellison. Business is business..."

http://nevon.typepad.com/nevon/2004/12/thinking_time_f.html

Does .mobi go Against the Ideals of the Internet?

Thread Title: .Mobi’s Contentious Ride Thread Url: http://www.moconews.net/index.php?p=1046 Thread Description:

MocoNews threadlinked above point out that the W3C's Device Independence Working Group are up in arms about the proposed .mobi TLD. They argue that it goes against the core principles of the Internet: That the web should be device agnostic.

A consortium of mobile players led by Nokia have proposed the addition of .mobi to the top level domain space so that users and application/site owners can specify that something.mobi is for mobile devices, such as cell phones or PDA's. The W3C argue that this is harmful to the web:

This domain will have a drastically detrimental effect on the Web. By partitioning the HTTP information space into parts designed for access from mobile access and parts designed (presumably) not for such access, an essential property of the Web is destroyed.

It is true that to to optimize the use of any device, an awareness on the part of the server allows it to customize the content and the whole layout of a site. However, the domain name is perhaps the worst possible way of communicating information about the device. Devices vary in many ways, including:

Network bandwidth at the time, Screen size and resolution, Intermittent or continuous connectivity,

and so on. While with the current technology, the phrase "Mobile" may equate roughly in many minds to "something like a cell phone", it is naive -- and pessimistic -- to imagine that this one style of device will be the combination that will endure for any length of time. Just as concepts such as the "Network PC" and the "Multimedia PC" which defined profiles of device capability were swept away in the onrush of technology, so will an attempt to divide devices, users and content into two groups.

The End of the End of Free

Thread Title: the end of the end of free Thread Url: http://online.wsj.com/public/article/0,,SB110200783937789325,00.html Thread Description:

"You can still get a lot for nothing on the Internet, despite earlier predictions of the decline of the 'free' Web."

Sandbox: Can it be Detected by a Tool?

Thread Title: Sandbox Detection Tool by SOCEngine Thread Url: http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/001312.html Thread Description:

Barry Schwartz over at seroundtable links to a tool that claims to detect whether or not a site has been "sandboxed" - see threadlink above for details.

Now, as far as i understand sandbox, it's pretty simple to see if your site is affected by it right? So, what is the point of a tool to do this for you?

I could be missing something, if so, please point out the obvious to me :-)

Google working on video search

Thread Title: Google working on video search Thread Url: http://www.neteconomie.com/perl/navig.pl/neteconomie/infos/article/20041222162637 Thread Description:

In a recent interview with Mats Carduner (general manager of Google France) he revealed Google was working on Google Video search

Dodgy translated version:

For the multi-media one, the mission of Google remains to organize information and to make it available. One aims at the Web in all his forms: the text, images and tomorrow the audio-visual one. Googles Labs work besides on this concept of indexing of the video.

Click the linked title to read the interview

Revenue Leakage on Mobile Content

Thread Title: Revenue Assurance for Mobile Content Thread Url: http://www.billingworld.com/archive-detail.cfm?archiveId=7636 Thread Description:

As the market for mobile content grows the potential for revenue leakage does aswell. Threadlinked above is a look at the problems facing mobile content providers outlining the major business aspects and potential pitfalls for revenue leakage in an emerging industry:

Some figures:

he Yankee Group predicts that the U.S. mobile data market alone will represent $15.6 billion by 2008. QPass, for one, has seen tremendous growth in mobile content usage among its customers. The average transaction value for subscribers of QPass customer providers is $2.28. In September, QPass mobile operator customers achieved an average of $7.55 per purchasing subscriber, with an average spend of $36 to $42 per year for mobile content services.

Key problems:

To remain competitive, mobile operators often will roll out these content services before they are able to bill for them. When one U.K. mobile operator decided to roll out MMS, it offered the service free as a customer promotion, according to Megisto Chief Technology Officer Joel Halpern, but the promotion was free simply because the operator didn't know how to charge for it.

By far, mismanaging the relationships between all of the various entities is one of the greatest leakage points for mobile content. The process of revenue sharing and settling with third parties increases the need to accurately track revenue, and it only heightens the impact of potential leakage for both the content provider and mobile operator.

Just determining who is actually suffering the leakage—the mobile operator or the content provider—is a challenge. Often, neither player has the visibility needed to manage the transaction from start to finish.

It's a fairly detailed article but a skim through the key points gives a good overview of the industry itself and some of the problems it currently faces.

For the Graphically Competent: GIMP vs Paint.NET

Thread Title: Paint.NET v2.0 is ready for download! Thread Url: http://www.eecs.wsu.edu/paint.net/ Thread Description:

I'd never heard of Paint.net, the Washington State University's free graphics tool (threadlinked above) until today, but it's quite the app by all accounts. And could prove a worthy rival for GIMP, it's *nix based older brother.

Although Paint.NET does not sport a GNU license like the GIMP (graphical image manipulation program) it does grant permission for you to do pretty much the same stuff:

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

http://www.eecs.wsu.edu/paint.net/downloads.html

It's only been around since Spring this year, it started out as a senior design project at WSU but with v2.0 pronounced fit for download it's already causing a stir at Slashdot

The GIMP on the other hand has been around for ever, it started life as a similar project at Berkeley the mid 90's (the first full version was released in 1997) and has been used professionally by hollywood effects companies and more regular designers alike.

Fire Search Spammers - or - Me Me Me Me Me Me Me

Thread Title: Sanctamonious Trumped up Drivel Red Alert! Thread Url: http://www.clickz.com/experts/search/opt/article.php/3450011 Thread Description:

This piffle really does have to be read to be believed: pj fucso makes a debut appearance at the Clicz article threadlinked above pointed out by Danny

It's nothing short of a sad advertisement using scare tactics and negative marketing (aimed at the whole industry except ms fucso it seems) to further the authors ego.

Unless you're at a loose end, dont bother. For those with nothing better to do (that would be me right at this moment heh..) here's a few choice snippets:

As a corporate SEM specialist, I've been directly involved with firing several SEM firms that have spammed the search engines.

Ok, i can live with that, though i doubt it's that many...

When I discover an SEM firm practices questionable SEM tactics, there's only one thing to do: Fire it. Although my penalty for an SEM firm that spams the search engines is completely consistent, how I actually go about firing them varies according to the degree of their spam tactics.

Ok, you're the big cheese huh? Im duly impressed...

Many SEM firms will agree to work on a month-by-month basis. It's usually not worth my time or energy to confront the firm in question about its spam-like ways. If the transgression is minor, I simply allow the contract to lapse and find an SEM firm that better suits my company's needs.

Doesn't seem very practical to me. Seems like you should have spent some time with the firm before hand making sure they understood what was required of them. In essense, your saying that you either a) dont spend anytime talking to the companies you hire about what you want from them or b) talk to them, but ignore them going against your stated wishes and have to start developing a good working relationship (if that's the case at all) with the next poor firm that happens accros you. Way to go...

Top Blog Citations for 2004 - Who, What, Why & How Often?

Thread Title: What was hot in the blogosphere in 2004? Thread Url: http://www.blogpulse.com/2004_review/BlogPulse2004_review.html Thread Description:

Blogpulse have taken a years worth of blog posts and calculated a whole bunch of mind numbingly naff, but curiously interesting blog trivia for your delectation.

How did BlogPulse compile this data? Top Web sites, blogs, blog posts, media sources, media stories, books, movies, and products were tabulated by counting the number of times bloggers linked to them during 2004. Top people, actors, and actresses were found by counting the number of times those names, including common variations, appeared in posts.

via mp