Last week, Diaspora — the OSS privacy-respecting social network — released a “pre-alpha developer preview” of their source code. I took a look out it, mostly out of curiosity, and was struck by numerous severe security errors. I then spent the next day digging through their code locally and trying to get in touch with the team to address them, privately. In the course of this, I mentioned obliquely that the errors existed on Hacker News, and subsequently was interviewed by The Register and got quoted in a couple of hundred places. ·
How does the web search behavior of ``rich'' and ``poor'' people differ? Do men and women tend to click on different results for the same query? What are some queries almost exclusively issued by African Americans? These are some of the questions we address in this study. Our research combines three data sources: the query log of a major US-based web search engine, profile information provided by 28 million of its users (birth year, gender and zip code), and US-census information including detailed demographic information aggregated at the level of ZIP code. Through this combination we can annotate each query with, e.g., the average per-capita income in the ZIP code it originated from. Though conceptually simple, this combination immediately creates a powerful demographic profiling tool. The main contributions of this work are the following. First, we provide a demographic description of a large sample of search engine users in the US and show that it agrees well with the distribution of the US population. Second, we describe how different segments of the population differ in their search behavior, e.g. with respect to the diversity of formulated queries or with respect to the clicked URLs. Third, we explore applications of our methodology to improve web search and, in particular, to help issuing query reformulations. These results enable the creation of a powerful tool for improved user modeling in practice, with many applications including improving web search and advertising. For instance, advertisements for ``family vacations'' could be adapted to the (expected) income of the person issuing the query, or search suggestions shown to users could be adapted to items that are more interesting given their particular characteristics. ·
MSTROHM: "Why lists won't become superfluous."
The list is the origin of culture. It's part of the history of art and literature. What does culture want? To make infinity comprehensible. It also wants to create order -- not always, but often. And how, as a human being, does one face infinity? How does one attempt to grasp the incomprehensible? Through lists, through catalogs, through collections in museums and through encyclopedias and dictionaries.
In the case of Google, both things do converge. Google makes a list, but the minute I look at my Google-generated list, it has already changed. These lists can be dangerous -- not for old people like me, who have acquired their knowledge in another way, but for young people, for whom Google is a tragedy. ·
Fotos von Menschen zeigen häufig rotgeblitzte Augen, fleckige Haut oder eine im Dunkeln verschwindende Gesichtshälfte. Meistens genügen wenige Handgriffe, um so einen missglückten Schnappschuss deutlich zu verbessern. Die freie Bildbearbeitung Gimp ist besser als ihr Ruf. Mit ihr lassen sich Porträts bequem, flexibel und mit dem gewünschten Effekt korrigieren. ·