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Current Events

Mexed Missages?

Phew! The first presidential debate is over and President Bush grasped to his single flip-flop theme like a mouse to a reed in a stormy sea. Bush kept coming back and accusing Kerry of changing his position on issues, over and over with such regularity that I began to think this was all he had in his bag of tricks. As one pundit said on the local TV station here, “It’s one thing to have conviction in your ways but you can’t pound the pulpit for 90 minutes and say the same thing.”

Towards the end, in exasperation, Bush blurted out, “You cannot lead if you send mexed missages.”

You could almost hear the groans from the Bush green room.

Categories
Office

Google News Forever in Beta

Why has Google News been in Beta for three years? Because as soon as they try and place ads on the Google News pages to monetize the traffic, they’ll be hit with a barrage of cease & desist letters from publishers around the world says Wired’s Adam Penenberg.

Categories
Office

Improving RSS

In response to the growing popularity of RSS and it’s increasing demands for bandwidth, Bloglines has announced a new web services API which they are making publicly available.

In other news, the redesign of My Yahoo is all about leveraging RSS feeds as the preferred method of integrating content into the portal. With the daily promotion Editor’s RSS “Picks of the Day” it’s sounding like 1995 all over again.

Categories
Office

Big Blue Masala

IBM will release a new corporate search engine, the “DB2 Information Integrator” (code-named Masala) tomorrow reports CNet and eWeek.

The information integrator is able to do this because it can search rapidly across multiple databases, including relational and non-relational databases and structured and unstructured data such as text files, word documents, Adobe Acrobat files, video or audio files, according to Jones.

“To gather this information up today, they might have to use multiple searches,” Jones said. DB2 Information Integrator can replace all of these searches with a single search that gathers all of the types of information to answer a single question, he said.

Sounded like a pretty tall order to me. I’ve heard of connectors that can search the closed-caption text of a video but audio has no such meta-data. A scan of the IBM website for Masala doesn’t help either. I then happened upon this IBM Research site that shows early attempts to automatically categorize images on MPEG-7 video files. Once categorized, you can then query the meta-data attached to each image.

Some further work is needed to iron out the kinks. In the example, looking closer you can see that both Janis Joplin and Peter Jennings were tagged as “animals”