Tuesday, September 22

Transparent Text 2009 Coverage

IBM Research Cambridge hosted the Transparent Text Symposium yesterday and today. Judging by the conversation it's sparking, I missed a great event. The sheer volume of interesting presentations looks astounding.

Start by checking twitter, #tt09. Daniel has been carpet-tweeting the entire event! Check out his coverage of Day 1 and Day 2.

Be sure to read Ethan Zuckerman posts on what Matthew Gray is doing with the Google Books data and Beth Noveck's open government keynote.

If you haven't checked out the Guardian's datablog, do it! Tons of captivating and informative information vizualization. Their talk at TT highlighted the MP Spending crowd sourcing project.

I look forward to catching up with the videos once they are posted!

Updated Yahoo! Search Page Framework: Faster, more consistent, and easier to change

Today Yahoo! launched a new search page framework.

The new framework integrates SearchMonkey, SearchPad, and SearchAsisst. The team streamlined the layout to make it more faster and more modular. As they write,
Now, here’s the best part: Rather than building this new experience on top of our existing front-end technology, our talented engineering and design teams rebuilt much of the foundational markup/CSS/JavaScript for the SRP design and core functionality completely from scratch. This allowed us to get rid of old cruft and take advantage of quite a few new techniques and best practices, reducing core page weight and render complexity in the process.
I like the SearchPad integration. However, I find the three-column Y! search result page layout cramped compared to Google and Bing. It feels cluttered and less readable. I have a big monitor and the restricted layout doesn't utilize the space well.

Interesting stuff, but now let's see what the Y! team can do with a new revamped code base.

Monday, September 21

The Winning $1M Netflix Prize Methods Published

In case you've been living under a hole, today Netflix formally awarded the $1M dollar prize to BellKor. See the NYTimes article. Wired has a picture of the team, which met for the first time to receive the award.

The top finishing teams recently published papers outlining their strategies via the Netflix Prize Forum message.
I look forward to hearing more about the second iteration of the contest! From the NY Times article it will be a different:
The new contest is going to present the contestants with demographic and behavioral data, and they will be asked to model individuals’ “taste profiles,” the company said. The data set of more than 100 million entries will include information about renters’ ages, gender, ZIP codes, genre ratings and previously chosen movies.