1. Social Search And Personalized Ads.
Perfect personalized Search is kind of a holy grail for IR. Google seems to have made some more steps towards it this week. One is to integrate your social group into your search. More details are at Google’s blog post Search is getting more social. Currently the way Google identifies your social group is kind of Google centric – using Google Profile, Orkut,Twitter, YouTube etc. Given the fact that Google never really had a good social networking technology like Facebook / MySpace, I wonder how different/improved the results are going to be. But still its an excellent step forward.
The other major step is bring personalized ads in GMail. Read more at GMail’s blog post . I have to say, Google is being really aggressive in getting more ads ! There used to be a common joke that if you want to avoid ads in GMail , add some words with negative connotations [eg death] in some ratio to the email. I remember testing it and it was true. Not sure if its true anymore. Definitely not with this new change !
2. EFF Reveals How Your Digital Fingerprint Makes You Easy to Track
This is a scary/interesting article that says how your browser leaks information about you that kind of makes it easy for data mining programs to track you. I checked their website Panopticlick but not sure if it is really as scary as it claims to be.
3. Post by Email Wrapup
Post by email is a cool feature in wordpress that allows you to create a new blog post by sending an appropriately formatted email. I haven’t used it so far but may be in feature. They have excellent set of short codes to handle more advanced use cases like specifying tags, categories, publishing to twitter etc . See more at their short codes page.
This Google Testing blog post talks about the various approaches a person can use to test a code. Which way is yours ?
5. Re engineering cells
An interesting article about taking ordinary cells and reverse engineering them to stem cells . Stems cells are informally cells that can turn into any other cells (think of heart, liver etc ). Currently, the most important source for stem cells is embryonic but there is a huge controversy over that technique . Hence this alternate technique is all the more exciting !!
6. Microsoft Research’s CS Student Portal
The portal is still in the making and the information available currently is not vast. There are some good links though, like the link of all the important blogs in Theoretical CS . The TCS feed is here .
An article from MIT News that discusses the importance of US health care . Just two weeks ago, it looked unstoppable, but now its future is in question. So are the ways of politics.
A nice article on Female executives in banking. A decent read.
Probably the biggest news of this week. I tried to find some good posts on it but none of them made the cut. May be because it is not available till March. Personally, I was underwhelmed. No multitasking or GPS ? You got to be kidding me. But may be I will hold my judgment till I play with one🙂