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Comment: Re:A boon for technical searches (Score 1) 329

by Corgha (#33035650) Attached to: The End of Forgetting

This is one area where Google's search algorithm falls down [...] I wish there was the option for a decay (or timeout) function into their page-rank algorithms to reward contemporary information.

Look to the left of the search results. See the "Search Options" thing? Open that and you can restrict results by date range (and a number of other things).

I never noticed those options until someone pointed them out to me recently. I guess if you've been using something simple for a decade, at some point you stop looking for new things about it. But now I'm amazed all over again. For example, do a timeline search on Google for "New Orleans" and see the peaks around the Civil War and War of 1812, then click and read historical articles from those periods in the NYT.

Tying this back to the original article, I personally think it's awesome that the Internet appears to "remember" stuff from before it was built. Getting articles from 1861 in your search results is just trippy, so hats off to Google and the Times.

Technology

Computers Outperform Humans at Recognizing Faces 183

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the come-a-long-way dept.
seven of five writes "According to the recent Face Recognition Grand Challenge, The match up of face-recognition algorithms showed that machine recognition of human individuals has improved tenfold since 2002 and a hundredfold since 1995. 'Among other advantages, 3-D facial recognition identifies individuals by exploiting distinctive features of a human face's surface--for instance, the curves of the eye sockets, nose, and chin, which are where tissue and bone are most apparent and which don't change over time. Furthermore, Phillips says, "changes in illumination have adversely affected face-recognition performance from still images. But the shape of a face isn't affected by changes in illumination." Hence, 3-D face recognition might even be used in near-dark conditions.'"
Space

Astronomers Again Baffled by Solar Observations 299

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the back-to-the-drawing-board dept.
SteakNShake writes "Once again professional astronomers are struggling to understand observations of the sun. ScienceDaily reports that a team from Saint Andrew's University announced that the sun's magnetic fields dominate the behavior of the corona via a mechanism dubbed the 'solar skeleton.' Computer models continue to be built to mimic the observed behavior of the sun in terms of magnetic fields but apparently the ball is still being dropped; no mention in the announcement is made of the electric fields that must be the cause of the observed magnetic fields. Also conspicuously absent from the press releases is the conclusion that the sun's corona is so-dominated by electric and magnetic fields because it is a plasma. In light of past and present research revealing the electrical nature of the universe, this kind of crippling ignorance among professional astrophysicists is astonishing."
Patents

New Patent Suit Threatens Bluetooth Standard 61

Posted by Zonk
from the we-need-those-teeth-for-talking dept.
Aditi.Tuteja writes "A U.S. research institute has sued Nokia, Samsung Electronics and Matsushita-owned Panasonic for violating a patent on Bluetooth technology, potentially putting the free wireless standard at risk. The Washington Research Foundation, which markets technology from the University of Washington, is seeking damages from the three mobile-phone makers for using a radio frequency receiver technology without paying royalties. From the article: 'According to the lawsuit, Bluetooth-based computers, cell phones and headsets made by the companies have violated four patents for research done in the mid-1990s by Edwin Suominen when he was a student at the University of Washington. All four patents are now licensed by the Washington Research Foundation. The foundation's lead counsel on the case, Steven Lisa, said the court filing followed two years of informal attempts to resolve the issue with the major players in the industry.'"
Programming

+ - Best Example of Good Open Source Code?

Submitted by
Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward writes "As a burgeoning software developer, I regularly use GPL'd software. Occasionally, I even take a peek at the code. But looking at the source code for firefox or thunderbird, I'm left wondering what a software developer who wishes to support open source does in his spare time. Learning such a complex code base would take a big commitment for even the simplest patches. I'm interested in knowing which piece(s) of software with an open source license have a model for good development. What applications stand out for good design and coding practices, as well as easily read and maintained source code? If open source produces better code (and I think it does), what are the best examples of good code? (and perhaps some examples of the worst as well)"

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