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Google

Google Opens Up (Some) Search Algorithms 86

overmars writes "After years of closely guarding the formula for its search algorithms, Google is opening up a little. The search engine company has kept its search formula a closely guarded secret for two reasons: competition and to prevent abuse, said Udi Manber, Google's vice president of engineering, search quality, in a post on the corporate blog. Manber said the blog post is the first part of a renewed effort at the company 'to open up a bit more than we have in the past.' Manber said the most famous part of Google's ranking algorithm is PageRank, an algorithm developed by Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. While PageRank is still in use, it is a 'part of a much larger system,' he said. 'Other parts include language models (the ability to handle phrases, synonyms, diacritics, spelling mistakes, and so on), query models (it's not just the language, it's how people use it today), time models (some queries are best answered with a 30-minutes old page, and some are better answered with a page that stood the test of time), and personalized models (not all people want the same thing),' he said."
Censorship

Submission + - Turkey Censors YouTube

FM Reader writes: "After a controversial mock-up video reportedly submitted by a Greek member about Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, Turkish courts ordered the national ISPs to ban the online video service, YouTube. YouTube hostnames are currently redirected at the DNS level to a page that announces the court order."
Security

Submission + - WGA rats on aborters

An anonymous reader writes: The new version of Microsofts Windows Genuine Advantage Notification phones home — even if the user chooses not to install it and presses "cancel". heise Security documented the oputbound communication with a packet dump. Microsoft says, they are only doing this "to improve the quality of the WGA for users."
AMD

AMD's "Frantic Price Cuts" May Pressure Intel 135

kog777 writes in with news of a Needham analyst report alerting their clients to a possible price war between AMD and Intel. Analyst Y. Edwin Mok notes that AMD has cut its prices three times in three weeks. He says that Dell has been playing off the two chipmakers against one another to drive costs down. He suggests that bargain-hunting clients avoid both AMD and Intel stock for now. As an aside, Mok notes that so far Vista is not causing a spike in demand for chips. This story hasn't been picked up very widely; other coverage is at Seeking Alpha.
Communications

Submission + - Realtime visualization streaming global blog data

mooksha writes: "A couple of bright Swedes have concocted this amazing screensaver as their Master Thesis project. It is utterly pointless but actually very cool. The treats of a typical screensaver. :)

Blog data is collected from all over the world and streamed in realtime via Amazon S3 to all instances. Data is visualised with OpenGL, and the location of each blog post indicated on the earth using the lat/long of the server. Not very representative, since most large blog tools are hosted in the US. Language detection would have been more appropriate.

See YouTube video of the visualization and it's possible to download the screensaver on www.twingly.se."

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