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Feed Techdirt: RealNetworks Sues Burst, Seeking Judgment Saying It Doesn't Infringe (techdirt.com)

We've covered the history of Burst.com and its questionable patents before. While the company was recently able to squeeze $10 million out of Apple, following the $60 million it got from Microsoft, speculation had begun on who the next target would be. In fact, apparently a Burst investor had started posting videos to YouTube trying to show how a variety of companies all infringed on Burst's patents. Of course, if we had a sane patent system, most people would look at this to suggest that the concepts in Burst's patents were fairly obvious and never should have received patent protection in the first place -- but that's not how things work these days. Among the companies listed in the videos were Google, AOL, Adobe and RealNetworks. Apparently, that was enough to worry RealNetworks, who has filed for a declaratory judgment in Northern California claiming that it does not infringe on Burst's patents. This was, by the way, the same strategy that Apple took (suing first) almost exactly two years ago. With so much fear of cases getting forced into Marshall, Texas, it's no surprise that those threatened would try to file for declaratory judgments on friendlier grounds. It will be interesting to see if Google, AOL or Adobe follow suit.

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Submission + - SortFix Another New Search Engine? Think Again (sortfix.com)

Amir Lavi writes: "About SortFix the company and its product.

SortFix was founded by Yohay Barsky and Amir Lavi, following our own experience as search engine users. We tried to find better techniques and ways to retrieve information from Google or yahoo. We soon realize that during a search we encounter three main problems.

We usually don't know where to start i.e. which keywords to use, because the search topic is often new to us and we are not familiar with the specific terms we should use, sometimes because of mental fixation or lack of imagination and mainly because we can't always guess how site-owner describe their content.

We are lazy, (i.e we want maximum impact with minimal effort, which is basically a good thing), and we want to be able to find information quickly and efficiently. We get tired very quickly if we are not on the right track. We don't want to learn the complex search engine syntax (boring) and we don't want to scan unrelated results until we might reach a related one (tedious).

Typing and editing a search query can be cumbersome and time consuming especially if you type a longer and detailed query.

Guess what? We were not alone according to researches most user type 2-3 words in their search query which is equivalent to the way little children communicates, and it is absolutely not sufficient to describe a concept or even a question.
Moreover most users don't try nor succeed to upgrade their search query, and simply move to the next search engine and try their luck again.

SortFix helps to overcome exactly those problems. How?

SortFix's algorithm mimics a professional searcher (by propriety language processing methods) and identifies the most optimal words or terms correlated to the user initial query (these optimal words are called "Power Words"). Why optimal? Because we want that every user's action will be as efficient as possible and will reduce the overall number of the returned results, along with significant increase in relevancy. These actions are according to a specific need of every user.

Then come the fun part, SortFix offers an intuitive user interface to support the algorithm. The user simply drags "Power words" that are related to his search to the "Add to Search" box (green area) and the unrelated ones to the "Remove" box (red area). This tells the search engine: "yes these terms interests me and are related to my search, these ones defiantly not, now you know better what I'm looking for, so please give me the relevant results"

The best part is that you don't need to use the entire "Power Words" at once, just drag a few each step according to your needs. In every step the result relevancy increases, and so does the "Power Words" quality.

SortFix also has an English dictionary that helps the user to understand the different meanings of a search terms (simply drag a word to the dictionary box). If you are an advanced user you should use SortFix's advanced interface, it enables a graphical representation of OR and Synonyms, has a "Standby" box and a "Deep Search" function.

SortFix Team is currently consisting 9 professional in the fields of language processing, software and algorithms development, UI design and research.

Business model

SortFix Business model is quite strait forward (using the search engine market standard revenue models) and based on proven "sponsored links" model with an addition that we deliver enhanced customization to the advertisers based on superior user input and analysis. (Better match equals efficient advertising).

SortFix's perspective

Search engine user interface didn't evolve much in the past decade, however every other aspect of the net becomes more and more interactive and user friendly. The resent prospective development in the search industries is in the direction of Semitic web and NLP. However Google and Yahoo still have a superior database and resources and considered to be the best search engines. SortFix is somewhere in between: it enables today better interaction with the leading search engine offering enhanced understanding of users needs and will be the bridge towards Natural language querying.

The Algorithm

SortFix algorithm relies on statistical NLP and incorporates more than 300 parameters to provide the optimal keywords and terms called "Power Words". The algorithm scans the search results to identify the "Power Words" correlated to the current search query. By saying correlated it does not necessary mean related to the user search,, the user alone can decides which "Power Words" are relate to his search and which ones not (users still have the best CPU around). However because the "Power Words" are optimized to each and every query, the user actions progresses the search in the most efficient way.

try it. use it. find it.

Feed Engadget: PSP internal USB mass storage mod ain't pretty, but all the gigabytes are (engadget.com)

Filed under: Gaming, Storage

PSP modder extraordinaire PvP_LostKnight's latest creation freed his PSP from the shackles of pricey Memory Sticks, at the cost of aesthetics. The internal USB mass storage mod packs a flash drive inside the PSP, and includes a PCB board that allows the drive to act as the USB host, since the PSP only works in USB slave mode. PvP is otherwise short on details, but we're sure PSP-mutilating instructions will be popping up soon enough.

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