Information Retrieval

Google Is Taking Questions (Spoken, via iPhone)

Pushing ahead in the decades-long effort to get computers to understand human speech, Google researchers have added sophisticated voice recognition technology to the company’s search software for the Apple iPhone.

Greenstone 2.81 Released

David Bainbridge from the Greenstone team posted a release noting that a new version of the package was released. Greenstone originates from New Zealand at the University of Waikato. Relative to the changes in the new release, Bainbridge wrote:
The main focus has been on multilingual support. Improvements include handling filenames that include non-ASCII characters, accent folding switched on by default for Lucene, and character based segmentation for CJK languages. This release also features our new installer, which is 100% open source. Previously we had relied on a commercial program for this, which incurred a significant cost in keeping up to date; consequently we decided to develop our own installer, based on the excellent open source installer toolkits already available. There are many other significant additions in this release, such as the Fedora Librarian Interface (analogous to GLI, but working with a Fedora repository). See the release notes for the complete details.
The post gives details on downloading the release as well as daily builds.

Sizing Up the Long Tail of Search

Assuming the tail doesn’t begin until term 18, the head and body together only account for 3.25% of all search traffic! In fact, the top terms don’t account for much traffic:

• Top 100 terms: 5.7% of the all search traffic
• Top 500 terms: 8.9% of the all search traffic
• Top 1,000 terms: 10.6% of the all search traffic
• Top 10,000 terms: 18.5% of the all search traffic

Open Access Day - October 14, 2008

Walt: Today is apparently Open Access Day.

If you’re not already familiar with OA, you should be.
If you’re in an academic library, you should consider how your library could be involved in OA.
If you’re a researcher or article writer, consider how OA can help and what you can do.
It’s not about “losing copyright” (and certainly not about robbing authors!). It’s not about losing peer review.
It’s about gaining access.

1TB of free online media storage via Oosah

Need someplace to store the massive number of pictures, videos, and other media files that have accumulated on your computer? You can always use a service like Flickr or YouTube, but wouldn't it be nice to have it all in one place? A relatively new player in the media storage game, Oosah, offers 1TB for media storage. Yes, 1TB. Here's the limits on what you can upload:

There are some limitations. You can only upload videos that are 200MB or smaller, images that are 50MB or less, and MP3 files that are 9MB or less. And you can't upload executable files, office documents, or other files.

Here is a word of warning from DownloadSquad though (the above limits also came from DownloadSquad):

One word of warning. When I signed up I had to check a box that said I agreed to Oosah's privacy policy. But there was no clear link to said policy. A quick Google search turned up a list of terms and conditions which also makes mention of a separate privacy policy. But it's nowhere to be found.

WorldCat tagging debuts

OCLC Abstracts Says You and your users can now keep track of your favorite items in WorldCat through tags—keywords that help you classify or describe an item. Tags are displayed in search results lists and may help you find similar items or organize items in a way that makes sense to you. You can add as many tags as you would like to an unlimited set of items. You can view and maintain all of your personalized tags from your WorldCat profile page. Plus, you can also browse items using the tags other people have contributed.
(Via iLibrarian)

Best of the best free tools

Via Lifehacker:
A few months back Lifehacker started a section titled "Hive Five" that answers the most frequently asked question: "What's the best tool for the job?" The top tools are chosen by the users and here they present the best of the best from 26 different categories. Many, if not all, of the tools are free. Here is their best of the best.

Factors that improve online experiences

Factors that improve online experiences: This report outlines key findings from surveys that explored factors that drive online experience as expressed by the three different subject groups – nonprofit organizations and cities, web designers and firms, and the general public. The survey’s major findings are listed.

The meaning of citations

Or, "the meaning of citations: what Garfield said he means in a bunch of articles vs. what people say he means and even worse what people do with his work" Christina Pikas:

As for the symbolic nature of citations - this goes to the heart of using citations to map knowledge. What can we say about paper A because it cites B, or about A and C if they both cite B? Citations as indicators that provide a formal representation of science - Wouters Reflexive Citation Theory. But look, we don't know why the citation was useful to the author - maybe the context is, "what an idiot Pikas is, see for example Pikas (2008)." So according to the author, Wouter's theory can't handle that.

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