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4 posts from June 2011

June 16, 2011

Context aware computing

The keynote speech at a recent Intel Developer Forum was on context aware computing driving the future of computing. PCMag has an article about it. The basic idea is to enhance devices so that they can act more like personal assistants and less like PDAs. The examples range from the rather outre such as using a EEG headset to take information directly from your brain, to a smart remote control recognizing who is holding it and altering your viewing experience, to more mundane examples such as sensing human gait and using GPS to determine your location in a smartphone.

It had a strong hardware focus (as expected), and didn't appear to mention existing location based search with smart phones. Instead, they demonstrated a prototype of Fodor's Travel application that combined location awareness with other data its learned about you (such as what cusine you prefer) when searching for a nearby restaurant.

Microsoft Research has a interesting article called Exploring New Frontiers of Search that describes concept based search using WS-LDA (Weakly Supervised Latent Dirichlet Allocation) and context aware search using Variable-length Hidden Markov Model (VLHMM) . They're both data mining technigues.


June 07, 2011

Start-up fever?

If you've ever been curious about starting a business, our friend Sean Murphy over at SKMurphy is holding a free web event you may want to attend. Sean, who runs the popular Bootstrapper's Breakfast groups that meet at cities around the country, is hosting a call in discussion of the first chapter of Barry Moltz's book 'You Need to Be a Little Crazy" on Wednesday June 8 2011.

Participating in the call along with Sean are serial entrepreneurs Dorai Thodla of iMorph.com, Massimo Paolini of MPThree Consulting. I've been invited to participate as well, having co-founded both SearchButtin.com and New Idea Engineering; but it is Sean, Dorai, and Massimo you'll want to hear.

If you've ever wondered what it takes to start a company, this call is for you.


Time: 3PM EDT; Noon PST (2000GST)

Registration link is:


Use 'NewIdea' as your discount code to get in at no cost

Just remember, as Wally found out from Dilbert in 1991- 'the company stops paying you if you quit' to become an entrepreneur!





June 06, 2011

the future of fast draft

Sorry, due to a Bit.Ly mostake on our part we got the URL wring.

Please visit the correct post: Musings on Microsoft and FAST. Thanks!


June 03, 2011

Today's Search Term: Term Density

'Term density' is a calculated percentage of how frequently a term appears in a document, relative to the overall size of the document. This fixes the problem with simple term frequency calculations. For example, if a word appears 5 times in a 2 page document and 10 times in document a 100 page document, the first document is probably still more relevant, even though it has 5 less occurrences of the term.

From the New Idea Engineering Glossary of Search-Related Terms