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Searching the Internet of Things

Already, the Internet is expanding from its traditional role inside the desktops and laptops of its users. Its presence is becoming ubiquitous, in our pockets, on our wrists, and even throughout our kitchens. This paradigm shift, accelerated by one of Google’s latest open-source projects called the Physical Web, will certainly affect the way people search […]

A Poet and His Auction

Long before William Vickrey won his Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1996 for his work on auctions, a German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was implementing auction strategies of his own. Goethe, a world-renowned German writer during the late 1700s and early 1800s, published a letter in 1797 that contained the details of a […]

Information Cascades and Public Opinion

Recently in class the idea of information cascades has been broached on multiple occasions.  Information cascades exist as readily in real life as they do on paper, and it is important to recognize how easily this phenomena can infiltrate daily life because sometimes the wisdom of the crowds can detract from and reduce individual judgment, […]

When Social Networks Collapse

Social media is a core part of most people’s web use, and while sites like Facebook and Twitter have found some stability in the last few years, many other social media sites have failed or collapsed. One example of a collapsed site is Friendster, an early precursor to MySpace and Facebook. In 2009, Friendster’s traffic […]

Burkina Faso’s Uprise and Direct-benefit effects

Recently, the revolution that is taking place Burkina Faso, a landlocked country in West Africa is all over the newspaper. As mentioned in this article, “Burkina Faso army seizes control of state TV headquarters”, in the nation of Burkina, the government was just overthrown amongst a sea of protests and calls for reform. After the […]

Google Image Search: using PageRank

We are very familiar with the PageRank algorithm used by Google Search to rank web pages in their search results. However, we might not know that Google has again tried to leverage the wisdom of PageRank to experiment and produce the next generation of image search. Most search engines like Yahoo, Bing, etc. provide image […]

The Effect of Social Media Networks on Voter Turnout

For the past six years on American national election days, Facebook has added a button to the top of everyones news feed with a large button that says “I’m Voting” or “I’m a Voter.” Facebook has been using this tool to see how it can affect voter turnout. For example, in 2010 Facebook had different […]

VisualRank: Applying PageRank to Large-Scale Image Search

Paper: http://www.kevinjing.com/jing_pami.pdf The PageRank algorithm provides a way to rank webpages by looking at the structure of a graph of hyperlinks. The ranking so generated provides search engines like Google and Bing a way to order the results of the search queries. It is one of the many measures used to determine which pages are […]

Don’t Fall for Scams!

Get-rich-quick schemes are suddenly everywhere on the Internet. Most of them are scams. These scams are run by massive criminal organizations that leech into lives through contact information, obtaining said information through partnerships with Internet Marketers. These Internet Marketers gain someone’s attention through selling a cheap product to get names and phone numbers, and then […]

Beyond Clicks: Discovering a Better Metric than CTR

A recent research paper written by the Personalization Science team at Yahoo Labs presented an effective yet simple, metric to measure and optimize user engagement. This newly-discovered metric is said to rival popular existing metrics, such as item-level click-through rate. It takes into account “the amount of time that users spend on content items, or […]

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