Millions of Archived Films and TV Footage Now Accessible to All
Royal Holloway, University of London (06/21/2011)
A new search engine developed by Royal Holloway, University of London, and the British Universities Film & Video Council (BUFVC) will make it easier for users to find film, TV, and radio content online.
Such content is usually made available as standalone collections, which requires users to know where to look before they begin their search. However, the BUFVC federated search engine is designed to serve as an all-in-one tool for accessing nine online databases with more than 13 million film, TV, and radio records.
The icon-based search engine generates related records and searches and provides a detailed user history and export function. Film, TV, and radio content is an underused resource in teaching and research, says Royal Holloway professor John Ellis.
“Educators are keen to use them, but experience many problems in locating useful resources,” Ellis says. “This unified search of all BUFVC’s existing databases solves this by providing a thoroughly tested user friendly interface with many novel features.”
The search engine will be released under an open source license this summer.
Gender-Spotting Tool Could Have Rumbled Fake Blogger
New Scientist (06/17/11) Paul Marks
A gender analysis program developed by Stevens Institute of Technology researcher Na Cheng and colleagues could have successfully determined the sex of a 40-year-old U.S. man writing online as a gay Syrian girl, according to tests.
The software permits users to either upload a text file or paste in a paragraph of 50 words or more for analysis. The program was based on a vast corpus of documents that the researchers screened for psycholinguistic factors, and they winnowed the more than 500 factors they uncovered down to 157 gender-significant ones.
These cues were then combined by the program through a Bayesian algorithm that guesses gender according to the balance of likelihoods suggested by the factors. The program has three gender judgments to choose from–male, female, and neutral.
A judgment of neutral might signal that someone is attempting to write in a gender voice that is unnatural to them. When fed text, the software’s assessment of a male or female author is only precise 85 percent of the time, but the researchers say its accuracy will improve as more people use it and alert it to wrong guesses.
This was a huge deal to some of my online buds last week, particularly the gay activist ones. It was interesting hearing their reactions to this, but since it was last week, I can’t remember why.
I love this. I want one, and then I want every landfill in the US to start using them.
This raggedyass little gif says a lot about the state of little boys’ brains. I love it.
I snagged it via twitter from Zadi Diaz. I used to think she was a twit but now I think she’s brilliant. Goes to show you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. Me, I mean. Zadi was probably always brilliant and I wasn’t paying enough attention.
UT Researchers Launch SpamRankings to Flag Hospitals Hijacked by Spammers
eWeek (06/08/11) Fahmida Y. Rashid
Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Research in Economic Commerce recently launched SpamRankings, a Web site that identifies the names and addresses of organizations that are helping send out spam.
The site will publicize spam havens–organizations that have been taken over by spammers.
The site’s creators are hoping the publicity will pressure organizations to improve their security and spam-prevention efforts. The researchers’ initial focus will be on health-care providers that have been infected by spam bots, with future versions of the project including banking and Web hosting providers.
Last month SpamRankings identified Belgium’s WIN Authonomous Systems as the biggest spam sender in the world.
“Nobody wants to do business with a bank or hospital or Internet hosting company that has been hijacked by spammers,” says center director Andrew Whinston. The researchers worked with Team Cyrmu, which tracks cybercrime activity to analyze and correlate Internet protocol addresses with organizations.
This just cracked me up. I know it’s dumb as toast, but there you go.