Yahoo! Vs. Google: Algorithm Standoff

Only for those truely interested in search algorithm optimization - or for those non-tech folks looking for a quick passage to sleep ...

The goal of this analysis is to compare the keyword density elements of Yahoo's new algorithm with Google's algorithm.

(link) [Slashdot]

00:00 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

The Toy Fair's Top 10 Strangest Products

My personal favorite is the interactive hedgehog ...

Forget about Lord of the Rings and Spider-Man, the real stuff was an art farm that grows vegetables, a pogo stick that shoots you over the moon, 'real' shrunken heads, and an educational plush toy based on an alien invasion.

(link) [Slashdot]

00:00 /Humor | 0 comments | permanent link

Speed Cam Profiling

Well, one of the missives (from a Canadian subscriber, obviously) on a mailing list really pushed a hot button for me - so I'm reproducing my response (with the original blockquoted) ....

Talking about speed cameras, a number of years ago the Ontario NDP government of the time put speeding cameras on the highways, and lo and behold, it worked! Traffic slowed down, less accidents and fatalities, the cops liked it, most people didn't mind EXCEPT for a small vociferous minority who went on and on so that when a radical Conservative government was elected, it became a politicized issue and suddenly, no more speeding cameras, even though the cops liked it and less people were getting hurt and killed. Once again here was an issue that became politicized so that common sense no longer applied. The Conservatives grudgingly allowed red light cameras in Toronto a few years ago, so intractable their position had become. Are reductio ad absurdum "rights" more important than reduced fatalities? Or is this just another quaint Canadian perspective?


Quaint? Isn't a Canadian just an unarmed American with healthcare? ;>)

Consider this: cops in New Jersey and other eastern states loved the ability to stop people of color while driving about, because demographically and statistically they were more "liable" to commit a crime. And you know what? While this onerous practice made it a marginal crime to be caught "driving while black", crime rates in some of the affected areas actually went down! People apparently were safer, and (presumably) less lives were lost. So I presume that most Canadians would be in favor of such "racial profiling"? Ummmm, doubtful.

Consider the lives lost to AIDS and other diseases passed along by "unsafe sex". How many lives could we save by seriously enforcing sodomy laws? What would our Attorney General think about this? How 'bout bedroom cams to make sure everybody rolls over and does it right? How many lives would that save?

And am I mistaken, but aren't many folks north of our (US) border rather upset about some of the policies of the Bush administration on detention of "potential" terrorists? But if such an "inconvienence" saves 3000 live (a la 9/11) isn't that worth it?

Add to this the reports from the BBC and the Times (of London) about various offical monitors of street camaras who, um, shall we say, redirected their camaras towards more interesting targets, mostly younger ladies.... who shall watch the watchmen, indeed?

So: Are reductio ad absurdum "rights" more important than reduced fatalities?

Yes. By a country mile.... mostly because governments everywhere have a lot different conception of "absurd" than the publics they govern. When government moves from dispensing justice to "preventing crime", it's a very slippery slope indeed....

Your line for absurdity may be well beyond traffic cams, perhaps rightly so - but where is Jerry Falwell's? More importantly, where is your government's? I know how comfortable I'd be about having John Ashcroft decide what's an absurd invasion of my rights and what's justified by "saving lives"!

Dave H.

Those who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security. - Ben Franklin

00:00 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link

Where America's white-collar jobs go: It's not just India

How am I supposed to compete with this:

The group employs 450 people, with 100 to 150 more hires projected for next year. Rookie programmers at EDS Africa make roughly $18,400 a year - and must pay all benefits, including health insurance, themselves. A comparable US worker might get $50,000, not including benefits.

That's about $9.25 per hour, and no benefits.

Ambitious nations and companies are rushing to claim their share of the US outsourcing pie.

(link) [Christian Science Monitor | Top Stories]

00:00 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link