Summer Movies ’08 – New Trailers for Indy, Batman

New trailers were released this weekend for Batman: The Dark Knight and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I definitely plan on seeing these two movies this year.

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Pearl Jam is Back in the Studio Prepping Ninth Studio Album

Rolling Stone is reporting that Pearl Jam is recording material for a new album with Brendan O’Brien, who produced Yield back in 1998. No speculation on a potential release date, but if I were a betting man, I’d look for it in late winter/early spring 2009 with a tour to follow in the summer. Got my tickets already for June at the whatever-it’s-called-now theater in Camden, NJ. They were expensive this year, so I hope I get good seats.

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The Great Crossword Puzzle Dilemma

 

I spent the better part of a recent Sunday working on a crossword puzzle published in the Orlando Sentinel. I nearly finished it, with the exception of a few lines that I’m either not sure of or couldn’t answer at all. And the not knowing part is driving me crazy! I went to the paper’s site and they apparently publish each day’s puzzle and the solution. The only problem is, it’s not the same puzzle that was printed in the paper that day! If anybody could track down the solution to the April 27 crossword puzzle from the Orlando Sentinel (entitled Side-by-Side Saints by Frank A. Longo) I would be eternally grateful.

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Flyers Advance to Conference Finals

Sorry. I’ve been away for a while and haven’t had much of an opportunity to update the blog lately. Here are some topics I am working on:

I’ll also try to add small items and links to odd/interesting stuff I come across online that you may have missed in an effort to keep this updated a little more frequently.

In the meantime, back to the title of the post. Can you believe it? The Flyers, who were horrible last year are this much closer to the Stanley Cup. Amazing. Can’t wait for the Flyers-Penguin/Rangers series to start this week.

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Q&A with Google’s Udi Manber

Popular Mechanics this past week posted an interesting interview with Udi Manber, Google’s Vice President of Engineering. He offers some interesting insight into what goes on behind the scenes at Google to make sure search is up to speed.

Highlights include:

  • “Our goal is very simple: We want to return to the user the answer that they need.”
  • “…at the bottom of many pages, you’ll see query refinements. These are suggestions from us about what your next query should be.”
  • “Last year we made over 450 improvements to the algorithm.”
  • “At Google we do not manually change results.”
  • “…one feature we launched recently is something called CLIR. It stands for Cross Language Information Retrieval.”
  • “When we decide to launch something, we have a weekly meeting where all those things come together and we look at all the evaluations and we make decisions—revenues and any effects on ads do not come into those meetings.”

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Insight into the Digg Algo, Take 2

Thanks for all the feedback received on my last post regarding the tiniest piece of info provided in the Diggnation podcast a little over a week ago. Being a frequent user of Digg, I have seen the limitations on expecting what will go popular and it’s clear that there is a 24 hour window of opportunity. I figured that out rather quickly after using it for only a few days. However, others have seen stories go popular a few days later than the initial day; 7 days later in at least one case – although cases like this are extremely rare. I wouldn’t expect Kevin Rose to reveal significant details regarding the algorithm and didn’t think the comment he made was even all that revealing. (tried to make that clear in the first sentence of the post) But, it did open up some interesting dialogue around understanding how long is too long, or too late, to expect a listing to reach popular status.

What is the latest anyone has seen something made popular?

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Kevin Rose Offers Insight into Digg Algorithm

During this past week’s Diggnation podcast, Kevin Rose offered up some insight into the Digg algorithm which may or may not be the most eye-opening of revelations. It’s something that I figured out pretty quickly and that is that there is an element of time associated with how likely a submitted story is to be promoted to the homepage. Personally, I think there is a 24 hour window of opportunity as I’ve seen stories make it to the “Hot” list (at the right of this page, for example) and not be promoted to the homepage, yet be removed from this list after a full 24 hours.

What I haven’t been able to confirm is whether or not something older than 24 hours could possibly be promoted with an adequate number of diggs despite its age. Kevin’s comment: “It’s too old. The algo won’t promote it.” (skip ahead to 22:30 to hear it) sort of confirms that any submission beyond an age specified by the algorithm won’t be made popular. The story in question (related to SEO by strange coincidence), SEO Design Rap, only had 122 Diggs as of 4/4/08, when the podcast was taped. As of the time of this blog post, it has 261 diggs, most likely a result of promotion via the podcast. This number of diggs should have been enough to promote it to the homepage, but as per Kevin’s comment, age of the submission hasn’t allowed it to be promoted. It was originally submitted to Digg back on 3/20/08.

Although it’s hard to say what the time limitations are within the algorithm, I’m sticking with the 24 hour limit. This basically does confirm that it’s nearly impossible to get something promoted that’s at least a day old, no matter how many diggs it collects.

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