Google Timeline

To celebrate Google’s 10th birthday they’ve put up a timeline page for you to view the last 10 years of Google’s history, see how they started it all, where the name(s) came from and where they are today.

Simply visit the 10th Birthday page and click on the View Timeline button to begin your journey.

Browser speed test comparison

I posted recently about Lifehacker’s inital tests between beta versions of Chrome, Firefox and IE. Well they’ve been asked to provide more detailed results. This time they’ve provided a breakdown of speed, memory, etc between Chrome, Opera, Safari, Firefox and IE – take a look for yourself to see the results – some interesting “winners” in certain categories.

Serious frickin' bureaucracy

I just came across this post on The Daily WTF and thought I had to share it with you. We’ve all had to, in some point of our lives, deal with a government-type institution and you all know the pains of getting passed from one department to the next. Well Ben E. describes what it was like working for the State Department – read on and enjoy.

Cognition's Semantic NLP

 

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a field of artificial intelligence and computational linguistics. It investigates the problems around the automatic generation and understanding of the human language as opposed to simple keyword searching.

Cognition’s NLP employs a unique mix of linguistics and mathematical algorithms which enables the computer to understand meanings of and associations of words rather than just being able to match the requested search keywords. It also understands relationships between words such as ‘finger’ and ‘digit’ as well as the taxonomy of words e.g.: a ‘finger’ is part of a ‘hand’; a ‘cow’ is a ‘bovine’ which is a ‘mammal’.

Unlike many other text searching programs in use today, that use pattern-matching technologies, to find certain words or phrases, Cognition’s Semantic NLP understands not only the meaning of a word but also the meaning of the word in context to the search phrase supplied. What this means from an end-product point of view is that systems implementing this technology become smarter and more accurate, in turn meaning search queries return more accurate and relevant results, resulting in quicker response times and less load on systems. 

Cognition’s NLP understands the origins of words, a word’s context within a particular phrase especially so with ambiguous words, synonyms of words as well as the ontological relationships of words (or the hierarchy/family of words within the English language). Their technology also understands the various ways words can be spelt, or misspelled. Their unique technology also finds appropriate content based on synonyms of words from the original search query e.g.: if a user searched for ‘fatal fumes in the workplace’ it would also find documents with terms like ‘gas’, ‘steam’ and ‘vapour’ since they relate to ‘fatal fumes’ in the search query. 

An example of NLP

An example of NLP

 

Cognition have been building a semantic map of the English language over the past 23 years thus ensuring that Semantic NLP is complete and unique in enabling other technologies that require word searches and contextual-based searches to become more productive. With this in mind they are able to return search results with over 90% accuracy in comparison to search engines like Google’s which use pattern-matching.

To help one understand the power of their Semantic NLP they have created a search comparison tool to show you the differences between what their search queries return in comparison to Google’s search engine. Here’s an example of a simple phrase search such as ‘strike a match’.

They have a number of applications that their technology can be used with – click here to see the list.

Wondering about Windows 7?

By now you’ve proably heard all the hype around the new version of the Microsoft Windows OS to be released sometime next year, currently called Windows 7 (although most feel  it will just be Windows Vista SP2). I’m still a Windows XP user and will be for sometime – but I just came across an article on the Windows Secrets website which got me thinking maybe the 64-bit route is the better route to go (making better use of your hardware and allowing the OS access to more physical RAM (since the cost have RAM has come down significantly in recent years).

If you’ve not seen any screen shots of Windows 7 yet, you can see them here (some say a lot looks the same in Vista). It also appears that Microsoft are moving away from including accessories in their operating system (such as Movie Maker, Windows Mail, Windows Calendar, etc) and rather using the new Windows Live online applications (means less overhead on the machine for those applications to run and Microsoft don’t need to push updates to your machine when needed).

One of the other reasons I was not in a rush to upgrade to Vista was because it was too early to ensure most hardware manufacturers had been able to provide updated drivers that would make their hardware compatible with Vista – a little over 18 months down the line and taking into account almost another year before Windows 7 is finally released to the public, maybe by then it might be safrer to upgrade to Windows 7 and not have many hardware problems like those plaguing early adopters of Vista.

And for those who want to stay with XP but are jealous of friends with Vista and want the same look and feel take a look at this How-To-Geek guide on tools to update your XP to look like Vista.