On Wednesday Google opened a forum where site owners could solicit feedback on the changes. In less than 24 hours it has received 131 complaints, mostly from mom and pop websites whose traffic and search ranks plummeted as a result of the algorithm change.
Last Friday, Google altered its search algorithm to demote "low-quality" sites in its search results. The change was widely dubbed a "farmer update" because it targeted content-farming websites that aggregate unoriginal content.
At the time Google warned that around 12 percent of its search results would change following the "farmer update" last week. Google has previously said that it changes its algorithm 500 times a year, but rarely makes an announcement.
Wal-mart is testing e-Play kiosks for automated video game trade-ins. So far they have been placed in 77 stores in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The machine scans a game, gives a quote and upon acceptance, credit is issued within a couple of days. The price is determined based on a proprietary algorithm that can change daily. If the test is successful, Wally World may eventually have them in most of their outlets and issue store credit.
Read More | Kotaku
IBM is working on an advanced computer voice that is almost indistinguishable from a human’s. Referred to as “generating paralinguistic phenomena via markup in text-to-speech syntheses,” the voice is programmed to use verbal tics like, ‘um’ and ‘er.’ It can react to an interruption by saying “shhh” and has an algorithm that can learn expressions at correct sentence points. The company plans on using them in telephone helplines, satellite navigation systems, cameras, etc. So we guess the Authors Guild may have a valid concern about the next generation of Kindle after all.
Read More | Telegraph
We were so fascinated by a blog we wrote last week that mentioned being able to tell the sex of a writer from content that we just had to explore it more. Our research ended up at the Gender Genie. Based on the algorithm developed by Moshe Koppel of Bar-Ilan University in Israel and Shlomo Argamon of the Illinois Institute of Technology, you simply place some text on the site and it tells you if the writer is male or female. Try it yourself and note that they suggest something written with at least 500 words. We submitted one that was 471 words with these results.
In all fairness, we tried it again with a shorter piece but the result was the same. Hmmm. So much for math and science.
Read More | bookblog
This new gadget can “smell” your meat and let you know if the stuff that is beginning to turn that strange shade of grey is still edible. Using a microprocessor and complex algorithms, the Sensor Fresh can take more than 2,000 readings in less than a minute, and comes with an extra sensor card that is good for 200 uses. Running on 2 AA batteries (not included,) the Sensor Fresh carries an MSRP of $89.99, with additional replacement cards available in two-packs for $9.99. We have an even better device that is a lot less expensive. If our princess of a cat won’t eat it, we know it’s time to let the meat go.
Read More | Cooking Enthusiast