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IEEE: Amazon's Collaberative Filtering, Cluster Models
Topic: Technology 3:48 pm EST, Jan 11, 2005

Traditional Collaborative Filtering
A traditional collaborative filtering algorithm represents a customer as an N-dimensional vector of items, where N is the number of distinct catalog items. The components of the vector are positive for purchased or positively rated items and negative for negatively rated items. To compensate for best-selling items, the algorithm typically multiplies the vector components by the inverse frequency (the inverse of the number of customers who have purchased or rated the item), making less well-known items much more relevant.3 For almost all customers, this vector is extremely sparse.

The algorithm generates recommendations based on a few customers who are most similar to the user. It can measure the similarity of two customers, A and B, in various ways; a common method is to measure the cosine of the angle between the two vectors:

Overview of Collaberative filters, cluster models, and other recommendation algorithms.

IEEE: Amazon's Collaberative Filtering, Cluster Models

Security researcher to be jailed for finding bugs in software?
Topic: Technology 3:46 pm EST, Jan 11, 2005

A French security researcher who published exploit codes that could take advantage of bugs in an anti-virus application, could be imprisoned for violation of copyright laws.

Security researcher to be jailed for finding bugs in software?

Kasparov aims for Putin checkmate
Topic: Miscellaneous 1:50 pm EST, Jan 11, 2005

Chess legend Garry Kasparov talks to the BBC News website about Putin, politics and the game of kings.

Kasparov aims for Putin checkmate

I glued my eyelids shut!
Topic: Miscellaneous 2:38 pm EST, Jan 10, 2005

SUNSHINE Coast great-grandmother Terry Horder got the fright of her life when she accidentally stuck her eyes shut with super-strength glue.

I glued my eyelids shut!

[romania] Basescu wants big fraud uncovered
Topic: Current Events 10:10 pm EST, Jan  8, 2005

Romania's new president, Traian Basescu, promised to overhaul the way the country is run, saying the former communist elite's grip on the state must be loosened without further delay.
"People of the old (communist) regime are running the state institutions. These puffed-up faces of the old regime are destroying everything, they are chewing up democracy," Basescu said in an interview with The Associated Press.
"We need to finish with this regime," he warned. "Their bad luck is that I know the system from the inside," he said.

Fraud and corruption is probably one of the key things they have to address before they can join the EMU. It'll be interesting to see how much progress they make on this -- acceptance into the EMU is probably the single major goal of Basescu (as it was his predecessor).

[romania] Basescu wants big fraud uncovered

Anti-Secession Law (chinese perspective)
Topic: Current Events 9:59 pm EST, Jan  8, 2005

The creation of an anti-secession law is based on "doing the utmost for a scenario of peaceful reunification," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said yesterday.

"Commencing the legislative process against secession aims at curbing separatist activities, which is favourable for maintaining the peace, stability and prosperity of the Taiwan Straits and the Asia-Pacific region as well," Liu said at a regular news briefing.

Anti-Secession Law (chinese perspective)

China anti-secession bill will rock relations
Topic: Current Events 9:53 pm EST, Jan  8, 2005

"China's proposed anti-secession law will establish a special court for handling cases of "separatist activity," while officials on both sides of the Taiwan Strait would be held to account if they do not act appropriately in opposing Taiwanese independence, Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Joseph Wu said yesterday."

Interesting article, keeping in mind I don't think anything has even officially been proposed, other than the fact that such a law should be passed and that it should embrace the one china and one state, two systems notions.

China anti-secession bill will rock relations

Bruce Fein and Hate Speech
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:49 pm EST, Jan  8, 2005

Could this be the future of the war on terror? Mildly disturbing, but an interesting interview.

Note that you need to enable RTSP in realplayer to view cspan videos now (it seems to be off by default atleast in realplayer10).

Bruce Fein and Hate Speech

Topic: Miscellaneous 11:06 am EST, Jan  8, 2005

"A US advocacy group dominated by Republican Party stalwarts is trying to revive the idea of regime change in Iran. A recent policy paper issued by the group, The Committee on the Present Danger, urges a "peaceful but forceful strategy" to drive Iran’s Islamic clerics from power. The paper is notable for urging the United States to re-engage Iran diplomatically."

Keep in mind that is a soros organization, so take from that what you will. The paper mentioned is one I memed about previously.


Sri Lanka Officials and Rebels are arguing over aid
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:51 am EST, Jan  8, 2005

FOR those seeking a silver lining in the wake of the tsunami's destruction, Sri Lanka looked like a good place to start. For the first few days after the waves struck, government officials and separatist rebels sounded a conciliatory note. Both sides called for national unity and vowed to co-operate over relief efforts. This collaboration, many hoped, might help build trust. A resumption of peace talks—on hold since early 2003—seemed possible, and perhaps an end to the 30-year-old civil war pitting mostly Hindu Tamil rebels against the mostly Buddhist Sinhalese government.

Sri Lanka Officials and Rebels are arguing over aid

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