Tag: 2009

11:33 and the realtime web photo by Keram Malicki-SanchezSeveral exciting announcements from the Google Search Event today December 7th, 2009 – a series of updates and concepts presented on the present and future of Google and online search in general.

Japanese language voice search is now active.

Google Goggles, in the Google Labs, is part of an initiative that Google calls a nascent technology that aims to apply search to the most complex of the human senses – sight. It will allow the user to take a photo of anything and use that as the search criteria. Billions of images exist in an index but Google opted not to incorporate facial recognition to safeguard user privacy despite the fact that they do have the technology fully working. “Unsupervised learning” are algorithms that will actually go “out” and work on image recognition on its own, parsing comparative data to determine what an image is. Imagine, for example taking a photo of the Empire State Building – a photo that you have taken, not a generic published photo, and like Shazam does with music, Goggles will parse and return search results about the Empire State Building.

Google MyLocation, Mobile Maps, Near Me Now builds on the fact that wherever a user is, so is their cell phone. By always knowing where the cell phone owner is located it can shave off seconds from search result replies. Near Me Now is an awesome Android app: imagine, for example you arrive at an outdoor event early and aren’t sure what to do in order to kill ten minutes. Using Google mobile geo-location search feature, you can get realtime search results about not only what coffee shops but the most popular or best liked are within a walking distance. The tech will use radio, cell and satellite to get latitude and longitude as quickly as possible.

Today Google announces Realtime search

Forever gone are the days up updating indexes once a month or week or day or even minute. “Relevance is the foundation of this product – relevance, relevance, relevance.” Looking at the Google results page is unlike anything you have seen before – scrolling updating data as it happens on the web.” says Amit Singhal (master of Google’s ranking algorithm) giddily who also underlined that in twenty years of working on search engines this is one of the most exciting announcements of which he has ever been a part. Now it makes sense that Google sucked Twitter into its search engine result. I hope this finally underscores for the doubters my evangelizing about Twitter.

This will literally change everything. If we believed that Google Wave, the realtime collaborative tool, was groundbreaking, then true, realtime search will deeply affect how everything we exchange will unfold from this point forward.

The realtime search results can be accessed by clicking “Latest” as opposed to Past Hour, Past 24 hours and so on. The user will be shown the updates as they hit Google’s servers themselves in realtime. “It shows you exactly what you need as it happens, including tweets.” Dozens of new technologies to build realtime search like query fluctuation models, realtime content generation fluctuation model that has to recognize that an event took place and spiked. Within seconds Google realtime is analyzing, filtering for relevance and posting billions of documents created daily, on the fly.

“The importance of relevance has gone through the roof – and everything has become relevant and at the pace at which it is growing, relevance has become the critical factor in building products like this.”

Like when Google announced Gmail with unlimited storage and Yahoo watched in horror, I can only imagine what Bing must feel like right now. Google realtime search is already available in Google mobile.

Google Trends

Working from there, Google Trends is graduating from GLabs to Google proper. The concept of trending that grew up on twitter is now going to figure as a key search method. Combining realtime web with trending is a little mind-blowing. Check it out at http://www.google.com/trends

What this will potentially do for the stock market is frightening.

How about the idea put forth at the talk about realtime inventory reporting – ie. how many copies of a new book are still in stock, or signed special edition copies of that guitar? Turn Google (or perhaps Froogle) into a realtime QVC!

Facebook pages – the public profiles for specific entities, and MySpace pages designated as public will also be appearing in Google realtime search (as will identi.ca, Friendfeed and others) – this means that everyone is essentially a live content creator whose output is being cataloged. Users will be able to decide what is or is not broadcast via their privacy controls. Again, the implications are staggering.

What Will Realtime Search Mean for Pagerank?

As far as pagerank, Mr. Singhal acknowledges the importance of pagerank and reassures the journalists that it is still a factor in realtime search but that additionally dozens of technologies were created not replacing it. Pagerank is what gives weight to the reliability of a source.





TIFF 2009The second installment of my film picks for happy viewing at Toronto International Film Festival 2009. Hurry and get tickets now, these shows are all this week of Sept. 14th, 2009!

Videocracy

Director: Erik Gandini
Country: Sweden
Year: 2009
Language: English, Italian
Runtime: 85 minutes
Format: Color/35mm

videocracy-toronto-international-film-festival-2009

Disinformationist and cultural watchdog director Erik Gandini, whose previous films include Surplus: Terrorized into Being Consumers (2003) and Gitmo – The New Rules of War (2005) that won the best documentary award at the Seattle International Film Festival, (sounds like my kind of guy) now brings us a film that explores the strange and astonishing world and influence of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi – owner of the country’s television empire. The following synopsis explains:

“In a late evening of 1976, a local Italian television broadcasts a quiz where viewers at home have to answer questions. For each correct answer, a housewife takes off a garment and does a brief dance. The format is simple and very successful.

Unaware viewers did not know that the show was the beginning of a complete change on the way of doing television. A revolution that would forever change the entire Italian political system, changing the values and becoming a powerful instrument of government for the nation.”

As if that isn’t enough to get any reader of the CulturePin.com to make a date for this screening, here is a trailer:

PUBLIC SCREENINGS
Tuesday September 15
10:00PM
VARSITY 3

Thursday September 17
8:00PM
VARSITY 1

Saturday September 19
2:30PM
VARSITY 4

Buy Tickets

Valhalla Rising

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Country: Denmark/United Kingdom
Year: 2009
Language: English
Runtime: 90 minutes
Format: Color/35mm

valhalla-rising-toronto-international-film-festival-2009

European director Nicolas Winding Refn is probably best known for the Pusher trilogy that migrated the gangster film genre to Copenhagen on an epic scale. His latest film Valhalla Rising tackles the Viking genre – typically heavy with mutton eating and battle axes gleaming in the reflection of the moon off of glaciers, he raises the roof high and takes us deeper inside the world of these powerful warriors who preceded Christopher Columbus arrival to North America by several hundred years.

From the programme:
“The film’s landscapes look so foreign and desolate that Valhalla Rising might as well have been shot on the moon.”

Looks like a lot of visual eye candy and excitement to me.

PUBLIC SCREENINGS
Tuesday September 15
4:00PM
WINTER GARDEN THEATRE

Saturday September 19
12:15PM
SCOTIABANK THEATRE 3

Buy Tickets Now

Midnight Madness Programme 2009 – Pt. II

Solomon Kane

Director: Michael J. Bassett
Country: France/Czech Republic/United Kingdom
Year: 2009
Language: English
Runtime: 104 minutes
Format: Color/D-Cinema
Rating: 14A

solomon-kane-tiff-09
Continuing with our list of gory epic sagas started with Valhalla Rising, director Michael J. Bassett, whose previous films including Deathwatch (2002) and Wilderness (2006) – films that in hindsight appear to have prepared him for undertaking the famous pulp-fiction story of 16th century Puritan Solomon Kane, is shot in a gritty and irreverent manner invoking a return to high-spirited action and adventure. Interestingly enough it is part of the Midnight Madness programme which can only mean that the action and adventure quotient is high indeed.

PUBLIC SCREENINGS
Wednesday September 16
11:59PM
RYERSON

Thursday September 17
3:15PM
SCOTIABANK THEATRE 1

Buy Tickets

Bitch Slap

Director: Rick Jacobson
Country: USA
Year: 2009
Language: English
Runtime: 104 minutes
Format: Color/35mm
Rating: 14A

bitch-slap-toronto-international-film-festival-2009-midnight-madness

Bitch Slap director Rick Jacobson has directed over 100 episodes of television including the series Xena: Warrior Princess, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Baywatch. The movie is called Bitch Slap. If you are a fan of Russ Meyer’s big-boobie-desert-romps or Tarantino’s instatiable lust for grindhouse fare mixed with really really bad bluescreen, then what are you waiting for? It’s Midnight Madness, it’s happening now, get a ticket and get there. If any of the above sound offensive or abhorrent to you, then for goodness’ sake stay home and watch reruns of Friends.

PUBLIC SCREENINGS
Monday September 14
11:59PM
RYERSON

Wednesday September 16
3:15PM
SCOTIABANK THEATRE 3

Buy Tickets

If you get a chance to see any of these films, please let me know what you thought of it. Also I would love to hear any other film recommendations you may have by posting a comment on this article. Have a great TIFF 2009!