Showing posts from December, 2005

[Research] Google Research Papers

A list of research papers published by people while at Google. Oddly enough, they don't seem to have any papers on PageRank listed.

Driving and Individuality

Now here would be an interesting PhD. I think the author (George Monbiot) is usually a little crazy, but he might be onto something here. There are tons of research explorations you could do to support / refute this claim, and it would be socially relevant and useful.,5673,1671053,00.html

I believe that while there are many reasons for the growth of individualism in the UK, the extreme libertarianism now beginning to take hold here begins on the road. When you drive, society becomes an obstacle. Pedestrians, bicycles, traffic calming, speed limits, the law: all become a nuisance to be wished away. The more you drive, the more bloody-minded and individualistic you become. The car is slowly turning us, like the Americans and the Australians, into a nation that recognises only the freedom to act, and not the freedom from the consequences of other people's actions. We drive on the left in Britain, but we are being driven to the right.

[HCI] Game-like elicitation methods: A new approach to user research

MindCanvas is a research service to help companies gather insights about customers' thoughts & feelings. We use Game-like Elicitation Methods (GEMs) to let online users participate in answering the complex questions that you face in designing a product or service.


CMU's Great Flood

Well, it wasn't quite 40 days and 40 nights, but there was enough flooding to destroy one of our machine rooms in Wean Hall. I've also heard that Wean Hall caught on fire a few years before I arrived.

[Scary] Cyranoids

One of my friends told me about an experiment done by Stanley Milgram, where Milgram coined the term "cyranoid". Apparently, Milgram had a young child wear an earpiece, and he was telling the child what to say when interacting with adults. Sort of creepy, hm?

We are all familiar with the story of Cyrano de Bergerac who loved Rosalyn, but provided prose to help another man to woo her. From his name, Stanley Milgram coined the term "cyranoid" to describe an intermediary that communicates with a target using the words or non-verbal behavior of another individual. To examine the use of a cyranoid in social interaction, Milgram conducted a study in which participants interacted with an individual who, unbeknownst to them, was a cyranoid whose words were being controlled by a third party. Milgram described cyranoids as: “People who do not speak thoughts originating in their own central nervous system: Rather, the words …

[Research] New Research Labs funded by Microsoft, Sun, and Google

News of two new corporate research labs in the news today.
University of California computer scientists plan to announce on Thursday that the companies - Google, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems - will underwrite a $7.5 million laboratory on the Berkeley campus. The new research center, called the Reliable, Adaptive and Distributed Systems Laboratory, will focus on the design of more dependable computing systems.
Internet goliath Google Inc. will open a research and development facility on Carnegie Mellon University's campus, state economic development and university officials are expected to announce today.

[Humor] SETI Joke

An evil and funny screen saver mod.

[Funny] CNN: Turn Left, Fool

Companies are offering some surprising voices for you car's navigation system. Make room for Mr. T.

NEW YORK ( - Believe it or not, getting yelled at and berated by Mr. T actually becomes boring pretty quickly.

Everything he tells you to do -- everything -- starts with "Hey, Fool!" That's true even when he's telling you to do something dumb, like drive onto the lower level of the Queensboro Bridge when the upper level is the one you need.

California company NavTones has contracted with Mr. T and the actors Burt Reynolds and Dennis Hopper to record voices that can be loaded into navigation systems, giving your driving directions a little extra personality. More voices are coming, the company said.

Another company, TomTom, offers John Cleese's voice along with several "fictional" characters that include a New York City cab driver and a Freudian psychoanalyst.

[Phishing] IRS Warns of Tax Refund Scam

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers about a phishing
scam that uses promises of tax refunds to steal sensitive financial

The IRS issued a statement Wednesday warning consumers of the scam
e-mail messages, which appears to come from and
contains a link to a phishing Web site that collects Social Security and
credit card information. But one anti-virus software company claims a
flaw in a U.S. government Web site may be helping the scammers.