To and Back Again, a i202 Story

Light-hearted fare to celebrate the it-is-over-ness of our final: (cute cat images optional)
im in da syistam, improovin ur misundastandin ouf sveeloooneyus
Congrats and enjoy!

4 Ways One Database Would Help Music Fans, Industry

You'd think, after finishing the final and the course, adding to the 202 blog would be the last thing on anyone's mind. But I saw this article and reflexively fired up the "Create Content" form, because this is essential 202, in my mind. It helped me realize why I've never been comfortable with music subscription services (I have a curated library that I don't want to get stuck behind a pay wall) and how musicians and industry would be better off if they could all agree to agree, for once.

Searchable lecture slides, take 2


The link had expired but it's live again. Grab all the searchable lecture slides here...


Addendum: electronic version of most of the reader content is here. Please don't distribute that of course as most of it is only licensed for use within the UC system.

202 search tool now available

Hello everybody,

Our promised 202 search tool is now available on

You can enter a query and the tool will perform 4 different searches against the corpus of 202 lecture slides. The search algorithms are:

Two firefox plugins for visual representations of browser history

So, I know we've talked about visual representations of browser history before, and tonight, while reading lifehacker (ie, procrastinating for 202), I found two recommendations for firefox plug-ins. I just installed both of them.

The first, History Tree, looks awesome. It displays a simple visual history; it sorts by tabs, and includes backtracking as well as showing how you got from one page to another. I'm definitely going to be using this one.

Enterprise and Visual Search Heats Up

Google enters the fray of enterprise search with its GSA for enterprise use while Google Goggles and Bing goes head to head w/visual search innovations.   Note Bing's reliance on user-defined categories.  Vocabulary problem, anyone?


Semantic Web and Links

In a recent section we were discussing the limitations of putting useful data in content of links.  I came across an interesting interview with David Huynh an interaction designer with FreeBase where he describes ways of utilizing the semantic web for links. Basically it's still a challenge since there are not many frontend interfaces that allow users to attach sematic data to hyperlinks - but David's projects point to a hopeful future.


Google Introduces Translated Search

Google has integrated a new search feature into Google Search which it calls Translated Search.

New Google search features: real-time updates, cellphone photos as search query

Google introduced a number of new features today, most notably real-time updates and searching by an uploaded photo. Real-time updates means that Twitter and Facebook statuses will immediately feed to Google search.

Semantic Web Agents in Your Email

I don't know much about Kwaga ( except that it's a tool that performs semantic analysis on your Gmail in order to fill your calendar with dates, remind you to follow up when someone hasn't replied quickly enough, and warn you if there are passwords or other sensitive strings in a message.  None of this should disturb me--after all, mail is inherently insecure--and yet there is something unsettling to me here.  It runs your Inbox through its servers to do the semantic analysis, although it assures you that it would never share any of your email statistics.  T

Spock, A People Search Engine

Spock is a people search engine that uses a "man + machine" approach that includes text extraction and tagging to build pages about people. Spock crawls and indexes "people-related" web sites and augments this with editorial and social oversight.

Google Public DNS service

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I am starting to feel very concerned about Google's new Public DNS service. It seems that Google is trying to build its own Library of Babel collecting as much information as it can in order to improve its knowledge of web usage. I haven't read their privacy policy, but this opens new possibilities for targeted advertising.

Taxonomy and Sexual Identity

Not to beat a dead horse, but this article in the New Yorker about the South African running champion Caster Semenya makes some very interesting connections between the androgynous runner's sexual identity and the historical politics of racial classification in her homeland.