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Category: PARC Forum

July 25, 2003

Forum: Internet Search Past, Present, Future

I didn't like this talk enough to actually transcribe the notes. Luckily, heerforce has already transcribed his notes/outline, and they're probably better than I would have done anyway.

In short, I expected a lot more from the chief scientist at Altavista. His talk was so vague compared to Eric Schmidt's Google Forum - most of the stuff Pedersen put up was general knowledge. Also, if you notice from heer's notes, his "Future" section of his talk was very vague (though he was rushed).

May 29, 2003

Forum: Beer

We just had a forum on beer-making with a beer tasting afterwards, now how cool is that?

Beer: From Grain Brain To Glass
Presented by: Peter Bouckaert
New Belgium Brewing, Co.

Marketing types in the world of brewing like to say their beers are "steeped in tradition," but does this not ignore hundreds of years of experience and innovation?

In an entertainment industry where 10 minutes of pleasure is our product, working artfully towards a new creation is key. Starting from the glass and going over everything from grain to brain, some challenges of the new ingredients (i.e., experience, knowledge and creativity) will be fermented. A beer seminar addressing E = mc2, child development and Jackson Pollock awaits you!

More below...

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May 8, 2003

Forum: Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory (RCFL)

PARC Forum
Silicon Valley Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory (RCFL)
Special Agent Chris Beeson
FBI San Francisco
Computer Analysis Response Team

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March 7, 2003

Forum: UCB Digital Library Project

PARC Forum
THE UCB DIGITAL LIBRARY PROJECT: RE-INVENTING SCHOLARLY INFORMATION DISSEMINATION AND USE

ROBERT WILENSKY
Professor and Principal Investigator, The Digital Library Project, UC Berkeley

ABSTRACT:

Our practice of disseminating, accessing and using information, especially scholarly information, is still significantly impeded by the legacy of pre-electronic media. While overcoming these impediments will require many elements, there are opportunities for technological innovation to support new and better practices. For example, journals exist in their traditional forms at least partly because of the value of the peer review process, which thus far has not yielded to decentralized, distributed and timely mechanisms of the Web. Similarly, information access is still largely a text-based affair, with other data types relegated to second class citizenship.

The UC Berkeley Digital Library project is developing technologies aimed at addressing these impediments, and hence allowing the development of new, more efficient mechanisms of information dissemiation and use. In particular, we are developing new models of documents, in the form of the Multivalent browser, which we hope will convince you to throw away your current, limited web browser, for collaborative quality filtering", which provides the value of peer
review without deference to prior established authorities, such as journals, and for "collection management services", which bring to individual information users services previously available to libraries. Taken together, such mechanisms may provide the benefits of modern communications without sacraficing traditional academic values.

In addition, we have been developing techniques for image retrieval based on image content. Recent progress on learning the semantics of image databases using text and pictures suggests that new forms of image-lated web services may be possible, including automatic image captioning and automatic illustration, among others.

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March 6, 2003

Forum: Google

Eric Schmidt of Google gave a very interesting talk at PARC. The first half of his talk was about information movements and the second half was anecdotes/information about Google. Schmidt started off with a comparison to electricity: it started off as a big boom, then it became a utility. Similarly, it started off with thousands of companies, and then became very few. Schmidt argues that all big bubbles have followed the model of thousands then few: railroads, auto, dot com. To me at least, this seemed hand-wavy: the auto industry, for example, has a huge parts and support industry around it, and railroad/electricity are inhibited by infrastructure - a company doesn't have to own Internet backbone to produce a product or service.

The funniest anecdote he gave was about the "bias" of Google News. He was giving a talk and someone in the audience asked him what Google's slant was when it displayed articles. Schmidt tried to explain that a computer selected the articles, and thus there was no slant, but the audience member insisted that every news source has a slant. As Schmidt tells the story, he went to the researchers/engineers that were responsible for Google News and asked them if it were possible that Google News had a slant. As it turns out, the researcher that created the program is Indian and put in two biases: (1) International news is favored, and (2) cricket. I had actually noticed (2), because it seemed improbable to me that there would be a cricket sports link everyday on the front page.

Another funny anecdote he had was when he was making a point that cost drives everything. When Google was still at Stanford, they needed to build server casings. What did they use: legos or duplos? Duplos, because they are cheaper.

More stuff below and in the extended comments.

Abstract:
Eric Schmidt, Google Talk
- "Scarcity to Abundance Drives Everthing Tech"

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January 23, 2003

Forum: 20,000 Bytes Under the Sea

20,000 Bytes Under The Sea
Poster & Abstract
Emory Kristof
Photographer-in-Residence
National Geographic Society

This was a really nice talk IMHO. The guy's been with National Geographic forever and throughout his career has had to build leading-edge photography rigs to expand National Geographic's photographic reach beneath the sea. Some of his work also helped inspire Titanic the movie. His more recent work has been with high-definition capture, and the pictures he showed were amazing (especially compared to non-high definition versions of the same stuff).

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January 16, 2003

Forum: Speech Level Singing

The Speech Level Singing Method: Tools And Tricks For Artistic Vocal Development
Dave Stroud
Technical Voice Instructor
Dave Stroud Vocal Studio (www.davestroud.com)

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August 22, 2002

Forum: Star Wars

PARC Forum
Digital Environments And Costumes In Star Wars: Episode II
Ari Rapkin
CG (computer graphics) Software Engineer
Industrial Light + Magic

Star Wars Forum Poster

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