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Google Wins Rights to Aussie Algorithm

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the new-tool-for-the-belt dept.

211

rcbutcher writes to tell us the Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that Google has just acquired the rights to a brand new text search algorithm invented by a University of NSW student. From the article: "Orion works as an add-on to existing search engines to improve the relevance of search and won praise from Microsoft founder Bill Gates last year. [...] Orion finds pages where the content is about a topic strongly related to the key word. It then returns a section of the page, and lists other topics related to the key word so the user can pick the most relevant."

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University of NSFW? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15097452)

Man... I want to go there.

Re:University of NSFW? (1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097467)

Beware of flying chairs... Ballmer might not appreciate to see this techescaping his fat claws.

What about Slashdot? (5, Funny)

TheComputerMutt.ca (907022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097456)

Something like this could be used to check if the content of first posts is related to the story or not. ;-P

Re:What about Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15097548)

That would me mighty hard, since most algorithms don't have humour-checking... and since even the human slashdot moderators have modded you -1 offtopic, your comment and it's mod become the prime example that it would not be viable.

World Domination Algorithm (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15097464)

Hmm, so let me get this straight, google just hired another computer scientist who has developed an amazing algorithm to search the web. Thats putting to many eggs in one basket, I think. Lets hope they don't "break."

Re:World Domination Algorithm (5, Insightful)

David Hume (200499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097476)

Hmm, so let me get this straight, google just hired another computer scientist who has developed an amazing algorithm to search the web. Thats putting to many eggs in one basket, I think. Lets hope they don't "break."
Yes, because the opportunity cost [wikipedia.org] associated with hiring this guy are so great that Google won't be able to do anything else.
 

Re:World Domination Algorithm (5, Insightful)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097542)

Mod parent up.

This is more likely than not the motiviation behind this move.

Even if google doesn't need this guy, you can be assured that Yahoo, Microsoft, and co. DO need this guy, and the fact that he may very well indeed positively contribute to Google's search algorithms makes it a good choice for google to hire this guy. In short, the risks associated with not hiring him are far too great.

I for one am glad that Google is finally acquring technologies relating to their original business model rather than their string of oddball acquisitions lately...

Rights (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097601)

The "opportunity cost" to hire someone would be something like the 5 minutes it takes to do the interview, not whatever you're thinking of.

Besides, the summary says they didn't hire him; they bought the rights to use an algorithm he invented.

Re:Rights (4, Informative)

David Hume (200499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097624)

Besides, the summary says they didn't hire him; they bought the rights to use an algorithm he invented.
No, the summary doesn't say that "they didn't hire him." In any event, the article states:
Mr Andrew Stead, the business development manager at UNSW's NewSouth Innovations agency confirmed that Mr Allon left Australia six weeks ago and was now working at Google's headquarters at Mountain View, California.

Re:Rights (1)

Miststlkr (593325) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097812)

The opportunity cost of not hiring the guy is that your competition will. There becomes a point where the person hired may not help you much, but you hire them to guarantee hat they are not helping the competition. That is what parent refers to as the opportunity cost being too high. It is the cost of the market share lost by their advances he helped achieve, etc. Opportunity Cost is a very tricky thing to pin down.

Re:World Domination Algorithm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15097552)

hats putting to many eggs in one basket, I think. Lets hope they don't "break."

Yeah, we could end up with a MS.

His future is so bright, he's got to wear shades! (5, Funny)

n8k99 (888757) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097474)

Google just bought your script before Microsoft could do more than praise it; I would suggest you duck before the chair hits the fan.

Re:His future is so bright, he's got to wear shade (5, Funny)

David Hume (200499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097494)

Google just bought your script before Microsoft could do more than praise it; I would suggest you duck before the chair hits the fan.
Actually, Gates praised the algorithm in order to fake Google into wasting millions of dollars on it. The algorithm is actually punk ass shit.

You don't think that Gates would say anything publicly before buying all the rights if the algorithm were any good, do you? :)
 

Re:His future is so bright, he's got to wear shade (4, Funny)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097649)

Do you even know what you're talking about? Have you even tried it? It works really well. Do a search for Foster's and the first result is beer, followed by sheila, shrimp on the barbie, and g'day mate. I don't know how we ever survived before having an Aussie algorithm.

Re:His future is so bright, he's got to wear shade (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097720)

So what does this have to do with Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends.

For that matter, I live in an apartment complex named Foster's Landing and the road is named Foster's Way.

Re:His future is so bright, he's got to wear shade (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097740)

Did it used to be named Foster's Moon Landing? Are you an astronaut [popastronaut.net] ?

(This was the 3rd result of this search [google.com] . Serendipity Now!)

Challengin other search engines (4, Insightful)

d2_m_viant (811261) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097480)

The algorithm is a problem-solving computational procedure and is the building block for all search engines like those operated by Google and Yahoo.

No it's not. Otherwise they would've implemented it already. How can something be a building block if the thing they're referring to isn't built on it?

Orion finds pages where the content is about a topic strongly related to the key word.

Duh. Welcome to Google in the 1990's.

The results to the query are displayed immediately in the form of expanded text extracts, giving the searcher the relevant information without having to go to the website - although there is still that option.

What was stopping Google from creating something like this before? Is it just me or is this being hyped just a bit?

...won praise from Microsoft founder Bill Gates last year.

That it's, enough said. Hope you got a receipt for that Google.

Re:Challengin other search engines (2, Interesting)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097518)

The Sydney Morning Herald struggles with computer-related articles. The range of topics they cover is interesting. Sometimes they even have articles about Linux kernel news. Their accuracy usually isn't very good, though. I've reported a couple of errors to them in the past month or so. In one article, they got Electronic Frontiers Australia mixed up with Electronic Frontier Foundation, but still used the acronym for the other organisation.

I'm curious about whether these inaccuracies are limited to science/computers. It's entirely possible that the media sources we trust to be accurate are actually riddled with errors.

Re:Challengin other search engines (5, Funny)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097693)

It's entirely possible that the media sources we trust to be accurate are actually riddled with errors.

::Clasps hand over mouth in mock shock and horror::

-Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

Re:Challengin other search engines (4, Insightful)

marko123 (131635) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097714)

Ask anyone who has been written about in the media. I was personally amazed at:
a) the amount of inaccuracies in the media
b) the amount we trust the media to tell unbiased or factual truth

Re:Challengin other search engines (2, Insightful)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097527)

The algorithm is a problem-solving computational procedure and is the building block for all search engines like those operated by Google and Yahoo.

No it's not. Otherwise they would've implemented it already. How can something be a building block if the thing they're referring to isn't built on it?


I read that as An algorithm and treated it as a definition of algorithm for their less-attuned audience.

Re:Challengin other search engines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15097620)

Yep. That's exactly what they were saying. SMH does this with all their tech articles. I wouldn't be surprised to see them state:

"The computer, a device that is a box with blinky lights and fans...".

SMH is for a mainstream readership. They don't assume any technical knowledge at all. Based on the quality of their articles, they also don't assume any technical knowledge to be required for their IT journalists either.

Re:Challengin other search engines (0, Troll)

Dissectional (528344) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097670)

SMH doesn't hire journalists. Rather, they employ a mob of thumbless monkeys, armed with rolling pins and keyboards and let them have at it.

Re:Challengin other search engines (1)

pelrun (25021) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097745)

Since their competition is News Corp, I guess I should be grateful I have monkeys!

Aussies are gonna getcha now! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15097823)

How dare you try to pull the rug out from another of our cause célèbres? See, Google is a big, famous, mostly American company, and they've bought an Australian product! That makes all Aussies famous and important and sopheeeeesteeecated! No, really, it does. Honestly. So stop trying to ruin this for us you ungrateful fuckwit, and keep saying nice things about the United States of Australia, because our egos need it.

Now watch this post get modded straight to hell by my infuriated countrymen.

google is so cool! (-1, Flamebait)

Asshat_Nazi (946431) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097482)

tooo coooool for schooool.. faggots!!

btw, i fucked your mom, in the ear, twice... i blew my nut into her ear canal.. it was hot..

GNAA ROCKS MY COCK! my big thick hairy cock that is.. it's so huge, it makes you drool

i want your for you ass-bum.. vaginal lettuce dog sickle monkey moonberry child!

Yuo F4il It (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15097484)

and shouting that de,clineLd in market

Serious Undertakings by Google (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15097485)

This is a letter I have planned on writing for some time, a letter that I assert is extremely important and one that decidedly must be heeded if we are to undo the damage caused by Google. Instead of focusing on why Google attempts to sound intelligent by cramming as many big words into a sentence as possible, whether they are used correctly or not, I would like to remind people that Google's propaganda factories continuously spew forth messages like, "The rest of us are an inferior group of people, fit only to be enslaved, beaten, and butchered at the whim of our betters" and, "Feeble-minded Philistines are easily housebroken". What they don't tell you, though, is that Google has a blatant disregard for society's basic laws. Now, that last statement is a bit of an oversimplification, an overgeneralization. But it is nevertheless substantially true. Are you beginning to get the picture here? Google's shell games are an icon for the deterioration of the city, for its slow slide into crime, malaise, and filth. This is a lesson for those with eyes to see. It is a lesson not so much about Google's obtrusive behavior, but about the way that our path is set. By this, I mean that in order to criticize Google's complicity in the widespread establishment of hooliganism, we must defy the international enslavement of entire peoples. I consider that requirement a small price to pay because Google's secret agents have the power to heat the cauldron of terror until it boils over into our daily lives whenever they feel like it. So what's the connection between that and Google's intimations? The connection is that many people think of its muzzy-headed writings as a joke, as something only half-serious. In fact, they're deadly serious. They're the tool by which pushy lunkheads will muster enough force to ruin people's lives by next weekend. A second all-too-serious item is that Google operates on an international scale to rob us of our lives, our health, our honor, and our belongings. It's only fitting, therefore, that we, too, work on an international scale, but to respond to Google's criticisms. I note in passing that there is a proper place in life for hatred. Hatred of that which is wrong is a powerful and valuable tool. But when Google perverts hatred in order to encourage every sort of indiscipline and degeneracy in the name of freedom, it becomes clear that it cannot tolerate the world as it is. It needs to live in a world of fantasies. To be more specific, Google claims that its press releases are a breath of fresh air amid our modern culture's toxic cloud of chaos. Well, I beg to differ. You see, Google's perorations are a conduit that funnels confused thoughts into the heads of the most incompetent pothouse drunks you'll ever see. But what, you may ask, does any of that have to do with the theme of this letter, viz., that it raises an enormous hullabaloo and tries to drown me out every time I state in public that if you spot a bumper sticker that reads, "The hysteria and witch-hunts fueled by Google's slurs will rule with an iron fist one of these days," you're probably looking at my car? To ask that question another way, what demons possessed Google to take the focus off the real issues? That is, why doesn't it reveal the truth about itself? Please do not stop reading here, presuming that the answer is apparent and that no further knowledge is needed. Such is clearly not the case. In fact, I'd bet no one ever told you that if Google gets its way, we will soon be engulfed in a Dark Age of simplism and indescribable horror. That's why I'm telling you that it worships its own ignorance. Of that I am certain, because I've heard it say that violence and prejudice are funny. Was that just a slip of the lip or is Google secretly trying to ascribe opinions to me that I don't even hold? This is not a question that we should run away from. Rather, it is something that needs to be addressed quickly and directly, because it wants to be the one who determines what information we have access to. Yet Google is also a big proponent of a particularly flippant form of immoralism. Do you see something wrong with that picture? What I see is that it is not uncommon for it to victimize the innocent, penalize the victim for making any effort to defend himself, and then paint the whole fatuitous affair as some great benefit to humanity.

I've repeatedly pointed out to Google that its theories are some of the most nit-picky, militant, and vapid I've ever encountered. That apparently didn't register with it, though. Oh, well; I guess by its very nature, exclusionism finds its adherents among complacent prevaricators like Google. I don't think anyone questions that. But did you know that we can't just sit around and do nothing? Google is incapable of rational thought about the real world, so to speak.

At the risk of repeating myself, I must reiterate that Google has vowed that in a matter of days it'll shackle us with the chains of negativism. This is hardly news; Google has been vowing that for months with the regularity of a metronome. What is news is that it has long been obvious to attentive observers that it has made some imprecise statements and statements that ought to have had all sorts of qualifications and reservations attached to them. But did you know that our real enemy is the feral system that made Google as insecure as it is? Google doesn't want you to know that because it somehow manages to get away with spreading lies (free speech is wonderful as long as you're not bashing it and the loud couch potatoes in its retinue), distortions (cannibalism, wife-swapping, and the murder of infants and the elderly are acceptable behavior), and misplaced idealism (it is as innocent as a newborn lamb). However, when I try to respond in kind, I get censored faster than you can say "succinylsulphathiazole". The world would be better off if Google had never been created, pure and simple. We must protect our peace, privacy, and safety. If we don't, future generations will not know freedom. Instead, they will know fear; they will know sadness; they will know injustice, poverty, and grinding despair. Most of all, they will realize, albeit far too late, that even if one is opposed to headstrong Comstockism (and I am), then surely, Google has been known to say that freedom must be abolished in order for people to be more secure and comfortable. That notion is so lethargic, I hardly know where to begin refuting it.

It's a pity that two thousand years after Christ, the voices of anti-democratic scummy-types like Google can still be heard, worse still that they're listened to, and worst of all that anyone believes them. Okay, I admit that what I really want from Google is an apology. But that's just one side of the coin. The other side is that we must put the kibosh on Google's epithets. Our children depend on that.

Please don't misread my words here; Google periodically puts up a facade of reform. However, underneath the pretty surface, it's always business as usual. To state it in a more sophisticated manner, in order to solve the big problems with Google, we must first understand these problems, and to understand them, we must rub its nose in its own hypocrisy. Doesn't Google ever get tired of calling everyone a snappish twerp?

Google has endorsed the idea of jealous, spineless cronyism in a number of very specific ways, arguing, for instance, in favor of its slaves' decision to give voice, in a totally emotional and non-rational way, to its deep-rooted love of ethnocentrism. Even acknowledging Google's crazy, unruly précis is beneath my dignity, yet I don't think it is a mere coincidence that Google's attendants acquiesce with bovine stolidity when it instructs them to worsen an already unstable situation. This sort of vertiginous paradox is well known to most nettlesome vulgarians.

A trip to your local library would reveal that I believe I have finally figured out what makes organizations like Google siphon off scarce international capital intended for underdeveloped countries. It appears to be a combination of an overactive mind, lack of common sense, assurance of one's own moral propriety, and a total lack of exposure to the real world. Certainly, if Google doesn't realize that it's generally considered bad style to retain an institution which, twist and turn as you like, is and remains a disgrace to humanity, then it should read one of the many self-help books on the subject. I recommend it buy one with big print and lots of pictures. Maybe then, Google will grasp the concept that its revenge fantasies have created a coprophagous universe devoid of logic and evidence. Only within this universe does it make sense to say that the purpose of life is self-gratification. Only within this universe does it make sense to lead us, lemminglike, over the precipice of self-destruction. And, only if we report as best as possible the facts and circumstances surrounding its narrow-minded, rash tractates can we destroy this wayward, bitter universe of its and reinforce notions of positive self esteem. Google is hooked on designer victimology but fails to notice the real victims: the entire next generation. Google should feel ashamed of itself. Added to this is something else: Google's effusions defy common sense and abandon logical principles for the singular purpose of promoting the misguided notion that the moon is made of green cheese. Yes, I could add that we are nearing a synthesis of classism and incendiarism into a smarmy cynicism that will sidetrack us, so we can't free people from the spell of antinomianism that it has cast over them, but I wanted to keep my message simple and direct. I didn't want to distract you from the main thrust of my message, which is that there is a format Google should follow for its next literary endeavor. It involves a topic sentence and supporting facts.

Isn't it historically demonstrated that it is entirely ridiculous that I have to be faced with authoritarians whose manipulative schemes are constantly treated with apathy? I ask, because it, already oppressive with its cantankerous modes of thought, will perhaps be the ultimate exterminator of our human species -- if separate species we be -- for its reserve of unguessed horrors could never be borne by mortal brains if loosed upon the world. If you think that that's a frightening thought, then consider that Google is a bad egg. Still, I recommend you check out some of Google's credos and draw your own conclusions on the matter. The point at which you discover that jingoism is a rancorous, profligate whore, cloaking herself as social virtue and brotherly love is not only a moment of disenchantment. It is a moment of resolve, a determination that its proxies are too lazy to offer a framework for discussion so that we can more quickly reach a consensus. They just want to sit back, fasten their mouths on the public teats, and casually forget that Google must have some sort of problem with reading comprehension. That's the only explanation I can come up with as to why Google accuses me of admitting that national-security interests can and should be sidestepped whenever its institutional interests are at stake. What I actually said is that Google claims to be supportive of my plan to stand by our principles and be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost. Don't trust it, though; it's a wolf in sheep's clothing. Before you know it, it'll curry favor with the worst classes of debauched blowhards there are using a barrage of flattery, especially recognition of their "value", their "importance", their "educational mission", and other disdainful, addlepated nonsense. Not only that, but Google can get away with lies (e.g., that it is a paragon of morality and wisdom) because the average person cannot imagine anyone lying so brazenly. Not one person in a hundred will actually check out the facts for himself and discover that Google is lying. I won't lie to you; we must supply the missing ingredient that could stop the worldwide slide into boosterism. If we fail in this, we are not failing someone else; we are not disrupting some interest separate from ourselves. Rather, it is we who suffer when we neglect to observe that there are three fairly obvious problems with Google's whinges, each of which needs to be addressed by any letter that attempts to turn Google's haughty contrivances to our advantage. First, the world would be a much better place to live if Google just stopped trying to gag the innocent accused from protesting mercantalism-motivated prosecutions. Second, most acts of onanism are committed not by harebrained televangelists but by Google's patsies in an attempt to scar little children's self-image. And third, many people are incredulous when I tell them that Google intends to subjugate persons of culture, refinement, and learning to stolid vermin. "How could Google be so inconsiderate?", they ask me. "It doesn't seem possible." Well, it is undoubtedly possible, and now I'll explain exactly how Google plans to do it. But first, you need to realize that its hypocrisy is transparent. Even the least discerning among us can see right through it. Maybe Google is being manipulated by noxious, contemptible cutthroats, but even so, I can guarantee the readers of this letter that I have never been in favor of being gratuitously effrontive. I have also never been in favor of sticking my head in the sand or of refusing to fight the warped, distorted, misshapen, unwholesome monstrosity that its wheelings and dealings have become.

It is apparent to me that I didn't want to talk about this. I really didn't. But Google's followers don't represent an ideology. They don't represent a legitimate political group of people. They're just flat splenetic. There is no inconsistency here; I, speaking as someone who is not a witless ne'er-do-well, have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people. I can therefore assure you that Google argues that the majority of cacodemonic extortionists are heroes, if not saints. I wish I could suggest some incontrovertible chain of apodictic reasoning that would overcome this argument, but the best I can do is the following: All it really wants is to hang onto the perks it's getting from the system. That's all it really cares about. Google promises that if we give it and its deputies additional powers, it'll guard us from nutty calumniators. My question, however is, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? -- Who will guard the guards? Google is guilty of at least one criminal offense. In addition, it frequently exhibits less formal criminal behavior, such as deliberate and even gleeful cruelty, explosive behavior, and a burning desire to lash out at everyone and everything in sight.

Before I leave this issue, let me share an interesting finding from a recent poll: Four out of five people surveyed contend that Google is like a pigeon. Pigeons are too self-absorbed to care about anyone else. They poo on people they don't like; they poo on people they don't even know. The only real difference between Google and a pigeon is that Google intends to prime the pump of vigilantism. That's why I am not embarrassed to admit that I have neither the training, the experience, the license, nor the clinical setting necessary to properly make this world a kinder, gentler place. Nevertheless, I do have the will to help people break free of its cycle of oppression. That's why I doubtlessly claim that I despise everything about Google. I despise Google's attempts to undermine the individualistic underpinnings of traditional jurisprudence. I despise how it insists that it is the most recent incarnation of the Buddha. Most of all, I despise its complete obliviousness to the fact that it sees itself as a postmodern equivalent of Marx's proletariat, revolutionizing the world by wresting it from its oppressors (viz., those who seek some structure in which the cacophony introduced by Google's bons mots might be systematized, reconciled, and made rational). I discussed this topic in a previous letter, so I will not go into great detail now, but Google's endeavors do not represent progress. They represent insanity masquerading as progress. As reluctant as I am to admit it, if I wanted to brainwash and manipulate a large segment of the population, I would convince them that we can stop pessimism merely by permitting government officials entrée into private homes to search for brown-nosing cretins. In fact, that's exactly what Google does as part of its quest to fix blame for social stress, economic loss, or loss of political power on a target group whose constructed guilt provides a simplistic explanation. In closing, all that I ask is that you join me to stop Google and deal stiffly with what I call ignominious hellions who change the course of history.

(OT) Paragraphs!! (1)

246o1 (914193) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097564)

For fuck's sake. I try not to be a grammar nazi, but I can't even conceive of trying to read something like that. Here's a tip: If your name isn't James Joyce (yes I said yes I will yes) or e e cummings (anyone lived in a pretty how town), try to follow some basic conventions of style and usage.

Re:(OT) Paragraphs!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15097636)

Here's a tip: Capitalize initials.

So much depends on a red wheel barrow (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097717)

I'm William Carlos Williams [wikipedia.org] , you insensitive clod!

Re:Serious Undertakings by Google (1)

Namarrgon (105036) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097780)

Yes yes, very clever [pakin.org] of you.

Hello World! (0, Offtopic)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097491)

Man, all that time wasted writing simple "hello world" programs and number guessing games, and I could have been doing something like this.

*gives himself an uppercut*

Re:Hello World! (0, Offtopic)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097512)

You don't suppose they'd be interested in my suite of APL, command line card games, do you?

Or are those just soooooooo 1976? Well, I had to do something geeky to celebrate the bicentenial.

KFG

Mine is better (-1, Troll)

dteichman2 (841599) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097502)

Here it is in Java/pseudocode: for (i = 0; i -1) return texts[i];

Re:Mine is better (1)

dteichman2 (841599) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097504)

OOPS:
for (i = 0; i &gt texts.length; i++) if (texts[i].indexof(search) > -1) return texts[i];

Re:Mine is better (1)

stuuf (587464) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097537)

Mine's easier, in unix shell:

grep -i search texts/*

Re:Mine is better (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097657)

Shouldn't that be

grep -i search the_whole_fucking_internet/texts/*

Try again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15097569)

There were fewer errors in your first attempt.

Re:Mine is better (0, Flamebait)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097558)

Let me guess. You work for MS?

What's with the headline? (5, Insightful)

dfn_deux (535506) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097519)

Since when are "wins" and "buys" interchangable verbs?

Re:What's with the headline? (1)

dteichman2 (841599) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097525)

Since money is irrelevant, and the contest is simply who can write a check faster.

Re:What's with the headline? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15097551)

I suppose it's probably like an auction. The person with the highest bid buys it, they are considered to have won the auction.

Re:What's with the headline? (1)

kanweg (771128) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097571)

It is a contribution from politics to the benefit of the world.

Bert

Re:What's with the headline? (2, Informative)

dubl-u (51156) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097651)

Since when are "wins" and "buys" interchangable verbs?

At an auction, or any time multiple parties are competing to buy something. From TFA:
Mr Stead confirmed that the university had held talks with the big three internet search operations: Google, Yahoo! and MSN.

Re:What's with the headline? (5, Funny)

kyb (877837) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097821)

I agree. When eBay sends me an email saying "Congratulations, you have Won!", I read "Congratulations, you're prepared to pay more for this item than anyone else in the entire world". I suppose they phrase it nicely just to stop you from feeling like a loser.

Very fishy (5, Informative)

smallpaul (65919) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097526)

First, it is funny how various countries are putting a nationalistic spin on it. Israeli newspapers are focusing on the fact that the inventor is an Israeli. Australian newspapers are focusing on the fact that he is Australian. Only the national newspapers are spinning this as "revolutionary technology."

Second, the description sounds alot like what Google and others do already.

Third, buying a single algorithm is not generally such a big deal. Maybe it is reasonably valuable. Maybe so valuable that Google paid ten million dollars for it. In the big scheme of things, that's chump change for them and for their competitors.

The whole thing sounds overhyped to me.

Re:Very fishy (2, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097547)

it is funny how various countries are putting a nationalistic spin on it

Further proof that nationalism is BS. Where he was from or what part of the world he wrote it in is irrelevant and always is. A person wrote this.

Re:Very fishy (5, Funny)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097627)

First, it is funny how various countries are putting a nationalistic spin on it. Israeli newspapers are focusing on the fact that the inventor is an Israeli. Australian newspapers are focusing on the fact that he is Australian. Only the national newspapers are spinning this as "revolutionary technology."

Yes, but bought by an American company. USA! USA! USA!

Re:Very fishy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15097770)

Thanks, Conan. :(

Re:Very fishy (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097820)

Yes, but bought by an American company.

And build by the Japanese subcontractor who, incidentally, just became a wholly owned subsidiary.
 

Re:Very fishy (5, Funny)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097663)

I'm just extremely proud that the inventor was a man.

Re:Very fishy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15097727)

Israeli people are very proud.. ALMOST as much as people from Michigan.. *shrug*

Re:Very fishy (5, Funny)

Anarchitect_in_oz (771448) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097782)

Australia is a multi-cultural nation, we claim anyone as ours if they are here at the time of doing something interesting.

Except Russel Crowe, he turned out to be complete knob and we don't want him anymore, so now he's a New Zealander again.

WOW (2, Funny)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097546)

I know English majors aren't the most technologically gifted, but COME ON!!:

The algorithm, or search engine tool, is called Orion.

Way to reduce CS to the web. And that was possibly the most UN-enlightening article I've EVER read. Does anyone have a link to something with more meat??

Re:WOW (3, Funny)

Columcille (88542) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097559)

Does anyone have a link to something with more meat??
I hope this helps: Another article [wikipedia.org] .

Re:WOW (0, Troll)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097675)

Thank the gods you didn't link to penis bird [wikipedia.org] .

Re:WOW (1)

Shadyman (939863) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097568)

I, for one, don't welcome our new English-major, CS-minor overlords.

Re:WOW (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097785)

I know English majors aren't the most technologically gifted, but COME ON!!:

I'm guessing that English majors are generally more technically adept than engineering majors are grammatically adept. You needn't judge a whole discipline based on this article. It's also good to remember that there is no getting around the fact that when writing for a general audience the material is going to suffer some loss of precision as it is translated. This article probably wasn't the best candidate for a posting to Slashdot.

Google + Thesaurus? (1)

GuruBuckaroo (833982) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097550)

So, this is basically Google looking up the search phrases in a thesaurus and then returning hits on those words too? Probably would help if I read the article first, I imagine, but I wouldn't want to seem atypical :>

Re:Google + Thesaurus? (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097694)

The article wasn't very informative, so your guess is as good as any. Or you might just want to run out and patent your "thesaurus algorithm", anyway.

On a tangent, I'm frustrated by online thesauri, not to mention the majority of thesauri, which are formatted similar to a dictionary. When I was in middle school, I had an outline based thesaurus that was great. It was indexed, to make it easier to find words, but the outline structure added a lot to the sense of the different shades of meanings.

I'm disappointed that no one has really done a sophisticated online thesaurus yet.

Re:Google + Thesaurus? (1)

KnightStalker (1929) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097799)

This is Java based and it's not free - it used to be at least unlimited - but it's a lot more interesting than www.thesaurus.com:

http://www.visualthesaurus.com/ [visualthesaurus.com]

Uh..... (0, Redundant)

killeena (794394) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097561)

You can buy algorithms?

Re:Uh..... (1)

dteichman2 (841599) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097572)

Yes... you can. Now put your helmet back on.

Re:Uh..... (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097578)

You can buy algorithms?

Yeah, but real geeks win them in gameplay.

KFG

Re:Uh..... (5, Funny)

patio11 (857072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097643)

Now THAT would be an interesting premise for a cyberpunk short story. "Got a new quantum prime sieve. Tears down the hardest ICE in a matter of nanos. What you got?" "The best Starcraft AI ever." "I'm not a fan of the old school." "Hmm... in that case, a steganographic algorithm so powerful it can hide fourty-five terabytes in your rand() seed?" "Oh, that sounds good" "6D Pong, default settings?" "Your algorithmical distinctiveness will be added to my own."

Re:Uh..... (5, Funny)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097728)

I couldn't tell if your fictional geeks were comparing penis sizes, wagering, or negotiating a marriage.

Re:Uh..... (2, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097739)

Yes.

KFG

Intellectual ownership (3, Interesting)

Xiroth (917768) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097567)

From TFA:
While Mr Allon is the key person behind Orion, the university retains ownership of the intellectual property as it was developed within the university's research facilities.

Bleh, sometimes I think I shouldn't leave my house for fear of coming up with an idea where someone else can lay claim to it. It could be that he needed the computational resources of the university to develop the algorithm, but it's easily imaginable that the university could be laying claim to it when he was working without any real assistance.

I know that there are a number of issues around this (where do you draw the line?), but still - in general writing algorithms is a creative act, so they should belong to the creator(s), if it is even possible to own an algorithm.

Re:Intellectual ownership (1)

AgNO3 (878843) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097711)

UH maybe he was being paid by the university as in Fellowship money. Like he was hired and paid by them to do exactly what he did. So without that he may have never even worked on this type of thing ever.

Holy Hypes, Batman! (3, Interesting)

Quixote (154172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097584)

Where are the peer-reviewed publications by Allon? Where are the journal articles? Where are the papers in SIGIR, ICML, KDD, etc.?

Do a Google Scholar [google.com] search for publications in CS/EE, and you get... nothing.

His own web page is bare, with no details.

A Science Daily [sciencedaily.com] article from September 2005 (yeah, over 6 months ago) mentions this "algorithm", but scan details.

I highly doubt the novelty/effectiveness of this "algorithm" if it has been patented before being published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Re:Holy Hypes, Batman! (4, Informative)

ppanon (16583) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097655)

I highly doubt the novelty/effectiveness of this "algorithm" if it has been patented before being published in a peer-reviewed journal.
In nearly every country other than the US, publication disqualifies an invention from patent eligibility.

Re:Holy Hypes, Batman! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15097662)

I would trade the several papers I've had published in peer-reviewed journals for the actial cash money google paid him in a second.

A PhD student with no publications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15097689)

As you probably agree, it is not just a matter of convenience. If someone told me that I would be paid millions of dollar for any of the ideas/technology I have published about, I wouldn't have publish them in the first place, obviously. But of course, you cannot know about this before hand. So if you ar a PhD student, the normal situation is that you have publications about what you have developed. If not, how did Google learn about this algorithm in the first place. I mean, we are talking about academic research, where publishing is everything, not about industry research where secret is.

Re:Holy Hypes, Batman! (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097827)

Yeah, I similarly did a search for Slashdot's tagging algorithm and didn't find any peer-reviewed publications. Must be vaporware.
 

Has ScuttleMonkey EVER posted a reasonable article (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15097586)

I don't pay too much attention to slashdot editorship. But lately every
time I read about some idiodic bit of snakeoil (even by slashdot standards)
it turns out to have been posted by "ScuttleMonkey". I'm assuming this
is the humor section of the site or something, but there's nothing to indicate
that. is there anyone with oversight over ScuttleMonkey?

Patented Too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15097589)

Orion finds pages where the content is about a topic strongly related to the key word. It then returns a section of the page, and lists other topics related to the key word so the user can pick the most relevant.

He got a patent for this idea. Is this really novel enough to deserve a patent? Perhaps there is more to it, than what is mentioned on the news sites, but these days I am so skeptical of that word "patent".

Re:Patented Too! (1)

sane? (179855) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097798)

Hey, you can get a patent on someone clicking on a link, provided they do it for a 'special' reason. Actually having something that does something useful - no problem, its more money for the patent office anyway.

Personally I'm working on my algorithm for recognising pages selling stuff and only returning them WHEN I'M LOOKING TO BUY STUFF. It would do more for Google than this algorithm and personally I could do with a few million.

Business as usual (4, Insightful)

donutello (88309) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097593)

Yet again. Micro$oft shows they can't innovate and only buy others innovation with their monopolistically acquired money.

Oh, wait...

Re:Business as usual (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15097829)

I remember a time when a total non-sequitur, pro-Microsoft troll like this wouldn't attract flies on Slashdot. Now modders fall over themselves to rank them up. Every day the argument for a moderation ID grows stronger.

I can understand why Google did this... (4, Interesting)

baywulf (214371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097602)

I read a book on the Google story a while back. What I remember is that when they came up with the algorithm, they worked with Stanford to pitch the algorithm to Altavista, Yahoo, etc. They wanted about $1 million for it but nobody wanted it. The Google guys just wanted money so they could scale up their experiment with more computers and storage but none of the big guys could see any money in search engines. Then at the prodding of the Stanford folks, they found a few angel investors and build up their company and the rest is history. So I guess the Google guys don't want to miss any opporunity and probably have a soft spot for these college students for when they were in the same place.

University of NSW? (1, Funny)

jigjigga (903943) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097648)

Anyone else read it as NSFW? Heh.

Oooh you mean they replaced Boyer Moore? That's to (2, Informative)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097701)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boyer-Moore_algorithm [wikipedia.org] Not a bad algorithm.

Re:Oooh you mean they replaced Boyer Moore? That's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15097783)

What does Boyer-Moore have to do with the mythical Orion "algorithm"? You're irresponsibly making it sound like this guy discovered something relevant to Computer Science, where he did not. The so-called Orion "algorithm" sounds like a simple heuristic from the poor explanations that we have. I doubt that the information it considers (i.e. the most strongly connected topic keyword) is not already part of the existing algorithms, so this Ori Allon guy's contribution is more like a UI improvement than an algorithm. If it is to qualify as a genuine algorithm it has to be proven to work correctly in a variety of useful cases that can be precisely described. Unfortunately, we have not seen any formal descriptions of it.

Nobody uses Boyer-Moore... (2, Interesting)

cperciva (102828) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097864)

... at least, not when they have terabytes of data to search through. While Boyer-Moore is an asymptotically optimal algorithm for non-indexed string matching, Google (and everybody else who wants to perform multiple searches against the same data set) uses indexed matching algorithms.

With indexed matching algorithms, you can search for a string of length M within a string of length N in M + log(N) steps -- far faster than B-M's M + N/M steps -- and you can even search for matches with mismatches (e.g., locations where the strings match at 50% of their positions) almost as fast as B-M (asymptotically B-M finds exact matches log(N)*log(M) times as fast as matches-with-mismatches can be found).

"Wins" ... or "buys"? (1)

matt_sinclair (83672) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097724)

TSSIA

Smart use of your university time... (4, Interesting)

McFadden (809368) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097732)

I would imagine there must be something smart or unique about this algorithm, or given the number of brains Google employ would have implemented it themselves rather than buying the guy out.

I like his initiative though. I wonder if he looked around at the current marketplace and thought "hmmm... so I gotta few years to research something... Google's looking pretty hot right now... why not build something I can sell them the end of it?". If he did, he's smarter than the average bear.

Actually I did a similar thing during my undergraduate degree in the early-mid 90s. I designed a very early back-end/database for a generic web-based online store. About 2 weeks into my project I got a call from a big record company (who apparently had heard about my work) and they bought it, despite it being mainly on paper at that point. I won't say who it was, I ended up working for them for a short time after I graduated, and as far as I'm aware, their site still uses the core of my code.

It's an Australian invention (1, Funny)

Centurix (249778) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097751)

if(SearchText=='crikey') rank++;

Re:It's an Australian invention (5, Funny)

NoMaster (142776) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097858)

Actually, it's more complicated than that:
if ((GeolocateSourceIP=="USA") && (ResultIncludes("crikey")) rank++
Australians don't say "crikey!" (much - unless we're toying with the Seppos ;-); we don't drink Fosters (unfortunately, Australia's best-selling beer is VB, which is even worse...); and we don't all ride around in kangaroos (we have wallabies, which are smaller and easier to park...)

Truth be told, the typical Australian is less like Steve Irwin, and more like that other great Australian export - The Wiggles. Next time you meet an Australian sneak up behind them, make your hands into pistol-shapes, rotate them vertically in front of you, and scream "WAKE UP, JEFF!" in their ear. They'll appreciate it ;-)

Title makes it sound much worse than it is (2, Interesting)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097755)

I thought it was about Google taking his rights from something in court due to the "winning", but what they did was acquiring the rights, and he even works on Google now:
Mr Andrew Stead, the business development manager at UNSW's NewSouth Innovations agency confirmed that Mr Allon left Australia six weeks ago and was now working at Google's headquarters at Mountain View, California.

Mr Stead said the move was not a secondment; Mr Allon's move was permanent.

Since it sounds like he was a student immediately before, it sounds like a step up in his career, and the only possibly evil thing I ended up seeing here was that Google is taking on a tech with Microsoft praise. ;-)

University of Not Safe for Work? (0, Offtopic)

TACNailed (753439) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097767)

Sign me up!

Re:University of Not Safe for Work? (1)

Miststlkr (593325) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097800)

Really? Here I thought OP meant the Northumberland Services For Women http://nsfw.ca/ [nsfw.ca]

Other algorithms have been around... (5, Insightful)

tgv (254536) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097776)

The guy must have invented something absolutely bloody amazing. I mean, it's not like similar technology hasn't been around for ages now (check contributions to the TREC (http://trec.nist.gov/ [nist.gov] ) conferences. Some of the submissions reach a level of sophistication Google can only dream of. And the algorithms are published.

So, what's up with this "Orion" thing? What insanely great insight into language processing can a CS student have that whole teams of experts still didn't get?

Re:Other algorithms have been around... (4, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097854)

What insanely great insight into language processing can a CS student have that whole teams of experts still didn't get?

Patent office.
 

new alg vs. clusty (1)

quietgolfer (967308) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097779)

How are the results of this algorithm any different than the results of search engines like clusty [clusty.com] ?

How did fellow slashdotters fall so low!??! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15097804)

We get an obscure crappy article about an text-search "algorithm" and everybody posts a bunch of irrelevant comments concerning Google/Microsoft politics. Nobody even bother to question the fact that this algorithm may not exist? Where is it? What is it? Can somebody describe said algorithm and show why it is better, etc. It sounds to me like Google just hired some Aussie PhD student based on the fact that he did a little text-searching research work (what a surprise!), and everybody makes it sound like there was a million-dollar breakthrough involved. How did this not make CNN or Fox news headlines? Ohh, let me guess, the algorithm was TOO secret!

What is it really? (1)

sotweed (118223) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097806)

From the very sketchy descriptions, my guess is that this algorithm doesn't really have to do with search per se, but rather with figuring out what the multiple meanings or contexts associated with a term are. So, if I search for "American Revolution" the interesting thing would be to realize that that is a broad and many-faceted topic. So the cool thing for this algorithm to do would be for it to look at the search results which are returned, and then realize that some of the more specific aspects of the results might be:

          battles political aspects leadership England and King George III

and so on, and then let you choose which of these was the best fit for what you are looking for, and show you the results which are related to that aspect, and then repeat this process on that subset, so that if you chose "political aspects", it might further offer you

          Federalist papers Continental Congress actions etc.

The difficult problem, which perhaps Allon has solved, but as far as I know noone else has, is automating figuring out of these aspects.

Does anyone know of a more substantive description than the rehashed stuff which appears in 100 news sites..? A paper, a patent application, anything? Do we know where Bill Gates learned about it?

Re:What is it really? (1)

horologium (956654) | more than 8 years ago | (#15097859)

I have to agree. What exactly is this algorithm? It makes it very difficult for me to work out if I think it's any good or not without actually seeing it. Other people's mileage may vary, of course...

Great Work! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15097865)

This sounds like the guy "invented" the principle of clusters, as implemented in Vivisimo's Clusty system ...?

Great work!
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