David Warthen, co-founder of search engine Ask.com (formerly Ask Jeeves) has joined citizen journalism site Allvoices as its Chief Technology Officer.
Warthen was co-founder, and CTO for, Ask Jeeves. As Ask.com it remains the fourth most consulted search engine. It was sold to Barry Diller’s InterActive Corp for $1,85 billion in 2005. After Jeeves, Warthen acted as CTO for Eye Games, “a pioneer of full-body motion interactive webcam video games that presaged the Nintendo Wii” and Answerbag, acquired by Demand Media in 2007.
Allvoices relies on a lot of technology to do what it does. In addition to the relatively simple parts, like allowing contributors to sign up and readers to read stories, the company uses a Digg-like reader ranking system to bring stories up in the mix. It uses a complex search algorithm to verify story submissions. They also use reputation ranking to decide which contributors are the most trustworthy and they have to communicate these dynamic algorithms to users in a way that makes them useful.
“Allvoices technology is in support of the human element – where global citizens are the creators and curators of the content – to make both the site and the business model scalable,” Warthen told us. “These human/algorithm hybrid systems have been at the core of most of the work I have done, where the people involved are considered part of the system and not “outside” of the system.”
Anyone fascinated by natural language issues, or horrified for that matter, might be interested to know he intends to make it part of Allvoices.
“Applying natural language technology to the problems of the automated newsroom is very powerful,” he said. “This is an area I’m excited to bring to Allvoices’ existing team of NLP experts.”
Ask.com started as a natural language search engine but dropped that aspect eventually.
Disclosure: Lo these many years ago, I worked at Ask Jeeves when Warthen was its CTO.
POLL: Which Location-Based Mobile App Do You Use Now?
Prior to SXSW, we polled you on what location-based mobile app you would use during the festival. Brightkite and Foursquare were the most popular picks, with Gowalla third. We also polled you a year ago about this class of app and at that time Brightkite was a clear favorite.
As an attendee at SXSW, it seemed like Foursquare and Gowalla were the most used. Brightkite seemed to drop off the radar of SXSW attendees, but perhaps that was because Foursquare and Gowalla had the most press attention at that time. Whatever the case, it was an inconclusive result at SXSW and there was a sense that none of the 3 leading location-based mobile apps ‘won’ that battle. It’s now a month later, so we thought we’d poll you again to see which – if any – of these apps you use regularly now.
Austin-based data aggregation service Infochimps released several major sets of data extracted from the Twitter API today, as well as Infochimp’s first application and API based on one of these datasets.
Updating the “Twitter census” data it released in November 2009, the datasets and histograms Infochimps made available today include ones that track Twitter users by follower count and by profile page color (used to make the visualization below).
The VMforce news we’ve reported on today makes it likely game for our weekly poll.
What we want to know is your view on how significant the VMforce platform will be for the market. The view from here: The alliance between Salesforce.com and VMware will depend on the Java developer community the two companies develop.
Brazil is objecting to the picture drawn of it from the data on Google’s Government Request tool, which shows requests filed with Google by each country. Brazil made the most data requests of any country, 3,663, and the requested the most removals, 291.
The Associated Press reported that Priscila Schreiner, a federal prosecutor focusing on child pornography and racist crimes claimed the requests were all devoted to those subjects. But that does not seem to be so.
The team behind Mozilla’s Firefox browser announced today the availability of experimental code that website owners can add to their pages to allow site visitors to create an account, log-in or switch users with just a few simple clicks and no password to remember.
The unveiling comes a week after Facebook fired a big shot across the web, staking a claim as the dominant provider of one-click portable identity. These two technologies seem aimed right at each other and engineers at both companies have no doubt been following each others’ work closely.
Android ad traffic in the U.S. was 46% in March of this year versus iPhone’s 32%.
In response to Google’s recent Fiber for Communities project, a group of entrepreneurs in Philadelphia have decided to conduct their own broadband stimulus experiment.
There were tweets a plenty today about Mark Benioff and his latest term: “Cloud 2,” referring to the apps that will come from VMforce, the new Java-platform as a service that Saleforce.com and VMware are launching.
Dennis Howlett added to the discussion by picking up on the meme that Salesforce.com CEO Mark Benioff shared as part of the launch:
Today, VMforce was officially unveiled by its parent organizations VMware and SalesForce. The companies came together to produce this love-child and are now proudly sharing it with the world. The new organization, VMforce is disruptive to the core premise and architecture, bringing a new generation mix of services and software to the enterprise.
We took time to talk to leaders at SalesForce and VMware to absorb the news and start to dig in. In this post, we’ll share what we know and insert speculation in the force in the market this product may exert.
Have you ever found yourself ignoring the directions of your car’s GPS in order to get somewhere faster or more efficiently than it can calculate? Me too. Chances are when leaving point A, you plugged in the address of point B, and a route was calculated on how to get from one to the other. The problem is, things come up on the route from point A to point B that may cause you to divert from your path such as construction, road closures, traffic, side trips you need to make or neighborhoods you may choose to avoid driving straight through.