All Your Translations Are Belong to Google

Google’s statistical machine translation initiative aims to make huge advances in document translation. Instead of relying on humans to translate documentrs, Google is taking a different approach. According to Reuters

Instead, they feed documents humans have already translated into two languages and then rely on computers to discern patterns for future translations.

While linguistic experts are impressed…

“Some people that are in machine translations for a long time and then see our Arabic-English output, then they say, that’s amazing, that’s a breakthrough,”

The average web user is less so…

“And then other people who have never seen what machine translation was … they read through the sentence and they say, the first mistake here in line five — it doesn’t seem to work because there is a mistake there.”

The Citizendium Lie

I like the idea behind Citizendium. It’s good. In fact, it might actually be the best model we’ve found yet. But it’s still a flawed idea—and it’s been flawed since before wikis were ever conceived.

With Citizendium going live this week, there’s been some discussion about its model. If you’ve missed it, the short version is that Citizendium requires contributors to prove their identities and provide a biography or curriculum vitae. In addition to contributors, more qualified editors will oversee the creation and content of articles relating to their area of expertise and postgraduate study.

What’s the problem? Well, aside from the fact that we’ve already seen how easy it is to fool a wiki into thinking you’re someone you’re not, there’s the simple fact that people make mistakes—sometimes glaringly obvious ones.

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Yahoo Click Fraud Suit Settled…Finally!

If you have a good memory, you’ll recall Yahoo’s sweet click fraud settlement deal, which would hold the company to just $5m in legal fees and a review of click fraud activity back to 2004. If you don’t have a good memory, that’s why we’re here!

Anyway, the courts have made the settlement final – at a breathtaking pace of 9 months – and the settlement will stand, “as called on the field.”

First Look at Google Audio (Radio) Ads

Back in December Google ran a very limited beta test of their new Audio Ads product. They recently began expanding the beta and I was able to get my hands on an account.

Below are a few screenshots and an overview of the Audio Ads system setup. For more detailed information you should read the Audio Ads help section.

Campaigns
The campaign view looks much like the normal Adwords interface. Instead of clicks and CTR% you see ad plays (number of time an ad airs) and impressions (estimated number of people who heard your ad).

audience estimates (impression estimates) are delivered by Google based on Arbitron’s copyrighted and proprietary audience estimates. They are not estimates produced by Arbitron. For details on survey period & audience type, please refer to your campaign reports.

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Audio Library
The audio library is where you upload, store, and preview your radio ads for current and future use.

  • When uploading, you are asked to include a written transcript of the audio ad.
  • Your ad is sent to Google for pre-approval before it can be used live.

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SoWeSay Puts Your Reputation in the Hands of Others

One of the most common features you’ll find in social networks such as LinkedIn, is the ability to recommend others and effectively vouch for their credibility.

SoWeSay is a new social networking site that focuses purely on peer review and recommendation, allowing you to create profiles, rate and review anyone you know or encounter online and offline.

Ok, we’ll have to watch this one. On one hand, I like the idea of being able to share your opinion on others, but I don’t like the lack of accountability. You don’t have to prove you know the person, in order to share a review, and you can also post the review anonymously – both could open up the service to abuse.

Google Plays Catch-up to Yahoo’s Mobile Efforts?

It’s not often you get to suggest that Google is playing “catch-up” to a competitor, so I’m sure the headline above will bring a wry smile to the folks at Yahoo.

Humor aside, it does appear that Google’s blog post, announcing their expansion of features for Google Mobile, is in reaction to Yahoo’s oneSearch initiative.

Here’s what you’ll now get with Google’s mobile site (from their blog post).

  • Get the information you care about, right from your homepage. Because it can be difficult to manage small screens and small keypads, and because mobile search is often more about seeking specific information than browsing for extended periods, we’ve made it possible to add the information you’re interested in directly to the mobile homepage. Ranging from movie listings to stock-market updates to website feeds or news snippets, these gadgets can be added with a simple click. You can then reorder, replace, or modify your gadgets however you like.

A Trifecta of Yahoo Mobile News

Yahoo’s had a busy start to the day, announcing three new mobile initiatives.

  1. They’ve launched Yahoo! Mobile Publisher Services, “a suite of services designed to enable publishers to increase the discovery, distribution and monetization of their content on mobile phones.”
  2. They’ve opened up oneSearch to aforementioned Yahoo Mobile Publishers Services.
  3. They’ve announced a new mobile advertising alliance that sees Yahoo become the ad network partner for MobiTV’s mobile video advertising sales and delivery.