Sunday, May 24, 2015

For my Ethical Hacking students. Have I mentioned we are looking for someone to teach mobile app development?
Android Factory Reset Leaves Personal Data on Phone
Bad news for people who have sold or given away their Android old phones: Google's own factory reset likely didn't remove all of their personal data and account-login information. A whopping 500 million Android devices may be at risk, according to a study by University of Cambridge researchers Laurent Simon and Ross Anderson.
According to their academic paper, once an Android device's data is recovered by exploiting this flaw, it will "successfully re-synchronize contacts, emails, and so on," leaving the digital lives of the original owners completely exposed. Access to accounts through dedicated apps, such as Facebook, on a poorly wiped device can also be procured through recovered authentication tokens.

For my Data Management and Business Intelligence students.
Psychology of the Searcher
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on May 23, 2015
“Marketers see visitors from a wide variety of search queries coming to their site. This data is valuable in guiding a search strategy, but it has existed in a vacuum, with little known about how searchers make decisions about how to phrase their search that lead up to the visit. New research from Blue Nile Research surveys searchers about how they choose to form their searches in a variety of different scenarios, and helps Marketers see the patterns in how searchers formulate their queries. Blue Nile’s research shows an exact 50-50 split between users who search in fragments (e.g. ‘swollen ankle’) and those who search in more fully formed terms (e.g. ‘causes of swollen ankle during sleep’). When it came to questions vs. statements, 27% of respondents phrased their query in the form of a question, with ‘How’ being the most commonly used prefix. With the research showing no clear clustering in how users phrase their searches, Marketers who wish to be well prepared to reach their target audience must be thorough in first understanding how their audience chooses to search before developing a strategy and by crafting content that closely maps to their pain points.”

For all my researching students. How to query. Proposed talk at SIGIR, but the slides and some citations are available now.
Information Retrieval with Verbose Queries
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on May 23, 2015
Information Retrieval with Verbose Queries – Manish Gupta and Michael Bendersky, March 2015.
“Recently, the focus of many novel search applications shifted from short keyword queries to verbose natural language queries. Examples include question answering systems and dialogue systems, voice search on mobile devices and entity search engines like Facebook’s Graph Search or Google’s Knowledge Graph. However the performance of textbook information retrieval techniques for such verbose queries is not as good as that for their shorter counterparts. Thus, effective handling of verbose queries has become a critical factor for adoption of information retrieval techniques in this new breed of search applications. Over the past decade, the information retrieval community has deeply explored the problem of transforming natural language verbose queries using operations like reduction, weighting, expansion, reformulation and segmentation into more effective structural representations. However, thus far, there was not a coherent and organized tutorial on this topic. In this tutorial, we aim to put together various research pieces of the puzzle, provide a comprehensive and structured overview of various proposed methods, and also list various application scenarios where effective verbose query processing can make a significant difference.”

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