The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'juxtaposition'
We Need You Now (More Than Ever), a video by Danish artists Wooloo, in the style of We Are The World-style celebrity charity ensemble records, sardonically imploring the Catholic Church to dip into its vast wealth and bail Europe's economies out:
This video is being screened until 17 November at the Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art at Röda Sten in Gothenburg, along with Chilean artist Fernando Sanchez Castillo's Pegasus Dance, an amorous ballet for two riot-control water-cannon trucks set to a languid waltz:
WE NEED YOU NOW (MORE THAN EVER) from wooloo on Vimeo.
This juxtaposition between content and automatically served ads has recently been brought to my attention:
It would appear that the culprit is Google's ad-serving algorithm, which seems to be based on keywords or word frequencies in the content; in this case, I'm guessing that it noticed that the page was about strings, and it had an ad targetted at a number of keywords, including "string". And, hence, we have an illustration of why naïve keyword-based content matching can fail.
I imagine that Google could do better than this. They have (a) a copy of the entire Web, stored and indexed as they see fit, and (b) huge quantities of parallel-processing power to crunch through this and data derived from this. They have already used this to great effect in building statistical models of language, which they use in things like their language tools and the context-sensitive spelling correction in Wave. I imagine, though, that it could be used to implement a machine-learning system, taking content classification beyond word frequencies.
Imagine, for example, if there were a classification engine, trained on millions of web pages (and auxilliary data about them) that, when fed a web page or document, could assign it a score along several axes with some degree of accuracy. Some axes could be the obvious things: a "sex" axis, for example (with thongs falling on one side and C++ classes well on the other) could be used for things like SafeSearch. An "emotional response" axis could be used to classify how likely content is to arouse strong emotions; on one end would be accounts of lurid violence and depravity, and on the other end things like source code and stationery catalogues, with art, celebrity gossip and LiveJournal angst falling in the spaces between. As soon as a page crossed a certain point on the axis, the ad-serving algorithm could stop matching ads by keywords (you don't want ads for airfares next to a piece about an air crash, for example), or even reverse them (so that topical ads aren't shown).
In fact, one need not restrict oneself to pre-imagined axes; it's conceivable that an ad serving company with Google's resources could set up a learning engine, program it to categorise pages according to a dozen arbitrary axes, and see what comes about and what it's useful for, in turn coming up with a model for clustering web content into crisply defined categories that no human would think of. Of course, for all I know, someone at Google (or Microsoft or Facebook) could be doing this right now.
Recently in unintentionally humorous juxtapositions: 23 unfortunately placed web ads:
Speculation is rising over the health of the autocratic leader of a secretive polity after announcements that he won't be making annual public appearances. This time, it's not North Korean CEO Kim Jong-Il, but Apple God-Emperor Steve Jobs:
Several Apple employees contacted by Wired.com have reported that they haven't seen Jobs since the company announced the CEO would not appear for a Macworld keynote. Jobs generally isn't very visible in public, but the employees said they haven't seen him on campus recently, either.
The latest web comic is H.P. Lovecraft's The Nameless Dread:
Cookie Mongoloid are a band who do speed-metal covers of Sesame Street songs. The singer sounds like Cookie Monster, though that could probably be said of many metal vocalists. (via bOING bOING)
Bizarre musical juxtapositions of today: Li'l Gn'R, the "first ever Guns n' Roses kids tribute band", and Jewdriver, an all-Jewish band playing tribute to neo-Nazi "white power" band Skrewdriver (and apparently fronted by one "Aryan Sharon"). (Unfortunately, though, the Jewdriver site isn't Mozilla-friendly, and all the links are covered up by a gig flyer in an IFRAME.) (via Rocknerd and cnwb, respectively)
Sir Mix-A-Lot's Baby Got Back translated into Latin, with a literal English translation beneath each line. Champagne comedy, folks.
Rebecca, ecce! tantae clunes isti sunt!
(Rebecca, behold! Such large buttocks she has!)
amica esse videtur istorum hominum rhythmicorum.
(She appears to be a girlfriend of one of those rhythmic-oration people.)
magnae clunes mihi placent, nec possum de hac re mentiri.
(Large buttocks are pleasing to me, nor am I able to lie concerning this matter.)
Just the thing to wear for when Osama comes to take out the mall: Mickey Mouse gas masks. Originally designed for children during World War 2, perhaps we can expect them to return to shops in a few terrorist alerts' time. Though perhaps this day we'd be more likely to see Hello Kitty or Jar-Jar Binks gas masks. (via bOING bOING)
Japanese T-shirt of the day, from the very amusing engrish.com. Wonder if there's any way to get them in Australia. (via bOING bOING)
Ever wondered what ultra-violent young malchicks do when they grow up and reform? How about writing an advice column... (via Found)
Your little malchick is doing a yumyumyum bit of the ol' in-out in-out and I don't see why you are so oh-oh-oh about it. It's nature, baboochka, remember it? You can teach him about Bog and the Good Book all you like, but when a malchick sees a fine devotchka, he gets a pan-handle and he wants to do some lubbilubbing with her. At least he's not a gloopy prestoopnik, always in trouble with the millicents and being dragged off to the Staja. Let him and his little ptitsa do the in-out in-out. Next you'll be all razdraz about him smoking a cancer.
Plunderphonic artefact of the week: Public Enemy vs. Dexy's Midnight Runners (~350k MP3). (via bOING bOING)
Found object of the day: I had reason to be in the Ivanhoe Coles supermarket today, and found in one of the aisles a 3-videotape "value pack", consisting of the following titles:
- Clinton Under Oath - The President's Testimony
- Girl Power - The Unauthorised Biography of the Spice Girls
- Navy Seals - The Real Story
Wonder what the target market could possibly be.
(And in case you're wondering: no, I didn't buy it.)
The Onion has some cool Easter cards you can cut out.