The NewsDemon Blog
By Daniel Li March 21st, 2012
Mining personal data to discover what people care about has become big business for companies such as Facebook and Google. Now a project from Microsoft Research is trying to bring that kind of data mining back home to help people explore their own piles of personal digital data according to Microsoft USENET newsgroups.
Software called Lifebrowser processes photos, e-mails, Web browsing and search history, calendar events, and other documents stored on a person’s computer and identifies landmark events. Its timeline interface can explore, search, and discover those landmarks as a kind of memory aid.
Lifebrowser’s interactive timeline looks like a less polished version of Facebook’s recently introduced Timeline feature. However, as USENET posts point out, the design predates Facebook’s and doesn’t rely on a user to manually curate it. Photos, e-mails, and other documents and data points appear in chronological order, but Lifebrowser’s timeline only shows those judged to be associated with “landmark” events by artificial intelligence algorithms. A user can slide a “volume control” to change how significant data has to be if it is to appear on the timeline. A search feature can pull up landmark events on a certain topic.
Behind the scenes, Lifebrowser uses several machine-learning techniques to sift through personal data and determine what is important to its owner. When judging photos, Lifebrowser looks at properties of an image file for clues, including whether the file name was modified or the flash had fired. It even examines the contents of a photo using machine-vision algorithms to learn how many people were captured in the image and whether it was taken inside or outdoors. The “session” of photos taken at one time is also considered as a group, for cues such as how long an event was and how frequently photos were taken.
Lifebrowser looks for clues about whether a file is especially significant, and asks for extra hints if it’s unsure. A screen saver prompts a user to inform Lifebrowser if certain photos are of “landmark” events or not, and a simple dialogue does the same for calendar invitations. Over time, the system learns what’s important to you, and adapts.
The technology is fairly new and its still to be seen whether or not it will also pull up posts and topics pulled from USENET newsgroups over time.
Subscribe to our blog!
- Lifehacker Users Vote NewsDemon Top USENET Provider
- Do You Have Blazing Fast USENET Access?
- One Day Sale: Four Months Of Unlimited USENET for $20.14
- NewsDemon Black Friday 2013 Special Extended
- NewsDemon.com Newsgroups Grand Prize Winner Announced
- NewsDemon.com Newsgroups Holiday Giveaway Part 2
- NewsDemon Holiday Giveaway Winner For November 19th
- NewsDemon Holiday Giveaway Winner For November 18th
- NewsDemon Holiday Giveaway Winner For November 17th
- NewsDemon Holiday Giveaway Winner For November 16th
- NewsDemon Holiday Giveaway Winner For November 15th
- NewsDemon Holiday Giveaway Winner November 14th
- NewsDemon Holiday Giveaway Winner For November 13th
- NewsDemon Holiday Giveaway 2013 Starts Now
- NewsDemon Now Offers geo-DNS For Faster Connections
- NewsDemon Newsgroups 1TB Non-Expring Block Account Fire Sale
- NewsDemon Newsgroups Announces Upcoming Sale
- NewsDemon Newsgroup Announces 5 Year Binary Retention
- NewsDemon July Promotion
- NSA-Proof VPN Connections Available Through NewsDemon
- NewsDemon Now Offers Cosmos IP Addresses With SlickVPN
- Cable Company Admits To Data Caps On USENET Users
- IBM Leads In Nanotube Technology
- Minnesotta Outlaws Online Education
- UK Provider Virgin Media Offers Faster Speeds
- NewsDemon Now Offers 1500 Days Binary Retention
- New Computers Already Infected with a Virus?
- Canada Data Caps Affect Netflix and USENET Users
- Your ISP Could be Providing Faster Speeds than Advertised
- NewsDemon Offers Header Compression On All Newsgroups
- Google Enters the ISP Game, Offering Fast Access to USENET
- No Office 2013 Availability for XP, Vista, Mac Users
- Potential Breakthrough in Likely Discovery of Higgs Boson Particle
- New USENET Posted Study Looks at Teen Activity Online
- Internet Conceptualized in 1934?
- More Bits and Pieces from the Star Trek Sequel on USENET
- Solutions to Avoid Constantly Resetting Your Router
- Excitement Over Adobe Creative Suite 6 and Creative Cloud Releases
- World Wide Web Inventor Voices Privacy Concern On USENET
- Microsoft Pulls The Plug On Windows XP
- What Is Dr. Watson’s Contribution To Cancer Research?
- Microsoft Build Online Time Machine
- New Payment Options Available From NewsDemon.com Newsgroups
- Limited Time Super Unlimited USENET Deal from NewsDemon
- USENET Post Reveals Tremendous Forecast Of Online Users
- USENET Stats Regarding Technology Sales
- USENET Finds The Force
- Happy Binary Day USENET
- Windows XP Turns 10 On USENET
- Is Microsoft Manipulating Ratings to Call IE the Safest Browser?