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Topsy's Twitter Search Now Finds Photos and Text

It's not just mining links shared on Twitter anymore

1 min read
Topsy's Twitter Search Now Finds Photos and Text

Like several start-up search engines that offer third party Twitter search, Topsy used to find just the web links shared via Twitter, rather than returning actual content from tweets.

That changed yesterday with Topsy's launch of several new features that offer photo search and regular tweet content search.

From TechCrunch:

Before now, if you ran a search for “Google Buzz”, the site would return links to articles and videos about the new service. Now, it will also surface tweets from influential Twitter users, even if they don’t include a link. That’s important for breaking news when a story may not have already been covered by a publication, or when there’s a tweet that’s important in and of itself (say, Bill Gates’ first tweet). 

The new features will also allow photo search based on the text of tweets that contain photo links, and will let users see what's trending in web links, photos, and tweet content.

Topsy's algorithms rank the relevance of tweets and filter out less influential ones, according to TechCrunch:

The links are ranked by the number of times they’ve been retweeted, and also by the influence of the people who have tweeted them; the site actually keeps track of the number of retweets each user typically gets to establish their overall reputation.

That's a technique that major search engines are still trying to perfect as they roll out real-time search features.

Read IEEE Spectrum's report on the progress with real-time search.

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Metamaterials Could Solve One of 6G’s Big Problems

There’s plenty of bandwidth available if we use reconfigurable intelligent surfaces

12 min read
An illustration depicting cellphone users at street level in a city, with wireless signals reaching them via reflecting surfaces.

Ground level in a typical urban canyon, shielded by tall buildings, will be inaccessible to some 6G frequencies. Deft placement of reconfigurable intelligent surfaces [yellow] will enable the signals to pervade these areas.

Chris Philpot

For all the tumultuous revolution in wireless technology over the past several decades, there have been a couple of constants. One is the overcrowding of radio bands, and the other is the move to escape that congestion by exploiting higher and higher frequencies. And today, as engineers roll out 5G and plan for 6G wireless, they find themselves at a crossroads: After years of designing superefficient transmitters and receivers, and of compensating for the signal losses at the end points of a radio channel, they’re beginning to realize that they are approaching the practical limits of transmitter and receiver efficiency. From now on, to get high performance as we go to higher frequencies, we will need to engineer the wireless channel itself. But how can we possibly engineer and control a wireless environment, which is determined by a host of factors, many of them random and therefore unpredictable?

Perhaps the most promising solution, right now, is to use reconfigurable intelligent surfaces. These are planar structures typically ranging in size from about 100 square centimeters to about 5 square meters or more, depending on the frequency and other factors. These surfaces use advanced substances called metamaterials to reflect and refract electromagnetic waves. Thin two-dimensional metamaterials, known as metasurfaces, can be designed to sense the local electromagnetic environment and tune the wave’s key properties, such as its amplitude, phase, and polarization, as the wave is reflected or refracted by the surface. So as the waves fall on such a surface, it can alter the incident waves’ direction so as to strengthen the channel. In fact, these metasurfaces can be programmed to make these changes dynamically, reconfiguring the signal in real time in response to changes in the wireless channel. Think of reconfigurable intelligent surfaces as the next evolution of the repeater concept.

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