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Gregory Kossinets
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My team at Google has just announced a public data program in urban mobility, which I've been working on for the past year and a half:

If you're an urban planner or an academic researcher working on improving traffic congestion, pollution, safety, etc, and are interested in working with us, please get in touch:

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I am co-organizing a workshop on privacy in geospatial data at SIGSPATIAL'15:

Please consider contributing and attending if the topics are of interest to you. SIGSPATIAL is a high quality, medium-size conference (single track for the main program), and it is in Seattle this year (November 3-6).  

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An interesting piece in The Atlantic about "microtags" that Netflix uses to describe movies: "Predicting something is 3.2 stars is kind of fun if you have an engineering sensibility, but it would be more useful to talk about dysfunctional families and viral plagues. We wanted to put in more language," Yellin said. "We wanted to highlight our personalization because we pride ourselves on putting the right title in front of the right person at the right time."

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Congratulations to +Chenhao Tan on a great talk at CIKM -- and many thanks again for all the hard work and contributions during his Google internship last summer!
Our CIKM paper presentation was jammed packed today with people sitting on floors. The topic was how to improve expert and user ratings of restaurants using joint optimization techniques.

+Chenhao Tan did a a great job presenting the work, done with my co-authors +Gueorgi Kossinets +David Huffaker and +Alex Smola .

Via +Xavier Amatriain Tweet:

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I don't often find "top n" lists interesting or useful, but when I do, it's by someone like Aki Kaurismäki:

Some of the conference/journal spam I receive is written in a curiously old-fashioned language. I just got an email from a "Ms. Wendy" from the editorial board at World Academic Publishing, inviting me to resubmit an already published paper to one of their titles. That brings to memory a recent opportunity I learned about from a Mrs. Johnson, secretary to Dr. Desmond Carson, whose client died in South Africa without naming any next of kin... but I digress. I'm just curious: why do those people use outdated gender stereotypes and writing style?  Is that because of who they want to target?  Or because their language reflects their social environment? Or maybe they used outdated textbooks to learn English?

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I am reading the diaries of Anatoly Chernyaev -- a foreign affairs aide to Gorbachev and, before, a foreign affairs functionary under Brezhnev. His notes span 1972 through 1991.  It is an absolutely fascinating read.  A very personal account of how history was made, the characters involved, and what they were thinking.

Some translated excerpts are here:

And the complete archive in available in Russian:  

Hat tip to the commenters on where I learned about Chernyaev's archive. 

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A faculty opening in Computational Social Science at U of Vermont.  If I weren't gainfully employed at the #1 company to work for, I'd be sending in my application this very moment. More info at

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Want negative weights on your personal network edges?  Now you can: They'd have liked to add a "dislike" button too but allegedly that's explicitly banned by Facebook.
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