Archive - Jun 2009

Date
  • All
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30

June 28th

PrivatePond: Outsourced Management of Web Corpuses

This paper was presented at WEBDB 2009 at Providence, Rhode Island. The PDF version is available here.

My colleague from the database research group Dan Fabbri just presented our work, “PrivatePond” at WEBDB 2009. This paper is a clear example of the research environment at Michigan. Dan works on database security, while I work on database search. Given that we sit across each other at the lab, there is always a constant amount of crosstalk. Add in a few brainstorming sessions and a few work-intense weekends, and you have a secure database search paper!

The core idea of the paper is simple. Everybody uses Google (or Yahoo! or Bing). They’re fast, they’re easy to use, and they’re free. Now let’s say you had some secure information, like your prescription information from your psychiatrist. Obviously you don’t want Google to know about it, because they can do bad, bad things with it. So you encrypt it. But you still want it to be searchable. But you can’t search encrypted data! So what do we do?

Enter PrivatePond. Basically, we’re encrypting private data just enough that its possible to search with decent ranking, while still keeping it secure.

We call this the “Secure Indexable Representation”, and we study how increasing the encryption decreases the quality of search, and vice versa.

Update: We actually have a demo of our system. If you would like to see it, please contact me!

Here are the slides for the talk:

|

June 21st

The difference between Google and Yahoo!

Time for some good ol’ flamebait!:

State-of-the-art lawnmowing technology at Google:

State-of-the-art lawnmowing technology at Yahoo!:

As you can clearly see, Yahoo! is cuter.

| |

June 1st

Manhattanhenge

This weekend was Manhattanhenge :

Manhattanhenge (sometimes referred to as Manhattan Solstice) is a biannual occurrence in which the setting sun aligns with the east-west streets of Manhattan’s main street grid.

It results in quite an intriguing view, since you get to watch the Sun set while standing on the east side of the island. I took the above photo from the Eastern end of 14th street, where a small group of us had gathered to witness the event.