Google and Data Object Visualization

June 30, 2009

The USPTO published US7555471 B2 on June 30, 2009. The Beyond Search goslings think this is a reasonably important Google disclosure. The investors include one super Googler and clutch of other Google rock star engineers. Andrew Hogue is a Googler to watch. If you find his official Google page opaque, try this link.  He and his band of engineers have received a patent for “Data Object Visualization.” Don’t get too excited about the graphics. The system and method applies to a core Google system for cleaning up discrepancies in fact tables. If you are a fan of Dilbert, this is the invention that describes one of Google’s smartest agents the official descriptor “janitor”. How smart is the janitor. Smart enough to make dataspaces closer to reality. The USPTO system is sluggish today, so you can get info from FreePatentsOnline.com or one of the other services that provide access to these public documents. I love that janitor lingo too. Googley humor for big time inventions makes clear that the 11 year old Google still possesses math club whimsy. Those examples for atomic mass and volcano are equally illuminating.

Stephen Arnold, June 30, 2009

Wall Street Journal Continues Spam Attacks on ArnoldIT.com

June 30, 2009

For the sixth day in a row, the hapless Wall Street Journals spams me to become a print subscriber. I wrote. I called. I now document these annoying and pointless injunctions to become a subscriber to the print edition. I am a subscriber, and I am now enjoying the demonstration of ineptitude from a newspaper that once had this addled goose’s respect. I nominate the WSJ for the spammer’s Hall of Fame.

wsj june 30

Very tasteful colors. I wonder if the WSJ executives consider these “tie colors” for that professional look?

I hope to get a suitable award prepared before this outfit goes out of business. Wow, the nation’s financial newspaper operates like Sean Casey, fake bank officers in China, and the colon cleansing crowd. Must be something I am missing. I don’t think it is just desperation. Seems closer to the type of behavior Tess demonstrates when she can’t find her chew toy: frantic, non productive behavior. She’s a dog. I wonder how one should describe the WSJ behavior? I will do some thinking. This will make a wonderful anecdote for my talk at the Magazine Publishers Association in October 2009. Is Barron’s a magazine or a newspaper? No matter. I think the example will work either way?

Stephen Arnold, June 30, 2009

Microsoft Plumbing: Big Online Facility in Big Shoulder Territory

June 30, 2009

The Microsoft data center news keeps on swirling in my Overflight intel system. Patrick Thibodeau’s “Microsoft to Open Two Mall Sized Data Centers” levered my interest. Computer World reported:

Microsoft Corp. on Monday said it is preparing to flip the switch on what will eventually be more than 1 million square feet of data center space in two facilities, one in Chicago, the other in Dublin, Ireland. These centers will house hundreds of thousands of servers to help support the company’s Bing search engine and other online services.

Google does not provide this type of detail about its plumbing. My hunch is that Google doesn’t want to help anyone figure out how much the company invests in infrastructure and Google may not want to get tangled in a “who has the bigger facility” argument with its competitors, azure chip consultants, and besmirched MBAs seeking a commission from stock churn.

The numbers reported in the Computer World article stunned this addled goose. For example:

The Chicago center, which opens July 20 and is now said to be 700,000 square feet in size, will use containers that can be the size of tractor-trailers, with 1,800 to 2,500 servers each. The first phase of the Chicago center to go live has more than 50 parking stalls for shipping containers, which Microsoft said can be wheeled in and installed in hours. The facility’s second floor will have server racks.

Now that is a lot of Windows servers. Imagine the configuration work required to set these up, verify that the ever wonderful SQL Server clusters are running like clockwork, ensure that the fail over does not fail, and test to make sure that back ups actually restore.

Chicago has nuclear power generation facilities. That’s a plus. This data center is likely to consume more electricity than Blue Island. “Just Bing it” has new meaning to the executives at Exelon Corp.

Stephen Arnold, June 30, 2009

TextFindIt

June 30, 2009

A happy quack to the reader who alerted me to Carlos Raposo’s Microsoft Windows Dot Net 3.5 search application. If you are one of the many Windows users who need to search for a text string in a folder, you may want to look at TextFindIT, Version 1.5. This is a one trick search pony. The program can search for a specific text string inside of the files in a folder. The software can find a text string or keywords inside a folder or sub folder, including non text files.

image

The Beyond Search geese are calling your attention to the fertility of those frustrated with existing search tools. You can snag a copy of the program from CRWLD.com. (Oh, the goslings test this type of software on machines not connected to anything and which are designed for lab experiments. You may want to follow the same method.) The source code is available and the software has been released under the creative commons license.

Stephen Arnold, June 30, 2009

Lucid Imagination Offers Connectors to Lucene Solr Systems

June 30, 2009

Lucid Imagination now resells ISYS Search Software file filters to offer content access capability to Lucene/Solr open source search systems. This clever move has the happy side effect of allowing Lucid to market the filters, a set of .dlls (dynamic link libraries) normally used in retail products for text extraction, to their own customers, effectively stretching its Lucene/Solr search product into the pay-for-service enterprise data field. It’s a streamlined effort designed to be significantly cheaper than competitor connectors and gets around one of the barriers to broader uptake of open source search technology. Most commercial search vendors do not unbundle their connectors and often use them to justify higher price-tags. This deal may take a lot of wind out of their sails. Lucid will offer five categories of content filters, available separately or in any combination, so a company can customize based on their search needs. Beyond Search was surprised that commercial search vendor is unbundling its technology. The plus is that it gets the Australian company’s foot in the door to the open source market. Meanwhile, Lucid is on the move to strengthen its position bridging the gap between open source and commercial software and will be signing up other commercial software components so Lucene/Solr users can build more robust search solutions.

Jessica Bratcher, June 30, 2009

Search Sucks: A Mini Case

June 30, 2009

I listened occasionally to the Gillmor Gang when it was available on iTunes. I noticed that the program disappeared, and I lost track of it. My RSS reader snagged a story about a verbal shoot out between the one man TV network Leo LaPorte and one of the participants in the Gilmore Gang. To make a long and somewhat confused story short, the show disappeared. I figured this would be a good topic to use to test Bing.com and Google.com. My premise was that neither service would be indexing the type of information about flaps in the wobbly world of real time content on the rich media Web.

I ran the query Gilmore Gang on Google and finally found a link to a story published on June 13, 2009, called “Hanging on for Dear Life.” The problem with the Google results was that the top rated links were just plain wrong in terms of answering my query. Granted I used a two word query and I was purposely testing the Google system to see if it was sufficiently “smart” to figure out that I wanted current and accurate information. Well, in my opinion, it was like a promising student who stayed up late and did not do his home work. Here is the result list Google generated for me on June 28, 2009:

google hits gilmor

The result I wanted I found using other tools.

Read more

How Open Are Blue Chip Consulting Firms

June 30, 2009

I found ReadWriteWeb’s article “Becoming An Open Enterprise: Five Lessons from Booz Allen Hamilton” a thought starter. The hook for the article was Booz Allen Hamilton’s winning an award at the Enterprise 2.0 conference. Awards are good. These help attract exhibitors and generate news about an organization or person who otherwise may not be on the radar.

The thought starter part was the idea that open and blue chip consulting go together. I think that is a stretch. The use of technology in controlled situations is one thing. The way in which blue chip consulting firms’ operate is quite another.

I would assert that ReadWriteWeb is not in touch with the closed nature of the top tier consulting firms. For example, Booz Allen has had a contentious history among its partners. The most recent version of the venerable firm is that its partners agreed to divide the company. The “real” consultants with MBAs and a McKinsey envy went one way. The technology and government consultants went another. So, consulting mitosis and the discussions about this split are and probably never will be “open”.

Second, the Booz Allen receiving the award does work for various governments. That work – even if not covered by the plastic wrap of security – is not likely to be discussed widely even within the firm. In fact, in blue chip consulting companies, power is information. Access to information, therefore, is not open. Partners husband information to protect the client, the method, and their bonuses. Some of the implicitly security makes Apple look positively chatty.

Third, the technology on display and available for “voters” or “judges” to review is designed to make sales. The idea is that a blue chip consulting firm sells by being perceived as a thought leader. Whizzy new technology presented with an “aw shucks” it was nothing along with dollops of “we know how you can use this to succeed” makes sales. Remember. The fees for this blue chip wizardry is high, even in government engagements.

Recycling the five precepts makes for a good news story. That was the purpose of the entire exercise. Openness is controlled. Openness is not part of the way in which blue chip outfits work. I think ReadWriteWeb is helping the Booz Allen consultants make sales.

I was a laborer in the BAH vineyard, and I think more folks covering the high end firms should dig into the methods of these outfits.

Stephen Arnold, June 30, 2009

Google Creates Spanish Site for Entrepreneurs

June 30, 2009

Short honk: Speak Spanish? Google’s new site for entrepreneurs may be for you. You can check out the basics by reading “Google Crea Portal Para Emprendedores”. The site itself is on Google.es.

Stephen Arnold, June 30, 2009

DARPA: We Want to Be Like Google

June 30, 2009

Short honk: I think that the US government should emulate Google. I am not critical of DARPA (unit of the Department of Defense) and its new project. You can read about it in the CNet story “Reading Machine to Snoop on Web.” If you click this link, you can probably for a short period of time, access the statement of work for this little project. The first money chunk seems to be north of $20 million, a fraction of what it will cost to replicate some of these “as is” features of the Google. Enjoy.

Stephen Arnold, June 30, 2009

IBM the Leader in Application Development

June 29, 2009

Short honk: Here’s the set up. A $100 billion consulting company that also sells some hardware and some software wants to be a player in application development. The company’s executives know that the Google has pulled off the Wave PR coup. The company’s technical wizards use php and other open source languages. Lots of people use Java which is still pretty much free, taught in basic computer classes, and much loved by software developers from Germany and Google.

What’s the response?

Find a way for an azure chip consultant to snarf down a news release that asserts IBM is the leader in application development. Don’t believe me? Navigate to “IBM Maintains Leadership in Application Development” and see for yourself. The story was distributed by Thomson Reuters. The byline is IBM and FirstCall, a Thomson service for the deep pocket set. The consulting firm was Gartner with a squirt of PR whip cream from Evans Data Corp.’s User Choice Survey.

For me the salient paragraph was:

In today’s economic climate, businesses are realizing that building a competency in software is crucial to their long-term growth and success. As companies deploy increasingly intelligent, interconnected and instrumented solutions, they must treat the software they build or assemble as a strategic business asset.  However, enabling this innovation, lowering costs and managing change is dependent on the effectiveness of their software and systems development process.  IBM Rational can provide organizations with a collaborative software delivery platform, capabilities, and time-tested processes to arm development teams with the necessary tools to make software delivery a core business strength.

The addled goose does not know what this means. So, the addled goose navigated to IBM.com, entered the query “Gartner Evans Data”. What do you think the result set reported? Fourteen hits to reports, comments, and pats on the back from these companies on behalf of IBM.

My conclusion: ask a professional developer.

Stephen Arnold, June 30, 2009

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