Quote to Note: SAP on Its $1.3 Billion Gaffe

November 30, 2010

Quote to note. I thought this statement worthy of tucking in my speech ideas folder. Point your RockMelt browser at “SAP Statement on Jury Verdict in Oracle v. SAP”.

The mark of a leading company is the way it handles its mistakes.

I wonder if the mistake was admitting improper use of Oracle intellectual property before the trial, losing the argument for teenie weenie damages, or getting caught.

Fascinating. More from this triad in 2011 I think.

Stephen E Arnold, November 30, 2020


Microsoft and the Game Angle on Search

November 30, 2010

I recall that the RAND outfit used game playing by humans as a way to inform software. Instead of artificial intelligence, the system sucked down what humans did and used that. I think I learned about this method when I was a freshman at the loser university I attended.

Proving that history tends to repeat itself, Microsoft is working on a new way to search for images.  “Microsoft’s ImageFlow Turns Picture Search Into a 3-D Game” details some features of this new product.

ImageFlow is a game-centric search that places users in a star field of search results. Using their mouse or keyboard, users navigate further into the star field to drill down in the results. Traveling up or down in the star field shows results along the color-to-black-and-white scale. Traveling left to right brings results for related search queries; for example showing images of Janet Jackson with the results for the original search query of Michael Jackson.

This idea, if we understand the source article, has some warts.

Who’s to say that when I search for pictures of Michael Jackson, the next thing I want to search for are images of Janet?

Google is already making strides in improving image searches, and Microsoft is itching to catch up. Possibly their next effort will be a reimagining of something else that we’ve already seen.

Stephen E Arnold and Laura Amos, November 30, 2010


PolySpot Enhances Shiseido

November 30, 2010

Even a cosmetic company needs a makeover once in awhile. IndiceRH.net discusses Shiseido International France’s newest search providers. The original IndiceRH write up has gone dark but you can read “Jalios et PolySpot formalisent et capitalisent les connaissances chez Shiseido International” on the PolySpot Web site.

Shiseido wants to beautify its information access with technology from PolySpot and Jalios (a vendor of content management solutions). The project’s main goals are to formalize the information gathering process, share knowledge with new employees, and facilitate the creation/use of good business practices. These goals are carried out with a search engine in the PolySpot Enterprise Search Tool and use the Jalios JCMS editor to sieve through the information. Jalios JCMS is akin to SharePoint with PolySpot augmenting the program with its searching capabilities and tweaked to reflect Shiseido International France’s needs. The write up asserts:

Today, this integration is completely transparent to users. They access the search engine PolySpot Enterprise Search directly from their work environment Jalios and recover their research results directly into their usual interface with full respect for rights of access.

Shiseido International France’s technology facelift was successful and they hope to continue improvements with regular injections of new content and retrieval methods.

Whitney Grace, November 30, 2010


Arnold For Fee Columns, December 2010

November 30, 2010

The December 2010 for-fee columns by Stephen E Arnold have gone to their respective editors. The topics covered this month are:

  1. For Enterprise Technology Management, “Google Street View: Fender Bender on the Information Highway”. Google’s avoided Street View collisions in the US and the UK. Elsewhere the mileage may vary.
  2. For Information Today, “RockMelt: Research Degrading to De-Search”. The idea is that social browsing puts another nail in the coffin for roll-up-your-sleeves research. Heck. It’s easier to ask a “friend”.
  3. For KMWorld, “The Semantics of Product Data.” In this column I discuss a domain of content ignored by most enterprise search systems. I profile a vendor tackling this opportunity.
  4. For Smart Business Network, “Hyperspace and Location, Location, Location.” I take a look at how small and mid-sized businesses can use location-specific advertising online.
  5. For Online Magazine, “Big Data: The New Information Challenge”. The write up looks at the opportunities big data create for publishers and information fusion companies.

I wrote a long piece for Information World Review, and I think the second part of my November submission will run in December. Also, my Google column has shifted from KMWorld to Enterprise Data World, and I have started a “semantics in the enterprise” column for KMWorld.

I can’t keep these outfits straight either. For copies of these articles, you will need to hound the publisher, not me. I just write ‘em. I don’t archive work for hire.

Stephen E Arnold, November 30, 2010


SAP Tab for Theft

November 29, 2010

I love the US legal system. An 11 day trial and courteous behavior at every turn. The German software giant SAP admitted wrong doing. Silicon Valley’s Mr. Rogers explained in refined periodic sentences that its intellectual property was used improperly. At the end of the demonstration that manners are deeply rooted in the American business scene, Oracle received a positive judgment and a mere pittance for the wrong done.

You can read all about this flashback to the days of the 17th century England’s Restoration conduct in “SAP Must Pay Oracle $1.3 Billion Over Unit’s Downloads.” Here’s the hot bit:

SAP AG, the world’s largest maker of business application software, must pay $1.3 billion to Oracle Corp. for copyright infringement by a now-defunct software maintenance unit, a federal jury in California decided.

A mere pittance. Anyone remember this quip from The Man of Mode:

Next to the coming to a good understanding with a new mistress, I love a quarrel with an old one.

These old lovers—Oracle and SAP–will be conjoined in the future. T’will be, methinks, a love triangle with HP, dear HP, kneeling and eager.

Stephen E Arnold, November 29, 2010


The Price of Catch Up in La La Land

November 29, 2010

The Math Club may be ready to break open its piggybank. The cash may be what’s needed to get into the Los Angeles “business”. The lawyers can do fancy math. Not Google style math, of course. The Hollywood math can make other moguls cry and drive tissue paper personalities to their shrinks in droves.

Navigate to “Hollywood’s Big Hope: Google Shows Up With Suitcase Full of Money. It Could Happen!” Here’s the passage that caught my attention:

You can see why Hollywood would be pushing for a deep-pocketed suitor to show up. And you can see why Google has been resistant to that idea: If it starts writing checks to Hollywood, then every content player, everywhere, will expect the same thing. And Google has always insisted that it’s not in the content business, period.

Money works in La La Land. The problem is that as America’s youth become increasingly challenged when asked to read third grade level content, lean back entertainment is the new calculus. So what happens when Hollywood lawyers meet the Math Club? Access is going to cost a lot. Oh, the Hollywood way involves servitude, obeisance, and often a 20 minute work out on the casting couch.

The Google may have some challenges ahead. After letting some interesting acquisitions slip away, time may be running out. Amazon is in the movie business. Apple’s big Jobs is the new Walt Disney. And Netflix? Well, it may be easier for Netflix to do Google stuff than for Google to do Netflix type deals.

Search is yesterday. Oh, that song is on iTunes now.

Stephen E Arnold, November 29, 2010

Web Search Shares, Mostly Understated?

November 29, 2010

Google and Microsoft Grow Search Market Share in October” lists Google’s share at just over 66%. However, we have to ask ourselves questions about this number:

Since Google can be considered to have a monopoly, what exactly constitutes growth? How real are these numbers, anyway? The chart itself includes the notes:

Searches for mapping, local directory, and user-generated video sites that are not on the core domain of the five search engines are not included in the core search numbers.


Excludes contextually driven searches that do not reflect specific user intent to interact with search results.

In our view, Google’s actual share of the market in the U.S. Is about 80 percent, and 90 percent in Western Europe. In China, a market Googlers blew off, Baidu is the big dog. In Russia, Yandex is the champ.

Cynthia Murrell, November 29, 2010


SAIC and Its Acquisition Hat Trick

November 29, 2010

SAIC is a reasonably big, low profile outfit. You can get some quick facts at this link or directly from the SAIC Web site at www.saic.com.

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) is seems very pleased with itself at buying out three other companies, as reported in “SAIC Acquired Intellectual Property and Other Assets from Three Companies.” We have some curiosity about the deals. The firms are not household names: AppTek Partners, LLC, Applications Technology, Inc. and MediaMind, LLC. Their URLs are not listed in this article.

We’d also like to know why, exactly, SAIC believes this makes them “well positioned for growth in the rising market segment.” Our view is that SAIC needs to ramp up staff quickly and buying these firms deliver bodies, some customers, and maybe some useful technology.

As you may recall, SAIC was the force behind the search system Teratext, a low profile repository approach to managing and accessing data. Just get one of those low- or mid-tier consulting firms to fill you in about Teratext and the source of its underlying technology.

Oh, SAIC does lots of work for various low profile agencies in the US government.

Cynthia Murrell, November 29, 2010


Google TV: Are Pundits Over Reacting?

November 28, 2010

I fiddled with a Google TV. Worked okay. Not for my 89 year old father, but for the most part, Google has implemented some of the ideas expressed in the firm’s voluminous patent applications issued since 2005. True, the commercial content is not there, but you can access YouTube, which is according to some attention deficit disorder researchers is the largest repository of video content available.

I read “Google TV Already In Trouble? Sony Offering 25% Off Blu-ray Google TV Units” and noted this passage:

Price cuts never speak well to a product’s success and so Google TV may be in some serious trouble here. I already stated along with most every other reviewer that the feature set is half-baked, the units are overpriced, and now this lower price seems to say that consumers aren’t biting even though there’s a commercial for the Sony units nearly every 20 minutes during prime time TV. Sigh. If Google can’t disrupt big media, who can?

My view is that Google is the Microsoft for the 21st century. I expect the service to be much better around Version 3 or so. Google may be taking out its check book because nothing produces content like money for media moguls. This group of managers may think Python is a snake, not a programming language. But money is money, even to media moguls. And the over reacting? Nah, just trying to cope with Google Instant and the new normal in objective search results.

Patience, grasshopper. Patience.

Stephen E Arnold, November 28, 2010

Freebie, unlike some media content

Radicati and Its eDiscovery Quadrant 2010

November 28, 2010

Rating systems are used to determine a product’s quality. When it comes to the eDiscovery market, Fresh News points to a new rating system. The Radicati Group, a technology market research firm based in the UK, recently released their latest publication “eDiscovery-Market Quadrant 2010.” This report focuses on eDiscovery vendors and rates them according to their own self-devised system. “Radicati Market Quadrants rank vendors based on a four quadrant system, which includes “Mature Players,” “Specialists,” “Trail Blazers,” and “Top Players” quadrants. Leading players in each market segment are ranked based on the features and functionality of their solution and their market share in that segment.”The names of the four quadrants leave a lot of room for interpretation. They do not offer any insight into the Radicati Group’s analytic method and what they will be measuring against. A ranking system called the Gartner Magic Quadrant has been in use by the US for several years now. Is it possible the Radicati Group was inspired to create a British counterpart or are they attempting to cash in on a new market? My opinion is that these quadrants are more marketing than meat.

Whitney Grace, November 28, 2010


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