Google Rings Up Spain

September 30, 2011

Google continues to make many announcements. One caught our attention because it hooks into mobile and ultimately into mobile search.

As a multinational corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies, Google is jack of all trades company. Photographs were recently leaked, which may not be authentic, of a Google-branded SIM card, along with rumors that the search giant is branching out once again and setting up operations as a MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) in Spain.

Spanish Google employees will receive company branded SIM cards to test Google voice features on Nexis S Handsets. The company plans to eventually do MVNO testing with its employees all over Europe. According to the September 22, 2011 “Google to Become a Mobile Virtual Network Operator in Spain, Rest of Europe Coming Soon?”:

While Google doesn’t own its own towers or infrastructure (it buys bulk data from the local telecoms – in this case Telefonica, Vodafone, etc.), the move allows Google to control more of the phone experience.  For instance, it can pay one price for bulk data rather than on a per phone basis.  It can also dictate which carriers the phones pull in data from based on quality of service or price.  Roaming internationally can also be controlled and owned as well.

Google appears to only be using this technology for it’s own staff, but could expand it’s operations in the future. This could lead to some disgruntled traditional telecommunication vendors.

Jasmine Ashton, September 30, 2011

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Brainware to Showcase Magic at Oracle Open World

September 30, 2011

September has been an exciting month for Brainware Inc., an innovative provider of intelligence data capture and search solutions company. In addition to being selected by a Fortune 500 global manufacturer for the automated processing of up to 10,000 invoice pages per day, Brainware also announced on Sept 13 that it will be showcasing its latest technology at Oracle open world 2011.

In the iTech Pulse article The Magic of Brainware Technology Charles Kaplan, Brainware’s vice president of marketing says:

We are excited about this opportunity to demonstrate what we’ve been calling the ‘magic of Brainware,’ this unparalleled ability to meet the document processing needs of Global 2000 companies; capture and reconcile line-item details from invoices, remittances, claims, orders, EOBs and more; and extract up to 100% of unstructured data right out of the box.

Among other things, Brainware’s unmatched capabilities for scalable, out-of-the-box field and line-item data extraction to the cloud; successfully demonstrating the ability to process line-item data from over five million document pages in a single day lead me to believe that magical is an appropriate adjective to describe this company. We expect a blog post from Merlin or Harry Potter any day.

Jasmine Ashton, September 30, 2011

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Google and Gambling Advertising

September 30, 2011

We just wanted to document an item which may not be one of those “take it to the bank” reports. Gambling and Google don’t seem to mix but then there have been other combinations which surprised us.

I stumbled upon a shocking blurb the other day that relayed a new announcement from Google. Apparently, as of September 27, the search giant will begin expanding the inventory of advertisements eligible to show on the AdSense network to include gambling-related ads from trusted advertisers. Google has traditionally shied away from such “vice” related advertising in the United States but reintroduced such advertisements in the United Kingdom in 2008 after imposing a similar ban in 2007.

According to the Search Engine Round Table Post Google Enabling Gambling Related Ads, Google will not be opening the floodgates to the seven deadly sins. The company clarified that there will be some limitations by releasing the following statement:

Please note that the AdSense program policies will continue to prohibit the placement of ads on sites that accept money or allow users to place bets in exchange for an opportunity to earn cash or other prizes, directly from the site. In addition, these new ads will only be shown to users in regions where gambling is legal, which is determined by the location of the end-user. A full list of these locations can be found at the following link. Finally, publishers may not opt in to receiving ads from this new category if their sites are intended for individuals under 18 years of age.

While this decision is sure to quickly generate millions of dollars of additional revenue for Google, I wonder what the reaction will be from the public. I may need to take a headache medicine. I wonder if I can search Google for health remedies?

Jasmine Ashton, September 30, 2011

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Autonomy and Oracle: HP Fall Out?

September 30, 2011

I expect more Hewlett Packard fall out. There is some tension between Hewlett Packard and Oracle. It appears Autonomy is fair game now because it may soon be part of HP. Close enough for horse shoes. But I don’t have a horse in this race, so I will document the sources and leave it to you, gentle reader, to figure out who’s on first.

The alleged Autonomy PowerPoints (pdf files actually), which may be removed from the Oracle Web site at any time were live as of 3 pm Eastern, September 29, 2011. Both documents contain some interesting information. One document is dated January 2011 and the second “Autonomy Trading and Financial Statistics”. Snag them at Please Buy Autonomy on the Oracle Web site.

The Oracle news releases / statements about the matter are at and

The ZDNet story “Autonomy: Oracle Is Confused over Supposed Sale Offer” is interesting as well and features this alleged quote from Autonomy:

It may well be that investment banks were independently recommending Autonomy as an acquisition target to industry players — that is standard practice for M&A bankers — but this would not have been at our behest,” Autonomy said. “This is the first time we have seen [the slides]. Autonomy was not involved in this nor was Qatalyst engaged by Autonomy until mid-year.

My view: When elephants fight, only the grass get trampled. This goose is happy in Harrod’s Creek and has no observations, insights, or comments to offer. I will watch for former home economics majors, the azure chip consultant crowd, former English majors, and certain failed Web masters to elucidate the matter. (No pun on “lucid” by the way.)

Stephen E Arnold, September 30, 2011

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Lucid Imagination: Open Source Search Reaches for Big Data

September 30, 2011

We are wrapping up a report about the challenges “big data” pose to organizations. Perhaps the most interesting outcome of our research is that there are very few search and content processing systems which can cope with the digital information required by some organizations. Three examples merit listing before I comment on open source search and “big data”.

The first example is the challenge of filtering information required by orgnaizatio0ns produced within the organization and by the organizations staff, contractors, and advisors. We learned in the course of our investigation that the promises of processing updates to Web pages, price lists, contracts, sales and marketing collateral, and other routine information are largely unmet. One of the problems is that the disparate content types have different update and change cycles. The most widely used content management system based on our research results is SharePoint, and SharePoint is not able to deliver a comprehensive listing of content without significant latency. Fixes are available but these are engineering tasks which consume resources. Cloud solutions do not fare much better, once again due to latency. The bottom line is that for information produced within an organization employees are mostly unable to locate information without a manual double check. Latency is the problem. We did identify one system which delivered documented latency across disparate content types of 10 to 15 minutes. The solution is available from Exalead, but the other vendors’ systems were not able to match this problem of putting fresh, timely information produced within an organization in front of system users. Shocked? We were.

lucid decision copy

Reducing latency in search and content processing systems is a major challenge. Vendors often lack the resources required to solve a “hard problem” so “easy problems” are positioned as the key to improving information access. Is latency a popular topic? A few vendors do address the issue; for example, Digital Reasoning and Exalead.

Second, when organizations tap into content produced by third parties, the latency problem becomes more severe. There is the issue of the inefficiency and scaling of frequent index updates. But the larger problem is that once an organization “goes outside” for information, additional variables are introduced. In order to process the broad range of content available from publicly accessible Web sites or the specialized file types used by certain third party content producers, connectors become a factor. Most search vendors obtain connectors from third parties. These work pretty much as advertised for common file types such as Lotus Notes. However, when one of the targeted Web sites such as a commercial news services or a third-party research firm makes a change, the content acquisition system cannot acquire content until the connectors are “fixed”. No problem as long as the company needing the information is prepared to wait. In my experience, broken connectors mean another variable. Again, no problem unless critical information needed to close a deal is overlooked.

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September 30, 2011

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Microsoft Allegedly an Extortionist. Yikes, the E Word

September 29, 2011

Short honk: Darn. I love Panda. Heck. I think the EC’s anti Google T shirt is no fun at all. Shoot. I think that companies uncomfortable with Google love are all wet. Little surprise that I found “Google On Microsoft’s Android Patent Tactics: It’s Extortion” one of those fascinating “inside baseball” articles with implications for fans of other sports. The main point is that Microsoft has figured out how to slap a toll both on Android phone makers HTC and Samsung. Larry Ellison wants to do the same this with Java, but the legal process is still on going. Microsoft figured out how to put up the toll booth and start collecting cash without making a detour through the legal eagle exhibit at the court house. Google is not too happy with this and, according to the write up, posted this comment:

This is the same tactic we’ve seen time and again from Microsoft. Failing to succeed in the smartphone market, they are resorting to legal measures to extort profit from others’ achievements and hinder the pace of innovation. We remain focused on building new technology and supporting Android partners.

Three observations:

  1. Google, if the statement is accurate and not one of those accidental tweets, seems a bit testy.
  2. The use of the word “extort” is interesting. I think “extort” means getting something by threats, hard or soft force, or some other unfair method. If true, Google will have proof. If not true, Google may have to add another legal mambo to its dance card.
  3. I am going to have to do some thinking about how “open source” means “open” and “free” means no money. My assumption was that “open source” was open, not closed, and free meant “no fees.” I just don’t understand how some words can suggest one thing yet invoke quite different  connotations. Imagine trying to learn English as a second language right now.

Net net: Google and Microsoft are not pals. The legal hassles are not likely to go gently into the night.

Stephen E Arnold, September 29, 2011

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Autonomy Wins Augmented Reality Accolade

September 29, 2011

Autonomy’s Aurasma is a British application that is the first augmented reality (the overlaying of digital data on the real world) browser of its kind. It recognizes images from a camera the same way that search engines recognize words.

So-called “Auras” are then created, sometimes even in 3D, for objects. While other apps such as Layar have attempted to achieve the feat, Aurasma is the first to really do it properly.

Since the app’s launch in June 2011, Aurasma has already achieved two million downloads and has received some recognition. According to the business weekly article Aurasma Wins $1M Media Prize in Silicon Valley, Aurasma was named the DEMOgod Award winner and also voted the People’s Choice Award winner after demonstrating its newest 3D interactive technology at DEMO in Silicon Valley. Matt Mills, director of Aurasma, said in the article:

Aurasma is about to change the way we see and interact with the world by merging the physical with the virtual world. That’s a big message to communicate to the DEMO audience in only six minutes, so we purposely chose ordinary objects as the triggers – a newspaper, a wireless router and a floor plan.

This product is definitely worth keeping an eye on. I’m interested to see how Aurasma impacts the evolution of augmented reality software. If the deal with Hewlett Packard goes through, augmented reality may add some functionality to HP’s services unit’s US government work.

Stephen E Arnold, September 29, 2011

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DirectDirect Adds Video Management

September 29, 2011

The lines between content management, content processing, and data fusion continue to blur.

DataDirect Networks, the world’s largest privately held information storage company, announced the release of Storage Fusion Architecture (SFA) 10K-X this week. SFA 10K-X is an integrated storage appliance that maximizes application performance while minimizing total cost of ownership for Big Data, cloud, and content-intensive environments. Autonomy has been a player in video for a number of years, and we anticipate that other storage firms will observe Autonomy’s success and explore the burgeoning rich media opportunity.

In Maria Deutscher’s article, DataDirect Networks Brings Fusion Tech to Big Data Storage DataDirect CEO and Cofounder Alex Bouzari said:

The DDN SFA10K-X is a high- performance, scalable solution that will meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s data-intensive organizations.

According to an August article, DataDirect is now powering more than 60 percent of the top 50 fastest computer storage solution in the world. While DataDirect is kept busy with expanded partnerships and a new command video management platform, if you want an explanation, be prepared to pay over $200 for a basic book.

DirectData is an example of a next generation enterprise solution which uses storage as a platform for sophisticated content processing and management services.

Jasmine Ashton, September 29, 2011

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IBM OmniFind Security Issue

September 29, 2011

I stumbled upon an obscure tidbit of information that may be useful to those using OmniFind Enterprise Edition software, which enhances the visibility and context of a company’s unstructured information. Corel draw files have been known to give OmniFind an upset technical tummy. Those looking to avoid experiencing such unpleasantness with this program should follow the instructions that I found in the IBM Technical Support Portal entitled Avoiding a Stellent Security Vulnerability With The CorelDraw Libraries in OmniFind Enterprise Edition which states:
Avoid the security vulnerability by removing seven imcd*.flt files from the /lib or /bin directories of the OmniFind Enterprise Edition installation root directory. Removing these files should prevent the security vulnerability without loss of function because OmniFind Enterprise Edition does not use the CorelDraw functions.
It then goes on to list the files that need to be removed in order to restore security. By following these easy steps you can find relief to your OmniFind technical troubles painlessly.

Jasmine Ashton, September 29, 2011

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