Watson: The Most Gifted Digital Chef Using Butternut Squash

May 30, 2014

Does silicon have taste buds? Do algorithms sniff the essence of Kentucky barbecue?

I read a darned amazing article called “I Tasted BBQ Sauce Made By IBM’s Watson, And Loved It.” The write up reports that IBM and partner Co.Design used the open source, home grown code, and massive database to whip up a recipe for grilling. IBM is going whole hog with the billion dollar baby Watson, which is supposed to be one of IBM’s revenue fountains any day now.

According the write up, which may or may not have the ingredients of a “real” news story:

Most BBQ sauces start with ingredients like vinegar, tomatoes, or even water, but IBM’s stands out from the get go. Ingredient one: White wine. Ingredient two: Butternut squash. The list contains more Eastern influences, such as rice vinegar, dates, cilantro, tamarind (a sour fruit you may know best from Pad Thai), cardamom (a floral seed integral to South Asian cuisine) and turmeric (the yellow powder that stained the skull-laden sets of True Detective) alongside American BBQ sauce mainstays molasses, garlic, and mustard.

And most important for the grillin’ fans in Harrod’s Creek, the author used the Watson concoction of tofu. I am not sure that the folks in Harrod’s Creek know what tofu is. I do know that the idea of creating a barbecue sauce without bourbon in it is a culinary faux pas. Splash tamarind on a couple of dead squirrels parked above the coals, and the friends of Daniel Boone may skin the offender and think about grillin’ something larger than a squirrel.

The author who is scoring the tofu and broccoli treat reports:

I test it again and again. Finally I just slather my plate in the stuff. It’s delicious–the best way I can describe it is as a Thai mustard sauce, or maybe the middle point between a BBQ sauce and a curry. Does that sound gross? I assure you that it isn’t…But as I mop my plate of the last drips of Bengali Butternut BBQ Sauce, contemplating the difference between a future in which computers addict us to the next Lean Cuisine and one where they attempt to eradicate us with Terminators, Napoleon’s old adage comes to mind: An army marches on its stomach. He–or that–who controls our stomachs controls it all.

Yes. From game show win to a tofu topping, IBM Watson is redefining search, corporate strategy, and the vocabulary of cuisine for tofu and broccoli lovers. Kentucky frshly killed and skinned grilled squirrel may not benefit.

Anyone who suggests that vendors of information retrieval technology have lost their keen marketing edge, you are not in touch with butternut squash and reality. Should the digital chefs Put Kentucky bourbon in Bengali Butternut BBQ Sauce? Myron Mixon, the winningest man in barbecue, may say, “That’s what I am talkin’ for my whole hog.” Couild IBM sponsor the barbecue cook off program? Mr. Mixon may be a lover of tamarind and tofu too.

Stephen E Arnold, May 30, 2014

Recent Innovations At KB Crawl

May 30, 2014

It is not an uncommon thought in the technology sector that search tools could become more important that business intelligence. Veille Mag reports that KB Crawl President Bruno Etinne does not agree with this idea. In the article, “KB Crawl Or How To Structure Unstructured Data” states that most Web sites are designed these days to make finding information easier than typing keywords into a search engine. Information is categorized so finely; it leads to more business intelligence solutions than to search.

Such thinking might have led KB Crawl’s “new look,” described as way for data to meet the needs of many departments:

“KB Crawl “new look” for example prepare data for Excel that contains a mapping tool as PowerView will connect to publishing systems or online booking. The last application is that of a client who has financed a portion of the development. The software meets the needs of marketing, documentation, ereputation, strategy and decision support that are fundamental to economic intelligence. It allows you to make the right decisions.”

KB Crawl has designed its software as a SaaS with a simple user interface and with a new version releasing soon.

While information might be easy to find, if it is not readily available users will turn to a search function. Is KB Crawl depending on people to have a certain amount of information literacy? Clearly, the have forgotten that search is a business intelligence tool.

Whitney Grace, May 30, 2014
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Software AG Happy About JackBe

May 30, 2014

Business Wire via Sys Con has some great news: “Software AG’s Acquisition Of JackBe Recognized As Strategic M&A Deal Of The Year.” Software AG is a big data, integration, and business process technologies firm driven to help companies achieve their desired outcomes. With the acquisition of real time visual analytics and intelligence software provider JackBe will be the foundation for Software AG’s new Intelligent Business Operations Platform. The acquisition even garnered attention from the Association for Corporate Growth and was recognized as the Strategic M&A deal of the year in the $100 million category.

JackBe will allow Software AG to offers its clients a broader range of enterprise functions in real-time, especially in areas related to the Internet of Things and customer experience management.

“The real-time analysis and visualization of massive amounts of data is increasingly becoming the basis for fast and intelligent business decisions. With the capabilities of JackBe integrated in its Intelligent Business Operations platform, Software AG has been able to provide customers with a comprehensive 360-degree view of operational processes by combining live, historical and transactional data with machine-to-machine communications.”

Purchasing JackBe was one of the largest big data deals in 2013 and it also proves that technology used by the US government can be turned into a viable commercial industry.

Software AG definitely has big plans for 2014. Will they continue to make headlines this year?
Whitney Grace, May 30, 2014
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Quote to Note: HP Generates a Sparkler

May 29, 2014

I read “HP Buys Time for Turnaround.” If the link at the newspaper’s Web site is dead, dig out the May 29, 2014, hard copy and flip to page B 5. The article has some interesting observations. Many of these seem to be surfing on Hewlett Packard’s management, revenue estimate, and Autonomy problems.

Here’s the passage I noted as a quotation worthy of my collection:

HP Chief Financial Officer Cathie Lesjak said she didn’t believe that layoffs would complicate the company’s turnaround. and that employee engagement had improved in a recent company survey. The first 34,000 layoffs “did not impact morale or at least we did not see it,” she said.

I find statements like this fascinating. One of my relatives coached baseball. His favorite saying was:

You can’t hit it if you take your eye off the ball.

Was Hewlett Packard watching the ball? Was HP management in the game? I would enjoy reviewing the HP morale survey data and interviewing some of the 50,000 RIFFers who will not complicate the HP turnaround.

Dr. Lynch, are you available for a turnaround of the HP turnaround?The target date for success is 2017. Just around the corner if you don’t keep your eye on the 2014 calendar.

Stephen E Arnold, May 29, 2014

Centrifuge Says It Offers More Insights

May 29, 2014

According to a press release from Virtual Strategy, Centrifuge Systems-a company that develops big data software-has created four new data connectors within its visual link analysis software. “Centrifuge Expands Their Big Data Discovery Integration Footprint,” explains that with the additional data software users will be able to make better business decisions.

“ ‘Without the ability to connect disparate data – the potential for meaningful insight and actionable business decisions is limited,’ says Stan Dushko, Chief Product Officer at Centrifuge Systems. ‘It’s like driving your car with a blindfold on. We all take the same route to the office every day, but wouldn’t it be nice to know that today there was an accident and we had the option to consider an alternate path.’ ”

The new connectors offer real time access to ANX file structure, JSON, LDAP, and Apache Hadoop with Cloudera Impala. Centrifuge’s entire goal is to add more data points that give users a broader and more detailed perspective of their data. Centrifuge likes to think of itself as the business intelligence tool of the future. Other companies, though, offer similar functions with their software. What makes Centrifuge different from the competition?

Whitney Grace, May 29, 2014
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Fusion Problems

May 29, 2014

Brett Slatkin at One Big Fluke makes a provoking point in his blog post: “Data Fusion Has No Error Bounds” about how data analysis can be full of calculating errors. Slatkin relates how he has come across many data fusion issues in his career. Data fusion problems occur when people want to merge two or more data sets without any related sources. There are companies that have tried to rectify data fusion problems, but no matter how they advertise their software, code, or gimmick Slatkin proves that there is always going to be some margin of error. How does he do it? Math.

Slatkin illustrates data fusion with three data sets that have zero to little relation. He outlines all the possible outcomes of each data set, ending with that there is a portion that cannot be measured. He proves that despite all of the careful planning, mapping out the possible outcomes yields a phantom zone. His response to this simple outcome is:

“There are two outcomes in data fusion: you measure so you can calculate the error bars, or you make a wild guess.”

What have we learned from this? Despite all attempts to overcome any errors, data analysis is still error prone. Big data vendors will not like that.

Whitney Grace, May 29, 2014
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Microsoft Yanks Azure Hosting

May 29, 2014

SharePoint mobile apps hosting on Azure was widely touted what seems like just a few short months ago. However, news recently broke that SharePoint is yanking the solution off of the platform. The details are covered in the PCWorld story, “Microsoft Yanks Azure Auto-Hosted SharePoint Apps Service.”

The article begins:

“Microsoft is pulling the plug on a new model of deplying and hosting apps for SharePoint that relied on the company’s Azure platform. The goal of the AutoHosted Apps Preview program was to offer SharePoint developers a ‘friction free’ experience for provisioning their apps by tapping Azure resources, but the service fell short of expectations because, in Microsoft’s words, it ‘lacked some critical capabilities.’”

Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search and often turns his attention to SharePoint glitches and concerns. Users are often looking for tips and tricks to help make SharePoint more effective and accessible, and on ArnoldIT.com he offers those too. So stay tuned to Arnold’s SharePoint feed for more about the Azure change and all the latest SharePoint news.

Emily Rae Aldridge, May 29, 2014

Amazon: Online Sales and Fine French Whine

May 28, 2014

I read “Amazon’s Hit List: Which Books Are Screwed, and By How Much.” Interesting analysis. The main point of the article is that allegedly Amazon is taking action to alert Hachette to real capitalism. Now I know that the French have different views about capitalism. If the recent election in France is an indicator, there will be some excitement about Amazon’s behavior in the near future.

I did notice a couple of statements in the write up that made it to my “save for later” file. Here are three of the ones with checkmarks next to them:

First, the story says: “The two most [Hachette] recent releases (Instinct and The Closer), both of which came out May 6th, have had their availability pushed back one to three weeks for no reason other than Amazon’s abstinence. If you order them today from BN.com, they’ll ship within 24 hours.” Foot dragging may not be such a big deal. I want longer for some Amazon orders than I did in the past. Amazon is getting larger and with bulk, movement may be less sprightly.

Second, the article reports, “…Half of Hachette’s marquee titles coming out in the next few months are altogether unavailable.” This may be a discontinuity in product flow.

Third, the article regurgitates one of those online truisms which are often wrong; for example:

just to go to Barnes & Noble or, better yet, your local independent bookseller for these titles. Better yet, go to them for all of your book needs until this anti-consumer muscle-flexing subsides. Amazon has every right to fight dirty. And you have every right to show them the consequences.

My view is that Hachette faces a start choice with regard to Amazon. I also think that certain French regulatory officials will take an interest in this dust up. If I were an Amazonian and visiting France, I would be on my best behavior. The French companies and French authorities often enjoy a different relationship than their American counterparts.

Amazon may find that red tape in France is one of the smaller challenges the company will encounter if this dispute develops legs.

Stephen E Arnold, May 28, 2014

Watch Out for Predictive Coding Traps

May 28, 2014

Chris Dale over at ZyLAB seizes upon the description of a session from the recent ACEDS 2014 eDiscovery Conference as a launching point for a word of caution in, “ZyLAB’s Mary Mack on Predictive Coding Myths and Traps for the Unwary.” The session’s goal was to counteract a common misperception: that predictive coding some sort of magic. Mack was also to spell out some specific “traps and pitfalls” that should be considered early in the predictive coding process. Dale writes:

“As the use of predictive coding technology advances, the grounds of opposition, originally generalised, have become more focused and specific. It is asserted, for example, that ‘predictive coding is not faster and more effective than traditional manual review’, and broad assertions are made about the merits of (for example) in-sourcing eDiscovery. When analysed, most of these assertions prove either to have no analysis behind them which is based on fact or to represent special pleading on the part of one side or the other in the debate. There are certainly issues to be discussed, but let’s do that in an objective way. Mary Mack’s second session at the ACEDS conference examines some of these assertions with a view to encouraging dispassionate and fact-based decision-making.”

Alas, it is too late for any of us to attend these particular sessions. Folks would do well, however, to remain alert to the existence of potential pitfalls and to commit to thoroughly researching them before leaping into a predictive coding strategy.

Cynthia Murrell, May 28, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

SRCH2 Releases Java Software Development Kit

May 28, 2014

We see that SRCH2 is chugging along. App News reveals, “SRCH2 Technology Available to Android Developers and Consumers.” Our esteemed leader Stephen E Arnold interviewed the company’s founder and its CEO as part of his Search Wizards Speak series last summer. Now, SRCH2 is wisely facilitating the integration of their in-memory search platform into mobile apps with the release of a software development kit. The article reports:

“Using advanced software that even Google cannot provide – instant type forward, rapid geo search, error correction, custom rankings and real time updates, SRCH2 is expanding to reach mobile consumers and developers. They have released a new Java SDK for android developers, allowing third parties to integrate this search technology into mobile applications. The company expects their search technology to be most useful for new utility apps, particularly for enterprise and business mobility. A consumer-facing mobile app has also been released to Google Play showcasing what SRCH2 technology is capable of, offering users the ability to search and find any contact, message, calendar invite, music, app and more.”

The write-up notes that the company has healthy competition in the mobile-search realm, largely from Lucene and Endeca. SRCH2, however, asserts their tech is 400 times faster on mobile devices than that of those formidable outfits. Writer Allison Saffiotti notes that some clients, including CBS, Huawei, and HTC plan to integrate SRCH2’s search into their mobile projects within the year.

Developers interested in the SRCH2 Java SDK can sample the platform’s capabilities through the Google Play app mentioned above and can get more information here. Saffiotti points out that incorporating an alternative search engine is one way to stand out in the vast mobile market. Founded in 2010, SRCH2 is based in Irvine, California.

Cynthia Murrell, May 28, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

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