Sysomos Partners Up with DataSift

August 31, 2015

I read “Sysomos Announces Partnership With DataSift.” The article said:

Sysomos’ social listening and analytics products—MAP and Heartbeat—will soon include the addition of the social networking behemoth’s data. With that social data, those tools will attempt to provide marketers insights into what audiences are engaged by and sharing on Facebook about events, brands, subjects, and activities.

A useful factoid in the article pegs Facebook’s user population at 1.4 billion people. Half of this social pool of relationship sharks checks Facebook each day.

Much data. Many ad opportunities.

Stephen E Arnold, August 31, 2015

Maverick Search and Match Platform from Exorbyte

August 31, 2015

The article titled Input Management: Exorbyte Automates the Determination of Identities on Business On (a primarily German language website) promotes the Full Page Entity Detect from Exorbyte. Exorbyte is a world leader in search and match for large volumes of data. They boast clients in government, insurance, input management and ICT firms, really any business with identity resolution needs. The article stresses the importance of pulling information from masses of data in the modern office. They explain,

“With Full Page Entity Detect provides exorbyte a solution to the inbox of several million incoming documents.This identity data of the digitized correspondence (can be used for correspondence definition ) extract with little effort from full-text documents such as letters and emails and efficiently compare them with reference databases. The input management tool combines a high fault tolerance with accuracy, speed and flexibility.Gartner, the software company from Konstanz was recently included in the Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Search.”

The company promises that their Matchmaker technology is unrivaled in searching text without restrictions, even without language, allowing for more accurate search. Full Page Entity Detect is said to be particularly useful when it comes to missing information or overlooked errors, since the search is so thorough.

Chelsea Kerwin, August 31 , 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Monopoly On Scientific Papers

August 31, 2015

If you work in the academic community this headline from Your News Wire shouldn’t come as a surprise: “Nearly All Scientific Papers Controlled By Same Six Corporations.”  A group of researchers studied scientific papers published between 1973-2013 and discovered that six major publishers ruled the industry: Wiley-Blackwell, Springer, Taylor & Francis, Sage, Reed Elsevier, and ACS.  During the specified time period, it was found that the larger ones absorbed smaller publishers.  Another, more startling, fact came to light as well: academic research groups must rely more and more on the main six publishers’ interests if they want to get their research published.

“Much of the independence that was once cherished within the scientific community, in other words, has gone by the wayside as these major publishers have taken control and now dictate what types of content get published. The result is a publishing oligopoly in which scientists are muzzled by and overarching trend toward politically correct, and industry-favoring, ‘science.’”

The six publishers publish subjects that benefit their profit margin and as a direct result they influence major scientific fields.  Fields concerning chemistry, social sciences, and psychology are the most influenced by the publishers.  This leads to corruption in the above disciplines and researchers are limited by studies that will deliver the most profits to the publishers.  The main six publishers can also publish the papers digitally for a 40% profit margin.

There is good news.  The study did find that publishing a paper via a smaller venue does not affect its reach.  It also has the added benefit of the smaller venue not pushing a special interest agenda.  The real question is are big publishers even needed in a digital age anymore?

Whitney Grace, August 31, 2015
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Metaphor of the Week: Hadoop Is Not Like a City

August 30, 2015

Navigate to “Five Open Source Big Data Projects to Watch.” You will a little learn about Flink, Samza, Ibis, an incubating Twill, and Mahout-Samsara. That’s just the starter. The write up had a heck of a finisher.

Here’s the passage I highlighted in bright orange:

If this small sampling of some of the many Big Data open source projects out there shows anything, it’s that Hadoop isn’t merely like a city, but rather a major metropolitan area. It has its suburbs, where its mayor has no jurisdiction, and where political beliefs may differ from those in the center of town. But it has its core character and it must be treated as a market in its own right. Practitioners have to approach “greater” Hadoop, not just the core project itself, or they risk missing trends in its adoption and evolution.

Isn’t open source great? No wonder mid tier consultants tippy toe around open source technology. Volunteers. Who needs them in Consultingland?

Stephen E Arnold, August 30, 2015

When Do You Snack? ADL Nails You, You Sneak

August 29, 2015

Know much about ADL or Activities of Daily Living? You can get up to speed on the sneak factor of home surveillance by flipping through “Distributional Semantics and Unsupervised Clustering for Sensor Relevancy Prediction.” Sounds pretty slick, right?

The idea is that the embedding of computing devices into your possessions provides useful data to someone. Next one can apply various analyses to make sense of the data. For example, you watch TruTV’s World Dumbest program. Then you hit the fridge. Grab a beer. Open the cupboard and snag a bag of Cheetos Crunchy Flamin’ Hot Cheese Flavored Snacks. Pick up your laptop and navigate to Backpage.com. Lean back in your Barcalounger. Live the life.

The fun part is that predictive methods can figure out what you will do next. Good for advertisers. Good for you. Good in general.

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Sound creepy? Invasive?

Hey, get with the program. The major benefit is that with these data and the outputs, the metadata, and the bits and bobs like GPS, many magical things can be crafted from passive observational data capture and analysis.

Home delivery of a Backpage solution? Entirely possible.

Just connect the data points. Predict interests. And the Backpage offers come calling.

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Why worry?

Stephen E Arnold, August 29, 2015

Quote to Note for Ad Lovers

August 28, 2015

The world seems to be focused on the stock market excitement. I want to highlight a paragraph in the dead tree edition of the Wall Street Journal. You might be able to access “Mobile Readers Abound—The Ads, Not So Much” online. Not my problem. Pick up the real newspaper. Flip to the Business & Tech” section and look for this paragraph on page B1 of the August 24, 2015 edition:

It [lagging mobile device ad revenues] is a similar story at News Corp’s Dow Jones & Col, publisher of the Wall Street Journal. More than half of unique visits to the Wall Street Journal Digital Network—which includes the Journal, MarketWatch, Barron’s, and WSJ Magazine—now come from nondesktop devices, but mobile accounts for less than 20 percent of the network’s digital ad revenue, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Interesting comment. So as the world goes mobile, Google goes Alphabet. Publishers perspire.

Without ads, where will online information journey? I would recommend that real journalists who cannot identify co workers as anything other than “a person familiar with the matter” consider podcasting. There may be jobs at Alphabet too.

Stephen E Arnold, August 28, 2015

Jargon Overload: MoSCoW

August 28, 2015

Vladimir Putin is probably confused. My hunch is that when he hears “Moscow” uttered, he thinks about a lovely city, its courteous drivers, its delightful social groupings with idiosyncratic tattoos, and outstanding Moskva stile borshch.

Gentle reader, Mr. Putin would be off base.

MoSCoW, according to “Bats, Dolphins, and Semantic Search,” means Must, Should, Could, and Would. The application of these parental verb structures is to search engine optimization.

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Please, take out the garbage and straighten your room, kiddies. MoSCoW now.

No, I don’t understand this, but you may want to check out the presentation. You may need to register for LinkedIn/Slideshare. I am never sure what I do to access the knowledge jewelry on this site. Here’s the link to try.

I am not into the parental thing. Click if you want. If not, no biggie.

Stephen E Arnold, August 28, 2015

Beyond Google, How to Work Your Search Engine

August 28, 2015

The article on Funnelback titled Five Ways to Improve Your Website Search offers tips that may seem obvious, but could always stand to be reinforced. Sometimes the Google site:<url> is not enough. The first tip, for example, is simply to be helpful. That means recognizing synonyms and perhaps adding an autocomplete function in case your site users think in different terms than you do. The worst case scenario is search is typing in a term and yielding no results, especially when the problem is just language and the thing being searched for is actually present, just not found. The article goes into the importance of the personal touch as well,

“You can use more than just the user’s search term to inform the results your search engine delivers… For example, if you search for ‘open day’ on a university website, it might be more appropriate to promote and display an ‘International Open Day’ event result to prospective international students instead of your ‘Domestic Student Open Day’ counterpart event. This change in search behavior could be determined by the user’s location – even if it wasn’t part of their original search query.”

The article also suggests learning from the search engine. Obviously, analyzing what customers are most likely to search for on your website will tell you a lot about what sort of marketing is working, and what sort of customers you are attracting. Don’t underestimate search.

Chelsea Kerwin, August 28, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Google Admits to Being a Copycat

August 28, 2015

In elementary school one of the biggest insults a child could throw a their fellow classmate was the slur “copycat.”  All children want to create original work, but when they feel their skills are subpar the work of another student their feel is superior.  Tossing in the old adage that “copying is the sincerest form of flattery” gives way to arguments about patents, theft, and even time outs for those involved.  The Techdirt podcast discussed copying in a recent episode and how big tech companies simply copy the ideas of their rivals and put their on name on it.  The biggest copycat they could find was Google: “The Failure of Google Plus Should Be A Reminder That Big Companies Very Rarely Successfully ‘Copy’ Startups.”

Techdirt points out the fallacy with big companies trying to steal the little startup’s idea:

“As we’ve discussed, in the rare cases when “copying” succeeds, it’s because the second company doesn’t really copy, but actually comes up with a better product, which is something we should celebrate. When they just copy, they tend to only be able to copy the superficial aspects of what they see, rather than all the underlying tacit thinking that makes a product good.”

The article discusses how Google finally admitted that Google Plus was a copy of Facebook, because they search mogul was fearful of losing profit, users, and Web traffic.  The biggest problem that Google Plus had was that it was “forced” on people, like the Star Trek Borg assimilating unsuspecting planets.  Okay, maybe that is a bit of a drastic comparison, but startups are still fearful of their ideas being assimilated by the bigger companies.  This is when the patent topic comes in and whether or not to register for one.

There is good news for startups: “if a startup is doing something really amazing and innovative that people actually want, you can almost always guarantee that (1) the big companies will totally miss the boat for way too long and (2) once they finally wake up, be clumsy and ridiculous in their attempts to copy.”

Also Techdirt sums everything up in an eloquent paragraph that explains the logic in this argument:

“People think it’s easy to copy because copying seems like it should be easy. But it’s not. You can only copy the parts you can see, which leaves out an awful lot of understanding and tacit knowledge hidden beneath the surface. It also leaves out all the knowledge of what doesn’t work that the originator has. And, finally, it ignores the competing interests within a larger business that make it much harder for those companies to innovate.”

In other words, do not worry about Borg assimilation if your startup has a good idea, but do be on the defensive and arm yourself with good weapons.

Whitney Grace, August 28, 2015
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Lexmark: Signs of Trouble?

August 27, 2015

I read “Shares of Lexmark International Inc. Sees Large Outflow of Money.”

The main point of the write up in my opinion was:

The company shares have dropped 41.65% in the past 52 Weeks. On August 25, 2014 The shares registered one year high of $50.63 and one year low was seen on August 21, 2015 at $29.11.

Today as I write this (August 26, 2015), Lexmark is trading at $28.25.

Why do I care?

The company acquired several search and content processing systems in the firm’s effort to find a replacement for the firm’s traditional business, printers. As you know, Lexmark is one of the IBM units which had an opportunity to find its future outside of IBM.

The company purchased three vendors which were among the companies I monitored:

  • Brainware, the trigram folks
  • ISYS Search Software, the 1988 old school search and retrieval system
  • Kapow (via Lexmark’s purchase of Kofax), the data normalization outfit.

Also, the company’s headquarters are about an hour from my cabin next to the pond filled with mine run off. Cutbacks at Lexmark may spell more mobile homes in my neck of the woods.

Stephen E Arnold, August 27, 2015

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