Thomson Reuters: Getting with the Conference Crowd

October 6, 2019

DarkCyber noted “Thomson Reuters acquires FC Business Intelligence.” FCBI, according the the firm’s Web site:

Founded round a kitchen table in 1990, originally with a focus on emerging markets, the company has grown organically in size and influence ever since.

We learned:

The business will be rebranded Reuters Events and will be operated as part of the Reuters News division of Thomson Reuters.

Thomson Reuters has not delivered hockey stick growth in the last three, five, eight years, has it?

Will conferences be the goose which puts golden eggs in the Thomson Reuters’ hen house?

What’s the motive force for a professional publishing outfit to get into conferences? DarkCyber hypothesizes that:

  • Getting more cash from traditional professional publishing markets is getting more difficult; for example, few law firms have clients willing to pay the commercial online fees from the “good old days”
  • Conferences, despite advances in technology, continue to give the Wall Street Journal and other organizations opportunities to meet and greet, generate revenue from booth rentals, and a way to hop on hot topics
  • Respond to the painful fact that it is easier to make one’s own news instead of paying to just report the news, particularly if it comes from a high profile conference.

Will Thomson Reuters slice and dice the content outputs in as many ways as possible? Possibly.

Worth watching as Lord Thomson of Fleet probably is from his eye in the sky.

Stephen E Arnold, October 6, 2019

How to Pronounce CLTRe

May 21, 2019

DarkCyber was able to figure out how to say the name “KnowBe4.” This company is in the cyber security business and it obviously offers technology which can let a person “know before” something bad happens and take appropriate remediation steps.

KnowBe4 purchased a company named “CLTRe.” Here’s the question:

How does one pronounce “CLTRe”? The problem is similar to figuring out what the letters of a vanity license plate “mean”.

Here’s an easy one:

Image result for vanity license plate

What about this?

Image result for vanity license plate

Okay, back to the problem: CLTRe.

The answer appears in “KnowBe4 to Acquire Norwegian Assessment Company CLTRe.”

The word is “culture.”

The business of CLTRe is to measure clients’ security preparedness.

According to the article:

KnowBe4 currently is integrating the CLTRe assessments into its platform, and does not plan to change its pricing as a result of the deal.

We also noted this statement:

This deal marks only the latest cybersecurity merger or acquisition in an industry that analysts predict will only continue to consolidate. The data backup service Carbonite in February acquired Webroot, and some $3 billion of investors’ dollars has been pumped into the industry so far this year…

Will KnowBe4 retain the name of the company it just acquired?

WDKBWHN. This means “we don’t know but we hope not.

Stephen E Arnold, May 21, 2019

Netwrix Buys Concept Searching

April 5, 2019

Late last year we learned that Concept Searching was selling itself to Netwrix. I don’t pay much attention to “finding” solutions. I thought of Concept Searching in the context of the delay in awarding the JEDI contract. Concept Searching might be a nifty add on if Microsoft gets the $10 billion deal.

Concept Searching had positioned itself as an indexing outfit and taxonomy management tool. The company struck me as having a Microsoft-centric focus and dabbled in enterprise search and jousted with Smartlogic.

According to the company’s founder Martin Garland:

Concept Searching is excited about becoming a part of Netwrix. Merging our unique technology with its exceptional Netwrix Auditor product delivers a new level of protection to organizations concerned about data security, with the ability to identify and remediate personal or organizationally defined sensitive information, regardless of where it is stored or how it was ingested. The expanded team will enable us to be even more agile, increasingly responsive to our clients’ needs, and to deliver a platform for growth to both client bases and ensure we maintain our leadership position in delivering world-class metadata-driven solutions.

Netwrix is a software company focused exclusively on providing IT security and operations teams with pervasive visibility into user behavior, system configurations and data sensitivity across hybrid IT infrastructures to protect data regardless of its location. The company has 10,000 customers.

DarkCyber believes that like Exalead’s acquisition by Dassault or OpenText’s purchase of assorted search and retrieval systems, it will be interesting to watch how this acquisition works out.

Stephen E Arnold, April 5, 2019

Could Ma Bell Get Her Old Mojo Back?

June 15, 2018

Many years ago I worked on projects for the original AT&T, also Bellcore, and USWest. I am not a bell head, but I understand some of the Maslovian forces at work. Telecommunications utilities want to be monopolies. It seems to be a genetic law embedded in former members of the Young Pioneers and in the bricks and electronics of the Piscataway data center and the Cherry Hill labs.

I want to point out the write up “AT&T completes Acquisition of Time Warner, Inc.” The deal may not be for copper wire and 5ESS switches, but Ma Bell may be gathering her skirts and getting ready to rumble.

The write up states that AT&T has communications, media, international services, and advertising.

What’s missing?

From my vantage point in Harrod’s Creek, AT&T is one acquisition away from bring back Ma Bell. Either AT&T buys Verizon or Verizon buys AT&T and all will be right with the world. Another angle for revivifying Ma Bell is for an investment bank to purchase both companies and merge them.


Digital services are more efficient and effective when they operate as single source providers.

Judge Green went against the natural order of digital services, and now Bell Telephone is one acquisition away from a most auspicious return. Will that happen? Could that happen?

AT&T just bought Time Warner. Why not deliver a true Bell head solution?

Even Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft would have to rethink their business plans.

One other benefit: Phone calls would connect more quickly and certain types of oversight become much simpler.

I will have to look around for my Young Pioneers baseball cap. I think I had a red, white, and blue one with a Bell logo. None of that death star iconography.

Stephen E Arnold, June 15, 2018

Elastic Remains Strategically Bouncy

November 10, 2017

Enterprise search remains a dull and rusty sword in the museum of enterprise applications. Frankly, other than wordsmithing with wild and crazy jargon, the technology for finding information in an organization works a bit like the blacksmith under the spreading chestnut tree.

The big news from my point of view has been the uptake in open source enterprise search software. The lead dog is Lucene. Even the much hyped free version of Fast Search technology pitched as Solr is built on Lucene.

Image result for winner

Yep, there are proprietary solutions, but where are these folks? Outfits with search technology are capturing the hearts and minds of decision makers who want solutions to findability problems, not the high speed sleet of buzzwords like ontology, taxonomy, natural language processing, facets, semantics, yada, yada, yada.

I read an article, which I assume is true, because I believe everything I read on the Internet and in white papers. The write up is “Elastic Acquires SaaS Site Search Leader Swiftype.” Elastic is the result of a bold search experience called Compass. The champion of this defunct system was Shay Banon, who created Elasticsearch.

For many people, Elasticsearch and the for fee “extras” available from the company Elastic is Lucene. Disagree? Everyone is entitled to an opinion, gentle reader.

The write up informed me:

Elastic, the company behind Elasticsearch, and the Elastic Stack, the most widely-used collection of open source products for solving mission-critical use cases like search, logging, and analytics, today announced that it has acquired Swiftype, a San Francisco-based startup founded in 2012 and backed by Y Combinator and New Enterprise Associates (NEA). Swiftype is the creator of the popular SaaS-based Site Search and the recently introduced Enterprise Search products.

Swiftype used Elastic to captur3e some customers with its search solution. According to the write up, even Dr. Pepper found a pepper upper with Swiftype’s Elasticsearch based system.

Why’s this important? I jotted down three reasons as I was watching a group of confused deer trying to cross a busy highway. (Deer, like investors in enterprise search dream spinners, are confused by the movement of fast moving automobiles and loud pick up trucks.)

First, compare Elastic’s acquisition with Lucidworks purchase of an interface company. Elastic bought people, a solution, and customers. Interfaces are okay, but those who want to find information need a system that springs into action quickly and can be used to deal with real world information problems. Arts and crafts are important, but not as important as search that returns relevant results and performs useful functions like chopping log files into useful digital lumber.

Second, Elastic has been on a role. We profiled the company for a wonky self appointed blue chip consulting firm years ago. The report went nowhere due to the managerial expertise of a self appointed search expert. See this link for details of this maven. In that report, my team of researchers verified that large companies were adopting Elasticsearch because those firms had the most to gain from an open source product which could be supported by third party engineers. Another plus was that the Elasticsearch product could be extended and amplified without the handcuffs of a proprietary search vendor’s license restrictions.

Third, Elasticsearch worked. Sure, it was a hassle to become familiar with the system. But if there were an issue, the Lucene community was usually available for advice and often for prompt fixes. Mr. Banon pushed innovations down the trail as well. It was clear five years ago and it is clear today that Elastic and Elasticsearch are the go to systems for some savvy people. Contrast that with the floundering of outfits flogging their search systems on LinkedIn or on vapid webinars about concepts.

Net net: Elastic is an outfit to watch. For most of Elastic’s competitors watching is easy when one is driving a Model T behind the race leader in one of those zippy Hellcats with 700 horsepower.

Even blacksmiths take notice when this baby roars down the highway. And the deer? The deer run the other way.

Stephen E Arnold, November 10, 2017

Attack Planes Soon to Be Equipped with Lasers

August 24, 2017

The US Air Force soon will be equipping its attack planes with laser weapons to fight UAVs that terrorist organizations may use for launching attacks.

According to an op-ed published by Defense One and titled The Future of the Air Force, the author says:

We are currently investing in the hardware to ensure space superiority; in the near future we will need to grow the number of space airmen and the accompanying infrastructure much like we did for the combat Air Force 40 years ago.

Wars in the future will be fought on multiple fronts, including space. As per the op-ed, the US Air Force needs to be equipped sufficiently to fight these battles without putting people on the front line.

The op-ed also says about the acquisition of an Israeli company that enables attack planes using lasers to fend off drones that are used for dropping bombs and other weapons. The acquisition does not come as a surprise as Pentagon had been researching use of lasers as tactical weapons since long. It seems the days of Star Wars are very near.

Vishal Ingole, August 24, 2017

Drugmaker Merk Partners with Palantir on Data Analysis

July 21, 2017

Pharmaceutical company Merk is working with data-analysis firm Palantir on a project to inform future research, we learn from the piece, “Merk Forges Cancer-Focused Big Data Alliance with Palantir” at pharmaceutical news site PMLive. The project is an effort to remove the bottleneck that currently exists between growing silos of medical data and practical applications of that information. Writer Phil Taylor specifies:

Merck will work with Palantir on cancer therapies in the first instance, with the aim of developing a collaborative data and analytics platform for the drug development processes that will give researchers new understanding of how new medicines work. Palantir contends that many scientists in pharma companies struggle with unstructured data and information silos that ‘reduce creativity and limit researchers’ corrective analyses’. The data analytics and sharing platform will help Merck researchers analyse real-world and bioinformatics data so they can ‘understand the patients who may benefit most’ from a treatment.

The alliance also has a patient-centric component, and according to Merck will improve the experience of patients using its products, improve adherence as well as provide feedback on real-world efficacy.

Finally, the two companies will collaborate on a platform that will allow improved global supply chain forecasting and help to get medicines to patients who need them around the world as quickly as possible. Neither company has disclosed any financial details on the deal.

This is no surprise move for the 125-year-old Merk, which has been embracing digital technology in part by funding projects around the world. Known as MSD everywhere but the U.S. and Canada, the company started with a small pharmacy in Germany but now has its headquarters in New Jersey.

Palantir has recently stirred up some controversy. The company’s massive-scale data platforms allow even the largest organizations to integrate, manage, and secure all sorts of data. Its founding members include PayPal alumni and Stanford computer-science grads. The company is based in Palo Alto, California, and has offices around the world.

Cynthia Murrell, July 21, 2017

The New York Times Pairs up with Spotify for Subscription Gains

July 18, 2017

The article on Quartz Media titled The New York Times Thinks People Will Still Pay for News—

If Given Free Music examines the package deal with Spotify currently being offered by the Times. While subscriptions to the news publication have been on the rise thanks in large part to Donald Trump, they are still hurting. The article points out that if the news and music industries have one thing in common, it is trying to get people to pay for their services.

The two companies announced an offer… giving a free year of Spotify Premium to anyone in the US who signs up for an all-access subscription to the news publication. Premium normally costs $120 a year, and the offer slashes the price of an all-access Times subscription too—from $6.25 a week to $5 a week… While it may seem like both companies will take a hit from these discounts, the boost in new subscribers/readers will likely more than make up for it.

It is a match made on Tinder, a coupling for the new world order. Will this couple get along? As millennials seek new outlets for activism, purchasing a subscription to the Times is a few steps above posting a rant on Facebook. Throw a year of Spotify into the mix and this deal is really appealing to anyone who doesn’t consider the Times a “liberal rag.” So maybe the Donald won’t be interested, but the rest of us sure might consider paying $5/month for legitimate news and music.

Chelsea Kerwin, July 18, 2017

Oath Rhymes with Loath and Maybe Sloth?

April 5, 2017

I wanted Yahoo to be named Yabba Dabba Hoot. Darn it. The Verizon outfit which may put some interesting software on mobile phones it sell has come up with the name Oath. I am not sure any of my friends in Harrod’s Creek would have stumbled upon this word. I noted that a number of the write ups reporting about the new name, the Tony Romo like sacking of Marissa Mayer, and the assurances that the calculus of AOL+Yahoot will change my life. See “Under Oath? How Yahoo + AOL Will Change Your Life.”

USA Today brilliantly revealed that Verizon’s Xoogler believes “the brands will stay the same. “ Yep, that’s what happens when Verizon acquires companies: The status quo is the Baby Bell way. Well, sometimes as long as one is not the CEO, the CFO, the legal team, and anyone who does not understand the ethos of the Young Pioneers and Bell Telephone training methods:


The real journalism outfit which we call McPaper here in Kentucky quoted the Xoogler responsible for the AOL Yahoot marriage. Tim Armstrong and apparently someone else allegedly said:

Armstrong has described Oath as a B2B brand, overseeing the names that you are all familiar with. Beyond Yahoo and AOL, those names include Tumblr, Huffington Post, TechCrunch and Engadget. In all, about 1.3 billion consumers use the company’s collection of brands making these among the most powerful digital brands on the Internet. “We like to say branding wise if you look at a hat, Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Yahoo Sports will be on the front, Oath will be on the side,” Armstrong said. Besides the early reaction to Oath hasn’t been all that flattering, with the new name the subject of numerous jokes out on social media.

On the side. Does oath mean economic growth?

Stephen E Arnold, April 5, 2017

Yahoo: Discount News

February 25, 2017

I read “Verizon, Yahoo Agree to Lowered $4.48 Billion Deal.” The knock off price for an outfit with interesting security controls and a fine customer communication business process is $4.48 billion. Not bad for an aged Internet dowager which seems to have been drifting of late. The write up stated in real news fashion:

Under the amended terms, Yahoo and Verizon will split cash liabilities related to some government investigations and third-party litigation related to the breaches. Yahoo will continue to be responsible for liabilities from shareholder lawsuits and Securities and Exchange Commission investigations.

From my vantage pointing Harrod’s Creek, it is party time for the attorneys engaged in the many facets of Silicon Valley’s business school generation machine. Yahoooot or is it Yabba Dabba Hoot. I just get mixed up.

Stephen E Arnold, February 25, 2017

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