February 27, 2014
The article titled The Seasonal Recipe App: Tapping into the Mental Model on Comperio’s blog explores the new demo app aimed at helping Norwegians find food in nature. According to the article, the app will allow for searching by places where one might find certain foods and when in the year one would be most successful. They would also be able to search for recipes by the ingredients they have found. The article explains,
“Since a lot of people in Norway actually go into the nature and forage, fetch, pick, shoot and fish their own food, we wanted to divide into some of the most typical and normal places where you can find those types of food. We then have two variables for our search: Place where you find the food and Time of year (Month)…. The places we’ve chosen [are] The sea, the farm, the garden, the forest, the mountain.”
The app shows a query matrix organized by types of ingredients. The app uses Elasticsearch in order to combine all of the types of information, from the foods grown in the area of the user, the time of year and the recipes themselves, according to the article Sourcing Local Food with Comperio Search, Qbox.io, and Elasticsearch on Qbox.
Chelsea Kerwin, February 27, 2014
February 14, 2014
The name of the game for SharePoint 2013 is customization. And while research shows that customization directly correlates to improve satisfaction with SharePoint, it is a time consuming process. So while companies want to invest in customization, they also welcome tips or tricks to streamline the process. Search Content Management addresses this topic in their article, “Easing SharePoint development with Quick Apps for SharePoint.”
“This feature, which Microsoft calls Apps for SharePoint (formerly Web Apps for SharePoint) reduces in-house application design burdens considerably. Placing code within Apps for SharePoint relieves the app designer from having to code from scratch workflows, metadata access and usage. A custom app can access the existing SharePoint code for that functionality without extra effort.”
Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search and frequently covers SharePoint on his Web service, ArnoldIT.com. He finds that customization is a highly valued feature of SharePoint 2013, and many companies are looking to third party add-ons to help deliver customization quality and efficiency.
Emily Rae Aldridge, February 14, 2014
February 5, 2014
Software in 2014, the article on the blog Tbray.org offers a state of the software construction. The overall news is positive from the article, with satisfied server developers and good tools for constructing software. The question the article poses is where 2014 will lead in terms of client-side software, and the answer is uncertain. The article suggests that HTTP is universally acceptable and easy to use while almost everything is “built with an MVC or equivalent level of abstraction” in spite of some apps still being created in PHP and Spring. The article posits that storage options are also multiple and strong. However, it also gets into the client-side difficulties the industry faces in the coming years.
The article states:
“When I said “Mobile sucks”, I wasn’t talking about engineering suckage… Crucially, for most of the things you’d want to put in a UI, there’s usually a single canonical solid well-debugged way to do it, which is the top result for the appropriate question on both Google and StackOverflow. But look at all the energy going into browser tech; surely it’s going to catch up with mobile tech any day now?”
The article offers no easy forecasts for the future of the client side. The redundancies in Web, iOS and Android, the mobile form factors among other mobile issues are all problems without simple answers. We are curious what Tim Bray would say about enterprise search software.
Chelsea Kerwin, February 05, 2014
December 26, 2013
Zillow is a popular real estate database for people interested in purchasing a home, but it is not handy when it comes to finding smaller or temporary living quarters. Life Hacker has the scoop on a new app for people on the hunt for the perfect apartment or a rental home, “Lovely Puts Your Search For a Perfect Apartment On Your Phone.” The Lovely app, which recently launched for Android, gives people access to listings, photos, top-down Google map views, and ability to apply directly for housing.
The article states:
“The app looks sharp, and makes picking out listings on a map easy. Tell Lovely what you’re looking for in an apartment and how much you want to spend, and you’re good to go. You can easily identify the newest listings by their colors on the map or in your list, and you can set up alerts so you get push notifications when a new listing appears that meets your criteria.”
Another great feature for Lovely is the “Renter’s Card” that includes your personal information and renting history to be sent out to landlords and pre-apply for the apartment you have to act immediately on or lose it. Real estate shopping just got a whole lot more exciting and personable with this app. On a technical spec, where are the Lovely people getting their information from to maintain relevancy?
Whitney Grace, December 26, 2013
December 22, 2013
To what pressing issue is IBM now applying Watson’s superior (artificial) intellect? Why, to shopping, of course. Business Insider reports, “IBM’s Jeopardy-Winning Supercomputer Will Power a ‘Cognitive, Expert Personal Shopper’ App Next Year.” Writer Dylan Love was especially taken by one app on the horizon from a firm called Fluid Retail.
He quotes IBM Watson Solutions VP Stephen Gold:
“Fluid, which builds online shopping experiences for retail businesses to drive customer engagement and conversion, is developing the Fluid Expert Personal Shopper powered by IBM Watson. The app calls upon Watson’s ability to understand the nuances of human language and uncover answers from Big Data. Consumers who use Fluid’s app will interact with rich media and dialogue with Watson, as their newfound cognitive, expert personal shopper. The Fluid app incorporates the information users share and questions they ask to help them make smart, satisfying purchases by putting a knowledgeable sales associate in the hands of consumers, on demand.”
What happened to game shows, fighting cancer, and plain old search? Watson‘s game-show career may be over, and we would certainly like to see more of the tech applied to search. However, IBM is still running with the medical-field advances. One Watson-powered app due out next year, called Hippocrates (PDF), will streamline the process of researching medical device purchases for healthcare facilities. Another, CaféWell Concierge, is being developed by health-management company Welltok. The app will create personalized health itineraries for Welltok users.
So, I guess shopping is not the most pressing area on which Watson is working, just the one able to grab headlines. Isn’t that a relief?
Cynthia Murrell, December 22, 2013
November 29, 2013
The article on MakeUseOf titled SayHi Translate Is Quite Possibly The Closest Thing To Star Trek’s Universal Translator promotes the Iphone app SayHi as the best translation app available. At one $1.99, the app provides translations between some 40 languages (more are available with the premium version). The user says their phrase slowly and clearly into the phone, hits done and waits a few seconds for the phrase to appear in the original and translated languages. At the same time the app reads out the translation so that the person you are attempting to communicate with can hear it as well.
The article explains:
“The star allows you to create a list of favourite phrases (accessible from the star icon at the very top of the screen). The arrow is the usual iOS sharing options (email, iMessage, Twitter, Facebook, etc), the arrow pointing right enables you to play the phrase back again if you need to hear it again, and the trash-can deletes the phrase from the screen.”
The author even claims that SayHi beats out the Google Translate app, although that may become an issue of personal preference. Ultimately, these resources are a must-have for people traveling in foreign countries where they don’t speak the language. (And in galaxies far far away?)
Chelsea Kerwin, November 29, 2013
November 25, 2013
Has Google has found a way to monetize translation? This is not the basic Google Translate we all know and utilize; Google is now connecting Android developers with third parties who sell higher-quality translation services. The Next Web tells us about the program in, “Google Launches App Translation Service, Lets Android Developers Buy Translations from Pre-Qualified Vendors.” Writer Emil Protalinski explains:
“The new offering lets developers browse a list of third-party vendors pre-qualified by Google to offer high-quality translation at ‘competitive prices.’ Best of all, the service is integrated straight into the Google Play Developer Console (it’s at the bottom of the APK section). Developers simply need to get their APK ready for translation, upload the strings they want translated, select their target languages, and choose a vendor based on time and price. When the translations are ready, developers can easily import them back into their app using the ADT Translation Manager Plugin.”
Along with updating their app with the new translation, developers can otherwise localize their Google Play listing. (See Google’s Localization Checklist for advice on adapting software for a particular region.) The App Translation Service, says Google, is a key part of their efforts to make building a global user base as easy as possible for Android applications.
Cynthia Murrell, November 25, 2013
October 23, 2013
In the world of business process software, it can be tricky deciding which one to deploy at your organization. That is when one resorts to research and relying on opinions and experiences of others to help them make a choice. Forrester is always a great resource to turn to for business matters and in March 2013, they released “The Forester Wave: BPM Suites, Q1 2013,” detailing the top ten business process management vendors. Bitpipe archives the report.
Ten vendors were reviewed: Appian, Bizagi, Cordys, HandySoft, IBM, OpenText, Oracle, Pegasystems, Software AG, and Tibco Software. Each software has their positives and negatives, what is really interesting is if they are compatible with the leading data content managers, such as Kofax:
“All of the vendors in this evaluation can support the three most common use cases for BPM: dynamic case management, human workflow, and straight-through processing. However, this does not mean that all vendors must or can offer exactly the same approach or the same functional depth for each use case.”
They are Kofax compliant, which is wonderful because Kofax owns Kapow Software –the big data integration platform. Big data is one of the primary concerns of organizations and a business management software that does not have the capability to handle said processes is useless in a competitive market.
Whitney Grace, October 23, 2013
October 18, 2013
What’s the best way to find a mobile app? The answer may just be Quixey, which has recently secured some hefty funding. We learn about the company and its novel approach in, “Quixey Raises $50M from Alibaba & Others to Build the Search Engine for the Mobile Era” at TechCrunch. Quixey already underpins the app searches for several browser makers, OEMs, and even Sprint. Now, the company is gearing up to bring their app searches directly to mobile consumers.
It seems that search optimism is alive and well. Even as it captures funding from Alibaba and other investors, Quixey is working to build revenue with its recently launched sponsored-ad feature. The company also plans to expand overseas, which means they are hiring engineers in Europe, India, and Israel. A unique goal sets Quixey apart—they are working to locate not just apps, but also content within those apps. Writers Natasha Lomas and Sarah Perez report:
“‘We think our company’s mission is to get people into apps, which doesn’t just mean finding you a new app, it means we should be able to find you the content within apps,’ said Quixey co-founder and CEO Tomer Kagan. An example use-case could be a user searching for Thai food — and being returned results across apps, as well as things like Yelp reviews and a current Groupon deal for a restaurant, for instance.”
Kagan emphasizes that his company’s solution cannot accurately be called a “Google for apps,” because the focus is different. Leaving aside the charge that Google falls short in the mobile space, Quixey is all about the apps. “In the mobile space, apps haven’t been given the opportunity to shine and reach users on an equal footing; Quixey wants to change that,” he said.
In their pursuit of a (non-beta) consumer-facing tool, the company is eyeing Android. The article tells us:
“One possibility is an Android app that will allow Quixey’s app search to get baked in directly into the OS of the device. ‘Android is best place to start doing something unique and different because of the flexibility of the operating system,’ [Kagan] said. ‘We want to go deeper into the apps — something that Android lets us do. That’s the whole point of why we raised this money — so that we can explore that…how can we find the best answer inside of the apps.’”
Best of luck to Quixey. It is good to see someone pursue a fresh take on mobile search. Kagan and co-founder Liron Shapira started the company in 2009 and secured their first round of funding in 2011. Quixey is headquartered in Mountain View, California.
Cynthia Murrell, October 18, 2013
October 8, 2013
There is a new startup called Shadow that records your dreams and shares the info with the world. Sounds creepy, right? Yes, but The Telegraph gives the title to another startup, “Is ‘Shadow’ The Creepiest Startup Ever? Nom CIA Investment Palantir Still Owns The Crown.” Palantir Technologies still reigns supreme as the creepiest IT company, because its main business principle is that artificial intelligence software is not enough to track people. It also relies on human analysts coupled with automated data analysis. Palantir has dubbed this concept “intelligence automation.”
Palantir is the brainchild of Peter Thiel, with the participation of Alex Karp, Joe Lonsdale, Stephen Cohen and Nathan Gettings. Its name derives from a Lord of the Rings artifact called a seeing stone, most often wielded by evil bad guys. Thiel developed Palantir’s technology from his PayPal venture to detect fraud. The success caught the attention of some very big clients: the CIA and Us Army.
Why makes it creepy?
“Though it seems quite clear that Palantir has a role to play in moves by the US and her allies – including the UK – to battle growing online threats from Russia, China and others, it definitely earns its Most Creepy Startup award. In 2010, Palantir itself was exposed as somewhat complicit in moves by Hunton & Williams (a US lobbying firm) to combat “the WikiLeaks Threat”. In early 2011, elements from Anonymous leaked documents that included the plan. The strategy proposed using Palantir software “as the foundation for all the data collection, integration, analysis, and production efforts”.”
Thiel does not take any direct responsibility for how his technology could be used for evil purposes. His company’s technology is used all over, mostly without any one knowing it. Right now it is watching you and me.
Whitney Grace, October 08, 2013