Big Data Processing Is Relative to Paradigm of Today

September 7, 2016

The size and volume that characterizes an information set as big data — and the tools used to process — is relative to the current era. A story from NPR reminds us of this as they ask, Can Web Search Predict Cancer? Promise And Worry Of Big Data And Health. In 1600’s England, a statistician essentially founded demography by compiling details of death records into tables. Today, trends from big data are drawn through a combination of assistance from computer technology and people’s analytical skills. Microsoft scientists conducted a study showing that Bing search queries may hold clues to a future diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

The Microsoft scientists themselves acknowledge this [lack of comprehensive knowledge and predictive abilities] in the study. “Clinical trials are necessary to understand whether our learned model has practical utility, including in combination with other screening methods,” they write. Therein lies the crux of this big data future: It’s a logical progression for the modern hyper-connected world, but one that will continue to require the solid grounding of a traditional health professional, to steer data toward usefulness, to avoid unwarranted anxiety or even unnecessary testing, and to zero in on actual causes, not just correlations within particular health trends.”

As the producers of data points in many social-related data sets, and as the original analyzers of big data, it makes sense that people remain a key part of big data analytics. While this may be especially pertinent in matters related to health, it may be more intuitively understood in this sector in contrast to others. Whether health or another sector, can the human variable ever be taken out of the data equation? Perhaps such a world will give rise to whatever is beyond the current buzz around the phrase big data.

Megan Feil, September 7, 2016
Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph
There is a Louisville, Kentucky Hidden Web/Dark Web meet up on September 27, 2016.
Information is at this link:

Microsoft to Sunset China Search and News Services

August 22, 2016

Recent news has made clear that online content from the U.S. or any country foreign to China faces challenges in China. An article from CNN Money recently published Microsoft is giving up on its Chinese web portal. This piece informs us that Microsoft will sunset it’s MSN website in China on June 7. Through their company statement, Microsoft mentions their commitment to China remains and notes China is home to the largest R&D facility outside the U.S. An antitrust investigation on Microsoft in China has been underway since July 2014. The article shares an overview of the bigger picture,

The company’s search engine, Bing, also flopped in the country amid tough competition with homegrown rivals. It didn’t help that in Chinese, “Bing” sounds similar to the word for “sickness.

In September, Microsoft finally ditched Bing for users of its Edge browser in China, striking a deal with Chinese Internet giant Baidu (BIDU, Tech30) to use its search engine as the default.

Other Western tech firms have come under scrutiny in China before, including Qualcomm(QCOM, Tech30) and Apple (AAPL, Tech30). Social networks like Facebook (FB, Tech30) and Google (GOOG) remain blocked in the country.”

It looks like Bing will bite the dust soon, in China at least. Does this news mean anything for Microsoft as a company? While regulations China are notably stringent, the size of their population makes up a notably sized market. We will be watching to see how search plays out in China.

Megan Feil, August 22, 2016

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph     There is a Louisville, Kentucky Hidden /Dark Web meet up on August 23, 2016.                                                                                                                 Information is at this link:


Microsoft Makes Fresh Effort to Position Bing

June 21, 2016

Microsoft is gearing up for a fresh challenge to Google,  with a Bing rebranding effort centered on the new “Bing Network.” This marks a different approach to leveraging the MS search platform, we learn from the piece, “Microsoft Rebrands Bing, Challenges Google”  at SearchMarketingDaily. The incorporation of Yahoo has a lot to do with it. Reporter Laurie Sullivan writes:

“Microsoft’s message says the network pulls together in-the-moment data from across its mobile, global and local partners to support products that people use daily. And that network continues to grow. With the transition of all U.S. accounts, people and account management from Yahoo to Bing, the network represents an expanding set of partnerships such as AOL, and The Wall Street Journal, which adds more searches and clicks to the network daily, wrote Stephen Sirich, GM of advertising and consumer monetization group at Microsoft, in a post.”

Sullivan later reminds us:

“The shift in brand strategy also marks an end to the Yahoo-Bing Network. The renegotiated search deal between Microsoft and Yahoo in April 2015, five years into the 10-year deal, has ad sales and account management returning to their respective companies.”

The article discusses reasons Microsoft has struggled so to position Bing as an alternative to Google. For example, says one professional, Bing should not have tried to change the model Google had set up, and users had grown accustomed to, for Internet search. Also, Bing’s brand recognition has always lagged behind that of Google.  Perhaps that is about to change with this renewed effort. See the article for some more background and stats on Bing’s performance.



Cynthia Murrell, June 21, 2016

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Tech Savvy Users Turn to DuckDuckGo

May 18, 2016

A recent report from SimilarWeb tells us what sorts of people turn to Internet search engine DuckDuckGo, which protects users’ privacy, over a more prominent engine, Microsoft’s Bing. The Search Engine Journal summarizes the results in, “New Research Reveals Who is Using DuckDuckGo and Why.”

The study drew its conclusions by looking at the top five destinations of DuckDuckGo users:,,,, and Note that four of these five sites have pretty specific audiences, and compare them to the top five, more widely used, sites accessed through Bing:,,,, and

Writer Matt Southern observes:

“DuckDuckGo users also like to engage with their search engine of choice for longer periods of time — averaging 9.38 minutes spent on DuckDuckGo vs. Bing.

“Despite its growth over the past year, DuckDuckGo faces a considerable challenge when it comes to getting found by new users. Data shows the people using DuckDuckGo are those who already know about the search engine, with 93% of its traffic coming from direct visits. Only 1.5% of its traffic comes from organic search.

“Roy Hinkis of SimilarWeb concludes by saying the loyal users of DuckDuckGo are those who love tech, and they use they use DuckDuckGo as an alternative because they’re concerned about having their privacy protected while they search online.”

Though Southern agrees DuckDuckGo needs to do some targeted marketing, he notes traffic to the site has been rising by 22% per year.  It is telling that the privacy-protecting engine is most popular among those who understand the technology.


Cynthia Murrell, May 18, 2016

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Is Bing Full of Bugs or Is Constant Change And “Agility” the Wave of the Future?

February 29, 2016

The article titled  600 Engineers Make 4,000 Changes to Bing Each Week on WinBeta goes behind the scenes of a search engine. The title seems to suggest that Bing is a disaster with so many bugs that only a fleet of engineers working around the clock can manage the number of bugs in the system. That is actually far from the impression that the article makes. Instead, it stresses the constant innovation that Bing calls “Continuous Delivery” or “Agility.” The article states,

“How about the 600 engineers mentioned above pushing more than 4,000 individual changes a week into a testing phase containing over 20,000 tests. Each test can last from 10 minutes to several hours or days… Agility incorporates two “loops,” the Inner Loop that is where engineers write the code, prototype, and crowd-source features. Then, there’s an Outer Loop where the code goes live, gets tested by users, and then pushes out to the world.”

For more details on the sort of rapid and creative efforts made possible by so many engineers, check out the Bing Visual Blog Post created by a Microsoft team. The article also reminds us that Bing is not only a search engine, but also the life-force behind Microsoft’s Cortana, as well as being integrated into Misrosoft Office 2016, AOL and Siri.


Chelsea Kerwin, February 29, 2016

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Bing Goes Green, as in Dollar Bills and Brand New Logo

January 29, 2016

The article on Microsoft News titled Microsoft Releasing New Bing Logo Today briefly overviews the recent growth and profitability of the often mocked and overlooked search engine. Microsoft also updated Cortana lately, which is deeply connected to Bing search. So what will the new Bing logo look like? The article explains,

“In the new logo, Microsoft is switching its color scheme to green as it  “is easier to see over yellow” and “b” in now in upper case. This new version of the logo will be used across various Microsoft apps and services. Speaking to AdAge, Rik van der Kooi, Microsoft’s corporate VP of advertiser and publisher solutions said that Bing is the only search engine that is experiencing steady, consistent growth and have increased our share for 26 consecutive quarters.”

The article also points out that it is Bing powering Yahoo, AOL, Apple Siri and several other services, from behind the scenes. The green logo looks less like an imitation of Google, especially with the capitalization. Perhaps the new logo is meant to be easier on the eyes, but it is also certainly trying to keep up the positive attention Bing has been receiving lately as 1/3 of the search market.

Chelsea Kerwin, January 29, 2016

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Microsoft Cortana Update Draws Users to Bing

January 22, 2016

The article titled Microsoft Updates Windows 10 Cortana With New Search Tools for Better Results on IB Times heralds the first good news for Bing in ages. The updates Microsoft implemented provide tremendous search power to users and focused search through a selection of filters. Previously, Cortana would search in every direction, but the filters enable a more targeted search for, say, applications instead of web results. The article explains,

“It’s a small change, but one that shows Microsoft’s dedication to making the assistant as useful as possible. Cortana is powered by Bing, so any improvements to the Windows 10 assistant will encourage more consumers to use Microsoft’s search engine. Microsoft made a big bet when it chose to deeply integrate Bing into Windows 10, and there is signs that it’s paying off. After the June 2015 Windows 10 launch, Bing attained profitability for the first time in October 2015.”

That positive note for Bing is deeply hedged on the company’s ability to improve mobile search, which has continued to grow as a major search platform while desktop search actually peaked, according to research. Microsoft launched Cortana on Android and iOS, but it is yet to be seen whether this was sufficient action to keep up the Bing momentum.

Chelsea Kerwin, January 22, 2016

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph


Microsoft Drops Bing from Pulse, Adds Azure Media Services

December 22, 2015

The article on VentureBeat titled Microsoft Rebrands Bing Pulse to Microsoft Pulse, extends Snapshot API ushers in the question: is Bing a dead-end brand? The article states that the rebranding is meant to emphasize that the resource integrates with MS technologies like Power BI, OneNote, and Azure Media Services. It has only been about year since the original self-service tool was released for broadcast TV and media companies. The article states,

“The launch comes a year after Bing Pulse hit version 2.0 with the introduction of a cloud-based self-service option. Microsoft is today showing a few improvements to the tool, including a greatly enhanced Snapshot application programming interface (API) that allows developers to pull data from Microsoft Pulse into Microsoft’s own Power BI tool or other business intelligence software. Previously it was only possible to use the API with broadcast-specific technologies.”

The news isn’t good for Bing, with Pulse gaining popularity as a crowdsourcing resource among such organizations as CNN, CNBC, the Aspen Institute, and the Clinton Global Initiative. It is meant to be versatile and targeted for broadcast, events, market research, and classroom use. Dropping Bing from the name may indicate that Pulse is moving forward, and leaving Bing in the dust.
Chelsea Kerwin, December 22, 2015

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph


Search Data from Bing for 2015 Yields Few Surprises

December 11, 2015

The article on Search Engine Watch titled Bing Reveals the Top US and UK Searches of 2015 in the extremely intellectual categories of Celebs, News, Sport(s), Music, and Film. Starting with the last category, guess what franchise involving wookies and Carrie Fisher took the top place? For Celebrity searches, Taylor Swift took first in the UK, and Caitlyn Jenner in the US, followed closely by Miley Cyrus (and let’s all take a moment to savor the seething rage this data must have caused in Kim Kardashian’s heart.) What does this trivia matter? Ravleen Beeston, UK Sales Director of Bing, is quoted in the article with her two cents,

“Understanding the interests and motivations driving search behaviour online provides invaluable insight for marketers into the audiences they care about. This intelligence allows us to empower marketers to create meaningful connections that deliver more value for both consumers and brands alike. By reflecting back on the key searches over the past 12 months, we can begin to anticipate what will inspire and how to create the right experience in the right context during the year to come.”

Some of the more heartening statistics were related to searches for women’s sports news, which increased from last year. Serena Williams was searched more often than the top five male tennis players combined. And saving the best for last, in spite of the dehumanizing and often racially biased rhetoric we’ve all heard involving Syrian refugees, there was a high volume of searches in the US asking how to provide support and aid for refugees, especially children.

Chelsea Kerwin, December 11, 2015

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Bing Wants Google Bridge to Fall down, My Dear Lady

December 10, 2015

Microsoft has not given up on Bing yet.  While the Microsoft’s brand name search engine has not gained much traction to take on Google in the United States, the United Kingdom might prove else wise.  The Independent reports that “Rik Van Der Kooi: Microsoft Ups Its Challenge To Google With Big Plans For Bing” in the United Kingdom.  Rik van der Kooi is Microsoft’s global head of search advertising and he wants to give Bing users a more ambient experience.  Microsoft is integrating Bing into more features and applications, such as Microsoft Office, Cortana, Gumtree, Windows 10, and Skype.

Kooi is very eager to introduce Bing into Skype, because it will only benefit users.  He says that:

“In the future we are thinking about not artificially pushing it in but maybe putting it in where it’s of use to the user.  I could imagine a scenario where if you were either talking with somebody via Skype or chatting via Skype, that providing a search experience inside of Skype is a very valuable experience. And if it’s valuable to the user then we would consider it.”

Google still controls 88 percent of the UK’s search market, but Kooi did not stoop to using insults when he was asked about Google.  Instead, he said that Bing and Google have different business approaches.  Google is more focused on advertising as a model, which is different than what Bing does.  Microsoft has a clear plan for Bing, including the knowledge that it has a lot of advertiser demand and forming partnerships with more UK platforms for quality traffic.  Kooi is faithful that Bing will continue to gain traction in the UK and the US, it’s already in the double digits.

Whitney Grace, December 10, 2015
Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph


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