Facebook and Google: The M Word Is Not Enough. The C Word Arises.

January 19, 2017

I believe everything I read on the Internet. I am so superficial. Perhaps I am the most superficial person living in rural Kentucky. The write up “The Google-Facebook Online Ad Cartel is the Biggest Competition Problem” seems to be the work of a person who specializes in future Internet competition. He has worked for presidents and written op eds for “real” journalistic outfits. I am convinced… almost.

The main point of the write up is that Facebook and Google operate as a cartel. I highlighted this statement:

Google commands ~90% market share of mobile search and search advertising. It protects those monopolies with an anti-competitive moat around Alphabet-Google by cross-subsidizing the global offering over 200 expensive-to-create, products and services for free, i.e. dramatically below Google’s total costs. Those many expensive subsidized products and services make Google’s moat competitively impregnable, because no competitor could afford to recreate them without a highly profitable online ad business, and the Goobook ad cartel forecloses that very competitive possibility.

The statement echoes Chaos Monkeys, the tell all about the high flying world of Silicon Valley.

I also noted:

In early 2013, Facebook launched its alternative to Google search, called “Facebook Graph Search” in partnership with Microsoft’s Bing search engine. Then in 2014, Google and Facebook obviously, abruptly, and relatively quietly, chose to no longer directly compete with one another. In the first half of 2014, Google reversed course in social, defunding Google+, ending its forced integration, and announcing the shutdown of Orkut, Google’s 300 million user social network. In the second half of 2014, Facebook quietly dropped its Facebook Graph Search alternative to Google search and its search partnership with Microsoft’s Bing.

One consequence is:

Goobook’s customers – advertisers — pay higher ad prices and have less cohesive and effective ad campaigns under the Goobook ad cartel than they would have if Google and Facebook continued to compete. No material competition to keep them honest, also means Google and Facebook can avoid third party accountability for the core advertising activity metrics that they use to charge for their ad services.

The net net is that US laws and policies:

favors free-content models over paid content models, ultimately produces monopolies and monopolies colluding in cartel behaviors that are hostile to property rights. Monopsonies [sic] de facto forcing property owners to offer their property for sale at a wholesale price at zero, is anti-competitive and predatory. Free is not a price, it’s a subsidy or a loss.

No monopoly word. The cartel word is the moniker for these two esteemed outfits grouped under the neologism “Goobook.” WWTD? Oh, that means “What will Trump do?” Perhaps the Trump White House will retain the author as a policy adviser for cartels?

Stephen E Arnold, January 19, 2017

IBM Explains Buggy Whip to Control Corvettes

January 19, 2017

I love IBM. I enjoy the IBM Watson marketing. I get a kick out of the firm’s saga of declining quarterly revenue. Will IBM make it 19 quarters in a row? I am breathless.

I read “IBM’s Rometty Lays Out AI Considerations, Ethical Principals.” The main idea, as I understand it, is:

artificial intelligence should be used to advance and augment humans not replace them. Transparency of AI development is also necessary.

Since smart software is dependent upon numerical recipes, I am not sure that the many outfits involved in fiddling with procedures, systems, and methods are going to make clear what their wizards are doing. Furthermore, IBM, in my opinion, is a bit of a buggy whip outfit. The idea that a buggy whip can control a bright 18 year old monitoring a drone swarm relying on artificial intelligence to complete a mission. Maybe IBM will equip Watson with telepathy?

The write up explains:

Commonly referred to as artificial intelligence, this new generation of technology and the cognitive systems it helps power will soon touch every facet of work and life – with the potential to radically transform them for the better…As with every prior world-changing technology, this technology carries major implications. Many of the questions it raises are unanswerable today and will require time, research and open discussion to answer.

Okay. What’s DeepMind up to? What about those folks at Facebook, Baidu, Microsoft, MIT, and most of the upscale French universities doing? Are the insights of researchers in Beijing finding their way into the media channel?

Well, IBM is going to take action if the information in the “real” journalistic write up is on the money. Here’s what Big Blue is going to do in its continuing effort to become a plus for stakeholders:

  1. IBM’s systems will augment human intelligence. Sounds good but the direction of some smart software is to make it easy for humans to get a pizza. The digital divide delivers convenience to lots of folks and big paydays to those in the top tier who find a way to sell stuff. Alexa, I need paper towels.
  2. Transparency. Right, that’s a great idea, but how it plays out in the real world is going to be a bit hit and miss. Actually, more miss than hit. The big money folks want to move to “winner take all” plays. Amazon Alexa has partners. Amazon keeps some money as it continues it march to global digital Wal-Mart-ism.
  3. Skills. Yep, the smart software movers and shakers buy promising outfits. Even the allegedly independent folks in Montréal are finding Microsoft a pretty nifty place to work.

Perhaps the folks doing smart software will meet and agree on some rules. Better yet, the US government can legislate rules and then rely on the United Nations or NGOs to promulgate them. Wait. There is a better way. Why not use a Vulcan mind meld?

I understand the IBM has to take the high road, but when a drone swarm makes its own decisions, whipping the rule books may not have much effect. Love those MBA chestnuts like buggy whips.

Stephen E Arnold, January 19, 2017

Palantir Technologies: A First for a Content Processing Outfit

January 18, 2017

Palantir Technologies visibility has an upside and a downside. The upside is that the company’s brand, its Gotham system, and its Metropolis are gaining traction among executives in a range of disciplines, not just the heady world of Wall Street or the less well travelled pathways of law enforcement and intelligence professionals.

I read “Tech Workers Are Protesting Palantir’s Involvement with Immigration Data.” If accurate, the write up is one of the first reports of people getting antsy about systems and methods which are going on 30 years old. FYI I did a tiny bit of work for i2 Group, the outfit which developed Analyst’s Notebook in the 1990s. That system used techniques known to researchers in the UK, France, and elsewhere for decades. The point is that the “protest” is something that companies involved in data analysis have not experienced. I am not bringing a dog to this fight. I think it is intersting that awareness of what one can accomplish using graph analysis, centuries old math, and basic information access methods is now triggering what may be a potentially contentious public protest. (Get those permits, folks.)

The write up points out:

As Trump prepares to take office, a Silicon Valley group demands Palantir account for systems that could be used for mass deportation.

From elected officials who disavow the president elect to skilled professionals who are worried about what the president elect “may” do, search and content processing has only rarely faced a group of concerned people. Even Autonomy, an early player with BAE Systems in data analysis for government tasks, is essentially invisible despite a high profile lawsuit with Hewlett Packard. There was a protest more than a decade ago in front of Autonomy’s Cambridge offices, but I can’t recall why a group of about a dozen people showed up and then dispersed. Outfits like FinFisher or Vupen make news in specialist publications. The idea of a mass protest in front of the Gamma Group offices in the UK is a rare event.

The Palantir to-be protest reported in the article pivots on what might happen in the future. Future reporting is an interesting genre. The write up states:

Due in part to a Verge report from last month, a group of tech workers in Silicon Valley has announced that it will hold a demonstration outside the headquarters of Palantir Technologies in Palo Alto next Wednesday to protest the company’s involvement in intelligence systems used by federal immigration authorities.

The news service takes some credit as a catalyst and writes about what will happen on Wednesday, January 18, 2017, in a write up published online on January 13, 2017. (Where are these folks at Kentucky Derby time when I have to pick a horse for the big race?)

I learned (I think this is the correct tense for writing about reporting the future):

We want to make it clear that the overall tech community is watching what Palantir does,” says Jason Prado, a software engineer at Facebook and member of the Tech Workers Coalition, the group organizing the Palantir demonstration. “And we want to hold the tech community overall accountable for the values that we as a community have.”

The write up does some more tense dancing with this statement in the write up:

This week, both Thiel and Palantir’s CEO, Alex Karp, separately pledged that Palantir will not be used to build a Muslim registry — a demand listed by Prado’s group. “We think that’s fantastic,” says Prado, “but we’re also interested in their possible involvement in what we see as mass deportation and we plan to continue pushing on that.”

More interesting for me was or is this statement in the write up:

Last month, I reported for The Verge that Palantir had provided largely-secret assistance to the US Customs and Border Protection agency in administering a complex intelligence platform known as the Analytical Framework for Intelligence, or AFI, which collects and analyzes troves of information on immigrants and other travelers entering, exiting, and moving within the United States.

The “I” refers to Spencer Woodman, who is both a trigger and a documenter of the present and the future.

The president elect seems to know about Palantir’s platform or “Analytical Framework for Intelligence.” I interpret Palantir’s approach as a series of components which go beyond what the 1990s-anchored i2 system does.

The write up by Mr. Woodman states:

Last month, I also reported that Palantir had signed a $34,650,000 in contracts with ICE to help build and maintain a large database and analytics platform called FALCON, which contains employment information, criminal records, immigration history, family connections, as well as home and work addresses. According to Department of Homeland Security oversight documents, FALCON is meant for use by ICE’s Office of Homeland Security Investigations, which pursues serious cross-border crimes such as human trafficking, drug interdiction, and child pornography and is a separate entity from ERO. Tasked with enforcing unverified employment, HSI has conducted some of ICE’s most controversial recentimmigration raids on businesses employing undocumented Immigrants — the sort of operations that many immigrant advocates fear will expand under Trump.

From my point of view, I made a mental note of several points:

  1. The article or wrtie up as I term these online news/opinion/commentary essays makes it clear that what will happen in the future is due in part to the information presented in the author’s articles present and past. That’s very interesting.
  2. The technology revealed as a source of concern is, at least to me, very old news. There are newer and more more effective systems than those offered by Palantir. (No, I will not identify these vendors nor will I respond to email or telephone inquiries on these matters unless the call comes from a present or former client or via a referral from a trusted source. Do your own homework, gentle reader.) Palantir acquiores companies because it must or has to juice up is decade old system.
  3. The blurred role of the author and the write up as a “report” and a “prediction” makes it difficult for me to know why the article is not labeled as content marketing. I made a mental sticky note, however.

I think the assembly/protest is worth monitoring. I look forward to more “real” journalism on this matter. Frankly mixing up what did happen, what is happening, and what will happen in the future is somewhat confusing to me. I prefer a nice tidy timeline and outputs from a predictive analytics system like Record Future’s to help me make decisions about an event. I am also interested in making bubble gum cards for the individuals of interest, generating a graph of relationships, and pumping open source content through a series of text analysis procedures.

That, hoowever, is a great deal of work. I can understand why some “real” journalists prefer a phone call or two, some self referntial links, and Google Web searches when writing about what will happen on Janaury 18 five or more days before the 18th.

Stephen E Arnold, January 18, 2017

McKinsey and Analytics: Make Sure You Are a One Percenter

January 15, 2017

McKinsey & Co., the blue chip consulting firm, is doing its part to motivate students to ace their SATs. You can get a glimpse of the future for those who are not over achievers and able to get hired at an oligopoly in “The Age of Analytics: Competing in a Data Driven World.” If your firm is a customer of McKinsey, you can wrangle a briefing and get even more juicy insights. But for the folks who live in Harrod’s Creek, we have to make do with the free write up.

The main point is that organizations who embrace analytics can just be more successful. More money, more influence, more, more, more. In today’s uncertain business climate, the starving cats are going to pay attention to this catnip.

The write up reveals:

Leading companies are using their capabilities not only to improve their core operations but also to launch entirely new business models. The network effects of digital platforms are creating a winner-take-most situation in some markets. The leading firms have remarkably deep analytical talent taking on various problems—and they are actively looking for ways to enter other industries. These companies can take advantage of their scale and data insights to add new business lines, and those expansions are increasingly blurring traditional sector boundaries.

Net net: hire McKinsey to help you take advantage of this opportunity. For those who are not working hard to be perceived as smart enough to work at a blue chip outfit like McKinsey, there may be universal basic income in your not so bright future.

Stephen E Arnold, January 15, 2017

Alphabet Google Sheds Letters

January 13, 2017

I read “Alphabet Said in Talks to Sell Skybox Satellite Business.” if true, believers in Alphabet Google’s ability to generate new ideas from acquisitions can embrace Loon balloons. According to the write up:

In June 2014, when Google acquired Skybox, the search giant said its equipment would help keep Google Maps accurate with up-to-date imagery. It also hoped to use the technology to improve internet access and disaster relief. The division operated within Google’s mapping business and it launched a small number of satellites, each about the size of a refrigerator. Alphabet seems to be switching from a strategy of developing its own satellite businesses to investing in other companies pursuing similar goals. The Skybox sale to Planet is an equity transaction, which means Alphabet will own a stake in the latter startup, according to some of the people familiar with the situation.

Net net according the the “real news” source:

Alphabet curbs plans for global internet satellite network.

Ah, Alphabet Google. After 15 years, one revenue stream. Let’s hope that one trick pony is keeping up with its vitamins.

Stephen E Arnold, January 13, 2016

Et Tu, Brutus? Oracle Database on the Way Out

January 10, 2017

i read “NoSQL to Undo Oracle’s Database Reign.” The author is a person who once worked at Oracle. Like Brutus, the author knows Julius Caesar. Sorry, I meant the jet loving, top dog at Oracle.

The tussle between Oracle and MarkLogic seems likely to continue in 2017. The write up explains that Oracle has become a lot like IBM. I learned:

Like IBM did in the past, Oracle and the other incumbents are adding features to old technologies in an attempt to meet today’s challenges — features such as in-memory, graph, JSON and XML support. None of them have changed their underlying architectures so their efforts will fall short, just as IBM’s did in the last generational shift of the database industry 35 years ago. What’s more, their widely publicized moves of shifting old technology to the cloud changes the deployment model but doesn’t help solve the modern data challenges their customers are facing. An outdated database technology on the cloud is still an outdated database.

The new champion of the data management world is MarkLogic, the outfit where Gary Bloom labors. MarkLogic, I concluded, is one of the “emergent winners.”

That’s good.

MarkLogic is an XML centric data management system. XML is ideal for slicing and dicing once the data have been converted to validated XML. For some folks, changing a legacy AS/400 Ironside output into XML might be interesting. But, it seems, that MarkLogic has cracked the data conversion, transformation, extraction, and loading processes. Anyone can do it. Perhaps not everyone because there are some proprietary tweaks to the open source methods required by the MarkLogic system. No problem, but volume, time, and cost constraints might be an issue for some use cases.

I noted this passage in the undated write up:

There is definitely shake out of the NoSQL vendors and MarkLogic is one of the emergent victors. As an enterprise-ready NoSQL database that handles multiple models natively and doesn’t care if you have two or hundreds of data silos, MarkLogic is becoming the database platform for those with complex data integration problems. In fact, some companies are skipping the relational generation altogether and going straight from the mainframe to NoSQL. Virginia’s Fairfax County recently migrated years of historical data from its 30-year-old mainframe system to MarkLogic’s NoSQL. Residents and employees can now more easily and quickly search all the data—including property records going back to the 1950s and both old and new data coming from multiple data silos.

MarkLogic, however, is no spring chicken. The company was founded in 2001, which works out to 16 years old. Oh, you might recall that the total equity funding is $173.23 million with the most recent round contributing $102 million in May 2015 if the Crunchbase data are on the money. Some of that $102 million came from Gary Bloom, the author of the write up. (No wonder he is optimistic about MarkLogic. Hope is better than fear that one might have to go look for another job.)

My view is that MarkLogic wants a big fight with Oracle. That adds some zip to what is one of the less magnetic types of software in a business world excited by Amazon,  Google, Facebook, Tesla, and Uber. Personally I find data management exciting, but I gravitate to the systems and methods articulated by Googler Ramanathan Guha. Your mileage may vary.

The challenge for MarkLogic is to generate sufficient sustainable revenue to achieve one of these outcomes:

  1. A sale of the company to a firm which believes in the XML tinted world of the XML rock stars. (Yes, there’s is an XML rock star video at this link.) Obviously a lucrative sale would make the folks watching their $173 million grow into a huge payday would find this exit worthy of a happy face emoji.
  2. A surge in the number of companies convinced that MarkLogic and not an open source, now license fee alternative writing checks for multi year licenses and six figure service deals. Rapid revenue growth and high margin services may not get the $172 million back, but life would be less stressful if those numbers soar.
  3. MarkLogic goes public fueled in part by a PR battle with Oracle.

Will systems like MarkLogic’s become the future of next generation operational and transaction systems? MarkLogic believes NoSQL is the future. Will Oracle wake up and buy MarkLogic? Will Google realize its error when it passed on a MarkLogic buy out? Will Amazon figure out that life will be better without the home brew approach to data management that Amazon has taken since it shifted from an Oracle type fixation? Will Facebook see MarkLogic as a solution to some of its open source data management hassles?

Here in Harrod’s Creek, we still remember the days when MarkLogic was explaining that it was an enterprise search system, an analytics system, and a content production system. A database can be many things. The one important characteristic, however, is that the data management system generate substantial revenue and juicy profits.

Stephen E Arnold, January 10, 2017

The Disconnect: Big Data and Business Strategy

January 9, 2017

Imagine that: Big Data may not have a direct impact on business strategy.

I read “Why Big Data and Algorithms Won’t Improve Business Strategy.” I learned that Big Data learns by playing algorithmic chess. The “moves” can be converted to patterns. The problem is that no one knows what the game is.

The write up points out:

White’s control panel is just a shadow of the landscape and the sequence of presses lacks any positional information or consistent understanding of movement on the board. When faced with a player who does understand the environment then no amount of large scale data analysis on combinations of sequences of presses through the control panel or application of artificial intelligence or algorithms that is going to help you.

The idea is that a disconnect occurs.

Data does not equal strategy for the game of “real” chess.

The write up includes an analysis of a famous battle. An accurate map may be more useful than an MBA analysis of a situationally ignorant analysis. Okay, I understand.

The write up points out:

In the game of Chess above, yes you can use large scale data analytics, AI and algorithms to discover new patterns in the sequences of presses and certainly this will help you against equally blind competitors. Such techniques will also help you in business improve your supply chain or understand user behavior or marketing or loyalty programs or operational performance or any number of areas in which we have some understanding of the environment.

The author adds:

But this won’t help you in strategy against the player with better situational awareness. Most business strategy itself operates in a near vacuum of situational awareness. For the vast majority then I’ve yet to see any real evidence to suggest that big data is going to improve this. There are a few and rare exceptions but in general, the key is first to understand the landscape and that a landscape exists.

The write up leaves me with an opportunity to hire the author. What’s clear is that content marketing and business strategy do connect. That’s reassuring. No analysis needed. No map either.

Stephen E Arnold, January 9, 2017

Gartner Wants to Change Its Tint: From Azure to Blue

January 7, 2017

Is it possible for a mid tier consulting firm to change into a blue chip firm with a splurge of money, stock, and PR?

The idea is that there is a hierarchy of consulting firms. At the top are outfits like McKinsey, Bain, BCG, SRI, and a handful of others are blue chip outfits. These outfits deliver the blue ribbon winning bacon to their clients. Then at the bottom of the hierarchy are the drab gray chips held by former middle school teachers and unemployed journalists who embrace freelance consulting. You can find some of these folks at search engine optimization conferences or via gig Web sites. In the middle are consulting firms which are generating revenue and have some clients. These outfits either try to move up to the blue chip sector and compete head to head with the blue chip folks. or they are drifting down to Fiverr.com territory where “services” begin at $5 per job. In the middle are the azure chip outfits. Many of these firms purveying expertise embrace LinkedIn and do their best to become the talk of the town. The talking heads on many TV news programs come from the azure chip brigade.

Why are the color thing and the consulting hierarchy relevant?

Gartner Group, if the information in “IT Research Firm Gartner Is Buying CEB for $2.6 Billion” is on the money, is making a beeline to the paint store. From azure to blue chip with a bit of cash and Moxie.

The write up points out that Gartner is paying $2.6 billion for a services firm. I learned:

Gartner is offering $54 in cash and 0.2284 of its shares for each CEB share. The deal represents a premium of about 25 percent to CEB’s Wednesday close. CEB’s shares were up 16.4 percent at $72.05 in premarket trading, below the implied offer price of $77.25 per share. Gartner’s shares, which closed at $101.79 on Wednesday, were untraded.

Well, that’s a bit underwhelming for shareholders. “Untraded.” Hmmm.

The Washington Post reported that one CEB executive was “excited” by the deal. The CEB top dog is heading for the kennel. The Post noted:

CEB has grown more slowly than Gartner recently, making some investors worry whether the combined company can maintain the double-digit revenue growth rates Gartner has boasted in recent years.

What happens if more of the CEB professionals check out?

Will the respray deliver the growth and revenue Gartner desires? I have no crystal ball, but if there are some show dogs at CEB, why not see if the McKinsey- or Booz Allen-type outfits are hiring. More money and maybe more prestige?

The big question for me is the new blue chip paint going to hold up in the tough business climate?

Stephen E Arnold, January 7, 2017

Textkernel: Narrowing Search to an HR Utility

January 5, 2017

Remember the good old days of search? Autonomy, Convera, Endeca, Fast Search, and others from the go go 2000s identified search as a solution to enterprise information access. Well, those assertions proved to be difficult to substantiate. Marketing is one thing; finding information is another.

How does a vendor of Google style searching with some pre-sell Clearwell Systems-type business process tweaking avoid the problems which other enterprise search vendors have encountered?

The answer is, “Market search as a solution for hiring.” Just as Clearwell Systems and its imitators did in the legal sector, Textkernel, founded in 2001 and sold to CareerBuilder in 2015, ,  is doing résumé indexing and search focused on finding people to hire. Search becomes “recruitment technology,” which is reasonably clever buzzworking.

The company explains its indexing of CVs (curricula vitae) this way:

CV parsing, also called resume parsing or CV extraction, is the process of converting an unstructured (so-called free-form) CV/resume or social media profile into a structured format that can be integrated into any software system and made searchable. CV parsing eliminates manual data entry, allows candidates to apply via any (mobile) device and enables better search results.

The Textkernel Web site provides more details about the company’s use of tried and true enterprise search functions like metadata generation and report generation (called a “candidate profile”).

In 2015 the company had about 70 employees. Using the Overflight revenue estimation tool, Beyond Search pegs the 2015 revenue in the $5 million range.

The good news is that the company avoided the catastrophic thrashing which other European enterprise search vendors experienced. The link to the video on the Textkernel page is broken, which does not bode well for Web coding expertise. However, you can bite into some text kernels at this link.

Stephen E Arnold, January 5, 2016

Alphabet Google: The Confusion for 2017

January 5, 2017

I read two write ups. Both of these were branded “Business Insider.” Am I confused? No, just skeptical. I read “One Year Later, Nobody Knows What Alphabet Is — and That’s a Godsend for Google’s Public-Image Problems.” The basic idea seems to be:

Last August, Google announced it would change its name to Alphabet, which would effectively be a holding company for Google and its various businesses — YouTube, Android, etc. — as well as Google’s more outlandish experiments, like its moon shots factory, “X”; its investment arms; and more.

This seems clear enough to me. Google’s new clothes are those of a holding company. Think about the similarities between the “new” Google and LingTemcoVought. Oh, you don’t recall Jimmy Ling and the LTV thing. Well, let’s move on.

I noted this passage in “One Year Later…” write up:

The number of people Googling “Alphabet” is basically negligible.

Well, that is a downer. Google is used by about two thirds of those looking for information via a desktop computer and by more than 95 percent of those using mobile devices. Perhaps the name Google is a bit more familiar. Alphabet is a holding company. Think about LTV and my comment about some folks not knowing what that was. Forgettable.

The write up reminds people that Google had “creepy” connotations. Alphabet, since no one knows what it is, is not so creepy. That makes sense to the handful of people who know about Alphabet.

My view of Alphabet is different. I think that the founders wanted to get out of the line of fire. With the Alphabet thing, other executives can talk to the regulators grousing about a Google monopoly. The lack of visibility for the holding company is little more than a way of saying, “Hey, we are a bit tired of this search thing. Regulators have finally caught on. Let’s do science projects.”

The second write up is remarkable because it states the obvious: “Danny Sullivan: The ‘State of Google Search Remains Strong.” Well, since there are antitrust legal matters associated with Google, that’s a bit of friction. On the other hand, the GOOG’s share of the Web search market, the Android thing, and the various allegations of the Foundem variety suggest that the Google is able to make money with ads.

These two facets of Alphabet Google are examples of the wonder some folks feel when thinking about the great success Backrub has become. As Beyond Search ponders 2017, several thoughts flew through the addled goose’s very small brain:

  1. Alphabet is more like a corporate two step. If Hewlett Packard can split into two, sell off Autonomy, and announce an improved Autonomy IDOL product, the Google folks can do some fancy dancing as well.  Who wants to sit in court and explain that Google is not a monopoly? Answer: Lawyers and the people running the ad business.,
  2. Google is an online advertising business and a very big one. In 2017, Google will become more aggressive. One reason is that the mobile ad revenue behaves differently from the 20 year old desktop search ad business. The other reason is that Google is going to do what unfettered publicly traded companies do; that is, do what is necessary to make more money.
  3. People think search and research equate to use of Google. That’s just wonderful for some.
  4. The Alphabet Google thing is locked in a series of processes which give it significant control over social, political, and technical issues. That’s okay because Amazon, Facebook, and a handful of other outfits are in the same game. Oligarchies are a big new thing.

What’s the contraction for 2017? My view is that Google is not search. People think Google is search. There you go. Look it up online and try to verify what you find. Are there disturbances in Denmark? Is the US Department of Defense hiding documents? Are Google executive biographies findable? The Google answer to these questions may be different from what a professional research finds.

That’s the contradiction. Search without finding objective information. No matter how one spells it, the result is an assumption of accuracy and objectivity. Can cheerleaders spell well?

Stephen E Arnold, January 5, 2016

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