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HP Vertica and IDOL: Just Three Short Plus Years in the Making

March 31, 2015

I read an article from the outfit that relies on folks like Dave Schubmehl for expertise. The write up is “HP Links Vertica and IDOL Seeking Better Unstructured Data Analysis.” But I quite like the subtitle because it provides a timeline; to wit:

The company built a connector server for the products, which it acquired separately in 2011.

Let’s see that is just about three years plus a few months. The story reminded me of Rip Van Winkle who woke to a different world when he emerged from his slumber. The Sleepy Hollow could be a large technology company in the act of performing mitosis in order to generate [a] excitement, [b] money, and [c] the appearance of progress. I wonder if the digital Sleepy Hollow is located near Hanover Street? I will have to investigate that parallel.

What’s a few years of intellectual effort in a research “cave” when you are integrating software that is expected to generate billions of dollars in sales. Existing Vertica and Autonomy licensees are probably dancing in the streets.

The write up states:

Promising more thorough and timelier data analysis, Hewlett-Packard has released a software package that combines the company’s Vertica database with its IDOL data analysis platform. The HP Haven Connector Framework Server may allow organizations to study data sets that were too large or unwieldy to analyze before. The package provides “a mixture of statistical and contextual understanding,” of data, said Jeff Veis, HP vice president of marketing for big data. “You can pull in any form of data, and then do real-time high performance analysis.”

Hmm. “Promising” and “may allow” are interesting words and phrases. It seems as if the employer of Mr. Schubmehl is hedging on the HP assertions. I wonder, “Why?”

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Microsoft Changes Its Tune on SharePoint Server Update

March 30, 2015

In February, Microsoft announced an unpopular decision to push future SharePoint server product updates through Windows Update. The concern was that the service would automatically install “important” updates, which could pose a threat if no prior testing had been done. However, it appears that Microsoft has heard the frustration and repealed that decision. Redmond Magazine covers the latest in their article, “Microsoft Rescinds Windows Update Policy for SharePoint Server.”

The article quotes Microsoft’s Stefan Gossner:

“In response to a question in his post, Gossner clarified that ‘now the decision was made to only release security fixes through Windows Update.’ In other words, the new policy is now the same as the old one. Microsoft won’t push down product updates through its Windows Update service. The rollback decision may give IT pros some peace of mind as they regain a modicum of control over their production environments.”

Without forced pushed updates, IT pros have the time to test updates before launching them. For organizations that are affected by Microsoft’s policies and decisions, stay tuned to ArnoldIT.com. Stephen E. Arnold a lifelong leader in all things search. His Web site features a devoted SharePoint feed, where the latest tips, tricks, and news is shared. It is a simple way to keep an eye out for the good, bad, and the ugly of SharePoint.

Emily Rae Aldridge, March 30, 2015

Stephen E Arnold, Publisher of CyberOSINT at www.xenky.com

Great Content and Google Quality: An Important Factor

March 30, 2015

I read “Facebook Hosting Doesn’t Change Things, the World Already Changed.” The idea is that there are some apparent truths to which everyone needs to kowtow. Examples of these statements about the status quo include:

  • News is a commodity
  • Marketing is cheaper
  • Getting attention is tough
  • Facebook and Twitter are the feeders to the information highway’s best tourist stops.

You can work through the other statements on the list.

There are some examples of success. One of which is Adam Carolla, the former radio personality turned into a podcasting and liquor machine. Other apparent winners are Buzzfeed and HBO.

The point is that great content is not a commodity. Greatness, by definition, is for the few who are—well—great.

The only hitch in the git along is that Google seems to be in the greatness game. The idea is that Google’s quality score will make certain content findable. Now I don’t know much about real publishing nor do I have the skinny on Google’s Deep Thoughts.

It seems to me that if Google defines great content by making it findable to the universe of users its serves each day, then folks with content excluded from the Google podium have some “facts” to confront.

First, Google will want to get paid to make another person’s great content findable to Google’s great content machine. Think Adwords, conforming to Google’s webmaster policies, and generally being part of the great, big, happy Google family.

Second, great content about topics other than Lady Gaga, crooked contractors, and faux Rome may not mesh with the university of Facebookers and Tweeters. Examples include developments in genetic engineering, solid state physics, and analyses of Heisenberg’s marginalia.

I am okay with big media companies asserting their content is great. I am okay with real journalists cranking out detailed analyses.

But I think the notion of “great” has to adjust to Google’s increasing skill in assigning a quality score. If Google’s methods flag content as great, the publisher gets a gold star like those Miss Costello handed out in the sixth grade. If Google does not pass out a star or even an “Also Participated” certificate, the notion of “great” may need some fine tuning.

But there are options. Facebook and Twitter await. Good if one if Lady Gaga or a denizen of Silicon Valley, Madison Avenue, and Austin coffee shops.

Where’s the money? Probably near those who are able to define great and make it visible.

Stephen E Arnold, March 30, 2015

The Google: A Somewhat Negative View

March 30, 2015

I no longer work in Manhattan. The world looks different from an aerie high above the city. I recall my office at 245 Park Avenue. It was a cubicle, but when my boss, the resident Godzilla, was out, I was able to use his lavish manse.

It comes as no surprise to me that a New York newspaper sees Google in a manner different from my humble underground cellar in rural Kentucky. On a good day when I am alert and listening to the lone bird in my yard, I can hear the echo of gunfire. Squirrels and automatic weapons go together like apple pie and ice cream.

These juxtapositions are not likely to disturb the analysts, journalists, and former music majors covering the world of high technology. For evidence of the difference, read “Google Controls What We Buy, the News We Read—and Obama’s Policies.”

Dear, ageing Google. My what capabilities you have. Here in Harrod’s Creek, the Google provides me with objective information about products, what’s happening in the world, and the antics of elected officials.

Quite a difference, right? Here’s a glimpse of the Google and the Obama team. According to the write up:

Schmidt [Google executive wizard] was especially fond of a madcap corner of the Obama campaign office known as “the Cave,” where, at 4:30 every day, staffers would dance madly under a disco ball to the tune of a mashup of Psy’s “Gangnam Style” and an automated campaign phone call made to prospective voters.

Managers have to relieve stress, right?

With regard to truth, the newspaper in the world’s leading city, reports:

Google says that in the future, its determinations about what is true and what is untrue will play a role in how search-engine rankings are configured.

Ah, truth returns to journalism. Content marketers who sell advertorial space in New York newspapers may want to up their game.

I am not sure about the “what I buy” argument. Here in Harrod’s Creek, I rely on the truth singers at Amazon. Our local businesses are gone. On Sunday, the US Post Office delivered me a product I ordered six days ago. Well, the delivery worked, just not in two days. But, who’s complaining. I can drive to Cincinnati, or I can sit on the porch and wait for a Sunday delivery. Amazon is allowing me to reduce fuel consumption. But Google is not really in the product game unless one considers Google’s plans for entertainment and digital amusements.

From where I sit, looking at the mine run off streaming through the dead weeds, I see Google as an objective, reliable source of information. Maybe if I lived in Manhattan I would see things differently.

I love the GOOG. Keep on truckin’, dudes and female CFO. You are able to define truth when others fail to deliver. Run the query “Obama” on Google. There are no ads displayed. See objective.

Stephen E Arnold, March 30, 2015

CyberOSINT available at www.xenky.com/cyberosint

Facebook Users Lack Understanding of Filters: No Big Surprise

March 29, 2015

Let me be clear. I am not a Facebook user. One of the goslings configured the Beyond Search blog to send content to a Facebook page. I, however, do not need a stream of information about my high school and college classmates. At my last reunion, the 50th, I saw only two mobile phones: My wife’s and mine. Obviously central Illinois is not a technology hot spot for the over 70 set.

I read “Many, Many Facebook Users Still Don’t Know That Their News Fees Are Filtered by an Algorithm.” Big whoop. Most of the MBAs I know are clueless about Google’s personalization functions and don’t have much appetite for understanding that what you see may not be what is available. For these cohorts, a little learning is just fine. Drinking from a spring is okay as long as the water comes from an authentic source like Dasani. Isn’t that Coca Cola’s outfit?

The write up reveals what strikes me as a no brainer type factoid:

But a majority of everyday Facebook users in a recent study had no idea that Facebook constructs their experience, pushing certain posts into their stream and leaving others out. And worse, many participants blamed themselves, not Facebook’s software, when friends or family disappeared from their news feeds.

The article reports:

While some participants were upset by the idea that Facebook was changing their social experience, more than half of the study participants “came to appreciate the algorithm over the course of the study.” Most came to think that the filtering and ranking software was actually doing a decent job. “Honestly I have nothing to change which I’m surprised!” one said. “Because I came in like ‘Ah, they’re screwing it all!’”

Sigh. Is there a remedy for this lack of understanding? Nope.

Do most online “experts” care? Nah, but some of them charge windmills with their iPad Airs as a shield.

The reality is that a comprehensive understanding of a particular content domain requires good, old fashioned research. The idea is to read, talk to informed individuals, gather additional primary data, analyze what you collect, and then figure out who knows what about a topic.

We are doing this type of grunt work about one facet of the Dark Web. Early results are in. Most of the people writing about the Dark Web are not doing a particularly good job of explaining where the “dark” content lives, how to find it, or what the content reveals about a fundamental shift in online usage for a small but important and interesting group of users worldwide.

If one cannot understand what Facebook is doing, the Dark Web is of zero consequence. If a Google user accepts search results as objective, I am not sure there is much hope for remedial intervention.

Net net: At a time when ease, convenience, short cuts, and distractions are of primary importance, thinking about information is not of much interest to many people.

“Hey, after the NCAA games, let’s binge watch Breaking Bad. We can post our comments on Facebook too!”

Sound fun? Oh, wait. I have to take this call, send an SMS, and post a picture of our pizza to Facebook. Cool.

Stephen E Arnold, March 29, 2015

Google Cloud Launcher and a Sci Fi TV Show

March 27, 2015

Google has diverse interests. First, the most important high school science and math club project.

Google will it seems get into the entertainment biz. You can learn more in “Google Takes Its Web Game to TV.” Yep, I know. Balloons, Glass, and a $70 million hire. All in a day’s work.

Now the less important news. Google posted “Deploy Popular Software Packages Using Cloud Launcher.” For those with search-oriented eyes, Lucene in the form of Elasticsearch (Bitnami)  and Solr in the form of Bitnami’s “infrastructure” solution are available.

Lucene and Solr starts at $6.46 per month. Bitnami is a cloud services company, which is much loved by Amazon’s Werner Vogels.

Amazon is responding with unlimited storage for $60 per year.

A number of observations seem to be warranted:

  1. Google and Amazon are offering what seems bargain basement prices.
  2. Both companies seem to be competing to become the WalMart of services companies
  3. Google wants to be in the entertainment business.

Perhaps the companies will follow the path blazed by Kraft and Heinz. Would a Googlezon simplify life for customers who want tech, toys, and entertainment in a single, easy to use bundle? Competition is less efficient and therefore not logical, right?

Stephen E Arnold, March 27, 2015

Glimpses of SharePoint 2016 on the Way

March 26, 2015

The tech world is excited for the upcoming SharePoint 2016 release. Curious parties will be glad to hear that sneak peaks will be coming this spring. Read more in the CMS Wire article, “Microsoft Leaks Offer a Glimpse of SharePoint 2016.”

The article lays out some of the details:

“Microsoft has started leaking news about SharePoint 2016 — and they suggest the company plans to showcase an early edition at Ignite, its upcoming all-in-one conference for everyone from senior decision makers, IT pros and “big thinkers” and to enterprise developers and architects. In a just released podcast, Bill Baer, senior product manager for SharePoint, said the company will offer a look at the latest version of SharePoint at the conference, which will be held in Chicago from May 4 through 8.”

Some experts have already weighed in with predictions for SharePoint 2016 features: hybrid search and improved user experience among them. Stephen E. Arnold will also be keeping an eye on the new version, reporting his findings on his dedicated SharePoint feed. He has devoted his career to all things search, including SharePoint, and keeps readers informed on his Web site ArnoldIT.com. Stay tuned for more updates on SharePoint 2016 as it becomes available.

Emily Rae Aldridge, March 26, 2015

Stephen E Arnold, Publisher of CyberOSINT at www.xenky.com

SharePoint’s Evolution of Ease

March 24, 2015

At SharePoint’s beginning, users and managers viewed it as a framework. It is often still referred to as an installation, and many third party vendors do quite well offering add-on options to flesh out the solution. However, due to users’ expectations, SharePoint is shifting its focus to accommodate quick and full implementation without a lengthy build-out. Read more in the CMS Wire article, “From Build It and Go, to Ready to Go with SharePoint.”

The article sums up the transformation:

“We hunger for solutions that can be quickly acquired and implemented, not ones that require building out complex and robust solutions.  The world around us is changing fast and it’s exciting to see how productivity tools are beginning to encompass almost every area of our lives. The evolution not only impacts new tools and products, but also the tools we have been using all long. In SharePoint, we can see this in the addition of Experiences and NextGen Portals.”

SharePoint 2016 is on its way and there will be addition information to leak throughout the coming months. Keep an eye on ArnoldIT.com for breaking news and the latest releases. Stephen E. Arnold has made a career out of all things search, including enterprise and SharePoint, and his dedicated SharePoint feed is a great resource for professionals who need to keep up without a huge investment in research time.

Emily Rae Aldridge, March 24, 2015

Stephen E Arnold, Publisher of CyberOSINT at www.xenky.com

Glass: Not Shattered, Not Dead

March 23, 2015

I read “Google Glass Eyewear Isn’t Dead, Eric Schmidt Confirms.” I think of glass and the word “shattered.” My association with the wonky heads up display elicits these memory hooks:

  • A shattered life, mental stress, a motivated Xiaomi executive
  • A broken marriage
  • The multi-named Babak Parviz’s departure for the sunny climes of the Amazon
  • The coinage “glasshole”.

The write up does not hit my memory triggers. I learned:

Google Glass is “a big and very fundamental platform for Google,” Schmidt told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published Monday. Schmidt went on to say that the company’s decision to stop selling the initial version of the controversial gadget gives Google the opportunity “to make it ready for users.”

There you go. Google stands behind its products and services. The Google Graveyard is obviously not hip the meaning of words used by Googlers.

I get it. Google glass is not broken, opaque, or built according to a lost formula discovered by a stained glass window researcher in Milan. Glass lives. Dodgeball, Google Buzz, the Google Catalog, and maybe Google Plus are alive and very well I presume.

Stephen E Arnold, March 23, 2015

Cable and Enterprise Search: The Problem of “Peak”

March 22, 2015

I read “Peak Cable.” More people think about television than enterprise search in Harrod’s Creek, Kentucky. After reading this write up, I scanned the passages I highlighted in pale pink. Here’s a favorite:

Disruption theory suggests that once a product over-serves on meaningful bases of value creation (and underserves on value) it opens the door to disruption.

Lucene/Solr have become the go to search systems for many companies. IBM, for example, gussies up Lucene and hypes Watson. Next generation information access vendors use Lucene as a “good enough” keyword search system. And start ups find that open source search, data management, and analytics are suitable for their purposes. Spare money is used for slick interfaces and, truth be told, Uber rides.

Here’s another passage I found interesting:

The same phenomenon occurred with mobile vs. fixed telephony. For several years it seemed that mobile was sustaining to fixed or that fixed was immune due to lock-ins. The fixed telephone incumbents insisted that the data was inconclusive. Then the trickle of abandonment turned into a deluge. The quality of service for mobile kept increasing and, with data, it became clear that the mobile devices could unleash unfathomable functionality and value. And so it goes. A business dies first slowly then quickly. The exact timing is tricky because of the non-linearity of the phenomenon. It’s also hard to declare end-of-life since business zombies are very common. What is clear however is that the economics will change dramatically and the alliances between talent and distribution will shift to entrants and away from incumbents.

Has enterprise search passed its “peak”? If so, cable providers in the US might look at the enterprise search market for a glimpse of its future.

Stephen E Arnold, March 22, 2015

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