Palantir: A Dying Unicorn or a Mad, Mad Sign?

February 26, 2016

I learned that some wag posted a Mad Magazine-type cartoon with an MBA-ish message. I am not sure if this is a message from the heart of a disgruntled Hobbit or someone angling for a writer’s job on a late night talk show.

Here’s the image I saw:

dead unicorn final

The point seems to be that the value of Palantir is in doubt. With the roiling of the financial valuations for outfits with billion dollar plus valuations, employees who work for stakes in a zoon zoon outfit may be in a cold, cold night.

I have inserted this alleged real-deal poster in my forthcoming overview of Palantir. If you want to reserve a copy, write benkent2020 [at] yahoo dot com. The 50 page report from ArnoldIT is US$99. The report will be available for sale in April 2016.

The report covers Palantir’s differences from Autonomy’s and i2’s augmented intelligence systems, examples of the “helper” interfaces, and a gathering of open source information about the firm. We have examined Palantir’s publicly accessible technical materials and identified 18 interesting technical innovations. A subset of this larger Palantir analysis will be included in the forthcoming Dark Web Notebook. I will offer some general comments in my forthcoming interview for the Singularity One on One video podcast as well.

Exciting if you follow how search-centric systems are shaped to perform value-added services for government and commercial clients. Open source with lipstick is a business model I find quite interesting to think about.

Stephen E Arnold, February 26, 2016

Tumblr Has a GIF For You

June 30, 2015

Facebook recently enabled users to post GIF images on the social media platform.  Reddit was in an uproar over the new GIF and celebrated by posting random moving images from celebrities making weird faces to the quintessential cute kitten.  GIFs are an Internet phenomenon and are used by people to express their moods, opinions, or share their fandom.  Another popular social medium platform, Tumblr, the microblogging site used to share photos, videos, quotes, and more, has added a GIF search, says PCMag in “Tumblr Adds New GIF Search Capabilities.”

The main point of Tumblr is the ability share content either a user creates or someone else creates.  A user’s Tumblr page is a personal reflection of themselves and GIFs are one of the ultimate content pieces to share.  Tumblr’s new search option for GIFs is very simple: a user picks the + button, clicks the GIF button, and then search for the GIF that suits your mood.  A big thing on Tumblr is citing who created a piece and the new search option has that covered:

“Pick the GIF you want and it slinks right in, properly credited and everything,” the company said. “Whoever originally posted the GIF will be notified accordingly. On their dashboard, on their phone, all the regular places notifications go.”

GIFs are random bits of fun that litter the Internet and quickly achieve meme status.  They are also easy to make, which appeals to people with vey little graphic background.  They can make something creative and fun without much effort and now the can be easily found and shared on Tumblr.

Whitney Grace, June 30, 2015

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph


IDC Publishes Polyspot Vendor Profile

August 22, 2012

IDC published “Polyspot: Unified Information Access Vendor Offers Flexibility and Performance.” The vendor profile is part of IDC’s open source search series. The document includes IDC’s opinion of the vendor, an overview of the company, its management, and its strategy. The profile explores the future outlook for the company and provides essential guidance about the privately-held firm. Earlier in August 2012, IDC published a vendor profile about LucidWorks.

The report was written by Sue Feldman and Stephen E Arnold with additional assistance provided by Dave Schubmehl, Constance Ard, and Dr. Tyra Oldham.

Stephen E Arnold said:

The emergence of open source search is one of the more notable developments in information retrieval. In the last two years, acquisitions of proprietary search vendors have created an opportunity for open source search solutions. Traditional vendors of closed search systems now face innovators such as LucidWorks and Polyspot. These and a dozen or more other commercial firms offer the cost and technical benefits of open source software as well as robust professional services. Open source search vendors provide viable alternatives to such solutions as HP Autonomy and Oracle Endeca. The many small, Independent vendors of proprietary search technology now face the formidable task of competing with with such companies as IBM Vivisimo and Microsoft Fast as well as solutions from fast-growing open source search providers.

He added:

IDC has licensed ArnoldIT’s exclusive research about open source search and content processing. In addition to the profiles created for IDC, ArnoldIT offers an open source sector analysis which compares the functionality of open source search technology with that of proprietary search vendors. In addition, ArnoldIT maintains a competitive matrix which allows a procurement team or investor to compare market strategies of each vendor with the firms’ actual technical capabilities.

Stephen E Arnold’s publications AppRapids, Beyond Search and Open Search News provide up-to-the-minute coverage of business and technical developments in open source search and content processing.

The new IDC open source search reports represent an important milestone in coverage of this disruptive sector of information retrieval. For more information about ArnoldIT’s open source research, write seaky2000 at yahoo dot com.

Stuart Schram, August 21, 2012

Sponsored by Augmentext

River Logic: Integrated Information

February 9, 2012

Founded in 2000 as by chief research officer and director Robert Whitehair, River Logic Inc. has developed into an integrated business planning and modeling solution provider. Its applications are used to plan, track, forecast, and optimize budgets, costs, profits, and cash flow across suppliers, customers, and product lines. The company was one of six on IDC’s “2011 Innovative Business Analytics Companies Under $100M to Watch” list.

The company’s core application, Enterprise Optimizer, was developed in collaboration with the Russian Academy of Sciences and mathematicians at the University of Massachusetts. The program’s roots go back 15 years to the early 1990s, when Whitehair and other UMass mathematicians began developing a modeling program using artificial intelligence. Formally launched in 2005, EO is designed to manage cross-functional decisions at strategic, tactical, and policy levels considering all the elements and consequences of those decisions. The models allow the user to see the financial and operational impact of those decisions and then optimize them.

The product itself has a simple diagram style interface used to create the business processes that drive value in an organization. These diagrams model the supply chain and show how things like trade promotions impact volume, distribution and financial performance.

Named to the 2010 “Supply Chain & Demand Executive” 100 list, River Logic is focused on delivering EO-based solutions in a couple of areas, especially consumer packaged goods with healthcare as a secondary market. River Logic’s hospital performance management solution, Integrated Delivery System Planner,enables physician-centric coordination, where costs, resources, and activities are tracked and assessed in terms of the workflow of the entire, integrated system. A Synetics Group-River Logic alliance delivers Trade Promotion Optimization Planner, which helps enterprises plan, evaluate, and optimize promotions to increase the return on trade spending.

The company’s client list includes consultants such as Barloworld Logistics and manufacturers Nampak Tissue and Bolthouse Farms. Competitors are SAP, IBM, and Oracle.

Rita Safranek, February 9, 2012

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Infegy: The Social Radar Company

February 8, 2012

In 2006, founders Justin Graves, who was working for an interactive advertising agency at the time, and Web developer Adam Coomes used $50,000 of their own money to launch Infegy. Its key technology is “Social Radar”, a social media monitoring and Web analytics platform that measures online sentiment to gauge trends, predict consumer needs, and drive corporate strategy. The data is delivered through the cloud in a subscription-based format. A March 2011 upgrade generates faster results and features new spam filtering and a customizable drag-and-drop dashboard.

Social Radar sorts through some 8 billion Internet posts (including Tweets, blog posts, and customer comments), ranking not just the rise and fall of volume on a topic, but also the tone of discussion and the words that resonate. Companies can run in-depth analytics on Web and social media content to see how products and campaigns are received in the marketplace, what customers are saying online, and how and why trends have changed over time. Social Radar’s database allows views within targeted demographics.

In 2009, the company had over $350,000 in revenue and became profitable. In 2010, Graves and Coomes were Bloomberg/Businessweek’s America’s Best Young Entrepreneurs finalists. In 2011, International Data Corporation selected Infegy as an Innovative Business Analytics Company Under $100M to Watch. Following the March 2011 upgrade release, Coomes left the company.

Infegy’s primary clients are mostly advertising agencies and market research firms, such as ORC International, VML, and Mason Zimbler, interested in what consumers are saying about their brands and campaigns in the social media sphere. Think candid focus group minus the two-way mirror. Political campaigns have also shown interest. Brands using Social Radar include Viacom, 3M, Pizza Hut, MTV, and Sony. Competitors include Radian6, Collective Intellect, Crimson Hexagon, and Temetric Research.

Rita Safranek, February 8, 2012

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MediaFunnel: Social on Steroids

January 30, 2012

Formerly known as TweetFunnel, MediaFunnel was founded by serial entrepreneur Andreas Wilkins, and Steve Chipman, president of Lexnet Consulting. The namesake technology, originally developed by Cloud10Apps, is a social media management systems geared towards fostering team collaboration to effectively interact with customers and prospects over social channels.  The organization is self-funded but is in the process of looking for additional funding.

MediaFunnel tackles the problem of coordinating the efforts of multiple (each with multiple social profiles), allowing a team of users to synchronize communications with customers and prospects over Facebook and Twitter.  On the back end, the technology integrates with applications like (which turns tweets into sales leads), Zendesk (which creates customer service tickets), Twilio (which allows users to post via SMS for alerts and both internal and external user postings), and YouTube (which lets users concurrently upload videos to YouTube while posting content to Facebook) to extend social interactions into traditional processes. The brand monitoring functionality for Twitter can track conversations based on keywords, mentions, and direct messages and includes search and pre-set alerts for social mentions and brand monitoring.

Adding workflow to managing a corporate social networking presence, MediaFunnel allows anyone across an enterprise to contribute content that can be reviewed, edited and then disseminated to a community via Twitter or Facebook, moving content creation beyond the social media team to everyone within an organization and outside with a guest posting feature. Contributors, who can submit material via e-mail or text, are assigned varying degrees of editorial control. The technology’s editorial review process helps companies control brand imaging and compliance.

MediaFunnel’s current architecture is based on Ruby on Rails, MySql and Amazon EC2 cloud services. Competitors include HootSuite, CoTweet, and Threadsy. Segments that may find the technology particularly advantageous include PR firms, consumer brands, mass media, and retailing.

Rita Safranek, Janaury 30, 2012

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Glassbeam: Fusion and Analysis

January 20, 2012

Formerly known as Orchesys, Glassbeam, Inc. provides software-as-a-service (SaaS) based solutions for product analytics. Its namesake technology lets organizations view a continual stream of data regarding product use and configuration. In 2009, the company was included in Gartner Inc.’s “Cool Vendors in BI and Performance Management” report. In 2011, it was a winner of TiEcon’s TiE50 award, which recognizes leading start-ups, and received $6 million in funding from TiE Angel investors. The firm was one of six on IDC’s “2011 Innovative Business Analytics Companies Under $100M to Watch” list.

Glassbeam’s technology enables users to gain insights from large quantities of product operational semi-structured data, such as log data, contained in any intelligent device. The solution converts the product operational data into actionable information using the company’s patent-pending Semiotic Parsing Language (SPL) technology, which scales to analyze terabytes of data using next generation data warehousing techniques.

The firm’s Glassbeam Server includes a parsing engine and an extraction and load engine that process information from terabytes of raw unstructured data. The Glassbeam Support Portal, provides data to departmental portals using information from its data warehouse. The company also provides Glassbeam Workbench, an analytics toolkit that enables users to build and run queries, share saved queries and results with other users, and publish the queries as dashboard widgets embeddable into other applications. Glassbeam Views provides a reporting toolset and infrastructure to design and build reports and insights from its data warehouse. In addition, it offers SPL maintenance, business analytics, enterprise application integration, and report management and delivery. Glassbeam’s Product Analytics solution uses OpSource Inc.’s OpSource Cloud to process large amounts of unstructured data.

Potential clients include those in the server, storage, network, software, telecom, medical, and industrial sectors. While there are no established players in its market, Glassbeam faces competition from firms wanting to build their own solutions.

Rita Safranek, January 20, 2012

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JackBe: Data Fusion

January 17, 2012

Founded in 2002 by brothers Luis and Jacob Derechin, JackBe was originally an AJAX widget company. At the demand of its customers, the company centered its product offering around an enterprise mashup server that supports the user-driven ad-hoc integration of data. The company was cited as a “Next-Gen BI” technology by Forrester Research, Inc. in its March 2011 “Trends 2011 And Beyond: Business Intelligence” report.

JackBe’s real-time business intelligence platform, Presto, allows users to combine data from any enterprise application, as well as data from the cloud to compose apps and dashboards that are publishable to portals, the web, spreadsheets, and mobile devices. The platform is organized around Presto Hub, which provides a single point of sign-on for JackBe’s mashup development editors, governance tools for administrators, and application storefront.

The company’s Presto Enterprise Mashup Server provides service virtualization that solves business problems and allows users and developers secure and consolidated access to disparate data from internal services, external services, and application databases. Presto Mashup Composers and Presto Mashup Connectors feature tools that enable business and technical users to create mashups. JackBe also offers Transparency 2.0, a solution for data feeds and data widgets for state and local government’s citizen-facing websites, and Mashup Sites for SharePoint, an intelligence solution that provides SharePoint 2007/2010 business users with real-time visual web-part-based apps and interactive dashboards.

To help users store, organize, and share mashups and apps, JackBe developed an app store framework in the third iteration of Presto. The apps are portable and can feed data into Excel and run standalone, on dashboards, on mobile devices, or in SharePoint.

Customers include the US Air Force, the US Army, NASA, Elsevier, Random House, Qualcom, GE Energy, and Accenture and illustrate the broad appeal of the platform. Competitors include Zapatec, IBM, and mashup tools provided by online service providers such as Google and Yahoo.

One observation: Our efforts to contact the company have been routinely ignored or pushed to a telemarketer. Your mileage may vary.

Rita Safranek, January 17, 2012

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