June 8, 2013
Are hackers a good thing or a bad thing? In the realm of computers, the term used to simply refer to those breaking into the systems of others (bad), but has gained some positive definitions along the way. “Hacking” can now refer to heavily modifying one’s own system or devising unique solutions to challenging problems. PRWeb informs us that “Semantria and Lexalytics Excited to Provide Unlimited API Access for Viafoura Hackathon.” I think organizers had one of the less nefarious definitions in mind. The write-up informs us:
“The Viafoura Hackathon is part of Big Data Week, an international festival focusing on the social, political, technological and commercial impacts of Big Data.
“We’re very pleased to partner up with Semantria and Lexalytics on this Hackathon,” said Ali Ghafour, Viafoura Founder and CTO. ‘We’re excited to see what people will come up with by combining large datasets from media companies with high-end Natural Language Processing technology. Viafoura loves these types of challenges, and we are happy to have Semantria/Lexalytics and the Toronto development community join us.’”
Perhaps I’m a purist, but personally I’d rather a term not gather meanings like a dog in an open field gathers grass seeds. Nevertheless, I sincerely hope all the “hackers” had a good time.
Large media companies rely on Viafoura for audience engagement and monetization solutions. The company, which is headquartered in Toronto, hosted Big Data Week in recognition of big data’s booming importance.
Founded in 2003, Lexalytics creates text mining software for integration into third-party software. The company co-founded Semantria, a services and SAAS firm specializing in cloud-based text and sentiment analysis. That outfit launched in 2011.
Cynthia Murrell, June 08, 2013
June 3, 2013
LucidWorks has always had a commitment to the open source developer community, but they are truly stepping it up this spring and summer as they make the rounds in conference season. They have sponsored and attended many world-class events. Next on their plate is OSCON.
Read the conference teaser:
“OSCON is the best place on the planet to prepare for what comes next, from learning new skills to understanding how new and emerging open source technologies are going to impact how we live, work, and do business. In keeping with its O’Reilly heritage, OSCON is a unique gathering of all things open source, where participants find inspiration, confront new challenges, share their expertise, renew bonds to community, make significant connections, and find ways to give back to the open source movement.”
Why does LucidWorks continue to make these kinds of investments in the developer community? Because their value-added software depends on a scalable, creative, and vibrant community that continually improves their open source foundation. Apache Lucene and Solr are the framework for the LucidWorks products and their support and services are strengthened with every new innovation that comes out of the developer community.
Emily Rae Aldridge, June 3, 2013
May 27, 2013
I attended two separate search events in the last couple of weeks. In the course of listening to presentations of widely varying quality and talking with people who sure seemed to know everything there was to know about search, I picked up some rumors.
I don’t know if these items are accurate. I want to summarize these as “of possible interest.” If you, gentle reader, can verify or debunk any of these rumors, please, use the comments section of this blog.
ITEM: A German search engine vendor does not market in the US. The rumor was that the company president brings “selected” staff to vacation at the conference venue. Good use of investor funds? If true, probably not. If not true, we will have another non US vendor chasing government contracts, OEM deals, and Fortune 1000 firms.
ITEM: Amazon thinks it labor hassles in Germany is “old news.” Amazon, like Google, seems indifferent to some quite real concerns.
ITEM: The outfit doing business as BA Insight has experienced a change at the top. I found this item interesting because the company has ingested millions of dollars and does not light up my radar as a challenger to the crowns once worn by Autonomy and Endeca.
ITEM: European government money is getting tight. One search vendor estimates that unless sales are made in the US market, the government funded company will be history in 2014. The big point? The US market is seen as the last great hope for survival.
ITEM: Exhibitors pay money to get their names on the programs. A couple of the event sponsors did not show up? Better things to do or a cash crunch?
If useful information turns up in the comments, we will pass it along.
Stephen E Arnold, May 27, 2013
May 22, 2013
OSCON, the Open Source Convention, will take place in Portland, Oregon in July. Themes of the conference include not just innovation and the exchange of ideas, but also how open source can give back to the community and support upcoming developers. This year, LucidWorks will support the conference. Read more on the LucidWorks Events page.
The event overview begins:
“OSCON is the best place on the planet to prepare for what comes next, from learning new skills to understanding how new and emerging open source technologies are going to impact how we live, work, and do business. In keeping with its O’Reilly heritage, OSCON is a unique gathering of all things open source, where participants find inspiration, confront new challenges, share their expertise, renew bonds to community, make significant connections, and find ways to give back to the open source movement. Erik Hatcher from LucidWorks will be presenting at the event.”
Stay tuned for more details about what Hatcher will present in his Solr Quick Start session. Attendees can expect information regarding installing and running Solr, indexing data, configuring schema, tuning and scaling, and more. LucidWorks offers some of the best value-added open source software with its LucidWorks Search and LucidWorks Big Data offerings. Perhaps more importantly, LucidWorks has a long track record of investing in open source development, training, and support, including employing one-quarter of the committers on the Apache Lucene/Solr project.
Emily Rae Aldridge, May 22, 2013
May 21, 2013
Berlin Buzzwords is an upcoming conference for developers and users of open source software devoted to the themes of search, store, and scale. Keep a close eye on this exciting conference in the emerging European market. Grant Ingersoll, co-founder of LucidWorks will deliver a presentation on June 4th entitled, “Crowd-sourced Intelligence Built into Search over Hadoop.”
The presentation overview states:
“This session will provide details on how search engines can be abused to use not text, but mathematically derived tokens to build models that implement reflected intelligence . . . The session will describe how to integrate Apache Solr/Lucene with Hadoop. Then we will show how crowd-sourced search behavior can be looped back into analysis and how constantly self-correcting models can be created and deployed. Finally, we will show how these models can respond with intelligent behavior in realtime.”
LucidWorks has been getting a lot of press lately for its integration with Hadoop in the newest MapR venture. The partnership makes sense, bringing LucidWorks’ track record in enterprise together with the scalability and processing capabilities of Hadoop. Everyone wins. If you are in the area, do not miss Berlin Buzzwords.
Emily Rae Aldridge, May 21, 2013
May 20, 2013
Lucene/Solr Revolution is an annual conference that users and developers look to as the premier training and networking opportunity for Apache Lucene/Solr. The 2013 conference just concluded amid immense success. The Wall Street Journal covers the highlights of the successful event in the news story, “Lucene/Solr Revolution 2013 in San Diego Fosters Continued Innovation Within the Lucene/Solr Open Source Search Community.”
The story begins:
“LucidWorks, the company transforming the way people access information, today shared highlights of Lucene/Solr Revolution 2013, which took place April 29 – May 2, 2013 at The Westin San Diego. More than 400 attendees, including many of the brightest minds in open source search, participated in the fourth annual Lucene/Solr Revolution, discussing topics and trends driving the next generation of search. The conference was preceded by two days of Apache Lucene, Solr and Big Data training.“
Amid the highlights were keynotes presentations by experts, 40 expert talks from around the industry, case studies from all areas of the economy, and sold-out training workshops. LucidWorks continues to set the standard for support, training, and creativity in open source software. Their capstone event, Lucene Revolution, is the perfect example of how LucidWorks is committed to developers and users, continuing to invest in the open source infrastructure.
Emily Rae Aldridge, May 20, 2013
May 16, 2013
The enterprise search show ended today, May 16. The presentations, except the one by Stephen E Arnold, were scintillating, thought provoking, and solid evidence that enterprise search is the crown jewel of enterprise software systems. Forget the grousing about Fast Search & Transfer, Autonomy, and the millions upon millions poured into outfits trying to generate a profit by licensing software which makes it easy to locate a needed document using a traditional personal computer, a laptop, or a notebook computer. Mobile phones and tablets are, alas, not yet the camels inside the enterprise search tent.
I learned about the importance of knowing what users want. I learned about providing users with systems which auto suggest, display relevant links, and eliminate the annoying task of reading a document to determine if it has useful information for the user.
Progress never stops. I would point out that Stephen E Arnold’s slide showing that precision and recall were making incremental progress over a decade. The flat line was in sharp contrast to his utterly fantastic suggestion that the complexity of modern search systems and their costs were increasing. One Scandinavian business development professional said to Mr. Arnold, “So you think the costs of search are going up like that, like the take off of the jet plane.”
Mr. Arnold, I overheard, said, “Yep, especially when the systems don’t work as advertised, require expensive unbudgeted investments, and produce more complaints than changing the health care dental deductible.” The Scandinavian shook his head in disbelief and wandered off in search of more comforting conversation.
A screen capture from Stephen E Arnold’s anomalous presentation. The cost and complexity curves rise more aggressively than the precision and recall curve. Who needs relevance when modern systems can deliver search without the user’s performing any intellectual effort prior to accepting what a system delivers.
I did come away with three broad thoughts once I cleared my mind of the fog of confusion that Stephen E Arnold’s obfuscation machine delivered.
First, Apple’s and Google’s conferences sell out in a very short time. Perhaps some of those turned away from the Apple and Google events could pick up a few IQ points and simultaneously get the inside dope on the hottest enterprise application — enterprise search? Two enterprise search vendors generated more than $100 million in revenues in the 45 year history of the enterprise search sector’s lifetime. Definitely enterprise search is the go to market. Measured in terms of academics, advisors, and unemployed home economics majors, search is where the action is.
Second, the technology on display was a great refresher for me. I learned about users’ dissatisfaction with search a decade ago. If I understood the presenter, user dissatisfaction is unchanged. About half of those who use an enterprise findability system are not thrilled with the experience. Progress is, it seems, modest. On the other hand, consistency in user opinion helps size the magnitude of the opportunity. I have not attended an enterprise search event for several years. I must admit I don’t think I missed any important developments. The content was, in my opinion, familiar.
Third, the technical bits had to bite and claw to get podium time. The outlier Stephen E Arnold actually used some equations. No other presenter made that mistake. The majority of the presentations focused on management issues. There were variously described as “governance,” “content management,” and planning. For those with an MBA and a love of enterprise search, there are, I concluded, many opportunities for consultants. Several of the folks who sell their expertise pointed out “I am not a technical expert,” “I can’t code,” and my favorite “Enterprise search is just one of the specialties I have.” Ah, billable time for uninformed advice. A career tip.
What’s the future of enterprise search?
One speaker said, “Search is not a good word to use.”
Edward Stephens, Stephen E Arnold’s more intelligent cousin, May 17, 2013
Sponsored by Augmentext
May 16, 2013
France was once the basin of western culture and artists flocked there to seek inspiration. While France may not have the renaissance going on, it did host the Computer Human Interface conference for 2013. Reminiscent of past artists, technology professionals and researchers flocked to the conference to see the latest developments in how humans interact with machines. CIO has the details in the article, “Future Of Computer Interaction On Display In Paris.”
The conference’s goal is that people across different technology fields can cross-pollinate their ideas. There is also a mini trade show dubbed the interactivity section where attendees can try the newest toys. Some are advances in medical technology, others are tools, but some are beyond bizarre:
“Some projects have seemed more like science fiction. For example, in 2012 researchers from Meiji University in Japan changed the taste of food by adding electricity to it. Their reasoning was that electricity could mimic the taste of salt and by adding electricity to certain foods, people could decrease their salt intake. The electricity diet has yet to go mainstream.”
It sounds like the “World of Tomorrow” exhibition that used to be at the World’s Fair. It fits in with the Paris scene even more, since the Eiffel Tower was built for such an event. Just imagine that this technology will one day be commonplace.
Whitney Grace, May 16, 2013
April 5, 2013
It’s that time again. The Lucene/Solr community is eagerly awaiting the sixth annual Lucene/Solr Revolution Conference. The Sacramento Bee article “Lucene/Solr Revolution Catalyzes Open Source Search Industry” gives all of the juicy details about the event. LucidWorks recent announced that leaders from Linkedin, bitly and the Lucene/Solr Project Management Committee (PMC) will spearhead this year’s event which will be held April 29-May 2, 2013 at The Westin in San Diego, California. This event is the world’s largest gathering of Lucene/Solr game changers. This conference highlights the latest and greatest search breakthroughs. In addition to learning about the Lucene/Solr world attendees also get a chance to rub elbows with some of the best and brightest IT leaders in the industry. Also this year in addition to the various speaking guests, attendees will also get a chance to work up close and personal with experts. The new “Birds of a Feather” luncheon sessions will allow attendees to meet in smaller groups and discuss their ideas as well as other interesting topics related to Solr. Grant Ingersoll, CTO and Co-founder of LucidWorks had this to say.
“Thousands of Lucene/Solr developers worldwide already know that open source search will eclipse other technologies as the safe yet state-of-the art way to access information and sharpen their competitive edge. Lucene/Solr Revolution brings together a cross section of the greatest minds in the field to set the agenda for open source search innovation, packing years of expertise and networking into four action-filled days.”
With the growing popularity of the platform, Lucene/Solr lovers worldwide are expected to come out and be a part of this event. With so many great minds at one event, one can only guess what new ideas and technology will be born.
April Holmes, April 05, 2013
April 2, 2013
The upcoming Lucene/Solr Revolution Conference is highly anticipated by open source devotees. Sponsored by LucidWorks, the spring conference will focus on interactive experiences with developers and IT leaders. Market Watch gives the full details in their story, “Lucene/Solr Revolution Catalyzes Open Source Search Industry.”
The article begins:
“LucidWorks, the company transforming the way people access information, today announced that leaders from Linkedin, bitly and the Lucene/Solr Project Management Committee (PMC) will keynote the sixth annual Lucene/Solr Revolution Conference. The event will take place April 29 – May 2, 2013 at The Westin in San Diego, California. As the world’s largest gathering of Lucene/Solr innovators, the conference helps set the agenda for breakthrough uses of search. Unprecedented attendance is anticipated, reflecting the ever-accelerating adoption of Lucene/Solr. “
LucidWorks offers LucidWorks Search and LucidWorks Big Data, both built on the power of Lucene and Solr. By capitalizing on open source infrastructure, LucidWorks can provide agile and cost effective solutions. In addition to sponsoring professional development opportunities such as this conference, LucidWorks also employees one quarter of the committers on the Lucene/Solr development project. Their commitment to the future of open source is sincere and longstanding.
Emily Rae Aldridge, April 2, 2013