Bloomberg on Trump and Twitter: News or Advice from Left Field?

June 1, 2020

I read “Twitter-Trump Spat Signals New Chapter for Social Media.” News, Dear Abby, or a wanna be consultant CxO memo? The write up has a news hook: “Twitter Inc. added a fact-check warning label to two of president’s posts about mail-in voting.  In response, Trump threatened in a set of tweets Wednesday to “strongly regulate or close” down social-media platforms.”

What’s interesting about the write up is that the “news” story shoots into an interesting direction: Consulting and legal advice combined in one “real news” story:

Now, with another presidential election just months away, they made a calculated gamble that it was time to take a stand. It will be hard to retreat from here. When the dust settles, Trump’s threats will likely be seen as political theater without any lasting ramifications for Twitter’s business. Technology companies will challenge the president’s executive order in court on the grounds he can’t unilaterally change precedent without Congressional approval.

Is this Bloomberg’s official position? Nah, that would imply accountability for using news as a platform for a well written blog type commentary. The “author” has an email address, but Bloomberg adds:

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Fascinating. “Real news” with advice, a slightly “annoyed parent” tone, and a disclaimer. Hey, we published this, but we are not really backing up the writer or the content. Are we on the “Verge” of a new type of “real news”?

There you go.

Stephen E Arnold, June 1, 2020

Booz Allen Wins Modest Contract

May 27, 2020

I used to labor in the Booz Allen & Hamilton vineyards. I noted “DOD lands major contract for war-fighting AI.” The headline is misleading. Booz Allen obtained from GSA a contract “to develop AI for warfighting operations.” The contract is in the $800 million range: Smaller than JEDI but bigger than many other contracts. Yo, the Booz does smart software. Wait for those scope changes, gentle reader.

Stephen E Arnold, May 27, 2020

Eliminalia: Reputation Management and Content Removal

March 12, 2020

One of our readers called our attention to a company called Eliminalia. This firm provides what DarkCyber considers reputation management services. The unique selling proposition for the firm is that it says that it can achieve results quickly. DarkCyber does not have a firm position on the value of reputation management firms. The organizations or individuals who want content removed may feel a compelling need to modify history or take content corrective actions. Because removing content rests in the hands of a third party, often a large indexing company, getting attention and action can be a challenging job. Europa Press asserts that 24 percent of people and businesses want to have data about them removed from “the Internet.” We took a quick look at our files and located some information. Here’s a summary of points we found interesting.


Plus, the firm asserts:

We are the first to guarantee the results or we will refund your money. We will give an answer to your doubts and needs. We will help you and advise you on a global level.

The firm adds:

We delete internet data and information and guarantee your right to be forgotten. Eliminalia is the leading company in the field which guarantees that the information that bothers and harms you is completely deleted from Internet search engines (Google, Bing, etc.), web portals, blogs..

The firm offers three videos on Vimeo. The most recent video is at and includes this commentary:

Eliminalia is a renowned company with several world headquarters that protects online privacy and reputation of its customers, finding and removing negative contents from the Web.

There are several YouTube videos as well. These may be located at this link.

The company has offices in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Italy, Mexico, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.


Eliminalia offers a mobile app for iPhones and Android devices.

The firm’s Web site asserts:

  • 99% happy satisfied clients
  • 8260+ success stories
  • 3540 business clients.

The company states:

We delete your name from:

  • Mass media
  • State gazettes
  • Social media

The president of Eliminalia is Dídac Sánchez. The company was founded in 2013. Crunchbase lists the date of the company’s founding as 2011.


There is an interesting, but difficult to verify, article about the Eliminalia process in “Why Is William Hill a Corporate Partner of Alzheimer’s Society?” The assertions about Eliminalia appear toward the end of the WordPress post. These can be located by searching for the term “Eliminalia.” One interesting item in the write up is that the Eliminalia business allegedly shares an address with World Intelligence Ltd. It is also not clear if Eliminalia is headquartered in Manchester at 53 Fountain Street. Note: the William Hill article includes other names allegedly associated with the company.

DarkCyber believes the company focuses on selling its services in countries with data protection regulations. The firm has a strong Spanish flavor.

If you are interested in having content removed from the Internet, consider speaking with Eliminalia. DarkCyber believes that some content can be difficult to remove. Requests for removal can be submitted. Some sites have a “removal request button” like However, there may be backlogs, bureaucracy, and indifference to requests which may be interpreted as trivial or nuisance. Some of our information revealed quite interesting information about the firm. DarkCyber can prepare a more robust summary of the company, including information about the methods used to remove content from the Internet.

Stephen E Arnold, March 12, 2020

An Uncanny Blind Alley

February 24, 2020

I subscribe to the dead tree edition of the New York Times. I spend less time with the expensive reminder of a bygone era than I did when I was an eager beaver working at a nuclear consulting company. One never knew when a hot event (no pun intended) would break like Three Mile Island.

Now to the New York Times Magazine, a pinnacle of content. Am I right? Clarity in titling, hard facts, and helpful analysis based on those facts. Am I right?

I read either “RE: Working the System. In an economy with few protections for employees, how do you gain power on the job? (Very Carefully)” or “the Young and the Restless. Generational consultants believe that Millennial and Gen Z professionals have different values—and that to recruit and keep them, companies need a whole new approach” or “Yaaass! We’re HIRING!”

Note: I think the the “them” in the second odd ball title refers to “employees”, not “values.” Well, maybe not? The notion of a title that makes sense is just sooo! OLD FASHIONED!

If you want to read the story which ran in the NYT Magazine, yep, Sunday”s graphically and bibliographically challenged NYT Magazine, hunt up the February 23, 2020 edition. The story appeared on February 19, 2020, at this paywalled link of which the NYT is quite proud. Note: To keep subscribers, why not put the story online after the dead tree customers receive the newspaper? Oh, right. It’s a generational thing.

Now to the write up.

As soon as I saw the graphics, which continue to baffle me because my mobile phone does not present information in the manner depicted, I thought of Amy Wiener’s best selling book Uncanny Valley, published either by Macmillan Publishers or Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Yep, another outfit which worries not about useless trivia like bibliographic references. You can buy a copy, which I recommend, at a Barnes & Noble if there’s one left in your neighborhood, Google Play, Kobo (what? who?) and the Bezos bulldozer’s book store and policeware company.

The NYT Magazine’s approach lacks three characteristics of Ms. Wiener’s book.

First, the humor in the NYT Magazine missed its mark with me. I was not sure if “phigital” was a joke or a real-live word used in the Big Apple. For me, the jury’s out or hung.

Second, the examples used to characterize the different “generations” identified in the article struck me as outliers. Ms. Wiener offered context. Consider the NYT example of a person who wanted a day off and lied about the death of a relative. When the boss found out, it was like you really sort of okay. (I would not advise trying this approach at Bain, BCG, Booz Allen, or McKinsey when a deadline is fast approaching.) Not funny, by the way, that death lie.

Third, the author who lets me know that he/she is a member of one of these generations learned how to do term papers, not write in a manner as compelling as Ms. Wiener’s. There are references to hot consulting firms like GenGuru and academic-sounding books like “The Remix: How to Lead and Succeed in the Multigenerational Workplace,” and presumably validated statistics. For instance, I did not know nor do I necessarily believe that Gen Zers live below the poverty line. I thought this members of this group live with their parents or used the old fogies as a meatware infused automatic teller machines. Source of the number? Nope. Sample size? Nope. Context of the survey? Nope. Oh, well, it is the New York Times. “Yaaass!”

Now don’t get me wrong. DarkCyber reads, filters, and pays attention to a wide range of content. This particular article struck the team as an attempt to ride the interest in Ms. Wiener’s book, who writes for the often highly regarded New Yorker Magazine. That outfit usually uses one title on an article and restrains absolutely too-hip graphics professionals from creating an article with three possible titles for librarians and the wizards at Google to index. And the colors? Don’t rev DarkCyber’s engines, please.

Several observations:

  1. Originality is a useful characteristic of some writing. Would this ingredient be useful at the NYT? Maybe less “Yaaass”?
  2. Quasi clever is okay on a blog or a TikTok video. Maybe not so much in the Gray Lady’s venerable magazine? Techno-viral fluency? Less “Yaaass”?
  3. The graphics consume more space than the article itself. Maybe three pages of content, data, and analysis. Maybe less “Yaaass”?

DarkCyber noted this statement in the article:

“Until, that is, these generations start to see the forest and not just the trees.”

Trees become wood pulp and some facilitate the dead tree NYT’s goals.

Stephen E Arnold, February 24, 2020

The Platform of the Future Is…

August 2, 2019

What’s the platform of the future? Here are your choices:

[a] Artificial intelligence

[b] Neuro linguistic services

[c] Silicon brain implants connected to the cloud

[d] Indexing

[e] Pay to play content.

Did you pick “d”: Indexing.

If you did, you are on the same wavelength as the rock and roll, up and down advisory and analyst firm IDC.

The pronouncement comes from Stewart Bond, research director at IDC Research Inc. (Note: DarkCyber has written reports for IDC. The firm sold these reports on Amazon without DarkCyber’s permission, and IDC did not pay for the use of the DarkCyber reports. How much were our reports? $3,200 for eight pages of goodness? Want to know more? Drop us an email: darkcyber333 at yandex dot com.)

This revelation appeared in Silicon Angle which presented a summary of an interview with IDC Research’s director. Other gems from the write up were:

Pre-existing silos and multicloud can give companies a lot of disparate spaces to scavenge through. The most sensible place to start may be with the available data about all that data — or metadata.

Yes, indexing, an art practiced for millennia.

We noted this statement:

Companies are realizing that poorly cleansed or inaccurately labeled data are resulting in inaccurate insights. And vendors are rushing to the rescue. The number of vendors offering cataloging solutions has increased about 240% in the last year and a half, according to Bond’s research.

Hmm. What’s the research methodology? Remember that IDC has generated some specious numbers in the past; for example, the amount of time a person in a company spends looking for information. DarkCyber is curious about this 18 month period, the sample, the methodology, and the reliability of the analytic process. A 2.4X increase is robust, particularly for indexing and the accompanying tasks embraced in the sweeping generalization.

And we put an exclamation mark next to this passage:

Multicloud has flung data all over the place. Effective software must have spider legs that can reach out and quickly gather intelligence about it. Data cataloging may do this with machine learning, human annotation, Google-like search features, etc. “I think that’s going to be the data platform of the future,” Bond stated. Informatica Corp. currently leads in this market, according to Bond.

Okay, flinging data all over the place. Colorful. We also noted that Informatica Corp. is the leader in “this market.” Exactly what market are we thinking about. Google, search, cloud—what, which?

Keep in mind that Informatica has been around since 1993, and it has grown to about $1 billion a year in revenue. Impressive when compared to the local tire store, but a bit behind the curve when it comes to data. Amazon in the last quarter generated about $8 billion. Annualized Amazon is about 32X bigger than Informatica. Who will win in the cloud cataloging game? Informatica? Sure it will.

But why the love for Informatica? One possibility is that Informatica is a client or prospect of IDC. That’s an idea worth considering.

And where did this “indexing” pronouncement appear? In Silicon Angle. Here’s the explanation which appeared with the IDC research director’s startling insight:

SiliconANGLE Media Inc.’s business model is based on the intrinsic value of the content, not advertising. Unlike many online publications, we don’t have a paywall or run banner advertising, because we want to keep our journalism open, without influence or the need to chase traffic.The journalism, reporting and commentary on SiliconANGLE — along with live, unscripted video from our Silicon Valley studio and globe-trotting video teams at theCUBE — take a lot of hard work, time and money. Keeping the quality high requires the support of sponsors who are aligned with our vision of ad-free journalism content. If you like the reporting, video interviews and other ad-free content here, please take a moment to check out a sample of the video content supported by our sponsors, tweet your support, and keep coming back to SiliconANGLE.

DarkCyber interprets this information as a way to make “sponsored” content less front and center.

“Indexing” is a sure fire way to generate buzz for a consulting company and maybe, just maybe, some revenue from sponsored video for Silicon Angle.

The video is here.

Stephen E Arnold, August 2, 2019

Jason and Darpa-Nauts

April 12, 2019

If you are not up to speed on the Jason Group, Wikipedia, for now, has a write up about the organization of academics who provide input and other support to the US government. Yes, you can become a member. The trick is to identify people who are Jasons, lobby a couple, and wait until you are voted in. A Nobel prize is a useful award. High level contacts at Mitre can be a plus too.

So who cares about Jasons aside from some Washington insiders? Fewer DoD types than in the 1960s and 1970s.

According to Government Executive:

Pentagon officials are killing JASON in all but name. Last month, they sent the bad news to MITRE, the nonprofit corporation that runs the program. “The Pentagon Is Killing a Key Independent-Research Program” reported:

They [government COTRs] don’t have to “terminate” the contract to kill the program, since it was set to expire at the end of March. By changing the contract from IDIQ to a single contract, other agencies will no longer be able to commission studies, essentially killing the program without  technically terminating it.

This is a nice way of saying, “So long for now.”

What’s the conclusion Government Executive drew from this announcement:

Bottom line: the Pentagon is spending more on new science and tech initiatives but will be spending less on independent academic research into how those initiatives will fare.

DarkCyber believes that other research avenues are more likely to deliver the type of outputs that the DoD and its units require. Good news or bad news? Consulting firms are likely to benefit. Some academics will have to chase RFQs with more diligence.

Stephen E Arnold, April 12, 2019

Gartner Does the Gartner Thing: Mystical Augmented Analytics

February 19, 2019

Okay, okay, Gartner is a contender for the title of Crazy Jargon Creator 2019.

I read “Gartner: Augmented Analytics Ready for Prime Time.” Yep, if Datanami says so, it must be true.

Here’s the line up of companies allegedly in this market. I put the companies in alphabetical order with the Gartner objective, really really accurate BCG inspired quadrant “score” after each company’s name. Ready, set, go!

BOARD International—niche player
Birst—niche player
Domo—niche player
GoodData—niche player
IBM—niche player
Information Builders—niche player
Logi Analytics—niche player
Looker—niche player
Oracle—niche player
Pyramid Analytics—niche player
TIBCO Software—visionary
Yellowfin—niche player

Do some of these companies and their characterization—sorry, I meant really really objective inclusion—strike you as peculiar? What about the mixing of big outfits like IBM which has been doing Fancy Dan analytics decades before it acquired i2 Ltd. Analyst’s Notebook? I also find the inclusion of SAS a bit orthogonal with the omission of IBM’s SPSS, but IBM is a niche player.

That’s why Gartner is the jargon leader at this point in 2019, but who knows? Maybe another consulting firm beating the bushes for customers will take the lead. The year is still young.

Stephen E Arnold, February 19, 2019

MBA Fancy Dancing: Three Horizons

February 4, 2019

In a world of bits and bytes, MBAs have to do some fancy dancing. A good example is the essay “McKinsey’s Three Horizons Model Defined Innovation for Years. Here’s Why It No Longer Applies.” The write up assumes that the reader knows about consultant speak, the value of simplicity to most CEOs, and the need to sell time. Ka-ching.

You can read the essay for an explanation of what a company has to do to grow. Three tips:

The basic idea is to do things better (reduce costs, put more seats in a commercial aircraft. Make breakfast bars smaller but keep the larger packaging. Efficiency. Firing workers, reduce quality, and trim customer support humans.

The second task is to make more money; for example, puts ads everywhere and make it tough for an advertiser to figure out what actually happened as a result of the ad spend, bill parents for a child’s in game “purchases”, and generate shelves of different types of spaghetti sauce for a person who wants “regular” spaghetti sauce, and so on.

The third  job is to do something new; for example, put health monitors in shoes, solve the problem of death, push the idea that people in cities with lots of rain and snow will ride electric scooters, and similar “outside the box” innovations.

But the three ways to grow — called horizons in consultant-speak — are no longer bounded by time. This means that in today’s go go world, a CEO has no time. Every activity is like the two minute warning in American football. Game tied. Win it or sell used cars for a living.

Consequently businesses have to rethink everything — again. Then implement more new things to deal with the problem the new view of time demands. I can hear the cheers from the consulting firms now.

Here’s what the pressured, desperate, and insecure CEO must do:

  1. Outsource (yep, an old idea needs to be amped up)
  2. Hire consultants or buy hot start ups
  3. Do the “me too” and duplicate what’s working for another outfit
  4. Innovate, either think up something new (very risky) or buy a start up and stock up on scapegoats (less risky).

I don’t want to rain on this recycled parade of MBA chopped liver, but I would suggest that one big idea be kept front and center.

The assumption of the MBA world is that growth is darned near infinite. Competition will produce winners, and to be a winner, one has to do the stuff that wins. The old methods work when there are plenty of resources, barriers to entry, and not too many other desperate people looking for a winner.

The problem is that infinity, while a good idea, does not work when cash is tight, competition is a mouse click away, and execution is often complex.

The signs of a change in the business climate are easy to spot. No MBA needed. Monopolies characterize the present US business landscape. Who will fund a company to knock off Google or Alphabet? Er, still waiting for a hand to go up.

Governmental entities worldwide are not exactly humming along. Whether it is the on going chaos of certain Middle East countries or the slow motion disintegration in South America or the weekly drama of French protesters wearing “colors”— wind downs on display.

Concomitant with the is a bit of that Einstein magic. The amount of time available to accomplish a task is shrinking. CEOs command star ships, but the time required to build a business is getting longer.

Check out the meeting monsters fueled by digital calendars. People work anywhere but find time chopped into nanoseconds. I assert it is tough to do certain types of thinking and work in tiny perturbations in a quantum clock.

One interesting characteristic of reduced time and reduced resources I would suggest is an surge in pragmatic amorality. Example: The Facebook professional allegedly remarked, “The heck with ethics. I want my bonus.”

Therefore, for the MBA in the foreseeable future, here are the trigger points:

  • Expediency
  • Abandonment of social responsibility
  • Clever  and  cute tricks designed to deceive
  • Obfuscation, prevarication, and denial.

There’s nothing like a horizon. But what if it is an event horizon or a recycling of management bromides. Timely.

Stephen E Arnold, February 4, 2019

Analytic Hubs: Now You Know

January 30, 2019

Gartner Group has crafted a new niche. I learned about analytic hubs in Datanami. The idea is that a DMSA or data management solution fro analytics is now a thing. Odd. I thought that companies have been providing data analytics hubs for a number of years. Oh, well, whatever sells.

The DMSA vendor list in “What Gartner Sees in Analytic Hubs” is interesting. Plus the write up includes one of the objective, math based, deeply considered Boston Consulting Group quadrants which make some ideas so darned fascinating. I mean Google. An analytics hub?

Based on information in the write up, here are the vendors who are the movers and shakers in analytic hubs:

Alibaba Cloud
Amazon Web Services
MapR Technologies
Micro Focus

This is an interesting list. It seems the “consultants” at Gartner, had lunch, and generated a list with names big and small, known and unknown.

I noted the presence of Amazon which is reasonable. I was surprised that the reference to Oracle did not include its stake in a vendor which actually delivers the “hubby” functions to which the write up alludes. The inclusion of MarkLogic was interesting because that company is a search system, an XML database, and annoyance to Oracle. IBM is fascinating, but which “analytic hub” technology is Gartner considering unknown to me.  One has to admire the inclusion of Snowflake and MapR Technologies.

I suppose the analysis will fuel a conference, briefings, and consulting revenue.

Will the list clarify the notion of an analytics hub?

Yeah, that’s another issue. It’s Snowflake without the snow.

Stephen E Arnold, January 30, 2019

What Is Fake News, Fake Data, and Fake Expertise?

November 27, 2018

Now, we’re not going around saying things like fake news, but we are deeply concerned with the misreporting of third party numbers organizations like Gartner. It’s come to light that they might not be as accurate at tracking tech trends as they claim. We learned more from a recent Apple Insider story, “Gartner, IDC Were Both Wrong in Guessing Apple’s Q4 Shipping Mac Shipments.”

According to the report:

“Gartner reported that Apple had sold 4.928 million Macs in calendar Q3, while IDC issued a parallel report that credited Apple with sales of 4.762 million. That’s a difference between the two of 166 thousand Macs, something that should have already raised eyebrows. But Apple’s actual sales for the quarter were officially reported as 5.3 million. That means third-party “estimates” were off by as much as a double-digit percentage.”

This brings into question so many things that we take for granted. Each Wednesday we run Factualities. These items call attention to numbers generated as absolute truth. Yeah.

Patrick Roland, November 27, 2018

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