August 3, 2015
There is a lot of free information on the Internet, but the veracity is always in question. While libraries are still the gateway of knowledge, many of their rarer, more historic works are buried in archives. These collections offer a wealth of information that is often very interesting. The biggest problem is that libraries often lack the funds to scan archival collections and create a digital library. Oxford University’s Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Europe, has the benefit of funds and an excellent collection to share with the world.
Digital Bodleian boasts over 115,179 images as of writing this article, stating that it is constantly updating the collection. The online library takes a modern approach to how users interact with the images by taking tips from social media. Not only can users browse and search the images randomly or in the pre-sorted collections, they can also create their own custom libraries and sharing the libraries with friends.
It is a bold move for a library, especially for one as renowned as Bodleian, to embrace a digital collection as well as offering a social media-like service. In my experience, digital library collections are bogged down by copyright, incomplete indices or ontologies, and they lack images to perk a users’ interest. Digital Bodleian is the opposite of many of its sister archives, but another thing I have noticed is that users are not too keen on joining a library social media site. It means having to sign up for yet another service and also their friends probably aren’t on it.
Here is an idea, how about a historical social media site similar to Pinterest that pulls records from official library archives? It would offer the ability to see the actual items, verify information, and even yield those clickbait top ten lists.
July 31, 2015
The online magazine eWeek published, “What The Bing Search Engine Brings To Microsoft’s Web Strategy” and it explains how Bing spurs a lot of debate:
“Some who don’t like the direction in which Google is going say that Bing is the search engine they prefer, especially since Microsoft has honed Bing’s ability to deliver relevant results. Others, however, look at Bing as one of many products from Microsoft, which is still seen as the “Evil Empire” in some quarters and a search platform that’s incapable of delivering the results that compare favorably with Google. Bing, introduced six years ago in 2009, is still a remarkably controversial product in Microsoft’s lineup. But it’s one that plays an important role in so many of the company’s Internet services.”
Microsoft is ramping up Bing to become a valuable part of its software services, it continues its partnership with Yahoo and Apple, and it will also power AOL’s web advertising and search. Bing is becoming a more respected search engine, but what does it have to offer?
Bing has many features it is using to entice people to stop using Google. When searching a person’s name, search results display a bio of the person (only if they are affluent, however). Bing has a loyalty program, seriously, called Bing Rewards, the more you search on Bing it rewards points that are redeemable for gift cards, movie rentals, and other items.
Bing is already a big component in Microsoft software, including Windows 10 and Office 365. It serves as the backbone for not only a system search, but searching the entire Internet. Think Apple’s Spotlight, except for Windows. It also supports a bevy of useful applications and do not forget about Cortana, which is Microsoft’s answer to Siri.
Bing is very important to Microsoft because of the ad revenue. It is just a guess, but you can always ask Cortana for the answer.
July 31, 2015
There are many services that offer companies the ability to increase their content discover. One of these services is Leiki, which offers intelligent user profiling, context-based intelligence, and semantic SaaS solutions. Rather than having humans adapt their content to get to the top of search engine results, the machine is altered to fit a human’s needs. Leiki pushes relevant content to a user’s search query. Leiki released a recent, “Case Study: Lieki Smart Services Increase Customer Flow Significantly At Alma Media.”
Alma Media is one of the largest media companies in Finland, owning many well-known Finnish brands. These include Finland’s most popular Web site, classified ads, and a tabloid newspaper. Alma Media employed two of Leiki’s services to grow its traffic:
“Leiki’s Smart Services are adept at understanding textual content across various content types: articles, video, images, classifieds, etc. Each content item is analyzed with our semantic engine Leiki Focus to create a very detailed “fingerprint” or content profile of topics associated with the content.
SmartContext is the market leading service for contextual content recommendations. It’s uniquely able to recommend content across content types and sites and does this by finding related content using the meaning of content – not keyword frequency.
SmartPersonal stands for behavioral content recommendations. As it also uses Leiki’s unique analysis of the meaning in content, it can recommend content from any other site and content type based on usage of one site.”
The case study runs down how Leiki’s services improved traffic and encouraged more users to consume its content. Leiki’s main selling point in the cast study is that offers users personal recommendations based on content they clicked on Alma Media Web sites. Leiki wants to be a part of developing Web 3.0 and the research shows that personalization is the way for it to go.
July 29, 2015
Bing is the joke of Internet search. Skilled Web surfers…no, scratch that term. Nobody “surfs” the Internet anymore, unless you are an older person trying to maintain relevancy. Skilled Web users Google or play DuckDuckGo, but according to Mashable, Bing might be ringing in as many jokes anymore, “Microsoft’s Bing Isn’t Such A Failure After All.”
Microsoft VP of advertiser and publisher Rik van der Kooi said that Bing is now able to pay for itself, contrary to its launch six years ago when it hemorrhaged cash from the beginning. Microsoft wants Bing to be even more profitable by its 2016 fiscal year, which started earlier this month on July 1.
“Microsoft should provide more clarity on Bing’s financials with its next earnings release in July. Profitable or not, Bing is clearly moving in the right direction. The service’s improved financial position, combined with recent strides in pushing its share of the search market to 20%, offer the clearest argument yet that Microsoft still has the power to muscle its way into lucrative and mature technology categories and find solid footing there.”
The article recounts Bing’s unprofitable history, culminating in its more recent successes that have funneled more green into the search engine. This includes Apple making Bing the default search on its mobile OS, a renewed partnership with Yahoo, a ten year deal with AOL, and Bing sending map imaging to Uber. It finishes by calling Bing a contender and it looks like that may be true. Let’s wait until they start making self-driving cars until victory is declared.
July 28, 2015
One of the most frequently discussed SharePoint struggles is integrating SharePoint data with existing external data. IT Business Edge has compiled a short slideshow with helpful tips regarding integration, including the possible use of business connectivity services. See all the details in their presentation, “Eight Steps to Connect Office 365/SharePoint Online with External Data.”
The summary states:
“According to Mario Spies, senior strategic consultant at AvePoint, a lot of companies are in the process of moving their SharePoint content from on-premise to Office 365 / SharePoint Online, using tools such as DocAve Migrator from SharePoint 2010 or DocAve Content Manager from SharePoint 2013. In most of these projects, the question arises about how to handle SharePoint external lists connected to data using BDC. The good news is that SharePoint Online also supports Business Connectivity Services.”
To continue to learn more about the tips and tricks of SharePoint connectivity, stay tuned to ArnoldIT.com, particularly the SharePoint feed. Stephen E. Arnold is a lifelong leader in all things search, and his expertise is especially helpful for SharePoint. Users will continue to be interested in data migration and integration, and how things may be easier with the SharePoint 2016 update coming soon.
Emily Rae Aldridge, July 28, 2015
July 27, 2015
Support for open data, government datasets freely available to the public, has taken off in recent years; the federal government’s launch of Data.gov in 2009 is a prominent example. Naturally, some companies have sprung up to monetize this valuable resource. The New York Times reports, “Data Mining Start-Up Enigma to Expand Commercial Business.”
The article leads with a pro bono example of Enigma’s work: a project in New Orleans that uses that city’s open data to identify households most at risk for fire, so the city can give those folks free smoke detectors. The project illustrates the potential for good lurking in sets of open data. But make no mistake, the potential for profits is big, too. Reporter Steve Lohr explains:
“This new breed of open data companies represents the next step, pushing the applications into the commercial mainstream. Already, Enigma is working on projects with a handful of large corporations for analyzing business risks and fine-tuning supply chains — business that Enigma says generates millions of dollars in revenue.
“The four-year-old company has built up gradually, gathering and preparing thousands of government data sets to be searched, sifted and deployed in software applications. But Enigma is embarking on a sizable expansion, planning to nearly double its staff to 60 people by the end of the year. The growth will be fueled by a $28.2 million round of venture funding….
“The expansion will be mainly to pursue corporate business. Drew Conway, co-founder of DataKind, an organization that puts together volunteer teams of data scientists for humanitarian purposes, called Enigma ‘a first version of the potential commercialization of public data.’”
Other companies are getting into the game, too, leveraging open data in different ways. There’s Reonomy, which supplies research to the commercial real estate market. Seattle-based Socrata makes data-driven applications for government agencies. Information discovery company Dataminr uses open data in addition to Twitter’s stream to inform its clients’ decisions. Not surprisingly, Google is a contender with its Sidewalk Labs, which plumbs open data to improve city living through technology. Lohr insists, though, that Enigma is unique in the comprehensiveness of its data services. See the article for more on this innovative company.
Cynthia Murrell, July 27, 2015
July 24, 2015
Apps are supposed to replace Web sites, but there is a holdup for universal adoption. Search Engine Watch explains why Web sites are still hanging tight and how a new Google acquisition might be a game changer: “The Final Hurdle Is Cleared-Apps Will Replace Web Sites.” The article explains that people are “co-users” of both apps and classic Web sites, but online browsers are still popular. Why is that?
Browsers are universal and can access any content with a Web address. Most Web sites also do not have an app counterpart, so the only way to access content is to use the old-fashioned browser. Another issue is that apps cannot be crawled by search engines, so they are left out of search results. The biggest pitfall for apps is that they have to be downloaded in order to be accessed, which takes up screen space and disk space.
A startup has created a solution to making apps work faster:
“Agawi has developed a technology to stream apps, just like Netflix streams videos. Instead of packaging the entire app into a single, large file for the user to download, the app is broken up into many small files, letting users interact with small portions of the app while the rest of it is downloading. In the short term, it appears that Google wants to deploy Agawi for users try an app before downloading the full version.”
Google acquired Agawi, but do not expect it to be accessible soon. Google enjoys putting its own seal of approval on all acquisitions and making sure it works well. Mobile device usage is increasing and more users are moving towards using them over traditional computers. Search marketers will need to be more aware than ever about how search engines work with apps and encourage clients to make an app.
July 24, 2015
Humans are visual creatures and they learn and absorb information better when pictures accompany it. In recent years, the graphic novel medium has gained popularity amongst all demographics. The amount of information a picture can communicate is astounding, but unless it is looked for it can be hard to find. It also cannot be searched by a search engine…or can it? Synaptica is in the process of developing the “OASIS Deep Image Indexing Using Linked Data,”
OASIS is an acronym for Open Annotation Semantic Imaging System, an application that unlocks image content by giving users the ability to examine an image closer than before and highlighting data points. OASIS is linked data application that enables parts of the image to be identified as linked data URIS, which can then be semantically indexed to controlled vocabulary lists. It builds an interactive map of an image with its features and conceptual ideas.
“With OASIS you will be able to pan-and-zoom effortlessly through high definition images and see points of interest highlight dynamically in response to your interaction. Points of interest will be presented along with contextual links to associated images, concepts, documents and external Linked Data resources. Faceted discovery tools allow users to search and browse annotations and concepts and click through to view related images or specific features within an image. OASIS enhances the ability to communicate information with impactful visual + audio + textual complements.”
OASIS is advertised as a discovery and interactive tool that gives users the chance to fully engage with an image. It can be applied to any field or industry, which might mean the difference between success and failure. People want to fully immerse themselves in their data or images these days. Being able to do so on a much richer scale is the future.
Whitney Grace, July 24, 2015
July 23, 2015
In another attempt to Apple, Microsoft allows users to search not only their computer’s hard drive, but also the Web at the same time. This is a direct copy of Apple OS’s Spotlight Search, but unlike Apple, Windows’s increased search parameters are annoying. Windows users can disable this supposed “helpful” feature and GHacks has the directions to do it: “How To Disable Web Search In Windows 10’s Start Menu.”
Apple’s Spotlight Search does pretty much the same thing, but it categorizes results into organized categories and does not search the entire Web, only Wikipedia, iTunes, and preselected search engines. Microsoft has the tendency to go overboard and that usually equals slow response time. The article mentions the Windows 10 search results are also:
“I will never use the search for a couple of reasons. First, I don’t need it there as I want local files and settings to be returned exclusively when I run a search on Windows 10. Second, the suggestions are too generic most of the time and third, since a browser is open all the time on my system, I can run a search using it as well without having to add another step to the process.”
The good news is that the Web search feature can be disabled, but it is not available to all users. Does that surprise you? Microsoft has the tendency to release OS’s without fully fixing all the bugs. Windows 10 appears to be better than prior releases, but little bugs like this make it annoying.
Whitney Grace, July 23, 2015
July 23, 2015
Banks may soon transition from asking for your mother’s maiden name to tracking your physical behavior in the name of keeping you (and their assets) safe. IT ProPortal examines “Fraud Prevention: Knowledge-Based Ananlytics in Steep Decline.” Writer Lara Lackie cites a recent report from the Aite Group that indicates a shift from knowledge-based analytics to behavioral analytics for virtual security checkpoints. Apparently, “behavioral analytics” is basically biometrics without the legal implications. Lackie writes:
“Examples of behavioural analytics/biometrics can include the way someone types, holds their device or otherwise interacts with it. When combined, continuous behavioural analysis, and compiled behavioural biometric data, deliver far more intelligence than traditionally available without interrupting the user’s experience….
Julie Conroy, research director, Aite Group, said in the report “When the biometric is paired with strong device authentication, it is even more difficult to defeat. Many biometric solutions also include liveliness checks, to ensure it’s a human being on the other end.’
“NuData Security’s NuDetect online fraud engine, which uses continuous behavioural analysis and compiled behavioral biometric data, is able to predict fraud as early as 15 days before a fraud attempt is made. The early detection offered by NuDetect provides organisations the time to monitor, understand and prevent fraudulent transactions from taking place.”
The Aite report shows over half the banks surveyed plan to move away from traditional security questions over the next year, and six of the 19 institutions plan to enable mobile-banking biometrics by the end of this year. Proponents of the approach laud behavioral analytics as the height of fraud detection. Are Swype patterns and indicators of “liveliness” covered by privacy rights? That seems like a philosophical question to me.
Cynthia Murrell, July 23, 2015