March 9, 2016
An e-commerce site search company, Celebros, shared a news release touting their new product. Celebros, First to Launch Natural Language Site Search Extension for Magento 2.0 announces their Semantic Site Search extension for Magento 2.0. Magento 2.0 boasts the largest marketplace of e-commerce extensions in the world. This product, along with other Magento extensions, are designed to help online merchants expand their marketing and e-commerce capabilities. Celebros CMO and President of Global Sales Jeffrey Tower states,
“Celebros is proud to add the new Magento 2 extension to our existing and very successful Magento 1 extension. Celebros will offer the new extension free of charge to our entire Magento client base to ensure an easy, fast and pain-free upgrade while providing free integrations to new Celebros clients world-wide. The new extension encompasses our Natural Language Site Search in seven languages along with eight additional features that include our advanced auto-complete, guided navigation, dynamic landing pages and merchandising engine, product recommendations and more.”
For online retailers, extension products like Celebros may make or break the platforms like Magento 2.0, as these products are what add value and drive e-commerce technologies forward. It is intriguing that the Celebros natural language processing technology offers conversions available in seven languages. We live in an increasingly globalized world.
Megan Feil, March 9, 2016
February 23, 2016
If you were concerned virtual currencies like Bitcoin are making things easier for Islamic State (aka IS, ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh), you can rest easy, at least for now. The International Business Times reports, “Isis: Bitcoin Not Used by Daesh.” That is the conclusion reached by a Europol investigation performed after last November’s attacks in Paris. Though some had suggested the terrorists were being funded with cyber money, investigators found no evidence of it.
On the other hand, the organization’s communication networks are thriving online through the Dark Web and a variety of apps. Writer Alistair Charlton tells us:
Better known by European law enforcement is how terrorists like IS use social media to communicate. The report says: “The internet and social media are used for communication and the acquisition of goods (weapons, fake IDs) and services, made relatively safe for terrorists with the availability of secure and inherently encrypted appliances, such as WhatsApp, Skype and Viber. In Facebook, VKA and Twitter they join closed and hidden groups that can be accessed by invitation only, and use coded language.”
se of Tor, the anonymising browser used to access the dark web where sites are hidden from search engines like Google, is also acknowledged by Europol. “The use of encryption and anonymising tools prevent conventional observation by security authorities. There is evidence of a level of technical knowledge available to religiously inspired terrorist groups, allowing them to make their use of the internet and social media invisible to intelligence and law enforcement agencies.”
Of course, like any valuable technology, anonymizing apps can be used for weal or woe; they benefit marginalized peoples trying to make their voices heard as much as they do terrorists. Besides, there is no going back to a disconnected world now. My question is whether terrorists have taken the suggestion, and are now working on a Bitcoin initiative. I suppose we will see, eventually.
Cynthia Murrell, February 23, 2016
February 15, 2016
The announcement on PRWeb titled EasyAsk Introduces EasyAsk Voice Shopper Uniting Voice and Mobile for a Revolutionary Shopping Experience pairs shopping with semantic technology. According to the article, users will be able to hold a conversation with the EasyAsk search engine that will lead to the relevant and ideal product for the user. The article says,
“EasyAsk Voice Shopper creates a new paradigm for mobile shopping by allowing customers to have a conversation with a mobile commerce site or app, just like speaking with a sales associate. Having evolved from over 15 years of natural language research and development, the EasyAsk conversational search engine powers the conversation with the customer, combining an understanding of the shopper’s intent with the deep knowledge of retailer’s products and merchandising objectives to deliver the right products.”
The emphasis on mobile shopping is due to the research showing the low mobile shopping conversion rate of only 0.80%, most likely due to the pain-in-the-neck that is mobile shopping! Who hasn’t switched from their phone to their computer after clicking an email link for a cute pair of sneakers? In a perfect world, this new service would be like speaking to a real person. But unless I am mistaken, it will probably feel more like any number of voice menus that people find themselves shouting at to be understood.
Chelsea Kerwin, February 15, 2016
December 31, 2015
The Internet is a cold, cruel place, especially if you hang out in the comments section on YouTube, eBay forums, social media, and 4chan. If you practice restraint and limit your social media circles to trusted individuals, you can surf the Internet without encountering trolls and haters. Some people do not practice common sense, so they encounter many hateful situations on the Internet and as a result they demand “safe spaces.” Safe spaces are where people do not encounter anything negative.
Safe spaces are stupid. Period. What is disappointing is that the “safe space” and “only positive things” has made its way into the scientific community according to Nature in the article, “‘Novel, Amazing, Innovative’: Positive Words On The Rise In Science Papers.”
The University Medical Center in the Netherlands studied the use of positive and negative words in the titles of scientific papers and abstracts from 1974-2014 published on the medical database PubMed. The researchers discovered that positive words in titles grew from 2% in 1974 to 17.5% in 2014. Negative word usage increased from 1.3% to 2.4%, while neutral words did not see any change. The trend only applies to research papers, as the same test was run using published books and it showed little change.
“The most obvious interpretation of the results is that they reflect an increase in hype and exaggeration, rather than a real improvement in the incidence or quality of discoveries… The findings “fit our own observations that in order to get published, you need to emphasize what is special and unique about your study,” he says. Researchers may be tempted to make their findings stand out from thousands of others — a tendency that might also explain the more modest rise in usage of negative words.”
While there is some doubt associated with the findings, because it was only applied to PubMed. The original research team thinks that it points to much larger problem, because not all research can be “innovative” or “novel.” The positive word over usage is polluting the social, psychological, and biomedical sciences.
Under the table, this really points to how scientists and researchers are fighting for tenure. What would this mean for search engine optimization if all searches and descriptions had to have a smile? Will they even invent a safe space filter?
Whitney Grace, December 31, 2015
December 28, 2015
December is lauded as the most wonderful time due to that warm, fuzzy feeling and also because retail chains across the world will be operating in the black at the end of the year. Online shopping has shown record sales this year, especially since shoppers do not want to deal with crowds and limited stock. Shopping online allows them to shop from the convenience of their homes, have items delivered to their front door, and find great deals. Retail chains are not the only ones who love the holidays. Cyber criminals also enjoy this season, because people are less concerned with their persona information. Credit card and bank account numbers are tossed around without regard, creating ample game for identity theft.
While credit card companies have created more ways to protect consumers, such as the new microchip in cards, third party security companies have also created ways to protect consumers. Tender Armor is a security company with a simple and brilliant fraud prevention solution.
On the back of every credit card is a security code that is meant to protect the consumer, but it has its drawbacks. Tender Armor created a CVVPlus service that operates on the same principle as the security code, except of having the same code, it rotates on daily basis. Without the daily code, the credit card is useless. If a thief gets a hold of your personal information, Tender Armor’s CVVPlus immediately notifies you to take action. It is ingenious in its simplicity.
In order to use Tender Armor, you must pay for an additional service on your credit card. With the increased risk in identity theft, it is worth the extra few bucks.
December 21, 2015
The article titled IBM Watson Vs. Amazon: Machine Learning Systems Presage the Future on Datamation dukes it out between IBM’s famous supercomputer and the Amazon Web Services platform. Both are at the forefront of the industry, but which is best? Unsurprisingly, the article offers no definitive answer beyond: it depends what you are using them for. The article states,
“Amazon offers a simplified platform for developers who want to start working with machine learning without a lot of stress or specialized tools or investment… What IBM is trying to establish with the Watson analytics engine is not just storing and acquiring data, but taking all that information and doing something meaningful with it as an AI service or Intelligence as a Service.”
Jack Gold, Principal Analyst for J.Gold Associates, emphasizes that the larger point is that the AI technologies these two companies are competing to lead will shortly be much more far-spread due to the ever increasing amounts of data. The article also discusses some of the more exciting uses of Watson and Amazon. The former, through a company called Fluid, is being put to use in the retail industry relying on Watson’s ability to “read” customer personalities (with his handy personality matrix). Amazon Machine Learning, in the meanwhile, has recently been used for predictive modeling of job-cost estimates for insurance companies and builders.
Chelsea Kerwin, December 21, 2015
December 7, 2015
I read “Suchfunktion: Mehr Treffer – mehr Umsatz. “ If you read German, you will learn about several eCommerce search solutions. These are:
- Epoq Search
- Fact Finder
- SDL Fredhopper
Epoq Search, according to the firm’s Web site delivers error tolerant eCommerce search.
Exorbyte is an eCommerce search system which can also handle some enterprise search tasks.
Fact Finder, the best German search engine, according to the company’s Web site, delivers a new backend experience. You can learn more about this firm’s approach to eCommerce search at this link.
Findologic wants to have customers stop searching and find. The system’s features are described briefly at this link.
SDL Fredhopper. I have always liked the name Fredhopper. The system is now SDL eCommerce Optimization. Farewell, Fredhopper. You can learn about the system which is about 20 years old at this link. SDL is the translation outfit.
Searchperience is a cloud and eComerce search system. The system does “professional indexing.” More information is available at this link.
Why did I provide links? The reason is that the source article did not include links. The descriptions of the system are helpful, but the value of the write up pivots on companies not mentioned in the write ups about search originating in the US.
Stephen E Arnold, December 7, 2015
December 5, 2015
Short honk: Navigate to the Apple iTunes app store. (Heads up! The link won’t work from this blog post.) Plug in the query “Uber.” What do you get? No Uber app. To find the app, navigate to travel and scroll through the listings. I am not sure which giant vendors’ eCommerce search is worse: Apple’s, Amazon’s, or eBay’s. Nifty when a key word, which is the company’s name and the product name, are not in the search results listings. Very tasty.
Stephen E Arnold, December 5, 2015
December 4, 2015
Oh, 1999, what a year that was! It was full of people afraid of Y2K, TV was still analog, email was still a novelty, and AOL still reigned as the supreme Web browser. Nobody really knew what Amazon was as many people did their online shopping on individual Web sites or on eBay. Recode takes a look at a video blast from the past in “Watch Jeff Bezos Lay Out His Grand Vision For Amazon’s Future Dominance In This 1999 Video.”
In 1999, Amazon was a four-year-old company with $1 billion in annual sales. It started out primarily selling books, CDs, and movies. The Jeff Bezos video is of a talk he gave at the Association of American Publishers annual meeting, it played on Book TV and nobody watches that, which it is why it probably has gone unnoticed for so long. While it is a good retrospect about how the company has grown, it also offers some useful information for business entrepreneurs. The entire video is fifty-five minutes long, but the article contains some of Bezos’s best quotes. Our favorite is this one about favoring growth versus profits:
“Amazon.com is a famously unprofitable company. And the question is: Are we concerned about it? The answer is, in the short term, no; and in the long term, of course. Every company needs to be profitable at some point in time … Our strategy and we’ve consistently articulated this, is that we believe that this opportunity is so large that it would be a mistake for any management team not to invest in it very aggressively at this kind of critical category formation stage. We don’t claim it’s the right strategy. We just claim it’s ours. But we do think it’s right. And that it would be a mistake to try to optimize for short-term profitability.”
Jeff Bezos’s advice about favoring growth versus short-term profit definitely worked for him. Amazon is one of the world’s retailers and it is still growing. It is set to dominate TV, software-as-a-surface, and air delivery.
Whitney Grace, December 4, 2015
December 1, 2015
Let’s assume that the data in “A Survival Toolkit for the Planet of the Apps” is spot on. I draw this conclusion because the write up has a title which tickled by funny bone. Yep, I have one. One.
I did not know that 27 percent of mobile apps are located via a search engine. A surprising 52 percent are found via referrals. And the much maligned Web site pitching app? The company Web site sparks 24 percent of the app action.
The data appear in this graphic:
Apps are, it seems, the go to way to close deals. However, for apps which focus on selling things to consumer. The write up reports that 38 percent of the folks installing an app to buy something, uninstall the app once the product is ordered.
What does this mean for outfits like the Google? The in app search function will be useful, but the old fashioned Web site cannot be kicked to the curb yet.
Stephen E Arnold, December 1, 2015