Crazy Enterprise Search Report: Content Marketing Spam Gets Religious

June 23, 2020

DarkCyber noted this content marketing spam dutifully recycled by Jewish Market Reports:

Enterprise Search Software Market Emerging Industry Trends and Dynamics with Prominent Players as Algolia, Amazon, Coveo Solutions, Elasticsearch, IBM, iManage, Lucidworks, Microsoft, SearchUnify, Swiftype

And the author. Maybe a nice Jewish fellow named Sameer Joshi or maybe just a pseudonym?

The story recycles a bit of fluff from the Goodwill of off base data. Goodwill accepts almost any product; the data off shoot is okay with crazed generalizations of mostly off base numbers. That Excel projection function is a darned useful thing too.

The write up covers the 360 view of the market. What’s interesting about these recycled and spam centric reports is not their cost. Think thousands. The fascinating bit is the list of companies fueling the rocket ship of enterprise search in the Rona Era; specifically:

  • Algolia
  • com, Inc. [sic]
  • Coveo Solutions Inc.
  • Elasticsearch B.V.
  • IBM Corporation
  • iManage LLC
  • Lucidworks, Inc.
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • SearchUnify (Grazitti Interactive Inc.)
  • Swiftype, Inc.

A couple of observations. The list is alphabetized, a useful operation. But the nifty part are com, Inc. [sic] and Grazitti. To be blunt, neither outfit is in the DarkCyber/Beyond Search files.

For a nice Jewish boy or maybe not, the list of leaders makes sense. Where was his grandmother when the author demonstrated an inability to determine what was wheat and what was chaff?

Definitely not paying attention because she was working on an earlier version of the document offered by her company, The Insight Partners. More time with Sameer Joshi, her grandson, would have been well spent I surmise. But the publication? Hmmm.

Stephen E Arnold, June 23, 2020

Intel Secure CPUs: From the Outfit That Delivered Unfixable Security Issues?

June 17, 2020

I read “Intel Brings Novel CET Technology to Tiger Lake Mobile CPUs.” Sounds good. Sounds like Google and quantum supremacy. Sounds like IBM cheerleading for Watson’s Covid drug discovery service. Sounds like… marketing.

Intel, as DarkCyber recalls, has been shipping CPUs with some interesting characteristics: [a] Older and very warm technology and [b] CPUs with security issues that have been metaphorically characterized as unfixable.

True? DarkCyber believes everything available via the Internet.

ZDNet asserts in what seems like marketing department speak:

Intel has announced today that its experimental CET security feature will be first made available in the company’s upcoming Tiger Lake mobile CPUs.

Okay, experimental.

Like the quantum computer Horse collar innovation, DarkCyber will take a wait-and-see stance. The article contains a diagram, helpfully provided by Intel.

The innovation is definitely going to put a dent in AMD mobile CPU sales. Oh, right. Intel has a new line of mobile CPUs built on old fabrication technology.

The message seems to be:

“When we need to maintain a technical lead, let’s issue a news release.”

Does this echo like the quantum supremacy and Covid approach to technical leadership. Is Intel following a marketing and PR playbook, not technical realities?

Stephen E Arnold, June 16, 2020

Free Logo Search

June 16, 2020

Years ago I profiled a company called Trademark Scan. The firm gathered logos, indexed them, and created a commercial database. The idea was that trademark attorneys could sign up and receive alerts when some possibly infringed on a trademark. I lost track of the company, but the idea seemed interesting. As I recall, the service was expensive.

Now you can search for logos for free. No pattern matching, no alerts, and no fees. Navigate to Logosearch at the url https://logosear.ch. (Love that Swiss domain?)

There are some hitches in the git alongs. Some logos do not display and there are broken links. Here’s what a search for Google returned on June 15, 2020, at 0630 am US Eastern time:

image

Who knew that Google used a logo that looked like a tennis ball with flair? Certainly not DarkCyber.

Stephen E Arnold, June 16, 2020

After Dog Matching, Watson Pivots to Technology Ops

June 13, 2020

Can an older dog learn new tricks after a visit to a Mexican avocado festival?

It has been a while since Watson debuted, so it is not surprising the AI supercomputer would need to be retrained in IT. It has a held a variety of other jobs from chef to medical professional, so going back to its roots will do wonders for Watson’s career. ARN explains that, “IBM Retains Watson AI For IT Operations?”

Watson’s retraining comes from IBM’s CEO Arvind Krishna, who wants to use the AI supercomputer to become a tool diagnosing and solving enterprise IT problems. Krishna particularly wants to focus on the new AIOps market that applies AI to IT operations. He also wants to focus on cloud edge computing and the growing importance of the 5G mobile infrastructure. The new Watson AIOps will:

“Watson AIOps, IBM’s name for the new iteration of Watson, is built on the latest release of Red Hat OpenShift, a container orchestration platform, so it can run across hybrid cloud environments.

It’s designed to evaluate the swarms of alerts generated by IT monitoring tools when an incident occurs, in order to identify and help fix the root cause of the problem…

IBM already has an AI-based IT operations management tool, Netcool Operations Insight, that automatically groups related events and provides context to help solve problems.”

IBM is not the only AIOps developer in the market, but despite the hefty competition Krishna believes Watson and his company offer tools they cannot find anywhere else.

With 5G and cloud edge computing, IBM could have a one up on a market still in development.

Whitney Grace, June 13, 2020

Super Ethical Uber Wants to Determine If AI Can Be Ethical: Pot Calling Kettle What?

June 12, 2020

I spotted this headline: “Uber Researchers Investigate Whether AI Can Behave Ethically.” I immediately asked this question:

Can ethical Uber hire ethical engineers who can ethically decide if smart software can be ethical?

Then I had to sit down with a cool cloth on my forehead. The question caused me to develop a slight stitch in my side and a headache.

Uber is an interesting outfit, and I wonder if it would be the expected high-tech wonderland to delve into philosophical questions. Some Uber drivers have appeared agitated when faced with ethical decisions. Allegedly shooting, shouting, and assaulting passengers do not seem particularly difficult to resolve in terms of Kentucky ethicalities. Then Uber had a founder who engaged in interesting behavior. He is now creating the future elsewhere and presumably refining his management skills. I don’t want to overlook the triviality of the Google-Uber Lewandowski affair. That too was something which may have caught the attention of Aristotle if he were alive today and updating his Nicomachean Ethics for the with-it world of Silicon Valley.

Remarkable goal the Uber professionals have set for themselves. One assumes an Uber artificial intelligence expert will reveal the learnings from this bold initiative.

On the other hand, we might wait to see if an Uber AI equipped automobile runs over a chipmunk or a 77 year old blogger in Kentucky.

Stephen E Arnold, June 12, 2020

Is It Facebookization or Goddellization? Either Way Zation Is a Thing

June 6, 2020

DarkCyber noted the article “Facebook’s Zuckerberg Vows to Review Content Policies.” Interesting. Mr. Zuckerberg, the supreme and respected Great Leader of Facebook, is doing backtracking with a red herring. A vow. Wow. Not an actual action but a vow, a promise, an assurance of rethink-ization. The write up reports  in “real news” fashion:

Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said the company will review content policies after employees blasted their leader for his decision to leave up controversial posts … The company will review policies on posts that promote or threaten state use of force or voter suppression techniques, and will also look into options for flagging or labeling posts that are a violation but shouldn’t necessarily be removed entirely, the CEO wrote on Facebook. He also pledged to study Facebook’s review structure “to make sure the right groups and voices are at the table.”

Facebook has been a stellar example of appropriate behavior for years. There have been some slips twixt the cup and the lip. Cambridge Analytica, the role of the firm’s Board of Directors, and testimony before the US Congress. No biggies.

A “zation” for sure. Facebookization appears to mean the act of emitting statements that semi-approach issues of governance and related matters. Change could be afoot. Baloney-ization remains a possibility.

Then there is the non technical Goodellization of mental frameworks. Walt Disney’s “real news” company published “NFL Players Spoke, and Roger Goodell Responded.” Now What? Here’s What We Know.” No mouse ears were included as illustrative touch points.

In a video message released Friday night (June 5, 2020) , NFL commissioner Roger Goodell responded to a video released Thursday night (June 4, 2020) by a collection of NFL stars, including Michael Thomas, Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. Goodell’s video included three specific statements the players in Thursday’s video asked the NFL to make about racism, social injustice and peaceful protests. “We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people,” Goodell said. “We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all players to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the National Football League, believe that black lives matter.”

The Goodellization of a contentious issue arrives with the timeliness and possibly the sincerity of the Facebookization event.

Several observations:

  1. Employee push back now is more effective than an internal ethical compass for guiding a corporate construct. DarkCyber thought that fuzzy stuff like subjective data was irrelevant in today’s go go business world.
  2. No actual change has taken place in the isolated, self congratulating worlds of Facebook social media or the voracious maw of video.
  3. A threat to money and power is more effective than employees posting grumpies on an email system or fencing with attorney Mark Geragos, handwaving, and emulating Roman nobles.

Facebookization and Goddellization. New words. Maybe new behaviors in the online and video constructs?

We’ll see because this social media and TV sports watching produces money. A threat to the cash flow puts the cards on the table, the fingers on the buttons, and the thought processes of Big Wheels in a different gear. Money-ization?

Stephen E Arnold, June 6, 2020

IBM Watson Is Versatile: Covid Economic Predictions

June 4, 2020

Ah, Watson, so versatile! Now IBM’s famous AI platform, in conjunction with marketing firm Wunderman Thompson, is helping communities cope with the repercussions of the covid-19 pandemic. SearchEnterpriseAI reports on “Using Data And IBM AI to Make Coronavirus Economic Predictions.” Writer Mark Labbe tells us about the Risk, Readiness, and Recovery map:

“The platform, released May 21, uses Wunderman Thompson’s data, as well as machine learning technology from IBM Watson, to predict state and local government COVID-19 preparedness and estimated economic recovery timetables for businesses and governments. … A global marketing subsidiary of British multinational communications firm WPP plc, Wunderman Thompson has collected thousands of data elements on 270 million people in the U.S, including transaction, demographic and health data. That data, which is anonymized, led the company to understand the potential economic impact of the coronavirus quickly.”

The firm has its own technology division, which developed the platform with Watson’s machine learning tech. The two companies had begun working together about this time last year. Labbe describes this latest collaboration:

“The platform, as the name suggests, focuses on three areas:

1. Risk. Health conditions, COVID-19 and census.

2. Readiness. Health support within communities.

3. Recovery. The impact of COVID-19 on the economy.

“Risk identifies how much a given local government organization or zip code area in the U.S. is at risk from COVID-19. Readiness, meanwhile, identifies how prepared an area is by looking at its hospital and intensive care unit availability, and Recovery identifies how economically affected local areas are, how fast they might recover and when they might return to normal.”

A free version of the platform is available, while the full product is being sold to governments and enterprises. The key selling point is the localized predictions which, we’re told, will vary widely even from one county to the next. Was Watson consulted to determine the economic impact of IBM’s recent round of terminations?

Cynthia Murrell, June 4, 2020

Google Search: Clutching at Elephant Parts?

June 3, 2020

The DarkCyber research team finds Google search endlessly fascinating. The group is less interested in the relevance of the results and increasingly interested in the manipulations of data. The line between objective results and weaponized results is a thin one. Figuring out what is occurring, the intent of changes in data presentation, and the actions of stakeholders like SEO (search engine optimization) professionals is similar to the behaviors we documented in our Dark Web research. (We summarized some of our data in “Dark Web Notebook. Information about that monograph is available at this link.) Our radar beeped when one of the team identified a certified SEO expert who identified himself as a “hustler.” This is street jargon for a person with behaviors which may be perceived as illegal or quasi illegal.

Consider this Reddit post from Antihero. The focus of Antihero’s attention was a search for mattress. The result returned about 761 million results. However, the first page of search results — that is the one that 95 percent of those using Google view — is entirely ads. To support the argument, Antihero includes a screen shot of the page which indeed is entirely “pay to play” content. Yep, ads, infomercials in text form, carnival barkers who get that prime real estate by paying off the entertainment company managing the event. To sum up, Google is not good.

Now consider this post from a company which depends on Google for indexing and pointing to its content. “Panda and the Death of SEO PR” explains that Google is doing an outstanding job of filtering certain content from its search results. The idea is that bogus news releases which can be output after registering for free news release services is filtered. Plus the changes in search since 2013 have made it more difficult for outputters to put certain content on Web pages which are then indexed by Google and made available to the world. To sum up, Google is good.

Let’s step back. Google is in the business of selling ads. The ad business is different from those halcyon days when Google was furiously litigating with Yahoo about certain similarities between Google’s fledgling ad service and Yahoo’s ad system and method. Google ended up inking a deal; Yahoo went back into its purple jack in the box; and the pay to play approach to “objective” search become the de facto standard in the US and then elsewhere.

When a Web site is not indexed, the webmaster or 23 year old political science major reinvented while living in mom and dad’s basement needs traffic. What are the choices?

  1. Create content and hope that tweets, Facebook posts, and links in LinkedIn generate hundreds of thousands of page views. Google’s algorithms and ad sales professionals monitor such traffic anomalies. A spike could mean a customer with money to spend. With more than 35 billion Web pages in the online indexes, generating a spike is possible, but it is difficult to achieve. That path is called “organic search.” The idea is that clicks flow from the video, the content, or the image posted. Organic search operates on the magnet principle. Good content pulls traffic. Yes, that happens.
  2. Buy ads. This approach does work. Amazon, Facebook, Google, and others operate search systems and match ads to user interests. For product traffic, Amazon is emerging as the big dog running in front of the Bezos bulldozer to chase small animals off the trail. Facebook — despite its somewhat unstable political and social position — can deliver person centric ads. Google is the champion of free Web search on the desktop and on mobile devices. If you want traffic, you buy and ad. The ad produces traffic. There is chatter that buying ads has other upsides as well, but those are a subject for a future post.

Now back to the Reddit post. Those who buy ads for content related to mattresses and pay the most appear on the results page in Antihero’s online article.

And what about the eRelease “Google is wonderful” post? It is valid, particularly for Google partners and organizations which have an opportunity to participate in the Google ecosystem.

Net net: When organic traffic doesn’t work, one can work with a Google partner who can provide content distribution and a glide path for ad sales. When one grabs part of an elephant, even when one has one’s eyes open and one is wearing rubber boots and a rubber apron, it is difficult to see what you near.

Stephen E Arnold, June 3, 2020

Crazy Enterprise Search Report: Sketchy Astounding Info PLUS a Free Consultation

June 1, 2020

This week’s crazy enterprise search report is titled “Enterprise Search Market: Global Industry Analysis 2020-2026 by Types, Applications and Key Players.” The content seems to be a rehash, reprint, or repositioning of the weird Covid and enterprise search market report. The DarkCyber team did a little poking around, and it appears the “author” of this report is using free news release services. As we have noted in our previous crazy ESR market stories, the companies covered are a fruit salad. Elastic is left out; Concept Searching is included. Also rans like Expert System, IBM, and SAP are included. The others? Well, each company uses “enterprise search” in its marketing material. That is close enough for horse shoes for this report.

But the real plus is that after you buy the multi thousand dollar report, the buyer gets “free consulting.” From whom? Not revealed? On what? Not disclosed. How good? Not addressed.

Some people must buy these reports. Google believes these news releases are “real news.” Well, that’s a plus. If one is not in Google, one does not exist,  right. That’s a bit like the market for enterprise search when Elasticsearch is a click away. The data in the report? Maybe a Hopf fibration calculation gone awry? Maybe Dr. Hopf (were he alive) would award an “A” for effort?

Stephen E Arnold, June 1, 2020

4iQ Amps Up Its Marketing

May 28, 2020

It is all about volume. Though most of us delete the ubiquitous “sextortion” emails with little thought but a passing sense of distaste, enough victims fork over Bitcoin to make it a lucrative scam. 4iQ’s blog examines the tactic in, “Demystifying ‘Sextortion’ & Blackmail Scams.”

Lest you, dear reader, are so fortunate as to be unfamiliar with such emails, the post includes examples. Dripping scorn for those who would exploit fears and threaten people during a pandemic, writer ClairelfEye explains these deceivers purchase real email addresses and passwords stolen in one of the large-scale data breaches that have become all too common. They then leverage this information to convince marks they possess more, very personal, details. She writes:

“I reached out to my social networks to see if this is widespread, and sure enough, many people confirmed that they — or someone they know — have received these types of scams in the past five weeks. … While most people get annoyed, roll their eyes and delete these blackmail e-mails, this is a numbers game. There will be a few people that fall for these low-level scams. Out of the many sextortion scams forwarded to me by friends and family, one [Bitcoin] address received 0.270616 BTC, which equals $2,082.03 USD as of April 27, 2020.”

Regarding the data breaches that make this scam possible, ClairelfEye explains:

“Working at 4iQ, I am almost too aware of data breaches happening on a daily basis. We investigate, validate and report on breached data every day. In fact, I can probably accurately surmise that this scammer got my email and clear text password in the 1.4 billion clear text credentials trove our breach hunters found back in 2017. Same goes for many of the forwarded scam emails I received. Interesting to see this information run full circle.”

The author’s colleague Alberto Casares, she tells us, is aggregating, investigating, and reporting on these extortion attempts. To participate, receivers of such emails can send them to report.email.threats@gmail.com. Dubbing itself the “Adversary Intelligence Company,” 4iQ offers consumer protection products and curates and normalizes compromised identities to help combat fraud and other crimes. Founded in 2016, the company is based in Los Altos, California.

Another specialized services firm amps up its marketing. This quest for sales and venture funding may be a trend.

Cynthia Murrell, May 28, 2020

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