January 14, 2015
I enjoy the IBM marketing hoo hah about Watson. Perhaps it lags behind the silliness of some other open source search repackagers, it is among my top five most enjoyable emissions about information access.
I read “IBM Debuts New Mainframe in a $1 Billion Bet on Mobile.” I love IBM mainframes, particularly the older MVS TSO variety for which we developed the Bellcore MARS billing system. Ah, those were the days. Using Information Dimensions BASIS and its wonder little exit and run this routine, we did some nifty things.
Furthermore, the mainframe is still a good business. Just think of the banks running IBM mainframes. Those puppies need TLC and most of the new whiz kids are amazed at keyboards with lots and lots of function keys. Fiddle with a running process and make an error. Let me tell you that produces billable hours for the unsnarlers.
IBM has “new” mainframe. Please, no oxymoron emails. Dubbed the z13—you, know alpha and omega, so with omega taken—z is the ultimate. Los primeros required hard wiring and caution when walking amidst the DASDs. Not today. These puppies are pretty much like tame mainframes with a maintenance dependency. z13s are not iPads.
The blue bomber has spent $1 billion on this new model. Watson received big buck love too, but mainframes are evergreen revenue. Watson is sort of open sourcey. The z13 is not open sourcey. That’s important because proprietary means recurring revenue.
Companies with ageing mainframes are not going to shift to a stack of Mac Minis bought on eBay. Companies with ageing mainframes are going to lease—wait for it—more mainframes. Try to find a recent comp sci grad and tell him to port the inter bank transfer system to a Mac Mini. How eager will that lass be?
Now to the write up. Here’s the passage I highlighted in pink this morning:
The mainframe is one of IBM’s signature hardware products that will help sell related software and services, and it’s debuting at a critical time for the Armonk, New York-based company. Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty is trying to find new sources of revenue growth from mobile offerings, cloud computing and data analytics as demand for its legacy hardware wanes.
There you go. The mainframe does mobile. The new version also does in line, real time fraud detection. The idea is that z13 prevents money from leaving one account for another account if there is a hint, a mere sniff, of fraud.
My view is that it will be some time before Amazon, Facebook, and Google port their mobile systems to the z13, but for banks? This is possible a good thing.
Will the z13 allow me to view transaction data on a simulated green screen? Will their be a Hummingbird widget to convert this stuff to a 1980 interface?
I am delighted I don’t have to come up with ideas to generate hundreds of millions in new revenue for IBM. This is a very big task, only marginally more difficult than converting Yahoo into the next Whatsapp.
No word on pricing for a z13 running Watson.
Stephen E Arnold, January 14, 2015
November 12, 2014
The article titled Airstrip and IBM Partner to Develop Predictive Analtics Solution on HIT Consultant explored the announcement of the partnership to the development of mobile monitoring of patients in critical conditions. The University of Michigan Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care (MCIRCC) will also be involved. The article explains,
“MCIRCC will pioneer the application of this technology with AirStrip by developing the advanced analytics and testing its ability to identify and predict a serious and unexpected complication called hemodynamic decompensation, one of the most common causes of death for critically ill or injured patients. MCIRCC researchers anticipate that the resulting solution may provide the clinical decision support tool that enables clinicians to identify patient risk factors for early intervention. Early intervention can enhance critical care delivery, improve patient outcomes, and reduce ICU admissions..”
The top goals of the research are to reduce healthcare costs while improving patient outcomes. This is to be achieved through the combination of the AirStrip ONE® platform and the IBM® InfoSphere® Streams. Especially exciting is the ability for this technology to assess patients inside and outside of the hospital walls.Patients with conditions including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, and congestive heart failure could be monitored for “clinical deterioration” and possible complications could be prevented with this technology.
Chelsea Kerwin, November 12, 2014
October 21, 2014
Lots of pieces are coming together to drive the mobilization of Microsoft SharePoint: iOS, Microsoft Office 365, and Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite. But is this a good thing? Will it be of value to organizations? FierceMobileIT tackles some of those questions in their recent article, “Does SharePoint offer mobile collaboration opportunities?”
The article begins by referencing an interview with Yaacov Cohen:
“Tech Republic‘s Will Kelly visited the topic in a recent article, speaking with Yaacov Cohen, CEO of harmon.ie, a collaboration tools vendor, for his reality check on how enterprise mobility, SharePoint and Office 365 are currently working together . . . ‘Cohen sees iPad dominance in the Enterprise 2000 market and the executive world as a tremendous opportunity for SharePoint, which has been suffering from a lack of acceptance at the executive level,’ the article notes.”
Stephen E. Arnold has made a career out of following all things search. He reports his findings via ArnoldIT.com and many end users and managers look to his reporting for the latest news, tips, and tricks. SharePoint gets a good share of his attention and those interested in learning more will benefit from keeping an eye on his SharePoint feed.
Emily Rae Aldridge, October 21, 2014
October 3, 2014
We see from a write-up at Linux magazine that dtSearch is embracing Android. The press release announces, “New Android Beta for the dtSearch Engine for C++ and Java Developers; Beta Adds Android to Engine’s Current Linux and Windows C++, Java, and ./NET SDKs.” We learn:
“The dtSearch Engine for Android beta will join the existing dtSearch Engine for Linux (native 64-bit/32-bit C++ and Java APIs) and dtSearch Engine for Win & .NET (native 64-bit/32-bit C++, Java and .NET APIs) in making available dtSearch’s instant searching and document filters for a wide range of Internet, Intranet and other commercial applications. (Please see http://www.dtsearch.com/casestudies.html for hundreds of developer case studies.)”
The write-up goes on to give a rundown of dtSearch’s features, like its advanced document filters, terabyte-ready index, limitless multithreaded searching, federated and spider searches, faceted search, and international language support. See the write-up for more on each of these.
Launched in 1991, DtSearch has become a major provider of data-management software to firms in several fields and to numerous government agencies in defense, law enforcement, and space exploration. The company also makes its products available for incorporation into other commercial applications. dtSearch has distributors worldwide, and is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland.
Cynthia Murrell, October 03, 2014
October 1, 2014
I read “On The Future of Apple and Google.” The bulk of the write up touches bases that are familiar to those who play softball at the Palo Alto fields. However, there was one passage that caught my attention:
The beauty of the modern mobile era is that it isn’t held back by anti-innovators like the carriers or monopolists like Microsoft and Intel who gated the pace of innovation in previous platform eras. The mobile stack has decoupled these previous incumbents from control. Today, Google is snapping up robotics companies and investing in autonomous vehicles, all of which will run futuristic versions of its operating systems and have the promise to measurably improve the way humans live.
Google seems to have the edge. Will governments cooperate. Analyses of companies near the Apple and Google stratosphere may have to find ways to deal with:
- Closed markets or closing markets. Does China qualify?
- Low cost competitors approved by governments? What devices will Australia find acceptable?
- Privacy matters. Even wealthy companies want to avoid large fines. Didn’t Yahoo react when the price tag was $250,000 per day.
- Social disruptions. Is it naive to assume that daily life will just trundle along in stable areas of the world?
My view is that dominant companies may have to find ways to remain dominant beyond copying one another, buying market share, and emulating Cornelius Vanderbilt.
Stephen E Arnold, October 1, 2014
September 30, 2014
A mobile search app would be useful and appreciated by mobile devices. According to the URX Blog post “Deduplication Of Web Content” it is relatively easy to create a search app, but creating a robust search app is the challenge. A robust search app would need to include link prioritization, feature extraction, re-crawl estimation, and content deduplication. The post is the first in an article series developing a mobile search app.
Deduplicating content is important for user experience:
“Duplicate pages in a search index poison search results. The goal of a search engine is to return both relevant and diverse documents, allowing users to decide the optimal resolution for a query. Without deduplication, the top-k results returned for a user’s query would likely contain duplicate content. In the extreme, all k results will be copies of the same page. This creates a bad user experience where, as the crawler scales out, the duplicate likelihood increases. In fact, Google’s Matt Cutts believes that up to 20% of web content is duplicated.”
The rest of the post examines the different types of duplication, how to identify them, and remove them from search results.
While the search app will serve an important function, it does not make sense to me why people cannot just open a Web browser on a mobile device and conduct a regular search. What I would like to see is an app that searches content on apps on a device.
September 16, 2014
Can a deal with HP help Google’s Android catch up to Apple’s iOS in the business market? According to Business Insider, “Google Is Chasing Apple’s Mega Deal with IBM.” The potential deal is said to revolve around Google Now, which would serve as a voice-search tool for company information. Considering Apple’s recent partnership with IBM, the timing here is interesting. However, despite the certainty implied in the BI headline, Google seems to be playing it cool. Writer Eugene Kim reports:
“The report [at the paywall-guarded site The Information] said the two companies have been in talks for about a year now, though Google hasn’t shown as much interest in the deal so far. But HP could be a potential partner since it has deep roots in enterprise clients and has been developing a mobile search product nicknamed ‘Enterprise Siri,’ according to the report.
“In fact, HP had discussed the ‘Enterprise Siri’ idea with Apple earlier this year, before Apple announced its partnership with IBM last month, the report said. It also said HP at one point pitched the idea of building a Nexus phone for businesses, with advanced encryption features, which was turned down by then-Android head, Andy Rubin.”
So, as of this writing we don’t really know whether this deal will go through. One thing seems certain—Google will have to do something if it wants to catch up to Apple in the enterprise. Is this deal with HP the answer, or is the famously innovative company eyeing some other solution(s)?
Cynthia Murrell, September 16, 2014
August 22, 2014
I read “There Are 18,796 Distinct Android Devices, According to OpenSignal’s Latest Fragmentation Report.” I noted this factoid in the write up:
18,796 separate Android devices
Several years ago, one of the interchangeable Google mobile engineers emphasized that there was minimal Android fragmentation.
One aspect of this issue is the emergence of open source Android. Has Google lost control of Android and the opportunity to extract high end device revenue in its quest for ads?
At least one Chinese phone outfit is working the angle “Show me the money.” With many distinct Android devices and folks going their own way like Amazon and Samsung, Google does not have a fragmentation problem. Google has competition, confusion, and cash challenges breeding and cross breeding.
I know the Google response, “Trivial.” If Google believes this, will a meta-tactics grind the challengers to disconnected ones and zeros?
Stephen E Arnold, August 22, 2014
August 19, 2014
Google is attempting to swat away yet another pesky legal matter, this time in U.S. federal court over their Android licensing practices. Why won’t this unpleasantness just go away? Yahoo News shares, “Google Seeks to Dismiss U.S. Antitrust Lawsuit Over Android.” Writer Dan Levine reports:
“Two smartphone customers filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Google Inc. in May, arguing that the way Google licenses Android to smartphone companies like Samsung Electronics Co Ltd is unfair to Google’s competitors for search and other mobile services….
“Plaintiff lawyers had argued that Google forces phone manufacturers to set its own search engine as the default on Android phones. Google knows consumers will not go through the trouble of changing those default settings, the lawsuit said, putting competitors at an unfair disadvantage given Android’s global market share.
“‘Google badly wants default search engine status because it results in more paid search-related advertisements,’ the lawsuit said, ‘which are the source of most of its billions and billions of dollars in annual profits.’”
Well, naturally. The question is whether the tactics are legal. Google responded to charges in a court filing, claiming their actions are completely above board. They go so far as to insist their practices foster healthy, legal competition. They do point to customers’ ability to install a different search engine. They also point out that Android-using manufacturers aren’t required to accept Google apps, and that they can even preload competing apps. Ah, bloatware—so much for putting the customer first.
Cynthia Murrell, August 19, 2014
August 5, 2014
A few years ago, I was in China. I marveled at the multi-SIM phones. I fiddled with a half dozen models and bought an unlocked GSM phone running Android 2.3. The clerk in the store told me that there would be Android phones without Google. At the time, I was thinking about the fragmentation of Android. In hindsight, I think the clerk in Xian knew a heck of a lot more about the future of Android without Google than I understood. The Chinese manufacturers liked Android but not the Google ball and chain “official Android” required of licensees. Android without Google seems to be a less small thing.
I read “Google Under Threat as Forked Android Devices Rise to 20% of Smartphone Shipments.”The article points out that Android has a market share of 85 percent. The article points out that market share is one thing. Revenue is another. With Web search from traditional computers losing its pride of place, mobile search is a bigger and bigger deal. Unfortunately the money generated by mobile clicks is not the gusher that 2004 style search was. To compensate, Google has been monetizing its silicon heart out. You can read one person’s view of Google search in “Dear Google, I Am Writing an Open Letter from the Search Wilderness.”
I am sure Google will dismiss the NextWeb’s story. I am not so sure. As NextWeb observes, “The company faces a growing issue: The rise of non Google Android.” The real test will be the steps Google takes to pump up the top line and control costs at a time when complaints about Google search are becoming more interesting and compelling.
Stephen E Arnold, August 5, 2014