Want to Get More Info about Deep Learning

January 27, 2015

Short honk: I read “Update with 408 Recent Papers to Deep Learning University.” The collection of articles includes new papers from late 204 to early 2015. Beat the traditional search engine vendor download rush, get the documents now.

Stephen E Arnold, January 27, 2015

IBM: No Way We Are Firing Lots of People

January 27, 2015

I watched as IBM’s stock rose after the story about a 100 000 person reduction in force. IBM replied to the assertion with its own response, according to “IBM Denies Mass Job Cuts.” According to the write up:

In a statement, the company said: “IBM does not comment on rumors, even ridiculous or baseless ones. “If anyone had checked information readily available from our public earnings statements, or had simply asked us, they would know that IBM has already announced the company has just taken a $600m (£398m) charge for workforce rebalancing. This equates to several thousand people, a small fraction of what’s been reported.”

IBM has enjoyed a stock boost greater than that generated by Watson marketing. I find this interesting. Watson, what’s your output?

Stephen E Arnold, January 27, 2015

ZyLAB Publishes File Analysis Market Guide

January 27, 2015

If you need help finding file analysis solutions, Nieuwsbank published this press release that might help you with your research, “Gartner ZyLAB in ‘The File Analysis Market Guide, 2014.’” File analysis refers to file storage and users who have access to them. It is used to manage intellectual property, keep personal information private, and protect data. File analysis solutions have many benefits for companies, including reducing businesses risks, reducing costs, and increasing operational efficiencies.

The guide provides valuable insights:

“In the Market Guide Gartner writes: ZyLAB enter this market from the perspective of and with a legacy in eDiscovery. The company has a strong presence in the legal community and is widely used by governments and organizations in the field of law enforcement. ZyLAB emphasis on activities such as IP protection and detection, fraud investigations, eDiscovery and responsibly removal of redundant data. ZyLAB supports storage types 200 and 700 file formats in 450 languages. This makes it a good choice for international companies. ‘”

ZyLAB is a respected eDiscovery and information risk management solutions company and this guide is a compilation of their insights. The articles point out that companies might have their own file analysis manuals, but few actually enforce its policies or monitor violations. Gartner is a leading market research and their endorsement should be all you need to use this guide.

Whitney Grace, January 27, 2014
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

HP Does not See Amazon as a Threat

January 27, 2015

Amazon has gone way beyond selling books at near wholesale prices. The world’s largest retailer practically sells everything, including IT applications and cloud storage. Companies that deal strictly in the IT industry are wary of Amazon’s moves, but HP has something else to say according to ReadWrite: “HP Cloud Chief: We’re Not ‘Intimidated’ By Amazon’s Cloud.”

Cloud storage is still an untapped IT market, but Amazon Web Services is predicted to be the industry leader from market shares and “relentless economies of scale.” Stephen O’Grady of Redmonk says:

“The economies of scale that larger players can bring to bear on the markets they target are, quite frankly, daunting. Their variable costs decrease due to their ability to purchase in larger quantities; their fixed costs are amortized over a higher volume customer base; their relative efficiency can increase as scale drives automation and improved processes; their ability to attract and retain talent increases in proportion to the difficulty of the technical challenges imposed; and so on.”

Along with Amazon, Microsoft and Google will also benefit, but HP and IBM are supposed to benefit as well. HP and IBM are smaller companies and they only way they can compete is to offer something that makes them unique compared to the bigger companies.

HP believes it will see success by closely following Amazon and offering services that are compatible with it. HP does not want to be a rival; instead it wants to stand on its own, while working in tandem with the big giant. It sounds like it wants to remain as neutral as Switzerland.

HP’s cloud plan sounds reasonable, but you have to remember that HP also said they were going to make Autonomy a million dollar business.

Whitney Grace, January 27, 2014
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Tips for Improved SharePoint Experience

January 27, 2015

It is about time for those New Year’s resolutions to be wearing off. There’s likely a little more dust on the treadmill come mid-January. Yet, it is never too late to commit to a few resolutions for your organization’s SharePoint installation. Read some handy and attainable tips in the Network World article, “5 New Year’s Resolutions (Tips) for SharePoint Power Users.”

The article begins:

“For my first blog post of 2015, I’ve compiled a list of New Year’s resolutions for SharePoint Power Users. These are my favorite tips and best practices to improve user experiences for SharePoint sites. They are in no particular order but they are all designed to improve the user experience for power user designers and/or end users of SharePoint sites.”

Tips go on to include things like organizing content, making meaningful links, and embedding PowerPoint pages via hyperlink. These are not life-changing tips, but they are helpful, and research has found that these small changes make a big impact on overall user experience. Stephen E. Arnold has a vested interest in these tips and tricks when it comes to SharePoint. He has made a career out of all things search and he reports his findings on his Web site, ArnoldIT.com. His SharePoint feed is a treasure trove for those who are interested in these practical suggestions for improved usability.

Emily Rae Aldridge, January 27, 2015

Enterprise Search: X1 Argues Search and Discovery Are the Cure to Findability Ills. Maybe Not?

January 26, 2015

I read a white paper from a search vendor called X1 or X1 Discovery. The company was incubated in the same hot house that produced GoTo.com. As a result of that pay to play model, Web search was changed from objectivity to advertising. X1 search, if I understand the white paper, Why Enterprise Search Fails in Most Cases and How to Fix It (registration from this link required to access the paper) and the companion article “X1 CEO Message: A New Approach to Enterprise Search Resonates” is the future of search.

The fix is an interface that looks like this:


Source: “Why Enterprise Search Fails in Most Cases and How to Fix It,” page 3.

In the “X1 CEO Message” I noted:

So in view of this customer and industry feedback, we coined the phrase “business productivity search” to differentiate what X1 focuses on verses most other enterprise search tools, which are typically re-fashioned big data analytics or web search appliances. And the feedback we’ve received on this from end-users and industry experts alike is that this assessment hits the nail on the head. Business productivity search is not big data analytics and it is not web retrieval. It is its own use case with a workflow and interface that is tailored to the end users. X1 provides the end-user with a powerful yet user-friendly and iterative means to quickly retrieve their business documents and emails using their own memory recall as opposed to generic algorithms that generate false positives and a workflow ill-suited to business productivity search.

I am not convinced that search and discovery as described is going to address the core issues that plague enterprise information access. Specifically, the last few decades have beaten keywords to death. The users have expressed their views by grousing about whatever keyword system is provided to them, finding alternatives to keyword search, and shifting attention from keywords to more actionable interfaces provided by a group of vendors largely unfamiliar to the keyword crowd.

There is a role for keyword search, but that utility function can be provided via open source solutions ranging from FLAX to Lucene to SphinxSearch and other options.

What is not provided is the automated collection, analysis, and report functions of the next generation information access systems. I have explained the characteristics of the next generation information access systems in CyberOSINT, described at www.xenky.com/cyberosint. In this study, I profile more than 18 next generation systems, provide a schematic of the functions included in these systems, and provide examples of the outputs these NGIA solutions provide to their users.

What’s interesting is that each of these vendors supports keyword search in some way. Just as a modern automobile provides a lever to display a turn signal, NGIA systems include utility functions. But—and this is a big “but”—the NGIA systems address the needs of the user. The idea is that the user, without trying to guess the keywords that unlock what’s in an index, provide actionable outputs. A dashboard is one option. More useful outputs include dynamic PDF maps with data displayed on a mobile device. The maps update ass the information arrives or the user moves around. There are outputs that show the key players in a deal and provide one click access to supporting data. No search is required. Many of the NGIA system operate in a predictive manner. When the user looks at the device, the information is “just there.”

I appreciate the efforts of vendors like X1, Coveo, Attivio, and IBM Watson in their attempts to breath new life into keyword search. Just as the old marketing essay about buggy whips made vivid to tens of thousands of MBA student, when the automobiles appear, the buggy whip outfits may want to make seat covers.

The fix for enterprise search problems is not more keyword and point and click suggestions. The solution is a shift to the NGIA approach. And that shift, whether traditional vendors of search grasp it, has already begun.

Stephen E Arnold, January 26, 2015

Online Brand: Will Facebook or Google Become the Internet

January 26, 2015

I read a very interesting item on a UK information service. The article is “People Actually Confuse Facebook and the Internet in Some Places.” Here’s the point I highlighted with orange this fine morning:

Ex-Googler, Facebook COO and mouthpiece Sheryl Sandberg claimed this week that some users (sorry, people) actually think that Mark Zuckerberg’s free-content ad network is the Internet.

I filed an item about Eric Schmidt’s widely publicized prognostication just a day or two before. Here’s a representative article: “Eric Schmidt’s Quite Right The Internet Will Disappear; All Technologies Do As They Mature.”

Google wants the disappearing Internet to be into Google. If Facebook acts out the suggestion that Facebook becomes the Internet, Google will not be happy.

The battle, therefore, is less about disappearing technology than a return to the good old days when a telephone meant Bell. Just cross out Bell, and slot in a nifty company like Facebook or Google.

Is this disappearance or a de facto, ubiquitous monopoly?

Stephen E Arnold, January 26, 2015

PC Sales: Expert Estimates Do not Agree. A Surprise?

January 26, 2015

Numbers are supposed to be cold, hard facts that prove the truth without a doubt. While numbers can be fudged, they can also be interpreted in different ways. Neowin tells us that two respected market research companies are arguing over a specific number sets. Read the article, “Gartner Reports PC Shipments Went Up In Q4, But IDC Says Otherwise.”

PC’s have faced steep competition in the past few years with people switching over to the Apple camp, tablets becoming more prevalent, and a small percentage building their own machines. PC’s still remain a huge staple in the computer market, but sales are declining.

Gartner says 83.7 million PC units were sold, while IDC says 80.8 million units were sold. IDC does agree with Gartner that the fourth quarter saw a rise in sales, but there was a 2.4% decrease in sales compared in 2013 numbers.

The reason for the difference in numbers relates to how the market research firms gather their information:

“The different results reported by IDC are easy to explain since the two research firms have different ways to define what constitutes a PC. IDC for example doesn’t count Windows tablet/hybrids such as the Surface Pro 3 but includes Chromebooks, while Gartner excludes any portables other than Windows tablets.”

It is not a surprise that number experts cannot agree on the numbers, especially when they are pulling data from different sources. This means both are right and both are wrong at the same time. The numbers do not lie, but the humans interpreting the data can read it wrong.

Whitney Grace, January 26, 2014
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Can Watson Help ex IBM Wizards Find a New Future?

January 26, 2015

I read “IBM Is about to Get Hit with a Massive Reorg and Layoffs.” Armed with mainframes and Watson, I assume that these technological wonders are guiding IBM management on its business decisions. According to the write up, which I assume is as accurate as Watson’s Jeopardy answers:

IBM is expected to go through a massive reorg next month that will reportedly see 26% of its 430,000-strong work force let go, or 111,800 people. If that figure holds true, that would make it far and away the largest corporate layoff event in history, breaking the record previously held by IBM, when it cut 60,000 in 1993.

With fantastical projections for revenue from Lucene and home brew code, I thought that IBM would be stuggling to find places to park its new found billions. Guess my faith in IBM was misplaced. Talking about billions and actually getting companies to give you billions are two different things I suppose.

I am looking forward to learning if this layoff thing is real or another Sillycon Valley hiccup.

Stephen E Arnold, January 26, 2015

What to Expect in 2015 Info Tech

January 26, 2015

Last year the IT industry raved about the benefits of big data and the advancements that had been made in that field. Big data is kind of old news and other than the occasional breakthrough, what else do we need to know about how it can help companies? While big data will continue to play a big role in 2015, GCN highlights other trends predicted to take off this year: “5 Trends That Will Drive IT Management in 2015.”

This article, of course, mentions big data, but rather than focusing on the technology, it describes its practical applications. Most big data advancements talk about the technology that drives it and how much data can be processed. The article explains that it will be used for more than combing through old data, but it will be even more important as video is utilized more especially for police officers.

Data collection will become even more complex as ownership debates will be tied to the locations of data stores. Cyber investigations will need to be ramped up, especially in infrastructure. Many tools exist to help investigators track attack patterns and trace packet traffic, but these are expensive toys. Organizations will have to start investing more in their front end.

Predictive analytics is something we have heard about, but has taken a back seat to big data. It might take off this year:

“Predictive analytics can be tied to many activities. Security experts are building applications that monitor external penetration efforts while predicting the next steps that hackers will take. At the same time behavioral profiling – collecting, analyzing and interpreting information to identify risks and predict threats – is on the rise.”

This year will be about more than big data, though if you want to be nit picky all these predictions tie back to big data’s overall purpose.

Whitney Grace, January 26, 2014
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

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