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Individualized Facebook Search

November 27, 2015

Facebook search is a puzzle.  If you want to find a specific post that you remember seeing on a person’s profile, you cannot find it unless it is posted to their timeline.  It is a consistent headache, especially if you become obsessed with finding that post.  Mashable alerts us to a new Facebook pilot program, “Facebook May Soon Let You Search Individual Profile Pages.”  Facebook’s new pilot program allows users to search for posts within a profile.

The new search feature is only available to pilot program participants.  Based on how the feedback, Facebook will evaluate the search function and announce a potential release date.

“Facebook says it’s a small pilot program going around the U.S. for iPhone and desktop and that users have requested an easier way to search for posts within a person’s profile. The feature is limited in nature and only showing up for a select group of people who are part of the pilot program. The social network will be evaluating feedback based on the pilot. No plans for an official rollout have been announced at this time.?”

The search feature shows up on user profiles as a basic search box with the description “search this profile” with the standard magnifying glass graphic.  It is a simple addition to a profile’s dashboard and it does not take up much space, but it does present a powerful tool.

Facebook is a social media platform that has ingrained itself into the function of business intelligence to regular socialization. As we rely more on it for daily functions, information needs to be easy to recall and access.  The profile search feature will probably be a standard Facebook dashboard function by 2016.

Whitney Grace, November 27, 2015
Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Search Experts Looking for Work? Rejoice

November 23, 2015

The article titled 17 Tools to Make LinkedIn Work for You on TNW provides some thoughtful commentary on how to make the best use of the social media platform LinkedIn. The article begins by emphasizing how important and relevant LinkedIn still is, particularly for people in Sales, who use the service to gather information and research prospects. It goes on to highlight the difficulty facing salespeople when it comes to searching LinkedIn, and the myriad of tools and Chrome extensions available to simplify search. The first on the list is Crystal,

“Language matters. How you communicate with someone, the words you use, how you structure your requests etc. affects their initial perception of you. And that’s what Crystal helps with. The standalone app as well as its Chrome extension allows you to profile Linkedin users profiles to detect their personality. And suggest the best ways to communicate with them. Crystal can tell you what to write in an email or how to create a message that engages them in a way they’d expect from you.”

Other resources include SalesLoft Prospector, which aids in building lists of targeted leads with contact information in tow, Elink.Club for LinkedIn, which visits 800 targeted profiles a day with the expectation that just under 10% of those users will, in turn, return the visit and become acquainted, and, which helps users establish mutual friends and social media commonalities with the profiles they view.

Chelsea Kerwin, November 23, 2015

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Beyond LinkedIn

October 26, 2015

Though LinkedIn remains the largest professional networking site, it may be time to augment its hobnobbing potential with one or more others. Search Engine Journal gives us many to choose from in “12 Professional Networking Alternatives to LinkedIn.” Like LinkedIn, some are free, but others offer special features for a fee. Some even focus on local connections. Reporter Albert Costill writes:

“While LinkedIn has proven to be an incredible assist for anyone looking to make professional connections or find employment, there have been some concerns. For starters, the company has been forced to reduce the number of emails it sends out because of complaints. There have also been allegations of the company hacking into member’s emails and a concern that activity on LinkedIn groups are declining.

“That doesn’t mean that you should give up on LinkedIn. Despite any concerns with the network, it still remains one of the best locations to network professionally. It just means that in addition to LinkedIn you should also start networking on other professional sites to cast that wide net that was previously mentioned. I previously shared eight alternatives to LinkedIn like Twylah, Opprtunity, PartnerUp, VisualCV, Meetup, Zerply, AngelList, and BranchOut, but here are twelve more networking sites that you should also consider using in no particular order.”

So between Costill’s lists, there are 20 sites to check out. A few notable entries from this second list: Makerbase is specifically for software creators, and is free to any Twitter users; LunchMeet connects LinkedIn users who would like to network over lunch; Plaxo automatically keeps your cloud-based contact list up-to-date; and the European Xing is the place to go for a job overseas. See the article for many more network-boosting options.


Cynthia Murrell, October 26,  2015

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Search Your Yahoo Mail? Yeah, Right

August 19, 2015

While Web site search used to be considered the worst before Google released a high-performing search widget, the title now officially goes to email search.  Nobody wants to search through their email to find a missing email and you are doomed if you even think about using a mail application such as Outlook or Apple Mail.   In part of its rebranding effort, Yahoo is taking measures to fix email search, says the New York Times in “Yahoo Tweaks Email To Make Search More Personal.”

Yahoo has been working for a year to improve email search and now Yahoo mail has implemented the changes.  It now offers auto complete and suggestions when a search term is typed into the query box.  It will also index attachments and links included in emails, so users do not have to find the actual email they were in.  The sorting options have also been updated and social media accounts can now be synced.

The changes are small and the auto complete/suggestions usually revert to basic keyword suggestions, but it is a step in the right direction.  Yahoo does not want to overhaul the mail system too quickly, because, as anyone knows, too many changes at once are upsetting to users.

“Instead, Yahoo is subtly making changes. Last month, for example, it added a small plus button to the bottom right of the window used to compose emails. If you click on that button, you can drag and drop photos and documents from your email archive, pull in an animated GIF from Yahoo’s Tumblr social network, or add the results of a web search.”

Yahoo made a good business choice and is working to improve its email and other applications.  It will be interesting to watch the changes unfold.

Whitney Grace, August 19, 2015
Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph


Facebook Number One Security Compromiser         

August 18, 2015

While Facebook is a good way for a company to engage with clients and even “humanize” the business, according to Zerofox’s article, “Cisco: Facebook Scams Are Attackers’ #1 Choice For Breaches” Facebook is the number way for a criminal to learn about organization and hack into its system.  Cisco conducted a 2015 Midyear Security Report that researches how cyber criminals are exploiting social media to their own advantage.

The article describes potential targets as easy and click-happy:

Facebook’s 1.49 billion monthly active users make it the world’s largest nation-state, used by 70% of American each day. It is, for better or worse, a nation without borders. Adversaries exploit the social media giant for its sheer size and trusted nature, making it the medium of choice for both inexperienced and sophisticated network hackers alike. For the adversary, the barriers to entry have never been lower, and the targets have never been more trusting and click-happy.”

Other security organizations confirm the findings and some of it comes from people simply being too trusting such as accepting friend requests from unfamiliar people.  McAfee discovered that employees became cybercrime victims on social media over other business applications.

While Facebook might be the number one platform to attract criminals.  Twitter is used to attack government organizations and other popular platforms are also dealing with loads of fake profiles.  It does not come as a surprise, considering Facebook is now the “Walt-Mart” of social media information.  What types of scams are people falling victim too?  Is it just stolen passwords and information or are they giving their personal information away?

Whitney Grace, August 18, 2015
Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

AMI: From Albert Search to Market Intelligence

July 10, 2014

Editor’s Note: This is information that did not make Stephen E Arnold’s bylined article in Information Today. That  forthcoming Information Today story about French search and content processing companies entering the US market. Spoiler alert: The revenue opportunities and taxes appear to be better in the US than in France. Maybe a French company will be the Next Big Thing in search and content processing. Few French companies have gained significant search and retrieval traction in the US in the last few years. Arguably, the most successful firm is the image recognition outfit called A2iA. It seems that French information retrieval companies and the US market have been lengthy, expensive, and difficult. One French company is trying a different approach, and that’s the core of the Information Today story.)

In 1999, I learned about a Swiss enterprise search system. The working name was, according to my Overflight archive, was AMI Albert.The “AMI” did not mean friend. AMI shorthand for Automatic Message Interpreter.

Flash forward to 2014. Note that a Google query for “AMI” may return hits for AMI International a defense oriented company as well as hits to American Megatrends, Advanced Metering Infrastructure, ambient intelligence, the Association Montessori International, and dozens of other organizations sharing the acronym. In an age of Google, finding a specific company can be a challenge and may inhibit some potential customers ability to locate a specific vendor. (This is a problem shared by Thunderstone, for example. The game company makes it tough to locate information about the search appliance vendor.)


Basic search interface as of 2011.

Every time I update my files, I struggle to get specific information. Invariably I get an email from an AMI Software sales person telling me, “Yes, we are growing. We are very much a dynamic force in market intelligence.”

The UK Web site for the firm is The French language Web site for the company is And the English language version of the French Web site is at The company’s blog is at, but the content is stale. The most recent update as of July 7, 2014, is from December 2013. The company seems to have shifted its dissemination of news to LinkedIn, where more than 30 AMI employees have a LinkedIn presence. The blog is in French. The LinkedIn postings are in English. Most of the AMI videos are in French as well.

admi adv search

Advanced Search Interface as of 2011.

The Managing Director, according to, is Alain Beauvieux. The person in charge of products is Eric Fourboul. The UK sales manager is Mike Alderton.

Mr. Beauvieux is a former IBMer and worked at LexiQuest, which originally formerly Erli, S.A. LexiQuest (Clementine) was acquired by SPSS. SPSS was, in turn, acquired by IBM, joining other long-in-the-tooth technologies marketed today by IBM. Eric

Fourboul is a former Dassault professional, and he has some Microsoft DNA in his background.

Read more

IDC Attivio Report Spotted by a Librarian

July 1, 2014

Who gets the $3,500?

News and an unwelcome surprise for me a few days ago. I am now an Amazon author. I had no idea I had attained that status.

An MLS—a law librarian, no less—spotted a report with my name and that of an IDC professional on the Amazon Web site. I took a look this morning (July 1, 2014, 7 am Eastern) and sure enough, an IDC report using my proprietary information is for sale. The price? Only $3,500. Seems fair if one is uninformed I suppose.

amazon attivio

Here’s the url to the report authored by an IDC “professional” named Dave Schubmehl, a former OpenText employee. If you want to buy a $3,500 copy of the IDC version of my work, carrying the IDC professional’s name, and the IDC copyright, go now to I suppose someone at IDC will do the “oh, my goodness” thing and the report will disappear / go away like some listings in the Google index for European individuals uncomfortable with what’s online about them.

A thought: Odd. I don’t recall signing a contract with IDC for my work. But as a person within a whisker of 70 years old, I am pretty sure that the IDC have a massaged explanation. I assume that the sale of my information on Amazon is one of those actions that big companies sometimes take without operative internal checks and balances. The need for revenue has interesting effects I think.

Flashback: Pat McGovern, founder of IDC, once spoke with me about joining IDC. I elected to pass on his rather unexpected and generous offer. I was nervous about Mr. McGovern for no specific reason, his publications’ editorial approach, and his consulting operation. That was 25 years ago, maybe more.

With the dust up between Amazon and certain “real” publishers like Hachette, maybe Amazon is on the right track to cut out the traditional publishing intermediaries. So far as I know, Amazon has not intentionally violated my rights. I wonder who or what action caused a report with my name to appear in the digital WalMart.

Is Amazon comfortable with the sale of my work without my permission? Is IDC? Am I? Good questions. When one purchases information from a consulting firm,  it may be a good idea to ask these questions:

  • Who did the research?
  • Who wrote the report?
  • Who gets paid?
  • Are contracts in place?
  • Is the information filtered for advertising purposes?
  • Do consulting clients get to speak with the people who did the research and analysis?

If I were still working at Booz, Allen & Hamilton, I would be darned sure that I had my ducks in a row before selling another person’s work with a Booz, Allen logo and employee’s name on the document.

!idc header

The IDC report title page showing my colleagues’ and my work as Dave Schubmehl’s. Note the IDC logo and title. Believe it or not, IDC sent me this document even though I had no contract or guarantee of remuneration. I am trying to convince myself that IDC just forgot about a contract, payment, and my rights and those of my researchers.

Dr. William P. Sommers, my boss at Booz, Allen would probably invite the person recycling another’s work without following procedures to find his or her future elsewhere. (Translation: Get fired immediately.) That may be one small difference between certain consulting firms and pay to play companies that sell consulting services?

A New Era: Ah, times have changed. Misinformation, disinformation, and reformation seem to be more and more prevalent. But what I can do is ask questions; for example, Is IDC’s Dave Schubmehl an “expert” doing his own work? Is the Amazon listing a fluke? Is a big magazine and consulting company chasing revenues using interesting methods?

If you want free Arnold reports, just navigate to You can even look for brief profiles without charge in Beyond Search.

And if you believe you have a legitimate reason to want information about Attivio (a company awash in venture funding with its open source, proprietary code, business intelligence model), you may write me at seaky2000 at yahoo dot com.

I will — on a case by case basis — evaluate each request. If your email stating your need for an unfiltered Attivio profile makes sense to me, for free I will provide a rough draft of an ArnoldIT in-depth Attivio report. Also, if you want free search and content processing profiles, you can check out write ups like the AeroText story and 11,000 other search- and content related stories in Beyond Search or peruse the list of free profiles at

Stephen E Arnold, July 1, 2014

Lextek Onix Profile Now Available… Free

March 20, 2014

You may not know that profiles of vendors from IDC-type operations can cost $3,500 or more. Even more impressive are azure chip consulting firms’ penchant for using information from folks who provide reports for free. Hey, there are many former middle school teachers, failed Web masters, and even poetry majors who need a job. Have at it, I say.

If you are interested in search and content processing, you may know that I have been posting 15 to 30 pages profiles of information retrieval vendor systems. Today you can snag a PDF report about Lextek International and its Onix search toolkit.

You have not heard of Lextek?

I would wager a cup of tea made from water drawn from Harrods Creek that you have used the search function in Acrobat. If you have, you have experienced the thrills of the Onix toolkit used by Adobe to make it a delight to search a PDF file.

Lextek keeps a low profile. The company operates from a suburban home in Utah., As part of the founder’s diversification effort, the driving force of Onix opened a gourmet chocolate shop. Autonomy bought Verity and Interwoven. Lextek moved into chocolate and did not implement a search system for the new venture’s Web site. Interesting to me.

You can find the report, which is current through late 2008, on my site. The report is at There are 12 reports in the series. IDC has taken down the profiles of open source search systems that appeared between 2012 and March 2014. I will be posting the unfiltered versions of these reports in coming months.

My goal is to make the complete collection of more than 50 vendor profiles available without charge. The index to the free reports in the Xenky series is at

If you want to correct or complain about a particular report, please, use the Comments section of Beyond Search for the article announcing the availability of a profile.

Before writing baloney about vendor’s origin and core technology, I suggest you check out my reports. The misinformation about which company first used the phrase “content intelligence” or “linguistic search” is amazing. My profiles point out which company used a phrase and when. For example, have you heard about “information black holes”? Autonomy used the phrase in a remarkable marketing brochure in 1997. I know that some subsequent users of the phrase assumed it was a product of their fertile mind. Nope.

Enjoy the Lextek write up. You can try the system if you have Acrobat Reader 6 or higher. Did Adobe make optimal use of Onix? In my opinion, not by a long shot.

Stephen E Arnold, March 20, 2014

Autonomy: 1996 to 2006 Free Report Available on Xenky

February 4, 2014

Update: The HP Autonomy deal is back in the news. See “HP Restates Autonomy’s 2010 Revenue Down 54%, Citing Errors.”

Autonomy was one of the first—some may argue the first—enterprise search vendor to embrace Bayesian-Laplace methods and power its way to almost $1 billion in revenues in 15 years. Hewlett Packard bought Autonomy in 2011, and Autonomy remains a high profile information processing brand.

But what gave Autonomy its revenue oomph? Other vendors tried to match Autonomy’s marketing, technology, and indirect sales. Google generated more revenue than Autonomy, but Google sold ads. In the enterprise sector, Google found itself watching Autonomy close deal after deal.

This report combines information from several Autonomy analyses written by Stephen E Arnold, and his research team. A similar report from an azure chip or mid tier consulting firm can cost as much as $3,500. (Four of Mr. Arnold’s reports are on offer at that rate by IDC, one of the perceived leaders in for fee research by independent experts.)

This free 25 page report provides some important historical information and a description of the Autonomy system.

To download a free copy, navigate to the Web site and select Autonomy from the list of 11 free enterprise search vendor profiles. The report is available at

Other reports in this free series of historical and analytical white papers are Convera, Dieselpoint, SchemaLogic, and Verity. Each analysis provides useful information about the wise and sometimes ill advised business and technical decisions companies have made.

If you are interested in a more in-depth discussion of select Autonomy patents and its Digital Reasoning Engine’s mathematical methods, write seaky2000 at yahoo dot com. Put Autonomy Report in the subject line. ArnoldIT will reply with details about this expanded Autonomy analysis.

Kenneth Toth, February 4, 2014

iPhrase Profile Now Available

January 7, 2014

The Vendor Profiles page hosts free reports about important search and content processing vendors. A profile of iPhrase, acquired by IBM in 2006, is now available. iPhrase is important for a number of reasons. You can access the free iPhrase profile at

iPhrase embraced ROI or  return on investment as a key value proposition for the complex system. The company departed from Autonomy’s “reduce duplicate work” and tried to create “hard numbers” for licensees’ “value” from the iPhrase system. IBM bought the company, so the ROI for the entrepreneurs was probably okay. The ROI for licensees might be more difficult to determine.

The company was, like Fulcrum Technologies and Autonomy, in the repository business. The indexes pointed to content in the repositories, used the data to enhance search results, and provided “discovery services.” For fans of XML and computationally interesting approaches to search, iPhrase is a system of note. The period from 1996 to 1999 spawned a number of enterprise search vendors. The similarity of most is fascinating. The research computing efforts paid off as entrepreneurs migrated lab demos into the commercial market.

Third, the company lives on today. Just as OpenText uses aging search technology, so does iPhrase’s owner. If you have OmniFind Discovery in your organization, you have some of the 1999 technology goodness available to you. The Xenky profiles make clear that most of the search methods have been recycled multiple times. What’s different is the marketers’ lack of familiarity with pioneering efforts from days of yore.

In a recent LinkedIn discussion, one eager person wanted information about how to establish the “ROI” of search. Anyone looking for how some quite intelligent folks approached “value” for complex information retrieval infrastructure, the iPhrase profile may be useful.

Is it surprising that today’s vendors insist that their firms’ software is revolutionary? The Xenky profiles make one thing clear—there’s not much new happening in search. In fact, marketers are reinventing the wheel. The LinkedIn discussions speak to the assertion, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”

The Xenky profiles put the challenge of enterprise search and content processing in a historical context.

Next up is a free Autonomy report covering the period from 1996 with a look back to Cambridge Neurodynamics up to December 2007. Is a profile of a company now owned by Hewlett Packard of value?

You may be surprised because Autonomy is one search vendor marching to a different drummer.

Stephen E Arnold, January 7, 2014

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