HonkinNews for October 11, 2016 Now Available

October 10, 2016

The most recent HonkinNews video is now available at this link. Stories include Yahoo’s most recent adventure: A purple light Y-Mart discount of $1 billion dollars on the Verizon purchase offer. Learn how Google Translate handles a Chinese poem about ospreys, not government administration. Included in the seven minute program is information about IBM Watson in the third grade and Bing’s secret to revenue success. These stories and more like the diffusion of the idea of “good enough” search. Direct from Harrod’s Creek in rural Kentucky… HonkinNews for the week ending October 11, 2016.

Stephen E Arnold, October 10, 2016

HonkinNews for October 4, 2016 Available

October 4, 2016

This week’s HonkinNews is available at this link. The feature story explores Palantir Technologies’ love-less love relationship with the US Army. Palantir’s approach to keeping its government customers happy is innovative. We also comment about Google’s blurring of cow faces in StreetView. Learn why SearchBlox is giving vendors of expensive, proprietary enterprise search systems cramps in their calves. Microsoft continues to pay users to access the Internet via Edge and use Bing to search for information. How much does the US government spend for operations and maintenance of its systems? The figure is surprising, if not shocking. This and more in HonkinNews for October 4, 2016.

Kenny Toth, October 4, 2016

Google: The Blurred Cow Moos

September 29, 2016

I read “How a Blurry Cow Highlights Weaknesses in Google’s Face Recognition.” Write ups which criticize the Alphabet Google thing’s stellar technology ripple the pond in Harrod’s Creek. We learned:

The search engine’s algorithms accidentally blurred a cow’s face in the name of privacy.

Cows are people to in Harrod’s Creek. Many here in rural Kentucky use lab grown “meat” instead of terminating Bessie and grilling her prime parts.

The write up stated:

Like all machine-learning algorithms, though, Google’s must be trained using as many examples as possible. The blurry cow on the River Cam is proof that even with an image database as massive as Street View’s to learn from, the algorithms still aren’t perfect. To help further their training, Google is making appeals to third-party developers, who can harness the detection technology in their own websites and apps via an API.

Yes, we will assist the Google.

We highlighted this quote from a Google professional “spokesperson”:

“We thought you were pulling the udder one when we herd the moos, but it’s clear that our automatic face-blurring technology has been a little overzealous. Of course, we don’t begrudge this cow milking its five minutes of fame.”

Google has a sense of humor to accompany technology which is less than perfect. What happens when one applies Google facial recognition to an autonomous killer drone? My hunch is that Google will find a way to make light of the glitch.

Stephen E Arnold, September 29, 2016

HonkinNews for September 27, 2016, Now Available

September 27, 2016

This week’s HonkinNews video tackles Yahoo’s data breach. Stephen E Arnold reveals that Beyond Search thinks Yahoo is a hoot and tags the company Yahoot. Plus, HonkinNews suggests that Oliver Stone may want to do a follow up to Snowden. The new film could be “Marissa: Purple Sun Down.” Other stories include Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s opportunity to see the light with Dr. Michael Lynch’s Luminance. The video explains puppy bias and comments on Harvard’s interest in sugar and fat. You can view the seven minute video at https://youtu.be/64rJdlj4Lew.

Kenny Toth, September 27, 2016

Singularity 1on1: Fund Raising Event

September 22, 2016

Editor’s note: To donate to Singularity 1on1, click this link[.

In a conversation with Nikola Danaylov, the engaging entrepreneur behind Singularity 1 on 1, has tallied more than four million downloads. When I first met him, he referenced Socrates, the Athenian philosopher. Danaylov’s approach to information is based on questions. My thought is that he is the modern counterpart to the individuals who learn and cause others to learn via rigorous questioning. The remarkable video interview series has been featured on BBC, ArteTV, and TV Japan, among other high impact outlets.


The service, available at this link, is a conversation about exponential growth, accelerating change, artificial intelligence and ethics – because technology is not enough.

The main idea is that we are not experiencing a shift in technology but rather a shift in humanity.  So everything that we know for certain is certainly going to change if we are to survive the 21st century; for example, political processes, economics, law, religion, and the very meaning of what it means to be human.

Danaylov told me:

The blog is not meant to provide definitive answers, but rather, to ask the tough questions in an attempt to generate discussion, provoke thought and stir the imagination. It aims to spark a conversation about the impact of technology, exponential growth and artificial intelligence where everyone’s opinions and participation are greatly encouraged.

He added:

So while I do not shy to provide my opinion but place no claim on its superiority because the goal is to get the audience actively involved in the ever-evolving conversation about the future of humanity.

From my vantage point, Singularity Weblog’s value may be not so much in the answers it provides, but in the Questions it raises — the kind that everybody could or should be asking.

In addition to the video interviews, Singularity Weblog:

  • Publishes relevant articles by Socrates and his friends.
  • Posts interviews with the best scientists, writers, entrepreneurs, film-makers, journalists, philosophers and artists.
  • Brings attention to relevant news stories, films, media and scientific developments.
  • Provides an online discussion forum where readers and supporters can start a conversation on issues important to them.
  • Gives people a platform to write and share your own great content.

Danaylov is deeply in love with learning but keenly aware that his personal knowledge is always going to be dwarfed by his ignorance: a man who knows that he doesn’t know; a man with many questions and few answers of his own… Thus Singularity Weblog is, and will always remain to be, an open and collaborative work in progress. And Nikola is, and will remain to be, a student and a host, rather than a teacher or an owner.

Yet, I learned that Danaylov is of the strong belief that we can attain profound insights by asking challenging questions in the company of good people, gathered within an open, informal and interactive symposium. Danaylov hopes to be the midwife, and Singularity Weblog – the setting, where you come to examine the questions, search for your answers, challenge, be challenged and, ultimately, give birth to your own ideas.

It is for this reason that, having spent the past six years producing over 900 articles and interviewing more than 190 of the world’s best known experts, Danaylov has made his treasure trove of information available without charge.

He has a crowd funding campaign underway. Beyond Search readers can support his work at InterviewTheFuture.com.

I asked him what’s next for Singularity 1on1 and the Web log. He replied:

After doing 200 interviews I have learned that it is perhaps best to keep those secret until they are totally recorded, edited and ready for publishing. So you will have to subscribe to the Singularity 1on1 podcast to find out.

As part of my support for Danaylov’s information service, I noted this statement from Darian Wawer:

“There are probably only three things that have impacted my life to such an extent. Carl Sagan with his love for science, Elon Musk and his dedication to improving the quality of the world we live in and finally, the third person would be… Nikola Danaylov with his website Singularity Weblog. Obviously, there are a thousand people whose work I deeply appreciate (Kurzweil, Natasha-More, and so forth) but you are the hub that allows us to stay connected. You have also committed and sacrificed a lot to do so. You are the real deal.”

For more information about Danaylov’s impact, see https://www.singularityweblog.com/testimonials.

Stephen E Arnold, September 22, 2016

HonkinNews for September 20, 2016 Available

September 20, 2016

Stories in the Beyond Search weekly video news program “HonkinNews” include LinkedIn’s censorship of a former CIA professional’s post about the 2016 election. Documentum, founded in 1990, has moved to the frozen wilds of Canada. A Microsoft and Nvidia sponsored online beauty contest may have embraced algorithmic bias. Google can write a customer’s ad automatically and may be able to alter users’ thoughts and actions. Which vendors of intelligence-centric software may be shown the door to the retirement home? The September 20, 2016, edition of “HonkinNews”, filmed with old-fashioned technology in the wilds of rural Kentucky is online at this link.

Kenny Toth, September 20, 2016

HonkinNews, September 13, 2016 Now Available

September 13, 2016

Interested in having your polynomials probed? The Beyond Search weekly news explains this preventive action. In this week’s program you will learn about Google new enterprise search solution. Palantir is taking legal action against an investor in the company. IBM Watson helps out at the US Open. Catch up on the search, online, and content processing news that makes the enterprise procurement teams squirm. Dive in with Springboard and Pool Party. To view the video, click this link.

Kenny Toth, September 13, 2016

Image Search: Colors and Patterns

August 30, 2016

When I search for an image, I often look for an individual. I have noticed over the years that the automatic search function for Google Images delivers facial matches (sometimes) and colors and patterns. Here’s an example.

This image comes from my snaps of a recent trip to a far off place far from Harrod’s Creek, Kentucky.


When I plug the image into Google’s automatic image search, the system returns images like these:


To my untrained eye, it certainly appears that Google’s image search has returned images which evidence the colors and patterns of the original. Sure, none of these is a juice bar, but if I were looking for a similar image, it strikes me that the Google does the job.

Apparently not. 500px sees the world from its unique perspective. I like the word “unique.”

I read “500px Launches Way to Search for Photos by Colors or Designs.” Another image search system is a net gain. I learned from the write up:

500px has created a new way to discover photos, based not on textual descriptions but on swatches and colors. The company today launched Splash, a search engine that lets you simply select a color or design to begin filtering photos that match your mood.

I highlighted this passage:

“This is a way of searching images that has never been done before,” explained 500px head of product Kelly Thompson.

If I understand the system, I can draw a sketch and 500px technology will figure out what matches my drawing. Problem: I cannot draw. I can scan. I can trace. If I rely of these methods, Google can “match” my uploaded image.

Oh, the unique 500px search allows you, gentle reader, to purchase the image the system presents.

Poor Google, left behind again from some entrepreneurs’ point of view. For me, I am okay with the Google Images’ approach.

Stephen E Arnold, August 30, 2016

HonkinNews for August 30, 2016, Now Available

August 30, 2016

If you want to learn how Beyond Search sends secure messages, view Honking News, August 30, 2016. Stories include IBM in Scotland and a possible new recipe for haggis with tamarind, Microsoft and its inability to change China, the US Army’s math challenge, and frisky algorithms. The program for August 30, 2016, is located in this YouTube cubby. We have added a video player to the Beyond Search blog too. Bet your bots — er, bet your boots — on that.

Kenny Toth, August 30, 2016

HonkinNews Video Available for August 23, 2016

August 23, 2016

After several tests, the fourth HonkinNews video is available on YouTube. You can view the six minute video at https://youtu.be/AIYdu54p2Mg. The HonkinNews highlights a half dozen stories from the previous week’s Beyond Search stream. The commentary adds a tiny twist to most of the stories. We know that search and content processing are not the core interests of the millennials. We don’t expect to attract much of a following from teens or from “real” search experts. Nevertheless, we will continue with the weekly news program because Google has an appetite for videos. We will continue with the backwoods theme and the 16 mm black and white film. We think it adds a high tech look to endless recycling of search and content jargon which fuels information access today.

Kenny Toth, August 23, 2016

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