HonkinNews for 7 February 2017 Now Available

February 7, 2017

This week’s program highlights Google’s pre school and K-3 robot innovation from Boston Dynamics. In June 2016 we thought Toyota was purchasing the robot reindeer company. We think Boston Dynamics may still be part of the Alphabet letter set. Also, curious about search vendor pivots. Learn about two shuffles (Composite Software and CopperEye) which underscore why plain old search is a tough market. You will learn about the Alexa Conference and the winner of the Alexathon. Alexa seems to be a semi hot product. When will we move “beyond Alexa”? Social media analysis has strategic value? What vendor seems to have provided “inputs” to the Trump campaign and the Brexit now crowd? HonkinNews reveals the hot outfit making social media data output slick moves. We provide a run down of some semantic “news” which found its way to Harrod’s Creek. SEO, writing tips, and a semantic scorecard illustrate the enthusiasm some have for semantics. We’re not that enthusiastic, however. Google is reducing its losses from its big bets like the Loon balloon. How much? We reveal the savings, and it is a surprising number. And those fun and friendly robots. Yes, the robots. You can view the video at this link. Google Video provides a complete run down of the HonkinNews programs too. Just search for HonkinNews.

Kenny Toth, February 7, 2017

Synthetic Datasets: Reality Bytes

February 5, 2017

Years ago I did a project for an outfit specializing in an esoteric math space based on mereology. No, I won’t define it. You can check out the explanation in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The idea is that sparse information can yield useful insights. Even better, if mathematical methods were use to populate missing cells in a data system, one could analyze the data as if it were more than probability generated items. Then when real time data arrived to populate the sparse cells, the probability component would generate revised data for the cells without data. Nifty idea, just tough to explain to outfits struggling to move freight or sell off lease autos.

I thought of this company’s software system when I read “Synthetic Datasets Are a Game Changer.” Once again youthful wizards happily invent the future even though some of the systems and methods have been around for decades. For more information about the approach, the journal articles and books of Dr. Zbigniew Michaelewicz may be helpful.

The “Synthetic Databases…” write up triggered some yellow highlighter activity. I found this statement interesting:

Google researchers went as far as to say that even mediocre algorithms received state-of-the-art results given enough data.

The idea that algorithms can output “good enough” results when volumes of data are available to the number munching algorithms.

I also noted:

there are recent successes using a new technique called ‘synthetic datasets’ that could see us overcome those limitations. This new type of dataset consists of images and videos that are solely rendered by computers based on various parameters or scenarios. The process through which those datasets are created fall into 2 categories: Photo realistic rendering and Scenario rendering for lack of better description.

The focus here is not on figuring out how to move nuclear fuel rods around a reactor core or adjusting coal fired power plant outputs to minimize air pollution. The synthetic databases have an application in image related disciplines.

The idea of using rendering engines to create images for facial recognition or for video games is interesting. The write up mentions a number of companies pushing forward in this field; for example, Cvedia.

However, the use of NuTech’s methods populated databases of fact. I think the use of synthetic methods has a bright future. Oh, NuTech was acquired by Netezza. Guess what company owns the prescient NuTech Solutions’ technology? Give up? IBM, a company which has potent capabilities but does the most unusual things with those important systems and methods.

I suppose that is one reason why old wine looks like new IBM Holiday Spirit rum.

Stephen E Arnold, February 5, 2017

HonkinNews for January 31, 2017 Now Available

January 31, 2017

This weeks’ seven minute HonkinNews includes some highlights from the Beyond Search coverage of Alphabet Google. If you have not followed, Sergey Brin’s participation at the World Economic Forum, you may have missed the opportunity that Google did not recognize. More surprising is that Alphabet Google owns a stake in a company which specializes in predicting the future. IBM Watson had a busy holiday season. The company which has compiled 19 consecutive quarters of declining revenue invented a new alcoholic “spirit”, sometimes referred to as booze, hooch, the bane of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. How did Watson, a software system, jump from reading text to inventing rum? We tell what Watson really did. How did Palantir Technologies respond to a protest in front of its Palo Alto headquarters, known by some as the Shire? Think free coffee, and we reveal what the Beyond Search goose wants when she attends a protest. Beyond Search has an interest in voice search, which seems to be more than an oddity. Learn about the battle between Amazon and Google. The stakes are high because Amazon is not a big player in search, but Alexa technology way be about to kick on of the legs from Google’s online hegemony. DuckDuckGo honked loudly that it experienced significant growth in online search traffic. How close is DuckDuckGo to Google? Find out. Mind that gap. Microsoft has “invented”, rediscovered, or simply copied Autonomy’s Kenjin service from the 1990s. The lucky Word users will experience automatic search and the display of third party information in an Outlook style paneled interface. HonkinNews believes that those writing term papers will be happy with the new “Research.” Yahoot or Yabba Dabba Hoot warrants a mention. The US Securities & Exchange Commission is allegedly poking into Yahoo’s ill timed public release of information about losing its users information. Yep, Yabba Dabba Hoot. Enjoy Beyond Search which is filmed on 8 mm film from the Beyond Search cabin in rural Kentucky.

If you are looking for previous HonkinNews videos, you can find them by navigating to www.googlevideo.com and running the query HonkinNews. Watch for Stephen E Arnold’s new information service, Beyond Alexa. Who wants to type a search query? That’s like real work and definitely not the future.

Kenny Toth, January 31, 2017

HonkinNews for January 24, 2017, Now Available

January 24, 2017

Another week and another search and content processing news round up is live. This week we cover the Dark Web delivery system known as the Royal Mail. Why are some Beltway Bandits developing a sudden craving for antacids? The transition from President Obama to President Trump may be a contributing factor. Some  other government news caught out attention too; specifically. The slimming down of Darpa’s open source software catalog and the CIA Crest search for more than 10 million previously classified CIA documents. We also highlight IBM’s call for rules to make sure that artificial intelligence does not run amok. We are not sure if Big Blue is cracking the old buggy whip at speeding Teslas or if IBM has a grand plan to keep smart software on a short leash. Dear old Yahoot (sorry, I meant Yahoo or Yabba Dabba Hoot) figures in an anecdote about effective management. Yahoo USA is not able to convince Yahoo Japan that selling ivory is a bad thing. That item made it “tusk” in time for this week’s show. You can view the program at this link.

Kenny Toth, January 24, 2017

HonkinNews for January 17, 2017 Now Available

January 17, 2017

This week’s HonkinNews takes a look at Yahoo’s post Verizon name. No, our suggestion of yabba dabba hoo or was it “hoot” was not ignored by Yahoo’s marketing wizards. We also highlight Alphabet Google’s erasure of two letters from its “alphabet.” Goners are “S” and “T”. Palantir is hiring a people centric person. The fancy title may have an interesting spin. Two enterprise search vendors kick off 2017 with a blizzard of buzzwords. The depth of the cacaphones is remarkable because search by any other name would return results with questionable precision and recall. The featured story is the Mitre’s Corporation Jason Report. If you have an interest in artificial intelligence and warfighting, the report provides some insight into what the US Department of Defense may be considering. But the highlight of the unclassified document is a helpful description of Google’s TPU. The seven minute program is at this link. For fans of XQuery, we have a bit of input for you too. Proprietary XQuery too. The program is produced in old fashioned black and white and enhanced with theme music from the days of the Stutz Bearcat. From the hotbed of search and content processing, HonkinNews is different. We’re presenting information other big time outfits ignore. Mitre is a variant of Massachusetts Institute of Technology Research. There you go. Live from Harrod’s Creek.

Kenny Toth, January 17, 2017

HonkinNews for 10 January 2017 Now Available

January 10, 2017

This week’s HonkinNews introduces the concept of cacaphones. Check out the snippets of images. Tasty. We also discuss LucidWorks effort to generate revenue. The firm’s most recent dog paddle is with the USS IBM Watson’s life preserver. If you did not know, predictive analytics has given up the ghost. Don’t mourn, however. A better approach to analytics is driving the digital analysis Hummer now. Our favorite government search and content processing system is not sufficient for the US Air Force. BAE Systems will build custom software to “bridge gaps” and perform other feats of digital magic. Enjoy.

Kenny Toth, January 10, 2017

HonkinNews: Third Google Legacy Video Now Available

January 3, 2017

Google: The Digital Gutenberg presents findings from Stephen E Arnold’s monograph about the Google system from 2007 to 2009. Topics covered in the video include how Google has become a digital version of the old Bell Telephone Yellow Pages.

Like the print Yellow Pages, changing the business model is very difficult. As a result, Google remains a one-trick pony riding advertising and saddled with an approach which depends on the fast eroding desktop search model. Google’s behavior — which some insist on calling monopolistic — is under attack by regulators in Europe. Can Google adapt?

Kenny Toth, January 3, 2017

HonkinNews: Second Google Legacy Video Now Available

December 27, 2016

The seven minute video — Google: The Calculating Predator Legacy — presents findings from Stephen E Arnold’s monograph about the Google system from 2004 to 2007. The company changed from a friendly Web search system into an enterprise focused on revenues and profit as a publicly traded company.

Topics covered in the video include the Google computing platform, key acquistions like Keyhold and Transformic, the two pivot points for Google’s cost and technology advantages, and the business strategy of the “new” Google, Version 2.0.

Look for Part 3: Google: The Digital Gutenberg on January 3, 2017.

Kenny Toth, December 27, 2016


DataFission: Is It a Dusie?

December 26, 2016

I know that some millennials are not familiar with the Duesenberg automobile. Why would that generation care about an automobile manufacturer that went out of business in 1937. My thought is that the Duesenberg left one nifty artifact: The word doozy which means something outstanding.

Image result for duesenberg

I thought of the Duesenberg “doozy” when I read “Unstructured Data Search Engine Has Roots in HPC.” HPC means high performance computing. The acronym suggests a massively parallel system just like the one to which the average mobile phone user has access. The name of the search engine is “Duse,” which here in Harrod’s Creek is pronounced “doozy.”

According to the write up:

One company hoping to tap into the morass of unstructured data is DataFission. The San Jose, California firm was founded in 2013 with the goal of productizing a scale-out search engine , called the Digital Universe Search Engine, or DUSE, that it claims can index just about any piece of data, and make it searchable from any Web-enabled device.

The key to Duse is pattern matching. This is a pretty good method; for example, Brainware used trigrams to power its search system. Since the company disappeared into Lexmark, I am not sure what happened to the company’s system. I think the n-gram patent is owned by a bank located near an abandoned Kodak facility.

The method of the system, as I understand it, is:

  1. Index content
  2. Put index into compressed tables
  3. Allow users to search the index.

The users can “search” by entering queries or dragging “images, videos, or audio files into Duse’s search bar or programmatically via REST APIs.”

What differentiates Duse? The write up states:

The secret sauce lies in how the company indexes the data. A combination of machine learning techniques, such as principal component analysis (PCA), clustering, and classification algorithms, as well as graph link analysis and “nearest neighbor” approach  help to find associations in the data.

Dr. Harold Trease, the architect of the Duse system, says:

We generate a high-dimensional signature, a high-dimensional feature vector, that quantifies the information content of the data that we read through,” he says. “We’re not looking for features like dogs or cats or buildings or cars. We’re quantifying the information content related to the data that we read. That’s what we index and put in a database. Then if you pull out a cell phone and take a picture of the dog, we convert that to one of these high-dimensional signatures, and then we compare that to what’s in the database and we find the best matches.

He adds:

If we index a billion images, we’d end up with a billion points in this search space, and we can look at that search space it has structure to it, and the structure is fantastic. There’s all kinds these points and clusters and strands that connect things. It makes little less sense to humans, because we don’t see things like that. But to the code, it makes perfect sense.

The company’s technology dates from the 1990s and the search technology was part of the company’s medical image analysis and related research.

The write up reports:

The software itself, which today exists as a Python-based Apache Spark application, can be obtained as software product or fully configured on a hardware appliance called DataHunter.

For more information about the company, navigate to this link.

Stephen E Arnold, December 26, 2016

HonkinNews: Special Google Legacy Video Now Available

December 20, 2016

For December 20, 2016, a seven minute video about Stephen E Arnold’s The Google Legacy is available. Published in 2004, this monograph is no longer in print. The traditional publisher stumbled into a French wine vat and the disappeared. The Google Legacy explains how decisions made between 1998 and 2004 blazed a trail that other digital pioneers would follow. You can view the free program at this link.

Kenny Toth, December 20, 2016

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