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MIT Discover Object Recognition

June 23, 2015

MIT did not discover object recognition, but researchers did teach a deep-learning system designed to recognize and classify scenes can also be used to recognize individual objects.  Kurzweil describes the exciting development in the article, “MIT Deep-Learning System Autonomously Learns To Identify Objects.”  The MIT researchers realized that deep-learning could be used for object identification, when they were training a machine to identify scenes.  They complied a library of seven million entries categorized by scenes, when they learned that object recognition and scene-recognition had the possibility of working in tandem.

“ ‘Deep learning works very well, but it’s very hard to understand why it works — what is the internal representation that the network is building,’ says Antonio Torralba, an associate professor of computer science and engineering at MIT and a senior author on the new paper.”

When the deep-learning network was processing scenes, it was fifty percent accurate compared to a human’s eighty percent accuracy.  While the network was busy identifying scenes, at the same time it was learning how to recognize objects as well.  The researchers are still trying to work out the kinks in the deep-learning process and have decided to start over.  They are retraining their networks on the same data sets, but taking a new approach to see how scene and object recognition tie in together or if they go in different directions.

Deep-leaning networks have major ramifications, including the improvement for many industries.  However, will deep-learning be applied to basic search?  Image search still does not work well when you search by an actual image.

Whitney Grace, June 23, 2015
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Solcara Is The Best!  Ra Ra Ra!

June 15, 2015

Thomson-Reuters is a world renowned news syndication, but the company also has its own line of search software called Solcara Federated Search also known as Solcara SolSearch.”  In a cheerleading press release, Q-resolve highlights Solcara’s features and benefits: “Solcara Legal Search, Federated Search And Know How.”  Solcara allows users to search multiple information resources, including intranets, databases, Knowledge Management, and library and document management systems.  It returns accurate results according to the inputted search terms or keywords.  In other words, it acts like an RSS feed combined with Google.

Solcara also has a search product specially designed for those in the legal profession and the press release uses a smooth reading product description to sell it:

“Solcara legal Search is as easy to use as your favorite search engine. With just one search you can reference internal documents and approved legal information resources simultaneously without the need for large scale content indexing, downloading or restructuring. What’s more, you can rely on up-to-date content because all searches are carried out in real time.”

The press release also mentions some other tools, case studies, and references the semantic Web.  While Solcara does sound like a good product and comes from a reliable new aggregator like Thomson-Reuters, the description and organization of the press release makes it hard to understand all the features and who the target consumer group is.  Do they want to sell to the legal profession and only that group or do they want to demonstrate how Solcara can be adapted to all industries that digest huge information amounts?  The importance of advertising is focusing the potential buyer’s attention.  This one jumps all over the place.

Whitney Grace, June 15, 2015
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Lexalytics: GUI and Wizard

June 12, 2015

What is one way to improve a user’s software navigational experience?  One of the best ways is to add a graphical user interface (GUI).  Software Development @ IT Business Net shares a press release about “Lexalytics Unveils Industry’s First Wizard For Text Mining And Sentiment Analysis.”  Lexalytics is one of the leading companies that provides sentiment and analytics solutions and as the article’s title explains it has made an industry first by releasing a GUI and wizard for Semantria SaaS platform and Excel plug-in.  The wizard and GUI (SWIZ) are part of the Semantria Online Configurator, SWEB 1.3, which also included functionality updates and layout changes.

” ‘In order to get the most value out of text and sentiment analysis technologies, customers need to be able to tune the service to match their content and business needs,’ said Jeff Catlin, CEO, Lexalytics. ‘Just like Apple changed the game for consumers with its first Macintosh in 1984, making personal computing easy and fun through an innovative GUI, we want to improve the job of data analysts by making it just as fun, easy and intuitive with SWIZ.’”

Lexalytics is dedicated to helping its clients enjoy an easier experience when it comes to data analytics.  The company wants its clients to get the answers they by providing the tools they need to get them without having to over think the retrieval process.  While Lexalytics already provides robust and flexible solutions, the SWIZ release continues to prove it has the most tunable and configurable text mining technology.

Whitney Grace, June 12, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Search Companies: Innovative or Not?

June 11, 2015

Forbes’ article “The 50 Most Innovative Companies Of 2014: Strong Innovators Are Three Times More Likely To Rely on Big Data Analytics” points out how innovation is strongly tied to big data analytics and data mining these days.  The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) studies the methodology of innovation.  The numbers are astounding when companies that use big data are placed against those who still have not figured out how to use their data: 57% vs. 19%.

Innovation, however, is not entirely defined by big data.  Most of the companies that rely on big data as key to their innovation are software companies.  According to Forbes’ study, they found that 53% see big data as having a huge impact in the future, while BCG only found 41% who saw big data as vital to their innovation.

Big data cannot be and should not be ignored.  Forbes and BCG found that big data analytics are useful and can have huge turnouts:

“BCG also found that big-data leaders generate 12% higher revenues than those who do not experiment and attempt to gain value from big data analytics.  Companies adopting big data analytics are twice as likely as their peers (81% versus 41%) to credit big data for making them more innovative.”

Measuring innovation proves to be subjective, but one cannot die the positive effect big data analytics and data mining can have on a company.  You have to realize, though, that big data results are useless without a plan to implement and use the data.  Also take note that none of the major search vendors are considered “innovative,” when a huge part of big data involves searching for results.

Whitney Grace, June 11, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

JobSamurai Offers Alternative Job Search Method (Without the Search)

May 29, 2015

The article titled Take the Search Out of Job Hunting with JobSamurai on MakeUseOf describes the perks in using JobSamurai next time you are out of work. A lot of people rely on services like Craigslist, but anyone who has searched for a job there knows that a good portion of the listings are frauds, or just non-existent. The number of irrelevant posts are also high and weeding through them all is time-consuming and frustrating. JobSamurai claims to have the answers, with a job website that minimizes the search factor. The article explains,

“JobSamurai uses your information to find jobs around the web that match your profile, then shows them to you as banner adverts on the websites you visit most often. They do this by leaving a tracking cookie in your web browser that sends data back to JobSamurai to notify them of where to display their content. It typically takes 10-15 days for their internal search engines to find all the jobs that match a candidate.”

While this means that users will need to exercise some patience before seeing results, it is balanced out by the absence of those terrible spam emails that job search websites love to litter your inbox with. JobSamurai promises to limit itself to one email every two months- which really seems like no emails at all.

Chelsea Kerwin, May 29, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Search Functionality for the Roku 2

May 29, 2015

In with search, out with the remote-based headphone jack. Roku has had to weigh their priorities while considering user-friendly features, we learn from “Roku 2 Gets a Facelift with New Search Engine” at ITProPortal. The need for an affordable price point required the Roku 2 media-streaming player to drop some features so new ones could be added. Writer Sead Fadilpaši? reports:

“The new remote will work on IR, meaning you’ll need a clear line of sight to switch channels. The remote has also lost the headphone jack, which some will find quite saddening, as well as the motion sensor. Both remotes will now feature four dedicated buttons, which can’t be reprogrammed, giving users quick access to Netflix, YouTube, Google Play, and Rdio. New features also include a search engine and show notifications, letting people know when a certain show is available. The new Roku 2 will cost as much as the Apple TV after its price drop – a very competitive £69. Aside from improved hardware specs Roku has confirmed to Pocket-lint the new box will come with improved software that should have a dramatic affect in speeding up accessing your favorite channels, shows and movies.”

All Roku devices will be getting the revised interface, which adds a couple of features and is expected to speed boot times. The write-up reminds us that the Roku has a mobile app, with a new version due out soon. So if you really miss that headphone jack, just swap their remote for your smart phone. I leave the motion-sensor hack to you.

Cynthia Murrell, May 29, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

SLI Systems Still Struggling

May 26, 2015

Early this year, we reported on the sudden personnel shift over at e-commerce search firm SLI Systems. Now, New Zealand’s National Business Review reports, “SLI Systems Says Second-Half Revenue Will Miss Expectations on Weaker American Sales.” It seems the staff shake-up led to disappointing sales, but the company is confident they will make up ground later this year, after the dust settles. They also cite a weak economy in Brazil as a limiting factor. Reporter Tina Morrison writes:

“Operating revenue will rise to $28 million in the year ending June 30, from $22 million a year earlier, the Christchurch-based company said in a statement. The forecast is lower than the $30.5 million expected by analysts in a Reuters poll. …

“The company is forgoing profits and dividends to fund growth in  the expanding e-commerce market, particularly in the US, and says its software as a service is the second biggest after Oracle to provide online retailers with suggestive search engines. Analysts polled by Reuters before today’s announcement had expected the company’s annual loss to widen to $7 million this year, from $5.7 million last year. It expects to report its annual earnings in late August.”

Founded in 2001, SLI Systems now powers e-commerce on over 800 websites. The company is based in Christchurch, New Zealand, and maintains offices in San Jose, California; London; Melbourne; and Tokyo. Anyone who thinks they can help the company bounce back should note that (as of this writing) SLI is looking for new Sales Directors in Melbourne and San Jose.

Cynthia Murrell, May 26, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Make Mine Mobile Search

May 21, 2015

It was only a matter of time, but Google searches on mobile phones and tablets have finally pulled ahead of desktop searches says The Register in “Peak PC: ‘Most’ Google Web Searches ‘Come From Mobiles’ In US.”   Google AdWords product management representative Jerry Dischler said that more Google searches took place on mobile devices in ten countries, including the US and Japan.  Google owns 92.22 percent of the mobile search market and 65.73 percent of desktop searches.  What do you think Google wants to do next?  They want to sell more mobile apps!

The article says that Google has not shared any of the data about the ten countries except for the US and Japan and the search differential between platforms.  Google, however, is trying to get more people to by more ads and the search engine giant is making the technology and tools available:

“Google has also introduced new tools for marketers to track their advertising performance to see where advertising clicks are coming from, and to try out new ways to draw people in. The end result, Google hopes, is to bring up the value of its mobile advertising business that’s now in the majority, allegedly.”

Mobile ads are apparently cheaper than desktop ads, so Google will get lower revenues.  What will probably happen is that as more users transition to making purchases via phones and tablets, ad revenue will increase vi mobile platforms.

Whitney Grace, May 21, 2015
Stephen E Arnold, Publisher of CyberOSINT at www.xenky.com

Sinequa and Systran Partner on Cyber Defense

May 20, 2015

Enterprise search firm Sinequa and translation tech outfit Systran are teaming up on security software. “Systran and Sinequa Combine in the Field of Cyber Defense,” announces ITRmanager.com. (The article is in French, but Google Translate is our friend.) The write-up explains:

“Sinequa and Systran have indeed decided to cooperate to develop a solution for detecting and processing of critical information in multiple languages ??and able to provide investigators with a panoramic view of a given subject. On one side Systran provides safe instant translation in over 45 languages, and the other Sinequa provides big data processing platform to analyze, categorize and retrieve relevant information in real time. The integration of the two solutions should thus facilitate the timely processing of structured and unstructured data from heterogeneous sources, internal and external (websites, audio transcripts, social media, etc.) and provide a clear and comprehensive view of a subject for investigators.”

Launched in 2002, Sinequa is a leader in the Enterprise Search field; the company boasts strong business analytics, but also emphasizes user-friendliness. Based in Paris, the firm maintains offices in Frankfurt, London, and New York City. Systran has a long history of providing innovative translation services to defense and security organizations around the world. The company’s headquarters are in Seoul, with other offices located in Daejeon, South Korea; Paris; and San Diego.

Cynthia Murrell, May 20, 2015

Stephen E Arnold, Publisher of CyberOSINT at www.xenky.com

Searching Bureaucracy

May 19, 2015

The rise of automatic document conversion could render vast amounts of data collected by government agencies useful. In their article, “Solving the Search Problem for Large-Scale Repositories,” GCN explains why this technology is a game-changer, and offers tips for a smooth conversion. Writer Mike Gross tells us:

“Traditional conversion methods require significant manual effort and are economically unfeasible, especially when agencies are often precluded from using offshore labor. Additionally, government conversion efforts can be restricted by  document security and the number of people that require access.     However, there have been recent advances in the technology that allow for fully automated, secure and scalable document conversion processes that make economically feasible what was considered impractical just a few years ago. In one particular case the cost of the automated process was less than one-tenth of the traditional process. Making content searchable, allowing for content to be reformatted and reorganized as needed, gives agencies tremendous opportunities to automate and improve processes, while at the same time improving workflow and providing previously unavailable metrics.”

The write-up describes several factors that could foil an attempt to implement such a system, and I suggest interested parties check out the whole article. Some examples include security and scalability, of course, as well as specialized format and delivery requirements, and non-textual elements. Gross also lists criteria to look for in a vendor; for instance, assess how well their products play with related software, like scanning and optical character recognition tools, and whether they will be able to keep up with the volumes of data at hand. If government agencies approach these automation advances with care and wisdom, instead of reflexively choosing the lowest bidder, our bureaucracies’ data systems may actually become efficient. (Hey, one can dream.)

Cynthia Murrell, May 19, 2015

Stephen E Arnold, Publisher of CyberOSINT at www.xenky.com

 

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