Ambercite: A Patent Similarity Service

July 20, 2017

We learned about an Australian start up called Ambercite. The company’s service allows those wanting to know the answer to a question like this:

What patents are similar to US7593939?

Most of the online patent search systems do not deliver quick, comprehensive similarity results. When I have to think about patent similarity, I have found that several services have to be consulted and then some old-fashioned, billable time must be generously applied. Ambercite wants to change this approach to one powered by a more practical system. The company says:

Ambercite can help you quickly find patents and commercial opportunities, in many cases, missed by others, with its tools and services.

For more information about the firm, point your browser to this link. Worth watching.

Stephen E Arnold, July 20, 2017

Information about Dark Web Notebook

July 11, 2017

An email arrived yesterday saying, “We can’t find the Dark Web Notebook” on Bing, Google, or any other online search system. If you want to locate information about this new book, just navigate to Google and search for

Arnold Dark Web Notebook

Alternatively, you can use these links:

Buy the book: https://gum.co/darkweb

Table of contents: http://www.xenky.com/darkwebnotebook

The Association of Former Intelligence Officers has a profile of the book on its members-only Web site. Log in to obtain access to book synopsis.

Kenny Toth, July 11, 2017

 

Video Search

July 11, 2017

Why do we not have better video search yet? Searching for a video online still requires old-school hunting around. Take your quest beyond the familiar YouTube with the MakeUseOf piece, “10 Video Sites that Are Better than YouTube.” Writer Kayla Matthews recommends Vimeo, Metacafe, Veoh, the Internet Archive, Crackle, Screen Junkies, MySpace (it still exists!), The Open Video Project. GAG, and TED (yes, as in TED Talks). Some of these are more specialized than others; see the article for details. I’m happy to see the valuable Internet Archive on this list, about which Matthews writes:

As its name suggests, Internet Archive is a web-based library of all sorts of free content, including books, music, software, and, of course, movies. Just as you might associate a physical library with doing research, one of the strengths of the Internet Archive’s video content is its vast collection of historical content. While it does also have some newer content, some of its best videos are older and obscure news reports, TV series, and movies that are typically harder to find on other sites. Like many other sites, users can also upload videos to the Internet Archive.

Meanwhile, TechCrunch looks at the recently introduced search functionality from Snapchat in, “Trying Out Snapchat’s New Universal Search Capabilities.” Reporter Anthony Ha supplies a demonstrative video, but it seems the tool is pretty straightforward. Is it an effort to address a noted weakness ahead of Snap Inc.’s much-anticipated IPO? Perhaps, but whatever the reason, it is a bit of progress in the realm of video search.

Cynthia Murrell, July 11, 2017

Bing Introduces an Image Feed

June 30, 2017

Here’s a short write-up about a notable addition to Bing —On MSFT reports, “Bing Image Search Updated with Image Feed, Taking on Pinterest.” After noting that the Tools menu has been renamed “Filter” and moved to the right of the screen, writer Jack Wilkinson explains:

A new feature has also appeared, known as Image Feed, which replaces where Tools originally used to be placed. Image Feed allows you to choose a feed of images…. When selecting an image feed to look at, it allows you to follow it as an ‘interest’, so that you can see new images in a feed. Your personalised image feed can be accessed here. By the looks of it, it appears as though Bing’s new image feed is taking a hit at Pinterest – bringing all the images you could want into one place via a feed, in similar fashion to Pinterest.

Yes, this could certainly replace Pinterest for many users, especially ones who already frequent Bing. I had noticed the refine-by-keyword list at the top of Google’s image results page is formatted much like the one on my Pinterest account. Will that online search platform, still number one by far, also implement a Pinterest-like image feed? Stay tuned.

Cynthia Murrell, June 30, 2017

Legal Media Search Site Baits Pirates with Keywords

June 26, 2017

How do you attract a (media) pirate? Apparently, with targeted keywords. Torrent Freak reports, “Film Industry’s Latest Search Engine Draws Traffic with ‘Pirate’ Keywords.” Interesting tactic. Apparently a Dutch answer to Hollywood’s legal-content-finder WhereToWatch, the search engine Film.nl returns legal content. However, they’ve peppered their descriptions with keywords associated with pirated content. For example, “Don’t Wrestle With Nasty Torrents. Ignore the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story torrent.” Intriguing tactic. Reporter Ernesto writes:

Those who scroll down long enough will notice that each page has a targeted message for pirates as well. The descriptions come in a few variations but all mention prominent keywords such as ‘torrents’ and reference ‘illegal downloading’ and unauthorized streaming. …

 

While the piracy related messaging is unusual, it’s actually quite clever. Since a lot of people are searching for ‘torrent,’ ‘streaming’ and ‘download’ related terms combined with movie and TV-show titles, it helps to keep search traffic away from pirate sites. In other words, it’s a smart search engine optimization trick, helping it to directly compete with pirate sites on this front. The big question is whether people who search for ‘Movie X torrent’ will be satisfied with the results Film.nl offers. That said, from a movie industry perspective, it definitely beats doing nothing at all.

Does it? When prospective viewers learn their desired content is not yet legally available, we suspect most will simply navigate away to more shady destinations. Will a significant number be persuaded to wait for the legal version by Film.nl’s combination of keyword bait and moralizing? I doubt it. But it is an interesting play to note.

Cynthia Murrell, June 26, 2017

Bookeyes for Free Classic Literature

June 15, 2017

We want to let you in on a nifty new resource—Bookeyes lets users download classic literature, in eBook form, for free. As of this writing, the site has 65 works to choose from, with the option to request something specific not yet on the page. (I requested Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë.)

Despite the lack of Brontë sisters, the selection is pretty representative of the traditional Western-centric cannon, from Machiavelli to Thoreau. There’s your Homer, your Shakespeare, Jack London, Tolstoy, and Twain. Beowulf too, naturally. We also see books by Jane Austin, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Frederick Douglas.

The search box works as expected—the first few letters of a title or author’s name narrows the list without reloading the page. To say the “About” page is succinct is an understatement; it simply declares:

Bookeyes is your home for book classics. Pick a title on our homepage and enjoy!

On the Contact page is a photo of site creator Kermitt Davis, who is either quite young or incredibly well-preserved. We applaud his effort to bring classic literature to the masses; perhaps he could use more suggestions for works that are out of copyright. Know of any good ones that might fall outside the syllabus for a Survey of Prominent Western Literature?

Cynthia Murrell, June 15, 2017

 

Decoding SEO and Traffic Generation

June 12, 2017

Businesses are desperately trying to get noticed online. However, most businesses focus on generating traffic while sidelining the ultimate motive of generating sales.

According to an article published on Business 2 Community titled The Ugly Truth: Why SEO Isn’t Driving Better Website Sales, the author states:

Driving traffic to your website with SEO is only half the battle. It’s also important to make sure your website is designed in a way that converts those leads into sales. When you have a website that has a solid conversion rate, it ensures the investment you make in SEO will result in a guaranteed boost in sales.

What business owners fail to understand is that traffic is just one part of the equation in generating sales online. You need to keep your potential customers engaged, develop trust among them, and offer them incentives among many other things. With millions of websites being launched every day, these are some of the key factors that can set you apart from the herd. Focus on generating sales and not just driving traffic, or resort to Google AdWords Campaigns.

Vishal Ingole, June 12, 2017

Tired of Google? Try These Alternatives

June 8, 2017

Though Google dominates 80% of the search engine market, your privacy is compromised, and the results mostly are sponsored. Numerous options exist if you do not want to use Google for finding something online.

Make Use Of in an article titled 13 Alternative Search Engines That Find What Google Can’t says:

There are some patches of green – because let’s face it – Google Search still can’t do everything. They just have close to a million data servers. A few alternative search engines have stepped in and mounted a challenge.

For instance, if you are an environmentalist, use Ecosia that will use 80% of its revenue from search to plant trees. Search engines like Qwant and Peekier are good at protecting user privacy. If your kids use search engines, give them access to Kiddle that will block out everything inappropriate for kids. For people who enjoy streaming, but are spoilt for choices, JustWatch is an excellent option. Who says Google has no competition?

Vishal Ingole, June 8, 2017

Yandex Learns Search Can Be Exciting

June 6, 2017

I am not sure if this Thomson Reuters “real news” story is accurate. I found it amusing. You are on your own with this item, gentle reader.

I read “Investigators Search Ukrainian Offices of Russia’s Yandex.” The main point struck me as:

Ukraine’s State Security Service (SBU) raided the local offices of Russia’s top search site Yandex on Monday in an operation that SBU spokesman Olena Gitlyanska said was part of a treason investigation.

The operative word is treason. Exciting, right?

Yandex has previously said it operates fully in accordance with Ukrainian law. It does not expect sanctions to have a material negative impact on its business.

Let’s assume that the “real news” is accurate. The idea that a Web indexing company is guilty of treason is interesting. I know that in my word with a parent’s group to identify potentially harmful sites for their children, I use Yandex as an example.

Ukrainian officials did not reference Yandex’s more interesting indexing policies. That’s a shame. Treason may be more important to the Ukrainian government that links to certain interesting types of videos.

Treason can have a “material negative impact,” however.

Stephen E Arnold, June 5, 2017

Crowd Wisdom Adjusted to Measure Information Popularity

June 2, 2017

The article on ScienceDaily titled In Crowd Wisdom, the ‘Surprisingly Popular’ Answer Can Trump Ignorance of the Masses conveys the latest twist on crowd wisdom, or efforts to answer questions by asking many people rather than specialists. Unsurprisingly, crowd wisdom often is not very wise at all, but rather favors the most popular information. The article uses the example of asking various populations whether Philadelphia is the capital of Pennsylvania. Those who answered yes also believed that others would agree, making it a popular answer. The article goes on to explain,

Meanwhile, a certain number of respondents knew that the correct answer is “no.” But these people also anticipated that many other people would incorrectly think the capital is Philadelphia, so they also expected a very high percentage of “yes” answers. Thus, almost everyone expected other people to answer “yes,” but the actual percentage of people who did was significantly lower. “No” was the surprisingly popular answer because it exceeded expectations of what the answer would be.

By measuring the perceived popularity of a given answer, researchers saw errors reduced by over 20% compared to straightforward majority votes, and by almost 25% compared to confidence-weighted votes. As in the case of the Philadelphia question above, those who predicted that they were in the minority deserve the most attention because they had enough information to expect that many people would incorrectly vote yes. If you take away nothing else from this, let it be that Harrisburg, not Philly, is the capital of Pennsylvania.

Chelsea Kerwin, June 2, 2017

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