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HP Autonomy Blog: Everything but Autonomy Technology

March 10, 2015

I have been checking out the search and content processing vendors who have gone quiet. In my lingo, “quiet” means the company outputs little or no news in the form of blog posts, news releases, slide decks on Slideshare, etc.

One of the most aggressive and effective marketing outfits in search and content processing was Autonomy. since the HP deal, the majority of the Autonomy related news concerns the litigation between HP and Autonomy about HP’s purchase of Autonomy.

I checked links to the Autonomy blog on www.autonomy.com and clicked on the link at the top of this page:

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The link is dead if this message is correct:

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I then navigated to the GOOG and ran the query “Autonomy blog.” The first link pointed me to this page:

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The only hurdle I encountered in my fly over was that the information is not “about” Autonomy, IDOL, or the Digital Reasoning Engine.

Perhaps I am overlooking HP’s brilliant marketing, but it seems to me that HP is not making much of an effort to take a page from Autonomy’s marketing plan book. That might be a mistake in some niches.

When a company goes quiet, I interpret the behavior as a signal about management resolve, financial resources, or having something substantive to communicate. Call me old fashioned, but I like a stream of information about sales, enhancements, bug fixes, and other artifacts of a growing company.

Stephen E Arnold, March 10, 2015

Vurb is an Action Search Engine

March 10, 2015

With the new Yosemite OSX, Apple upgraded the spotlight search feature to search everything on a Mac. This includes the Web history, file names, and the actual content in documents. It saves hours of time and makes people more productive….if you use a laptop or desktop. If you use an Apple smartphone or tablet you are SOL. What is more annoying than having to switch between lists and apps to complete a simple task?

While there have been attempts to streamline information and app utilization before, none of them have quite made it to the mainstream. The Next Web brings to our attention another mobile search engine trying to improve mobile search, “Vurb Is Mobile Search For Finding Things And People.”

The name “Vurb” is a play on the word verb. Verbs are action words that mean people do something. Vurb searches for any type of information and presents it in “cards” that can easily be shared with others. Rather than having to copy and paste links and jump between apps, Vurb’s cards has everything in one place.

“Vurb wants to stop you jumping between multiple apps and the mobile Web to get things done. Each card in Vurb is a combination of information from different sources. The company partners with others like Yelp, Foursquare and Metacritic so it can be shown in a single place. If you want a deeper dive into the results, a quick tap on the info or the company’s logo will reveal more details inside that provider’s app.”

Vurb is not trying to replace apps, instead it is helping these apps by bringing the information to the surface. The technology exists to link apps and their information together, but most apps decide to remain in the singular silos. Why? Perhaps fear of competition and possible compliancy issues, but if you think about it apps like Vurb offer a lot of marketing options. App developers can pay to put their apps at the top of search results and even make suggestions for how particular apps are helpful. It is not another reason to be fearful, but embrace the potential.

Whitney Grace, March 10, 2015
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

What Is New in Elasticsearch

March 10, 2015

A slide deck providing a round up of the new features of Elasticsearch as of June 2014 is available as of March 9, 2015 via Speakerdeck. Snag the deck. Some Elasticsearch presentations disappear themselves quickly.

Stephen E Arnold, March 9, 2015

Exorbyte: Going or Gone Quiet?

March 9, 2015

Exorbyte had someone posting almost every day via Twitter. I know. Go figure. One of the goslings noticed that Exobyte’s Twitter postings ground to a halt on January 15, 2015. Worth monitoring.

Stephen E Arnold, March 10, 2015

Google Takes to the Air

March 9, 2015

There are numerous Web sites that specialize in tracking down the best price for flights an even applications that aggregate information from these multiple sites. Do we really need another one? Google certainly thinks so, because Slashgear reports “Google Officially Launches Flights,Their Search-Friendly Travel Tool.” Google wants to increase their Web traffic and profit in the travel sector. With its new Flights search tool, users can search the best flight prices without even needing to know where you’re going.

One of Google’s main goals with Flights to help people with their travel plans. The idea is based of the scenario that when a person wants to travel, cost is usually the biggest factor in deciding where they go. Flights helps users track down a great deal on a flight and offers search filters to narrow the field: price range, limiting the layovers, and destinations.

There are still a few bugs, as to be expected in a new tool:

“Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work with any airline just yet, so if you’ve got loyalty points your squirreling away — you might not be able to earn more with Flights. Still, for the quick getaway or open-ended vacation, Flights is at least another tool to have handy.”

Whitney Grace, March 09, 2015
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Funnelback: Getting Quieter and Quieter

March 7, 2015

Prior to some management changes, Funnelback was on my radar. The company seemed active in the UK and Australia. For 2015, the company has commenced operations in the US. The firm’s office is in Santa Monica. There is a Web site refreshing at www.funnelback.com. The last big news items I noticed was that Funnelback became a Crown Commercial Service Supplier on G-Cloud 6. Was Funnelback a bit of a one man band. When the drummer departed, the search focus softened. Worth watching.

Stephen E Arnold, March 7, 2015

SharePoint and Search: Questions Arise

March 6, 2015

SharePoint search has delivered the best of times for consultants who get paid to make the system work. For users, SharePoint has been a contributor to bad findability times.

I read “Excuse Me SharePoint: A Crossroads or an On-Ramp?” Let me cut to the main point: No one knows. I know that I don’t want to be road kill in the busy intersection of high expectations and massive cost overruns.

I have an opinion. But first, let me call your attention to this statement from the write up:

They [a cadre of SharePoint “experts] acknowledged enterprise users’ frustrations, which Holme called more of a communication problem than an IT problem. In the past, Microsoft was way behind the industry in implementing new features and has gone to implementing them so rapidly that an item a company demoed yesterday might be gone today. The focus tends to be on the end user, which isn’t always the most useful for an enterprise. And in 2015, a lot of organizations are still trying to figure out SharePoint 2013.

For me, SharePoint is an opportunity to make money. Customers drink the Microsoft Seattle latte and believe three things:

  • SharePoint is the operating system for the organization. Hey, everyone uses Word. SharePoint is just like that.,
  • SharePoint does many things really, really well: Ease of use, document management, search, collaboration, etc.
  • SharePoint search is the state of the art in finding concepts, people, facts, you name it.

The reality is that SharePoint does many things, but none of them is exactly what the customer believes. Most of the functions can be made to work with sufficient money, expertise, time, and management patience.

The problem is that consultants want to sell their SharePoint expertise. Those engineers with hard won SharePoint expertise, like and Oracle database administrator, have little incentive to explain certain aspects of the SharePoint decision. Users are clueless and senior managers pre-occupied with sales, litigation, their compensation package, and personnel issues.

Getting the truth about SharePoint costs, complexities, weaknesses is difficult. When it comes to search, the number of third party alternatives makes one thing clear—SharePoint search is not as good as third party solutions.

So what? Well, you get to spend more money for a utility that should work. That’s good for the third party vendors. For others? Well, like the future of SharePoint, no one knows or no one is saying.

Stephen E Arnold, March 6, 2015

MovieGraph from Senzari Offers a Better Way to Find Movies

March 5, 2015

The article on Dataversity titled Creating Detailed Semantic Graphs Around Video Content with MovieGraph suggests a possible breakthrough in video sense making. MovieGraph is the platform of entertainment data company Senzari. Chief Operating Officer Demian M. Bellumio spoke to the methods utilized by MovieGraph, which include machine learning and an API for recommendations. The article continues to refer to Bellumio’s statements,

“Senzari focused on metadata while building MovieGraph. He also said that Senzari trained machine learning algorithms to break down the narratives of movies, extracting the data with precision across each element. The company designed their own matrix for cataloging movies; MovieGraph uses machine learning techniques to semantically tag and organize every movie and TV show across hundreds of dimensions. Senzari also added proprietary narrative features to MovieGraph such as setting, conflict, symbols or tones present in a film.”

The possibilities for recommendations seem much more targeted than the Netflix model, which often makes suggestion based on categories that are too wide and abstracted to be accurate. The article mentions that since Netflix only recently closed its public API, MovieGraph may be in a position to fill that gap. MusicGraph is also built to work with MusicGraph, another Senzari platform. Content creators in particular might find the crossover to be useful in terms of finding appropriate content for their projects.

Chelsea Kerwin, March 05, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Google: Just the Facts, Folks

March 2, 2015

Short honk: I read “Google Wants to Rank Websites Based on Facts Not Links.” The article could be a jumping off point for some dictionary excitement. The article reports:

Google research team is adapting that model to measure the trustworthiness of a page, rather than its reputation across the web. Instead of counting incoming links, the system – which is not yet live – counts the number of incorrect facts within a page. “A source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy,” says the team (arxiv.org/abs/1502.03519v1). The score they compute for each page is its Knowledge-Based Trust score.

A couple of questions come to my tiny mind:

  1. What is a fact?
  2. When two documented facts conflict, which fact is more correct? Example: competing theories in physics about dark matter.
  3. What is knowledge?
  4. Will Google be able to manage knowledge is a manner that satisfies “experts”?

The PageRank thing drives so much ad cash because statistical funkiness seems to make intuitive sense for popularity rankings. Will facts generate equivalent financial excitement?

I suppose Google could license Watson and just ask IBM’s system? Here’s what the questions might look like:

Watson, what’s a fact? What’s knowledge? What’s accurate information?

And Watson’s answer, “Tamarind.”

Stephen E Arnold, March 2, 2015

Enterprise Search: A Haunting Phrase Evokes the Ghosts of Failed Search Past

March 1, 2015

I read a practical explication about setting up SharePoint search to facilitate people search. I am okay with the approach in “More SharePoint 2013 Search Tips for Power Users.” The publisher is one focused on generating received wisdom or hoped for truths. That’s okay.

I did note one important and telling phrase. Here is is:

So how can this knowledge be used to create a real business solution?

When I read this sentence, several thoughts flitted through my mind. Here they are:

  1. Is this opposed to an unreal business solution.
  2. Are search solutions chimera?
  3. 3. Are search solutions false, fake, ersatz?

Am I unduly sensitive to a single statement? No. The phrase strikes at the core of search challenges, not just sticky wickets of the SharePoint variety.

Search allows individuals to “find” something in theory. The reality is that what search outputs for a user crafty enough to use the right term, phrase, or hot link is often wildly off the mark.

The fix is to layer additional controls on top of a child’s wagon, not a vehicle designed to carry the weight of today’s information access requirements.

Result? Search is an endless disappointment to users. How does one find a person in an organization who can and will answer a question? More than search is required in my experience.

Stephen E Arnold, March 1, 2015

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