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Palantir Thiel: An If Then Chess Move?

July 22, 2016

I read “The Peter Principle: Why Thiel’s GOP Convention Speech Will Be about Him and Not about Silicon Valley.” Interesting write up but I think the “about” part is possibly incorrect. I think the speech just might have been about Palantir, procurement, and displacing the traditional US government defense contractors. The stakes are not ego; the stakes are hundreds of millions in technology business. Silicon Valley and money. It is possible that some Palantir-think informs the political enthusiasms of Mr. Thiel.

In the write up, I noted this passage.

The eccentric investor is not like anyone else in tech.

That is okay. Just like his chess moves, the expected approach may not disrupt an strong opponent’s game. But for those who are not chess masters, the unusual or less probable maneuver can open some doors.

I also circled this paragraph:

He’s been vocal about that at many political gatherings here over the years, including one where those present said he even freaked Tea Party favorite Rep. Paul Ryan out with his thoughts on the need to tear down government as much as possible. It’s not just regulation that Thiel hates, it’s the whole stinking mess, and he has not been shy about saying so. Thus, most people who know him usually give you an oh-that-guy look, shrug their shoulders and move on to easier topics. And many of those who like him personally and call him a “dear friend” are even perplexed, going as far as not talking to him of late because of his Trump support.

The statement is almost edging toward a motivation which I think may be operating. How is this for a possibility:

Palantir wants to provide systems and software to the US government. Mr. Thiel becomes an insider to Mr. Trump, who, surprising many, becomes the president of the good, old USA. As an insider, Mr. Thiel can bring some pressure to bear on those in the government who do not demonstrate the type of enthusiasm for Palantir Technologies which are warranted. The irrational decision making and the failure to follow procurement rules might become a focal point for a Trump-centric administration. Checkmate, US Army. Palantir wins.

There are many moves in chess. This might be one of them with Mr. Thiel looking four or five moves ahead. Critics of Mr. Thiel just might be overlooking an important driver for his Trump support — Palantir’s financial and procurement future. If Mr. Trump wins in November 2016, then Palantir can try to bring rationality to Palantir procurements by certain Federal entities. Just a thought, gentle reader. Just a mental chimera like opening up lines of attack for a bishop and a queen in chess.

Stephen E Arnold, July 22, 2016

Coveo Wins a Stevie. Congrats Coveo. What Is a Stevie?

July 21, 2016

The article titled Coveo Sweeps Early 2016 Awards Programs on Coveo promotes some of the many honors and recognitions that the Coveo company and its apps have earned. Among these is the Gold Stevie Award they earned for Sales and Customer Service through Coveo Reveal. The article details the competition for this prestigious yet unknown award,

“More than 2,100 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were evaluated in this year’s competition, an increase of 11% over 2015. Finalists were determined by the average scores of 115 professionals worldwide, acting as preliminary judges. More than 60 members of several specialized judging committees determined the Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award placements from among the Finalists during final judging.”

Coveo Reveal is the first cloud-based, machine leaning search platform for the enterprise. Its main users are customer service professionals, who are able to gain a stronger understanding of areas that can be improved in the overall search process. No surprise that it is winning awards, but we are unfamiliar with this Stevie recognition. According to the American Stevie Awards website, the award has been around since 2002 is named Stevie as in Stephen after the Greek derivation: “crowned.”

 

Chelsea Kerwin, July 21, 2016

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

There is a Louisville, Kentucky Hidden Web/Dark
Web meet up on July 26, 2016.
Information is at this link: http://bit.ly/29tVKpx.

 

Finding Information Takes a Backseat to Providing a Comprehensive User Experience

July 20, 2016

The article titled An Intranet Success Story on BA Insight asserts that search is less about finding information than it is about user experience. In the context of Intranet networks and search, the article discusses what makes for an effective search engine. Nationwide Insurance, for example, forged a strong, award-winning intranet which was detailed in the article,

“Their “Find Anything” locator, navigation search bar, and extended refiners are all great examples of the proven patterns we preach at BA Insight…The focus for SPOT was clear.  It’s expressed in three points: Simple consumer-like experience, One-stop shop for knowledge, Things to make our jobs easier… All three of these connect directly to search that actually works. The Nationwide project has generated clear, documented business results.”

The results include Engagement, Efficiency, and Cost Savings, in the form of $1.5M saved each year. What is most interesting about this article is the assumption that UX experience trumps search results, or at least, search results are merely one aspect of search, not the alpha and omega. Rather, providing an intuitive, user-friendly experience should be the target. For Nationwide, part of that targeting process included identifying user experience as a priority. SPOT, Nationwide’s social intranet, is built on Yammer and SharePoint, and it is still one of the few successful and engaging intranet platforms.

 

 
Chelsea Kerwin, July 20, 2016

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

There is a Louisville, Kentucky Hidden Web/Dark
Web meet up on July 26, 2016.
Information is at this link: http://bit.ly/29tVKpx.

Interview with an Ethical Hacker

July 20, 2016

We’ve checked out a write-up on one of the white-hats working for IBM at Business Insider— “Here’s What It’s Really Like to Be a Hacker at One of the World’s Biggest Tech Companies.”  We wonder, does this wizard use Watson? The article profiles Charles Henderson. After summarizing the “ethical hacker’s” background, the article describes some of his process:

“The first thing I do every morning is catch up on what happened when I was sleeping. The cool thing is, since I run a global team, when I’m sleeping there are teams conducting research and working engagements with customers. So in the morning I start by asking, ‘Did we find any critical flaws?’ ‘Do I need to tell a client we found a vulnerability and begin working to fix it?’ From there, I am working with my team to plan penetration tests and make sure we have the resources we need to address the issues we have found. There isn’t an hour that goes by that I don’t find a cool, new way of doing something, which means my days are both unpredictable and exciting.

“I also do a lot of research myself. I like to look at consumer electronic devices, anything from planes to trains to automobiles to mobile devices. I try to find ways to break into or break apart these devices, to find new flaws and vulnerabilities.”

Henderson also mentions meeting with clients around the world to consult on security issues, and lists some projects his team has tackled. For example, a “physical penetration test” which involved stealing a corporate vehicle, and sending “tiger teams” to burgle client buildings. His favorite moments, though, are those when he is able to fix a vulnerability before it is exploited. Henderson closes with this bit of advice for aspiring hackers: “Always be curious. Never take anything at face value.”

 

 

Cynthia Murrell, July 20, 2016

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

There is a Louisville, Kentucky Hidden Web/Dark
Web meet up on July 26, 2016.
Information is at this link: http://bit.ly/29tVKpx.

Hewlett Packard Makes Haven Commercially Available

July 19, 2016

The article InformationWeek titled HPE’s Machine Learning APIs, MIT’s Sports Analytics Trends: Big Data Roundup analyzes Haven OnDemand, a large part of Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s big data strategy. For a look at the smart software coming out of HP Enterprise, check out this video. The article states,

“HPE’s announcement this week brings HPE Haven OnDemand as a service on the Microsoft Azure platform and provides more than 60 APIs and services that deliver deep learning analytics on a wide range of data, including text, audio, image, social, Web, and video. Customers can start with a freemium service that enables development and testing for free, and grow into a usage and SLA-based commercial model for enterprises.”

You may notice from the video that the visualizations look a great deal like Autonomy IDOL’s visualizations from the early 2000s. That is, dated, especially when compared to visualizations from other firms. But Idol may have a new name: Haven. According to the article, that name is actually a relaxed acronym for Hadoop, Autonomy IDOL, HP Vertica, Enterprise Security Products, and “n” or infinite applications. HPE promises that this cloud platform with machine learning APIs will assist companies in growing mobile and enterprise applications. The question is, “Can 1990s technology provide what 2016 managers expects?”

 

Chelsea Kerwin, July 19, 2016

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

There is a Louisville, Kentucky Hidden Web/Dark
Web meet up on July 26, 2016.
Information is at this link: http://bit.ly/29tVKpx.

The Machine Learning Textbook

July 19, 2016

Deep learning is another bit of technical jargon floating around and it is tied to artificial intelligence.  We know that artificial intelligence is the process of replicating human thought patterns and actions through computer software.  Deep learning is…well, what specifically?  To get a primer on what deep learning is as well as it’s many applications check out “Deep Learning: An MIT Press Book” by Ian Goodfellow, Yoshua Bengio, and Aaron Courville.

Here is how the Deeping Learning book is described:

“The Deep Learning textbook is a resource intended to help students and practitioners enter the field of machine learning in general and deep learning in particular. The online version of the book is now complete and will remain available online for free. The print version will be available for sale soon.”

This is a fantastic resource to take advantage of.  MIT is one of the leading technical schools in the nation, if not the world, and the information that is sponsored by them is more than guaranteed to round out your deep learning foundation.  Also it is free, which cannot be beaten.  Here is how the book explains the goal of machine learning:

“This book is about a solution to these more intuitive problems.  This solution is to allow computers to learn from experience and understand the world in terms of a hierarchy of concepts, with each concept de?ned in terms of its relation to simpler concepts. By gathering knowledge from experience, this approach avoids the need for human operators to formally specify all of the knowledge that the computer needs.”

If you have time take a detour and read the book, or if you want to save time there is always Wikipedia.

 

Whitney Grace, July 19, 2016
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

There is a Louisville, Kentucky Hidden Web/Dark
Web meet up on July 26, 2016.
Information is at this link: http://bit.ly/29tVKpx.

 

Machine Learning: Learn Now

July 18, 2016

If you want the basics taught in most universities, you can start with the papers listed at this link. If you come away from these write ups with some questions, you can refresh your knowledge of Bayesian machine learning in a paper of the same name. To get a sense of some limitations of the much-hyped “new” approach to smart software, check out this sort of slideshow, sort of lecture called “What’s Wrong with Deep Learning?” Balanced views are difficult to track down. There are the cheerleaders, and then there are some implementers. A representative example of cheerleaders are the ad hoc team of Google, Microsoft, and some startups, research computing outfits, and lots of academics. The doubters are old people like myself who have had to deal with the interesting “drift” which can creep into deep learning systems. What’s drift, you may ask? Well, you expect one thing and get another. No human knows why. That’s drift.

Stephen E Arnold, July 18, 2016

Attivio Targets Profitability by the End of 2016 Through $31M Financing Round

July 18, 2016

The article on VentureBeat titled Attivio Raises $31 Million to Help Companies Make Sense of Big Data discusses the promises of profitability that Attivio has made since its inception in 2007. According to Crunchbase, the search vendor has raised over $100 million from four investors. In March 2016, the company closed a financing round at $31M with the expectation of becoming profitable within 2016. The article explains,

“Our increased investment underscores our belief that Attivio has game-changing capabilities for enterprises that have yet to unlock the full value of Big Data,” said Oak Investment Partners’ managing partner, Edward F. Glassmeyer. Attivio also highlighted such recent business victories as landing lab equipment maker Thermo Fisher Scientific as a client and partnering with medical informatics shop PerkinElmer. Oak Investment Partners, General Electric Pension Trust, and Tenth Avenue Holdings participated in the investment, which pushed Attivio’s funding to at least $102 million.”

In the VentureBeat Profile about the deal, Stephen Baker, CEO of Attivio makes it clear that 2015 was a turning point for the company, or in his words, “a watershed year.” Attivio prides itself on both speeding up the data preparation process and empowering their customers to “achieve true Data Dexterity.”  And hopefully they will also be profitable, soon.

 

Chelsea Kerwin, July 18, 2016

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

There is a Louisville, Kentucky Hidden Web/Dark
Web meet up on July 26, 2016.
Information is at this link: http://bit.ly/29tVKpx.

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The Watson Update

July 15, 2016

IBM invested a lot of resources, time, and finances into developing the powerful artificial intelligence computer Watson.  The company has been trying for years to justify the expense as well as make money off their invention, mostly by having Watson try every conceivable industry that could benefit from big data-from cooking to medicine.  We finally have an update on Watson says ZDNet in the article, “IBM Talks About Progress On Watson, OpenPower.”

Watson is a cognitive computer system that learns, supports natural user interfaces, values user expertise, and evolves with new information.  Evolving is the most important step, because that will allow Watson to keep gaining experience and learn.  When Watson was first developed, IBM fed it general domain knowledge, then made the Watson Discovery to find answers to specific questions.  This has been used in the medical field to digest all the information created and applying it to practice.

IBM also did this:

“Most recently IBM has been focused on making Watson available as a set of services for customers that want to build their own applications with natural question-and-answer capabilities. Today it has 32 services available on the Watson Developer Cloud hosted on its Bluemix platform-as-a-service… Now IBM is working on making Watson more human. This includes a Tone Analyzer (think of this as a sort spellchecker for tone before you send that e-mail to the boss), Emotion Analysis of text, and Personality Insights, which uses things you’ve written to assess your personality traits.”

Cognitive computing has come very far since Watson won Jeopardy.  Pretty soon the technology will be more integrated into our lives.  The bigger question is how will change society and how we live?

 

Whitney Grace,  July 15, 2016

There is a Louisville, Kentucky Hidden Web/Dark

Web meet up on July 26, 2016. Information is at this link: http://bit.ly/29tVKpx.

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Try the Amazon Brand Computer Chip

July 14, 2016

Amazon offers its clients cloud storage, software development help, and more services via their Amazon Service Works.  The global retailer is also taking on electronics and cable TV with the Kindle and Amazon Fire TV, but now, according to Trusted Reviews, “Amazon Now Selling Own-Brand Computer Chips.”  Amazon wants to diversify its offerings even more with its own brand of computer chips.

The Amazon brand computer chips are made by Annapurna Labs that the company purchased last year.  Amazon recently announced these chips are now available to the open market and the ARM-based processors can be used in home gateways, WiFi routers, and networked attached storage devices.  They are meant to be used as cheap alternatives for home smart devices and data centers, nothing that can compete on the scale of Qualcomm.

The purpose of a capitalistic society is to drive competition and Intel has the computer chip marker monopoly:

“However, it does mark a notable challenge to another major chip manufacturer. As Bloomberg points out, Intel currently has the data-centre infrastructure field pretty much to itself, with a whopping 99% share of the server chip market. Amazon’s entry to this one-sided market could start to change that, although it won’t initially be targeting the kind of high-end servers that represent Intel’s stronghold. Amazon appears to be attacking the low-power edges of the market, which could see it powering (or at least helping to power) that hottest of networks, the Internet of Things.”

Great, Amazon is still working on developing other products, but we want to know when they are going to deploy image search.

 

Whitney Grace,  July 14, 2016
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

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