The Sound of Ontopia Silence

November 25, 2014

Ontopia has been silent since August 1, 2013. Prior to that outdated update, Ontopia used to share news three or four times a year. Ontopia was developed as a community for open source tools for building, maintaining, and deploying topic maps-based applications. Topic maps are knowledge structures that directly connect information to a source. The process is also are also called information mapping or mind mapping, which is a concept that has been played around with by many develops. An old Mashable article has a list: “Twenty Four Essential Mind Mapping And Brainstorming Tools.”

Perusing the Ontopia Web page leaves it in the throws of Web 1.0 and with only some features that could pass as a modern Web site. Even the product’s description, in all its simplicity, is dated:

“Ontopia is a set of tools which contains everything you need to build a full Topic Maps-based application. Using Ontopia you can design your ontology, populate the topic map manually and/or automatically, build the user interface, show graphical visualizations of the topic map, and much more.

The core of Ontopia is the engine, which stores and maintains the topic maps, and has an extensive Java API. On top of it are built a number of additional components, as shown in the diagram below. More information about these components can be found on the right.

Ontopia is 100% Java, and runs on any operating system which has Java 1.5. It is fully open source and can be used without any restrictions beyond those in the Apache 2.0 license.”

The last time Ontopia updated, they wrote a post about how version 5.3.0 was just released and the details were available on the wiki. Has Ontopia been in the sequestered in a closet working on the latest version or has it gained abandoned open source project?

Whitney Grace, November 25, 2014
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Microsoft Delve A Useful Spy

October 16, 2014

Microsoft is adding a new big data piece to its Office 365 lineup. And in a bit of a change of direction for the company, Microsoft has sought to make this element aesthetically pleasing as it points out patterns of likes and dislikes. Read more about Microsoft Delve in the InfoWorld article, “Microsoft’s Delve: The Office 365 Spy You Just Might Love.”

The article says:

“Microsoft’s Delve is an intriguing new offering for Office 365 business customers. Previously known as Oslo, Delve brings a concierge, Instragram-like pulse to business environments, as curated by Office Graph, sophisticated machine-learning technology that maps relationships between people, content, and activity across Office 365 accounts. Delve pulls content from within your organization’s OneDrive, SharePoint, and Yammer accounts, serving it up to users in a card-based interface reminiscent of Pinterest.”

The verdict is still out as to how helpful the product will really be in the business environment. It does behave without existing permissions, only showing users that which they are granted permission to see. Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search and reports on the latest news in his SharePoint feed. Since Delve may have helpful implications for SharePoint, keep an eye on ArnoldIT.com for all the latest tips and tricks.

Emily Rae Aldridge, October 16, 2014

Microsoft Dives into End User Insights with Delve

October 14, 2014

Delve is a new offering from Microsoft which allows for integrated content all in one place, which hopefully facilitates discovery of helpful information. Read more in the Forbes article, “Microsoft Delivers End User Insights With Delve.”

The article begins:

“Big data is an awesome term but, frankly, it’s something that is hard for most people to grasp. This is in part due to the fact that there aren’t many particularly good examples of big data being presented to end users in a way which is simple and which extend an existing offering. Microsoft Delve is one such offering, and one which front and centre shows the value to be gained from big data.”

Overall, Delve is viewed as a useful tool, and one that looks pretty cool at the same time. It will take a bit more time to see what the final verdict is in terms of usefulness, particularly for Microsoft users who have already poured a lot of energy into their SharePoint implementation. This may be a helpful add-on. Stay tuned to the SharePoint feed on ArnoldIT.com. Stephen E. Arnold is a long time expert in search and reports on SharePoint news, tips, and tricks, that may be helpful for your organization.

Emily Rae Aldridge, October 14, 2014

Turn to Algorithms When Even Skimming Is Too Much Work

October 2, 2014

Shortcut specialists take heart: automatic summarization tools now abound, and MakeUseOf reviews a few in its piece, “Too Lazy to Skim? Get the Gist with These Top 3 Summarization Tools.” Who has time to actually read nuanced articles in our sound-bite-driven culture? Reporter Jessica Coccimiglio describes the method behind her evaluations:

I tested each online summarizer tool by summarizing Vox’s 1700 word article arguing why cyclists should be able to roll through stop signs and ride through red lights (aka the Idaho Stop). I chose this article because it is highly structured, presents an argument, is not technical, and has the potential to affect the daily lives of people in a wide variety of countries (like MakeUseOf’s international audience).

There are a few things common to good summaries:

*All the critical pieces of logic are included for an argument to make sense.

*Prevent information overload. Main ideas are favoured over details.

*Each sentence should make a unique point, not reiterate other points.

Coccimiglio uses that scofflaw-cyclist article to put her top three choices, Tools4noobs’ Online Summarize Tool, SMMRY, and Automatic Text Summarizer, through their paces. Of those, she seems to prefer Automatic Text Summarizer. Though she likes some of the features at SMMRY, she couldn’t get all of them to work at the time of her writing; she did, however, like the quality of the summary itself. Sadly, the write-up has little good to say about Tools4noobs’ offering.

Coccimiglio goes on to briefly mention three other tools the she tried, none of which met her standards: Free Summarizer, Text Compactor, and Summarize This. She notes that, should readers dislike such tools, they could try speed-reading to move through the copious amount of material to be found online. She hopes, though, that her audience will read her publication’s articles in full. I can sympathize.

Cynthia Murrell, October 02, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Spy Tools for Investors

September 26, 2014

Never let it be said that financiers don’t leverage all the useful technology they can find. The Silicon Valley Business Journal reports that “Addepar’s Palantir Veterans Use Spy Tools to Map Investment Risk.” Hmm, I wonder whether the company will want to work the phrase “spy tools” into its advertising. Writer Jason McCormick, citing a New York Times article, summarizes:

“Addepar’s software, which launched five years ago, maps investors’ holdings to determine risk and portfolio sustainability. The company, whose leadership did turns at Palantir Technologies, last year raised significant capital to bring its big-data platform to market.

The company was founded by Palantir veteran Jason Mirra and Joe Lonsdale, who was a co-founder at Palantir. Addepar’s current CEO, Eric Poirier, also worked at Palantir.

The Times reported that Addepar’s users include family offices, banks and wealth managers, such as Iconiq Capital, which oversees a part of Mark Zuckerberg’s portfolio.”

McCormick goes on to point out that Addepar’s services can run from $50,000 to “well over” $1 million, depending on the amount of data involved. These companies must be pretty convinced of Addepar’s abilities.

Much is (rightly) made of Addepar’s roots in Palantir, an outfit we’ve been following with interest (though I’d like to add to the description above the fact that CEO Poirier also spent time at the financial powerhouse Lehman Brothers.) I think it interesting, though, that the team pulled in a former Oracle executive, who happens to have experience leading a private equity firm’s software investing team, to be COO: Karen White. So far, that seems to have been a wise choice.

Cynthia Murrell, September 26, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Scrape the Content

July 17, 2014

What is artoo.js? It borrows the name for everyone’s favorite Star Wars droid that speaks in beeps. What it does is completely different. It is a piece of JavaScript code that runs on your browser’s console and provides you with scrapping utilities. This is a fine example of what happens when a Star Wars fan combines their computer savvy with their entertainment preference.

While the developer’s geek creed is established, does this make it a good tool? Let us study the features: data download scraped methods, Web crawls, scrapes any Web page, downloads instructions, JQuery is programmed in. Not bad, but why use artoo.js?

“Using browsers as scraping platforms comes with a lot of advantages:

• • Fast coding: You can prototype your code live thanks to JavaScript browsers’ REPL and peruse the DOM with tools specifically built for web development.

• • No more authentication issues: No longer need to deploy clever solutions to enable your spiders to authenticate on the website you intent to scrape. You are already authenticated on your browser as a human being.

Tools for non-devs: You can easily design tools for non-dev people. One could easily build an application with a UI on top of artoo.js. Moreover, it gives you the possibility to create bookmarklets on the fly to execute your personnal scripts.”

We are sold! It offers more features than the average scraper and it makes the hob easier. This is the scrape utility you are looking for.

Whitney Grace, July 17, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

TextTeaser Goes Open Source

July 16, 2014

If you are looking for an auto-summarization tool, TechCrunch says “Auto-Summarization Tool TextTeaser Relaunches As Open Source Code.” Joe Balbin is the creator of TextTeaser and he added it to GitHub after experiencing scalability issues in the API. Balbin recoded the program and the process is now faster. Developers have two plan options: one is $12 for ever 1000 articles summarized, while the enterprise plan is $250/month and comes with a dedicated server to store the article source.

“ ‘In this TextTeaser, you can train your own summarizer,’ Balbin explains. ‘You can provide the category and source of the article that will be used to improve the quality of the summaries. In the future, users might also have the ability to provide what keyword is important and what is not.’ ”

TextTeaser is used in reader apps, such as Gist. Balbin hopes to optimize the program for medical, financial, and legal documents.

TextTeaser sounds like it makes reading faster. The code is a valuable tool. We will stay tuned to see how else it is used.

Whitney Grace, July 16, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Connotate Shows Growth And Webdata Browser

June 20, 2014

In February 2014, NJTC TechWire wrote an article on “Connotate Announces 25% YOY Growth In Total Contract Value For 2013.” Connotate has made a name for itself by being a leading provider of Webdata extraction and monitoring solutions. The company’s revenue grew 25% in 2013 and among other positives for Connotate were the release of Connotate 4.0, a new Web site, and new multi-year deal renewals. On top of the record growth, BIIA reports that “Connotate Launches Connotate4,” a Web browser that simplified and streamlines Webdata extraction. Connotate4 will do more than provide users with a custom browser:

? “Inline data transformations within the Agent development process is a powerful new capability that will ease data integration and customization.

? Enhanced change detection with highlighting can be requested during the Agent development process via a simple point-and-click checkbox, enabling highlighted change detection that is easily illustrated at the character, word or phrase level.

? Parallel extraction tasks makes it faster to complete tasks, allowing even more scalability for even larger extractions.

? Build and expand capabilities turn the act of re-using a single Agent for related extraction tasks a one-click event, allowing for faster Agent creation.

? A simplified user interface enabling simplified and faster Agent development.”

Connotate brags that the new browser will give user access to around 95% of Webdata and is adaptable as new technologies are made. Connotate aims to place itself in the next wave of indispensable enterprise tools.

Whitney Grace, June 20, 2014
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Recent Innovations At KB Crawl

May 30, 2014

It is not an uncommon thought in the technology sector that search tools could become more important that business intelligence. Veille Mag reports that KB Crawl President Bruno Etinne does not agree with this idea. In the article, “KB Crawl Or How To Structure Unstructured Data” states that most Web sites are designed these days to make finding information easier than typing keywords into a search engine. Information is categorized so finely; it leads to more business intelligence solutions than to search.

Such thinking might have led KB Crawl’s “new look,” described as way for data to meet the needs of many departments:

“KB Crawl “new look” for example prepare data for Excel that contains a mapping tool as PowerView will connect to publishing systems or online booking. The last application is that of a client who has financed a portion of the development. The software meets the needs of marketing, documentation, ereputation, strategy and decision support that are fundamental to economic intelligence. It allows you to make the right decisions.”

KB Crawl has designed its software as a SaaS with a simple user interface and with a new version releasing soon.

While information might be easy to find, if it is not readily available users will turn to a search function. Is KB Crawl depending on people to have a certain amount of information literacy? Clearly, the have forgotten that search is a business intelligence tool.

Whitney Grace, May 30, 2014
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

Alternatives to Google Popping up Everywhere

April 25, 2014

It’s a golden era for search alternatives. For a while there folks were worried about Google monopolizing the internet, but it’s not shaking out that way. Far from it, in fact. We are currently living in a golden age of niche search tools, as we discovered from a recent Virtual Strategy Magazine story, “MaxxCAT Raises the Bar for Search Performance with MaxxCAT 5.0.”

According to the story:

The 5.0 performance enhancements really come into their own when you begin looking at the scalability of our appliance in the enterprise…Sure, if you can build an index for a small amount of data in 5 minutes instead of 10, it’s nice, but it’s just 5 minutes. However, if you can index terabytes of data in 5 hours instead of 10 hours, that’s a huge difference.

MaxxCAT isn’t the only boat on this alternative Google sea, in fact, they aren’t even the biggest of the bunch. It’s not tough to find alternates, there are articles everywhere. The trickier part is finding one that fits your needs. Each serves a purpose, whether it is open source technology or privacy protection, that suits someone and repels others. This trial and error period is part of the fun, in our books.

Patrick Roland, April 25, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

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