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What is the Depth of Deep Linking?

April 21, 2015

One the Back Channel blog of Medium.com, an article called “Will Deep Links Ever Truly Be Deep?” discusses the hot topic of how apps are trying to forge “deep” connections with each other, by directing linking to each other rather than the fragmented jumping between apps users have to suffer through.  The article points out that this is not a current trend, in fact it has been going on since the 1990s (did they even know what an app was back then?).  In the 1990s, deep links dealt with hopping from one Web site to another.  It makes the astute observation that, as users, we leave behind data mined by service providers for a profit and our digital floundering could be improved.

“ Chris Maddern is cofounder of Button, one of several companies that have set out to make deep links work in the land of apps, and he talks with rapid precision about the sorry state of mobile interoperability today.”

‘Right now it’s no secret that the Internet’s paid for basically by big companies buying tiny time-slices of your eyeballs against your will,’ Maddern says. Button wants to change that by “capturing users’ intent.” For instance, you’re reading a New York Times travel story about Barcelona. You want to book an Airbnb there pronto. On your phone, you’d have to exit your New York Times app, then start up your Airbnb app and search for Barcelona in it. In a Web browser, you could have clicked straight through from one site to the other?—?and landed directly on a page of Barcelona listings.”

It goes on to discuss the history of deep links, the value of our information, and how mobile apps are trying to create the seamless experience we have in a regular browser.  The problem, however, appears to be that app developers like major companies do not want to play nicely together, so we have the fragmented the experience.  The bigger issue at hands is the competition!  Developers claim they are building the deep links described in the article, but they are not.  App use is more about profit than improving content value.

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

SharePoint Server Release Delayed by a Year

April 21, 2015

For users anxious to start working with SharePoint Server 2016, the wait just got a little longer. Microsoft just announced that the next version would not be available until the second quarter of 2016, a delay of full year from initial projections. ZD Net covers the latest news in their article, “Microsoft Pushes Back Next SharePoint Server Release to Q2 2016.”

The article breaks the news:

“When Microsoft announced the name of the next version of SharePoint Server — SharePoint Server 2016 — company officials said the product would debut in the second half of calendar 2015. But on April 16, Microsoft execs said that there’s a new delivery plan, and SharePoint Server 2016 won’t be generally available until the second calendar quarter of 2016.”

The delay doesn’t seem to be related to Windows Server, although it has also been pushed back to calendar year 2016. The new version is still very much anticipated as it promises updates to content management, team connectivity, and hybrid functionality. For users who are closely following all the news, stay tuned to ArnoldIT.com, specifically the SharePoint feed. Stephen E. Arnold maintains his site with a focus on search and all the expertise of a lifelong career.

Emily Rae Aldridge, April 21, 2015

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

Mobile Office 365 Usage on the Rise

April 16, 2015

A recent study by harmon.ie has found that Mobile Office 365 is growing quickly among its users. Mobile is a huge consideration for all software companies, and now the data is proving that mobile is the go-to for even heavy-hitting work and enterprise applications. Read more in the AppsTechNews article, “The state of mobile Office 365 usage in the workplace – and what it means for SharePoint.”

The article begins with the research:

“24% of harmon.ie mobile users are now using mobile Office 365 in the cloud, compared to 18% six months ago. Not surprisingly, the most popular activity conducted by business users on mobile devices was online and offline document access, according to 81% of the vote. 7% most frequently use their mobile devices to add a SharePoint site, while 4% prefer to favourite documents for later offline access.”

Retrieval is still proven to be the most common mobile function, as devices are still not designed well for efficient input. To keep up with future developments regarding mobile use in the enterprise, stay tuned to ArnoldIT.com. Stephen E. Arnold has made a career out of following all things search, and his SharePoint feed is an accessible place to stay tuned in to the latest SharePoint developments.

Emily Rae Aldridge, April 16, 2015

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

Visual Data Mapper Quid Raises $39M

April 14, 2015

The article on TechCrunch titled Quid Raises $39M More to Visualize Complex Ideas explains the current direction of Quid. Quid, the business analytics company interested in the work of processing vast amounts of data to build visual maps as well as branding and search, has been developing new paths to funding. The article states,

“When we wrote about the company back in 2010, it was focused on tracking emerging technologies, but it seems to have broadened its scope since then. Quid now says it has signed up 80 clients since launching the current platform at the beginning of last year.The new funding was led by Liberty Interactive Corporation, with participation from ARTIS Ventures, Buchanan Investments, Subtraction Capital, Tiger Partners, Thomas H. Lee Limited Family Partnership II, Quid board member Michael Patsalos-Fox…”

Quid also works with such brands as Hyundai, Samsung and Microsoft, and is considered to be unique in its approach to the big picture of tech trends. The article does not provide much information as to what the money is to be used for, unless it is to do with the changes to the website, which was once called the most pretentious of startup websites for its detailed explanation of its primary and secondary typefaces and array of titular allusions.

Chelsea Kerwin, April 14, 2014

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

The Evolution of SharePoint Online Collaboration

April 14, 2015

SharePoint Online is quickly playing catch up to the on-premises version, but the fact that they weren’t identical from the start is still perplexing. Tech Target explores the topic further in their article, “Following the SharePoint Online Collaboration Evolution.”

The article sums up the current situation:

“To an outsider, it would appear that SharePoint would have been the perfect one-to-one on-premises and cloud server option, considering it’s a Web-based option. However, it’s more complex than a move in data center location that’s local to Microsoft. And in terms of development, much of the effort has gone into the option that will drive the migration to Office 365 and the revenue from such a move, which is Exchange Online.”

Hybrid enablement is one area that SharePoint 2016 watchers are keeping a close eye on, as part of an overall focus on bringing more Office 365 experiences to on-premises customers. On the other side of the coin, certain online features are being strengthened by their reliance on SharePoint on-site under the hood. Look for Delva, Office 365, and OneDrive for Business among others. Overall, the future of SharePoint is exciting but still coming into focus. Keep an eye on ArnoldIT.com, a Web service run by a longtime search expert Stephen E. Arnold. His SharePoint feed will make additional SharePoint news accessible as it becomes available.

Emily Rae Aldridge, April 14, 2015

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

Set Data Free from PDF Tables

April 13, 2015

The PDF file is a wonderful thing. It takes up less space than alternatives, and everyone with a computer should be able to open one. However, it is not so easy to pull data from a table within a PDF document. Now, Computerworld informs us about a “Free Tool to Extract Data from PDFs: Tabula.” Created by journalists with assistance from organizations like Knight-Mozilla OpenNews, the New York Times and La Nación DATA, Tabula plucks data from tables within these files. Reporter Sharon Machlis writes:

“To use, download the software from the project website . It runs locally in your browser and requires a Java Runtime Environment compatible with Java 6 or 7. Import a PDF and then select the area of a table you want to turn into usable data. You’ll have the option of downloading as a comma- or tab-separated file as well as copying it to your clipboard.

“You’ll also be able to look at the data it captures before you save it, which I’d highly recommend. It can be easy to miss a column and especially a row when making a selection.”

See the write-up for a video of Tabula at work on a Windows system. A couple caveats: the tool will not work with scanned images. Also, the creators caution that, as of yet, Tabula  works best with simple table formats. Any developers who wish to get in on the project should navigate to its GitHub page here.

Cynthia Murrell, April 13, 2015

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

A Former Googler Reflects

April 10, 2015

After a year away from Google, blogger and former Googler Tim Bray (now at Amazon) reflects on what he does and does not miss about the company in his post, “Google + 1yr.” Anyone who follows his blog, ongoing, knows Bray has been outspoken about some of his problems with his former employer: First, he really dislikes “highly-overprivileged” Silicon Valley and its surrounds, where Google is based. Secondly, he found it unsettling  to never communicate with the “actual customers paying the bills,” the advertisers.

What does Bray miss about Google? Their advanced bug tracking system tops the list, followed closely by the slick and efficient, highly collaborative internal apps deployment. He was also pretty keen on being paid partially in Google stock between 2010 and 2014. The food on campus is everything it’s cracked up to be, he admits, but as a remote worker, he rarely got to sample it.

It was a passage in Bray’s “neutral” section that most caught my eye, though. He writes:

“The number one popular gripe against Google is that they’re watching everything we do online and using it to monetize us. That one doesn’t bother me in the slightest. The services are free so someone’s gotta pay the rent, and that’s the advertisers.

“Are you worried about Google (or Facebook or Twitter or your telephone company or Microsoft or Amazon) misusing the data they collect? That’s perfectly reasonable. And it’s also a policy problem, nothing to do with technology; the solutions lie in the domains of politics and law.

“I’m actually pretty optimistic that existing legislation and common law might suffice to whack anyone who really went off the rails in this domain.

“Also, I have trouble getting exercised about it when we’re facing a wave of horrible, toxic, pervasive privacy attacks from abusive governments and actual criminals.”

Everything is relative, I suppose. Still, I think it understandable for non-insiders to remain a leery about these companies’ data habits. After all, the distinction between “abusive government” and businesses is not always so clear these days.

Cynthia Murrell, April 10, 2015

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

 

Predicting Plot Holes Isn’t So Easy

April 10, 2015

According to The Paris Review’s blog post “Man In Hole II: Man In Deeper Hole” Mathew Jockers created an analysis tool to predict archetypal book plots:

A rough primer: Jockers uses a tool called “sentiment analysis” to gauge “the relationship between sentiment and plot shape in fiction”; algorithms assign every word in a novel a positive or negative emotional value, and in compiling these values he’s able to graph the shifts in a story’s narrative. A lot of negative words mean something bad is happening, a lot of positive words mean something good is happening. Ultimately, he derived six archetypal plot shapes.”

Academics, however, found some problems with Jockers’s tool, such as is it possible to assign all words an emotional variance and can all plots really take basic forms?  The problem is that words are as nuanced as human emotion, perspectives change in an instant, and sentiments are subjective.  How would the tool rate sarcasm?

All stories have been broken down into seven basic plots, so why can it not be possible to do the same for book plots?  Jockers already identified six basic book plots and there are some who are curiously optimistic about his analysis tool.  It does beg the question if will staunch author’s creativity or if it will make English professors derive even more subjective meaning from Ulysses?

Whitney Grace, April 10, 2015

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

The Cost of a Click Through Bing Ads

April 9, 2015

Wow. As an outsider to the world of marketing, I find these figures rather astounding. MarketingProfs shares an infographic titled, “The 20 Most Expensive Bing Ads Keywords.” The data comes from a recent analysis by WordStream of 10 million English keywords, grouped into categories. Writer Vahe Habeshian tells us:

“WordStream analyzed some 10 million English keywords and grouped the them into categories to determine the most expensive types of keywords (see infographic, below).

“(Also see a similar analysis of the most expensive keywords in Google AdWords advertising from 2011.)

“The most expensive keyword on Bing Ads is ‘lawyer,’ which would cost advertisers seeking the top ad spot a whopping $109.21 per click. Not surprisingly, the top 5 keywords are related to the legal world, indicating how lucrative clients can be.”

Yes, almost $110 per click whether legitimate, a human error, or a robot script. That’s a lot of fruitless clicks. It seems irrational, but it must be working if companies keep spending the dough. Right?

The word in second place, “attorney,” comes to $101.77 per click, and “DUI” is a comparative bargain at $68.56. After the top five, law-related words, there are such valuable terms as “annuity,” “rehab,”  and “exterminator.” See the infographic for more examples.

Cynthia Murrell, April 09, 2015

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

Microsoft Streamlining Update Process for SharePoint 2016

April 9, 2015

One of the most frequent complaints from SharePoint users and administrators is the cumbersome update process. It seems that Microsoft is listening and finally responding. Read more in the Redmond Channel Partner article, “Microsoft To Revamp Update Process for SharePoint 2016.”

The article sums up the news:

“The process of updating SharePoint Server will become less cumbersome in the next version of the product, according to a Microsoft executive. Speaking about the upcoming SharePoint 2016 during an IT Unity-hosted talk last Friday, Bill Baer, a Microsoft senior technical product manager and a Microsoft Certified Master for SharePoint, said that IT pros will get smaller updates and that applying them will entail less downtime for organizations.”

Less downtime for organizations will be a welcome change. Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime search expert, and has followed SharePoint through its ups and downs. He often finds that though SharePoint is the most widely adopted enterprise solution, its complicated nature and poor user experience often lead to perceived failures. Keep up with the latest SharePoint news on ArnoldIT.com, specifically the dedicated SharePoint feed, to determine if the streamlining of updates leads to higher marks for SharePoint.

Emily Rae Aldridge, April 9, 2015

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

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