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Facebook Offers Ad Revenue for Streamlined News Experience

May 28, 2015

Facebook is offering an interesting carrot to certain publishers, like the New York Times and National Geographic, in the interest of streamlining the Facebook use-experience; CNet reports, “Facebook Aims to Host Full Stories, Will Let Publishers Keep Ad Revenue, Says Report.” Of course, the project has to have a hip yet obvious name: “Instant Articles” is reportedly the feature’s title. Writer Nate Ralph cites an article in the Wall Street Journal as he tells us:

“The move is aimed at improving the user experience on the world’s largest social network. Today, clicking on a news story on Facebook directs you to the news publication’s website, adding additional time as that site loads and — more importantly for Facebook — taking users away from the social network. With Instant Articles, all the content would load more or less immediately, keeping users engaged on Facebook’s site. The upside for publishers would be increased money from ads, the Journal said. With one of the versions of Instant Articles that’s being considered, publishers would keep all the revenue from associated ads that they sold. If Facebook sold the ads, however, the social network would keep 30 percent of the revenue.”

Apparently, some news publishers have been “wary” of becoming tightly integrated into Facebook, perhaps fearing a lack of control over their content and image. The write-up goes on to note that Facebook has been testing a feature that lets users prioritize updates from different sources. How many other ways to capture and hold our attention does the social media giant have up its sleeve?

Cynthia Murrell, May 28, 2015

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph



Peruse Until You Are Really Happy

May 22, 2015

Have you ever needed to quickly locate a file that you just know you made, but were unable to find it on your computer, cloud storage, tablet, smartphone, or company pool drive?  What is even worse is if your search query does not pick up on any of your keywords!  What are you supposed to do then?  VentureBeat might have the answer to your problems as explained in the article, “Peruse Is A New Natural Language Search Tool For Your Dropbox And Box Files.”  Peruse is a search tool that allows users to use their natural flow of talking to find their files and information.

Natural language querying is already a big market for business intelligence software, but it is not as common in file sharing services.  Peruse is a startup with the ability to search Dropbox and Box accounts using a regular question.  If you ask, “Where is the marketing data from last week?” The software will be able to pull the file for you without even opening the file. Right now, Peruse can only find information in spreadsheets, but the company is working on expanding the supported file types.

“The way we index these files is we actually look at them visually — it understands them in a way a person would understand them,” said [co-founder and CEO Luke Gotszling], who is showing off Peruse…”

Peruse’s goal is to change the way people use document search.  Document search has remained pretty consistent since 1995, twenty years later Gotszling is believes it is time for big change.  Gotzling is right, document search remains the same, while Web search changes everyday.

Whitney Grace, May 22, 2015

Stephen E Arnold, Publisher of CyberOSINT at

Make Mine Mobile Search

May 21, 2015

It was only a matter of time, but Google searches on mobile phones and tablets have finally pulled ahead of desktop searches says The Register in “Peak PC: ‘Most’ Google Web Searches ‘Come From Mobiles’ In US.”   Google AdWords product management representative Jerry Dischler said that more Google searches took place on mobile devices in ten countries, including the US and Japan.  Google owns 92.22 percent of the mobile search market and 65.73 percent of desktop searches.  What do you think Google wants to do next?  They want to sell more mobile apps!

The article says that Google has not shared any of the data about the ten countries except for the US and Japan and the search differential between platforms.  Google, however, is trying to get more people to by more ads and the search engine giant is making the technology and tools available:

“Google has also introduced new tools for marketers to track their advertising performance to see where advertising clicks are coming from, and to try out new ways to draw people in. The end result, Google hopes, is to bring up the value of its mobile advertising business that’s now in the majority, allegedly.”

Mobile ads are apparently cheaper than desktop ads, so Google will get lower revenues.  What will probably happen is that as more users transition to making purchases via phones and tablets, ad revenue will increase vi mobile platforms.

Whitney Grace, May 21, 2015
Stephen E Arnold, Publisher of CyberOSINT at

Explaining Big Data Mythology

May 14, 2015

Mythologies usually develop over a course of centuries, but big data has only been around for (arguably) a couple decades—at least in the modern incarnate.  Recently big data has received a lot of media attention and product development, which was enough to give the Internet time to create a big data mythology.  The Globe and Mail wanted to dispel some of the bigger myths in the article, “Unearthing Big Myths About Big Data.”

The article focuses on Prof. Joerg Niessing’s big data expertise and how he explains the truth behind many of the biggest big data myths.  One of the biggest items that Niessing wants people to understand is that gathering data does not equal dollar signs, you have to be active with data:

“You must take control, starting with developing a strategic outlook in which you will determine how to use the data at your disposal effectively. “That’s where a lot of companies struggle. They do not have a strategic approach. They don’t understand what they want to learn and get lost in the data,” he said in an interview. So before rushing into data mining, step back and figure out which customer segments and what aspects of their behavior you most want to learn about.”

Niessing says that big data is not really big, but made up of many diverse, data points.  Big data also does not have all the answers, instead it provides ambiguous results that need to be interpreted.  Have questions you want to be answered before gathering data.  Also all of the data returned is not the greatest.  Some of it is actually garbage, so it cannot be usable for a project.  Several other myths are uncovered, but the truth remains that having a strategic big data plan in place is the best way to make the most of big data.

Whitney Grace, May 14, 2015

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

The Forgotten List of Telegraph

May 13, 2015

Technology experts and information junkies in the European Union are in an uproar over a ruling that forces Google to remove specific information from search results.  “The right to be forgotten” policy upheld by the EU is supposed to help people who want “inadequate, irrelevant, or no longer relevant” information removed from Google search results.  Many news outlets in Europe have been affected, including the United Kingdom’s Telegraph.  The Telegraph has been recording a list called “Telegraph Stories Affected By ‘EU Right To Be Forgotten’” of all the stories they have been forced to remove.

According to the article, the Google has received over 250,000 requests to remove information.  Some of these requests concern stories published by Telegraph.  While many oppose the ‘right to be forgotten,’ including the House of Lords, others are still upholding the policy:

“But David Smith, deputy commissioner and director of data protection for the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), hit back and claimed that the criticism was misplaced, ‘as the initial stages of its implementation have already shown.’ ”

Many of the “to be forgotten” requests concern people with criminal pasts and misdeeds that are color them in an bad light.  The Telegraph’s content might be removed from Google, but they are keeping a long, long list on their website.  Read the stories there or head on over to the US Google website-freedom of the press still holds true here.

Whitney Grace, May 13, 2015

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

SharePoint Server 2016 Details Released

May 12, 2015

Some details about the rollout of SharePoint Server 2016 were revealed at the much-anticipated Ignite event in Chicago last week. Microsoft now commits to being on track with the project, making a public beta available in fourth quarter of this year, and “release candidate” and “general availability” versions to follow. Read more in the Redmond Magazine article, “SharePoint Server 2016 Roadmap Highlighted at Ignite Event.”

The article addresses the tension between cloud and on-premises versions:

“While Microsoft has been developing the product based on its cloud learnings, namely SharePoint Online as part of its Office 365 services, those cloud-inspired features eventually will make their way back into the server product. The capabilities that don’t make it into the server will be offered as Office 365 services that can be leveraged by premises-based systems.”

It appears that the delayed timeline may be a “worst case scenario” measure, and that the release could happen earlier. After all, it is better for customers to be prepared for the worst and be pleasantly surprised. To stay in touch with the latest news regarding features and timeline, keep an eye on, specifically the SharePoint feed. Stephen E. Arnold is a longtime leader in search and serves as a great resource for individuals who need access to the latest SharePoint news at a glance.

Emily Rae Aldridge, May 12, 2015

Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

A Binging Double Take 

May 1, 2015

After you read this headline from Venture Beat, you will definitely be doing a double take: “ComScore: Bing Passes 20% Share In The US For The First Time.”  Bing has been the punch line for search experts and IT professionals ever since it was deployed a few years ago.  Anyone can contest that Bing is not the most accurate search engine, mostly due to it being a Microsoft product.  Bing developers have been working to improve the search engine’s accuracy and for the first time ever ComScore showed that both Google and Yahoo fell a 0.1 percentage and Bing gained 0.3 percent, most likely stealing it from DuckDuckGo and other smaller search engines.  Microsoft can proudly state that one in five searches are conducted on Bing.

The change comes after months of stagnation:

“For many months, ComScore’s reports showed next to no movement for each search service (a difference of 0.1 points or 0.2 points one way or the other, if that). A 0.3 point change is not much larger, but it does come just a few months after big gains from Yahoo. So far, 2015 is already a lot more exciting, and it looks like the search market is going to be worth paying close attention to.”

The article says that most of search engine usage is generated by what Internet browsers people use.  Yahoo keep telling people to move to Firefox and Google wants people to download Chrome.  The browser and search engine rivalries continue, but Google still remains on top.  How long will Bing be able to keep this bragging point?

Whitney Grace, May 1, 2015
Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Retail Feels Internet Woes

April 29, 2015

Mobile Web sites, mobile apps, mobile search, mobile content, and the list goes on and on for Web-related material to be mobile-friendly.  Online retailers are being pressured to make their digital storefronts applicable to the mobile users, because more people are using their smartphones and tablets over standard desktop and laptop computers.  It might seem easy to design an app and then people can download it for all of their shopping needs, but according to Easy Ask things are not that simple: “Internet Retailer Reveals Mobile Commerce Conversion Troubles.”

The article reveals that research conducted by Spreadshirt CTO Guido Laures shows that while there is a high demand for mobile friendly commerce applications and Web sites, very few people are actually purchasing products through these conduits.  Why?  The problem relates to the lack of spontaneous browsing and one the iPhone 6’s main selling features: a big screen.

“While mobile-friendly responsive designs and easier mobile checkouts are cited as inhibitors to mobile commerce conversion, an overlooked and more dangerous problem is earlier in the shopping process.  Before they can buy, customers first need to find the product they want.  Small screen sizes, clumsy typing and awkward scrolling gestures render traditional search and navigation useless on a smartphone.”

Easy Ask says that these problems can be resolved by using a natural language search application over the standard keyword search tool.  It says that:

“A keyword search engine leaves you prone to misunderstanding different words and returning a wide swath of products that will frustrate your shoppers and continue you down the path of poor mobile customer conversion.”

Usually natural language voice search tools misunderstand words and return funny phrases.  The article is a marketing tool to highlight the key features of Easy Ask technology, but they do make some key observations about mobile shopping habits.

Whitney Grace, April 29, 2015
Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

How do You use Your Email?

April 28, 2015

Email is still a relatively new concept in the grander scheme of technology, having only been around since the 1990s.  As with any human activity, people want to learn more about the trends and habits people have with email.  Popular Science has an article called “Here’s What Scientists Learned In The Largest Systematic Study Of Email Habits” with a self-explanatory title.  Even though email has been around for over twenty years, no one is quite sure how people use it.

So someone decided to study email usage:

“…researchers from Yahoo Labs looked at emails of two million participants who sent more than 16 billion messages over the course of several months–by far the largest email study ever conducted. They tracked the identities of the senders and the recipients, the subject lines, when the emails were sent, the lengths of the emails, and the number of attachments. They also looked at the ages of the participants and the devices from which the emails were sent or checked.”

The results were said to be so predictable that an algorithm could have predicted them. Usage has a strong correlation to age groups and gender. The young write short, quick responses, while men are also brief in their emails.  People also responded more quickly during work hours and the more emails they receive the less likely they are to write a reply.  People might already be familiar with these trends, but the data is brand new to data scientists.  The article predicts that developers will take the data and design better email platforms.

How about creating an email platform that merges a to-do list with emails, so people don’t form their schedules and tasks from the inbox.

Whitney Grace, April 28, 2015
Sponsored by, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

What is the Depth of Deep Linking?

April 21, 2015

One the Back Channel blog of, 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

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