Semantic Search Engine Gets Help from Facebook Friends

first_imgPerhaps the biggest problem with natural language search is that it’s incredibly difficult to try and automate machine-assigned ontologies. Essentially, machines just don’t get it. This is precisely the reason why Canadian technologist Bruce Johnson switched his focus from semantic tagging to a new style of search. Says Johnson, “Machines don’t really deconstruct language well. They miss so many of the ambiguities and they often don’t pick up on synonyms.” As a result, Johnson’s Semanti was built in the belief that humans are best at determining search relevancy. ReadWriteWeb spoke to Johnson, about how his start up, differs from some of the semantic web’s more-recognized players like Hakia and Powerset.Most semantic search services are natural language search engines; however, Semanti employs a system of personal bookmarks, a drop-down menu with multiple definitions, and search recommendations pulled from Facebook friends. Semanti actually increases relevancy by introducing human eyes and opinions into the search process. Semanti’s search experience is incredibly different than natural language search engines. Firstly, Semanti is not a separate engine, but a Firefox plug-in to be used with Google, Yahoo or Bing. This means that users are not being asked to change the habit of visiting their preferred search engine. Secondly, every time you type terms into your preferred engine, Semanti Suggest automatically provides a drop down menu of possible definitions. The search term “apple” offers the fruit, the company, the car, the record label, and Gwyneth Paltrow’s uniquely named baby. From here, users choose the relevant definition and results from alternate definitions are omitted. This portion of the search is particularly useful if you are looking for one of the seemingly obscure definitions. Additionally, Semanti uses a series of bookmarks to further categorize results. Users install the Semanti browser plug-in and bookmark the pages they are likely to revisit. However, unlike regular web-based bookmarks, Semanti’s MyWeb stores the entire page’s text and the original search terms. Later, when the same page is needed, Semanti scans the bookmarked pages and offers them at the top of search results. This means that the more you search, the more relevant your results are likely to be. Once you’ve saved a few pages to MyWeb, you can also increase search relevancy through Semanti Social Search. Semanti Social Search is a web-based community where you can invite your Facebook friends to share their MyWeb bookmarks. Once a friend has accepted your invitation, you’ve got access to their search results in addition to your own. Now every time you search, Semanti offers your bookmarks and your friends’ bookmarks at the top of search results. Below your friends’ bookmarks, you can also view bookmarks from the Semanti community. Or if you’d like to turn off these suggestions, Semanti also offers you that option as well. Semanti is clearly a new approach to finding information. The drop down definitions are very likely to speed research efforts; however, because the social search component is dependent on our friends, it will be interesting to see how results emerge over time. It’s always a celebration of human achievement to see a community effectively “harness the wisdom of the crowds”; however, there’s always a chance that a good thing can be destroyed by the ignorance of the masses. The community will just have to be discerning with their invitations. Semanti is currently available in French and English and the team of nine plans to roll out additional language versions in the coming months. To install Semanti and test drive the product yourself, visit A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#start#startups Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… dana oshiro Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Facebook Email Change Suggests Shareholders Are More Important Than Users

first_imgIn a frantic 48-hour stretch starting Saturday, Facebook leaked the news that it was testing a new app, faced the threat of a lawsuit by someone claiming the company had stolen the idea, and announced that it had shelved the project. Separately, the company also changed the listed email of all users to an address. In other words, it was just another two days in the post-IPO life of Facebook.As the world’s biggest social network, Facebook was generating daily headlines before last month’s disappointing initial public offering. But the post-IPO headlines have taken on a different tone: They tease new products, new services and new partnerships. They seem more focused on the bottom line than the user experience. As we predicted the day Facebook filed its IPO, the company now caters, at least in part, to shareholders.Facebook would never admit it, but the company seems to be doing just that. It is taking a machine-gun approach to public relations, announcing a steady stream of initiatives, apps and product hints, hoping that one (and preferably several) will hit. So far, none of the headlines has silenced long-standing investor concerns about the company’s ability to diversify revenue beyond targeted banner advertising and prove that it can monetize its mobile platform.Not a Gmail Killer Then, Not a Gmail Killer NowFacebook launched its personalized email addresses in 2010. At the time, we were told it would be a “Gmail killer.” That didn’t happen, in large part because – and there’s no delicate way to put this – Facebook’s messaging system is awful. It’s clunky and filters messages from strangers into a “shadow” inbox that is easy to miss. It can’t be searched the way Gmail can, nor can message be filtered, sorted or saved. If you never got around to setting a personalized vanity address for your Facebook profile, your Facebook email address is a random string of numbers another way, there is no compelling reason to use your address. Except for one: Now Facebook is forcing you to use it.“Facebook silently inserted themselves into the path of formerly direct unencrypted communications from people who want to email me,” Gervase Markham, the blogger who first noticed the change over the weekend, said. “In other contexts, this is known as a Man In The Middle (MITM) attack. What on earth do they think they are playing at?”You can, of course, go into your profile and change it back to your preferred email address. But for now, the default setting is to list your address. That means if someone uses Facebook as a white pages search to find you, the message they send you will go to your email address.Facebook wouldn’t say when the decision was made or how it was addressing criticism that it was changing users’ default email addresses without their consent. But a spokesman told the Chicago Tribune that the company had been switching user email addresses since April, when it made changes to its service terms.“Ever since the launch of Timeline, people have had the ability to control what posts they want to show or hide on their own timelines, and today we’re extending that to other information they post, starting with the Facebook address,” spokesperson Andrew Noyes said in an email to the newspaper.Shoving Users for the Sake Of ShareholdersThe latest Facebook push is the most dramatic in the post-IPO string of announcements, but it fits a familiar theme. Realizing that user growth is reaching an inevitable slowdown, the only way for Facebook to grow advertising revenue over time is to get users to spend more time on the site. Forcing you to check email is one way to do that.What Facebook needs to worry about now is alienating its users and thus effectively undermining its own strategy. If you start to feel like you’re being forced to use the service, you may stop using it altogther. And that’s not good for shareholders or users. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Tags:#Facebook#web Related Posts Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro…center_img dave copeland A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationlast_img read more

Please Revamp iTunes: 5 Ways Apple Should Improve Its Media Player

first_imgUndeterred by the miserable failure of Ping, Apple is reportedly already making moves toward a more social iTunes. These include a deeper integration of Facebook into the iTunes Store and a limited music-sharing feature. The further Apple can head in this direction, the better. Music and video are naturally social-friendly (see YouTube and SoundCloud), but iTunes has long existed on its own isolated island, far from the social networks we’re glued to all day long.As Apple learned the hard way, trying to roll its own social music product isn’t the way to go. Instead, leverage existing social networks is essential, especially for music discovery and artist promotion. Spotify’s Facebook integration, as imperfect as its “frictionless sharing” implementation was, is an example worth emulating. Of course, iTunes has a different business model than Spotify (and, despite rumors, Apple doesn’t plan to launch its own subscription service any time soon). Whereas a user can stream entire tracks from Spotify when they pop up in a friend’s Facebook feed, iTunes may need to work out something else. Perhap’s its a 30-second clip or, in a more user-friendly implementation, the song could be streamed on Facebook once prior to purchase. A similar approach could be adapted to Twitter, where some kind of easy-sharing option could help drive exposure and downloads for music, movies, apps and other content. iTunes shouldn’t play nice only with established services like Facebook and Twitter, but also make an effort to keep up with other social sites when appropriate. Maybe Instagram doesn’t make sense, but Pinterest might. The more iTunes touches the social Web, the better the experience will be for users and content creators alike. Integrate iTunes with Other Music SourcesApple would never do this, but it can’t hurt to ask: iTunes would be far more useful as a desktop media manager if users could plug in third-party content providers. This is something that open-source music player Tomahawk does very well, and it’s a big part of what makes that project so promising. Let’s face it: Users stream music from Spotify, Rdio, SoundCloud and YouTube, in addition to purchasing it from iTunes (or downloading it via BitTorrent for that matter). Allowing access to numerous sources from one user interface would make for a great user experience, even if it would eat into Apple’s music sales. Play Nice with Other Apps and ServicesEven if Apple doesn’t offer a subscription service, it could steal a page from Spotify’s playbook and launch an iTunes platform upon which third-party developers could build apps.Spotify launched its own platform late last year, effectively outsourcing a chunk of its product development. And developers have responded, eagerly building extensions for the Spotify desktop client. Apple could do the same by introducing a similar platform or opening iTunes so developers could add functionality through browser-style plugins. Opening the iTunes ecosystem could include deep integration with recommendation engines such as or partnering with exciting social music services with whom Apple knows better than to try to compete. This is another suggestion that would require Apple to think of iTunes less as a gateway to its own retail storefront and more as an experience to be enjoyed by users, who would spend money on content and apps. Redesign the iTunes User InterfaceThe iTunes desktop interface has undergone only subtle, incremental visual changes since its inception. In the meantime, we’ve seen Web-based music services like Rdio rise up sporting clean, well-designed user interfaces. Apple should borrow from these services while striving to create a more iOS-like desktop experience. An extensive visual refresh could go a long way toward making iTunes a joy to use and thus keep more content consumers tied to it. Make the Code More EfficientiTunes is a beast. The desktop client is a notorious resource hog, even when it’s being used for the most basic activities – or just sitting there, for that matter. Any cosmetic changes to the application should be accompanied by architectural updates that would allow it to load and run faster, especially on older machines. 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Tags:#Apple#music#web Related Posts Apple is planning to overhaul iTunes, according to recent reports. Hallelujah! Apple’s clunky, archaic media player is long overdue for an upgrade. iTunes used to be a necessary evil for managing music on an iPhone or updating the operating system on Apple’s mobile devices, but with the arrival of Spotify and the over-the-air software updates in iOS 5, there’s little reason to launch it at all. Even podcasts are more neatly managed in a third-party app such as Instacast or Apple’s own Podcasts app. Whether or not an overhaul is actually under way is anybody’s guess. Nonetheless, we humbly offer a few suggestions.Make iTunes More Social  john paul titlow 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more

At TDWI: Finding a middle way between Hadoop and relational data warehousing

first_imgI realized this when I was in Chicago the first week of May, attending The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) conference, where the theme was “Preparing for the Practical Realities of Big Data.” And since it’s built on Intel® architecture, and leverages the full power of Intel® Xeon® E7 processors, HANA has hardware-enhanced performance and security built in, with solid-state drives and cache acceleration for blazing speed and stability. Watch this interview from TDWI to learn more about SAP HANA and how the database helps address big data challenges. There are high expectations around big data at the moment. Many people in marketing, product development, and analytics teams can’t wait to get their hands on big data intelligence to better understand and target audiences. With this in mind, I attended the keynote address by Ken Rudin, director of Analytics at Facebook—a leader in cool, cutting-edge big data processing and analysis addressing a conference of (what some would consider) old-school DBAs. The message from Rudin, who has held senior leadership positions at Zynga,, and Oracle, was fascinating: Don’t get caught in the tyranny of either/or when it comes to data analysis—businesses need both traditional relational database processing and Hadoop*-based big data analysis. If you’re thinking big data analytics will solve all your BI challenges, you may be looking at it wrong… Follow Tim and Twitter @TimIntel and the SAP analytics team at @SAPAnalytics.Additionally, @TDWI has some very interesting DW feeds. If you’re looking for the technology to get the most impact out of analytics, look no further. So the question is not, how do you get from old-school to cutting edge as soon as possible. Rather, ask which technology is right to generate impact out of data. @krudin said that Facebook started out relying almost solely on Hadoop and big data when the social media giant first launched, but now is increasingly incorporating OLAP and OLTP processes into its analytics. Hadoop is best at exploring huge data sets—putting all the data into one system to discover patterns. Traditional relational data analytics is best at business, looking at focused data to derive metrics and more actionable, granular analysis. Both are valuable technologies: which one is best depends on what kind of impact you are looking for. At the SAP booth, I presented a discussion of the newly released joint solution from SAP and Intel that has optimized Intel® Distribution of Apache Hadoop* software for the SAP HANA* in-memory database. Using SAP Smart Data Access* (watch for availability in coming weeks), this big data solution is able to leverage all types of data for processing in analytical applications. However, TDWI isn’t their show. At TDWI, the focus instead is on traditional database administrators, data analysts, and data scientists, and it’s a very technical conference firmly based on OLAP and OLTP analytics and hands-on issues of data warehousing. Then the question becomes: What’s the best way to integrate data stored in Hadoop into a traditional OLAP or OLTP infrastructure for processing? The answer is just around the corner. This was a conclusion that appealed to many at TDWI, as several people I spoke to registered a bit of skepticism about the value of Hadoop as an engine for analytics. For them, the main attraction of Hadoop is its potential to act as a backend data storage mechanism, where unstructured data can be warehoused.last_img read more

mHealth Summit: Eyes on Funding Trends

first_imgFor the past four years, I’ve watched thousands of health and technology influencers, developers, policy makers, business leaders, and others pack themselves into the mHealth Summit for a glimpse at the latest in mobile and wireless health technology. And why not? It’s a good time, and the policy changes, apps launches, and new comers to the field are always worth noting.But this year, as we head into the 5th Annual mHealth Summit, I’m looking beyond the 300 exhibitors and 450 speakers—I’m following the money to the most promising new mHealth tech.What choice do I have? Last quarter, as reported by CB Insights, venture capital investors deployed some $1.2 billion to U.S. mobile-related companies, making Q3 2013 the wildest VC financing quarter in history for the Mobile & Telecom sector.Health IT overall drew $2 billion in funding this year, according to a Healthcare IT News report, but if you look at VC deal volume in mobile, the Health & Wellness sub-industry barely registered in Q3. So, yes, investment dollars are flowing to mHealth, but my take is that, despite the boom, we’re just getting started. That’s likely to be good news for mHealth entrepreneurs as they continue to bring their own innovations to market, and the money works its way deeper into the health niche.Although VC funding is hardly the end-all-be-all for tech entrepreneurs—and somewhat less relevant to healthcare CIOs—financing trends obviously play an important role in the growth and evolution of mHealth. To the extent that new mobile and wireless devices (and apps) will need to be added, integrated, and supported by health IT professionals, these funding trends could prove very relevant to CIOs indeed.That’s why one of the presentations I’m most interested in this year is the Venture+ Forum.Keynoted by Qualcomm Life Fund’s director Jack Young—an electrical engineer and former EVP with the world’s fourth largest mobile phone manufacturer (ZTE)—this session should be eye-opening.Young, who has questioned the sustainability of current funding trends, believes digital health is at a crossroads. Among other things, he’s planning to talk about the viability of today’s boom in mHealth funding, and where investment dollars might trend over the coming years.Personally, I welcome input from Young and others on this topic, as the industry prepares for the next wave of mHealth technologies that promise to span everything from mobile-clinical integration platforms, to personal genomics, to clinical research technologies.The Venture+ Forum also will review presentations from 11 mHealth startups, which is always fun and inspiring. So, whether you have a mobile solution on the market, in the works—or you’re just wondering how the next wave of mHealth offerings will impact workflows—there should be some actionable information coming out of the Venture+ Forum. Hope to see you there!As a B2B journalist, John Farrell has covered healthcare IT since 1997 and is Intel’s sponsored correspondent.last_img read more

Next-Generation Infrastructure Management from Ericsson and Intel Helps Propel the 5G Era

first_img5G capability will extend the functionality of our mobile and Internet-enabled devices in powerful and interesting ways. Behind the scenes, of course, modern telecommunications companies’ ongoing investments in cloud-based networking make all the magic happen.Telecom providers today face ever-growing pressure to transform their infrastructure and deliver a fast, seamless, reliable user experience wherever their customers may be. As budgets tighten, providers must maximize their infrastructure investments to derive the greatest value from each server resource. The right systems management solution can help address this challenge by improving operational efficiency, deploying new customer services more quickly, and much more.Together, Ericsson and Intel plan to develop a next-generation infrastructure management platform optimized for the unique requirements of communications service providers. The synergistic effort will result in a management solution that provides data center administrators a more efficient, cost-effective, and fine-grained way to manage a 5G network’s server resources.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.The multi-year agreement between our companies aligns and deepens the ongoing development efforts of Ericsson’s Software-Defined Infrastructure (SDI) Manager* and Intel® Rack Scale Design (Intel® RSD). In turn, telecommunications companies will benefit from a leading end-to-end software solution from Ericsson, combined with the latest technology and architectural innovations from Intel.Intel® RSD architecture enables the ability to access the internal compute, storage, and accelerator resources from each server in a data center. In doing so, data center operators have the flexibility to tap a pool of components to meet workload demand dynamically, rather than adding or replacing entire servers.Ericsson SDI, a foundational component of the Ericsson Network Functions Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVI) solution, provides the capability to control and configure a datacenter’s compute, storage, and networking hardware from a central management platform into virtual performance-optimized datacenters.The complementary power of these technologies extends the agility of the cloud to the infrastructure control interface, enabling unified management capabilities that accelerate hardware provisioning, simplify the workload migration process, and facilitate resource transition to production environments. In doing so, these capabilities help reduce the system’s overall cost of ownership. A management solution based on an open interface also offers communication providers the freedom to select the hardware that best serves their needs without compromising the efficiency, agility, and transparency necessary to enable Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), distributed cloud, and 5G capability.At Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona from February 25-28, attendees can preview the joint development efforts. Ericsson will demonstrate its SDI Manager with Intel® RSD support at Hall 2 Stand 2O60 and Intel will also be meeting privately with telco customers to showcase future architectural designs in the NDA private suite of its MWC booth at Hall 3 Stand 3E31 by appointment only. Please contact your Ericsson or Intel field sales representative to find out more.We look forward to seeing you there!last_img read more