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Access to the BWinnovate database is open to the worldwide web but is much more focused than a regular search engine.

LONDON, UK, SEPT 11, 2018 -- An innovation search engine that can help match utilities, industrial users and contractors with the water technologies they need has been launched by British Water. BWinnovate complements the trade association's popular onsite Innovation Exchanges with utilities and other client organizations and the supply chain.

The searchable portal is hosted on the trade association's website and seamlessly integrates with its member database. Members are invited to post as many innovative 'solutions' as they wish along with images, documents, and video links.

Access to the searchable database is open to the world wide web. A facility for member utilities and end-users to post their technology 'needs' in a section visible only to other members is also included.

Paul Mullord, UK director, British Water said, "BWinnovate is a natural extension of our popular Innovation Exchanges where supply chain companies present their services and technologies to potential clients. It allows our members to present to a global audience and facilitates detailed searches to help identify the most appropriate solutions available.

"BWinnovate is much more focused than a regular search engine and the benefit goes both ways. Those searching for innovations can find them all in one place and at their convenience."

British Water has worked closely with its members to identify the most effective search criteria for the solutions. Prescribed categories include whether the solutions enhance health and safety, productivity and sustainability or whether they are water, wastewater or environmental solutions.

Doug Workman, president of Modern Water Monitoring said, "The water industry needs innovation, but it is not always easy for busy project managers and consultancies to identify the most appropriate technologies. Modern Water will certainly be making use of BWinnovate and the more companies that get involved, the greater the benefit for customers."

Dr. Stephen Bird, managing director, South West Water said, "BWinnovate is a very useful search engine for utilities. It creates an easily accessible library of innovation across multiple companies. It sits in one place, can be accessed at any time and is continually updated. It could save businesses valuable time and contribute to major cost savings across all operations."

Mullord added, "The industry is under considerable pressure to cut costs while conserving water and reducing carbon footprint. BWinnovate can help stakeholders identify solutions that can truly benefit their customers. I believe it will prove particularly beneficial in the new retail market."

Source: This article was Published waterworld.com

Published in Search Engine

What does the future hold for voice search? If you search the web for these words – or a version of them – you’ll encounter no shortage of grand predictions.

“By 2020, 30% of web browsing sessions will be done without a screen.” Or, “By 2020, 50% of all searches will be conducted via voice.” (I’ll come back to that one in a second). Or, “2017 will be the year of voice search.” Oops, looks like we might have missed the boat on that last one.

The great thing about the future is that no-one can know exactly what’s going to happen, but you can have fun throwing out wild predictions, which most people will have forgotten about by the time we actually get there.

That’s why you get so many sweeping, ambitious, and often contradictory forecasts doing the rounds – especially with a sexy, futuristic technology like voice. It doesn’t do anyone any real harm unless for some reason your company has decided to stake its entire marketing budget on optimizing for the 50% of the populace who are predicted to be using voice search by 2020.

However, in this state of voice search series, I’ve set out to take a realistic look at voice search in 2018, beyond the hype, to determine what opportunities it really presents for marketers. But when it comes to predicting the future, things get a little murkier.

I've made some cautious predictions to the tune of assuming that if smart speaker ownership increases over the coming years, voice search volume will also likely increase; or that mobile voice search might be dropping away as smart speaker voice search catches on.

In this article, though, I'll be looking at where voice search as a whole could be going: not just on mobile, or on smart speakers, but of any kind. What is the likelihood that voice search will go "mainstream" to the point that it makes up as substantial a portion of overall search volume as is predicted? What are the obstacles to that? And what does this mean for the future of voice optimisation?

Will half of all searches by 2020 really be voice searches?

I'm going to start by looking at one of the most popular predictions that is cited in relation to voice search: "By 2020, 50% of all searches will be carried out via voice."

This statistic is popularly attributed to comScore, but as is often the case with stats, things have become a little distorted in the retelling. The original prediction behind this stat actually came from Andrew Ng, then Chief Scientist at Baidu. In an exclusive interview with Fast Company in September 2014, he stated that "In five years' time, at least 50% of all searches are going to be either through images or speech."

The quote was then popularised by Mary Meeker, who included it on a timeline of voice search in her Internet Trends 2016 Report, with "2020" as the year by which this prediction was slated to come true.

So, not just voice search, but voice and visual search. This makes things a little trickier to benchmark, not least because we don't have any statistics yet on how many searches are carried out through images. (I'm assuming this would include the likes of Google Lens and Pinterest Lens, as well as Google reverse image search).

Let's assume for the sake of argument that 35% of Ng's predicted 50% of searches will be voice search, since voice technology is that bit more widespread and well-supported, while a visual search is largely still in its infancy. How far along are we towards reaching that benchmark?

I'm going to be generous here and count voice queries of every kind in my calculations, even though as I indicated in Part 1, only around 20% of these searches can actually be ranked for. Around 60% of Google searches are carried out on mobile (per Hitwise), so if we use Google's most recent stat that 1 in every 5 mobile searches is carried out via voice, that means about 12% of all Google searches (420 million searches) are mobile voice queries.

In Part 2 I estimated that another 26.4 million queries are carried out via smart speakers, which is an additional 0.75% - so in total that makes 12.75% of searches, or if we're rounding up, 13% of Google searches that are voice queries.

This means that the number of voice queries on Google would need to increase by another 22 percentage points over the next year and a half for Ng's prediction to come true. To reach 50% - the stat most often cited by voice enthusiasts as to why voice is so crucial to optimise for - we would need to find an additional 1.3 billion voice searches per day from somewhere.

That's nearly ten times the number of smart speakers predicted to ship to the US over the next three years. Even if you believe that smart speakers will single-handedly bring voice search into the mainstream, it's a tall order.

So okay, we've established that voice enthusiasts might need to cool their jets a bit when it comes to the adoption of voice search. But if we return to (our interpretation of) Andrew Ng's prediction that 35% of searches by 2020 will be voice, what is going to make the volume of voice search leap up those remaining 22 percentage points in less than two years?

Is it sheer volume of voice device ownership? Is it the increasing normalisation of speaking aloud to a device in public? Or is it something else?

Ng made another prediction, via Twitter this time, in December 2016 which gives us a clue as to his thinking in this regard. He wrote, "As speech-recognition accuracy goes from 95% to 99%, we'll go from barely using it to using all the time!"

So, Andrew Ng believes that sheer accuracy of recognition is what will take voice search into the mainstream. 95% word recognition is actually the same threshold of accuracy as human speech (Google officially reached this threshold last year, to great excitement), so Ng is holding machines to a higher standard than humans – which is fair enough, since we tend to approach new technology and machine interfaces with a higher degree of scepticism, and are less forgiving of errors. In order to win us over, they have to really wow us.

But is a pure vocal recognition the only barrier to voice search going mainstream? Let's consider the user experience of voice search.

The UX problems with voice

As I mentioned in our last installment of natural language and conversational search, when using voice interfaces, we tend to hold the same expectations that we have for a conversation with a human being.

We expect machines to respond in a human way, seamlessly and intuitively carrying on the exchange; when they don't, bringing us up short with an "I'm sorry, I don't understand the question," we're thrown off and turned off.

This explains why voice recognition is weighted so highly as a measure of success for voice interfaces, but it's not the only important factor. Often, understanding you still isn't enough to produce the right response; many voice commands depend on specific phrasing to activate, meaning that you can still be brought up short if you don't know exactly what to utter to achieve the result you want.

The internet is full of examples of what happens when our voice assistants don't quite understand the question.

Or what about if you misspeak – the verbal equivalent of a typo? When typing, you can just delete and retype your query before you submit, but when speaking, there's no way to take back the last word or phrase you uttered. Instead, you have to wait for the device to respond, give you an error, and then start again.

If this happens multiple times, it can prompt the user to give up in exasperation. Writing for Gizmodo, Chris Thomson paints a vivid picture of the frustration experienced by users with speech impediments when trying to use voice-activated smart speakers.

One of the major reasons that voice interfaces are heralded as the future of technology is because speaking your query or command aloud is supposed to be so much faster and more frictionless than typing it. At the moment, though, that's far from being the case.

However, while they might be preventing the uptake of voice interfaces (which is intrinsically linked to the adoption of voice search) at the moment, these are all issues that could reasonably be solved in the future as the technology advances. None of them are deal-breakers.

For me, the real deal-breaker when it comes to voice search, and the reason why I believe it will never see widespread adoption in its present state, is this: it doesn't do what it's supposed to.

One result to rule them all?

Think back for a moment to what web search is designed to do. Though we take it for granted nowadays, before search engines came along, there was no systematic way to find web pages and navigate the world wide web. You had to know the web address of a site already in order to visit it, and the early "weblogs" (blogs) often contained lists of interesting sites that web users had found on their travels.

Web search changed all that by doing the hard work for users – pulling in information about what websites were out there, and presenting it to users so that they could navigate the web more easily. This last part is the issue that I'm getting at, in a sidelong sort of way: so that they could navigate the web.

Contrast that with what voice search currently does: it responds to a query from the user with a single, definitive result. It might be possible to follow up that query with subsequent searches, or to carry out an action (e.g. ordering pizza, hearing a recipe, receiving directions), but otherwise, the voice journey stops there. You can't browse the web using your Amazon Echo. You can use your smartphone, but for all intents and purposes, that's just mobile search. Nothing about that experience is unique to voice search.

This is the reason why voice search is only ever used for general knowledge queries or retrieving specific pieces of information: it's inherently hampered by an inability to explore the web.

It's why voice search in its present state is mostly a novelty: not just because voice devices themselves are a novelty, but because it's difficult to really search with it.

One result to rule them all?

Even when voice devices like smart speakers catch on and become part of people's daily lives, it's because of their other capabilities, not because of search. Search is always incidental.

This is also why Google, Amazon and other makers of smart speakers are more interested in expanding the commands that their devices respond to and the places they can respond to them. For them, that is the future of voice.

What does this mean for voice search?

What true voice search could sound like

I see two possible future scenarios for voice search.

One, voice search remains as a "single search result" tool which is mostly useful for fact-finding exercises and questions that have a definitive answer, in which case there will always be a limit to how big voice search can get, and voice will only ever be a minor channel in the grand scheme of search and SEO. Marketers should recognise the role that it plays in their overall search strategy (if any), think about the use cases realistically, and optimise for those – or not – if it makes sense to.

Or two, voice search develops into a genuine tool for searching the web. This might involve a user being initially read the top result for their search, and then being presented with the option to hear more search results – perhaps three or four, to keep things concise.

If they then want to hear content from one of the results, they can instruct the voice assistant to navigate to that webpage, and then proceed to listen to an audio version of the news article, blog post, Wikipedia page, or other websites that they've chosen.

Duane Forrester, VP Insights at Yext, envisages just such an eventuality during a wide-ranging video discussion on the future of voice search with Stone Temple Consulting's Eric Enge and PeakActivity's Brent Csutoras. The whole discussion is excellent and well, well worth a watch or a read (the transcript is available beneath the video).

Duane Forrester: We may see a resurgence in [long-form content] a couple of years from now if our voice assistants are now reading these things out loud.

Brent Csutoras: Sure. Like an audible.

Duane: Exactly, like a built-in native audible, like “I’m on this page, do you want me to read it? “Yes, read it out loud to me.” There we go.

Brent: Yes because in that sense, I’m going to want to hear more. I’m driving down the street and want to hear about what’s happening and I want to hear follow up pieces.

Duane: It immediately converts every single website, every page of content, every blog, it immediately converts all of those into on-demand podcasts. That’s a cool idea, it’s a cool adaptation. I’m not sure if we’ll get there. We will when we get to the point of having a digital agent. But that’s still years in the future.

At first, I was sceptical of the idea that people would ever want to consume web content primarily via audio. Surely it would be slower and less convenient than visually scanning the same information?

Then I thought about the fast-growing popularity of podcasts and audiobooks and realized that the audio web could fit into our lives in many of the same ways that other types of audio have – especially if voice devices become as omnipresent as many techs and marketing pundits are predicting they will.

Is this a distant future? Perhaps. But this is how I imagine voice search truly entering the mainstream, the same way that web search did: as a means of exploring the web.

The future of voice search might not be Google

What surprises me is that for all the hype surrounding voice search and its possibilities, hardly anyone has pointed out the obvious drawback of the single search result or considered what it could mean for voice adoption.

An article by Marieke van de Rakt of Yoast highlights it as an obstacle but believes that screen connectivity is the answer. This is a possibility, especially as Google and Amazon are now equipping their smart speakers with screens - but I think that requiring a screen removes some of the convenience of voice as a user interface, one that can be interacted with while doing other things (like driving) without pulling the user's attention away.

For the most part, however, it seems to me that marketers and SEOs have been too content to just follow Google's lead (and Bing's, because realistically, where Google goes, Bing will follow) when it comes to things like voice search. Is Google presenting the user with a single search result? Everyone optimize for single search results; the future of search will be one answer!

Why? What about that makes for a good user experience? Is this what search was meant to do?

I understand letting Google set the agenda when it comes to SEO more broadly because realistically it's so dominant that any SEO strategy has to mainly cater to Google. However, I don't think we should assume that Google will remain the leader of the search in every new, emerging area like voice or visual search.

Oh, Google is doing its best to stay on top, and there's no denying that it's taken an early lead; its speech recognition and conversational search capabilities are currently second to none. But Google isn't the hot young start-up that it was when it came along and challenged the web search status quo. It's much bigger now, and has investors to answer to.

Google makes a huge amount of revenue from its search and advertising empire; its primary interest is in maintaining that. One search result suits Google just fine, if it means that users won't leave its walled garden.

Marketers and SEOs should remember that Google wasn't always the king of web search; other web search engines entered the game first, and were very popular – but Google changed the game because the way it had of doing the search was so much better, and users loved it. Eventually, the other search engines couldn't compete.

The same thing could easily happen with voice search.

The logos of some of the early search engines that Google out-competed in its quest for web search dominance.

The future of voice optimisation

So where does that leave the future of voice optimisation?

Many of these eventualities seem like far-off possibilities at best, and there’s no way of being certain how they will pan out. How should marketers go about optimising for voice now and in the near future?

Though I’ve taken a fairly sceptical stance throughout this series, I do believe that voice is worth optimising for. However, the opportunity around voice search specifically is limited, and so I believe that brands should consider all the options for being present on voice as a whole – whether that’s on mobile, as a mobile voice search result, or on smart speakers, as an Alexa Skill or Google Home Action – and pursue whatever strategy makes most sense for their brand.

I’m interested in seeing us move away from thinking about voice and voice devices as a search channel, and more as a general marketing channel that it’s possible to be present on in various different ways – like social media.

It’s still extremely early days for this technology, and while the potential is huge, there are still many things we don’t know about what the future of voice will look like, so it’s important not to jump the gun.

Brent Csutoras sums things up extremely well in the future of voice search discussion:

This is an important technology I really think you should pay attention to. What I worry about is that people start feeling like they have to be involved, right? It’s like, “Oh crap, I don’t want to be left behind.”

What I would say is that in this space, it’s like the example of Instagram. Everybody wanted to have an Instagram account and they had nothing visual to show, so they just started creating crap to show it. If you have something that fits for voice search right now, then you should absolutely take the steps that you can to participate with it. If you don’t, then definitely just pay attention to it.

This space is going to open up, it is going to provide an opportunity for just about everyone, so stay abreast of what’s happening in this space, what’s the technology, and start envisioning your company in that space, and then wait until you have that opportunity to make that a reality. But don’t overstress yourself and feel like you’re failing because you’re not in the space right now.

 Source: This article was published econsultancy.com By Rebecca Sentance

Published in Search Engine

One of Google’s first hardware products was its search appliance, a custom-built server that allowed businesses to bring Google’s search tools to the data behind their firewalls. That appliance is no more, but Google today announced the spiritual successor to it with an update to Cloud Search. Until today, Cloud Search only indexed G Suite data. Now, it can pull in data from a variety of third-party services that can run on-premise or in the cloud, making the tool far more useful for large businesses that want to make all of their data searchable by their employees.

“We are essentially taking all of Google expertise in search and are applying it to your enterprise content,” Google said.

One of the launch customers for this new service is Whirlpool, which built its own search portal and indexed more than 12 million documents from more than a dozen services using this new service.

“This is about giving employees access to all the information from across the enterprise, even if it’s traditionally siloed data, whether that’s in a database or a legacy productivity tool and make all of that available in a single index,” Google explained.

To enable this functionality, Google is making a number of software adapters available that will bridge the gap between these third-party services and Cloud Search. Over time, Google wants to add support for more services and bring this cloud-based technology on par with what its search appliance was once capable of.

The service is now rolling out to a select number of users. Over time, it’ll become available to both G Suite users and as a standalone version.

Source: This article was published techcrunch.com By Frederic Lardinois

Published in Search Engine

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 Source: This article was published thebusinesstactics.com By Carl Sanford

Published in Internet of Things

An NYC area IT consultant and MSP reviews the dangers of the dark web and how to stay safe online in a new article from eMazzanti Technologies.

The informative article first clarifies common misconceptions about the dark web then lists steps to protect personal data and business assets. Readers are urged to work with data security professionals to achieve the best results.

“Understanding the dark web is helpful in protecting valuable business data,”

stated Jennifer Mazzanti, CEO, eMazzanti Technologies. “Modern cyber-security technology and best practices are designed to keep sensitive information from falling into the hands of the bad actors lurking there.”

Dark Web vs. Deep Web

“Contrary to some reports, the dark web does not include over 90 percent of the internet. This common misconception arises from confusion between two related terms. In reality, the internet includes several layers.”

“Deep web – Also known as the invisible web, this is by far the largest layer of the internet, with over 90 percent of all internet content. The bulk of this information involves perfectly legal content that is not indexed by the standard search engines. Your medical records, banking information and other member-only websites live here.”

“Dark web – Sites on the dark web are accessible only with special software that allows users to communicate and transact business anonymously. While this creates a haven for criminals, it also serves a legitimate purpose for whistleblowers, activists, and victims who need to remain anonymous.”

Identity Theft and the Dark Web

“If the dark web includes only about three percent of the internet, do I need to be concerned? Yes. Remember Equifax and Target? Whenever a website experiences a data breach involving personally identifiable information, that information will almost certainly appear for sale on the dark web, likely within hours.”

Navigate the Web with Expert Guides

Business leaders should keep in mind that a breach of company systems means not only data loss but also potentially a loss of reputation. To guard critical data, employ multi-layer security. For merchants, if EMV chip technology not already been implemented for point of sale (POS) systems, they should do that now.

As with any potentially dangerous territory, the internet is a much safer place when working with an experienced guide. The experts at eMazzanti build strategies to keep personal and business data safe. Whether implementing secure cloud solutions or tapping into eMazzanti’s considerable retail security expertise, business leaders can count on getting the protection they need.

About eMazzanti Technologies

eMazzanti’s team of trained, certified IT experts rapidly deliver retail and payment technology, digital marketing services, cloud and mobile solutions, multi-site implementations, 24×7 outsourced network management, remote monitoring and support to increase productivity, data security and revenue growth for clients ranging from law firms to high-end global retailers.

eMazzanti has made the Inc. 5000 list eight years running, is a 2015, 2013 and 2012 Microsoft Partner of the Year, 2016 NJ Business of the Year, 5X WatchGuard Partner of the Year and one of the TOP 200 U.S. Microsoft Partners! Contact: 1-866-362-9926, info(at)emazzanti.net or http://www.emazzanti.net Twitter: @emazzanti Facebook: Facebook.com/emazzantitechnologies.

 Source: This article was published prweb.com

Published in Deep Web

LONDON - Smartphones rule our lives. Having information at our fingertips is the height of convenience. They tell us all sorts of things, but the information we see and receive on our smartphones is just a fraction of the data they generate. By tracking and monitoring our behavior and activities, smartphones build a digital profile of shockingly intimate information about our personal lives.

These records aren’t just a log of our activities. The digital profiles they create are traded between companies and used to make inferences and decisions that affect the opportunities open to us and our lives. What’s more, this typically happens without our knowledge, consent or control.

New and sophisticated methods built into smartphones make it easy to track and monitor our behavior. A vast amount of information can be collected from our smartphones, both when being actively used and while running in the background. This information can include our location, internet search history, communications, social media activity, finances and biometric data such as fingerprints or facial features. It can also include metadata – information about the data – such as the time and recipient of a text message.

Your emails can reveal your social network. David Glance

Each type of data can reveal something about our interests and preferences, views, hobbies and social interactions. For example, a study conducted by MIT demonstrated how email metadata can be used to map our lives, showing the changing dynamics of our professional and personal networks. This data can be used to infer personal information including a person’s background, religion or beliefs, political views, sexual orientation and gender identity, social connections, or health. For example, it is possible to deduce our specific health conditions simply by connecting the dots between a series of phone calls.

Different types of data can be consolidated and linked to build a comprehensive profile of us. Companies that buy and sell data – data brokers – already do this. They collect and combine billions of data elements about people to make inferences about them. These inferences may seem innocuous but can reveal sensitive information such as ethnicity, income levels, educational attainment, marital status, and family composition.

A recent study found that seven in ten smartphone apps share data with third-party tracking companies like Google Analytics. Data from numerous apps can be linked within a smartphone to build this more detailed picture of us, even if permissions for individual apps are granted separately. Effectively, smartphones can be converted into surveillance devices.

The result is the creation and amalgamation of digital footprints that provide in-depth knowledge about your life. The most obvious reason for companies collecting information about individuals is for profit, to deliver targeted advertising and personalized services. Some targeted ads, while perhaps creepy, aren’t necessarily a problem, such as an ad for the new trainers you have been eyeing up.

Payday load ads. UpturnCC BY

But targeted advertising based on our smartphone data can have real impacts on livelihoods and well-being, beyond influencing purchasing habits. For example, people in financial difficulty might be targeted for ads for payday loans. They might use these loans to pay for unexpected expenses, such as medical bills, car maintenance or court fees, but could also rely on them for recurring living costs such as rent and utility bills. People in financially vulnerable situations can then become trapped in spiraling debt as they struggle to repay loans due to the high cost of credit.

Targeted advertising can also enable companies to discriminate against people and deny them an equal chance of accessing basic human rights, such as housing and employment. Race is not explicitly included in Facebook’s basic profile information, but a user’s “ethnic affinity” can be worked out based on pages they have liked or engaged with. Investigative journalists from ProPublica found that it is possible to exclude those who match certain ethnic affinities from housing ads, and certain age groups from job ads.

This is different to traditional advertising in print and broadcast media, which although targeted is not exclusive. Anyone can still buy a copy of a newspaper, even if they are not the typical reader. Targeted online advertising can completely exclude some people from information without them ever knowing. This is a particular problem because the internet, and social media especially, is now such a common source of information.

Social media data can also be used to calculate creditworthiness, despite its dubious relevance. Indicators such as the level of sophistication in a user’s language on social media and their friends’ loan repayment histories can now be used for credit checks. This can have a direct impact on the fees and interest rates charged on loans, the ability to buy a house, and even employment prospects.

There’s a similar risk with payment and shopping apps. In China, the government has announced plans to combine data about personal expenditure with official records, such as tax returns and driving offenses. This initiative, which is being led by both the government and companies, is currently in the pilot stage. When fully operational, it will produce a social credit score that rates an individual citizen’s trustworthiness. These ratings can then be used to issue rewards or penalties, such as privileges in loan applications or limits on career progression.

These possibilities are not distant or hypothetical – they exist now. Smartphones are effectively surveillance devices, and everyone who uses them is exposed to these risks. What’s more, it is impossible to anticipate and detect the full range of ways smartphone data is collected and used and to demonstrate the full scale of its impact. What we know could be just the beginning.

Source: This article was published enca.com

Published in Science & Tech

Pipl has raised $19 million from IGP. Founder and CEO Matthew Hertz tells "Globes" about the search engine's ability to find people.

On November 15, 2016, the Detroit Police Department was notified that Savannah Rayford, an 11 month-old baby suffering from life-threatening anemia, had been kidnapped. The kidnapper was known: Marquita Dupree, her biological mother, who was deprived of custody because of her mental state. Dupree got on line to see the doctor to whom Savannah's adoptive mother had taken him, and took advantage of the car stopping on the return journey to grab the infant and escape.

The Detroit police were in a race against the clock. The main clue for finding the mother quickly was the mobile telephone number that she used from time to time, but it was not registered in her name. The police investigators fed the number into Thomson Reuters Clear online investigative computer program, and located several addresses linked to the owner of the telephone number. The mother and baby were found within a few hours at one of these addresses.

The event in Detroit is one of many that has made Clear very popular with the FBI, many US police units, the tax authorities, and other government agencies. Feeding an item of information into the program, such as a telephone number, accesses a full portrait of the person linked to it: residential addresses, e-mail addresses, businesses, relatives, social network profiles, and criminal records. In 2015, the program helped bring about the arrest of a former member of the armed forces who threatened to shoot up a school in San Bernardino, California, and a wanted sex offender in Vermont was caught by using the program.

US law enforcement authorities are probably unaware that a large proportion of Clear's database was created in the Petah Tikva industrial zone at a company named Pipl. Company founder and CEO Matthew Hertz have taken great care to stay under the radar since founding the company in 2005. "I like anonymity," he explains in his first Israeli media interview.

"I agreed to this interview only because I realized that the company is paying a price for its anonymity. Most of our customers in Israel didn't know that we were here before they started working with us. Now that we are trying to recruit employees here in competition with companies like Google and Facebook, we need people to know who and what we are; otherwise, it will be hard for us."

"Google doesn't know how to find people"

Anyone who has tried using Google to search for particulars about another person through a telephone number or e-mail address knows how useless the effort is. Hertz spotted this weak point already in 2005 and decided to build a search engine that would do more thorough work. He was only 27 years old at the time but was already an experienced entrepreneur who had sold two companies. "This was a difficult development project. I took my time at first. After two exits, I thought that I would work part-time - only 30% - but it quickly became interesting, and since then, I have been working time and a half."

Pipl's main asset is a focused identities search engine that has generated profiles to date for over three billion people with some online presence. In addition to the information gathered from open online sources, the profiles are enriched with billions of information items from offline sources, such as telephone directories and lists of professionals. "We thought that we would make a depth engine for everything that Google doesn't find, but we very quickly realized that the product was excellent mainly in finding people. We were far beyond the technology that people expected at the time, and we found things that no other engine found. Google has made no progress in this area, called deep web, or in searching for people, for the past 10 years. You will never be able to get such profiles on Google."

The beginning was modest. "We started as three people, and simply sat down and concentrated on development. Once we came out with the product, we very rapidly reached millions of users. We didn't spend a shekel on marketing, but there was exposure through TechCrunch, and things spread by word of mouth. In late 2007, less than a year after we came out with the product, we were breaking even financially. It turned out it not only worked, but that a lot of people wanted it, and as soon as you have five million users, advertisements generate a significant amount of money," Hertz recalls.

Over the years, the company continued to attract relatively little public interest. Pipl yesterday announced that it had completed a $19 million financing round from the Israel Growth Partners (IGP) fund, which invests in companies with at least $10 million in revenue. Following this investment, IGP general partner Moshe Lichtman and partner Assaf Harel will join Pipl's board of directors. This is the first substantial investment in Pipl, which Hertz has financing almost by himself to date, with a little help from family members. Hertz plans to leverage the money raised in order to increase the number of the company's customers from 1,000 to 5,000 this year, and to diversify its products. As of now, Pipl has 75 employees in its development center in Petah Tikva and 30 more in Idaho, where Piple is incorporated for tax reasons. Hertz, who still interviews every new employee, plans to reach 300 employees within a year and close to 1,000 within two or three years.

"How we discovered jewelry fraud"

Like other companies in its sector, Piple's model raises quite a few troublesome questions about privacy. Not everyone wants strangers to know where they live, their telephone number, and their children's names, even if this information is circulating on the web. The combination of such databases with government agencies, despite its contribution to crime prevention, is likely to make people shudder. Many people are unaware of the existence of Pipl and services of this type, and in the post-Edward Snowden era, with Facebook and Google having to deal with the question of their effect on privacy, Pipl's product may be effective, but it is also causing alarm.

Hertz, of course, tries to soothe the criticism. He says that he has refrained from selling advanced functions of systems to dictatorial regimes, carefully selects his company's business customers in order to prevent misuse, and adds that the company refrains from displaying especially sensitive information, such as criminal records that do not appear on the Internet. "We're very aware of the fact that despite all the open sources, in the end, this is information about people, and there has to control over it. If someone wants to remove information, we'll do it, for example, to disconnect a Facebook account from his profile. We explain, however, that such removal has a price. If a risk management company or a company that wants to prevent financial fraud uses our services, certain deals you make are liable not to pass," he warns.

"Globes": How many people ask you to remove information?

Hertz: "Maybe 10 a day."

Up until 2014, the company generated most of its revenue from the version of its search engine open for public use, which includes only basic profiles. Since then, however, it has accumulated nearly 1,000 business customers that generate over 95% of its revenue. The customers use Pipl's engine to verify identities, prevent eCommerce fraud, enrich information in customer relations management (CRM) systems, conduct inquiries, provide financial services, and recruit personnel. In addition to the US government, many other governments use the system, among other things through the company's strategic partnership with Verint Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: VRNT) (when we asked about the Israeli government, Hertz refused to answer). In the business sphere, nearly 200 online websites use the product, in addition to companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Walmart, eBay, Twitter, BBC, and Oracle.

"In the past, when you ordered a delivery from overseas, and the address you gave was different from the credit card company's address, the delivery was stopped in most cases. They had to call you or the credit card company in order to add the address - a complicated process that caused a huge loss. This almost never happens now, for a simple reason: as soon as you type in your telephone number, they know who you are, and realize that the address is your work address or your mother's address. All of this takes place behind the scenes. An enormous number of transactions went through us on Black Friday," Hertz says.

The use of the system to prevent fraud is not confined to verifying the purchaser's identify on the web. Hertz mentions cases in which swindlers saying that their credit cards were used without their permission and demanding a refund were caught by cross-referencing information. In one case, customers claimed that the jewelry that they bought had not reached them, but the program found a photograph of the jewelry on one of the social networks. In another case, a person was photographed in the Caribbean Islands who claimed that someone else had used his card to order a plane ticket.

Another use of Pipl is in customer management systems. Companies like American Airlines and Oracle use the system in order to discover whether a new customer is a young student or an employee of a large company, to whom an experienced salesperson should be assigned. Among other things, Twitter uses Pipl's technology to obtain information about users behaving like trolls or threatening their friends.

"I studied in yeshiva, and then I cooked shrimp"

Throughout the conversation, Hertz tries to avoid talking about himself but gives in after several attempts. "I come from a haredi family in Bnei Brak. We are nine brothers and sisters. I'm the middle one. Several of my siblings are no longer religiously observant. My older brother is a brain surgeon. My younger brother worked at Pipl when he was a student at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, and built the previous version of the search engine. I'm not concealing this. Everyone around me knows where I came from, but it is very easy to make this the main story, and I don't want that."

Hertz left the yeshiva (Jewish religious seminary) and religion when he was 17. He moved to Tel Aviv and studied for his matriculation exams. "I learned nothing in the haredi education system, but my mother was an enlightened type - one of the few haredi women with a degree at that time, and I learned a lot by myself from books with her help. I was exposed to geography and mathematics. I became a child who asked questions. She taught me to think. My first job after I left yeshiva was an assistant chef in a French restaurant because I knew how to cook. I spent time in the kitchen with my mother since I was nine years old."

Was the restaurant kosher?

"It wasn't. They had shrimps and steak in cream sauce. It was the Tamara restaurant."

That is a big change.

"It was something that I had been thinking about for a long time. At age 12, I already had questions and doubts. And you know, there is no answer. You can put it off again and again, but in the end, a point will come when you can stand on your own two feet. While I was still at the yeshiva, the IDF decided not to draft me. They considered me to have only four years of schooling, and considered putting me in a unit for dropouts."

Just before his 19th birthday, Hertz decided to study computer science at the Open University and to work as a salesperson for human resources management software. At one of his work meetings at Flying Cargo, when then represented FedEx in Israel, he thought about founding an e-commerce website for deliveries in Israel, on which the delivery companies would compete for offering the best price. He managed to get to the global IT manager at UPS and raised a little money from the companies, but gave it back after he discovered that there was not enough activity to justify the website's existence. "Keep in mind that this was in 1999. Internet then was like bitcoin is now - you got money right away. When I look at this now, it really wasn't logical to give a 20-year-old entrepreneur money on his first attempt."

In that same period, during which he spent a large part of his time in the US, he changed his name from Moti to Matthew. While going back and forth between Israel and the US, he completed his degree in computer science at Tel Aviv University. He founded his first mature startup, Ombek when he was 23. The company developed a service for transmitting SMS messages between different networks at a time when it was not yet taken for granted. "The exit was a merger into WSC, and it later underwent more mergers and acquisitions. We succeeded in reaching three mobile providers in the US three or four months after launching the product. When I left, it was installed in Sprint, Nextel, and other companies."

He founded his second startup, Mail-Info, together with former ICQ CEO Ariel Yarnitsky. The company developed a product capable of determining whether an e-mail sent was received or rejected as spam. The company was acquired by Speedbit in 2005.

You said that you couldn't be an employee. Why is that?

"Being an entrepreneur is not being a soloist. I'm still in a company, and I can't things by myself. But if things have to move, then they move. If you have a dream and you want something to happen, you don't have to persuade a great many people who may or may not agree. You simply go to the end with your vision and make things happen, even if they laugh at you and tell you to stop smoking whatever you're smoking."

 Source: This article was published globes.co.il By Nati Yefet

Published in Search Engine

The photo suggests website selling IT products "on consignment" for international joint ventures.

A North Korean agency has launched an updated search engine for the country’s intranet, equipped with an online store selling specialized goods for scientists and technicians, state-run outlet DPRK Today reported on Tuesday.

The Central Information Agency for Science and Technology reportedly developed the “information retrieval and management system ‘Kwangmyong’” — which can be translated into light or bright future — to meet the demands of the country’s growing knowledge economy.

“Kwangmyong is greatly favorably received from scientists and technicians due to the abundance of data, speed of search, and accuracy rate of searching literature,” the DPRK Today reported.

“The project of providing technical information for science research institutes, factories, and industrial establishments through Kwangmyong substantially.”

The website features “hundreds of millions” of scientific and technological articles translated from various languages, according to the report, in fields including basic and applied science, biotechnology, and medical science.

A photo of the homepage provided by DPRK Today suggested that membership is required to use the website

The navigation bars are comprised of eight sections: homepage, new technology news, periodicals, “distribution of science and technology,” a database, the online shop, and the Kwangmyong card.

A photo obtained by NK News in September 2017, which appears to be taken before the website redesign, suggested that visitors can purchase IT products on the website.

The photo particularly suggested that website could be selling IT products on behalf of international joint ventures and other companies.

“We inform about the sale of the information technology by an agent and on consignment,” one notice, published on July 13, 2016, read.

Joint ventures — which included the Korea Kwangmyong Joint Venture (JV) Company and the Achim Computer JV Company  — were listed in the section “introducing new products.”

Products from an “agent branch” of the company from Hong Kong were also on sale at the website, thought the name of the corporation was unclear.

New IT goods developed by the Central Information Agency for Science and Technology are also promoted in the same section, with another part of the website suggesting that customers could purchase products online using the “Kwangmyong” card.

Photo of Kwangmyong website before redesign

Among the IT products visible in the photo is software including a “handbook of healthy food, picture encyclopedia on science and technology,” a Chinese – Korean language translation program, and various sports games.

It also provides “new tech news” including updates on “techniques for cultivating papaya tree… in a greenhouse.”

Information on scientific techniques such as “development trends in recent machine manufacturing technology” and “techniques for breeding mudfish” is also offered to users.

The DPRK Today reported on Tuesday that a scientific institute was able to complete the research on the protection and proliferation of forest resources “within a short period of time without using a large amount of reagent and expensive equipment” thanks to the resources.

The photo was taken at an e-library in Chongjin city last year, with a North Korean who used the library “at least twice a week” telling the photographer that it features “books from all over the world.”

The source reported being unable to find any publications by Indian authors, however. 

The two-story library —  used by both students and military personnel —  is open to the public during on weekdays between 10 am and 5 pm.

“I was told that it is connected via the intranet to Pyongyang, so what is available there is also available in this library,” the photographer, who asked to remain anonymous, told NK News.

“Long distance learning opportunities with Pyongyang is also available,” they added. “In one classroom, students attended a CAD / Photoshop course.”

They also said there are “approximately 300 computers in the library” using the Windows platform, adding some computers are manufactured by the U.S. corporation Dell and others were produced by the AOC  headquartered in Taipei.

North Korea’s e-commerce industry has visibly grown in the past year. December saw the Arirang-Mearireport on the online store “Abnal” (앞날), which can reportedly deliver goods within 24 hours.

The Manmulsang website also provides the platform for the North’s businesspersons so that they can promote their products online to customers.

Source: This article was published nknews.org By Dagyum Ji

Published in Search Engine

Networking can feel like a bit of a minefield, especially online. Thankfully, Hays’ Jane McNeill is here to share her top tips.

Not so long ago, networking used to be fairly straightforward. It simply involved navigating a crowded room, business card in hand, while scoping out the best people to speak to and then attempting to start a meaningful conversation.

Of course, this face-to-face networking is still important, and always will be, but there’s also a new kid in town.

The rise of online networks has created real, focused, commercial opportunities to network – but there are rules to this new world, particularly when it comes to leveraging your online connections.

Maximise your presence on LinkedIn

While networking events remain important, most networks are grown today on LinkedIn. But, before you start to network online, start with the basics: optimise your LinkedIn profile.

Add keywords to your headline, summary and experience sections as they are searchable by others; add your LinkedIn URL to your email signature; review LinkedIn’s suggested connections regularly, and join relevant LinkedIn groups. Be proactive in writing recommendations and endorsing skills where appropriate.

If you’re wondering if it matters how many relevant first-degree connections you have, the answer is yes because second- and third-degree connections mean you can be one connection away from potentially millions of people. The key is to make sure your connections are relevant – quality not quantity is vital when building your network.

Get an introduction

This doesn’t mean you can automatically interact with your second- and third-degree connections. If you’d like to touch base with a second-degree connection on LinkedIn, email your first-degree contact to ask for an introduction.

Do not reach out to the second-degree contact independently; not only is it considered poor form, but people are far more likely to respond when being introduced by a mutual connection.

It’s also good etiquette to say thank you to every person who makes an introduction or helps you in some way. A brief InMail, email or phone call takes one minute.

Timing

So, you’ve just met someone who would be a great addition to your network, but you aren’t sure when to send a connection request.

How soon is too soon? Rest assured, it’s perfectly acceptable to send a request once you are back in the office after meeting the person, or immediately following a telephone or email exchange. Be sure to always personalize your connection requests, too.

Just don’t wait too long – it is standard etiquette to follow up within two days. Similarly, if you make a commitment to someone, such as sending a link or making an introduction, delivered within two days. Remember to also accept invitations in a timely manner, and send a follow-up thank you.

It’s not all one-way

Don’t pitch to new contacts as soon as you connect, though. Offer something of value first, such as a link to a relevant article.

When it comes to networking, the general rule is that you should give more than you take. As my colleague, Yvonne Smyth wrote: “Before you need them, help others get what they want first.”

Be active

Effective networking involves staying in touch, so share relevant and engaging content, like and share updates from your connections, and join and contribute to industry groups. If you have a lot of expertise in certain areas, start your own LinkedIn blog.

Be genuine, insightful and authentic; show interest in others; ask questions, and be respectful of people’s time. But don’t over-post, otherwise, your communications could be too diluted.

Finally, introductions via technology can be a good starting point, but professional relationships are usually cemented in person. Take the time to get to know people by attending industry events and joining an association or professional group.

With these online networking etiquette tips, you’re ready to build and leverage your connections in a thoughtful, effective and professional manner.

Jane McNeill is managing director of both New South Wales and Western Australia at Hays Recruitment.

A version of this article previously appeared on Hays’ Viewpoint blogBy Jane McNeill

Published in Others

Searching video surveillance streaming for relevant information is a time-consuming mission that does not always convey accurate results. A new cloud-based deep-learning search engine augments surveillance systems with natural language search capabilities across recorded video footage.

The Ella search engine, developed by IC Realtime, uses both algorithmic and deep learning tools to give any surveillance or security camera the ability to recognize objects, colors, people, vehicles, animals and more.

It was designed with the technology backbone of Camio, a startup founded by ex-Googlers who realized there could be a way to apply search to streaming video feeds. Ella makes every nanosecond of video searchable instantly, letting users type in queries like “white truck” to find every relevant clip instead of searching through hours of footage. Ella quite simply creates a Google for video.

Traditional systems only allow the user to search for events by date, time, and camera type and to return very broad results that still require sifting, according to businesswire.com. The average surveillance camera sees less than two minutes of interesting video each day despite streaming and recording 24/7.

Ella instead does the work for users to highlight the interesting events and to enable fast searches of their surveillance and security footage. From the moment Ella comes online and is connected, it begins learning and tagging objects the cameras see.

The deep learning engine lives in the cloud and comes preloaded with recognition of thousands of objects like makes and models of cars; within the first minute of being online, users can start to search their footage.

Hardware agnostic, the technology also solves the issue of limited bandwidth for any HD streaming camera or NVR. Rather than push every second of recorded video to the cloud, Ella features interest-based video compression. Based on machine learning algorithms that recognize patterns of motion in each camera scene to recognize what is interesting within each scene, Ella will only record in HD when it recognizes something important. The uninteresting events are still stored in a low-resolution time-lapse format, so they provide 24×7 continuous security coverage without using up valuable bandwidth.

Ella works with both existing DIY and professionally installed surveillance and security cameras and is comprised of an on-premise video gateway device and the cloud platform subscription.

Source: This article was published i-hls.com

Published in Search Engine
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