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Behind The Predictive Future Of Search

Source: http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/29/3569684/google-now-android-4-2-knowledge-graph-neural-networks

For decades, visions of the future have played with the magical possibilities of computers: they’ll know where you are, what you want, and can access all the world’s information with a simple voice prompt. That vision hasn’t come to pass, yet, but features like Apple’s Siri and Google Now offer a keyhole peek into a near future reality where your phone is more “Personal Assistant” than “Bar bet settler.” The difference is that the former actually understands what you need while the latter is a blunt search instrument.

Google Now is one more baby step in that direction. Introduced this past June with Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean,” it’s designed to ambiently give you information you might need before you ask for it. To pull off that ambitious goal, Google takes advantage of multiple parts of the company: comprehensive search results, robust speech recognition, and most of all Google’s surprisingly deep understanding of who you are and what you want to know.

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Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 news No Comments

Sennheiser boasts anti-counterfeit efforts, unveils new authentication technologies

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/22/sennheiser-anti-counterfeit-china/

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You know Sennheiser’s pissed when it holds a press conference just to talk about its anti-counterfeit efforts. In Guangzhou yesterday, the German audio company brought along two executives to debut its new authentication technologies on its retail packaging: a shiny Tesa PrioSpot authenticity label plus a “fool-proof” online look-up system. For the former, President of Corporate Services Volker Batels claims it’s treated as securely as one would with cash money, in the sense that it has many visible and invisible features.

There’s also a QR code plus its corresponding label ID printed below the foil, and scanning the former or entering the latter on qr-sennheiser.com returns a virtual copy of the foil label plus a visual description. If what you have matches the label on the screen then hakuna matata. But if the code’s been looked up many times already, the website will also give you a warning like in the screenshot after the break — chances are the label’s been duplicated, so potential buyers should always check this before handing the money over.

Marc Vincent, the company’s President of Greater China, aims to have this “urgent project” covering most products by the end of this year. “We have been fighting counterfeits for five years with some result, but now we have officially declared war on counterfeiting,” Mr. Vincent said in a stern voice. “Manufacturers of counterfeit products are social parasites. They really damage our reputation.”

Gallery: Sennheiser boasts anti-counterfeit efforts, unveils new authentication technologies

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Continue reading Sennheiser boasts anti-counterfeit efforts, unveils new authentication technologies

Sennheiser boasts anti-counterfeit efforts, unveils new authentication technologies originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 22 Aug 2012 15:09:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012 news No Comments

OnLive Desktop may violate licensing agreements

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/03/08/microsoft-onlive-desktop-may-violate-licensing-agreements/

Typically, when a product hits the market, you’d hope details like nitty-gritty licensing and IP would have all been worked out prior to going on sale. Of course, things in the real world are never that simple. Take for example, OnLive and Microsoft, which according the latter, says OnLive Desktop isn’t exactly in the clear when it comes to its remote Windows 7 slinging abilities. Clarified on Microsoft’s Volume Licensing blog, Joe Matz, VP of worldwide licensing, said the company is “actively engaged with OnLive” in the hopes of “bringing them into a properly licensed scenario.” When asked, an OnLive representative responded with: “We have never commented on any licensing agreements.” Sounds like it’ll all get resolved soon, but in the meantime do your homework kids — lawyers are expensive.

Microsoft: OnLive Desktop may violate licensing agreements originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 08 Mar 2012 22:56:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Friday, March 9th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Um, Google’s “Search, Plus Your World” Sucks So Far

Google’s “Search, Plus Your World” launched with some fanfare and with jilted partner, Twitter, crying foul.  But the real proof is in the “pudding” and so far, from my own taste testing, the “puddin’s not all that good.” In fact, it’s downright spoiled.

In theory, returning results based on my own activities, photos, shares, etc. plus the social sharing activities of my circles of friends seems to make sense. After all, my friends should share similar interests, etc. However, in reality, this appears to be far from the truth.

Either my friends all suck at what they are sharing OR what I search for has very little to do with (or very little overlap with) what I and my friends are sharing. And I think the latter is more likely the case, because my friends are all awesome and I usually find what they share to be super informative and I always learn something new from them and the insightful curation they do.

So what is wrong with Google’s new personalized search, flavored with +1? And will it ever get better with time and more usage?

My current hypothesis is NO .. it won’t get better with time.  Here are a few reasons why I think so:

– what I search for (what I need at this moment) is not necessarily what I share (what I think my followers would be interested in)

– news items and other cool information that is shared are things I “discover” through the curation of my circles of friends and I like to browse these things to learn; this contrasts with things that I search for at any moment in time, which could include things that I need now, gifts for other people, research for clients in other industries that I am not in. What this means is that those search terms and the sites that I visit don’t necessarily have any bearing on any future searches and what I am interested in.

– finally, among all my friends, I would probably only ask 1 or 2 of them for restaurant recommendations (in New York) because they live here and are known for their expertise in food; I would ask different friends for advice on digital cameras (@designerguy), keyword research platforms (@glenngabe), ad networks (@jonathanmendez), etc. you get the idea. So canvassing my entire social graph for keyword based ways to personalize search results is actually making the results worse (see examples below).

Search ( photos )

[Redacted] – I don’t need to see my own photos from my own Picasa, which I already know is there.

Search  ( italian restaurants in New York  – no quotes )

 

 

Search ( spend polarization – no quotes )

spend polarization search results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 SEM, SEO, social networks No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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