Stephen E. Arnold: Imagine the Internet Without Search Engines — or Google — or IBM

Advanced Cyber/IO, Commercial Intelligence
Stephen E. Arnold
Stephen E. Arnold

PART I Imagine the Internet without Search Engines

Centrifuge Systems proposes an interesting idea in “Big Data Discovery Without Link Analysis Is Like The Web Without Google.” Centrifuge Systems asks readers of the short article to imagine using the Internet without a search engine. How would we locate information? It would be similar to the librarian’s favorite description of the Internet all the contents of a library spilled on the floor. The article continues to explain that big data without link analysis works the same as the Internet without a search engine.

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PART II Google and IBM Struggle

At my age, I don’t own stocks. I don’t own anything because life in rural Kentucky is simple. The news about Google’s and IBM’s most recent financial results struck me as an MBA discussion group problem.

IBM issued “IBM Reports 2014 First Quarter Results.” What surprises did the $100 billion giant sprint on me? In a nutshell, declining revenues and profits. The bright spots were IBM’s consulting revenues and the company’s cloud computing. Other parts of the business were less robust. Overall IBM faces major challenges in hardware where no easy fix seems evident. Search as manifested in the Watson initiative will have to deliver.

In “Google Inc. Announces First Quarter 2014 Results” made clear that the Google was able to pump up its revenue. I noted the word “great” as Google’s way of describing the last 12 weeks’ financial performance. I noted that profit was down. Explanations included accountants being accountants and acquisitions. For me, the shift to mobile and the now-familiar dependence on one major revenue stream were important. Google may have to do more to keep up the appearance that it is the same super star that burst upon the scene more than a decade ago. Aging pro athletes and Hollywood starlets know the drill well. More effort goes into staying young at an increasingly higher cost. Is search as Google defines it up to the task of paying for personal trainers and plastic surgeons?

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