Google acquires Kaltix

Well, that was quick… Here’s quote via San Jose Biz Journal

“Kaltix Corp., a search technology startup, has been purchased by Internet search engine company Google Inc., of Mountain View. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.”

(Thanks for the heads-up Anil.)

I posted something about this back in August, but based on their “published research that claims to offer a way to compute search results nearly 1,000 times faster than what’s possible using current methods”, it seems like a smart move for Google.

[Now Playing: Sonny Rollins – Yesterdays (05:13)]

Serendipitous Data Connections

CNET News.com has an article on a new Wharton Team that appears to be using k-log-like techniques to rediscover serendipitous data connections.

“Although an unprecedented amount of information about technology is now available online, Ranieri notes that “everything is set up to look for exactly what you are looking for,” rather than to assist in the process of finding crossover, innovative applications. In addition, information is “stored in silos” that are hard for non-specialists to penetrate. Until now, there has been no way to search for attributes like “lighter, faster or quicker” with technology categories, he says.

The Wharton team’s new process aims to meet this challenge by using a methodology that “combines computer research techniques with human research techniques,” MacMillan says. Kimbrough likens the new process to the methodology Google uses. Although Google’s search engine is automated, it exploits information that thousands of individuals (at no cost to Google) painstakingly collected and loaded onto their Web sites. Kimbrough explains that Google’s page-ranking algorithm “exploits tons of work (done by) people who put Java links on their Web sites; it exploits their manual labor.”

the Wharton team’s new process searches through documents and makes connections between highly technical descriptions of properties–often familiar only to narrow “silos” of technologies–and broader terms that could suggest market applications to those who work in other areas. As Ranieri describes it, “We found a clever way to make a link between attributes and markets.”

Although it’s too early for developers to discuss technical details, Kimbrough acknowledges that this new process requires a significant amount of human input. “In part, we use human beings to create databases of attributes that can be matched up.”

Search:NG

Fredrick Marckini talks to advertising pioneer Jack Trout about exactly how Microsoft can trump Google

Jack Trout, “says Google is dangerously close to becoming the generic in the space. Should that happen, the company would be open to brand and product positioning attacks on multiple fronts.”

[Fredrick Marckini] “…asked Jack Trout about the possibility of Microsoft gaining search market share by adding a search interface to its new OS as many expect it will — effectively creating a structural barrier to all other search engines by saving steps, eliminating the need to even launch a browser: “You’ve just defined a ‘next generation’ idea,” he said. “This way you make search an operating system component. That’s tough to unseat.”

As much as I love Google (the company and services) this seems to be a likely scenario, which could also be a significant threat to enterprise search vendors such as Verity, Autonomy and Google’s Search Appliance as well.

Intraspect sold to Vignette

Via Due Diligence

“Enterprise collaboration and groupware company Intraspect Software has been sold to public company Vignette for $20m in cash and stock.”

Tim Oren has a nice quote about the space Introspect served too…

“This one’s a cautionary tale not only on the late-90’s investing boom/bust (Intraspect’s history covers nearly the whole saga), but on the long selling cycles and difficulty of extracting revenue from businesses for software of this type. Social Software advocates and investors take note.”

Indeed.

Collaboration Culture

Joe Wilcox of Jupiter’s Microsoft Monitor Research Service talks about MSFT’s collaboration culture within business groups and relates it to what former Apple executive Michael Mace wrote in his rant about Who Killed Apple Computer?:

From Collaboration: The Microsoft Way:
“Microsoft’s collaborative culture makes the company very responsive to competitive threats. The character also means Microsoft can quickly focus resources from multiple product divisions when executives see there is a need. These could be seen during the so-called browser wars with Netscape, when Microsoft rapidly churned out new Internet Explorer features and caught up with Netscape in about 18 months and three product versions…”

“Too often, success in any market has more to do with how well a business is run rather than how good the products are. Apple’s products often are more highly-regarded than Microsoft’s. High regard is fine, but in business sales count more; sales success is on Microsoft’s side. I believe the company’s collaboration culture is one of the major reasons.”

In general I would have to agree that this applies to any company or group. In addition, establishing a collaboration culture is not a technology problem, because as I said a few weeks ago, “…a healthy community doesn’t need a formalize process or a highly specialized set of tools to successfully collaborate.”

The collaboration culture needs to be fostered by good leadership. The solution will soon follow.

Reinventing Products

John sent me this article in Business 2.0, which seems to be demonstrating the application of Business Process Re-engineering in the Consumer Product Development area:

James Dyson says, “It is much easier to reinvent the wheel because the faults of the existing system are fairly obvious,” he contends. “The hard part is to find a solution that everyone who has come before you has not found.”

“Dyson has found ways to improve on such basic appliances as the vacuum cleaner, the washing machine, and the wheelbarrow.” [more here]

Personal Search Tool

I just tested X1 for a few minutes and I’m truly impressed with its ability to quickly index and search my local repository of files and email messages.

X1 is free PC software that uses an advanced indexing process that lets you find any word in any email or file on your computer, in under a second.”

The Pro version of X1 is just under $50 (US) and adds the ability to search network shares and native file preview options as well.

X1 isn’t a new concept, but I like the hit-highlighting, search history and the integrated web searching (via Google et al).

IMHO however, what would make this a killer application (especially within the enterprise) would be to incorporate federated network or P2P searching capabilities, whereby I could search disparate repositories that other “trusted” X1 users have indexed.

Indeed, you’d have to be much more selective in what you’re indexing locally, but the benefits in distributing the workload (and security) would outweigh the risks.