An Ontological Approach for Fighting Spam

Over the years, I’ve been impressed by Bayesian methods for fighting spam.

And although Bayesian methods improve by learning, they are ultimately statistically based.

In what I believe to be a first, Technion Faculty of Computer Science researchers have revealed their plans to develop an ontologically based solution for fighting spam. Also of interest is the fact that their raw data will come from Wikipedia.

These researchers could use the approach I’ve outlined elsewhere to build their ontologies.

Ultimately, it’ll be interesting to see how well this knowledge-based approach compares with Bayesian and other approaches in common usage today.

In-situ Investment in India: A Key to Cisco’s Globalization Strategy

globeandmail.com reports:

… chief globalization officer at Cisco Systems Inc., [Wim] Elfrink is taking his wife, two daughters and the family dog from suburban Silicon Valley to Bangalore, India.

Why?

I just tell people that I want to be where the innovation is.

Elfrink and Cisco’s decision seems have support:

International business experts say Cisco’s executive migration is a shrewd move that should give high-ranking employees critical insight into one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

This announcement is interesting on a number of levels:

  • It’s a gutsy move by a senior executive at one of The Valley’s most-prominent companies. And it follows on the heels of US concerns about outsourcing, and specifically to India.
  • It bears testimony to India’s rapid arrival on the technology scene in a very substantial way.
  • And though I’m no economist, it also underscores a shift in innovation from The Valley to Asia.

Even though Cisco isn’t the first to make moves like this, it will be interesting to see how this develops.

Disruptive Innovations: The Company

In blogging about DICtabrain, I used the phrase “disruptive innovation”. Then, in Googling this phrase I ran across Disruptive Innovations, the company.

Their tagline is: “We build today the tools you are going to use tomorrow”. Apparently, they will deliver on this promise through the combination of “Innovation + Open Source + Standards + Chutzpah”.

One of their products is the Nvu (pronounced N-View) editor. This editor has Mozilla roots and is being used by some of the highest-profile digerati (TBL, GK). True to their promise, Nvu remain Open Source.

In August of last year, Disruptive Innovations joined the W3C.

Disruptive Innovations looks like an interesting company to watch.

DICtabrain: “Voice Powered Ideas”

In a recent post, I blogged:

… Jott goes a lot farther than my low-tech solution:

  • You call their toll-free number
  • You leave a message – your reminder, to-do, idea, etc.
  • Jott transcribes your message, and delivers the corresponding text to your phone and email

“Obscenely simple … incredibly clever” (Christopher Null, Yahoo! Tech). I couldn’t agree more!

Unfortunately, I cannot attest to how well this actually works.

I live in Canada, and the public beta only supports US-based cell phones -(

Fortunately, there’s great news for us Canucks as DICtabrain is developing a similar solution 🙂

Although I expect to have more to blog about soon, it’s worth noting that DICtabrain:

  • Makes an explicit connection to blogging
  • Is looking for alpha-trial participants
  • Has their own blog

Some may be nonplussed by services like DICtabrain’s or Jott’s.

As DICtabrain’s James Woods blogs:

Some people will never understand the benefits of voice powered writing while others seem to be waiting for it with baited breath.

I think the reason for this disconnect is the creative process itself.

Some people need to internalize their creative process by working things through inside their heads.

Others need to externalize it. And its for the externalizers that frameworks like GTD and solutions like DICtabrain’s make complete and total sense. In DICtabrain’s words: “Good ideas are only valuable if they can be remember[ed] and then actioned.

With Jott and DICtabrain appearing on the scene with similar solutions within the past 3-4 months, it’s clear that there’s something interesting happening.

Perhaps Jott and DICtabrain have glommed onto a disruptive innovation.

What are they disrupting?

How about the dictaphone + analog/digital voice recorders + voicemail + technology for action management methods.

Collectively!

That’s an impressive disruption, and one of the reasons why companies like DICtabrain and Jott are likely to draw attention from the likes of:

  • Traditional dictaphone companies – ??
  • Consumer electronics companies – Apple, Sony, etc.
  • Telcos/Networking companies – Cisco, Nortel, Skype, etc.
  • Software companies – Google, Microsoft, Nuance, etc.
  • And others

With unified messaging a key deliverable of enterprise-class traditional PBX and VoIP solutions, injecting the DICtabrain or Jott solution into the mix could be quite interesting. For example when you have robust IP connectivity, you have the networked equivalent of Nuance’s Dragon NaturallySpeaking in Skype + (DICtabrain or Jott) … and potentially more!

To re-quote Christopher Null, Yahoo! Tech: “Obscenely simple … incredibly clever”.

Let me close (again) with a small dose of realism:

I haven’t been particularly impressed by speech-to-text conversion in the past. This will be the gating factor for me.