Posts Tagged ‘Factual’

Quandl Brings Intelligent Search To Numerical Data

Quandl is a relatively recent service that essentially functions as an intelligent search engine for numerical data, having indexed close to seven million time-series datasets from over 400 sources.

You may have heard of the numerical data search engine service under its previous name, Wikiposit. In that incarnation and this, what it’s about, says product and marketing manager Sean Crawford, “is pulling together all that open data and making it freely accessible for everyone.”

Today, Crawford says, someone in search of high-quality numerical data either spends a lot of time looking for it online, and then dealing with extracting, validating, formatting, merging and sharing it, or they subscribe to a service whose costs can exponentially add up. Among users of Quandl today the academic community figures prominently, he says, since those in it usually can’t afford a Bloomberg terminal or Factual data stream subscription.

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Hard Core Tech in Los Angeles


gravity logoMichael Carney of Pando Daily reports, “The last few years have been good to the Los Angeles tech scene, with more money, more talent, and more recognition coming to the community… After explaining why the critical infrastructure elements and culture of entrepreneurship have reached a critical mass that has never been the case before, the response tends to be one of qualification: “But LA doesn’t build real technology.” I believe this comes partially from the basic human need to categorize and explain things. In LA, that can be difficult, because the market is as diverse as any in the world… It’s a myth that LA doesn’t build hardcore technology, but to set the record straight, below are seven venture-backed LA companies of various sizes and stages with talented engineering teams building ‘deep tech’.” Read more

Facebook’s Instagram Acquisition: Fueling More Startup Fever and Semantic Startups’ Dreams

The news of Facebook’s acquisition of mobile photo-sharing service Instagram for $1 billion this week may be fueling the dreams of tech start-ups of every stripe, including those in the semantic tech community. In fact, they may have even greater reason to be inspired: A recent  report has it that Instagram has been slowly rolling out an Open Graph integration for the app accomplished in collaboration with Facebook for seamlessly publishing photos to users’ Timelines in what may be the first of similar partner-deals down the road.

Other startups infused with semantic tech smarts may be on high lookout for funding opportunities as an important part of making those dreams come true. Thomson Reuters and The National Venture Capital Association this week released funding stats for the first quarter of 2012 that could put a bit of a damper on things: It found a 35 percent decrease by dollar commitments and a 9 percent decline by number of funds, compared to the first quarter of 2011. But, according to a statement by Mark Heesen, president of the NVCA, venture firms “appear to be more optimistic about the fundraising environment in 2012.”

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Common Crawl Founder Gil Elbaz Speaks About New Relationship With Amazon, Semantic Web Projects Using Its Corpus, And Why Open Web Crawls Matter To Developing Big Data Expertise

The Common Crawl Foundation’s repository of openly and freely accessible web crawl data is about to go live as a Public Data Set on Amazon Web Services.  The non-profit Common Crawl is the vision of Gil Elbaz, who founded Applied Semantics and the AdSense technology for which Google acquired it , as well as the Factual open data aggregation platform, and it counts Nova Spivack  — who’s been behind semantic services from Twine to Bottlenose – among its board of directors.

Elbaz’ goal in developing the repository: “You can’t access, let alone download, the Google or the Bing crawl data. So certainly we’re differentiated in being very open and transparent about what we’re crawling and actually making it available to developers,” he says.

“You might ask why is it going to be revolutionary to allow many more engineers and researchers and developers and students access to this data, whereas historically you have to work for one of the big search engines…. The question is, the world has the largest-ever corpus of knowledge out there on the web, and is there more that one can do with it than Google and Microsoft and a handful of other search engines are already doing? And the answer is unquestionably yes. ”

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Bridging the gap: How Semantic Web can move into the mainstream through SXSW

Personally, I believe that the Semantic Web will become mainstream in the next few years (I actually have a bet on this with some college friends). I know that this is a strong statement, but I am confident that it will happen. Mainstream is defined in Wikipedia as “the common current of thought of the majority.” Furthermore it states that something is mainstream if it “is available to the general public” and it “has ties to corporate or commercial entities.” However, how do you evaluate if something is on the verge of becoming mainstream? I propose the following metric:  inclusion at the South by South West (SXSW) Conference!

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