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WebIntel Moves On to ProtectIntel.com

Posted by Filippo on November 23, 2009

Our long silence was not due to a fading interest, but rather to an exciting new effort and a more focused publication: Protective Intelligence 2.0Cutting-Edge Web Sources, Methods, and Technology for Protection Professionals.

The new site includes a Handbook, a Blog, and Top Ten lists of bookmarks to sources and apps of interest to the community of security and protection professionals.  Thank you for following us over the past few years. We look forward to seeing you on Protectintel.com!

Posted in News, Websites | Leave a Comment »

Top Five Swine Flu Information Sources

Posted by Filippo on April 29, 2009

30/04 Update: In the last few hours pandemicflu.gov has greatly improved its coverage and organization. I guess we are at Top 6.

Of course, most major news organizations have come up with dedicated spaces to the issue, which are not considered here.

*Google has created experimental estimates of flu activity in Mexico using aggregated search data. Unlike Google Flu Trends for U.S., this data has not been validated against confirmed cases of flu.

Posted in Crisis Management, News, Open Source, OSInt, Top Ten | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Social Media Search & Monitoring

Posted by Filippo on January 9, 2009

Trying keep up with social networks and media outlets to perform routine brand protection, media monitoring, and protective intelligence tasks can be overwhelming. Two new services have come across our radar in recent weeks and are worth mentioning. YackTrack provides search capabilities for references and comments to a specific URL (post, page, etc.) as well as a keyword search (chatter) across multiple social networks. The service could be particularly valuable when attempting to track reactions and responses to a product announcement or PR blog post, where the option to turn the query into a feed would seem quite handy. WhosTalkin.com (recently reviewed on ReadWriteWeb.com) takes a more traditional search engine approach focused on the social web, with a plethora of sources. If it will keep the promise to soon offer the option to save searches and create RSS feeds, this tool could quickly become a must for Executive Protection operations and other Risk Mitigation professionals.

Posted in Competitive Intelligence, Open Source, OSInt, Research, Security, threat management, Websites | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Top Five Health & Disease Monitoring and Warning Sources

Posted by Filippo on November 12, 2008

Google made big news this week by launching Google Flu Trends – showing considerable Early Warning potential of search terms trends analysis. According to the NY Times, ‘early tests suggest that the service may be able to detect regional outbreaks of the flu a week to 10 days before they are reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.’ This would seem like a good time to share our favorite open sources on the subject of global health and disease outbreaks:

  1. CDC – The Center for Disease Control and Prevention publishes multiple feeds and updates.
  2. HealthMap – A classic and beautifully-executed mashup of news sources, medical bulletins, and official alerts. Created by by Clark Freifeld and John Brownstein.
  3. ProMed-mail – A program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases. Offers multiple email channel subscriptions.
  4. MedISys – A real-time news alert system for medical and health-related topics maintained by the Health Threats Unit at Directorate General Health and Consumer Affairs of the European Commission.
  5. Global Health Atlas – Maintained by the World Health Organization (WHO) which also publishes a Disease Outbreak News Feed (XML).

Honorable mention goes to Pandemicflu.gov – only excluded from the list above because of its more narrow focus – and HHS.gov by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Posted in News, Open Source, OSInt, Reference, Research, Risk Management, Top Ten | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Web Capturing and Archiving

Posted by Filippo on August 22, 2008

A couple of years back, during a crisis management assignment, we experimented with a number of news monitoring options, with the intent to capture all articles, websites, blogs, etc. with references to the event, and make them immediately available to the client. Most solutions available at the time carried one or more serious drawbacks. Collaborative bookmarking tools often returned ‘non existing’ pages and screen captures would typically be limited by screen sizes and impossible to index. Iterasi, a new Web archiving service, would have made our lives a lot easier. The (currently) free service allows you to capture and archive any web page at any given moment. The added, built-in advantages are full text indexing, sharing, and automated capture scheduling. This is a great tool for OSInt, PR, competitive intelligence, crisis management operators.

Posted in Collaboration, Corporate Security, Open Source, OSInt, Web Applications | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Shipping and Logistics Data: A New Web Source

Posted by Filippo on May 28, 2008

ImportGenius is a relatively new Web service providing vast amount of data pertaining to shipping to and from US ports. Although much of the data here is open source to start with, the site provides convergence and organization of multiple sources for approachable fees. The $199/month ‘SupplySpy’ subscription leaves little doubt to the competitive intelligence market focus of the product. Interestingly, the New York Times mentioned the company’s analysis of large Apple shipments as possible evidence of the upcoming launch of the next generation iPhone.

Posted in Competitive Intelligence, Intelligence, Logistics, Research | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Video Search Engines: Top 5 List

Posted by Filippo on April 14, 2008

As video content continues to show exponential growth across the Web, it is still early to crown the best video indexing and search engine. We routinely check old and new directories and search engines comparing the results on obscure subjects and lesser known individuals to avoid ‘tag-spamming’ results. Our top five destinations include: Blinkx, Truveo, Google Video, MSN Video, and Online Video Guide (more valuable as a directory than as a search engine.) Feel free to let us know if we missed your favorite.

Posted in OSInt, Research, Top Ten, Websites | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Who is Hosting Whom?

Posted by Filippo on February 4, 2008

A new, free service allows anyone to identify who is the hosting provider for a specific website. There are of course more ways than one to figure out which provider is hosting a site you might be researching, yet Whoishostingthis seems to be tackling the task quite accurately and with little ‘marketing’ disruptions.

Posted in Open Source, OSInt, Research, Websites | Leave a Comment »

Scout Labs: Brand Sentiments and Blogosphere Monitoring Matures

Posted by Filippo on December 20, 2007

We have been addressing the subject of corporate and brand ‘sentiment’ monitoring a few times this year (here, and here). The latest addition to this space may well prove to be most powerful and sophisticated thus far. Scout Labs, currently in private beta, will offer brand ‘scouts’ (search agents) that can not only weigh the relevance and frequency of positive vs. negative ‘sentiments’ in blogs and news outlets, but do so going back to January 2007. Michael Arrington at TechCrunch has taken the site for a spin and reported about it here. How this service could benefit Crisis Management teams and EW efforts remains to be seen as the product reaches commercial availability and speed, cost, and flexibility of ‘scouting’ criterion become clear. Certainly one to follow closely as it may become the biggest player in this arena.

Posted in Corporate Security, Crisis Management, Intelligence, News, Open Source, Risk Management, Web Applications | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Top Five Hurricane Information Sources and Tools

Posted by Filippo on August 16, 2007

In occasion of the announcement of Dean as the first hurricane of the ’07 Atlantic Season . . . these are at the top of our list:

  1. NOAA-NWS National Hurricane Center
    The mother of all sources – most other services rely on the National Weather Service data to start with. RSS updates include ‘basin-wide’ feeds: here’s the Atlantic.
  2. NOAA Weather Radio All Hazard
    When all else fails (and you better believe it will, if you are among those really needing the news) this radio signal will carry on the news.
    Possibly the most effective mesh up of weather data and Google Maps.
  4. The Miami Herald Hurricane page – for which much credit must be give to the excellent Tropical Weather section at Weather Underground (also check out their nifty flash-based storm tracker.)
  5. Google Earth addicts will find the best collection of live weather and storm tracking info in this KMZ collection we covered back in March. (Thanks to GEBlog.com) Includes hurricanes live positions, global cloud coverage, NOAA severe weather, etc.

Posted in Crisis Management, Homeland Security, Howto, News, Open Source, Research, Risk Management, threat management, Top Ten, Weather, Websites | Leave a Comment »