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The Senate passed an amended version of the Data Accountability and Transparency (or DATA) Act on Thursday, nearly five months after the House passed its version 388-1 in November. The bill standardizes the process, platforms and formats in which federal agencies report how they spend their money. The bill had strong bipartisan support but faced opposition from the Office of Management and Budget. It could be a coup for certain technology vendors, including supporter Teradata, which stand to win more government deals as all that data becomes easier to store and analyze using commercial software.

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In Brief

MongoDB has released version 2.6 of its eponymous NoSQL database, complete with some significant new capabilities around monitoring and management, search, indexing, performance and pipelines. The company (formerly known as 10gen) pretty clearly has the most widely used NoSQL database — especially among web developers — so now the push is to make it more palatable for large enterprises and other users who’ll actually pay for it. MongoDB looks like the one NoSQL startup poised for an IPO at some point, and a more-mature product could help shore up revenue to get investors excited.

In Brief

Sporting goods company Wilson is working with a Finnish startup called SportIQ to create a basketball that uses sensors and artificial intelligence to determine how far the ball traveled and whether the shot was made. It’s not the first application of sensors and algorithms into sports gear — we already have them in football helmets, soccer balls and basketball nets, for example — but the Wilson basketball is pretty unique in that it seems to target individual consumers, meaning anyone with the ball, a hoop and a web connection can start quantifying their game.

In Brief

Citus Data, a startup focused on turning PostgreSQL into a scale-out analytic engine, has developed a developed a columnar data store for the popular open source database. The company is open sourcing its extension for single-node environments, although it’s offering a distributed version as part of its CitusDB software. Citus already supported interactive SQL queries over Postgres (on which its technology is based), Hadoop and MongoDB, but columnar stores are faster for certain types of queries. Also, the compression features of the ORC file format that CitusDB uses can cut disk space by more than half.

Paul Maritz at Structure Data 2014. (© Photo by Jakub Mosur).
photo: Pivotal CEO Paul Maritz / Jakub Mosur

EMC-and-VMware spinoff Pivotal has reworked the pricing of its big data software in order to get more customers buying into its vision of a true data platform. It’s essentially giving away its Hadoop distribution and charging one price for access to all of its database software. Read more »

In Brief

Apache Tajo, a relational database warehouse system for Hadoop, has graduated to to-level status within the Apache Software Foundation. It might be easy to overlook Tajo because its creators, committers and users are largely based in Korea — and because there’s a whole lot of similar technologies, including one developed at Facebook — but the project could be a dark horse in the race for mass adoption. Among Tajo’s lead contributors are an engineer from LinkedIn and members of the Hortonworks technical team, which suggests those companies see some value in it even among the myriad other options.

Source: Nvidia
photo: Nvidia

GPU maker Nvidia is hoping to ride the wave of artificial intelligence. The company is already powering machine learning workloads within data centers of large companies, but now it’s targeting individuals with a cheap-but-powerful development kit targeted at robotics and the internet of things. Read more »

In Brief

A Seattle-based startup called Indix has raised an $8.5 million series A-1 round of venture capital for its service that keeps a real-time index of the products available across the world of online retail. Avalon Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners led the round, which brings Indix’s total funding to $14.4 million. The company’s service targets retail-industry users that want to keep track of trends and the competitive landscape, including who’s selling what and for how much.

Rob Bearden at Structure Data 2014.

Hadoop vendor Hortonworks has closed a fourth round of venture capital worth $100 million. It follows up on news last week that competitor Cloudera had closed its own $160 million round. Everyone agrees there’s huge opportunity in Hadoop, but capitalizing on it takes capital. Read more »

In Brief

Saffron Technology, a provider of an analytics software that it calls a “natural intelligence platform,” has raised a $7 million series B round of venture capital. The company is focused around providing an advanced class of business intelligence by building a technology that can ingest data from myriad enterprise data sources and add intelligence and memory on top of them. Saffron claims analysts querying the system will get fast results because of the how it remembers attributes of entities in the system, and they’ll be intelligent because of its ability to make connections and learn.

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