North Bridge Venture Partners’ Paul Santinelli offered up all sorts of opinions — many outspoken — on this week’s Structure Show podcast. Here are some of his thoughts on who can succeed in the cloud computing market. Read more »
Facebook has reportedly done away with its once-important EdgeRank system in lieu of a system that considers about 100,000 factors in determing what content to show on users’ feeds. Read more »
Google researchers have developed new methods for analyzing language using deep learning techniques. They’ve also open sourced an implementation of their work so any researchers can experiment with it. It could be the first of many deep learning tools designed for mass consumption. Read more »
When it comes to data, soccer is the new baseball. The latest issue of the Economist has an article breaking down English Premiere League soccer players using data, and a subsequent blog post includes an interactive tool from machine learning startup Ayasdi that lets readers explore the data. Earlier this week, Disney researchers presented their analysis of an entire year’s worth of ball-position data for a professional soccer league and how that can affect the outcome of games.
Todd Papaioannou is joining big data-focused venture capital firm Data Collective as a entrepreneur in residence. Papaioannou was most recently co-founder and CEO of Continuuity, and as has held executives roles at companies including Yahoo and Teradata. Read more »
Almost anything you want to know about how Netflix is scaling its streaming API to support a growing number of users. devices and geographies. No matter how many times I read (or write) about it, I’m still impressed by what Netflix is able to do using an entirely cloud-based infrastructure.
Facebook has detailed its extensive improvements to the open source Apache Giraph graph-processing platform. The project, which is built on top of Hadoop, can now process trillions of connections between people, places and things in minutes. Read more »
Data scientists are in high demand, which is bound to lure some of them out of academia and into industry. Their biggest challenge won’t be finding a job, but finding the right one — and maybe opting for entrepreneurship over employment. Read more »
A Chicago-based startup called AvantCredit has raised a $20 million series B round for its personal loan service that uses machine learning algorithms to assess credit-worthiness. AvantCredit closed a $34 million Series A round earlier this year. It’s taking a page out of the ZestFinance playbook — lending to underserved markets at rates less usurious than traditional payday-loan providers — although that company now acts only as an underwriter rather than an actual lender.
Looker, a Santa Cruz, Calif.-based business intelligence startup, has raised a $16 million series A round from Redpoint Ventures and First Round Capital. In an age of data tools targeting lay users, Looker is taking a different approach by trying to empower smart data analysts with its custom modeling language. The company closed a $1.7 million seed round in March.
Microsoft has developed a big data technology that sits on top of Hadoop’s new YARN resource manager. Called REEF, it’s designed to let users build jobs that can maintain state even after they’re done, and that can grab data from wherever they need it. Read more »
Zynga has open sourced a tool called zPerfmon that collects and serves all the performance data its engineers could ever need, and all from a single server. Read more »
Spend a few days hanging around Black Hat and DEF CON, and you’ll see some creepy hacks. If you wanna lose a little sleep, dwell on the fact it’s much easier to replicate the work or even to buy data-capturing devices. Read more »
It appears investors are buying into the adage that CMOs are the new CIOs. On Friday, a Portland-based startup called Lytics announced it has raised $2.2 million in seed funding from Rembrandt Venture Partners and Voyager Capital. The company compares its big-data-meets-marketing approach with that of Causata, which is good company to be in.
Rackspace grew its public cloud revenues 36 percent year over year, to $99 million. That’s steady growth, although hardly the meteoric growth its chief rival Amazon Web Services seems to be experiencing. Read more »
Hadoop-in-the-cloud startup Qubole says its customers used more than 100,000 nodes to run more than 350,000 jobs and process more than a petabyte of data in July. Those aren’t Facebook numbers, but they seem to signal an appetite among smaller users. Read more »
While some big data startups are thriving, others are shutting down or searching for buyers because it doesn’t look like a second round of venture capital is coming. Here are a few lessons I think I’ve gleaned from watching the space over the past few years. Read more »
Predictive analytics specialist NICE has acquired Causata, a marketing analytics startup built around a core of big data and machine learning technologies. Causata should bolster NICE’s customer-engagement platform that helps companies better understand their customers. The four-year-old Causata has raised $23 million in venture capital, all from Accel Partners.
IT services and consulting specialist CSC has acquired Infochimps, a startup that sells a big data query and processing platform. Infochimps had raised about $5 million in equity and debt financing since launching in 2009. Read more »
Curt Monash has some interesting data points on Hortonworks and the Hadoop market from its point of view — competitive landscape, cluster size, hardware setups, etc. Also word that Eric Baldeschwieler is doing “his own thing.”
Hortonworks CEO Rob Bearden has confirmed that co-founder and CTO Eric Baldeschwieler has left the company. No word as to why, but his departure is the latest event in a busy few months at Hortonworks. Read more »
10gen is announcing that energy demand specialist EnerNOC has rolled out MongoDB to help it analyze its power grid data in new ways. EnerNOC collects 1.5 billion data points every month, although it’s possible they won’t all find their way into the company’s MongoDB environment.
If the corporate website is any indication, Hortonworks co-founder Eric Baldeschwieler is no longer with the company. The former Hadoop boss at Yahoo was Hortonworks’ first CEO and was most recently CTO. Read more »
It’s not so much a new brand as a new offering from Cox Communications, called Contour. People often find Netflix’s recommendations less than ideal, but that’s only $8 a month. I hope it’s the massive DVR and second-screen experience that are supposed to hook users.
FBI CISO Patrick Reidy gave Black Hat attendees some advice on detecting insider threats inside their agencies or companies. Essentially, he said, there’s no Edward Snowden profile that should set off alarms, so organizations must know their people very, very well. Read more »
Tableau has pumped up the features on its free offering. Tableau Public, which runs on users’ desktops but stores data and visualizations in the cloud, now stores up to 1 gigabyte of data and can handle files with up to 1 million rows. The previous limits were 50 megabytes and 100,000 rows, respectively.
Researchers have simulated 1 second of real brain activity, on a network equivalent to 1 percent of an actual brain’s neural network, using the world’s fourth-fastest supercomputer. The results aren’t revolutionary just yet, but they do hint at what will be possible as computing power increases. Read more »
Rackspace VP of Intellectual Property Van Lindberg was one of six tech-industry executives testifying before the House Judiciary Committee about intellectual property on Thursday. He highlighted the value of open source and the sometimes ridiculous nature of DMCA takedown requests. Read more »
NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander gave a contentious opening keynote at the Black Hat cybersecurity conference on Wednesday. Alexander defended the NSA’s activities, while some in the crowd hurled accusations of lying at him. Here are the links to a video of his keynote as well as his presentation slides. (Fair warning, the servers seem a bit bogged down.)
Image: Black Hat USA 2013
Hat tip to Nathan Yau at FlowingData for spotting the soon to be new and improved Data.gov site. Data.gov was one of Barack Obama early open-government initiatives, but as Yau points out, it wasn’t exactly user-friendly.
A startup called Pondera Solutions has built an entire business based on utilizing Google’s suite of services — its Prediction API most prominently — to power an offering it calls Fraud Detection as a Service. Read more »
ZestFinance, the machine learning meets personal loans startup from former Google CIO Douglas Merrill, has raised a $20 million series C round. The company’s model analyzes more than 70,000 variables in trying to provide good loans to folks with bad, or no, credit. Read more »
Fitness trackers and life logging apps might not add too much depth to our understanding of our daily routines, but they do provide a good judgmental eye. Who else is gonna call you out on being a hedonist? Read more »
Two-hour happy hours on slushies and optimally priced chili dogs aren’t the products of divination. Keeping a business like Sonic competitive means collecting and analyzing lots of data, something Sonic is now doing in the cloud instead of in its old data warehouse system. Read more »
Red Hat Enterprise Linux has some advanced identity management features, and now it has extended them to popular NoSQL database MongoDB. According to a 10gen press release, “IT departments now have access to centralized user, password and certificate management, and are empowered to provide secure MongoDB deployments that are tightly integrated into their back office infrastructure.”
Outgoing Bitly Chief Scientist Hilary Mason will be taking up some her time for the next year as a data scientist in residence at Accel Partners. Mason is a big name in data science circles and has been a big data adviser to Accel since 2011. Read more »
Like all most web companies, Airbnb is trying to provide a better user experience by analyzing lots and lots of data. Here’s how the company built its big data infrastructure atop Amazon’s cloud and how all that data manifests itself in products. Read more »
Mona Chalabi tried to dig up some numbers about online abuse (in light of the recent Twitter rape-threat controversy) and found them hard to come by. Even in an age of over-sharing on social media, it’s hard to quantify some problems without access to sophisticated algorithms and people willing to spends lots of time on them.
GridGain Systems has raised a $10 million series B investment round for its suite of in-memory computing technology. In-memory databases are popular because of their low latency, but GridGain actually offers a whole line of other use-specific products, including for high-performance computing and Hadoop. Almaz Capital led the round, with participation from existing investor RTP Ventures.
America has millions of open jobs and not nearly enough people qualified to fill them. Sometimes, that’s because people don’t know they exist. Online education can change that. Read more »