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Twitter has released an analysis of activity on the social network during the overtime shootout period in last week’s World Cup match between Brazil and Chile. The pattern, which Twitter claims has repeated itself through every overtime shootout, is pretty interesting: people tweet like crazy leading up to the kick, watch intently (and with hands off keyboards) as the player gets ready and finally kicks, and then tweet like crazy again after the kick scores or misses. Seeing this phenomenon visualized is a small window into the relationships between our eyes, fingers, televisions and computer screens during big events.

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Facebook’s study of how content manipulation can affect users’ moods has stirred up an ethical hornet’s nest, but there’s a bigger question beyond whether the study should have happened. Now that we know it’s possible, what’s to stop more ambitious attempts to manipulate consumers? Read more »

In Brief

Dell, Cloudera and Intel are working together on an appliance designed to speed the performance of Hadoop environments by moving a lot more data into a shared memory space. Key to the performance improvement is Apache Spark, the in-memory data-processing framework that’s now included in Cloudera’s Hadoop distribution. At this point, it seems like Hadoop vendors are going to sell their wares regardless where they run, so a deal like this really helps Dell make the case that hardware matters in big data environments. The companies claim it’s the first in a family of “Dell Engineered Systems for Cloudera Enterprise.”

In Brief

Intel on Monday announced a new brawny HPC processor and a family of network fabric components that incorporates silicon photonics technology. The new chip, the next-generation of the Xeon Phi family, comes with up to 16 gigabytes of high-performance memory and more than 60 computing cores. The fabric lineup, called Omni Scale will include PCIe adapters, switches and software, as well as director switches that replace electrical transceivers with silicon photonics for improved speed and fewer cables. Intel is promising better performance and greater efficiency with the new tech — something it might need considering the introduction of ARM-plus-GPU-based chips into the HPC market that Intel presently dominates.

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In Brief

Dropbox is acquiring a data visualization startup called Parastructure, according to TechCrunch. It’s one of those deals where nobody is talking yet, but what little info is publicly available about Parastructure helps shed some light on Dropbox’s motivation. It’s hard to imagine Dropbox getting into the analytics software business that Parastructure was targeting, but it’s not hard to imagine Dropbox acquiring some talent that can help it scale onto, and query, new data technologies. And, like Box did with its dLoop acquisition, Dropbox might also be looking to improve search for its business users.

In Brief

Source: SiSense

Source: SiSense

Business intelligence startup SiSense has raised a $30 million third round of venture capital from DFJ Growth, as well as existing investors Battery Ventures, Genesis Partners and Opus Capital. The company has now raised $44 million since it launched in 2010. Like most analytics startups, SiSense promises nice visualizations and a user-friendly experience, but its major bragging point is fast data processing thanks to an architecture that takes full advantage of the processor’s cache rather than just DRAM or disk. The company appears to being growing impressively, too, claiming triple-digit customer growth and some big-name accounts.

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