A new open-source project called Postgres-XL is pushing scale-out and MPP capabilities for the popular database. Postgres-XL is the product of a database vendor called TransLattice and is based on technology it acquired from StormDB in October. Read more »
Deep learning startup AlchemyAPI is expanding its scope from text analysis to computer vision with a new API-based service called AlchemyVision. The company’s neural network system is continuously scanning images on the web and getting smarter by the day. Read more »
Twitter recently detailed its Manhattan database that’s supposed to be the default system for most new applications within the company. Here, the engineers behind Manhattan explain why they built it like they did. Read more »
An Australian company called Aerospace Concepts is partnering with Lockheed Martin to perform research on its quantum computer that could result in the world’s first quantum computing software company. Aerospace Concepts specializes in complex system design, a presumably strong use case for quantum computing. Read more »
Big data has been a buzzword for years, but it’s a lot more than just buzz. There are now so many tools and technologies for creating, collecting and analyzing data that almost anything is possible if you know where to look. Read more »
Data analytics and visualization specialist Tableau Software announced its first-quarter financial results on Monday, touting $74.6 million in revenue and an 86 percent increase over the same period a year earlier. Tableau isn’t the biggest player in the business intelligence and data analysis world, but it’s probably the fastest growing one — especially among public companies. In 2013, Tableau’s revenues grew 82 percent to $232 million; an 82 percent increase for 2014 would put Tableau’s annual revenue at more than $422 million.
On our Structure Show podcast, CenturyLink’s VP of cloud explains why he thinks the company be the first telco to really make a dent in the cloud computing market by leveraging its network assets and offering an enterprise cloud that also caters to developers. Read more »
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, is building a set of technologies to help it better understand human language so it can analyze speech and text sources and alert analysts of potentially useful information. Read more »
A White House committee released a report on Thursday highlighting the promises and perils of big data, and recommending several courses of action. It’s a good background report on big data, but it sidesteps certain tough problems, including domestic spying. Read more »
Data Elite launched in October promising office space, advice and funding to data-focused startups founded by experienced teams. On Thursday, the firm announced its first seven portfolio companies, which span a wide range of products. Read more »
Aviso, a startup from Zuora co-founder K.V. Rao and former JPMorgan Chase head quant Andrew Abrahams, launched on Wednesday with a new service for applying risk-analysis methods to corporate revenue. The company has raised $8 million in series A venture capital from Shasta Ventures, First Round Capital, Cowboy Ventures and Bloomberg Beta. In an interview, Rao explained that companies — like investment banks — should use machine learning to constantly analyze their corporate data and external data in order to spot potential shortfalls. That some people still use Excel as their primary tool for this, Rao said, “is a little appalling.”
Researchers from the University of California, Riverside, say they’ve developed a cheap yet remarkably accurate method for classifying insects as they fly by a sensor. They explain their setup and the machine learning models that interpret the data in a very informative paper. Read more »
A startup called Pepperdata launched on Tuesday along with $5 million in series A venture capital from Signia Venture Partners and Webb Investment Network. The company, which was co-founded by two Yahoo and Microsoft veterans, says its technology sits above the Hadoop cluster and monitors the resource usage of each running task. Cluster management is very important, but Pepperdata’s challenge will be proving its approach is good enough to justify paying a third party rather than using existing vendor software (including from Cloudera) or open source projects such as Apache Ambari and Apache Mesos.
Cloudera and MongoDB have formed a partnership that could potentially span everything from integrations to new products. It’s a big bet by MongoDB that Cloudera will be the Hadoop distribution of choice for its users, and another way for Cloudera to distinguish itself from Hadoop peers. Read more »
TIBCO has acquired Jaspersoft in a move that could signal further consolidation in the business intelligence space. Vendors such as Tableau and Microsoft dominate in terms mindshare and capabilities, leaving other big players playing catch up by opening their wallets. Read more »
As a new brain-like computing architecture out of Stanford demonstrates, we’re on the cusp of powerful, but fundamentally different ways of doing computing. However, whether they’re embedded in devices or packed together in supercomputers, programming these new types of systems will take some re-education. Read more »
Canonical founder and space traveler Mark Shuttleworth came on the Structure Show this week to discuss Ubuntu’s role as the operating system of choice for cloud computing. As OpenStack takes precedence over the operating system, he argues, Red Hat’s licensing can’t last. Read more »
Publishing analytics startup Parse.ly just switched its entire IT footprint to Amazon Web Services, saving money and improving performance in the process. As clouds keep getting cheaper and better, resistance to them is becoming futile. Read more »
Here are some highlights from a Reddit Ask Me Anything featuring members of Twitter’s open source engineering team. It’s a pretty informative look at Twitter’s open source culture, the statuses of its various projects and its high hiring standards. Read more »
This is a good explainer from MIT Technology Review of how Microsoft’s Cortana works. As we noted yesterday, and last year, Bing has strategic value to beyond just search revenue. It’s a great place to gather data that can help train other machine learning systems, and a great testbed for new types of features.
Computer vision startup Jetpac, which specialized in categorizing Instagram images from vacation destinations, has released an iOS software development kit and app based on a popular deep learning architecture. Read more »
Microsoft keeps rolling out new features in Bing that it claims make it superior to, or at least more interesting, than Google’s dominant search engine. They’re not the sexiest applications of artificial intelligence, but they are easy, practical and tied to big money. Read more »
Personal learning startup Declara has raised a $16 million series A round of venture capital for its platform that connects large networks of professionals to the people and content that will help them learn. Read more »
A startup called BaseHealth launched on Tuesday with a mission to deliver personalized wellness plans while keeping doctors very much in the picture. The company’s platform combines genetic data, lifestyle data and medical records to determine patients’ risks and how they can mitigate them. Read more »
Carnegie Mellon researchers have created an application that visualizes tabular data and lets users analyze it using hand gestures. It’s not the first attempt to rethink analytics for a mobile world, but it’s interesting and a sign of things to come. Read more »
IBM has made another investment out of the $100 million it has set aside to fund companies using the Watson cognitive computing system, this time investing an undisclosed amount of money into a company called Fluid. IBM and Fluid are working on an application, called Expert Shopper, that will let consumers ask complex, natural language questions on retail websites and receive product recommendations in return. Fluid is IBM’s second publicly announced Watson-fund investment, with the first going to a health care startup called Welltok. Both were early partners in IBM’s cloud-based Watson service and API.
The New York Times Bits blog reports on the close of InBloom, a database for student data that became a privacy lightning rod. On the one hand, it’s a great idea: there’s a lot that educators and researchers could learn from analyzing this type of data across regions, demographics, etc. On the other hand, it’s probably not a wise idea to connect students’ names with sensitive or personal information. Objectivity is key, too. You’d like to measure attributes in a way that doesn’t lend itself to educators’ biases and reinforcement of stereotypes.
In an effort to get a grip on how global a phenomenon bitcoin really is, I acquired data on more than 1.3 million tweets, spanning the month of February, about the crypto-currency. Here’s a breakdown of who’s tweeting, where and what they’re sharing. Read more »
Twitter has announced the winners of its inaugural data grants program, which provide select researchers with access to the entire history of tweets. The six winning projects are wide ranging, from gastrointestinal illnesses to sports. Read more »
Hadoop startup Karmasphere, which launched in 2010, has sold its intellectual property to credit-scoring specialist FICO. Karmasphere appears to have been struggling for adoption and funding, so selling its assets was not an unforeseen turn of events. Read more »
Google continued its heavy infrastructure spending in the first quarter of 2014, to the tune of more than $2.3 billion. It’s the third consecutive quarter the company has topped $2 billion in capital expenditures. Read more »
Microsoft showed off more its big data strategy on Tuesday in an event that touched on everything Excel to “ambient intelligence.” If the company can execute, it has a shot to repeat its desktop success in the data era. Read more »
Twitter is buying Gnip, the data startup that has full access to the Twitter firehose. Twitter now has what it needs to deliver meaningful data to companies that want to examine specific discussions and activities, rather than just the content Twitter chooses to publicize. Read more »
Kim Weins, vice president of marketing at RightScale, sees a lot about where its customers are deploying cloud workloads and how they intend to expand them across multiple platforms. She came on the Structure Show to talk about what’s hot, including — surprisingly — VMware. Read more »
A startup called Gridspace is trying to reinvent the meeting process by taking the note-taking out of it. Its Memo system combines hardware, software and machine learning to let a computer take notes while the people focus on ideas. Read more »
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.
MapR is the latest Hadoop vendor to embrace Apache Spark, adding the entire Spark stack of technologies to its distribution. It’s a smart move by MapR, but just more validation that Spark might be the data-processing framework of the future. Read more »
A startup called Emerald Logic claims it uses an evolutionary process to discover the best algorithm for predicting outcomes from any dataset. It might sound to good to be true, but the company claims successes already and is one of several startups trying something similar. Read more »
A Mankato, Minn.-based company called Farm Intelligence is helping farmers get a sense of what’s happening in their fields so they can act fast to maximize yields. It’s already managing a million acres and nearly a petabyte of data, but it expects to amass much more. Read more »
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.