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photo: U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder

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 »

In Brief

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.

Andrew Higginbotham, SVP of CenturyLink Cloud.
photo: CenturyLink

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 »

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In Brief

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.”

In Brief

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.

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 »

Mark Shuttleworth. Source: Canonical
photo: Canonical

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 »

On The Web

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.

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photo: Carnegie Mellon University

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 »

In Brief

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.

On The Web

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 Brief

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.

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.

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