DataSift, one of the two companies (along with Gnip) granted real-time access to the Twitter firehose, now offers real-time and historical analysis of Tumblr data. While it’s best-known for Twitter, DataSift actually analyzes dozens of social media and commenting platforms, which is pretty handy if you want to compare sentiment, engagement or whatever else across platforms where people behave quite differently.
If you’ve ever wanted to see who follows you on Twitter, where they live and what they do, but don’t have a clue how to utilize the Twitter API, it’s your lucky day. Read more »
Belgium’s federal prosecutor is looking into a claim by Belgacom that its systems were hacked into and infected with a virus. Reports say the complexity of the malware suggests an intelligence agency was to blame. Read more »
Telenav hasn’t just hired OpenStreetMap founder Steve Coast away from Microsoft; the navigation company plans to wean itself entirely off of proprietary cartography, relying solely on OSM’s collaborative, crowdsourced and freely available maps. Read more »
The NSA may have found a way to monitor some credit card transactions, according to a Snowden-derived report from Germany’s Der Spiegel. The agency said in leaked documents that it found a way to access Visa transactions in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, but the financial services company denies the tapping of its networks. The report highlights an NSA financial database called Tracfin, into which SWIFT international transfer information also flows through the interception of “SWIFT printer traffic from numerous banks.”
Ron Bodkin of Think Big Analytics discusses the best and worst practices for adopting big data technologies and actually getting results. Companies must beware of dangerous decisions, charlatans and disastrous missteps. Read more »
Veteran entrepreneur, investor and founding Vertica Systems CEO Andy Palmer has some thoughts about the most-important trends and promising startups in the data space. Here’s what he had to say during our Structure Show podcast this week. Read more »
The glut of research in teaching computers to analyze and understand images could prove very helpful in letting us take full advantage of the countless hours of video we’ll produce as wearable cameras go mainstream. Read more »
An MIT professor has conducted some handy research that could help make applications run faster and use less energy by overcoming an inherent drawback of multicore processors. The problem is that although the local caches on chips save them the latency of having to access RAM, the hardware-wired algorithms powering them often assign data to cache locations randomly without considering the core trying to access it. The new software-based technique, called Jigsaw, tracks which cores are accessing what data — and how much — and assigns data locale accordingly. The paper detailing Jigsaw is available here.
New research out of Carnegie Mellon University shows that analyzing fans’ tweets can help gamblers make better bets on NFL games. Sometimes. Their technique wasn’t very effective at picking winners or betting the over/under, but it was 55 percent accurate on bets against the spread (and then only during the middle of the season). I doubt anyone will undertake this effort themselves for such a slight edge, but there might be a business here if someone can figure out a consistently accurate model.
Indisys is best known for its vaguely creepy virtual assistant technology, components of which will no doubt complement Intel’s recent push in gesture-recognition technology. Read more »
If you’re a developer and would like to road-test a DynamoDB app locally without incurring charges, you can now do so, says Amazon Web Services. Read more »
Couchbase is officially opening up two new technologies to mobile developers as part of a public beta program. Couchbase Lite is a lightweight database designed specifically for iOS and Android devices, while Cloud Sync Gateway syncs local data with a bigger database in the cloud. Read more »
Aquamatix, a Structure: Europe LaunchPad company based in London, is trying to improve the world’s water networks with lots and lots of sensors. Fixing outdated infrastructure is expensive, but real-time data from deep inside can help target specific problems. Read more »
Just a few years ago, Twitter was dismissed by many as a plaything, but it has grown to become a crucial part of the real-time information ecosystem — and now it is about to become a multibillion-dollar public company Read more »
The Snowden scoops have caused a great deal of excitement in the security community, of both the good and bad kinds. But mostly bad — when your job is to help people rest easy, but you can’t rest easy yourself, you’ve got a problem. Read more »
Yup. Makes me wonder if the tech companies that have been lobbying for Patriot Act reform over the past few years were doing so in part to get out from under the NSA’s thumb. Policy discussions were always couched in geopolitical language, but they must have foreseen the backlash even from U.S. customers if word ever got out about what was up.
Microsoft is supposedly turning the fictional virtual assistant from its Halo games into an an actual virtual assistant that Windows users can engage with across phone, PC and Xbox platforms. Read more »
On this week’s Structure Show, Andy Palmer who co-founded Vertica Systems and VoltDB shares what he thinks are the hottest opportunities in the new big data era. Read more »
Dallas-based enterprise-search company PureDiscovery has closed a $10 million series C funding round that should help it brings its BrainSpace platform to the masses. The idea is one to build knowledge about the content of documents rather than just an index of what’s where. Read more »
The acquisition of mobile ad exchange MoPub puts Twitter at the forefront of the race to combine effective targeting and mobile ad-buying, arguesAntonio Garcia — and could even put it ahead of Facebook. Read more »
Good news — the finalized text of the EU Regulation for creating a single telecoms market is a lot tighter than earlier drafts when it comes to protecting consumers from net neutrality abuses. Maybe not watertight, though. Read more »
A San Mateo, Calif.-based startup called Space-Time Insight has raised a $20 million series C investment round led by London-based firm Zouk Capital. Space-Time provides a platform for analyzing and visualizing streaming data, and is gaining traction in the utility sector. We profiled the company in 2011, specifically its work with California ISO to put real-time energy data on an 80-foot screen in the agency’s control room. Space-Time closed a $14 million series B investment round last September.
Vodafone is having trouble finding enough Kabel Deutschland shareholders willing to sell up. Reuters reports the British mobile giant has secured only around 20 percent of the German cable firm’s shares, and it needs 75 percent by midnight Wednesday or the deal is off. It could be shareholders are waiting until the last minute in case a rival offer comes in — either way, it’s a nailbiting finish for freshly flush Vodafone and its plans of pushing further into the European fixed-line market.
Berlin’s Waymate has learned a few lessons since going live earlier this year, chief among them the fact that users need a transport comparison and booking service more for urban situations than for long-distance travel. Read more »
Narrative Science, a startup that turns complex text documents into reports or articles that are supposed to resemble something written by a human being, has raised an $11.5 million series C funding round. News organizations have already used the company’s software to turn sports stats or corporate earnings statements into articles, but it has potential anywhere someone is trying to analyze loads of text documents. CIA-backed venture capital firm In-Q-Tel invested in Narrative Science in June.
A leaked opinion from the Commission’s justice department pointed out serious risks in proposals made by the digital agenda department — proposals that would allow ISPs to charge content providers to prioritize their traffic. Read more »
Storify, the social-media curation company started by former journalist Burt Herman, is being acquired by Livefyre, a comment-hosting service that has been expanding rapidly into other aspects of social content for businesses. Read more »
How much storage do you want in your next Android tablet? Will 500GB work for you? Seagate wants to be inside your slate. Read more »
A data broker tried to show us what it knows about our lives — but the transparency ploy quickly fell flat with both consumers and privacy advocates. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t get points for effort. Read more »
Could the monitoring of an oil giant be the first sign of the NSA using its surveillance systems for economic espionage? Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says that doesn’t happen, but doubts will linger. Read more »
Germany’s Der Spiegel reports that the U.S. National Security Agency can access user data such as contacts lists, SMS traffic and location from the leading phone platforms and — embarrassingly given its security reputation — email from BlackBerry. This latest Snowden revelation begs the question: is any mobile OS safe?
Hortonworks is making progress on its mission (via a project called Stinger) to speed up SQL-like queries in Hadoop using Apache Hive. New features in the latest version of Hortonworks’ Hadoop distribution have improved Hive performance tens of times in some instances, and the company is aiming for 100x improvements soon. Hortonworks has also added support for new types of SQL data. Competitor Cloudera opted to forgo Hive in favor of its own Impala technology for interactive queries.
Yahoo has joined other tech companies in putting out a report that shows how often governments are collecting data about its users. Read more »
eBay has acquired Seattle-based price-prediction startup Decide.com, and the service will shut down on Sept. 30. The entire team will head over to eBay to help the e-commerce giant improve its experience through predictive modeling. The entire team except Co-founder and CTO Oren Etzioni, that is: the University of Washington computer science professor, Madrona Venture Group partner and former Farecast founder is heading up Paul Allen’s new Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence.
Google has added another new capability to its BigQuery analytics service. This one lets users derive correlation values between similar data points, something Google highlighed using sensor data from its recent I/O conference. Read more »
Who thought subverting not only widely-used security mechanisms, but the security standards-setting process itself, was a good idea? Read more »
New leaks reveal how the government is using a massive secret program to break into personal, business and financial communications long considered secure. Here’s the most important takeaways. Read more »
Location-data startup Placed has been tracking the businesses that consumers visit for about a year, and now it’s tying that data to their TV habits and interests. Where do “The Biggest Loser” viewers hang out? Bakeries. Read more »