Mailchimp chief data scientist John Foreman came on the Structure Show this week to report on his recent trip to Disneyland. It turns out the Magic Kingdom does indeed use data to deliver a personalized experience — and we’re fine with it because it’s fun(ish). Read more »
Jean-Jacques Quisquater says the Belgian federal police tipped him off that he had been hacked in an attack related to that on telco Belgacom, which fell victim to GCHQ last year. Read more »
D-Wave Systems believes it has a real quantum computer and that future generations of its processor will prove what it’s capable of. What’s more, the company plans to deliver all the benefits of quantum computer via API. Read more »
Though certain details remain frustratingly absent, a CBC News report suggests Canadian spy agency CSEC unlawfully tracked people using free public Wi-Fi in a Canadian airport, and possibly elsewhere, in what was a trial run for a now-operational program. Read more »
A pair of MIT graduate students is working on an interesting system they think can help speed the process of analyzing data without putting it on expensive DRAM. The project uses a cluster of flash drives to store the data, with each one connected to a field-programmable gate array, or FPGA. The FPGA is really the key because it can perform calculations on the data in place before it’s sent over the network to the main processor. The architecture could potentially underpin a functional interactive database system for budget-conscious, data-heavy fields such as science.
Facebook’s data scientists have crunched the numbers (well, the text) and — if fan sentiment is any indicator — it looks like Denver is the Super Bowl favorite. Over the course of the season, and the playoffs, teams garnering more positive words win more often. Read more »
On this week’s Structure Show we hash out why Microsoft, a software company needs to weigh in on server design and Mailchimp’s data scientist on why we should watch what DisneyWorld is doing with your data. Read more »
Repercussions of the 2010 privacy scandal are still being felt, albeit in a typically ineffectual way. Read more »
Facebook is launching a standalone app called Paper that takes content from the network and turns it into a newspaper-style platform, driven partly by algorithms and partly by human editors. It enters a crowded market and is likely to make media companies even more suspicious Read more »
This a really thoughtful post from Trifacta Co-founder and CEO Joe Hellerstein (who’s clearly ramping up for the big unveil of Trifacta’s product soon) about the transformation of data science skills. As someone who sometimes tries to do work with data — and often speaks with people who really do work with data — I couldn’t agree more. There are tools that let “business users” or even journalists do valuable stuff, but they’ll always be many steps behind what folks trained in math and computer science can do. And data transformation sucks for everyone.
A Twitter analytics company called Dataminr is building a custom version of its search tools for news companies like CNN, something that will help media outlets use Twitter better — but will also help reinforce Twitter’s brand as a breaking-news source Read more »
Flipboard is rolling out new features that group content into sections for easy browsing, in much the same way that traditional print magazines do — in part to help keep readers from feeling overwhelmed by a never-ending ocean of content Read more »
Everyone’s more interested in artificial intelligence since news broke that Google acquired a secretive startup called DeepMind. The technology has big promise, but make no mistake: It’s not sentient yet, and Google is far from alone in its quest. Read more »
Telegeography has published the 2014 edition of its submarine cable map, providing an excellent representation of the infrastructure that makes global connectivity global. Read more »
Oracle Cloud delivers Platform as a Service (PaaS) based on industry-leading, standards-based database and Java technologies, allowing developers to build enterprise-grade cloud applications. Oracle Cloud PaaS makes application development faster and easier compared to traditional development platforms, enabling significant cost and time-to-market advantages. Read more »
During the Open Compute Summit in San Jose, Facebook VP of Engineering Jay Parikh shared some big statistics for the company’s cold storage efforts, including those for a protoytpe Blu-ray system capable of storing a petabyte of data today. Read more »
Altiscale, the Hadoop-as-a-service startup co-founded by former Yahoo CTO Raymie Stata that launched in June, is now offering its Data Cloud platform to the public. It’s a cloud service in the same vein as Amazon Elastic MapReduce, although it’s probably more similar to fellow startup Qubole. Altiscale is custom-built to run Hadoop workloads (or Spark, or most anything that can run easily on YARN), is fully managed and automatically scales resources to meet the demands of a job. “There hasn’t been a customer yet that we haven’t been able to improve reliability for,” Stata told me recently, primarily by improving efficiency and eliminating failures.
Imgur is bringing data to its massive catalog of images, offering brands and pro users to take a peek into traffic for their “viral” content. Read more »
The open source search tool Elasticsearch has been downloaded more than 6 million times and counts some household names among its customer base. Now, the company behind the software is launching its first commercial product: a management console called Marvel. Read more »
We have chosen eight of our favorite startups from 2013 as winners of the inaugural Gigaom Structure Data Awards, but readers will also have their chance to vote for the Readers’ Choice awards. Read more »
Akamai’s Q3 State of the Internet Report shows a surprising rebound in connectivity in the U.S., motivated by high broadband adoption. Meanwhile, IPv6 uptake remains slow. Read more »
This isn’t your daddy’s, um, GoDaddy. The company is overhauling its technology platform in a mission to be a sort of Robin Hood for the world’s small businesses. It will take technology from the largest companies and bring it to the small ones. Read more »
Young up and coming startup AutoGrid now has new funding, new products and new customers for its big data energy prediction engine. Read more »
Golden Frog says Chameleon scrambles VPN metadata, making it harder for firewalls to spot that the traffic is VPN-protected. The protocol is proprietary, though, making its trustworthiness hard to evaluate. Read more »
Google confirmed the acquisition to Re/code, which reports that it will pay $400 million for the London-based company. Read more »
Yes, Twitter is becoming filled with more noise and possibly less signal, as Jenna Wortham argues in the New York Times — but it’s also true that much of that experience is a result of how we choose to use the service Read more »
What you think you know about football is wrong. Here’s how you can challenge your misconceptions with a dose of data analysis. Read more »
Udacity Founder and CEO — and famed inventor of self-driving cars and wearable technologies at Google — came on the Structure Show podcast this week to talk about the promise, limitations and future of online education. Here’s what he had to say. Read more »
The U.S. uses its digital surveillance capabilities to commit industrial espionage, Edward Snowden has claimed in an interview with German network NDR, broadcast on Sunday night. The NSA whistleblower suggested German industrial giant Siemens was a target, with information being taken by the intelligence agency even when it had nothing to do with national security. When the agency was previously shown to have spied on Brazil’s Petrobras, U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper insisted it never used that information to give U.S. firms an unfair advantage. Australia’s intelligence agency, an NSA partner, has reportedly spied on Japanese firms for the benefit of Australian companies, and France is generally seen as a world leader in that regard.
One of the big themes at our Structure Data conference in March is the advent of new techniques to make sense of new data sources. One of the most-promising is video, which had value well beyond capturing crimes and making us laugh on YouTube. Read more »
The activist coalition Privacy Not Prism has made some headway in its quest to prove that mass surveillance by UK intelligence agencies is illegal. Read more »
The Princeton research that used a disease model to suggest Facebook would lose 80 percent of its users in 3 years deserved the hammering it got – it’s simply a bad analogy for the subject. But now a bunch of data scientists from Facebook itself have stepped up to the plate, dryly using the researchers’ own methodology to prove that Princeton enrollment will have depleted entirely by 2021, and the air around us by 2060. Luckily I’m done with my studies, but I’m pretty annoyed about the breathing thing. Damn you, badly-chosen search data and your extrapolations!
The White House announced on Thursday that it will form a working group to study big data and report on its implications to privacy, policy and society. That might be easier said than done. Read more »
The National Football League and General Electric announced on Thursday a list of 16 projects that will each receive $300,000 to advance their research in the field of diagnosing and preventing head injuries. Among the selected projects is a collaboration between the University of California, San Francisco, and machine learning startup Ayasdi to analyze CAT scan data to predict which players might have persistent symptoms. Another involves the Purdue Neurotrama Group and a company called BrainScope that uses machine learning algorithms to power a device that it hopes can detect head injuries on the sidelines. As everything from algorithms to computing power improve, machine learning is actually becoming fairly common in medical research.
Europe’s in the process of thrashing out its first explicit net neutrality legislation, and amendments made on Thursday mean ISPs and content providers will no longer have a legally-protected right to strike deals with one another. Read more »
AOL will acquire interest-based content personalization startup Gravity to help tailor its publication materials. Read more »
The company, which takes in many of the original MySQL crowd, is taking its fight against Oracle into the enterprise as promised. The bundle is unsurprisingly called MariaDB Enterprise. Read more »
On this week’s Structure Show: MemSQL’s ability to rake in the dough and IBM’s continuing hardware heartache. Read more »
Microsoft says foreign customers will be able to choose to have their data stored outside the U.S. However, there are a couple of problems to bear in mind, with the big one being the Patriot Act. Read more »
The multi-modal travel service hopes to cover at least 7 European countries by the summer, giving users the ability to plan trips that include planes, trains and automobiles. Read more »