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In Brief

A security startup called Elastica came out of stealth mode on Tuesday, and brought with it $6.3 million in venture capital from the Mayfield Fund. Elastica tries to protect corporate data scattered across the dozens of cloud services companies might be using and, like so many other security startups, is touting its use of data science techniques to accomplish its goal. Elastica does have an impressive pedigree, though, both with the Ph.Ds. on its founding team and with advisers including Rayid Ghani (Obama for America, Edgeflip), Tom Reilly (ArcSight, Cloudera), M.C. Srivas (MapR) and Ion Stoica (UC Berkeley, Conviva, Databricks).

In Brief

Intel has launched its latest top-of-the-line chips for servers. These are the bruisers that make up the silicon in high performance computing and super fast financial transactions. The Xeon E7v2 class of chips features up to 15 cores, a massive amount of in-memory data capacity to make processing large amounts of data on chip possible, and performance that’s twice the average of the previous generation of chips. These processors hold a few surprises, as the Register details in its in-depth exploration of the silicon and the business case.

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In Brief

IBM and AT&T are teaming up to share and analyze smart city and utility data so municipalities can react to traffic incidences, energy demand and other potential problems in real time. Through the partnership AT&T will handle the sensor communications and tracking happening over the cellular network and IBM will bring its analytics platforms into play. The two companies are going to build out apps for cities, so right now there’s not a lot to see here except for the possibilities.

On The Web

Sharing on social media doesn’t actually mean a user has read a piece of content, The Verge reports, citing findings from real-time analytics site Chartbeat. Chartbeat says its data shows no correlation between sharing and reading — fair reasoning behind Upworthy’s decision to value an engagement metric called “Attention Minutes” over both pageviews and shares. But all is not completely lost: data from Upworthy shows that likelihood of sharing is best if a user reads an article or watches a video all the way to the end.

In Brief

Cisco reported financial results Wednesday and while the company saw a drop in both revenue and profits, the company is investing in the internet of things. Cisco said it has allocated $100 million to invest in early stage companies to help it move the connected world forward. The company has already said it expects the internet of everything to drive growth in its services revenue from 20 percent of total sales to 30 percent, and has announced, but not delivered an entirely new architecture for a world of connected devices speaking to the cloud.

In Brief

Health care startup Welltok, which has developed a platform to help consumers make wise choices about their health, has raised a $22 million Series C round of venture capital. New Enterprise Associates led the round, but IBM (via its new Watson group) and Qualcomm also pitched in. One of Welltok’s products, CafeConcierge, uses Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities as the basis of its personalized medicine approach. IBM, of course, is betting big on Watson as a source of future revenue and has vowed to invest $100 million in companies willing to integrate Watson into their products.

In Brief

A robotics startup called Neurala has received a patent (No. 8,648,867) for a GPU-based system designed to run artificial neural network models. The patent covers the physical architecture of the system, which Neurala calls an “accelerator,” as well as aspects of data processing and user experience. It’s not clear whether the patent, which dates back to 2006, will affect others artificial intelligence efforts currently underway. Neurala’s business revolves around providing computer vision and navigation intelligence for robots, but GPUs are the computers of choice for many deep learning projects.

In Brief

Splice Machine, a startup promising a SQL-on-Hadoop database that can handle both transactional and analytic workloads, has closed a $15 million series B round of venture capital from InterWest Partners, along with Mohr Davidow Ventures. Supporting transactional workloads would put Splice Machine in a good position among the glut of companies and projects letting users perform SQL operations on Hadoop, because most are strictly for analytics. The big question for Splice Machine, though, might be whether companies actually want to run transactions on that data or whether they’re willing to stick to a tried-and-true database for that.

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