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One of the themes running through many of the projects that won this year’s $5-million Knight News Challenge for media startups is the idea that data — and the ability to filter and make sense of it — can be a powerful tool for digital journalism. Read more »

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Michael Chertoff, the former head of the Department of Homeland Security, said that with the explosion of open data flowing from the Internet and social networks, the key to improved security is to capture that information and analyze it for signals that yield important insights. Read more »

SolidFire hopes to shrink the size of storage systems.

Cloud storage startup SolidFire is giving cloud providers early access to its solid-state-disk-based systems for storing customers’ data. The Atlanta-based company is building SSD-based appliances that it says will help ease the migration of enterprise applications into the cloud by significantly boosting storage performance. Read more »

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SeaMicro's SM10000-64 server.

Online dating service eHarmony is using SeaMicro’s specialized Intel Atom-powered servers as the foundation of its Hadoop infrastructure, demonstrating that big data applications such as Hadoop might be a killer app for low-powered micro servers. Read more »

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Is Hadoop our only hope for solving big data challenges? From scalability to fault tolerance, Hadoop does myriad things very well. Yet, Hadoop is not the solution to all big data problems and use cases. Several key issues remain, including investment, complexity and batch-only processing. Read more »

groupon

Groupon’s prospectus for an IPO started arguments over the company’s huge losses. Silicon Valley wants Groupon to look like a technology company, but right now it’s more or less in the Yellow Pages business. But by better applying big data analysis, Groupon could start seeing profits. Read more »

web connect

IT analytics company Splunk has received a patent for its method of organizing and presenting big data to mirror the experience of browsing links on the web. Splunk wants users to think about big data like a web problem and not like an analytics problem. Read more »

Infineta

WAN-optimization startup Infineta has raised $15 million for its product that speeds traffic flows between data centers. Unlike many WAN-optimization products that speed traffic between user sites and a data center, Infineta targets data moving between data centers at up to 10 GbE speeds. Read more »

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Solar rooftops only work in specific environments — an area with enough sun, or a roof with the right tilt — and a company called Geostellar is using big data tools to help its solar installer customers deliver more solar in places where it actually makes economic sense. Read more »

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VirtualWorks, a Boca-Raton, Fla.-based startup from Citrix Systems founder Ed Iacobucci, has raised $8.5 million from Florida’s New World Angels investment group to tackle the problem of corporate data dispersed across servers, devices and clouds. It could also help with data portability between clouds. Read more »

chain

Big data startup MapR is now an official corporate contributor to the Apache Hadoop project, a somewhat interesting turn of affairs given its corporate mission to lure users away from Apache’s Hadoop Distributed File System. However, other companies commercializing Hadoop shoud follow its lead. Read more »

cash

The global economy continues to face uncertainty, but despite this, many technology companies have cash on hand and are opting to spend it on mergers and acquisitions. Here we examine some likely strategies from five different companies: IBM, Oracle, HP, Cisco and Hewlett-Packard. Read more »

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Raptr, a social network for gamers, is showing some interesting ways in which it’s using what it knows about its members to create tailored experiences that cut through a lot of noise. And it’s showing how social networking can evolve to be even more personal. Read more »

EMCelephant

San Jose, Calif.-based storage startup MapR, which provides a high-performance alternative for the Hadoop Distributed File System, will serve as the storage component for EMC’s forthcoming Greenplum HD Enterprise Edition Hadoop distribution. Cloudera announced an HDFS partnership of its own with compression expert RainStor. Read more »

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Randy Shoup, the architectural guru credited with scaling eBay, tweeted Monday evening that he has left the online auction giant to co-found a new consumer-focused e-commerce startup, Shopilly.com. He and another former eBay exec are keeping their plans under wraps for now. Read more »

EMCelephant

EMC is throwing its weight behind Hadoop. Today, at the EMC World, the storage giant announced a slew of Hadoop-centric products, including a specialized appliance for Hadoop-based big data analytics and two separate Hadoop distributions. EMC’s entry is going to shake-up the Hadoop market. Read more »

opera stack

Don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard of Opera Solutions. However, the analytics-as-a-service provider has been quietly building up its $100 million company since 2004 and, with big data on the tip of the IT world’s collective tongue, Opera is ready to start spreading the word. Read more »

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Data-integration specialist Syncsort is releasing two new Hadoop tools that it says will give Hadoop users a better, faster experience than they can achieve using Apache Hadoop alone. Unlike some other recent announcements, however, Syncsort is looking to improve Hadoop rather than replace aspects of it. Read more »

Find My iPhone

Chances are, there’s a lot of personal information and data stored on your iPhone or iPad. The last thing you want is someone finding your data and using it maliciously. You can encrypt your backup, but what about if someone gets hold of your actual device? Read more »

twitter-failwhale

A day after Twitter experienced its “CNN moment,” John Adams , the messaging service’s operations engineer, posted a nice slide show on how the company has scaled and the tools it uses. Entitled, “Talk Cloudy to Me” the slide show reviews old insights and offers new ones. Read more »

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