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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.

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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.

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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.

data exhaustion

Making sense of big data can be hard enough without spending untold hours having to write code or manually clean datasets that simply won’t work with existing BI tools. Trifacta is trying to automate that process with a new software product it announced on Tuesday. Read more »

In Brief

Cloud backup provider Backblaze has moved into a new data center in Sacramento capable of storing 500 petabytes, or half an exabyte, of data. It’s not full yet (the company was storing 75 petabytes as of November), but the pace is picking up and it probably will be sooner than some might expect. The crazy part is that Backblaze isn’t even that big a company or that widely used a service. Facebook alone is building enough capacity to house 3 exabytes of data in each of its 3 cold storage facilities. Sometimes, I can’t help but think that we’re just digitally hoarding.

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