Stories for Apr. 2, 2014

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In Brief

Nest has had fans in the U.K. since it launched, but on Wednesday the thermostat-maker (recently bought by Google), started selling a U.K.-specific version of its home temperature device. The U.K. Nest thermostat solves different problems than the U.S. and Canadian versions (home heating works differently across the pond) and the U.K. version is also much more likely to need an installer.

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Paul Maritz at Structure Data 2014. (© Photo by Jakub Mosur).
photo: Pivotal CEO Paul Maritz / Jakub Mosur

EMC-and-VMware spinoff Pivotal has reworked the pricing of its big data software in order to get more customers buying into its vision of a true data platform. It’s essentially giving away its Hadoop distribution and charging one price for access to all of its database software. Read more »

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In Brief

Apple appears to be continuing on its path to ever more vertical integration as Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported that the consumer electronics giant is in talks with Japan’s Renesas Electronics to take over a unit that supplies all of Apple’s iPhone liquid crystal displays. Displays aren’t only the “face” of the phone, they are also the largest consumer of battery power. With such IP in-house, I’m sure Apple’s engineers can not only create a reliable supply of these components, but also improve the most important customer-facing aspect of a phone or tablet. Apple is reportedly seeking to buy a 55 percent stake of Renesas SP Drivers, a joint venture Renesas has with Sharp and Powerchip.

Stories for Apr. 1, 2014

Many people seem to believe that the idea of “clickbait” or artificially viral content was invented by the internet or social media, but it has been around for centuries and was arguably perfected by newspapers — all the web has done is make it faster and more efficient Read more »

In Brief

Apache Tajo, a relational database warehouse system for Hadoop, has graduated to to-level status within the Apache Software Foundation. It might be easy to overlook Tajo because its creators, committers and users are largely based in Korea — and because there’s a whole lot of similar technologies, including one developed at Facebook — but the project could be a dark horse in the race for mass adoption. Among Tajo’s lead contributors are an engineer from LinkedIn and members of the Hortonworks technical team, which suggests those companies see some value in it even among the myriad other options.

In Brief

Beleaguered biofuel maker Kior has managed to close the financing it was hoping from investor Vinod Khosla, which will keep the company from temporarily defaulting on its loans and filing for bankruptcy. In a filing, Kior says it will be getting monthly installments of $5 million (via a note purchase agreement) for up to $25 million. This could keep Kior afloat for a few months, but the company will need to raise much more project financing to move toward commercialization again. Kior’s stock is up over 50 percent on the news to $0.90 per share in morning trading. Check out my recent piece on the story of Kior.

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As billions more devices get connected to the internet, there will be a huge infrastructure transformation on the backend. Cloud computing will play a major role in how the world takes advantage of that device-driven data explosion. Read more »

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