Stories for Feb. 20, 2014

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In Brief

On Thursday, Facebook announced via a post on its engineering page that it has revamped the Thrift framework it built in 2006 (which has since become an Apache project) and is re-releasing it as open source code via GitHub under the fbthrift moniker. Thrift was created as a tool for helping build distributed applications that need to call different services written in different languages. Although it has been very useful, the post’s author explains, Facebook and other Thrift users ran into performance issues and feature deficiencies that have been resolved with fbthrift.

In Brief

NASA’s Curiosity rover drives over the rocky surface of Mars on aluminum wheels, which are becoming pockmarked with holes much faster than predicted. This week, NASA decided to go ahead and drive the rover backward for 329 feet; a technique developed during testing on Earth to better preserve the wheels. The agency also reassessed Curiosity’s route to Mount Sharp, where the rover is expected to find water-related minerals, to be easier on the aluminum.

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In Brief

Manoj Saxena, the former head of IBM’s Watson business unit has joined The Entrepreneur’s Fund, a Silicon Valley venture firm that makes early stage investments. There Saxena will lead investments in cognitive computing apps, especially those built on the Watson data analytics platform. We’ve covered the launch of cognition as a service and machine learning in multiple stories, and can’t wait to see those investments. Saxena will also act as advisor to IBM’s own Watson fund and co-invest with it.

Stories for Feb. 19, 2014
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