People Z

4 reasons why Spark could jolt Hadoop into hyperdrive

Apache Spark might push MapReduce to the back burner faster than some people might like, but it will also boost the Hadoop overall ecosystem. The project’s co-creator Matei Zaharia explains why Spark is so popular now and where it fits into the big data ecosystem.

Shop Hers takes a stab at high-end digital resale

For a site that’s only been live slightly more than a month, Shop Hers has acquired quite a list of notable investors in the venture to bring high-end fashion to women’s closets through re-sale, a goal CEO Jaclyn Shanfeld realized when other outlets failed her.

Amazon’s dead serious about the enterprise cloud

All the talk about big companies not wanting to put workloads on Amazon Web Services is hot air. The biggest companies already deploy workloads beyond test-and-dev on AWS. The question is: can AWS sustain that momentum as new options come online?

Kobo acquires French digital software company Aquafadas

E-reading company Kobo has acquired French digital software company Aquafadas in an effort to develop more digital illustrated content like comic books and magazines. Separately, the company announced new partnerships with New Zealand booksellers.

VenueSeen is working to crack the nut on Instagram advertising

Is Instagram the next best place for advertising? VenueSeen, a startup based in Columbus, OH, is aiming to crack the nut on marketing brands via Instagram, by taking advantage of the platform’s exclusive, organic nature and integrating brand engagement with user content.

Plagiarism, defamation and the power of hyperlinks

If Fareed Zakaria and Jonah Lehrer had spent more time linking to the original sources of content they used in their writing, they wouldn’t have faced accusations of plagiarism. Their cases and a recent defamation lawsuit against Gawker Media help reinforce the value of the hyperlink.

Naming your startup? Here are five things to remember

Zsa Zsa Gabor may not have been able to remember anyone’s names, but a great monicker can make a big difference to a startup. But how you do make sure you pick the right one? And how do you stop yourself wasting time choosing?

OneOps building development tools for the cloud generation

The lightweight mobile or web application is the computing product of our time: users demand access to key resources while on the move. But the intense pressure on mobile developers requires solid tools to get the job done, and that’s what OneOps hopes to deploy.

Russia’s Oleg Tinkoff plots a new $20m ad venture

Russian entrepreneur Oleg Tinkoff has started businesses in everything from online banking to beer. Now he’s turning his attention to the digital advertising market, with a new company backed by Goldman Sachs that hopes to cash in on the country’s rapid online growth.

5 questions with Readdle, which means business on the iPad

Igor Zhadanov, 27, is CEO of Ukraine-based Readdle, known for iPad and iPhone apps like PDF Expert and Scanner Pro. As Readdle is about to open its first U.S. office, we talked about staying independent, competing with larger companies, and the challenges of today’s App Store.

Readability ends publisher payment program

Readability, a web and mobile app that lets users save content to read later, is ending the publisher payment program it launched in February 2011. Surprisingly, many readers paid — but most publishers didn’t collect the funds.

CloudLock aims to bring PCI compliance to Google Drive

CloudLock, the Waltham, Mass.-based startup specializing in cloud security, says it’s bringing PCI compliance to Google Drive storage. The company’s new service scans files flowing into and out of Google Drive looking for personally identifiable information.

NBCU shakes up digital: Robert Hayes in, Vivi Zigler out

NBC entertainment president Robert Greenblatt recruits another one of his former Showtime underlings, Robert Hayes, to run digital operations. Under a re-structuring, digital — which had been under the watch of NBC Broadcasting chairman Ted Harbert — will now be Greenblatt’s purview.

This week in European events

Europe’s buzzing with small events this week, giving everyone plenty to sink their teeth into. Here’s our pick of three that you may find interesting or useful.

FreedomPop’s plan to become the anti-carrier

FreedomPop is even more ambitious than we had imagined. It’s not just giving away gobs of free data; it plans to create the carrier equivalent of Web startup and in the process turn 4G capacity into a currency that can be earned and traded.

TaskRabbit pushes collaborative consumption with a new web series

TaskRabbit is launching a series of video interviews with “founders, entrepreneurs, executives, journalists and consumers” who are authorities in the Collaborative Consumption space. The series, called Collaboratively Speaking, kicks off with a conversation between TaskRabbit founder Leah Busque and RelayRides founder Shelby Clark.

Kill Hollywood? You’re 100 years too late

Silicon Valley startups may be trying to free the entertainment industry from Hollywood’s death grip. But anyone who wants to kill Hollywood deserves a history lesson in its tenacious will to survive. Screenwriter Steven E. de Souza and CEO Sunil Rajaraman explain why. takes law firm management to cloud

The co-founders of L.A. law firm Zuber & Tailleau got fed up with pricey, bulky, inefficient practice management software: So they built their own cloud-based offering. They say brings document management, time-and-billing, eDiscovery functions to small law firms and in-house counsel affordably and securely.

R.I.P. Diaspora Co-Founder Ilya Zhitomirskiy

Ilya Zhitomirskiy, one of the co-founders of Diaspora, has passed away at the tender age of 21, according to a report on Techcrunch. No further details were available. Our hearts and prayers go to his family, friends and the Diaspora community.

Gamification goes to war in a bitter battle of ideas

The rise of gamification has become an increasing point of contention over the past year. Now it seems a spat between two leading figures has left the movement facing a divisive split. The controversy centers on a new book by Gabe Zichermann called Gamification by Design.

Electric car company Think rises from bankruptcy, again

Just how many times can a company emerge from the ashes of bankruptcy? For Norwegian electric car maker Think Automotive, it plans to rise from at least its third bankruptcy after announcing that Russian investor Boris Zingarevich has bought the assets of the company.

Skype’s Real P2P Network

Skype, the web’s telephone and video chat pioneer, has seen a lot since its inception eight years ago. But it’s real legacy is its people. The well-connected network of alums reads like a Silicon Valley who’s who.

Ad Targeter eXelate Promotes Zagorski To CEO

Just a week after securing an add-on investment to its second round funding, behavioral ad targeting marketplace eXelate is promoting Chief…

Another Problem for Carbon Storage: Earthquakes

In addition to the high price and the incredibly slow pace of R&D, the technology for capturing and sequestering carbon emissions from power plants is facing another potential hiccup: earthquakes. That’s according to Stanford geophysicist Mark Zoback.

Farewell to Two Leaders of the Green Stimulus

Now that the DOE is almost done with doling out billions of dollars in stimulus funds for energy tech, it’s losing some of the key people that were in charge of overseeing the flow of funds: the DOE’s Senior Advisor Matt Rogers and Undersecretary Kristina Johnson.

Another EngineYard Co-Founder Leaves The Company

Ezra Zygmuntowicz, one of the four co-founders of EngineYard, a Ruby-on-Rails focused platform as a service has left the company. A well known authority in the Rails world, Zygmuntowicz is moving to Portland and will be working on a brand new company.

Zittrain: Beware the Rise of Closed Platforms

Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain, who spoke at the Supernova Conference in San Francisco today, worries that the cloud computing model gives too much control to platforms, which must be trusted to do good.

Nortel CEO Quits

Nortel Networks, the bankrupt telecom equipment maker that is in the process of dismembering itself and selling off its pieces, says President…