The weekend brought a spate of updates in the ongoing NSA saga. German media reported that Barack Obama had known about the tapping of Angela Merkel’s phone for years despite claiming he hadn’t, prompting fresh denials from Washington. Der Spiegel also published a detailed look at the American agency’s Berlin spying tactics.

Meanwhile El Mundo reported that the NSA had recorded phone call details of millions of Spaniards, and the Kyodo news agency said Japan had rebuffed U.S. requests in 2011 to tap fiberoptic cables going through Japan to China.

I apologize if I’m late to the game on this, but someone just tweeted me about Apache Tajo, a potentially interesting new SQL query engine for Hadoop. I’m not sure how much traction it can possibly gain given the glut of other options out there (take a look at this now extremely outdated roundup from February), but I guess more options are better for users, to a point. SK Telecom, a Korean carrier, is already a big fan. Also, some of Tajo’s contributors’ employers are kind of interesting.

Facebook has one of the largest, if not the largest, MySQL installations in the world, and has created a tool to keep that system online with as little human intervention as possible. It’s called MySQL Pool Scanner and, Facebook’s Shlomo Priymak wrote in a post on Monday describing it, it’s designed to automate “nearly everything a conventional MySQL Database Administrator (DBA) might do so that the cluster can almost run itself.” Not only does MPS handle availability but, Priymak noted, it also lets administrators do things such as copy the entire Facebook dataset with a single command.

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