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Building a Better (Google) Earth

Dec 16, 2014 |

About 10 years ago, the folks at Google finished indexing the Internet and turned their attention to indexing planet Earth. The resulting product, Google Earth, amazed nearly everybody who used it. But for individuals with geospatial backgrounds, the bubblegum and baling wire holding the product together signaled there had to be a better way. Andrew Rogers was one of the Google engineers who worked on the first iterations of Google Earth. He helped look for efficient ways to add “layers” Read more…

NoSQL Database Scales to New Heights

Dec 10, 2014 |

Distributed NoSQL databases were designed to scale beyond what relational databases can do. That’s nothing new. But when NoSQL database vendor FoundationDB today announced that latest version 3 database was clocked handling almost 15 million random writes per second, it makes you wonder just how much scalability we might need. The first two releases of the FoundationDB database, which is based on a key-value store engine, maxed out at about 400,000 random writes per second, according to FoundationDB co-founder and Read more…

Transforming PostgreSQL into a Distributed, Scale-Out Database

Dec 4, 2014 |

PostgreSQL users who were considering adopting a distributed NoSQL database like MongoDB or Cassandra to gain scalability benefits for big data may want to think twice about that approach following today’s launch of new software that allows PostgreSQL to scale out horizontally, just like the NoSQL databases do. PostgreSQL is one of the most popular relational databases, with millions of implementations over its 28-year history. Backers of the open source software have kept it relevant in the big data era Read more…

Why Kafka Should Run Natively on Hadoop

Dec 2, 2014 |

Apache Kafka has become an instrumental part of the big data stack at many organizations, particularly those looking to harness fast-moving data. But Kafka doesn’t run on Hadoop, which is becoming the de-facto standard for big data processing. Now a group of developers led by DataTorrent are addressing that concern with a new project called KOYA, or Kafka on YARN. Getting Kafka into Hadoop would seem to be a no-brainer. After all, the open source message broker software already plays Read more…

Hacking Your Way Onto the IoT

Nov 17, 2014 |

Elon “Ironman” Musk raised eyebrows recently when he said we are “summoning the demon” with artificial intelligence. While it’s debatable whether neural networks will give rise to evil spirits, a singularity of a different sort is clearly at hand when it comes to the Internet of Things, which is on the cusp of unleashing torrents of new data moving among consumers, devices, and device manufacturers. If you thought the data you have been dealing with was big, then you’re going Read more…

News In Brief

Google, Wireless Partner Look to Merge Cloud, IoT

Dec 2, 2014 |

Google Cloud Platform and Telit Wireless Solutions, an “enabler of the Internet of Things,” are joining forces to sponsor an IoT competition aimed at encouraging technology innovation around connected consumers and their devices. The IoT Big Data Challenge will encourage developers to submit new applications in business, consumer and “social well-being” categories. That third category includes new applications that would benefit society. The competition requires contestants to create web-based and mobile apps based on data from a wide variety of Read more…

NSA Releases Data Management Tool

Dec 1, 2014 |

The National Security Agency said it is expanding its open source portfolio by releasing the source code for software designed to manage data network interoperability. NSA said Nov. 25 it was releasing the open source tool, “Niagarafiles,” or “Nifi,” through the Apache Software Foundation. The spy agency said the release was the first in a series of open source software tools from its technology transfer program that shares agency-developed technologies with academia, industry and research organizations. The spy agency said Read more…

Seeing the Forest For the Trees With Analytics

Nov 20, 2014 |

Climate science, with its seemingly unlimited number of variables, is tailored-made for closer scrutiny using big data tools. With that notion in mind, researchers at the University of Alberta have begun using streaming analytics software provided by IBM to detect, visualize and—most important for meteorologists and climate scientists—predict in real-time subtle changes in the environment. Canadian and international researchers working with the University of Alberta’s Enviro-Net project are attempting to monitor the impact of climate change on the world’s forests Read more…

LinkedIn Spinoff Confluent to Extend Kafka

Nov 10, 2014 |

The LinkedIn team that built the Apache Kafka real-time messaging service has left to form a new company called Confluent. The startup said it would offer a “real-time data platform” built around Apache Kafka. Along with serving as a robust real-time, scalable messaging system, Kafka has been applied to collecting user activity data, logs, application metrics, even device instrumentation. Confluent’s chief focus appears to be supplying “high-volume data” as a “real-time stream for consumption in systems with very different requirements,” Read more…

Data Science Helps Troubleshoot the Datacenter

Oct 29, 2014 |

Data science is being enlisted to help troubleshoot scaled-up IT infrastructure. A data science platform unveiled this week by startup BigPanda seeks to use analytics to automate the increasingly complicated task of IT incident management. BigPanda said its platform analyzes the steady stream of daily IT alerts and essentially triages them into high-level alerts. The startup based in Mt. View, Calif., also announced a $7 million Series A funding round that will be used to accelerate data science product development. Read more…

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