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Is Big Data the Next Big Civil Rights Issue?

Sep 19, 2014 |

There’s no doubt that the big data phenomenon is having a major impact on our lives. Algorithms are affecting what we buy, who we date, and how we work and play. But big data also takes a toll, including a loss of personal privacy and an increased risk of becoming victims of discrimination or unscrupulous vendors. Do these concerns make big data a civil rights issue? One group argues that it most definitely does. In a new report entitled “Civil Read more…

Tape Gets Second Wind as Big Data Mounts

Sep 16, 2014 |

Think tape is dead in our big data world? Think again. This week, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) announced that it bought 20PB of tape capacity to expand the world’s biggest data archive. Meanwhile, the LTO Program has plotted out a roadmap for the next decade that will eventually see a single LTO tape cartridge storing 120 TB of data. While tape is looked down upon in our speed-obsessed culture, the old standby has proven its relevance in Read more…

What’s Driving the Explosion of Government Data?

Sep 11, 2014 |

Most people already know that the world produces massive amounts of data every day, and government organizations are a huge source of that data. For instance, it is estimated that next year the Department of Energy will create 300 terabytes of data per day from analyzing light sources, and by 2020, the department will create 15 petabytes of data per year analyzing high-energy physics. That’s a lot of data. But where does all this data come from? The amount of Read more…

Charting Safe Passages Through the Urban Jungle with Big Data

Sep 5, 2014 |

When you visit a big American city for the first time, you probably wonder where it’s safe to go, and what areas it would be best to avoid. Wouldn’t it be great to have an app that advised you? Researchers recently demonstrated the viability of using big public data and innovative algorithms to recommend the safest, shortest passages through the city. Three researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Boston University recently published a paper titled “Safe Navigation in Urban Read more…

DataStax Nabs $106 Million, Sets Sites on International Expansion

Sep 4, 2014 |

DataStax, the company behind the NoSQL database Apache Cassandra, today announced it has brought in $106 million in new financing, bringing its total financing figure to $190 million. Much of the Series E round will go toward expanding DataStax’s international presence, particularly in Asia, company executives say. “Things are definitely good,” Matt Pfeil, co-founder and chief customer officer at DataStax, told Datanami in an interview this week. “We’ve got over 25 percent of the Fortune 100 as customers, and more Read more…

News In Brief

U.S. Cracking Down on Data Brokers

Sep 22, 2014 |

The U.S. is stepping scrutiny of big data companies that regulators increasing view as “stewards of information detailing nearly every facet of consumers’ lives.” The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been leading the charge with tougher enforcement of consumer protection laws. Earlier this year, it reached settlements with two data brokers for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The web site Instant Checkmate and InfoTrack Information Services both agreed to pay civil fines and permanent injunctions against continuing Read more…

Concerns About Big Data Abuses Grow

Sep 18, 2014 |

The tension between the rise of big data and concerns over privacy and fairness continues to mount as federal regulators convened this week to ponder whether big data is a “tool for inclusion or exclusion.” That was the title of a Sept. 15 Federal Trade Commission workshop examining the impact of big data on U.S. consumers, particularly the poor and underserved. “A growing number of companies are increasingly using big data analytics techniques to categorize consumers and make predictions about Read more…

LA Data: Cities Ponder Responsible Use of Big Data

Sep 12, 2014 |

Given its traffic, sprawl and glitz, Los Angeles has to be one of the great data-generating cities on Earth. In response, Mayor Eric Garcetti has appointed the City of Angels’ first “chief data officer” tasked with overseeing its new open data portal. Ex-Google strategist Abhi Nemani, the city’s new data czar, will work with municipal agencies to collect and analyze data ranging from crime to building inspections to air quality. Nemani assumed his new post on Sept. 2 and works Read more…

Big Data Gets Green Light for Traffic Management

Sep 2, 2014 |

Traffic management in the United States often focuses on maximizing limited capacity. For example, a truck breaks down in the center lane during the morning rush hour. For the drivers behind the broken down truck, traffic capacity on a three-lane expressway just dropped by at least one-third. It is unlikely that traffic capacity will increase in the United States since most jurisdictions are having a hard time finding the money to maintain existing roads, bridges and tunnels. Adding signaling smarts Read more…

U.S. Enlists Big Data to Fight Securities Fraud

Aug 19, 2014 |

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) moved to reform its enforcement practices after missing the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme and other financial fraud by creating an Office of Market Intelligence in 2010. The office was intended to make use of new intelligence tools like big data analysis to improve securities enforcement. So far, the results of the SEC efforts have been mixed, according to the author of a recent law review article focusing on how the office has leveraged Read more…

This Just In

ICMA and SAS Launch Performance Analytics Tools

Sep 15, 2014 |

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 15 — ICMA today unveiled ICMA Insights, a new performance management and analytics solution for local governments. Developed by ICMA and its members in partnership with SAS, a leading analytics software developer, ICMA Insights helps communities synthesize data they collect across the services they provide—such as police, fire, trash collection, building permits—to track performance metrics and drive improvements in service delivery. ICMA Insights also offers communities the ability to compare their performance data to other participating jurisdictions using a Read more…

Former CMU Computer Science Dean Assisting in White House Policy Office

Aug 21, 2014 |

PITTSBURGH, Penn., Aug. 21 — Randal E. Bryant, who finished a decade of service as dean of Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science on June 30, has begun a temporary assignment in the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to provide analysis and advice on Big Data. Bryant, who is on sabbatical from his position as University Professor of Computer Science, expects to spend 10-12 months in the OSTP’s Technology and Innovation Division, where he is working as an Read more…

SGI Announces Partnership with GIS Federal and NVIDIA

Apr 16, 2014 |

SGI, the trusted leader in high performance computing and Big Data, today announced a partnership with GIS Federal, a supplier of high performing innovative solutions for big data, cloud computing and intuitive tools across all intelligence disciplines and NVIDIA, a pioneer in digital computing. The partnership will power a GAIA distributed database for the United States Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), to rapidly render complicated geospatial features and heat maps, providing real-time actionable insights with the goal of saving lives during military operations.

L-3 Acquires Data Tactics

Mar 5, 2014 |

L-3 Communications announced effective today that it has acquired Data Tactics Corporation. The business, renamed L-3 Data Tactics, is a specialized provider of Big Data analytics and cloud computing solution services, primarily to the U.S. Department of Defense. Headquartered in McLean, Va., Data Tactics employs approximately 200 people, including more than 150 data scientists, engineers, architects and developers, most of whom possess U.S. government security clearances. Its highly tailored solutions are used by the U.S. military and government agencies, including public safety and law enforcement organizations. The business is expected to generate sales of approximately $50 million for the year ending December 31, 2014.

Brookhaven Receives $3.4M Grant to Develop Big Data Computing Tools

Feb 20, 2014 |

The Russian Ministry of Education and Science has awarded a $3.4 million “mega-grant” to Alexei Klimentov, Physics Applications Software Group Leader at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, to develop new “big data” computing tools for the advancement of science.