Big Data News – 21 Sep 2016

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Certain categories of consumers could be losing out because of insurers’ use of Big Data, the UK’s financial watchdog has found, even as it shied away from launching a full inquiry. The use of so-called Big Data — where information on consumer behaviour is gleaned from sources such as social media, customer loyalty cards or aggregator sites — by general insurers is “broadly positive” but the Financial Conduct Authority said it has the potential for some customers to find it harder to obtain insurance.

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Consultants like to warn CIOs that if they don't embrace modern technologies to meet customer demands that they will be left in the dust by more nimble rivals. Such sky-is-falling proclamations have been taken lightly because they've been difficult to back up. However, new research from Harvard Business School (HBS) suggests that a divide is forming between organizations that have accelerated their digital transformations and those that are still figuring out a working digital model.

Google this week debuted new search and natural-language-processing (NLP) features in its Drive cloud storage service. The key NLP features, which Google has invested in for many years, will be familiar to Google Search users. The search bar in Drive now shows suggestions and retrieves files based on commonly used phrases. NLP is a "fancy way of saying 'search like you talk,'" wrote Google Product Manager Josh Smith, in a blog post. "Drive will understand what you mean and give you the option to click for those specific search results."

Kaminario unfurls a cloud service that employs machine learning algorithms to identify precisely what I/O contention issues are arising.

Robots have considerable potential to make human lives better, but only if humans start doing some "big thinking" now about how to ensure that the effects of artificial intelligence are beneficial. That was the view of A.I. experts during a panel discussion on the topic Tuesday at the Heidelberg Laureate Forum in Germany. "We've got to take responsibility for the technology we create," said Noel Sharkey, an emeritus professor of A.I. and robotics at the University of Sheffield as well as chair of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control and cofounder of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics. "We've got to do some big thinking here."

Larry Ellison continued his assault on Amazon during his second keynote address at Oracle OpenWorld on Tuesday. "Amazon Web Services are simply not optimized for the Oracle Database. I'll go further than that: Amazon Web Services aren't optimized for their own databases either, as you will see," he said, while displaying a set of benchmarks that showed Oracle Database performing several times faster on Oracle's cloud than it does on Amazon's cloud. "It doesn't get better, it gets worse."

Does anyone even try to sell closed-source software anymore? It must be hard, when so many of the tools used to power the world's largest datacenters and build the likes of Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn have been planted on GitHub for everyone to use. Even Google's magic sauce, the software that knows what you will read or buy before you read or buy it, is now freely available to any ambitious developer with dreams of a smarter application. [ InfoWorld presents the Bossies 2016: The best open source applications.

Larry Ellison continued his assault on Amazon during his second keynote address at Oracle OpenWorld on Tuesday. "Amazon Web Services are simply not optimized for the Oracle Database. I'll go further than that: Amazon Web Services aren't optimized for their own databases either, as you will see," he said, while showing off a set of benchmarks that showed Oracle Database performing several times faster on Oracle's cloud than it does on Amazon's cloud. "It doesn't get better, it gets worse."

The Linux edition of the Data Science Virtual Machine on Microsoft Azure was recently upgraded. The Linux DSVM includes Microsoft R, Anaconda Python, Jupyter, CNTK and many other data science and machine learning tools, new or upgraded for this release. This eWeek story gives an overview of the improvements, but the highlights are: Microsoft R Server (developer edition) is now included. This includes the complete R distribution from CRAN, plus additional data-analysis functions with big-data capabilities, and the DeployR framework for integrating R into applications as a web service. (The developer edition is identical to the enterprise Microsoft R Server edition, but licensed for development/test use.).

The IIoT is the domain of industry, government and other realms, so it's not surprising that IIoT security is very important, complex and daunting.

A roundup of the second day at IBM Edge 2016.

A roundup of the second day at IBM Edge 2016.

In order to attract Gen Z talent, employers will need to take into account that this group of the workforce may expect a different set of benefits.

Larry Ellison made a splash this week when he said that Oracle would give Amazon a run for its money in the cloud. Then, the company outlined the pillar of the tech titan's infrastructure offering: beefy, bare-metal servers running in the cloud.  That's right: Oracle is going after a market that's full of virtualized workloads with servers that clock in with a whopping 36 physical CPU cores, according to Vice President of Engineering Don Johnson. Rather than starting from the low end of the infrastructure market and working its way up, Oracle is starting at the top and working its way down. 

November 29 & 30, Chicago Leaders must be intrinsically involved in their data analytics strategy so that they can exert managerial judgement, drive organizational change and deliver solutions to crucial business problems. But are you embracing analytics at the leadership level? Join the Predictive Analytics Innovation Summit today and benefit from the Early Bird pass to save $200, offer ending Friday, September 30th. Why Attend? Learn how to transform your predictive analytics into prescriptive analytics through our diverse, carefully curated two-track agenda with experts from Paypal, HSBC, Spotify and BMW Group to name a few.

Five ways enterprises can use email analytics augmented by machine learning to surface insights that can help them ward off risk and meet goals.

The IoT is leading many enterprises to confront key challenges before developers have had a chance to work them out.

Five common failures companies make when dealing with a data breach, as well as guidance for companies on how they can tackle these issues.

The Apache Hadoop project recently announced its 3.0.0-alpha1 release. Given the scope of a new major release, the Apache Hadoop community decided to release a series of alpha and beta releases leading up to 3.0.0 GA. This gives downstream applications and end users an opportunity to test and provide feedback on the changes, which can be incorporated during the alpha and beta process. The 3.0.0-alpha1 release incorporates thousands of new fixes, The post Getting to Know the Apache Hadoop 3 Alpha appeared first on Cloudera Engineering Blog.

Today's database landscape is made of database architectures that include everything from document databases to new classes of distributed databases.

For a few years now, Salesforce has had Virgin Atlantic as one of its more high-profile customer wins. Anything to do with the Virgin group and its charismatic founder Richard Branson is worth its weight in gold — especially for technology vendors wishing to explain just why they deliver what modern businesses need. So given that we are on the run up to Salesforce's mega conference, DreamForce, it was interesting to hear that SugarCRM, one of Salesforce's CRM rivals, is trumpeting its own Virgin customer win — this case Virgin Mobile USA who have selected SugarCRM to run its customer service and engagement initiatives.

Docker technology will help businesses compare distributions.

As a developer, you must deliver on your projects while staying up to speed on changes. That's a tough balance, considering how stretched you already on the job and how quickly the field is evolving. That's where IBM World of Watson enters the picture.

The founders of splice wanted to usher in a new era of music creation by using open source software to find and share music files.

As they compete in the modern business environment, companies are increasingly looking to sophisticated analytics and cognitive capabilities to help them gain an deep understanding of what matters to their clients. By knowing their customers well, organizations can provide targeted, personalized service that adds value and heightens customer loyalty. When they do, they can avoid churn while generating additional revenue models by creating meaningful cross-selling opportunities in a customer-centric world. Explore this ebook to discover a wide array of uses for client insights in banking and wealth management.

Take your analysis a step further New features extend IBM SPSS power Watch this on-demand webinar series to take deep dives into predictive extensions, big data algorithms and cognitive capabilities. Each webinar features detailed demonstrations of techniques that can help you achieve more insightful data analysis.  Expanding the possibilities: How to enhance IBM® SPSS® Statistics functionality with predictive extensions.

Worksoft unveils an extension to its analytics overlay for SAP environments that automates the business process discovery process.

IBM's success will be tied not only to how well it provides these tools to customers but how well it uses the tools itself.

Oracle is adding PHP development to its cloud platform, with plans to add other languages, including Ruby. Support for Oracle's open source MySQL database will be added as well. The Oracle Application Container Cloud service for building and scaling apps in the cloud is adding PHP support, including the PHP native runtime. Ruby is expected to be added in three to four months. The service also supports Java and Node.js.

Google took a shot at Facebook's chatbot-building services on Monday with its acquisition of, a company that helps developers build and improve conversational interfaces for their services. has more than 60,000 developers using its platform to create conversational user interfaces for apps like Slack, Facebook Messenger and Kik. Its tools make it easier for programs to parse human language and translate it into action. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The company offers a vast suite of capabilities for natural language understanding, including pre-defined knowledge packages known as Domains, which make it easier for assistants to understand a variety of common requests for any additional coding.

Health care organizations are increasingly open to the idea of using public cloud services, whether it be applications or infrastructure. But to do so requires thorough planning and vigilant execution of IT operations. + RELATED STORY: Why this hospital is moving to Amazon's cloud + Chris Bowen, founder and chief privacy and security officer for ClearDATA, a company that helps health care organizations use public cloud services, provides nine examples of controls that can be put in place.

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