Big Data News – 22 Apr 2016

Today's Infographic Link: Great Big List of Infographic Ideas

AI may have trounced humanity in the ancient game of Go, but it remains untested in countless other gaming arenas. Case in point: Doom, which, it turns out, will be the technology's next big challenge. Launched in 1993, Doom is widely considered a landmark title in the video-game industry for popularizing the first-person shooter genre. Now, artificial-intelligence researchers will have a chance to pit their creations against others in a contest based on the game at the IEEE Computational Intelligence and Games conference in September.

Learn how wealth management firms can personalize asset allocation with an eye toward reflecting their clients' ambitions and concerns, as well as their investment horizons.

Improving the delivery of services to citizens has been one of the driving goals of government IT reform, in particular as consumers seek out more services through agency websites or applications. At the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS), a unit of the Department of Homeland Security, CIO Mark Schwartz is helping lead an overhaul of the way the agency approaches software and application development [ Related: Government wants to increase IT spending 13% in proposed budget ]

Microsoft R Open 3.2.4, Microsoft's enhanced distribution of R, is now available for download from mran.microsoft.com. This update is based on R 3.2.4-revised, and includes several improvements and some minor bug fixes from the R Core Group. Improvements include long-vector support for the smooth function, a new stringsAsFactors options when using rbind with data frames, and better rounding from the summary function in the presence of some infinite values. This release uses a CRAN snapshot taken on April 1, 2016 as the default package repository.

Our thanks to Don Drake (@dondrake), an independent technology consultant who is currently working at Allstate Insurance, for the guest post below about his experiences comparing use of the Apache Avro and Apache Parquet file formats with Apache Spark. Over the last few months, numerous hallway conversations, informal discussions, and meetings have occurred at Allstate about the relative merits of different file formats for data stored in Apache Hadoop–including CSV, The post Benchmarking Apache Parquet: The Allstate Experience appeared first on Cloudera Engineering Blog.

Although vendor-written, this contributed piece does not promote a product or service and has been edited and approved by Network World editors. A recent report by RightScale says 71% of companies surveyed have adopted hybrid cloud, up from 58% year-over-year, but concern over cloud costs has risen to 26% from 18% three years ago. If you're struggling to gain control over your cloud cost accounting, there's no time like the present to address it. Solving this issue isn't necessarily difficult when it's tackled early, but left to languish the amount of support and technical debt you incur can become insurmountable.

This vendor-written tech primer has been edited by Network World to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favor the submitter's approach. Cloud computing has dramatically improved scalability, accessibility and flexibility, but low costs and on-demand availability can result in the misue of cloud assets, either inadvertently or because of improper controls. What's needed is an intelligent automation solution that can automatically spin up and down resources. But before we discuss automated options, let's more closely examine the challenges of cloud resource management.

This vendor-written tech primer has been edited by Network World to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favor the submitter's approach. In the early days of cloud computing you could pick a provider by the development environment or application you were implementing and didn't have to worry much about integration with other systems. But as the number of cloud resources grows, so does the need to simplify management and integration across different implementations, often times across different clouds. Several recent studies show the majority of companies are already running multiple clouds and they are expecting to have even more going forward.

With Intel looking to lock in on the next big thing and cloud continuing to grow in importance, it makes sense for the chip maker to seize on cloud computing as a way to transform itself. That's the word coming from industry analysts after Intel this week announced it will lay off 12,000 employees — or 11% of its global workforce — as it shifts focus from its traditional PC business to the Internet of Things (IoT) and the cloud. With PCs seen as yesterday's tech trend, Intel is betting its future on the growth of the cloud, which stores everything from music to corporate records and powers enterprise apps and billions of smart, connected devices.

The open source Hadoop framework accommodates distributed storage and processing of large data sets on clusters of computers through the use of programming models. If that description sounds complex, then dig into this breakdown of Hadoop components to gain an understanding of just how flexible this framework is for performing big data analytics.

Analysis: We know that cybercrime pays and if it only takes a laptop and a web connection to threaten an entire country — what can the cybersecurity sector do about it. We speak with one expert who says we're not even at the races yet.

Every business is at a different stage in their technology evolution. For some, they're just starting to see that the break-fix relationship with their provider isn't serving them properly. For others, they have a fully integrated technology strategy, but need a way to take it to the next level. So often we discuss topics that involve technology innovation without paying as much attention to topics that cater to the initial stages of businesses improving technology.

Encryption is becoming more and more a part of our personal and professional lives. One could even argue that we can't live without it.

In anticipation of her upcoming conference co-presentation, Utilizing Advanced Analytics to Generate Insights at Predictive Analytics World Chicago, June 20-23, 2016, we asked Alice Chung, Senior Manager at Genentech, a few questions about her work in predictive analytics. Q: In your work with predictive analytics, what behavior or outcome do your models predict? A: We are trying… The post Wise Practitioner – Predictive Analytics Interview Series: Alice Chung at Genentech appeared first on Predictive Analytics Times.

Amazon Web Services unveiled a security inspection and data transfer acceleration service, along with two new EBS options, at AWS Summit.

Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia is proving to be quite the albatross. The company has stepped away from focusing on phones, and its handset sales revenue fell by almost half in the first quarter. Microsoft sold only 2.3 million Lumia phones during the quarter, 73 percent fewer units compared with the first quarter of 2015. That meant Lumia handset revenue fell 46 percent; this dragged down the company's overall device revenue despite major gains in its Surface business.

It's one thing to keep robots from crashing into fixed obstacles like walls or furniture, but preventing collisions with other moving things is a much tougher challenge. Targeting teams of robots working together, MIT on Thursday announced a new algorithm that helps robots avoid moving objects. Planning algorithms for robot teams can be centralized, in which a single computer makes decisions for the whole team, or decentralized, in which each robot makes its own decisions.

Every decade or so, a new era of computing comes along that shapes everything we do. Much of the 90s was about client-server and Windows PCs. By the aughts, the Web had taken over and every advertisement carried a URL. Then came the iPhone, and we're in the midst of a decade defined by people tapping myopically into tiny screens. So what comes next, when mobile gives way to something else? Mark Zuckerberg thinks it's VR. There's likely to be a lot of that, but there's a more foundational technology that makes VR possible and permeates other areas besides.

Every decade or so, a new era of computing comes along that shapes everything we do. Much of the 90s was about client-server and Windows PCs. By the aughts, the Web had taken over and every advertisement carried a URL. Then came the iPhone, and we're in the midst of a decade defined by people tapping myopically into tiny screens. So what comes next, when mobile gives way to something else? Mark Zuckerberg thinks it's VR. There's likely to be a lot of that, but there's a more foundational technology that makes VR possible and permeates other areas besides.

Today's consumers tend to be constantly connected, digitally savvy, convenience-loving and price-sensitive. This is true for all industries and is changing the ways banks are doing business. To keep a customer, banks need to find ways to optimize each interaction and they are able to do this with IBM Customer Insight for Banking.

Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia is proving to be quite the albatross around the company's neck. The company has stepped away from focusing on phones, and its handset sales revenue fell by almost half in the first quarter. Microsoft sold only 2.3 million Lumia phones during the quarter, 73 percent fewer units compared with the first quarter of 2015. That meant Lumia handset revenue fell 46 percent. This dragged down the company's overall device revenue despite major gains in its Surface business.

To date, social media data anaytics have mostly been used to help marketers refine their pitches as they get a sense of how they are perceived by the public. When properly processed and analyzed, the data can also lead to a wealth of insights to influence future curriciulums and lesson plans.

Patent trolls are a big enough problem that they've attracted the attention of the White House, but there's little consensus on how to stop them. A new tool from artist and engineer Alexander Reben looks to algorithms for help. Patent trolls are companies that buy up patents with the primary goal of pursuing infringement claims in court, while doing little or no technology development of their own. The practice has been a particularly big problem in the world of software, but Reben — a graduate of the MIT Media Lab — has developed a system he thinks could help.

Apache Spark not only excels at data warehousing, in-memory environments for building data marts and other functions, it also is well suited for pulling data from a wide range of sources and transforming and cleansing that data in an Apache Hadoop cluster. And then there is Spark's complementary role in cloud data services. See how Spark's versatility enables data science professionals to spend more time on delivery and innovation while empowering organizations with keen insights for business value delivery.

With all of those in mind, few technologies qualify as 'future-proof' the way that cloud file sharing and collaboration does. And, it meets the needs of end-users, enterprises, and customers all at once–a rare principle of thirds we couldn't have predicted back in the day.

Analysis: Amid the challenge to meet regulations comes an opportunity to create jobs.

by Joseph Rickert R/Finance 2016 is less than a month away and, as always, I am very much looking forward to it. In past years, I have elaborated on what puts it among my favorite conferences even though I am not a finance guy. R/Finance is small, single track and intense with almost no fluff. And scattered among the esoterica of finance and trading there has, so far, always been a rich mix of mathematics, time series applications, R programming, stimulating conversation and attitude. When it comes down to it, it's the people, the organizers and participants who make a conference.

With unmanned aerial vehicles (i.e., drones) here to stay, entrepreneurs are pouncing on the opportunity to safeguard people from having these flying machines drop in unexpectedly and venture capitalists are buying in. SkySafe, a San Diego startup formed last year by a team from MIT, UC San Diego, the Air Force Research Lab and more, says its goal is "to build safe, secure airspaces as a new wild west of drone development and innovation emerges." The company this week announced it has raised seed funding, said to total $3 million, in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz. SkySafe's possible customers would include prisons, stadiums and airports looking to keep their airspace safe by, if need be, downing intrusive drones after spotting them.

The idea of doing anything without logging in, clicking or texting something or someone is almost unthinkable. Everything we do leaves a trail of electronic fingerprints. Companies big and small are using these pieces of data to piece together the puzzle of who we are, and how we interact with the world around us.

At the Amazon Summit in Chicago, the CTO of GE Oil & Gas said his unit is exploring ways to better understand and save with the AWS platform.

Technology industry shenanigans are always fun to watch — or at least fun if you haven't got tens of millions of dollars resting on the outcomes of some complex and political positioning. Such is the case in the broader quote-to-cash space. This space, a seemingly humdrum area, essentially covers all of the stuff an organization needs to do in order to make an offer to a customer, package and price that offer, bill the customer, and finally accept and recognize payment for the product or service sold.

Small devices such as iPhones and iPads can't handle big data, but they can help you gain big data skills, access cloud-based data, and leverage that cloud-based data for insights. Here are 10 iOS data-centric apps for hardcore dataphiles.

There is no denying that data is everywhere and there is a lot of it. Smartphones and other mobile devices are enabling companies to communicate directly with their customers and provide highly customized insights and services. Not only are the amounts of data increasing dramatically, but new types of data are being created at an accelerating rate. Much of this data is different both in structure and in substance, and it cannot easily be arranged into tables or transformed in a reasonable amount of time.

List: IoT, 5G, cloud, big data and cybersecurity key to place Europe at helm of global digitalisation.

Please join Hortonworks for the GENIVI Demonstration Showcase event on 27 April in Paris, France. The showcase will be all about Connected Data Platforms for Connected Cars and will run from 5:00pm to 8:30pm, hosted by Grant Bodley, GM Global Automotive & Manufacturing Solutions at Hortonworks. You can register here. Be sure to visit Hortonworks… The post GENIVI Demonstration Showcase: Connected Data Platforms for Connected Vehicles Subtitle: Join us for this April 27th event in Paris, France appeared first on Hortonworks.

The message from the cloud has always been simple: Surrender your cares, IT managers, and we'll handle everything. Forget about skinning your knuckles installing servers, double-checking diesel backups or fretting about 1,000 or 10,000 things that could go wrong. Give us a credit card number and your data. We'll do the rest. There are options for the teams doing data analytics. Microsoft offers a number of big data crunching services that are integrated with the Azure cloud. Once you upload your data, the algorithms are ready to go. You push a few buttons and fancy graphs and deep insights pour out.

You might think literary criticism is no place for statistical analysis, but given digital versions of the text you can, for example, use sentiment analysis to infer the dramatic arc of an Oscar Wilde novel. Now you can apply similar techniques to the works of Jane Austen thanks to Julia Silge's R package janeaustenr (available on CRAN). The package includes the full text the 6 Austen novels, including Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. With the novels' text in hand, Julia then applied Bing sentiment analysis (as implemented in R's syuzhet package), shown here with annotations marking the major dramatic turns in the book: There's quite a lot of noise in that chart, so Julia took the elegant step of using a low-pass fourier transform to smooth the sentiment for all six novels…

There are two fascinating and completely contradictory trends going on in the infrastructure space. On the one hand, we have the rise of so called "server-less infrastructures," the event-driven approach, first introduced by Amazon Web Services with its Lambda offering and since emulated by a number of public cloud providers (Google, IBM and Amazon for a start) as well as a number of initiatives. The idea of these event-driven approaches is that processes sit idle, essentially doing nothing until a particular event occurs, at which time a process kicks off.

Skype users on Apple's Mac machines and the Web can now interact with bots from Microsoft.

The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently announced a bold move to accelerate the Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) program, news that I have been waiting on for a long time. To provide a bit of background, CPC is a practice and payment model that rewards primary care physicians — through an additional fixed monthly payment — for taking care of patients in a proactive way instead of waiting for patients to show up at their clinics or hospitals. CMS initially rolled out CPC as a limited experiment through its innovation center.

Green practices in the construction industry are producing smart buildings that offer tremendous levels of energy efficiency. Take a look at three building projects that apply Internet of Things technology to help significantly reduce energy consumption in smart buildings that showcase going green with ease.

Synergy Research assessed the growth of SaaS in 2015, and found it more mature than other cloud services — and ready for an even greater takeoff. In addition, the report showed Microsoft may be one company poised for significant growth.

Introduction The community recently announced the release of Apache Storm 1.0.0 Stable. This is a significant release that delivers several features that pertain to enterprise readiness, operational simplicity and ease of use by dramatically enhancing areas around performance, scalability, debug-abilty and manageability. Highlights Here are some of the highlights of features introduced in Storm 1.0… The post Announcing Apache Storm 1.0.0 appeared first on Hortonworks.

Using Apache Impala (incubating) on top of Apache Kudu (incubating) has significant performance benefits Apache Kudu (incubating) is the newest addition to the set of storage engines that integrate with the Apache Hadoop ecosystem. The promise of Kudu is to deliver high-scan performance, targeting analytical workloads, while allowing users to concurrently insert, update, and delete records. With these properties, Kudu becomes a viable alternative to existing combinations of HDFS and/or Apache HBase to achieve similar results with less complicated ETL pipelines, The post How-to: Use Impala and Kudu Together for Analytic Workloads appeared first on Cloudera Engineering Blog.

World Programming, a producer of analytics and data science software, has released a free edition of its WPS analytics software for individual home use to hone data science skills or simply do a big data project on your own. Sure, students can use this to get started in data science and programming in the SAS language, but full-fledged data scientists can use it to hone their skills too.

There are seven topic-specific challenges in this international competition to find commercial uses for Earth observation data gathered in space. And the partners behind this competition are prepared to reward winners well. "Along with cash prizes, the winners will receive access to a leading international network, corresponding data, startup funding, and other support valued at more than EUR 300,000 in total."

Implementing advanced analytics practices in the government sector can be particularly challenging because of infrastructure and software, security, agility and internal human obstacles. But there is a way to bring the community closer to analytics-driven government and to leave behind the frustrations of lagging government data systems.

The independent, non-partisan think tank Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) commissioned global research company Ipsos to discover what citizens around the world think of data privacy. The results were released at the United Nations Conference on Trade & Development E-Commerce Week in Geneva yesterday. One staggering insight from that study: 83 percent of citizens across 24 countries want formal protections to ensure personal data privacy.

87 million sensitive and private records were exposed in federal breaches so far, according to Iron Bow, which provided the infographic of federal IT headaches below. Take a look and see how your organization's IT problems compare.

Over 60 leading companies – including Accenture, Cisco, Equinix, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Microsoft – partnered with Mesosphere on the beta release of its new datacenter operating system referred to only as DC/OS. The open source platform is for container-based datacenters and offers "single-click, app-store-like installation of 20+ complex distributed systems (called DC/OS "services"), including HDFS, Apache Spark, Apache Kafka and Apache Cassandra."

Tune in to hear IBM's Larry Weber explain how cloud data services provide fertile ground for adoption of open source technology, allowing companies to take full advantage of their cloud capabilities.

Big Data is allowing us to zoom closer into the personal lives of consumers. Just how close does advanced data science put us to the singularity?

In anticipation of his upcoming Predictive Analytics World for Manufacturing conference presentation, Manufacturing Analytics at Scale: Data Mining and Machine Learning inside Bosch, we interviewed Carlos Cunha, Senior Data Scientist at Robert Bosch, LLC. View the Q-and-A below to see how Carlos Cunha has incorporated predictive analytics into manufacturing at Robert Bosch, LLC. Also, glimpse what's in store…

A Google 'Safe Browsing' report says Google.com is 'partially dangerous.' Yes, yes, hilarious fail, but there is a serious side to the story. [Developing story: Updated 5:35 am PT with Google's advice] Obviously, it's caused countless ironic jokes at Google's expense. But in a sense, its report is actually correct — there is a lot of risky stuff on Google's user-generated-content properties. Blogspot, Groups, Drive, Sites… even Google Plus (although that's a ghost town, natch). It's a hot mess. Here's the thing: When users get used to spurious warnings popping up, they quickly ignore them. That's well documented. Nope, the sky isn't falling, so how can we best protect users from the nastier corners of the Web?

Outsourcing, cloud services and financial pressure are constant realities for IT leaders. Shared data centers and cloud service providers are often a good choice. If the organization's IT demands are difficult to predict or highly variable, building additional data centers make little sense. Despite the cloud trend, managing internal data centers effectively remains an important IT responsibility. Cost optimization, vendor management and creative ways to add value are all in play for data center managers in 2016. Meeting increased demands for data center services Industry surveys suggest that data centers are under increasing pressure to deliver results. Consider the following findings from AFCOM's 2015 State of the Data Center Survey. Gathering information from over 250 leaders, the findings provide a useful snapshot of opportunities and priorities for data center management.

Amazon Web Services is going retro to help companies deal with big data workloads. The cloud provider announced Tuesday it's launching two new volume types for its Elastic Block Store service that are powered by traditional, spinning disk hard drives. The new Throughput-Optimized HDD and Cold HDD EBS volume types let companies store files cheaply in a way that's still useful for big data workloads like MapReduce and Kafka. The Throughput-Optimized service is aimed at apps that use data frequently, while the Cold HDD service is built for applications that reference items less frequently.

Amazon Web Services is going retro to help companies deal with big data workloads. The cloud provider announced Tuesday it's launching two new volume types for its Elastic Block Store service that are powered by traditional, spinning disk hard drives. The new Throughput-Optimized HDD and Cold HDD EBS volume types let companies store files cheaply in a way that's still useful for big data workloads like MapReduce and Kafka. The Throughput-Optimized service is aimed at apps that use data frequently, while the Cold HDD service is built for applications that reference items less frequently.

A new Amazon cloud service announced Tuesday could help companies with legacy applications have an easier time taking the leap to the cloud. Amazon Web Services General Manager Matt Wood announced the new Application Discovery Service, which will allow companies to easily analyze legacy applications running on their data centers. It will help companies start the migration of their application data up to the cloud, and then work with one of Amazon's partners to get their applications running in AWS. The service lets users identify their applications and the infrastructure dependencies of those applications and then measure a performance baseline of those applications operating on-premises before companies consider moving them to the cloud.

A Google 'Safe Browsing' report said Google.com was 'partially dangerous' for more than 24 hours. Yeah, yeah, hilarious fail, but there is a serious side to the story. [Developing story: Updated 5:35 am PT with Google's advice, and 1:24 pm PT with some good news] It took longer than a day to fix, but the warning is now gone. Obviously, it's caused countless ironic jokes at Google's expense. But in a sense, its report is actually correct — there is a lot of risky stuff on Google's user-generated-content properties. Blogspot, Groups, Drive, Sites… even Google Plus (although that's a ghost town, natch). It's a hot mess.




A Google 'Safe Browsing' report says Google.com is 'partially dangerous.' Yes, yes, hilarious fail, but there is a serious side to the story. [Developing story: Updated 5:35 am PT with Google's advice] Obviously, it's caused countless ironic jokes at Google's expense. But in a sense, its report is actually correct — there is a lot of risky stuff on Google's user-generated-content properties. Blogspot, Groups, Drive, Sites… even Google Plus (although that's a ghost town, natch). It's a hot mess. Here's the thing: When users get used to spurious warnings popping up, they quickly ignore them. That's well documented. Nope, the sky isn't falling, so how can we best protect users from the nastier corners of the Web?

A Google 'Safe Browsing' report said Google.com was 'partially dangerous' for more than 24 hours. Yeah, yeah, hilarious fail, but there is a serious side to the story. [Developing story: Updated 5:35 am PT with Google's advice, and 1:24 pm PT with some good news] It took longer than a day to fix, but the warning is now gone. Obviously, it's caused countless ironic jokes at Google's expense. But in a sense, its report is actually correct — there is a lot of risky stuff on Google's user-generated-content properties. Blogspot, Groups, Drive, Sites… even Google Plus (although that's a ghost town, natch). It's a hot mess.

Rapid technological advancement has led to a significant growth of demand for highly skilled workers, which is resulting in expansion of the skills gap across industries. Businesses have to leverage the commercial benefits of data-driven decisions in this area to bridge the gap and stay competitive.

Many programs encourage owners of homes and other buildings to improve their energy efficiency, sometimes offering substantial subsidies or tax incentives for doing so. Now, planners may have a way to determine where such programs can get the most return for that investment: New research shows how to identify the buildings where retrofitting for energy efficiency will have the biggest impact on a city's overall greenhouse gas emissions.

Amazon Web Services is going retro to help companies deal with big data workloads. The cloud provider announced Tuesday it's launching two new volume types for its Elastic Block Store service that are powered by traditional, spinning disk hard drives. The new Throughput-Optimized HDD and Cold HDD EBS volume types let companies store files cheaply in a way that's still useful for big data workloads like MapReduce and Kafka. the Throughput-Optimized service is aimed at frequent use cases, while the Cold HDD service is built for those same uses, but for applications that reference the items stored less frequently. To get all of that data into AWS, customers can now call on a new 80TB Snowball storage appliance. That joins the existing 50TB Snowball, which was already available for users to order from AWS and get delivered to their data center for data transfer. Using the Snowball, users can ship their data securely from on-premises servers to Amazon's.

Amazon Web Services is going retro to help companies deal with big data workloads. The cloud provider announced Tuesday it's launching two new volume types for its Elastic Block Store service that are powered by traditional, spinning disk hard drives. The new Throughput-Optimized HDD and Cold HDD EBS volume types let companies store files cheaply in a way that's still useful for big data workloads like MapReduce and Kafka. the Throughput-Optimized service is aimed at frequent use cases, while the Cold HDD service is built for those same uses, but for applications that reference the items stored less frequently. To get all of that data into AWS, customers can now call on a new 80TB Snowball storage appliance. That joins the existing 50TB Snowball, which was already available for users to order from AWS and get delivered to their data center for data transfer. Using the Snowball, users can ship their data securely from on-premises servers to Amazon's.

When Oracle acquired Ravello a few months ago, there was general acceptance of the deal as a way for Oracle to help existing and new customers move from traditional infrastructure onto its own cloud offering. After all, Ravello's raison d'etre was to help users create encapsulated applications such that they could more readily be moved from place to place. Many analysts thought the acquisition was a tacit acceptance by Oracle that "this cloud thing" actually has legs. So it is somewhat ironic to receive a pitch from CloudVelox all about how it helped an organization move OFF Oracle's stack and into the world of Amazon Web Services (AWS).

IBM has moved, in the past few years, beyond its more traditional hardware and service offerings and has branched out into a number of different areas. It acquired The Weather Company to fuel its Watson big data platform with screeds of data, it acquired SoftLayer to deliver a meaningful public cloud platform and it even decided that video was in its future and acquired Ustream and Clearleap as the launching pad for a new cloud video unit. Only a few months have passed since those acquisitions and the announcement of the new unit, and so it seems a little early to expect results yet.

In the past, leaders of CPG companies were limited by a lack of direct access to their consumers. Thanks to new technologies, this dynamic has completely changed. Supply chain leaders now can access a direct lens into their market and better focus their initiatives for improving operational efficiencies. Here's how.

A new Amazon cloud service announced Tuesday could help companies with legacy applications have an easier time taking the leap to the cloud. Amazon Web Services General Manager Matt Wood announced the new Application Discovery Service, which will allow companies to easily analyze legacy applications running on their data centers. It will help companies start the migration of their application data up to the cloud, and then work with one of Amazon's partners to get their applications running in AWS. The service lets users identify their applications and the infrastructure dependencies of those applications and then measure a performance baseline of those applications operating on-premises before companies consider moving them to the cloud.

Business documents written in foreign languages are no longer the problem they once were thanks to technologies like Google Translate, but what about contracts written in legalese? That's where LawGeex hopes to help with an artificial inteigence-based online tool. LawGeex offers what it calls the world's first contract review platform based on A.I. The goal, it says, is to help businesses and individuals "get a fair deal" before signing an agreement. Toward that end, it combines machine-learning algorithms with crowdsourced data, text analytics, and the knowledge of expert lawyers to make in-depth contract reviews accessible to everyone. Results are provided in "plain English," including an explanation of any unusual, problematic, or missing clauses.

IBM embarked on its first quarter breaking out "strategic imperatives," as part of an effort to showcase businesses such as cognitive computing that the company believes will shape its future. Yet, overall IBM's revenue experienced a decline compared to last year's first quarter.

The television industry may have found a new way to measure its audience. When paired with analytics, automatic content recognition technology shows content providers what their audiences are watching, allowing them to engage viewers and offer relevant content on a second screen.

List: What start-ups are worth watching as they grow in the big data market?

As I mentioned yesterday, Microsoft R Server now available for HDInsight, which means that you can now run R code (including the big-data algorithms of Microsoft R Server) on a managed, cloud-based Hadoop instance. Debraj GuhaThakurta, Senior Data Scientist, and Shauheen Zahirazami, Senior Machine Learning Engineer at Microsoft, demonstrate some of these capabilities in their analysis of 170M taxi trips in New York City in 2013 (about 40 Gb).

It's up to those in the resiliency profession to help companies be in a position to continuously deliver their services.

Oracle has acquired a marketing technology company that helps organizations get a clearer, unified profile of their customers, regardless of whether the customer is using a smartphone or a PC.

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