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The Latest Big Blue Sea Change
November 05, 2013
IBM's recent Enterprise 2013 conference in Orlando, Fla., was the Systems and Technology Group's inaugural event focusing on high-end business solutions. So it was no surprise that the CIOs, partners and IT practitioners -- data center admins and managers -- who work with IBM's System z mainframe and Power Systems platforms were thick on the ground.
HGST's New Hard-Drive Isn't Full of Hot Air
November 04, 2013
Western Digital subsidiary HGST has found a novel way of packing more storage capacity into a standard 3.5-inch hard disc drive: filling it with helium instead of air. The 6-TB Ultrastar He6 HDD is the highest-capacity drive in the world, according to the company. HGST has achieved this by packing seven disk platters into the drive instead of the standard five.
NSA Caught Siphoning Data from Google, Yahoo Servers
October 31, 2013
The National Security Agency has reportedly tapped fiber-optic cables that connect Google's and Yahoo's overseas servers and accessed vast amounts of data including email and other personal information. Included in the data culled by the NSA is information on hundreds of millions of users, many of whom are American.
Mystery Barge Could Be Floating Google Showroom
October 28, 2013
There's a four-story barge floating on San Francisco Bay with a mysterious purpose but a fairly clear link to Google. Now docked near Treasure Island, the former U.S. naval base, the structure was generating no end of speculation on Monday, with suggestions that it could be anything from a floating data center to a brand-new store for Google Glass.
New Relic Analytics Aims to Speed IT Problem Solving
October 28, 2013
New Relic last week previewed Rubicon, a new software analytics tool that aims to let companies use live application data to provide clear, actionable business insights across an organization. "This isn't analyzing consumer data, sales data or anything like that," noted tech analyst Jim McGregor. "It's just analyzing how an IT system is running in terms of resources and data it's using."
Tungsten Discs Could Function as Million-Year Time Capsules
October 23, 2013
Jeroen de Vries, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Twente, has developed a prototype storage system that might last for up to 1 million years. This might be needed if the planet were devastated by a natural disaster, or as a reference for future intelligent life on Earth -- or for visiting aliens. "You must then think about archival storage of between 1 million and 1 billion years," he said.
AMD, Verizon Pump Each Other Up
October 22, 2013
Customer testimonials play an odd role in many IT industry announcements. At first glance, they offer proof that technologies are actually being used successfully as advertised, lending credence to vendors' sometimes lofty go-to-market claims. Even the most enthusiastic clients tend to guarded, though, for fear that they may injure relationships with other vendors or negate competitive advantages.
Huawei: No One Bothers Us for Data
October 18, 2013
Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, long suspected of being in cahoots with Beijing authorities, said Friday that no government has ever asked it to divulge information about citizens. Translation: Anyone concerned about government meddling should be more concerned with Washington's connections to U.S. companies than Beijing's connection to Huawei. It called for global standards on security.
NSA Helps Itself to Americans' Online Address Books
October 15, 2013
The latest revelations by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden show the NSA is spying on Americans, despite repeated government assurances that it does not do so. The agency reportedly is collecting hundreds of millions of electronic address books and contact lists from people worldwide. Though it is collecting the data overseas, some of it comes from Americans.
Cloud Mate Makes iCloud a Breeze
October 15, 2013
For a company that prides itself on creating intuitive applications, Apple stumbled when it created iCloud. As a Dropbox user, I found little in iCloud that I needed. In fact, finding iCloud on a Mac can be adventurous, although it has a nasty habit of showing up as a default save location when I want to save a file from an app to my hard drive. Cloud Mate aims to take some of the mystery out of iCloud. It gathers up everything in your iCloud and displays it in a single Finder-like window.
Data and Its Derivatives
October 09, 2013
I took a trip in the Wayback machine last week when I attended DataWeek at the invitation of Dun & Bradstreet. As you might recall, D&B is a data company that collects copious amounts of information about individuals and firms and then sells it for use in filling out profiles for business purposes -- an oversimplification, but it will suffice. That data helps companies evaluate business risks.
Nielsen Sets Its Sights on Tweets About TV
October 08, 2013
Nielsen on Monday rolled out Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings, a service it says is the first-ever measure of the total activity and reach of TV-related conversation on Twitter. Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings measure not only "authors" -- or the number of people tweeting about TV programs -- but also the much larger audience of people who actually view those tweets.
MongoDB's Eliot Horowitz: The Database Renaissance Has Begun
October 08, 2013
NoSQL technologies are giving the database landscape a new look as they steadily push a shift from the relational database model. Young entrants to the alternative technology, such as MongoDB, have been gaining traction despite an admitted need to mature with more needed features. "For MongoDB as a part of the NoSQL space, it is a matter of maturity," said Eliot Horowitz, CTO of MongoDB.
The Dawning of the Predictive Business Era
October 07, 2013
A momentous shift in business strategy is taking place. Big Data, cloud computing and mobility, in tandem, are having an enormous impact on how businesses must act -- and react -- across their markets. The agility goal of real-time responses is no longer good enough. What's apparent across more business ecosystems is that businesses must extend their ability to react well into the future.
Facebook to TV Nets: Take Our Data - Please!
October 03, 2013
Facebook reportedly will begin providing TV broadcasters with data about the chatter their shows are inspiring on the site. Facebook is in fierce competition with Twitter to become the primary destination for second-screen users to post their reactions and engage with others while watching TV series, sporting events, and special-occasion broadcasts like the Emmys.
Feds Get Serious About Email Preservation
October 02, 2013
In a paperless society, office file cabinets may become an endangered species. However, the need to store documents will remain. The U.S. government is struggling to develop efficient means to retain billions of electronic messages. NARA is playing a central role through its new Capstone program, which uses a system for the transfer of designated emails from an agency to a NARA archive.
Oracle Plays Catch-Up With In-Memory Database Capabilities
September 24, 2013
Oracle on Monday announced an in-memory option for Oracle Database 12c that will accelerate analytics, data warehousing, reporting, and online transaction processing for Oracle in-memory applications that "deliver extreme performance on Oracle Engineered Systems," according to the company. "This is a story about Oracle being a bit late to the game," said Infostructure Associates' Wayne Kernochan.
Federal Networks Can't Handle Planned IT Upgrades
September 18, 2013
Ambitious plans to improve federal information technology systems could easily founder on the shoals of deficient networks. Government agencies currently are striving to meet the challenges associated with initiatives in five major areas: cloud technology; Big Data management; cybersecurity requirements; data center consolidation; and, increasingly, mobile IT.
Treasure Data's Hiro Yoshikawa: Taking the Open Road With Big Data
September 10, 2013
Businesses and government agencies are in a race to gather, quantify and clarify an ever-increasing stream of data. Housing the bits and pieces of their digital treasures can be just as much of a problem as deciding whether to trust traditional relational platforms or adopt more flexible databases designed to handle unstructured data.
Uncle Sam Wants Your Facebook Data
August 28, 2013
Facebook on Monday released transparency reports of government requests for its users' data. Privacy groups hailed the move as a positive step forward -- rare praise for the company, which has had a checkered relationship with those groups over the years. Facebook's Global Government Requests Report shows that the United States, by far, was the biggest peeper.

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