This week’s 10 best data stories (so far)

Written on:February 27, 2013
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It has been a busy week for data news already, so here are 10 of the big and/or interesting items you might have missed if you blinked:

  • hawqEMC Greenplum lays down the SQL-on-Hadoop gauntletThe company’s new Pivotal HD Hadoop distribution fuses its analytic database technology with Hadoop to create a single data store for everything. Greenplum co-founder Scott Yara claims the data warehouse — where Greenplum got its start — is the new mainframe.
  • Intel does Hadoop: Intel’s Hadoop distribution is interesting for so many reasons, but the biggest might be the sense that it’s an attempt to keep x86 relevant as ARM pushers pursue big data workloads. Among Intel’s hardware partners are Cray, SuperMicro and Cisco.
  • friendsterHow Friendster died and Facebook might die: Researchers studied the collapse of Friendster and decided that a dimished cost-benefit analysis and users’ average number of friends contributed to its demise. The fewer friends, the more influential one friend’s decision to quit. And people quit when services begin to suck.
  • Using memristors to recreate the brain: This is a heady research project based on the theory that memristors are similar enough to synapses in the human brain that they could help create an artificial brain. Memristors are a nanotechnology that allow electrical currents to pass between circuits based on the past currents they have  transmitted.
  • MapR and Google in a high-performance lovefest: MapR is all about faster Hadoop, and Google is all about touting how great its Compute Engine cloud is for high-performance job. A MinuteSort benchmark test of MapR on Compute Engine bested the previous record (and crushed the previous Hadoop record for MinuteSort) — and on standard cloud servers, no less.
  • LinkedIn open sources Databus: Databus is LinkedIn’s tools for updating changes in data between its various storage systems and applications at high speed. It could be pretty valuable, and I assume it’s something LinkedIn’s Bhaskar Ghosh will discuss during our guru panel at Structure: Data next month.


  • Continuuity free beta now open to the public: Continuuity is the startup from former Yahoo VP Todd Papaioannou and Facebook engineer Jonathan Gray that’s building a platform as a service for  developing big data applications. On Wednesday, it opened a beta version to developers who want to test the experience of building Hadoop applications on the cloud-based platform.
  • Showrooming-retailer-risk-403ac501feb3773215b42f9a148671dePlaced Analytics shows who shops in stores but buys online: This is the latest piece of research from Placed, a startup tracking mobile phone data to determine what businesses people like to visit, or at least hang out near. This report highlights which businesses are most at risk from consumers viewing products in their stores and then buying them on Amazon.
  • IBM, South Korea and weather predictions:Weather forecasting has always been a good area for big data and high-performance computing, so this use case is pretty much straight data porn. From the press release: “IBM has provided KMA and NMSC with the latest IBM storage technologies capable of recording 20 gigabytes (equivalent to 400,000 web pages) of data per second … [w]ith a total storage capacity of 9.3 petabytes.”
  • Virtustream using Druid for cloud analytics service: Virtustream is dead serious about staking its claim as theenterprise cloud provider, and this partnership with Metamarkets (see disclosure) is a good way to expand its reach into big data applications. Essentially, Metamarkets will provide consulting services for companies wanting to build apps atop Hadoop and Druid, the in-memory analytic database that Metamarkets created.

In addition to LinkedIn’s Ghosh, the founders of Placed, Continuuity and Metamarkets will all be on stage at Structure: Data talking about everything from building Hadoop applications, to managing massive data infrastructure to the new era of web privacy, so please come come and watch.

Disclosure: Metamarkets is a portfolio company of True Ventures, which is also an investor in GigaOM. Om Malik is also a venture partner at True.

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