SiliconANGLE http://siliconangle.com Extracting the signal from the noise. Mon, 30 Mar 2015 19:45:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 MOBAs may soon outsell MMOs in F2P market, says analyst http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/03/30/mobas-may-soon-outsell-mmos-in-f2p-market-says-analyst/ http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/03/30/mobas-may-soon-outsell-mmos-in-f2p-market-says-analyst/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 18:20:57 +0000 http://siliconangle.com/?p=224438 Continue reading ]]> League of Legends tournamentThe free-to-play (F2P) market is a growing genre of games that use microtransactions for revenue rather than charging a one time, fixed game price or a recurring subscription fee. For some time, MMOs have dominated this market thanks to their huge audience and wide variety of cosmetic and quality of life items, but Ed Zhao, an analyst for Electronic Entertainment Design and Research (EEDAR), says that MOBA games like League of Legends and Dota 2 may soon dethrone MMOs as the highest earning F2P genre.

“MOBAs have experienced immense success in conjunction with the explosive rise of F2P in Western audiences,” Zhao wrote. “Perhaps more than any other genre, MOBAs can take advantage of a large, competitive audience while monetizing through champion-specific microtransactions.”

He added, “While the biggest revenue driver in F2P has historically been the MMORPG, EEDAR predicts that by year’s end, MOBA titles will reach $501 million annually in North America and account for the greatest percentage of F2P dollars.”

According to Zhao, MOBAs have several features that give them an advantage over some F2P game types, such as first-person shooters. While F2P shooters such as Team Fortress 2 allow players to buy cosmetic status symbol items such as hats, the players cannot actually see the items on their characters, which makes them less likely to spend real money on them. MOBAs, on the other hand, take advantage of a third-person perspective that lets players see all of the cosmetics they have purchased.

Zhao also points to MOBA players’ tendency to become very attached to a particular champion, which can lead to “deeper engagement over time.” Because players focus on one character, Zhao says, they are more likely to spend money on them. Meanwhile, MMORPG players are often known to play multiple characters to add longevity to the games. Some MMOs, such as Star Wars: The Old Republic, charge players more to share purchased items or perks across multiple characters, making some players less likely to buy them.

In EEDAR’s report on “Deconstructing the PC MOBA Market 2015,” analysts showed that the F2P revenue from MOBAs reached over $406 million in 2014, nearly double the amount of the previous year. By comparison, EEDAR reports that MMORPGs earned $475 million, and shooters earned only $191 million in F2P revenue.

photo credit: IMG_0331 via photopin (license)
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Tech to keep texting teen drivers from crashing http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/03/30/tech-to-keep-texting-teen-drivers-from-crashing/ http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/03/30/tech-to-keep-texting-teen-drivers-from-crashing/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 18:03:51 +0000 http://siliconangle.com/?p=224464 Continue reading ]]> The AAA has released the result of a study analyzing crash videos involving teen drivers, and the findings are quite alarming. It was discovered that distraction played a major role in six out of ten moderate to severe teen crashes.

The researchers analyzed the six seconds leading up to a crash in nearly 1,700 videos of teen drivers using in-vehicle event recorders or dashboard cameras. The results showed that 58 percent of all crashes were the result of distracted driving, and that number includes 89 percent of road-departure crashes and 76 percent of rear-end crashes.

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“Access to crash videos has allowed us to better understand the moments leading up to a vehicle impact in a way that was previously impossible,” said Peter Kissinger, president and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “The in-depth analysis provides indisputable evidence that teen drivers are distracted in a much greater percentage of crashes than we previously realized.”

The AAA released a Public Service Announcement (PSA) video that features a compilation of some of the footages taken from the dash cams. It showed how the drivers are being distracted and what happens when they get distracted. The images shown are pretty disturbing, so watch at your own risk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=10&v=SDWmwxQ_NnY.

Causes of distracted driving

 

According to the AAA, the top two driver distractions are interacting with one or more passengers, which accounts for 15 percent of crashes, and cell phone use, which accounts for 12 percent of crashes. Other forms of distractions include looking at something in the vehicle (10 percent), looking at something outside the vehicle (nine percent), singing/moving to music (eight percent), and grooming and reaching for an object both cause six percent of crashes.

For cell phone use, the researchers included calling, texting and use of apps in this category and revealed that the drivers had their eyes off the road for an average of 4.1 out of the final six seconds leading up to the crash. Use of mobile devices also resulted in slowed reaction time, which led to rear-end crashes as they were unable to steer clear or apply the brakes. This study led AAA President CEO Bob Darbelnet to recommend that states review their licensing and driving laws to ensure teen drivers are protected.

“AAA recommends that state laws prohibit cell phone use by teen drivers and restrict passengers to one non-family member for the first six months of driving,” Darbelnet stated.

Tech to keep your teens from getting into an accident

 

Though mobile use while driving is named as one of the top distractions for teen drivers, even if you tell your kids not to use their mobile device when driving, there’s no telling if they will actually listen to you.

Parents can still use the device their teens love so much to make sure their kids are not texting while driving with some helpful apps and devices, such as The Canary Project, DriveSafe.ly and TextBuster.

The Canary Project

 

The Canary Project is an app available for both iOS and Android. It can help parents get some peace of mind, as the app monitors and reports in real time if their teen is using their smartphone to text, tweet, call or anything else with their phone while driving.

They can also set speed limits and know immediately if the driver goes over the set limit, as well as set parameters on a map to set which areas they are not allowed to go to and be alerted if this parameter has been violated. Parents can monitor multiple drivers, which means the app can be used not only to monitor teen drivers of the family, but all the drivers in your home.

DriveSafe.ly

 

The DriveSafe.ly app is a free app for iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices, with support for Windows Phone coming soon. The aim of the app is to keep a driver’s eyes on the road and hands on the steering wheel by reading text messages and emails out loud and automatically responding to them without the driver ever touching or looking at the device.

This allows drivers to stay connected or be on top of important messages and emails without risking their own lives or the lives of other drivers.

TextBuster

 

TextBuster is a device you need to install in your vehicle. It prevents drivers from sending text messages or emails, as well as accessing other Internet devices while driving, as the device is automatically activated when the car starts.

Though it prevents drivers from sending text messages, it still allows them to make and receive phone calls. TextBuster is compatible with any vehicle and mobile devices running Android and BlackBerry. Another perk of using TextBuster, aside from keeping a driver distraction-free, is that it qualifies car owners for insurance discount.

photo credit: texting and driving via photopin (license)
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What you missed in the Smart World: Intelligent glamping and gardens http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/03/30/what-you-missed-in-the-smart-world-intelligent-glamping-and-gardens/ http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/03/30/what-you-missed-in-the-smart-world-intelligent-glamping-and-gardens/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 17:00:47 +0000 http://siliconangle.com/?p=224302 Continue reading ]]> IMG_4455This week’s Smart World Series features a smart battery’s integration with Facebook Inc.’s new Internet of Things (IoT) platform, new smart garden lights that are powered by the sun, tiny smart homes and more.

For those who missed last week’s Smart World Series, here’s a chance to catch up on the exciting developments in the connected world.  Each week, SiliconANGLE rounds up the top news trends regarding smart homes and cars, smart data centers and IT, smart infrastructure and all things related to the Internet of Things.

Smart garden lights and the latest cloud-powered smart home team up

If you’re looking to spice things up in your garden, the Playbulb garden smart lights may be for you. These solar-powered, color-changing garden lights automatically turn on when the sun sets, and turn off at sunrise.  Light colors can be controlled using a smartphone app and when fully charged, the Playbulb garden can emit light for up to 20 hours.

Also featured in this roundup is the partnership between Alarm.com and cable provider Suddenlink to offer secured smart home services and SyFy and Philips’ third partnership to bring a more immersive viewing experience.

Learn more about these products and partnerships in our Smart Living roundup.

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Human nature in a virtual world: Living with our Avatars (Part 3)

Will virtual reality make people more apathetic to the real world? If you ask research scientist Nick Yee, the answer to that question would be a big, fat no. Though virtual reality presents us with new worlds to explore, it doesn’t necessarily provide an escape from the real world. Virtual worlds instead act as another form of communication platform where people can freely express themselves and meet like minded individuals.

Read more about Lee’s views on virtual reality and how it fits in our future here.

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Health apps that assess wounds, keep travelers healthy

Fresh out of surgery and wondering if your wound is healing correctly? It’s hard to monitor wound healing when you’re not sure what signs to look for, but that’s all about to change thanks to E-Kare’s wound assessment app. The app would allow users to take 3D photos of the wound using a sensor that attaches to an iPad and the images can be sent to healthcare workers to help patients assess their wounds.

Also featured in this roundup is Reward Me, a fitness app that really rewards a user when goals are met, and My Travel Health, an app that tells you how to stay healthy when travelling to other countries.

Read more about these amazing new apps in our Smart Health roundup.

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Tiny, luxurious smart homes

Tiny homes have become popular in our post-recesion economy, and now they’re getting smart.  Tiny Heirloom Homes is delivering all the bells and whistles of a smart home, scaled down for smaller budgets. And for the new generation of telecommuting road warriors, these tiny homes can be taken just about anywhere as they’re categorized as a travel trailer, not an RV (which requires special parking permits).

Also featured in this roundup is GreenPeak Technologies’ new Passive Infra-Red sensor for smart home, open car platform Mojio raising $8M in a Series A round of funding, and Icontrol One, a solution directed at independent security dealers.

Read more about what the tiny smart home has to offer in the second installment of our Smart Living roundup.

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Roost smart battery integrates with Facebook’s Parse IoT

Smart Wi-Fi battery maker Roost has announced its pioneering integration with Facebook’s Parse IoT, choosing its as its cloud infrastructure provider not only for the smart battery but future smart home products as well. Also featured in this roundup is SmartBear Software’s acquisition of Swagger API and Azul Systems’ new OpenJDK-based Java platform Zulu Embedded.

Read more about these announcements in our Smart DevOps roundup.

Tune in next week for more interesting stories, discoveries and innovations in the world of smart and connected things.

 

Image via Tiny Heirloom Homes
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HP revamps Haven Big Data platform with IDOL & Vertica integration http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/03/30/hp-revamps-haven-big-data-platform-with-idol-vertica-integration/ http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/03/30/hp-revamps-haven-big-data-platform-with-idol-vertica-integration/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 16:15:07 +0000 http://siliconangle.com/?p=224443 Continue reading ]]> logo hp (3)Hewlett-Packard Co. has rolled out a host of new upgrades to its HP Haven Big Data Enterprise and OnDemand platforms in order to better integrate the two elements.

The biggest update looks to be the launch of the HP Haven Connector Framework Server that integrates the analytics capabilities of HP Vertica with the company’s IDOL search platform. The result is a combined Big Data platform that should enable organizations to easily gather data from over 400 disparate sources into the Vertica platform, said Jeff Veis, vice president of marketing for Big Data at HP.

“Businesses can reap the full power of enterprise data and big data computing across virtually any data type, from free-text-based document search to high-resolution broadcast video surveillance analytics,” Veis explained in prepared comments. “Further, with the HP Haven Big Data Platform, they don’t have to rely on specialized data scientists and costly, complex integration projects to do so.”

As well as IDOL and Vertica’s new tighter integration, HP is touting a new HP Haven Knowledge Graphing Tool that makes it easier to identify relationships between data sets, plus a newly improved HP Have Speech-to-Text tool which the company claims is now 75 percent more accurate in 20 different languages. Last but not least, the firm has added HP Haven Targeted Query Response, a new tool that lets developers customize and refine search results based on specific criteria; and it’s launched the HP Haven IDOL Search Optimizer, a tool that lets users design and run search across a wide array of data sets more easily than before.

The updates are part of a broader effort by HP to create a highly integrated Big Data Platform that it’s been pursuing ever since it combined the IDOL search technology it gained from Autonomy with Vertica and Hadoop. HP’s ultimate aim is to build a comprehensive Big Data platform that makes it easier to use structured and unstructured data to drive composite analytics applications spanning both types of data.

According to Veis, HP Haven is unlike other Big Data platforms since it’s more than just a laundry list of technologies bundled into a single suite. Rather, he claims Haven is a highly integrated platforms that can be used by organizations of all sizes to create and augment new and existing business processes.

HP, like many major tech firms, is making a big bet that its Big Data solutions will allow grow numerous new revenue opportunities within the data center. Nevertheless, it faces a tough challenge to convince customers that when it comes to Big Data, it possesses more than just the infrastructure that’s required to keep things up and running.

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Facebook chases Chinese ad revenue despite being blocked in the country http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/03/30/facebook-chases-chinese-ad-revenue-despite-being-blocked-in-the-country/ http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/03/30/facebook-chases-chinese-ad-revenue-despite-being-blocked-in-the-country/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 16:00:36 +0000 http://siliconangle.com/?p=224400 Continue reading ]]> Mark Zuckerberg Q&AWhile its social network might still be banned in China, Facebook is chasing revenue within the country that houses a population roughly equivalent in size to its own user base. The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook has stepped up efforts to entice Chinese advertisers to adopt its platform, even if they might be unable to use it within their own nation at the moment.

According to the report, Facebook’s ad revenue from the Asian Pacific market has risen significantly over the past two years, jumping from just under $200 million at the beginning of 2013 to over $500 million at the end of 2014. But despite this rapid growth, Facebook still needs more Chinese businesses to take up its banner if it wants to win over the country and its authorities.

Facebook was blocked by the government of China for the social network’s role in student demonstrations and politically motivated riots in 2009. Protestors used Facebook as a means to communicate and spread their message, so the government abruptly cut them off and have only recently begun easing some of its restrictions. In September 2013, China allowed Facebook and other blocked services like Twitter to begin operating within a limited area of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, which the country uses to test less regulated economic activity in an enclosed environment.

“The baseline evangelism is already there”

 

In December, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg entertained China’s top Internet regulator at the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, and now the social network is taking further steps toward repairing its relationship with China by hiring in Hong Kong and partnering with local companies to increase its profile with advertisers. Facebook seems to be laying the groundwork to ramp up business if and when its block is lifted.

“The baseline evangelism is already there,” Thomas Crampton, global managing director of Social@Ogilvy, told The Wall Street Journal. “Companies here [in China] look at advertising from a pragmatic perspective and say, ‘Is this the way to accomplish our business goal? If it is, let’s do it.’”

Youzu Interactive Co., Ltd., a Chinese game developer, noted that half of its players come from Facebook. Youzu ad manager Liu Wanqin said, “Facebook is our most important ad tool right now.”

Screenshot via Facebook
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The latest in Japanese smart homes: Why this market is central to R&D http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/03/30/the-latest-in-japanese-smart-homes-why-this-market-is-central-to-rd/ http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/03/30/the-latest-in-japanese-smart-homes-why-this-market-is-central-to-rd/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 15:48:26 +0000 http://siliconangle.com/?p=224371 Continue reading ]]> City of YokohamaThe smart home is a trend expected to grow worldwide, but the reasons for implementation vary by region. Japan is a particularly interesting case due to the country’s advanced technological communities and dense population. The following is a snapshot of recent developments in Japan’s smart home market, in the context of broader global trends.

The global smart homes and buildings market is due to grow significantly between 2013 and 2020, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.5 percent, according to Allied Market Research. Their report entitled “Global Smart Homes, Buildings (Energy Efficient, Automated) Market (Applications, Technologies, Products and End-User), Size, Share, Trends, Analysis, Research, Future Demand, Scope and Forecast, 2013 – 2020,” expects market revenue to grow to $35.3 billion by 2020, which is a significant increase from $4.8 billion in 2012.  Rising energy costs, government initiatives and greater awareness of environmental concerns attribute to the rise we will see leading up to 2020.

The market of safety and security application expects to see substantial growth by 2020, with revenue reaching $6,132.4 million by 2020 with an expected CAGR of 34.6 percent. “This market is expected to evidence significant growth due to growing security concerns and enhanced safety features that smart automation systems can currently offer. With an increase in the working population, safety concerns with respect to aged parents and children is the biggest challenge. Smart home address these issues with highly-sophisticated remote monitoring technologies,” states Shreyas Naidu, Research Analyst at Allied Market Research.

Adoption of smart home technologies in Japan

 

In Europe, the significant drivers behind the embracing of smart homes and intelligent automation is all about energy savings and comfort. While in Japan, there is a demand for a safe and secure living environment, especially concerning safety functionalities and discrete monitoring for elderly people. “In Japan, the people aged 65 or over account for 25 percent of the population. This demographic trend is expected to continue and will significantly influence social and economic structures. Modern building automation technology plays a key role in making life easier, more secure and comfortable for elderly people and their families,” says Graham Martin, Chairman of the EnOcean Alliance. Producers of smart home technologies in Japan are looking towards innovative intelligent systems that effectively support people at home. “Smart home and ambient assisted living are two of the building industry’s strongest growth markets in this region.”

Internet refrigerator with Google Android operating system

 

Haier Asia Co., a Tokyo-based unit of Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer Haier Group Co., plans to launch an Internet refrigerator that will use the Google Android operating system. The refrigerator will be able to analyze the ingredients that it contains and recommend a corresponding menu. In addition, it will be able to confirm the safety of users. For example, if an elderly parent that lives alone hasn’t opened the refrigerator for continuous days, then a security company will be notified.

HaierHaier Asia also unveiled a new research and development center in Japan last week. The center cost 7 billion yen ($58.7 million) to build and has a floor space of approximately 12,000 sq. meters. It becomes the Haier Group’s largest R&D center outside of China. Their goal is to increase sales in Southeast Asian countries to more than 100 billion yen ($8.3 billion) by 2019, a 100 percent increase from 2013.

Icontrol Networks Inc.’s partnership brings smart home experience to Japanese consumers

 

In October last year, Icontrol Networks, a leader in connected home technology, announced that it was partnering with iTSCOM to bring the Icontrol Touchstone solution to Asia. iTSCOM is a premier cable provider in Japan and a division of the Tokyu Group. The Touchstone service will offer a smart home experience, which consumers can install themselves, to Japanese cable operators.

“Our partnership with Tokyu Group’s iTSCOM is a critical step in our strategic approach to international expansion,” said Bob Hagerty, Icontrol’s CEO. “The Internet of Things is one of the fastest growing segments of the already robust technology industry in Asia. The market opportunity for the smart home in the Asia-Pacific region is significant, so we are excited to continue growing in that area.”

Icontrol Touchstone allows users to stay connected to their homes via live video feed and event-driven video capture from in-home cameras. Consumers will be able to remotely control and manage their homes via smartphones and other mobile devices. They can also personalize their systems by scheduling automated alerts, for example, you can receive a real-time notification alert when the kids get home.

Sony looking to enter the smart home market

 

Sony is also looking to enter the smart home market with its crowdfunded Qrio lock. Claiming to be the smallest smart lock available, Sony launched a crowdfunding campaign for the lock on Makuake, a sort of Kickstarter in Japan. The lock will slip over the existing hardware of your door, without any tools being required for the installation. You will then be able to open your door using your smartphone. Alternatively, you can share the encrypted key via messaging apps like Facebook and Line and then anyone who has been sent the encrypted key will be able to gain access to your home.

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Smart cities becoming a booming market in Japan

 

Due to the steep increase in energy consumption in cities, energy supply has increased. The problem is that the most productive and cost-effective means of energy production is not the cleanest. Worldwide, cities consume up to 80 percent of energy supplies and produce about 75 percent of CO2 emissions, with cities in Japan and the European Union (EU) being among the largest consumers. This is the reason why smart cities in Japan and the EU have become a booming market. This market will continue to grow as renewable energies and sustainable life style solutions are key sectors of public and private investments. Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) announced it would install 27 million smart meters by 2020.

Smart City business in Japan is expected to grow from ¥1.12 trillion in 2011 to ¥3.8 trillion by 2020. Japan’s smart cities include the City of Yokohama, Toyota City, Keihanna (Kyoto) and the City of Kitakyushu. These smart cities objectives are to provide sustainable growth and encourage healthy economic activities. This ultimately will reduce the burden on the environment and improve residents’ quality of life. There is a greater demand in Japan for this sustainable living, following the earthquake and subsequent nuclear power plant accident in 2011.

Image credit: Akumach from Kawasaki City under Creative Commons License: Haier sign in Japan via photopin (license)
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Opportunity rover’s flash memory flops again http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/03/30/opportunity-rovers-flash-memory-flops-again/ http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/03/30/opportunity-rovers-flash-memory-flops-again/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 14:59:37 +0000 http://siliconangle.com/?p=224406 Continue reading ]]> mars-67522_640NASA’s long-lived Mars rover Opportunity was left reeling by another flash memory failure that caused it to suffer a case of “amnesia”, although it didn’t lose any scientific data.

The weary and battered Martian explorer’s flash memory has suffered from a string of problems over the years. The rover packs 256 MB of flash memory that houses mission data gathered by its 20 MHz RAD6000 RISC processor, before uploading said data to a satellite that delivers it back to Terra.

NASA previously shut down and reformatted Opportunity’s flash memory in August 2014 in order to try and stop frequent system resets that were severely hampering its ability to study the red planet. John Callas of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab said at the time he believed the problem was caused by worn out cells in the Flash memory, and that his team would be able to mark the bad cells by reformatting it. In addition, reformatting the flash allowed the team to trace earlier problems to flash memory Bank 7, which has since been “roped off”.

That operation apparently cured Opportunity’s flash memory from the daily resets it was suffering, but it seems that the “amnesia” still remains. Opportunity relies on its volatile flash memory to shoot its daily data transmission back to earth before shutting down each night to preserve its limit power supply.

“Although we are a little disappointed at the occurrence of an amnesia event only five days after reformatting, we are not surprised,” wrote Callas in the Mars NASA blog. “There is still no clear understanding of what is causing the problems. Only time will tell if we have been successful in mitigating the most serious flash problems”.

Callas adds that despite the nusiance caused by Opportunity’s flash failures, it’s still able to carry out its regular duties, such as cruising the planet and using its robotic arm to study interesting rocks it stumbles across.

While Opportunity may not be the best endorsement for Flash’s long-term reliability, one should consider that the Mars rover was never designed to be around for this long anyway. It’s long since surpassed its original 90-day design life, having begun travesing the red planet way back in 2003.

Image credit: WikiImages via Pixabay.com
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ClearStory Data beefs up Apache Spark-based analytics solution http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/03/30/clearstory-data-beefs-up-apache-spark-based-analytics-solution/ http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/03/30/clearstory-data-beefs-up-apache-spark-based-analytics-solution/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 14:25:49 +0000 http://siliconangle.com/?p=224402 Continue reading ]]> ball-63527_640Big Data intelligence firm ClearStory Data has just launched a new version of its Apache Spark based analytics software that speeds up the time it takes to analyze data from disparate sources. In addition, it’s touting a faster approach for preparing data for analysis, together with a simple method for blending data.

ClearStory’s Intelligent Data Harmonization Engine facilitates these new capabilities thanks to the integration of Spark 1.2 in-memory technology, and an improved user interface featuring a new guided model.

Vaibhav Nivargi, Co-founder and Chief Architect at ClearStory, said the new release allows users to control and visualize how they can harmonize multiple data sets, leading to a significant reduction in time and complexity when preparing data for analysis.

“This release strikes a new balance between the power that intelligent data harmonisation brings to business users and the level of precision and control that more data-savvy users typically prefer,” said Nivargi. “These new capabilities guide users to the best data to blend together to ensure that the resulting harmonised data can deliver fast, accurate and meaningful insights.”

Other new features in the release include intelligent semantics to measure the overlap of individual attributes across multiple datasets, plus the ability to collect extra datasets. In addition, ClearStory said its software is now better able to trace the origins of data, regardless of source, parent dataset, data structure or shape.

ClearStory data’s main offering includes a front-end app that sits atop of numerous data sources, plus a back-end that runs on Apache Spark. The back-end serves to carry out data inference and profiling, spotting relationships between different sources of data. It can then present that blended and harmonized data to users via the front-end application, allowing multiple users to explore company data simultaneously or add data without carrying out any additional modelling.

Image credit: Geralt via Pixabay.com
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British principals threaten parents with police for letting kids play violent games http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/03/30/british-principals-threaten-parents-with-police-for-letting-kids-play-violent-games/ http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/03/30/british-principals-threaten-parents-with-police-for-letting-kids-play-violent-games/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 13:50:18 +0000 http://siliconangle.com/?p=224390 Continue reading ]]> Nintendo Retro gamingVideo games have taken the blame for any number of degenerate behavior in youths ever since the industry was created, and violent game series like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty have given opponents even more ammo to paint games as a scapegoat for everything from minor misbehavior to mass murder.

Now a group of British school principals have taken it upon themselves to fight what they see as the corrupting influence of mature video games by threatening to report parents who allow their children to play these games to the police.

The Nantwich Education Partnership sent a letter to the parents of children in 16 different schools, warning that the administrators would contact the police if they discovered that any minors were playing games rated 18+. The letter blames these games for “early sexualised behaviour,” saying that they make children “vulnerable to grooming for sexual exploitation or extreme violence.”

“If your child is allowed to have inappropriate access to any game, or associated product, that is designated 18+ we are advised to contact the police and children’s social care as this is deemed neglectful,” the letter says.

The U.K. already has strict guidelines governing the sale of video games to minors. “It is important to note that the age ratings 12, 16 and 18 age ratings are mandatory and that it is illegal for a retailer to supply any game with any of these ratings to anyone below the specified age,” the ratings guide from the U.K.’s Video Standards Council says. “The age ratings 3 and 7 are advisory only. The PEGI age ratings will enable parents and carers to make an informed choice when buying a game for their children.”

Mary Hennessy Jones, the Pear Tree Primary School principal who drafted the letter, told the BBC that the letter is meant to inform parents, not scare them. “We are trying to help parents to keep their children as safe as possible in this digital era,” Jones said. “It is so easy for children to end up in the wrong place and parents find it helpful to have some very clear guidelines.”

photo credit: smcgee via photopin cc
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What you missed in Big Data: Tapping the connected universe http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/03/30/what-you-missed-in-big-data-tapping-the-connected-universe/ http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/03/30/what-you-missed-in-big-data-tapping-the-connected-universe/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 12:00:09 +0000 http://siliconangle.com/?p=224298 Continue reading ]]> network of lights city big dataThe analytics discussion shifted from the data coming off connected devices to the data stored inside those devices last week after Realm Inc. raised $20 million in a second round of funding for its embedded object store. The landmark investment tops off nine months of remarkable growth.

That short period has seen the startup’s lightweight system end up in over 100 million smartphones, tablets and wearables on the back of explosive adoption among app developers drawn to its simplicity. The appeal lies in the store’s ability to handle information using fewer lines of code, which not only saves time but also helps accommodate the limitations of mobile hardware.

Yet the challenges of manipulating data in Android and iOS environments are still dwarfed by the difficulty of implementing the same functionality on emerging breeds of connected devices that have only a fraction of the computational capacity. Facebook’s development unit hopes to take some of the hassle out that task with a series of new programming interfaces for embedded processors.

The first implementation in the series launched the day after Realm’s funding to help collect telemetry data off systems based on the  Arduino Yún, an emerging alternative to the Raspberry Pi commonly used in connected appliances. Facebook  hopes to ultimately provide a standardized way of aggregating data from various smart gadgets.

That is essential for analytic applications in segments such as manufacturing that involve numerous different kinds of devices, a use case that inched closed towards the mainstream last week after Apple Inc. picked up an emerging database vendor called FoundationDB for an undisclosed sum.

The key-value store, which is one of the few in its category that lives up to the same standard of reliability as traditional relational systems, has been built with connected devices in mind. The latest version recently demonstrated the ability to execute more than 14 million writes per second, which should allow Apple to ingest the real-time streams of data coming off its devices much more smoothly.

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