SiliconANGLE Extracting the signal from the noise. Wed, 07 Oct 2015 06:00:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Couchbase Server 4.0 opens the door to SQL on NoSQL Wed, 07 Oct 2015 05:58:46 +0000 Couchbase Inc. yesterday released version 4.0 of its Co […]]]>

Couchbase Inc. yesterday released version 4.0 of its Couchbase Server NoSQL database, introducing a new SQL-compatible query language that expands the potential use cases of the platform and, according to the company, gives it the edge over rival databases offered by companies like MongoDB Inc.

The NoSQL space is hot right now, with the technology’s suitability for Big Data generated by the Internet of Things and smartphones driving rapid market adoption. But NoSQL is not without its problems, and Couchbase says one of the biggest its identified is that most databases rely solely on the JSON programming language to query unstructured data. This means popular SQL query languages designed for structured data on traditional relational databases cannot be used, but Couchbase’s new release makes it possible thanks to its incorporation of N1QL, a new query language that is compatible with SQL.

Couchbase believes that the popularity of SQL makes it one of the best ways to query data and grab fast, actionable insights, and that’s why it’s decided to make it possible. Writing in InfoWorld, Serdar Yegulalp explains that NiQL (pronounced “nickel”) uses commands specific to JSON documents that extend SQL syntax. It leverages JSON to nest data within a single document or leverage N1QL to model and query data that is stored across multiple documents.

For now, Couchbase is only looking at making its database compatible with SQL ’92, which means more powerful SQL syntax and transactions are not supported. However, it does provide some useful developer functionality, such as the EXPLAIN keyword that describes how query optimizers process a statement. Couchbase also said it’s planning to add transaction support and other features in due course.

Of course, Couchbase isn’t the only NoSQL provider to offer an SQL-based query language. MongoDB has its soon-to-be-released SQL connector, but it lacks certain features like being able to perform JOINs. Cassandra’s CQL also lacks this ability.

Couchbase Server 4.0 with N1QL provides other advantages too, such as support for SQL-based data visualization tools like Microsoft Excel, Tableau, Qlik and more.

Ravi Mayuram, senior vice president of products and engineering at Couchbase described the release as a “transformational” one, because it dramatically increases the types of use cases Couchbase can support.

“With innovations such as a our new SQL-based query language, N1QL, and foundational improvements like Global Secondary Indexes, Multi-Dimensional Scaling and Cross Datacenter Replication, we are providing enterprises the breadth of functionality they need to deploy a single distributed database under the majority of their Web, mobile and IoT applications,” Mayuram said.

Those wishing to take a look at Couchbase 4.0 can download it from the company’s website here. More information from Couchbase is available at its developer’s portal here.

Photo Credit: KayVee.INC via Compfight cc
]]> 0
Tired of Buzzfeed stealing its content, Reddit has launched a new site to steal its own content as well Wed, 07 Oct 2015 05:43:58 +0000 Curated content is all the rage in 2015 and it makes se […]]]>

Curated content is all the rage in 2015 and it makes sense that if you’re the main source for content on other people’s sites (ok, mostly Buzzfeed) you should get in on the action, and that’s likely Reddit’s thinking with the launch of a new site.

Called Upvoted the new site runs as a mix between Digg and Buzzfeed in that it includes a range of content broadly representative of those covered on the core Reddit site itself.

Interestingly rather than simply republishing content posted on Reddit with little or no added comment (again see Buzzfeed) Upvoted sees editorial curation complete with a set of writers explaining what the story is about, and even on occasion adding to it.

Poorly though, given Reddit’s roots, to quote Gawker on the matter:

Reddit is a site built on the backs of user contributions and engagement, and their new publication Upvoted doesn’t allow comments. This is bullshit.

The pitch from Reddit about the new site doesn’t make things all that much better, with Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian writing (unsurprisingly on Upvoted itself) that the intent of the new site is “to give the stories of Reddit—from the seemingly ordinary to the extraordinary—the creative space to expand, breathe, and grow,” implying that they currently don’t have that opportunity on Reddit itself.

“Over this past year, we’ve talked to hundreds of Redditors who have been so excited to see their ideas and stories reach even more people and we’re grateful for the chance to expand this further,” he continued.

Rude but logical

The move makes a lot of sense for Reddit given how other sites (Buzzfeed) have been repackaging content for their own profit and traffic for years; why shouldn’t Reddit get a slice of that traffic and profit as well?

Despite the fact it’s perhaps a little tame at this stage, Upvoted does have the potential to go well as it matures, and more importantly for Reddit provide ample grounds for internet advertising, something the company has struggled with.

All that said a site that relies on free user contributions and participation for its success, packing that content up then allowing no comment on it is rude and potentially a big snub to the millions of people who have made Reddit what it is today.

Upvoted went live Tuesday night and can be viewed at

Image credit: Screenshot/ Upvoted
]]> 0
Sony’s semiconductor business to go it alone in organizational reshuffle Wed, 07 Oct 2015 05:06:26 +0000 Sony Corp. is about to undergo a bit of an organization […]]]>

Sony Corp. is about to undergo a bit of an organizational reshuffle with the announcement that it’s to spin off its semiconductor business and reshape its Devices division.

In about six months time, Sony Semiconductor Solutions will split from the rest of the company to begin life as its own separate business unit, controlling manufacturing, research & development, and sales operations. The new division will still operate under Sony Corp., however.

In an announcement, Sony said the idea is that each of the three business units in the new division – battery, semiconductor and storage media – will be able to adapt more rapidly to the changing market environments afflicting them, enabling them to generate more sustained growth.

The reorganized Sony Devices business unit will also contain Sony’s imaging sensors operation, The Register reports. This particular operation has been wildly successful, capturing 40 percent of the global market for camera imaging sensors that can be fitted to anything from smartphones to surveillance tools. In its most recent quarter, Sony said its Devices business saw earnings grow by 35 percent, largely due to its imaging sensors.

Current deputy president of Sony’s device solutions group Terushi Shimizu will take over as president of the new Sony Semiconductor Solutions, the company added.

Meanwhile, Sony’s storage media business will be folded into its greater manufacturing arm under the Sony Storage Media and Devices group. As for its battery operation, which includes the company’s internal and external lithium-ion battery operations and its power supply and charger operations, this will remain under the Sony Energy Devices group.

Sony said it expects the entire reorganization to be completed by April 1st, 2016. No joke.

Photo Credit: i k o via Compfight cc
]]> 0
Twitter launches new curated news service called Moments Wed, 07 Oct 2015 04:45:57 +0000 Twitter, Inc. has entered the curated content market wi […]]]>

Twitter, Inc. has entered the curated content market with the launch of a new feature called Moment.

Previously known internally as Project Lightning, Twitter Moments presents the “best of what’s happening on Twitter in an instant” based on how popular the content is, and how much Twitter’s human curators think you might like to see it.

Coverage can include everything from conversations between world leaders and celebrities, citizens reporting on current events, cultural memes, sports commentary and more.

Accessible by a new lightning menu option at, as well as via the iOS and Android apps, content in Moments is presented full screen in a similar fashion to Snapchat, Inc.’s Discover service, complete with the ability for users to flick through the content presented by swiping at the screen.

Users are able to engage with a “moment” by clicking on it for more information, and once in, a swipe leads to further images, videos, Vines, and Gifs.

Naturally Twitter want’s users to share the moment, with a single moment having the option of favoriting and retweeting via a single tap within the story; during the engagement with a moment a progress bar is said to sit at the bottom so users know how much more of the moment is left to view.

Not happy with a moment? In Tinder-like functionality, users swipe up to dismiss a moment and to get to the next one.

Updates while a user in is a moment are indicated via a blue dot appearing on the screen indicating that there is new content, which Twitter claims is vital when following something such as a live sporting event.


Given their problematic user growth and reflected stock price, it’s understandable that Twitter has to do something to turn things around, and experimenting with new products is one way to do so.

The problem is though we’ve seen this sort of product before: think Flipboard or Snapchat Discover, and the thing is neither of those two services have taken off or been wildly successful.

Twitter does have the advantage of being able to tap into unique content being shared by celebrities, politicians, sports stars and more so perhaps the mix may offer something new, but on paper it certainly doesn’t sound exciting.

Moments is allegedly available on Twitter now, however although Twitter itself makes no mention of it, it may be restricted to the United States at launch because it’s not appearing on, or the Android app in Asia at the time of writing.

Image credit: Twitter
]]> 0
Rackspace is now a fanatical supporter of AWS | #AWSreinvent Wed, 07 Oct 2015 04:31:50 +0000 Fanatical support specialist Rackspace Inc. has confirm […]]]>

Fanatical support specialist Rackspace Inc. has confirmed rumors that first emerged last week, announcing it will now sell and support Amazon Web Services’ cloud, in a similar deal to what it previously inked with Microsoft.

On Tuesday at AWS re:Invent, Rackspace launched Fanatical Support for AWS, beginning with U.S.-based customers. Non-U.S. customers will have to wait a while, although Rackspace will offer support for them in beta mode. In addition, Rackspace will also resell and offer support services for AWS’s elastic cloud as it’s now officially become an authorized AWS reseller.

The deal follows on from a similar agreement Rackspace struck with Microsoft to support and resell its Azure cloud. Under that partnership, Rackspace offers its fanatical support 24/7, 365 days a year.

More significantly perhaps, the deal underscores the strategic about-turn Rackspace has performed in the last few months, as the company struggles with poor financial results and declining growth in its own cloud operations. Five years ago, Rackspace’s original plan was to compete directly with AWS and Microsoft’s proprietary clouds by pushing development of the open-source OpenStack project. That platform was supposed to help Rackspace become a major cloud player, but due in part to AWS’ and Microsoft’s massive financial power, the results were less than hoped for.

The move also raises question marks over the long term prospects of OpenStack. Although there are a number of companies running OpenStack clouds, they’re more of a niche set up, popular only for private use or as a regional service provider. We’re yet to see an OpenStack cloud rise up to the scale of AWS, which leaves just Microsoft’s Azure and Google’s Compute Engine as the main alternatives.

This failure has impacted Rackspace’s growth to the point where last year, it was widely reported to be contemplating a merger or acquisition by a larger firm. That didn’t materialize and instead it brought in Taylor Rhodes as its new CEO, with the idea of focusing on support for the big boys clouds instead.

Whether or not Rackspace’s move to support AWS will make any difference to its bottom line remains to be seen. Jonathan Schildkraut, an analyst with the investment banking advisory firm Evercore ISI, told TechTraderDaily last week that he was doubtful it would, because most leading providers in the space are only generating revenues of $100 million a year, compared to the current $2 billion-plus Rackspace already generates.

“Thus, even if Rackspace were successful in building a market position, the new strategic direction is unlikely to reverse its decelerating top- line growth any time soon,” Schildkraut concluded.

Digging into the details of the deal, Rackspace says it’s offering two levels of support: Navigator, which allows customers to retain control over their AWS clouds; and Aviator, for those who’d rather let Rackspace do everything. The offerings include managed security with host and network-level threat detection, plus Compliance Assistance for customers in the Payment Card and similar industries. It’s also offering Adobe Experience support for digital marketing. The company has yet to provide details of future support options it’s planning.

“Launching our new business unit and adding AWS support to our portfolio of managed service offerings enables us to give our customers more choice in their infrastructure deployments,” said Rackspace senior vice president Chris Cochran in a statement. “Fanatical Support and the AWS Cloud are a potent combination; we’re thrilled to now make it available.”

Image credit: geralt via
]]> 0
Report: New Apple 4k 21.5″ iMac may launch next week along with new mouse and keyboard Wed, 07 Oct 2015 03:50:39 +0000 Fresh off announcing a range of new products in Septemb […]]]>

Fresh off announcing a range of new products in September, Apple looks set to launch its rumored new 4k 21.5-inch iMacs according to a report Tuesday.

9to5Mac claims that Apple will launch the new Mac desktops as soon as next week with the devices going immediately on sale, but in limited numbers until November.

The new iMacs are said to retain the form factor of the existing, non-4k iMacs, but will instead offer a visually richer screen coming in at 4096 x 2304, and will also ship with a faster graphics cards to support the higher resolution; the current model’s screen resolution offers a 1920 x 1080 screen will be the sibling to the 21.5 inch iMac, the 27 inch model currently shipping with a 5K screen that offers 5120 × 2880 native resolution.

As previously speculated, the new model is said to be coming in at a higher price point, however the existing models will remain on sale for the more price conscious.

There is no suggestion in the report that the new iMac will be getting an improved CPU.

New mouse

Also noted is the possibility the new iMac may be rolled out alongside a new Apple Magic Mouse that will offer Force Touch integration, along with a new Bluetooth keyboard with improved battery life.

Apple’s Magic Mouse launched in October 2009 and is long overdue for a refresh, and a move to launch a device with Force Touch, a standard that is becoming de rigueur across Apple’s product range from its Macbook line through to its iPhones, would be a logical step for the company to make.

It’s unlikely we’ll see any major form-factor change with an updated Apple Wireless Keyboard, but a model with improved battery life is also long overdue; the current model has barely changed at all since it was release in 2007 except for Exposé and Dashboard markings being replaced with those for Mission Control and Launchpad in a 2011 update.

Given Apple’s constant need to bring out near yearly updates across its product range, it may seeming surprising that both the Magic Mouse and Keyboard haven’t been touched for so long, but there is a good reason for that: like the old Apple advertising line, they just work, and they are beloved by Apple users.

Image credit: johny/Flickr/CC by 2.0
]]> 0
Direct connect secures a path for Big Data and the Cloud | #AWSreinvent Wed, 07 Oct 2015 03:47:09 +0000 For all its world-changing power, the modern Internet w […]]]>

For all its world-changing power, the modern Internet was never designed to do the job business now asks of it. In particular, the Internet was built on the concept of mutual trust, but trust alone is no protection when data worth millions of dollars is flowing across the wires. Data security, and providing that security at speed, is vital to digital business. Direct connect is a new way of moving data that speaks to this need.

To get a closer look at a company providing this direct connect service, John Furrier, cohost of theCUBE, from the SiliconANGLE Media team, spoke to Al Burgio, CEO of IIX, Inc. and Console, Inc., and Paul Gampe, CTO at IIX, Inc. and Console, Inc, during Amazon re:Invent 2015 conference.

Who guards the path?

The conversation started as Burgio pointed out that every pipeline through the Internet is owned and operated by several different companies, each holding their own part of the network. Is it wise for a company to trust the speed and security of their data to these random keepers of the Internet roads? More businesses are turning to solutions that give them control over their data and how it travels. Direct connect provides one such solution as data moves between the business and the Cloud.

The success of IIX and Console is that they deliver this direct connect as a product service directly to the customer, providing a simple, easy way to engage a direct connection to the Cloud.

A growing need for connection

During the interview, Gampe took a moment to mention how IIX/Console had grown close to Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) in recent times. AWS is a major Cloud provider, and that opened the opportunity to provide them and their customers with the direct connect service. AWS has a need for partners like IIX/Console to help bring new customers to the Amazon Cloud network.

Along with the Internet of Things (IoT), every sort of device that can go online is making the jump. All this information will need a secure connection between the device, the Cloud and businesses.

IoT is just the beginning, Burgio said, and direct connect will grow with this new technology communication model.

Watch the full interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of Amazon re:Invent 2015. And join in on the conversation by CrowdChatting with theCUBE hosts.

Photo by SiliconANGLE
]]> 0
How IT ops change with cloud, global compliance needs | #AWSreinvent Wed, 07 Oct 2015 03:42:27 +0000 One of the driving factors in digital business today is […]]]>

One of the driving factors in digital business today is the cloud, the idea of storing, accessing and processing data remotely. However, working with the cloud presents its own set of challenges, especially for the traditional model of DevOps and IT operations.

To discuss some of these challenges, John Furrier and Brian Gracely of theCUBE, from the SiliconANGLE Media team, sat down with Rodrigo Flores, managing director at Accenture LLP’s Cloud Platform, during the Amazon re:Invent 2015 conference.

The next generation of cloud services

As the cloud has developed, it has also matured, demanding new technologies and policies from businesses. Customers, too, have their own demands, especially speed. Flores spoke about what Accenture has to offer for customers. He said they cover the entire spectrum of cloud services, which they could do thanks to their deep bench of many data science people on staff. This also allowed them to offer expertise and scale to their customers.

Accenture, he said, was not a data center somewhere. Instead, they worked with partners to bring cloud services to customers. Through this, there has been a big change in IT operations to meet the new cloud development model. The balance between agility and control over their data has been a concern for customers.

Conversations from the field

According to Flores, he’s heard a great many things from customers regarding a migration to the cloud. This has prompted a second generation of the cloud, one ready to handle modern business demands. While customers may use many different technologies in their cloud services, they want a common framework to help control it all.

There’s also the issue of compliance. Going remote means dealing the local laws where ever the data is stored. While there’s an advantage in being able to move your data to right where you need it, local laws and taxes can change the equation. Accenture’s solution is to set up a compliance system in advance to handle these issues before the customer even gets involved.

Watch the full interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of Amazon re:Invent 2015. And join in on the conversation by CrowdChatting with theCUBE hosts.

Photo by SiliconANGLE
]]> 0
VC says Amazon infrastructure smokes the competition | #AWSreinvent Wed, 07 Oct 2015 03:18:28 +0000 While developers can usually create software that runs […]]]>

While developers can usually create software that runs within the parameters of their own databases, the real challenge is developing a software that runs once it is plugged into another platform, like Amazon Marketplace. As a result, many companies are forming to try to solve any issues that arise in that transition.

Amazon itself has developed “a whole team dedicated to AWS development,” reported Ryan Floyd, founder and managing director of Storm Ventures LLC. The venture capitalist told John Furrier and Stu Miniman, cohosts of theCUBE, from the SiliconANGLE Media team, “Amazon runs an infrastructure that just smokes the competition.” Floyd remarked that Amazon Marketplace is “a great place for start-ups to be,” going on to call Amazon Re:Invent 2015 “The Cloud Show.”

Moving to software and cloud-based

“We are seeing the largest change in enterprise in 15 years,” Floyd said, commenting that “trillions of dollars are shifting between players.” In addition to a move away from hardware, Floyd observed that “everything is moving to software and cloud-based.” Floyd has seen shifts within the Cloud market, moving in the direction of private/public hybrid clouds in growing demand.

“Be thoughtful about what you go to market with,” Floyd advised start-ups and entrepreneurs. “Make sure you have a product that will sell,” he cautioned further. Enterprise is looking for problem-solving applications and “enterprise is cutting back on proprietary software and hardware,” Floyd continued. He added that he and Storm Ventures are looking for applications that will “leverage AWS programs [into] enterprise-focused services.”

Watch the full interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of Amazon re:Invent 2015. And join in on the conversation by CrowdChatting with theCUBE hosts.

Photo by SiliconANGLE
]]> 0
Wikibon assesses disruptive and fast-changing Big Data and Cloud trends in the enterprise | #AWSreinvent Wed, 07 Oct 2015 02:37:33 +0000 Research firm Wikibon has been hard at work assessing t […]]]>

Research firm Wikibon has been hard at work assessing the newest trends and developments in Big Data and cloud services. These trends have been disruptive and fast changing in a space that’s become reluctant to adopt new changes quickly: the enterprise. So what’s actually going on?

Stu Miniman, host of theCUBE, from the SiliconANGLE Media team, joined David Floyer, cofounder and CTO of Wikibon, and Brian Gracely, analyst, cloud computing of Wikibon, at the Amazon re:Invent 2015 event in Las Vegas to get a handle on that very question.

Migration: To augment or start anew?

According to Floyer, Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) needs to pass the acid test: running any application on the cloud. In addition, it needs to develop its ability to deliver Database-as-a-Service for large systems to convince established enterprise consumers that it’s worth moving to the cloud. One of the biggest strains is that applications average 12 to 15 years in age, which poses the question: augment existing applications or build a new one on another platform? Gracely suggested businesses would consider leveraging AWS as a Platform-as-a-Service given that very question, but that it leaves room for innovation and choice.

Floyer was quick to remind that “any migration you don’t have to do, you want to avoid.” There’s a high cost and risk to changing platforms, and companies in the past have lost hundreds of millions in order to save just a few, he said.

Giving back

Open source has been the basis and beginning of a multitude of applications, and AWS is no different in benefitting from open source. But AWS hasn’t given back in the same way, according to theCUBE participants. Floyer thinks that this “shortsighted” approach will come back to bite AWS, and as Gracely pointed out, AWS could gain a great deal from the innovation that comes with making something open and accessible.

One of the biggest troubles is the memory of those migration costs – specifically as it relates to support for IT. Open source has provided a certain comfort for the enterprise consumer in that there’s no reliance on any one company to provide support, and in the past, those companies sometimes evaporated or required large investments to maintain, according to theCUBE discussion. It’ll be key to see how AWS presents its vision at this year’s AWS re:Invent 2015 event and how the Silicon Valley community reacts.

Watch the full segment below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of Amazon re:Invent 2015. And join in on the conversation by CrowdChatting with theCUBE hosts.

Photo by SiliconANGLE
]]> 0