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11 brands you can trust for home automation

There are countless home automation solutions hitting the market these days, emerging in an interesting niche for tech savvy home owners.  That leaves service providers in quite a quandary, where new brands tend to market the hardest through online outlets like crowdfunding sites and social networks, and traditional brands have yet to go fully mainstream with their solutions, still testing the waters. You may be surprised to learn how many of your most familiar brands are at least offering home automation solutions in select markets, few advertising on television and in magazines.  So we've round up the home automation solutions from... more »
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Big data meets HPC in production environments : Wikibon looks at four leading vendors

High Performance Computing (HPC) and Big Data analysis have several core requirements in common, writes Wikibon CTO and Cofounder David Floyer and Principal Research Contributor Stuart Miniman in "High performance computing meets big data". These include high processor density, high-speed IO, power density sufficient to support the demanding HTC components, and automated high-availability solutions that can keep production going when a node fails. In both cases the key metric is time-to-value, and the key technical problem is very similar -- keeping processors fed with data and avoiding stoppages. As Big Data analysis moves from development/test to large-scale production environments, it will... more »
Firefox Add-On Lightbeam Tracks Who's Tracking You Online

Firefox Add-On Lightbeam Tracks Who's Tracking You Online

Mozilla has been feasting on the cookies, and now it wants to share them. The non-profit organization behind the popular Firefox web browser has announced the release of a new add-on called Lightbeam, that lets users track the cookies that track them across the web. With the add-on, users will be able to identify each cookie that's placed on their machine, see what companies put them there, and what kind of information they're gathering. If you don't know what a 'cookie' is, essentially its a file stored on your web browser that's used to track your browsing history as you traverse... more »
Pentaho Sets Big Data Priorities for 2014

Pentaho Sets Big Data Priorities for 2014

With Big Data continuing an upward trend in the enterprise, decision makers are increasingly looking beyond traditional BI for operational visibility and competitive advantage. Not to be left in the dust, open source business intelligence firm Pentaho is shifting its focus to making information more consumable for end-users. The company hit its first major analytics milestone in April with the acquisition of Webdetails, a Portuguese design studio that had contributed tools and dashboards to its ecosystem. The deal bought Pentaho a 20-strong team with the know-how to create rich visualizations and to integrate its software with emerging Big Data platforms. Over the... more »
The Internet Archives Delivers A Blast From The Past

The Internet Archives Delivers A Blast From The Past

If you ever find yourself yearning for the days machines like the Intellivision console and Spectrum ZX first bought computing to the masses, well, you're in for a treat. This weekend, the Internet Archive announced the "Historical Software Collection," a curated set of noteworthy games, productivity software, and more from the 1970s and 1980s. From the website, its possible to access dozens of historically significant software programs via an emulator through your web browser. This is believed to be the largest project of its kind on the web, and all of the software is entirely free to use. The Historical Software... more »
Weekly Cloud Review: On-Demand Hybrid Hosting and APIs

Weekly Cloud Review: On-Demand Hybrid Hosting and APIs

As data volumes continue to grow, the hybrid cloud becomes an increasingly attractive proposition for enterprises. Integrating on- and off-premise infrastructure enables CIOs to safeguard sensitive information behind the firewall while taking full advantage of the affordability and flexibility of the public cloud. But with most hybrid platforms, provisioning resources, enforcing policies and managing data across disparate IT environments is much easier said than done. Emil Sayegh‘s Codero is tackling this challenge with a new offering called On-Demand Hybrid Cloud Hosting. The solution lets customers run dedicated servers and cloud systems behind a highly configurable private network that automates administration with... more »
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Weekly Big Data Review: From HDP to Next Gen BI

Hortonworks became the center of attention this week after upgrading its Hadoop distribution with a YARN-based architecture that lets enterprises store and manage all of their data in one place. HDP 2.0 achieves this by providing support for stream processing and rapid ad hoc analysis via Hive 0.12, a faster and more feature-rich fork of the widely used SQL-like interface for Hadoop. Wikibon Principal Analyst Jeff Kelly says that these improvements transform HDP into a “true multi-application platform” that delivers a wide range of capabilities for storing and interacting with different data types. Nonetheless, there is still a lot of work... more »
Internet of Things Review: Tablets Are All the Rage

Internet of Things Review: Tablets Are All the Rage

It’s been an exciting week for mobile enthusiasts on both the Apple and Microsoft camps, but it was the former that stole the stage with the iPad Air. The fifth generation tablet sports a cutting edge 64-bit A7 processor that provide twice the performance of its predecessor and 72 times the graphical horsepower of the original iPad. Measuring only 7.5 millimeters thick and weighing only one pound, the iPad Air is the slimmest tablet on the market. It made its debut alongside a Retina-equipped iPad mini 2 and new MacBook Pro Retina models that come with OS X Mavericks pre-installed. Apple CEO... more »
Weekly Security Review: Aaron Swartz’s Legacy and the Cyber Grand Challenge

Weekly Security Review: Aaron Swartz’s Legacy and the Cyber Grand Challenge

Before his untimely death in January, hacktivist Aaron Swartz was working on an open source dead-drop tool that would enable journalists to securely accept documents from whistleblowers without exposing their identities. Continuing his legacy, the Freedom of the Press Foundation has recently taken over the project in an effort to solve the technical issues that have deterred news organizations from adopting the tool. As part of the initiative, the group hired cybersecurity expert James Dolan to maintain the code and provide comprehensive technical support for users. Dubbed SecureDrop, the software is billed as the safest tool for communicating with anonymous sources. While... more »
DataStax Snags Former Fusion-io CFO

DataStax Snags Former Fusion-io CFO

Apache Cassandra distributor DataStax announced today that it has appointed Dennis Wolf as chief financial officer. The Silicon Valley veteran joins the company from flash storage solutions maker Fusion-io, which posted a first-quarter loss of $27.9 million, or 28 cents a share on Wednesday. Wolf brings more than 30 years of experience to the company. He is credited with leading Fusion-io through its hugely successful IPO, and laying the groundwork for the $1 billion Sun-MySQL deal before that. He is currently a director and chair of the audit committee of Codexis, having previously served in similar roles at data protection giant... more »

Premium Research

- David Floyer

Industrial IoT, the largest segment of the Internet of things (IoT) with the highest potential value, will require a deep integration between modern IT (Information Technology) and OT (Operations Technology). Modern IT technologies, to be truly extensible to OT, will need a hybrid cloud approach, with by far the majority of data and processing residing at the so-called "Edge". Architectures and software written by industrialists for industrialists, such as GE Predix, are showing how that can work.

- George Gilbert

The big data arena is at a crossroads. Use cases and tools are proliferating faster than most big data teams are gaining experience. In establishing the big data business capabilities required to cut through the complexity, CIO’s must balance the accessibility of integration of traditional SQL DBMS’s versus speed of innovation in the mix and match open source big data ecosystem.

- Peter Burris

In the big data domain, businesses are trying to solve complex problems with complex and novel technology -- and often failing. Simplifying the packaging of big data technologies will streamline big data pilots and accelerate big data time-to-value. CIOs looking to establish differentiating big data capabilities need to consider Single Managed Entities to help solve the complexity problem.

- David Floyer

Oracle M7 technology is meeting or exceeding the announcement performance claims against previous generation. Even taking very conservative assumptions, the business case for migration from T5 to T7 servers is good. Wikibon concludes that for Oracle software and the servers they run on, the adoption of M7 technology (and T7 server technology) is best practice for these high value compute areas.

- David Floyer

The premise tested in this research is that high value applications and software should be run on more capable converged performance-optimized infrastructure, even when they constitute a small proportion of the total workload. In contrast, cost-optimized infrastructure will save on short-term hardware costs, but will incur much higher overall costs long-term. The conclusion strongly recommends IT executives adopt a default of performance-optimized converged infrastructure for all mixed workloads when even a small proportion includes high-cost software and/or high-value applications.

- George Gilbert

Big data pros need to identify which data feedback loops in their machine learning applications can deliver sustainable differentiation through network effects. Starting early is critical because getting to scale is likely to create the "winner takes most" competitive dynamics that have become so common in tech industries. The biggest sin is to wait for the tooling to become automated enough for all competitors to jump in.

- Ralph Finos

The public cloud competitive environment remains turbulent, but sectors show signs of crystallizing a longer-term market structure.. SaaS remains turbulent with SaaS vendors successfully gaining share vs. incumbent licensed software providers who must migrate their core products to cloud-friendly offerings and/or acquire native SaaS applications to shore up their applications leadership positions. Public cloud IaaS segment leadership is crystallizing to a handful of viable providers as a function of scale requirements. PaaS is just formulating and finding its way, but is likely to gravitate towards a wide variety of development models suited for different application types and public cloud platforms.

- David Floyer

For enterprise executives trying to achieve aggressive RPO and RTO SLAs , Wikibon believes that batch backup appliances (PBBAs) will give way to real-time, continuous data protection systems that aggressively support very large memory application memory. Practitioners requiring close to RPO zero and aggressive RTO SLAs should plan for an integrated data protection approach that effectively eliminates the concept of storage-led backup and shifts thinking to a application-led virtual point-in-time recovery model. The database and file system vendors will be the predominant suppliers of this technology, and understanding their roadmaps and commitment to support application-led recovery strategies is crucial to both database and data protection technology selection.

- George Gilbert

Mainstream enterprises are beginning to deploy machine learning applications that add differentiation to traditional products and services. But the complexity of their big data infrastructure is becoming a problem. Big data pros need to deploy a digital business platform (DBP) to support modern applications and then extend the DBP to machine learning applications.

- Peter Burris

IT shops that want to achieve modern IT status will have to address the "IT iron triangle" constraining transformation.