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Big Data News, Events, and Expert Opinion

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Twitter Transparency Report Shows 46% Increase in Government Requests for User Information

Twitter Jumps on Image Recognition Bandwagon, Acquires MadbitsTwitter has just released the biannual transparency report, a compendium of government information requests, removal requests and copyright notices from the first half of the year. Among the most significant findings in the Twitter transparency report is a 46% increase in government requests for user information, revealing how governments are increasingly relying on social media to uncover the activities of their citizens. The chart above demonstrates how government requests have increased consistently since Twitter began its transparency reports in 2012. “The continued rise may be attributed to Twitter’s ongoing international expansion, but also appears to follow the industry trend, Twitter states in the report. “As always, we continue to fight to provide notice to affected users when we’re not otherwise prohibited.” Discussing the country-by-country breakdown, Twitter highlighted that a staggering…

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OkCupid’s User Experiment: A Call-to-Arms for Data Transparency?

OkCupid's User Experiment A Call-to-Arms for Data Transparency 5Back in June, it seemed like the whole of the internet had taken to their keyboards to write furious responses to the Facebook mood manipulation story. The reaction to the study was so profound, that Senator Mark Warner asked the FTC to intervene and investigate. Now, only a few weeks later, the furore has all but vanished. People have continued to use the social media website in their billions, all but forgetting they were once distressed by how little they know what goes on behind the scenes. But compared to OkCupid’s recent announcement, Facebook’s study looks like child’s play. Facebook tweaked their algorithm to alter people’s news feeds and moods. OkCupid scrapped their algorithm and decided to tell incompatible people they were perfect matches, just to see what would happen.…

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Two Researchers Get $10 Million in Funding for Cyber Security Startup

5825972240_6c2f4932aa_zThetaRay, an Israeli cyber security startup, on Tuesday announced that it has raised $10 million from investors. Participants in the round included industrial giant General Electric Company, Jerusalem Venture Partners and Palim Capital Markets Ltd. The technology used by ThetaRay – which was born out of research from professor Amir Averbuch of Tel-Aviv University and Yale’s Ronald Coifman – uses advanced mathematical algorithms to learn the “normal” behavior of a system, and flag anomalies, like a cyber-intrusion, when they occur. The software can run on-site as well as in the cloud, and according to CEO Mark Gazit, ThetaRay’s unique security analytics allows the startup to notice irregularities in data quicker than its competitors. “Although the concept of looking for anomalies and unknown threats in Big Data is not new, ThetaRay’s…

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The iPhone Slowdown Conspiracy is Nonsense. Here’s Why:

4731067268_aab2472d40_zIn a recent piece on the New York Times, Harvard’s Dr. Mullainathan talks about investigating claims of planned obsolescence in iPhone models – slowing down older models as updates appear. Looking at Google trends data, Laura Trucco, a Ph.D. student in Economics at Harvard, revealed that the worldwide searches for “iPhone slow” had an incredible spike at approximately the same time an update was released. The implication was clear, especially when compared to search results for “Samsung Galaxy slow” where, surprisingly, no correlation was found with release dates. Whilst not settling on a conclusion, it was enough to leave an unpleasant taste in the mouths of Apple users. The article has received incredible attention since it broke earlier today, with everyone from the Guardian, Huffington Post and The Independent reporting…

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MapR Technologies Among First to Receive Big Data Competency Status by Amazon Web Services

MapR Technologies Among First to Receive Big Data Competency Status by Amazon Web ServicesPress Release: MapR Technologies, Inc., provider of the top-ranked distribution for Apache™ Hadoop®, today announced that it is one of the first to receive Big Data Competency status from Amazon Web Services (AWS). Now part of the new AWS Partner Network (APN) Competency Program, AWS has named MapR as a Big Data Competency Partner based on customer success, technical proficiency and software validation. “As the first Hadoop distribution company in the APN Competency Program, we’re excited to be recognized for helping customers successfully use Hadoop in production environments at any scale,” said Jon Posnik, vice president of business development at MapR Technologies. “This validation from AWS reaffirms the value that the MapR distribution provides in the cloud by delivering unparalleled flexibility, scalability and cost-effectiveness.” The MapR Distribution for Hadoop is…

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Dynamic Data Integration

4524698671_d27be90ea5_zDynamic data integration for distributed architectures with more fragmented data sets need data quality and master data management to bridge existing enterprise infrastructure to newer apps developed for cloud and mobility. A flexible and scalable platform with these vital components can ensure consistency and reliability for upstream analytics. But in order to succeed, firms need to first establish and commit to an ongoing data governance program with clear objectives endorsed by senior management. Line of business users must be involved throughout the process – from training on required data entry procedures and formatting to model testing, validation and analysis. In this post, we’ll focus on data quality. Part II will look at MDM and the link between the two. A data governance committee comprised of leaders from different functional areas,…

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