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  • Gerrit Eicker 15:12 on 13. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Agility, , Amazon Elastic MapReduce, , , Apache Hadoop, , , , Big Data Processing, , Business Opportunities, , , , , Competition, , Data Science, , , , , , , , , Microsoft Hadoop, , , , , , , ,   

    Big Data 

    Larger datasets allow better predictive analytics: Big Data is a lot more than business buzz; http://eicker.at/BigData

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 15:12 on 13. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Wikipedia: “In information technology, big data consists of datasets that grow so large that they become awkward to work with using on-hand database management tools. Difficulties include capture, storage, search, sharing, analytics, and visualizing. This trend continues because of the benefits of working with larger and larger datasets allowing analysts to ‘spot business trends, prevent diseases, combat crime.’ Though a moving target, current limits are on the order of terabytes, exabytes andzettabytes of data. Scientists regularly encounter this problem in meteorology, genomics, connectomics, complex physics simulations, biological and environmental research, Internet search, finance and business informatics. Data sets also grow in size because they are increasingly being gathered by ubiquitous information-sensing mobile devices, aerial sensory technologies (remote sensing), software logs, cameras, microphones, Radio-frequency identification readers, wireless sensor networks and so on. Every day, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created and 90% of the data in the world today was created within the past two years.

      ATD: “Over the last several years, there has been a massive surge of interest in Big Data Analytics and the groundbreaking opportunities it provides for enterprise information management and decision making. Big Data Analytics is no longer a specialized solution for cutting-edge technology companies – it is evolving into a viable, cost-effective way to store and analyze large volumes of data across many industries. … Big Data technologies like Apache Hadoop provide a framework for large-scale, distributed data storage and processing across clusters of hundreds or even thousands of networked computers. The overall goal is to provide a scalable solution for vast quantities of data … while maintaining reasonable processing times. … The barriers to entry for Big Data analytics are rapidly shrinking. Big Data cloud services like Amazon Elastic MapReduce and Microsoft’s Hadoop distribution for Windows Azure allow companies to spin up Big Data projects without upfront infrastructure costs and allow them to respond quickly to scale-out requirements. … To apply this new technology effectively, it is important to understand its role and when and how to integrate Big Data with the other components of the data warehouse environment. … Hadoop provides an adaptable and robust solution for storing large data volumes and aggregating and applying business rules for on-the-fly analysis that crosses boundaries of traditional ETL and ad-hoc analysis. It is also common for the results of Big Data processing jobs to be automated and loaded into the data warehouse for further transformation, integration and analysis. … Big Data adoption will continue to be driven by large and/or rapidly growing data being captured by automated and digitized business processes. … As we move into the age of Big Data, companies that are able to put this technology to work for them are likely to find significant revenue generating and cost savings opportunities that will differentiate them from their competitors and drive success well into the next decade.”

      ORR: “Big data is data that exceeds the processing capacity of conventional database systems. The data is too big, moves too fast, or doesn’t fit the strictures of your database architectures. To gain value from this data, you must choose an alternative way to process it. .. The hot IT buzzword of 2012, big data has become viable as cost-effective approaches have emerged to tame the volume, velocity and variability of massive data. … The value of big data to an organization falls into two categories: analytical use, and enabling new products. … The emergence of big data into the enterprise brings with it a necessary counterpart: agility. Successfully exploiting the value in big data requires experimentation and exploration. Whether creating new products or looking for ways to gain competitive advantage, the job calls for curiosity and an entrepreneurial outlook. … If you could run that forecast taking into account 300 factors rather than 6, could you predict demand better? – This volume presents the most immediate challenge to conventional IT structures. … The importance of data’s velocity – the increasing rate at which data flows into an organization – has followed a similar pattern to that of volume. … A common theme in big data systems is that the source data is diverse, and doesn’t fall into neat relational structures. It could be text from social networks, image data, a raw feed directly from a sensor source. None of these things come ready for integration into an application. … The phenomenon of big data is closely tied to the emergence of data science, a discipline that combines math, programming and scientific instinct. Benefiting from big data means investing in teams with this skillset, and surrounding them with an organizational willingness to understand and use data for advantage. … If you pick a real business problem, such as how you can change your advertising strategy to increase spend per customer, it will guide your implementation. While big data work benefits from an enterprising spirit, it also benefits strongly from a concrete goal.

      Beye: “What is This Thing Called Big Data? – It’s difficult to avoid big data these days. More correctly, it’s difficult to avoid the phrase ‘big data.’ It has become such an integral part of the sales pitches of so many vendors and the blog posts of so many experts that one might be forced to conclude that big data is all-pervasive. The truth is far more complex. Even a definition of big data is elusive. … Big data is not, in essence, something entirely new. The problem is, to a large extent, one of scale; hence the name. However, the insights we currently have into these categories listed earlier and the different tools and approaches they require must be carried forward into how we handle these same data categories at a larger scale. … As a result, depending on your point of view, big data appears either as a giant wave of business opportunity or a huge precipice of potential technological and management pain.

      Beye: “What is the Importance and Value of Big Data? – Recognizing that big data has long been with us allows us to look at the historical value of big data, as well as current examples. This allows a wider sample of use cases, beyond the Internet giants who are currently leading the field in using big data. This leads us to the identification of value in two broad categories: pattern discovery and process invention. … Clearly, discovering a pattern in, for example, customer behavior may be very interesting, but the real value occurs when we put that discovery to use by changing something that reduces costs or increases sales. … More recently, combining data sets from multiple sources, both related and unrelated, with increasing emphasis on computer logs such as clickstreams and publicly available data sets has become popular. … The second approach to getting business value from big data involves using the data operationally to invent an entirely new process or substantially re-engineer an existing one. … For those contemplating investment in big data, the most important conclusion from this article is to recognize that there are very specific combinations of circumstances in which big data can drive real business value. Sometimes, of course, it is the price for simply staying in the game…

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:08 on 29. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Cloud Platform, Cloud Platforms, , Competition, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Mobile Platforms, , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Mobile and Cloud Platform Wars 

    IDC: 2012 will be the year of mobile and cloud platform wars as IT vendors vie for leadership; http://eicker.at/MobileCloudWars

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:08 on 29. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      IDC: “One year ago, International Data Corporation (IDC) predicted that the IT industry’s next dominant platform, built on mobile computing, cloud services, social networking, and big data analytics technologies, would begin its transition into the mainstream. Today, spending on these technologies is growing at about 18% per year and is expected to account for at least 80% of IT spending growth between now and 2020. With future market revenues at stake, IDC predicts that 2012 will be marked by some of the first high-stakes battles as companies seek to position themselves for leadership in these critical and fast-growing technology areas. … Overall, IDC predicts that worldwide IT spending will grow 6.9% year over year to $1.8 trillion in 2012. As much as 20% of this total spending will be driven by the technologies that are reshaping the IT industry – smartphones, media tablets, mobile networks, social networking, and big data analytics. … 2012 will also be the Year of Mobile Ascendency as mobile devices (smartphones and media tablets) surpass PCs in both shipments and spending and mobile apps, with 85 billion downloads, generate more revenue than the mainframe market. The mobility market will see heated competition in 2012 as Microsoft joins the crucial battle for dominance in the mobile operating system (OS) market and the Kindle Fire challenges the iPad in the media tablet market. … Competition will also characterize the world of cloud services in 2012 as the strategic focus shifts from building infrastructure to the creation of application platforms and ecosystems. Here the battle for enterprise platform dominance is just getting underway with established players like IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle facing serious challenges from Amazon, Google, Salesforce.com, and VMware. … Social networking technologies – especially where they are being accelerated by mobile technologies – will be recognized as a mandatory component in every major enterprise IT vendors’ strategy. As a result, IDC expects a number of major IT vendors to make ‘statement’ acquisitions in social business while others continue to expand their community platforms. … Finally, Big Data will earn its place as the next ‘must have’ competency in 2012 as the volume of digital content grows to 2.7 zettabytes (ZB), up 48% from 2011. Over 90% of this information will be unstructured (e.g., images, videos, MP3 files, and files based on social media and Web-enabled workloads) – full of rich information, but challenging to understand and analyze. … The number of intelligent, communicating devices on the network will outnumber ‘traditional computing’ devices by almost 2 to 1 within next 24 months, changing the way we think – and interact – with each other and devices on the network.

  • Gerrit Eicker 10:28 on 28. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: +Identities, , , , Competition, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Social Media Adoption, , , , ,   

    Google Plus Stats 

    Allen: Google Plus passes 62 million users, adds 625K new per day. 400M by end of 2012; http://eicker.at/GooglePlusStats

    (More …)

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 10:28 on 28. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Allen: “Google+ Growth Accelerating. Passes 62 million users. Adding 625,000 new users per day. Prediction: 400 million users by end of 2012. – Google+ is adding new users at a very rapid pace. It may be the holidays, the TV commercials, the Android 4 signups, celebrity and brand appeal, or positive word of mouth, or a combination of all these factors, but there is no question that the number of new users signing up for Google+ each day has accelerated markedly in the past several weeks. – Each week my team from elance runs hundreds of queries on various surnames which we have been tracking since July. We revised our model based on the actual user announcements made by Google on July 13th and Oct 13th. … If this rate of new signups (625k daily) continues then Google+ will reach 100 million users on Feb. 25th and 200 million users on August 3. They will finish 2012 with 293 million users. – I expect the growth to continue to accelerate however. Google can continue to integrate Google+ into its other products and word of mouth will continue to build. … Based on the accelerated growth I’m seeing and all the dials and levers Google can still utilize, and the developer ecosystem that will be developed, I predict that 2012 is going to be a breakout year for Google+ and that it will end next year with more than 400 million users.

      TC: “Google+ now has more than 62 million users, according to Paul Allen, Ancestry.com founder and unofficial traffic analyst for Google’s social network. That’s not 62 million active users, though – a point that everyone covering these numbers seems to have missed. It’s just the number of total users. And specifically, it’s the number of new surnames that Allen’s team has tracked being created on the service. – Because Google has aggressively integrated G+ into many other properties, including its top navigation bar and the OneBox, one would expect a certain baseline amount of sign-ups from among the hundreds of millions of people using other Google products. … But there’s support out there for Allen’s latest numbers, from someone trying to answer the usage question. Last week, comScore told us that G+ had grown to 67 million monthly unique visitors in November, up 2 million from October. That’s significantly more than the 50 million total users that Allen reported at the end of the month. … Allen’s big conclusion, based on the most recent growth increases, is that the service could reach 400 million users by the end of 2012. If that turns out to be the case, I’m sure active usage will also be increasing. But the question remains the same: how many G+ users stay active?

      VB: “For a social network that was invite-only until July 2011, those numbers are not bad. However, Google+ has a long way to go if it wants to catch up to Facebook’s 800 million users. … A Google spokesperson told VentureBeat that the company does not ‘have any additional metrics to provide based on Paul Allen’s estimates,’ but that more than 40 million people have signed up for the social network. That number comes from Google’s latest earnings call which took place on October 13. … In an attempt to garner more attention, Google+ rolled out a new ad campaign over the holiday season. The ads featured NBA annoucers and the Muppets to highlight Hangouts and other cool features of the social network. Perhaps the ads were enough to remind people that yes, Google+ does still exist and help it nab those 12 million extra users for December.

      TC: “For Google+, User Count Is A Journey Not A Race – That’s a good thing because Google+ missed the starting gun. And its ‘invite only’ launch strategy saw all its disconnect users flailing independently. But in the long run that might not matter much, because Google+ doesn’t need a critical mass or tons of engagement. It needs signups so it can get its identity layer under users of its other products. That way it can turn everyone’s searches, mapping, email, and more into fuel for its ad targeting engine. … With enough cajoling, users are registering even if their social network needs are already being met by Facebook and Twitter. – Google may never beat those services in terms of engagement with a content stream. … If it takes Google 4 years to start catching up to Facebook in terms of user count, so be it. The company has plenty of money to burn so it can take this long-term approach. What matters isn’t when, but if if it can eventually grow its registration base large enough for Google+ to produce ROI.

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:08 on 3. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , Competition, , Destination, , , , , , Diversion, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Entertainment 

    The Internet is for information only? Not anymore! Pew: it’s for diversion and a destination; http://eicker.at/Entertainment

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:08 on 3. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Pew: “Americans are increasingly going online just for fun and to pass the time, particularly young adults under 30. On any given day, 53% of all the young adults ages 18-29 go online for no particular reason except to have fun or to pass the time. Many of them go online in purposeful ways, as well.”

      Pew: “These results come in the larger context that internet users of all ages are much more likely now than in the past to say they go online for no particular reason other than to pass the time or have fun. Some 58% of all adults (or 74% of all online adults) say they use the internet this way. And a third of all adults (34%) say they used the internet that way ‘yesterday’ – or the day before Pew Internet reached them for the survey. Both figures are higher than in 2009 when we last asked this question and vastly higher than in the middle of the last decade. … The trend also suggests the degree to which the internet has become a competitor to all kinds of other leisure activities that are pursued on other kinds of media. Still, the competition is fuzzy because most other kinds of leisure pursuits that can be digitized – from reading to game playing to ‘watching TV’ and ‘listening to radio’ – are now available online. … Our question wording was simple and did not ask about any particular online ‘fun’ activity, so people were allowed to answer that they were online for fun however they defined the term. – The increases in the number of people going online for fun on a typical day and in the general population of those who ever go online for fun came across all age groups and other demographic cohorts.

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:02 on 22. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Competition, Copycats, , , , Easy, Easy Marketing, , , , , , , , Myth, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Easy Marketing is a Myth 

    Easy marketing is: spam, with no entry barriers, temporary, an escalation of force – expensive; http://eicker.at/EasyMarketing

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 08:14 on 4. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , Business Practices, , , , Competition, , , , Debiasing, , Economic Incentives, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Replication, , , , Search Bias, Search Engine Bias, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Search Engine Bias 

    Does Google favour its own sites in search results? New study: Google less biased than Bing; http://eicker.at/SearchEngineBias

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:14 on 4. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      SEL: “Does Google favor its own sites in search results, as many critics have claimed? Not necessarily. New research suggests that claims that Google is ‘biased’ are overblown, and that Google’s primary competitor, Microsoft’s Bing, may actually be serving Microsoft-related results ‘far more’ often than Google links to its own services in search results. – In an analysis of a large, random sample of search queries, the study from Josh Wright, Professor of Law and Economics at George Mason University, found that Bing generally favors Microsoft content more frequently, and far more prominently, than Google favors its own content. According to the findings, Google references its own content in its first results position in just 6.7% of queries, while Bing provides search result links to Microsoft content more than twice as often (14.3%). … The findings of the new study are in stark contrast with a study on search engine ‘bias’ released earlier this year. That study, conducted by Harvard professor Ben Edelman concluded that ‘by comparing results across multiple search engines, we provide prima facie evidence of bias; especially in light of the anomalous click-through rates we describe above, we can only conclude that Google intentionally places its results first.’ … So, what conclusions to draw? Wright says that ‘analysis finds that own-content bias is a relatively infrequent phenomenon’ – meaning that although Microsoft appears to favor its own sites more often than Google, it’s not really a major issue, at least in terms of ‘bias’ or ‘fairness’ of search results that the engines present. Reasonable conclusion: Google [and Bing, though less so] really are trying to deliver the best results possible, regardless of whether they come from their own services [local search, product search, etc] or not. … But just because a company has grown into a dominant position doesn’t mean they’re doing wrong, or that governments should intervene and force changes that may or may not be “beneficial” to users or customers.

      Edelman/Lockwood: “By comparing results between leading search engines, we identify patterns in their algorithmic search listings. We find that each search engine favors its own services in that each search engine links to its own services more often than other search engines do so. But some search engines promote their own services significantly more than others. We examine patterns in these differences, and we flag keywords where the problem is particularly widespread. Even excluding ‘rich results’ (whereby search engines feature their own images, videos, maps, etc.), we find that Google’s algorithmic search results link to Google’s own services more than three times as often as other search engines link to Google’s services. For selected keywords, biased results advance search engines’ interests at users’ expense: We demonstrate that lower-ranked listings for other sites sometimes manage to obtain more clicks than Google and Yahoo’s own-site listings, even when Google and Yahoo put their own links first. … Google typically claims that its results are ‘algorithmically-generated’, ‘objective’, and ‘never manipulated.’ Google asks the public to believe that algorithms rule, and that no bias results from its partnerships, growth aspirations, or related services. We are skeptical. For one, the economic incentives for bias are overpowering: Search engines can use biased results to expand into new sectors, to grant instant free traffic to their own new services, and to block competitors and would-be competitors. The incentive for bias is all the stronger because the lack of obvious benchmarks makes most bias would be difficult to uncover. That said, by comparing results across multiple search engine, we provide prima facie evidence of bias; especially in light of the anomalous click-through rates we describe above, we can only conclude that Google intentionally places its results first.”

      ICLE: “A new report released [PDF] by the International Center for Law und Economics and authored by Joshua Wright, Professor of Law and Economics at George Mason University, critiques, replicates, and extends the study, finding Edelman und Lockwood’s claim of Google’s unique bias inaccurate and misleading. Although frequently cited for it, the Edelman und Lockwod study fails to support any claim of consumer harm – or call for antitrust action – arising from Google’s practices.Prof. Wright’s analysis finds own-content bias is actually an infrequent phenomenon, and Google references its own content more favorably than other search engines far less frequently than does Bing: In the replication of Edelman und Lockwood, Google refers to its own content in its first page of results when its rivals do not for only 7.9% of the queries, whereas Bing does so nearly twice as often (13.2%). – Again using Edelman und Lockwood’s own data, neither Bing nor Google demonstrates much bias when considering Microsoft or Google content, respectively, referred to on the first page of search results. – In our more robust analysis of a large, random sample of search queries we find that Bing generally favors Microsoft content more frequently-and far more prominently-than Google favors its own content. – Google references own content in its first results position when no other engine does in just 6.7% of queries; Bing does so over twice as often (14.3%). – The results suggest that this so-called bias is an efficient business practice, as economists have long understood, and consistent with competition rather than the foreclosure of competition. One necessary condition of the anticompetitive theories of own-content bias raised by Google’s rivals is that the bias must be sufficient in magnitude to exclude rival search engines from achieving efficient scale. A corollary of this condition is that the bias must actually be directed toward Google’s rivals. That Google displays less own-content bias than its closest rival, and that such bias is nonetheless relatively infrequent, demonstrates that this condition is not met, suggesting that intervention aimed at ‘debiasing’ would likely harm, rather than help, consumers.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:29 on 1. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , Competition, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google Plus + Google Reader 

    Google Reader gets redesigned and plusified: Google Plus now on Search, Blogger, Google Apps; http://eicker.at/GoogleReaderPlus

    (More …)

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:29 on 1. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “Today we’re rolling out the new Reader design, and the Google+ features that we mentioned just over a week ago. Before the day’s over, all Reader users will be able to enjoy the following improvements: A new look and feel that’s cleaner, faster, and nicer to look at. The ability to +1 a feed item (replacing ‘Like’), with an option to then share it with your circles on Google+ (replacing ‘Share’ and ‘Share with Note’). … Updates to Google Reader on the web are rolling out gradually and should reach all users by end of day. A new Android application will follow soon. If you have questions about today’s announcements, please check out our Help Center.”

      RWW: “After announcing on October 20 that Google Reader would be annexed by Google Plus, Reader has gotten the ol’ +1 today. Google is rolling out the new, clean Plus theme that has already come to Gmail, Docs and elsewhere, and it is replacing the Reader ‘Like’ function with the +1 button. Sharing from Google Reader now produces a +snippet. I guess we no longer need that nice workaround. … For anyone who doesn’t use Google Plus, there are some amazing RSS clients that use your Google Reader as the back-end but let you share however you’d like. And you know you can still add all your preferred sharing services to the ‘Send To’ tab, right? The same settings we showed you before to add Google Plus as a Reader service will let you add anything else, too.”

      RWW: “Google has made very clear over the past month that Plus will be integrated into all of Google’s products over time, so this wasn’t a surprising move. However, rather predictably, there has been a user backlash anyway. … I believe that comment was a little disingenuous from Gray, because he knows that Google dominates what’s left of the RSS Reader market. There are always alternatives, but the reality is that relatively few people will use them. What’s more, most of the alternatives rely on Google Reader for content. … The RSS Reader market has declined because reading content is a very fragmented experience these days. … Even despite all of the changes in the way people consume content on the Web, Google Reader had been the holdout as a specialist RSS Reader product. It has (had?) a passionate community of RSS Reader fanatics.

      TNW: “The new look falls in line with the rest of the changes that we’ve seen from Google over the past few months, specifically after the launch of Google+. You’ll see a new preview pane that shows you all of your stories, with subscriptions along the left in a list like before. – Sharing in Google Reader is now considerably different than before. Instead of having a network in and of itself, anything that you share is now going to happen via a +1 to Google+, as detailed in a blog post last week. Google says that it has done this in order to ‘streamline Reader overall’, but the changes aren’t as welcome by everyone. … Ultimately it doesn’t take away from the usefulness of Google Reader as a product, and it’s not the first time that Google has pushed its way into your social life, either (remember the launch of Buzz?). At the end of the day it will be up to users to figure out if they want to share content via a +1, but chances are that Reader fans aren’t going to be adversely affected overall.”

      TC: “As expected, Google has ignored the cries of the niche community of Google Reader sharing enthusiasts [as well as what seems to be the entire online population of Iran], and has pushed forward in its plans to remove Google Reader’s native sharing features to promote deeper integration with Google+. While the ability to share with Google+ is an obvious important step forward for Google’s social agenda, it will be disappointing change for at least some of the Google Reader community – a community that even went so far as to create a petition to save the old features. The petition is now pushing 10,000 responses.”

      Blogger: “In fewer than 4 months since its launch, more than 40 million people have joined Google+, making it a living, breathing space for social connections and sharing to thrive. – Today we’re excited to announce the first way you will be able to leverage Google+ – by making it possible to replace your Blogger profile with your Google+ profile. – In addition to giving your readers a more robust and familiar sense of who you are, your social connections will see your posts in their Google search results with an annotation that you’ve shared the post.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 17:33 on 2. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Winer: “People should know that there is more than one way to do an RSS reading app. Google Reader is one approach. A thousand flowers should bloom to fill the gap it’s creating in the market. There is a way to do plumbing that’s open, that people can subscribe to, independent of Google. That does what Google Reader just stopped doing. I would try to make it work as much as I could without inventing new formats. … I love when people like Richard put awful ideas out there like the one he did. You’re trapped inside Google’s silo, even for something that was open from the start like RSS. Well I think there are a lot of people who are smart enough to know that that’s not true. Those are the very people I want to work with.

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