27 June, 2015

The Big Data Analytics Landscape 2015: The Analytical Maturity Model

Data analytics moves from hindsight (what happened?) to insight (why did it happen?) to foresight (what will happen and what should I do?). Depending on where you fall in this continuum, you need to pick the right combination of technology to support your current abilities and give you room to grow without falling behind.

Fortunately you can demystify your organization's place along this scale. Use this benchmark to grade your organization by the leadership, data strategy and technology currently in play.

The role of IT as simply storing data in a secure, stable fashion has expanded dramatically. Now, data is recognized as a highly valuable resource that must be supported by the right ecosystem of technologies.

To get the most out of your data – and to support your future analytical development – it is critical to identify your organization's analytical maturity level and select the appropriate supporting technology tools.

25 June, 2015

The Landscape of BigData - Infographic

24 June, 2015

MIT's 50 Smartest Companies list 2015

In his introduction to MIT Technology Review’s 50 Smartest Companies list for 2014, Brian Bergstein paraphrased Justice Stewart Potter’s 1964 threshold test for obscenity: “I know it when I
see it.”

“It might sound difficult to define what makes a smart company,”Bergstein wrote, “but you know one when you see it.”

Using that definition, Apple and Facebook didn’t make the cut. “Reputation doesn’t matter,” to MIT’s editors. “We’re highlighting where important innovations are happening right now.”

So what companies did look “smart” to the smartypants on the Charles?

  • IBM (whose reputation dates back to 1880): “Its Watson system could deliver more answers from big data.”
  • Walmart (a Web shopping laggard): “1 billion Walmart.com page views in first five days of holiday season.”
  • Samsung (which lost its lead in smartphones in 2014): “Maximizing the advantages of its vertical integration as it extends its lead in the smartphone market.”

23 June, 2015

Verizon now officially owns AOL

It’s official: Verizon completed its acquisition of AOL Tuesday in a deal that raises yet-unanswered questions about the future of one of the country’s earliest Internet brands and of online media in general.

The $4.4 billion deal, which the companies announced in May, gives Verizon access to AOL’s digital ad technology as well as content brands like The Huffington Post as well as technology blogs Engadget and TechCrunch.

The merger sparked rumors about the future of the AOL-owned Huffington Post and whether the site’s founder, Arianna Huffington, had a place at Verizon. Huffington quelled the doubters last week when she signed a contract to remain president and editor-in-chief of the site for four more years. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, also shows no signs of an exit — he will continue to run AOL from within the Verizon chain of command.

Speculation that Verizon might try to sell off the Huffington Post also appears to be unfounded for now.

18 June, 2015

Twitter is diving deeper into machine learning with the acquisition of Whetlab.

The social network confirmed the news in a one sentence Tweet on Wednesday.
Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Whetlab was developed by researchers at Harvard, Toronto, and Sherbrooke universities looking for better solutions for making intelligent predictions.

Run by a five-person team, Whetlab focused on hyperparameter optimization, which the startup explained to mean offering better performance (i.e. suggestions and answers) than human experts could provide in less time and just a few lines of code.

However, beyond the umbrella term of machine learning, it is not exactly known how (or if all) the Whetlab team members will be incorporated into Twitter.

"Over the past year, we have created a technology to make machine learning better and faster for companies, automatically," the Whetlab team wrote on its website on Wednesday. "Twitter is the platform for open communication on the internet and we believe that Whetlab's technology can have a great impact by accelerating Twitter's internal machine learning efforts."
The public-facing Whetlab service will be shutting down on July 15. Existing users have up until that date to download data from previous experiments before it all disappears.

Furthermore, the startup has disabled new signups for its closed beta version -- even for applications already assigned a code.

Yo is attempting to make a comeback with photo messaging in Yo 2.0

Yo, the simple app that rocketed to the top of the App Store charts in June 2014, is attempting to make a comeback with the launch of Yo 2.0. The concept behind Yo is simple: You send the word "Yo" to people. It was that bare-bones simplicity that made it a hit.
Now, Yo is hoping to recapture some of the magic that made it popular with the launch of Yo 2.0. The app is adding an interface for Yo'ing someone your location, Yo'ing them a photo, or just sending the word "Yo."
Yo 2.0. - Yo Photos lets users send simple photos to each other. There are no filters, text comments, or options to retake the shot - it's a simple approach that plays off Yo's bare bones messaging functionality.
Another new feature in Yo 2.0 is the launch of Yo Groups: group chats for Yo. Now Yo users can Yo all their friends with a Yo sent to multiple people.
Yo is hoping the new update will see it return to the top of the App Store charts. The app went viral in June 2014 as technology journalists mocked how simple it was. But users enjoyed the app, and it became the fourth most-popular free app in the US.
A gang of hackers figured out how to gain access to the mobile phone numbers of Yo users. But instead of causing havoc, the hackers texted Arbel and explained the security flaw. Yo later went on to work with the hackers to fix security issues in the app.

17 June, 2015

Facebook has a new way to share a bunch of photos with all your friends at once - Moments

Facebook is launching yet another app out of Creative Labs, the company's studio for experimental projects.
This one is a photo-sharing app called Moments, and the concept is pretty simple.
When you first launch Moments, the app pulls in photos from your camera roll. It then uses the same facial recognition technology Facebook's website has to identify your friends in those photos. You then have the option to send the batch of those photos to those people.
Facebook gets all the information about you and your friends from your Facebook account. You can log in the old-fashioned way, or use Facebook's integration with Android or iPhone. If you try to send photos to someone who doesn't have the new Moments app, that person will get a message in the Facebook Messenger app prompting them to download Moments.
And that's it! The idea is to have an easy way to share big groups of photos with the people in them without having to email or text them one by one.
Facebook Creative labs has launched several social networking apps over the last two years or so. None of them have been massive hits, and a lot of them borrowed heavily from features found in other apps.
Facebook will tell you it's not trying to create the next social networking phenomenon with Creative Labs apps (although it certainly wouldn't mind stumbling on to something like that), but instead uses the apps to test features for the main Facebook app.
For example, some navigation features in Paper, the company's news app, can be found in Instant Articles, the native publishing platform partners like The New York Times and BuzzFeed have used to post stories directly to Facebook.

16 June, 2015

Mobile subscriptions in India likely to touch 1.4 billion by 2020

The number of mobile subscriptions in the country is expected to increase to 1.4 billion by 2020, against 970 million in 2014, driven by rise in affordable devices and services, according to a report by telecom equipment maker Ericsson. The India appendix of the Ericsson Mobility Report, released today, shows key trends and forecasts on mobile traffic, subscriptions, consumer behaviour and technology uptake in the country.

GSM/EDGE subscriber base is expected to peak in 2015 and likely to decline thereafter as subscribers migrate to 3G services, the report said. LTE subscriptions are likely to top 230 million, forming around 17 per cent of the total subscription base by 2020, it said.

The WCDMA/HSPA subscriptions are anticipated to grow from over 120 million in 2014 to around 620 million by 2020, and will account for 45 per cent of the total subscription base by that time, it added.
GSM/EDGE technology has the widest reach in India with 95 per cent population coverage while WCDMA/HSPA is expected to cover approximately 90 per cent by the end of 2020. Additionally, around 40 per cent of the population will be covered by LTE networks by 2020. "Affordability of smartphones will drive the overall affordability of mobile broadband in India," the report stated.
The number of smartphone subscriptions is expected to reach over 750 million by 2020, up from 130 million in 2014. "The continued growth in smartphone subscriptions will lead to an accelerated growth in data usage. Monthly mobile data consumption is expected to increase 18-fold by the year 2020 over current levels," the report said. Video streaming accounts for the most used mobile data service among Indians, followed by social networking, the report noted.

Interestingly, the proportion of people aged over 50 who use smartphones quadrupled between 2013 and 2015, albeit from a small base. During the same period, there was a threefold growth in the proportion of 31-40 year-old mobile data users, it noted.
The global Ericsson Mobility Report released earlier this month stated that India added the most net mobile subscribers in the first quarter this year at 26 million 

12 June, 2015

Twitter is removing the 140 character limit in Direct Messages next month

In its developer forum, Twitter has confirmed that it will no longer require Direct Messages to be in 140 characters and under.

The announcement is initially targeted to developers so they can update their APIs to accept messages longer than 140 characters, if their products have a Twitter DM functionality. This update will not affect regular tweets, which will remain under the 140 character constraint.

The DM update is scheduled to arrive some time in July, which should be helpful for when you’re privately chatting with other Twitter users, or talking to customer service accounts and need more characters to describe your situation.

05 June, 2015

The average company lifespan on S&P 500 from 60 years to 12.

Interesting to see that the average phase of sustenance for these is lowering for every single phase – short lived for every business cycle. Shouldn't surprise us if we see them to be live only for a decade, with the rate of disruption which the markets embrace it isn't inevitable.

Micromax Enters Global Top 10 Phone Maker Club, Samsung Stays At Top!

Micromax is the first Indian mobile manufacturer to make it to the elite list of Top 10 Phone Makers in the world. According to a report shared by Gartner, Micromax occupies 1.8% market share of the world smartphone market for Q1 2015 and has shipped a total of 8,158,000 devices during that period.
Micromax has revealed that all of this has been made possible by the overwhelming response received for its popular phones like Canvas Spark, Canvas Knight, Canvas Fire, etc. While Micromax has been able to achieve this historic feat which no Indian phone maker has achieved before, it’s not clearly mentioned whether the sales of Micromax’s subsidiary YU were included while forming this report or not.
Samsung Mobiles has been able to hold its top spot for this quarter as well and has 21.3% of the global smartphone market share. Apple was the second most popular smartphone maker with a market share of 13.1%.
Microsoft and LG stood at third and fourth position with 7.2% and 4.3% market share respectively. Lenovo (including Motorola) had 4.2% market share to round off the list of top 5 smartphone companies in the world.
The bottom 5 spots in this list are occupied by Huawei, Xiaomi, TCL Communication, ZTE, and finally Micromax. It must be noted that Micromax has witnessed a growth of 0.1% as compared to Q1 2014 and now occupies 1.8% of global phone shipments.
“During this quarter, local brands and Chinese vendors came out as the key winners in emerging markets,” said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner. “These vendors recorded an average growth of 73 percent in smartphone sales and saw their combined share go up from 38 percent to 47 percent during the first quarter of 2015,” said Anshul Gupta, Research Director at Gartner.
The report also pointed out how Apple has managed to reduce the difference in smartphone shipments between its iPhones and Samsung phones by entering new Asian markets. There was a difference of 40 million units in the sales of Samsung phones and iPhones for Q1 2014, but the difference has reduced to 20 million units for Q1 2015.

04 June, 2015

Software can detect your pain level just by looking

Remember Baymax's pain scale in Big Hero 6? In the real world, machines might not even need to ask whether or not you're hurting -- they'll already know. UC San Diego researchers have developed a computer vision algorithm that can gauge your pain levels by looking at your facial expressions. If you're wincing, for example, you're probably in more agony than you are if you're just furrowing your brow. The code isn't as good as detecting your pain as your parents (who've had years of experience), but it's up to the level of an astute nurse.

As you might imagine, the technology could be very helpful in the hospital and beyond. Nurses could use it to tell whether or not you're getting enough painkillers after surgery. Alternately, medical robots could offer treatment if they see you grimacing. Doctors could eventually refine procedures based on feedback, and you might never have to wait for a health care worker to see that you're suffering.