Big Data: What’s the Big Deal? – A Guide

The largest tech companies are running to provide two new related services to big business, and the rush is on. These are cloud computing services, and big data analytic services.

The internet, mobile computing, the internet of things – all these provide new sources of data that did not exist ten years ago, and the quantity of data is enormous. Questions arise: how do you access that data, how do you organize it, and how do you turn it to your advantage?

These represent huge changes in the landscape of enterprise computation, and billions of dollars are at stake. Wikibon estimates total Big data spending in 2018 to reach almost $50 billion, while A. T. Kearney and ABI both predict $114 billion. Granted their definitions most likely are not the same, but in any case these are huge numbers.

Main Players include:

What is it all about?

There has been a lot of talk about these services, but many people are still hazy on what it all means. Therefore, I am providing a kind of primer for those not completely sure of what this movement is about.

I – Cloud services

The basic concept of cloud services is well known. Continue reading

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A Brief Intro To Your Brain

Today there is a new computing frontier – business analytics.

Some people may be interested in the relationship between our brains and the new Artificial Intelligence that is impacting the business and research worlds.

In an earlier time we used computers to help us perform computations, then to organize data, later to visualize data so that people could better see correlations and make decisions.

Now we are moving into the next generation. Here, analytic programs such as Watson by IBM (IBM), Microsoft (MSFT) Azure Machine Learning, and AWS Elastic MapReduce service by Amazon (AMZN), are sifting through enormous amounts of big data to answer business and scientific questions.

According to Wikipedia:

 Analytics is the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data.

In the end, all these are sifting through the data trying to abstract out significant relationships between people and/or events.

As I noted in another post, Abstraction is what the brain does.

Some people may be interested in the relationship between our brains and the new Artificial Intelligence that is impacting the business and research worlds. In this post I will describe, very briefly, how brain cells work together to create knowledge.

Neurons – the basic elements of the brain

Continue—>

Microsoft Surface vs Apple: DATA – Make your own analysis

Microsoft has introduced its new Surface Pro 3 computer, billed as both a tablet and a laptop. Naturally, they promoted it as the greatest thing, both at the announcement event, and on their website.

Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 1.49.50 PM

There, under the selection Surface Pro 3 vs. MacBook Pro, they do a comparison with the MacBook Pro. For those who think that comparing the Surface Pro 3 to a MBP is stretching things a bit, below is a list of comparison figures for you to contemplate. Meanwhile, others say that SP3 is really targeting the MacBook Air ( amore reasonable comparison in my view. At Seeking Alpha, Quoth the Raven has a reasonable analysis, although I think he should to examine the real comparison data here.

[click to enlarge]

Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 7.48.06 AM  Notes:

  1. Processor – I am asserting that Apple’s A7 64-bit SoC is roughly equivalent to the Core i3 in the low end surface. Geekbench data below more or less corroborate that, and the Anand tech graphics data indicates the A7 may have a significant edge.
  2. Graphics Processors (GPUs) are built into the Intel chips. Microsoft did not provide detailed specs with its news release, so real comparisons are impossible to make. Just learned the i5 model is the i5-4300U model with HD 4400 GPU running at 2.5Gz. this is similar to the previous model, so I do not expect the benchmarks to increase significantly.
  3. Prices are rounded up $1 or less to nearest multiple of 10.
  4. Keyboard for the Surface 3 costs $130. A similar keyboard, Logitech Ultrathin Bluetooth for iPad Air costs $70 on Amazon. (Weight = 330 g)
  5. Memory – On the MacBooks, I have included both RAM and SSD (RAM based drive) sizes. On most configurations listed, the RAM can be increased as a build to order option.
  6. Weight – I list here the weight both alone and with the keyboard

Unfortunately there is no way of making an objective comparison Continue reading