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IBM’s New Watson Analytics Wants To Bring Big Data To The Masses

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

IBM today announced a new product called Watson Analytics, one they claim will bring sophisticated big data analysis to the average business user.

Watson Analytics is a cloud application that does all of the the heavy lifting related to big data processing by retrieving the data, analyzing it, cleaning it, building sophisticated visualizations and offering an environment for communicating and collaborating around the data. And lest you think that IBM is just slapping on the Watson label because it’s a well known brand (as I did), Eric Sall, vp of worldwide marketing for business analytics at IBM  says that’s the not the case. The technology underlying the product including the ability to process natural language queries is built on Watson technology.

Sall says the goal of the product is to put “powerful analytics in the hands of every business user.” As he says, “People understand they should be making better decisions to leverage…

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Time Spent In Apps Up 21% Over Last Year

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

While there may be an upper limit as to how many apps people interact with over the course of a month, new data from mobile marketing platform Localytics out this morning shows that the time spent actually using apps is increasing. In fact, the average time people spend in their apps is up by 21% year-over-year, with music, health and fitness, and social apps showing the largest increases.

The new study was based on data from Localytics’ customer base, which includes 28,000 applications installed across 1.5 billion devices. For these findings, which cover August 2013 to August 2014, the company says it multiplied the average sessions per user in app by the average session length across all apps, and then broke it down by category.


The data also backs up what we’ve already heard from other sources. For instance, Nielsen recently said consumers were now spending an average of 30+ hours…

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The $1 Million Race For The Cure To End Aging

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

The hypothesis is so absurd it seems as though it popped right off the pages of a science-fiction novel. Some scientists in Palo Alto are offering a $1 million prize to anyone who can end aging. “Based on the rapid rate of biomedical breakthroughs, we believe the question is not if we can crack the aging code, but when will it happen,” says director of the Palo Alto Longevity Prize Keith Powers.

It’s a fantastical idea: curing the one thing we will all surely die of if nothing else gets us before that. I sat down with Aubrey de Grey, the chief science officer of the SENS Research Foundation and co-author of “Ending Aging,” to discuss this very topic a few days back. According to him, ending aging comes with the promise to not just stop the hands of time, but to actually reverse the clock. We could, according to…

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This World Map Shows Every Device Connected To The Internet

Internet connectivity map

A striking map created by John Matherly at search engine Shodan shows significant disparities in internet access across the world. The graphic maps every device that’s directly connected to the internet. We first noticed it when geopolitical expert Ian Bremmer tweeted it. Some of the dark spots on the map could be attributed to low population density in those areas, but by looking at the map it’s clear that internet access isn’t equal across the world.

The different colours indicate the density of devices — blue indicates fewer devices and red indicates more devices at a given location. As you can see from the map, the US and Europe have very high levels of internet connectivity, with the exception of the less-populated areas of the western US. Africa is mostly an internet blackout, and Asia has much less internet connectivity than Europe and the US despite having very dense population centres in some areas.

Source: BI Australia

Tiny ant-sized radio developed by Stanford engineers


A tiny, ant-sized radio has been developed by engineers at Stanford University, which is small enough and cheap enough that it could be used for a wide variety of applications, specifically “Internet of Things”.

The radio itself, seen above next to a coin, is made from a piece of silicon just a few millimeters in size; one tenth of the size of a regular Wi-Fi antenna. Despite its small size, the engineers at Stanford managed to cram in a receiving antenna, transmitting antenna and a small microprocessor.

All the energy required to power the chip is harvested from background electromagnetic fields, so there’s no need for a battery or other power source. That said, if a single AAA battery were connected to provide power, the chip would be able to function for more than 100 years.

The reason for creating such a small radio – which costs just a few cents to produce – is to facilitate more interconnected devices through the Internet of Things. Although the chips operate in 24 to 60 GHz frequencies, which are very short range (a tenth of a meter or so), they could be deployed as essentially more powerful RFID tags. One such use could be for lighting. Place the tiny radio inside your ceiling lights, set up a wireless ambient light sensor nearby (on a window ledge, for example), and the radio could be used to gather data from the sensor that tells it when to turn on and off. This could be achieved for a tiny cost with virtually no power usage, which definitely sounds promising for the future.

Source: Techspot