Posts tagged Take

Why Apple Had To Take The NoSQL Plunge

Apple has quietly—and not so quietly—been buying up Big Data companies over the past few years, most recently acquiring FoundationDB but in 2013 also purchasing Acunu, maker of a real-time analytics platform. The intent seems to be to purchase data infrastructure talent—and very particular talent at that.

Basically, Apple needed to get into NoSQL database technology in a bad way. These alternatives to traditional relational databases (long known as SQL systems) offer speed and flexibility that older-style databases can only dream of.

See also: When NoSQL Databases Are—Yes—Good For You

As former Wall Street analyst and NoSQL (MongoDB and now Aerospike) executive Peter Goldmacher declares, Apple’s interest in NoSQL translates into a need to handle “massive workloads in a cost-effective way.”

Peter Goldmacher

In a far-ranging interview, Goldmacher points to the need to rethink enterprise data and calls out Hadoop and NoSQL technologies as the foundational bedrock of any Big Data strategy.

ReadWriteApple bought FoundationDB, but uses quite a bit of Cassandra, MongoDB, Hbase, and Couchbase already. At least as measured by job postings, it’s not using FoundationDB (the product). Why do you think they opted to purchase FoundationDB, the company?

Goldmacher: Apple is first and foremost an extremely innovative company in everything they do. They have created both transitional (iPod) and transformational (iPad) technologies and this desire to always innovate permeates the fabric of its corporate culture. 

If you look at the software products the company provides, like iTunes, iMessage, iAd, etc., all of these products operate at massive scale. If they were written on traditional relational database technologies, it’s not clear if a) they would work or b) they wouldn’t bankrupt the company given the scale at which these products operate and the cost of a traditional RDBMS license. 

So Apple innovated and was a very early adopter of NoSQL. It is reasonable to wonder if Apple’s software products would have even been possible without NoSQL technologies. 

And here we are almost a decade after these products were launched, and Apple is yet again taking advantage of new technology. While the existing NoSQL technology was up to the task, it was expensive because of the massive server farms required to support the scale and the people required to support the massive server farms. 

FoundationDB offers a key value store database akin to what Apple was using with Cassandra, but it runs in memory, which means you can reduce your hardware by about a factor of 8-10x. Said another way, if the company was using 75,000 servers to support the workload as I’ve seen speculated in the press [and on the Cassandra project page], FoundationDB would enable them to get that down to 7,500 servers. 

To your question why purchase FoundationDB, I think they loved the technology and figured that if they just bought the company, they’d have the talent in house to continue to innovate and enhance the product and thus their ability to continue to innovate on the product front.

[Asay note: It’s worth pointing out that not everyone agrees on the value of FoundationDB’s actual product today. As MongoDB executive Kelly Stirman highlights:

But we’ll let Goldmacher and Stirman duke this one out in another post.]

RWYou say that the initial wave of NoSQL players can’t handle “massive workloads in a cost-effective way.” What is it about multi-model databases like Aerospike and FoundationDB that gives them this ability?

PG: Foundation and Aerospike are Key Value store databases akin to Cassandra, but the secret sauce is that the data resides in flash and not on spinning disk. This creates significant performance advantages with the knock on effect of needing less hardware.

RWYou do realize, of course, that DataStax, MongoDB, and others have customers running at “massive scale,” right? DataStax has Netflix and other marquee customers at significant scale, as does MongoDB….

PG: Absolutely, but there’s massive scale and then there’s the cost of massive scale. If I can get similar performance at 1/10th of the cost and massive scale means I am spending $50M, why wouldn’t I take that cost down to $5M?

RWDo you think Apple’s acquisition is a sign of things to come for NoSQL, generally? Are we about to enter a consolidation phase? 

PG: I think Apple is one of a special class of companies like Google, LinkedIn and Facebook that are so cutting edge and so heavily reliant on data as an asset, they absolutely must own and innovate on the technology that supports the business. 

So we may or may not be entering a phase of consolidation in the NoSQL world, but the buying rationale won’t be anything like Apple’s rationale for buying FoundationDB. 

I can clearly see a world where traditional enterprise IT companies that don’t have a dog in the database fight buy NoSQL vendors to go after Oracle. In fact, EMC is already pretty far down this path. 

At some point the Ciscos and Dells of the world have to step up and become players in the database space because we are seeing the database players getting into the hardware space. The stage was set a long time ago for consolidation and I believe this trend will continue.  

RW: Let’s pick winners. If an enterprise were forced to use only two Big Data technologies, what should they be and why?

PG: Well, it feels like everything is Big Data technology these days…. Still, if I were running IT at a large company, I would be investing in Hadoop and NoSQL. 

With Hadoop, you have the ability to dramatically and cost effectively expand the contents and thus value of your data warehouse which is extremely important. The more you can measure, the more you can improve. 

And in the NoSQL world, you have two opportunities.

First, use MongoDB/DataStax/CouchDB to replace workloads that have historically run in Oracle even though they weren’t a great fit either because of cost or functionality limitations. For example, MongoDB enjoys a number of consistent use cases like content management systems, web catalogs and web sites. Oracle is overkill for that. 

So those NoSQL players help you do old things better. 

But if you want to do new and truly innovative things, you need enormous speed and scalability. This is the second opportunity.

One of the most common use cases for Aerospike is in the AdTech world. The AdTech players load an Aerospike database every morning with relatively static data created in Hadoop. This data is essentially a person’s profile based on their cookies as they click around the internet every day. 

In a gross oversimplification, Peter is a 45-year old male that lives in the Bay Area and shops on all the bargain web sites. This data gets loaded into Aerospike and then Aerospike collects data all day about what Peter is clicking on that day. 

Well, if Peter is clicking a bunch of web sites looking for a watch, Timex or the local watch store would bid aggressively for the opportunity to put an advertisement in front of Peter because he is exhibiting characteristics of a likely buyer. That is a great example of deriving tremendous value from your data warehouse by making the data actionable when it matters.  

Photo by Ivan Bandura

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Take These 3 Actions To Ready For Google’s Mobile Search Update

Columnist Aleyda Solis provides recommendations to analyze, optimize, promote & monitor your mobile web search presence.

The post Take These 3 Actions To Ready For Google’s Mobile Search Update appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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Take That, Apple! Samsung Unveils Its Own Pay-With-Your-Phone System

Samsung has announced its new mobile payments system, unsurprisingly called Samsung Pay. It will apparently only work at first with the company’s latest flagship phones, the new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. Those phones launch on April 10; Samsung says the payments system will go live in the second half of this year.

In terms of managing payments in retail stores, Samsung Pay boasts one major advantage over Apple’s competing system. While Apple Pay requires near-field communication (NFC) pads to function, Samsung Pay is already compatible with any terminal with a standard magnetic stripe credit card reader—or with NFC if the business has already adopted it.

See also: What Samsung’s Mobile Payments Acquisition Has That Apple Pay Doesn’t

Samsung is building its pay system on technology it acquired when it bought LoopPay, which had a system it said was already compatible with 90% of existing credit card stripe-reading terminals.

At the moment, though, it doesn’t sound like Samsung Pay will offer much, if any, functionality inside apps. Apple, by contrast, offers a software development kit and other resources to developers who want to incorporate its payment system into their apps.

For security, Samsung Pay relies on Samsung KNOX, the company’s in-house end-to-end secure mobile platform, as well as fingerprint scanning and “advanced tokenization,” the company said in a press release. “Tokenization” means that transactions will use a one-time-use token instead of your credit card number for identification.

Screenshot via Samsung

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Sesame Offers The Latest, And Perhaps Cheapest, Take On The Smart Lock

The latest variation on the “smart lock”—one that secures your front door until you open it with your smartphone—is here. Candy House’s Sesame adds a few new twists, including an inexpensive starting price (though only for those who snap up the few remaining offers in its Kickstarter), simple assembly and functions that will unlock your door via a special knock or secret passphrase.

The smart locking system launched on Kickstarter Wednesday. More than 570 people backed it on the first day, lifting it to 87% of its $100,000 funding goal. As of writing , the project has 1,100 backers and has raised almost $170,000.

Door, Lock Thyself

Smart locks are not a new concept. There are dozens of options on the market today. As with any new technology, some smart locks are prone to glitches such as jamming or inconsistent connectivity.

Many are expensive, too. The August smart lock, available in Apple stores as well as online, sells for $250.

Sesame, by contrast, costs early Kickstarter backers a mere $90 for its most stripped down model. Those deals are almost gone, though, and once they are, the Sesame will set you back $150. Of course, you can’t get it yet; it won’t start shipping until late April.

Open Sesame

No-tools installation is one of the Sesame’s big selling points, and it does appear to be pretty  straightforward. You basically put the Sesame device over a deadbolt latch using a 3M adhesive strip that comes with the kit. You can put it on at any angle, and the company says the mechanism can fit almost any deadbolt in the U.S., Canada, and Australia.

Whether you feel good about trusting the security of your home to a gadget that’s basically stuck to your door with double-sided tape is a separate question. Though the upside here seems to be that if the Sesame comes unstuck, you can always use a regular key—though you might be stuck yourself if you’ve decided to leave your keys at home, as the project explicitly urges backers to do.

You’ll control the lock via the Sesame app on your smartphone. That will let the smart lock know who you are and what you’d like the lock to do.

Who’s That Unlocking At My Door?

Sesame connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth. You can also pair it via Bluetooth to an optional Wi-Fi bridge that will let you control the lock remotely from virtually anywhere. That would also let you grant access to others, so you could let in a relative or a sitter without having to hand them a key.

The smart lock also notifies the owner whenever someone tries to access your home using Sesame, whether they’re on the list or not. You also have the ability to store and review log records which document the people that have triggered the lock, and when they did so.

Sesame ultimately hopes to add voice and facial recognition technology as well.

Photos and videos courtesy of Candy House

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The Hardest AdWords Quiz You’ll Ever Take

You think you’re an AdWords expert, but we’re betting you can’t score 100% on columnist Larry Kim’s quiz!

The post The Hardest AdWords Quiz You’ll Ever Take appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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Meet The New Pebble Time—Though Getting One Will Take … Time

Don’t call Pebble’s new smartwatch platform a reboot. That implies scrapping the old and ushering in the new. Consider the new software and its new companion product, dubbed Pebble Time, a progression of the Pebbles that came before.

The old models aren’t going anywhere. They’re just going to be joined by something a bit flashier.

That flash comes from the color display, on-screen animations and a brand-new microphone—all stuffed into a device that’s 20% thinner, founder Eric Migicovsky told me. Even better, he says the device “still has a 7-day battery life,” like the previous Pebble watches. 

See also: What Pebble Needs To Get Right With Its New Smartwatch Platform

There’s a lot to unpack with the announcements, both for consumers and the software developers that make up Pebble’s life blood. Its existing ecosystem is populated by thousands of watch faces and apps, and by the company’s count, it has sold a million watches so far. To evolve, Pebble has to move carefully—updating its technology and products without leaving its existing customers and developers in the lurch.

Here’s what Pebble has in store for its next phase.

Time For A New Smartwatch

First things first: The new Pebble Time isn’t available yet. In fact, Pebble will once again take orders via Kickstarter, with the first hardware shipping in May. (Details below.)

But expect some surprises when you do see it. “This is the largest change we’ve made to our product line since we launched on Kickstarter the first time,” Migicovsky said, referring to his 2012 campaign that raised more than $10 million.

The original Pebble featured a two-tone e-paper display, similar to those found on Kindle e-readers. Such screens are legible in daylight with minimal battery drain. Although basic, they were somewhat charmingly so.

Now those charms have worn thin—particularly as rivals emerge with beautiful high-definition displays. Pebble Time now comes armed with a palette too. There’s still no comparison with HD displays, of course, but the color e-paper screen still preserves the battery, allowing the display to stay on at all times. It also helps the smoother animations Pebble now offers, which look more appealing in color than in grayscale. 

On the inside, the biggest change is a new microphone. 

I previously wondered if Pebble would integrate speech features; practically all of the major smartwatches do, and the Apple Watch will, thanks to Siri. Now Pebble Time will be the company’s first model to support voice. The device will support five languages to start—including English, French and Spanish, with others, such as Chinese, planned in the future.

See also: How Pebble Became The Cheapest Android Smartwatch Around

Making calls from the wrist, however, is not on the menu. “We’ve decided not to offer that functionality,” said Migicovsky. “There’s no speaker on the watch either. We did it mainly to emphasize what the best use-case is in the early days—being able to send quick voice responses or take voice notes.”

The team is working on the ability to send short audio clips, though, and creative app developers might be able to use speech in other ways. They’ll “get an open API in the future, so that anyone can build apps on top of that,” he said.

The new Pebble—like the old one—will still last about a week, Migicovsky claims. (In my own real-world experience, the original Pebble tends to go for roughly 5 days between charges.) Of course, your results may vary. If you run animation-intensive applications all the time, Migicovsky admits you’ll probably zap that battery.

Pebble Time will also remain fully water-resistant—no small feat, considering it has a microphone—and comes with a sensor array that includes an accelerometer (for movement) and a magnetometer (for a compass).

On the outside, the watch features a curved body to fit the wrist, rounded corners, a Gorilla Glass display, a stainless steel bezel, a new hardware port that allows sensor and fitness accessory makers to connect directly with the device, and a silicon watchband sized at a standard 22mm, so people can change it out easily using the quick release pin in the strap.

OK, Pebble: Notify Me

One of the Pebble’s longstanding annoyances has been the number of button presses necessary just to get to certain apps and other functions. The new software aims to improve on that—in part by shifting away from a focus on apps to one that highlights chronological notifications.

“[The smartwatch] has notifications, apps and watch faces,” Migicovsky. “It’s good and simple, but when you add more apps, features and notifications, it gets overwhelming.” This is the vexing problem of growing an open platform that could bring forth hundreds, even thousands, of functions. But without an efficient way of navigating that, things can quickly become a frustrating mess, especially on a teeny tiny screen sitting on your wrist. 

See also: Pebble Leaked Image Supposedly Reveals New Look

Ultimately, Pebble decided on a structure befitting a watch: a timeline. “Instead of having individual apps, we’ve extracted the information from those apps that are relevant to you in your normal day,” Migicovsky said. The new Pebble software now pulls in data based on chronology for contextually aware features. Users can call up activities that just happened, future events and data relevant at the present time by pressing respective up, down and middle buttons on the watch. 

The information can include yesterday’s step count, tomorrow’s appointments and the current weather, as well as travel plans, reminders, news, reservations and other data.

“You see the past view, and you can scroll up to see what just happened,” said Migicovsky. “The really cool animations is what we’re calling the present feed, which is the new app menu.” Once within a particular area, users can scroll through different types of data. “Thanks to a new widget view, each app can actually display a little bit of information in the menu screen, so users don’t have to actually have to go over to the app itself, he said.”

The new software will come with a new software developers kit, though Pebble hasn’t announced a specific date yet. But it will be available soon, he said—a matter of “days or weeks, not months.” When it arrives, developers will be able to support the new Timeline, the new color screen, animations and voice features. 

According to Migicovsky, Pebble’s new Android Wear support will extend to the new operating system, and even Web developers will get access to Timeline. “They no longer have to write apps that run on Pebble, and they no longer have to run Android or iOS apps,” he said. “They can write it entirely in Web languages, and interact with an OAuth-based, http end client.” 

The software will also be backward compatible, running the 6,500 apps and watch faces currently in Pebble’s app store. As for current Pebble smartwatches—including the original plastic versions and the premium steel model—the company is working to bring the new OS to those older devices. 

Pebble returns to Kickstarter to launch the new Pebble Time beginning Tuesday with pledges starting at $159. (After the campaign, the full retail price will be $199.) The device—available in red, white or black—supports iPhones, including the 4s and newer models running current versions of iOS 8, plus Android smartphones running version 4.0 and later, including devices by Samsung, HTC, Sony, LG, Google, Motorola, Xiaomi and others. The campaign will end at the end of March and begins shipping at the end of May. 

With the Apple Watch’s debut in April, smartwatch customers will soon have a bevy of choices. But that suits Migicovsky just fine. “I think it’s going to be extraordinarily exciting,” he said. “There’s going to be a ton of attention in this space.” 

Images courtesy of Pebble.

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What Does It Take To Win A Search Award? Find Out In This Interview With European Search Awards Judge by @mattsouthern

Since the European Search Awards is quickly approach, I sought out the expertise of returning judge Gianluca Fiorelli to learn more about the judging process and to discuss the prestige behind these awards. Now going into its fourth year, the winners of the 2015 European Search Awards will be announced in Berlin, Germany on Wednesday, April 22nd, with many of the continent’s foremost digital and content marketers expected to be in attendance. I will be there covering the event on behalf of SEJ. In this interview with Gianluca, I got his first hand perspective as a judge on what it takes to win a […]

The post What Does It Take To Win A Search Award? Find Out In This Interview With European Search Awards Judge by @mattsouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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How Long Does SEO Take To Start Working? – Forbes


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Google Warning: Take Care When Hiring an SEO Company – Business 2 Community


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