GIS and geospatial

Analysis of data management technology optimized for geospatial data, whether by specialized indexing or user-defined functions

January 10, 2011

Privacy dangers — an overview

This post is the first of a series. The second one delves into the technology behind the most serious electronic privacy threats.

The privacy discussion has gotten more active, and more complicated as well. A year ago, I still struggled to get people to pay attention to privacy concerns at all, at least in the United States, with my first public breakthrough coming at the end of January. But much has changed since then.

On the commercial side, Facebook modified its privacy policies, garnering great press attention and an intense user backlash, leading to a quick partial retreat. The Wall Street Journal then launched a long series of articles — 13 so far — recounting multiple kinds of privacy threats. Other media joined in, from Forbes to CNet. Various forms of US government rule-making to inhibit advertising-related tracking have been proposed as an apparent result.

In the US, the government had a lively year as well. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rolled out what have been dubbed “porn scanners,” and backed them up with “enhanced patdowns.” For somebody who is, for example, female, young, a sex abuse survivor, and/or a follower of certain religions, those can be highly unpleasant, if not traumatic. Meanwhile, the Wikileaks/Cablegate events have spawned a government reaction whose scope is only beginning to be seen. A couple of “highlights” so far are some very nasty laptop seizures, and the recent demand for information on over 600,000 Twitter accounts. (Christopher Soghoian provided a detailed, nuanced legal analysis of same.)

At this point, it’s fair to say there are at least six different kinds of legitimate privacy fear. Read more

October 3, 2010

Notes and links October 3 2010

Some notes, follow-up, and links before I head out to California:  Read more

May 23, 2010

Various quick notes

As you might imagine, there are a lot of blog posts I’d like to write I never seem to get around to, or things I’d like to comment on that I don’t want to bother ever writing a full post about. In some cases I just tweet a comment or link and leave it at that.

And it’s not going to get any better. Next week = the oft-postponed elder care trip. Then I’m back for a short week. Then I’m off on my quarterly visit to the SF area. Soon thereafter I’ve have a lot to do in connection with Enzee Universe. And at that point another month will have gone by.

Anyhow: Read more

May 22, 2010

Notes on SciDB and scientific data management

I firmly believe that, as a community, we should look for ways to support scientific data management and related analytics. That’s why, for example, I went to XLDB3 in Lyon, France at my own expense. Eight months ago, I wrote about issues in scientific data management. Here’s some of what has transpired since then.

The main new activity I know of has been in the open source SciDB project.   Read more

October 19, 2009

This week at the Teradata Partners user conference

Teradata tells me that its press embargoes are ending at 9:00 this morning. Here are some highlights of what’s going on, although names, dates, and details will have to await conversations and press releases this week.

October 3, 2009

Issues in scientific data management

In the opinion of the leaders of the XLDB and SciDB efforts, key requirements for scientific data management include:

However: Read more

August 2, 2009

Teradata 13 focuses on advanced analytic performance

Last October I wrote about the Teradata 13 release of Teradata’s database management software. Teradata 13, which will be used across the various Teradata product lines, has now been announced for GCA (General Customer Availability)*. So far as I can tell, there were two main points of emphasis for Teradata 13:

To put it even more concisely, the focus of Teradata 13 is on advanced analytic performance, although there of course are some enhancements in simple query performance and in analytic functionality as well. Read more

May 26, 2009

Teradata Developer Exchange (DevX) begins to emerge

Every vendor needs developer-facing web resources, and Teradata turns out to have been working on a new umbrella site for its.  It’s called Teradata Developer Exchange — DevX for short.  Teradata DevX seems to be in a low-volume beta now, with a press release/bigger roll-out coming next week or so.  Major elements are about what one would expect:

If you’re a Teradata user, you absolutely should check out Teradata DevX.  If you just research Teradata — my situation :) — there are some aspects that might be of interest anyway.  In particular, I found Teradata’s downloads instructive, most particularly those in the area of extensibility.  Mainly, these are UDFs (User-Defined Functions), in areas such as:

Also of potential interest is a custom-portlet framework for Teradata’s management tool Viewpoint.  A straightforward use would be to plunk some Viewpoint data into a more general system management dashboard.  A yet cooler use — and I couldn’t get a clear sense of whether anybody’s ever done this yet — would be to offer end users some insight as to how long their queries are apt to run.

April 24, 2009

IBM’s Oracle emulation strategy reconsidered

I’ve now had a chance to talk with IBM about its recently-announced Oracle emulation strategy for DB2. (This is for DB2 9.7, which I gather has been quasi-announced in April, will be re-announced in May, and will be re-re-announced as being in general availability in June.)

Key points include:

Because of Oracle’s market share, many ISVs focus on Oracle as the underlying database management system for their applications, whether or not they actually resell it along with their own software. IBM proposed three reasons why such ISVs might want to support DB2: Read more

January 28, 2009

More Oracle notes

When I went to Oracle in October, the main purpose of the visit was to discuss Exadata. And so my initial post based on the visit was focused accordingly. But there were a number of other interesting points I’ve never gotten around to writing up. Let me now remedy that, at least in part. Read more

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