GIS and geospatial

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

June 20, 2011

Vertica as an analytic platform

Vertica 5.0 is coming out today, and delivering the down payment on Vertica’s analytic platform strategy. In Vertica lingo, there’s now a Vertica SDK (Software Development Kit), featuring Vertica UDT(F)s* (User-Defined Transform Functions). Vertica UDT syntax basics start:  Read more

June 19, 2011

Investigative analytics and derived data: Enzee Universe 2011 talk

I’ll be speaking Monday, June 20 at IBM Netezza’s Enzee Universe conference. Thus, as is my custom:

The talk concept started out as “advanced analytics” (as opposed to fast query, a subject amply covered in the rest of any Netezza event), as a lunch break in what is otherwise a detailed “best practices” session. So I suggested we constrain the subject by focusing on a specific application area — customer acquisition and retention, something of importance to almost any enterprise, and which exploits most areas of analytic technology. Then I actually prepared the slides — and guess what? The mix of subjects will be skewed somewhat more toward generalities than I first intended, specifically in the areas of investigative analytics and derived data. And, as always when I speak, I’ll try to raise consciousness about the issues of liberty and privacy, our options as a society for addressing them, and the crucial role we play as an industry in helping policymakers deal with these technologically-intense subjects.

Slide 3 refers back to a post I made last December, saying there are six useful things you can do with analytic technology:

Slide 4 observes that investigative analytics:

Slide 5 gives my simplest overview of investigative analytics technology to date:  Read more

April 17, 2011

Netezza TwinFin i-Class overview

I have long complained about difficulties in discussing Netezza’s TwinFin i-Class analytic platform. But I’m ready now, and in the grand sweep of the product’s history I’m not even all that late. The Netezza i-Class timing story goes something like this:

My advice to Netezza as to how it should describe TwinFin i-Class boils down to:  Read more

January 20, 2011

Notes, links, and comments January 20, 2011

I haven’t done a pure notes/links/comments post for a while. Let’s fix that now. (A bunch of saved-up links, however, did find their way into my recent privacy threats overview.)

First and foremost, the fourth annual New England Database Summit (nee “Day”) is next week, specifically Friday, January 28. As per my posts in previous years, I think well of the event, which has a friendly, gathering-of-the-clan flavor. Registration is free, but the organizers would prefer that you register online by the end of this week, if you would be so kind.

The two things potentially wrong with the New England Database Summit are parking and the rush hour drive home afterwards. I would listen with interest to any suggestions about dinner plans.

One thing I hope to figure out at the Summit or before is what the hell is going on on Vertica’s blog or, for that matter, at Vertica. The recent Mike Stonebraker post that spawned a lot of discussion and commentary has disappeared. Meanwhile, Vertica has had three consecutive heads of marketing leave the company since June, and I don’t know who to talk to there any more.  Read more

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

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