Yahoo Spinning off Hadoop Development to Ride on Hadoop Wave

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Accoring WSJ report,  http://on.wsj.com/fMzApi , yahoo is considering to spin off Hadoop Development as a separate company like Cloudera. This would help in ridding on the wave of Hadoop. Yahoo has a significant work in Hadoop. Hadoop is an Apache opensource project based on Map-Reduce concept first introduced by Google. Hadoop is increasingly popularly in big data analytics to provide scalability especially using commodity hardware platforms. This Map Reduced based platforms like Hadoop,  Cassendra, CouchDB, MongoDB are increasingly getting popular especially in social site and web2.0 where the volume of data is huge.

Yahoo has been one of the core contributors of Hadoop. It has contributed from the begining and still committed a large team to Hadoop development. It also developed additional layers like Pig to enable data warehousing / business analytics apps to leverage Hadoop. I believe Yahoo uses Hadoop extensivly in its content minning, emails etc.

Still, why does Yahoo wants to spin-off? Definitely for taking advantage of the Hadoop’s commercial potential. There are startups like Cloudera are floated around the Hadoop ecosystem. As per analysts there is a multi-billion dollar market based on Hadoop ecosystem. By spinning off a separate company, yahoo can monetize on the market without getting distracted to its main business. For the customers, it is better to have a company with a backing from Yahoo. Such company can focus on delivering specialized solutions around Hadoop. Having said it, I am not yet sure whether this rumored company will also focus on training and services or not. In any case, this move would help in further maturing Hadopp ecosystem.

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Event News Related Internet Access by BayArea Tech Professionals

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While monitoring access related to various campaigns of events related to Tech professionals in the Bay Area, I see following typical usage:

Internet Access by Tech Professionals

Observations:

1. Highest usage is around lunch hour . May be many tech professionals read events and news during over lunch.

2. Third ( I will talk about the second at the end of the post) highest usage is around morning 8-9 which is logical. Its warming up before the actual work.

3. During the morning hours these access is least. This seems to be most productive time from the work point of view.

5. I am surprised not to see another peak around the time when the professionals leave the office. May be they just want to leave as soon as work is done or they already get delayed in work and would like to beat the traffic (which is impossible in the bay area)

6. The most interesting fact is the second highest access is around mid-night. Is it due to some bots accessing the site or the tech professionals in the bay area work till mid night and then read the news / event updates just before hitting the bed?

When the State Department can focus on Social Media, why won’t businesses too?

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The US State Department’s Bureau of International information Program is focussing on Social Media Network. According to its PR on 28 Jan 2011 published on its website http://www.state.gov/r/iip/  the bureau recognizes that

  • The explosion of social media;
  • English no longer dominates the Web – more than fifty percent of web users speak a native language other than English, and site “stickiness” doubles when a web offering is in the language of the user.
Some interesting comments from its coordinator Dawn Macall:
She outlined following social Media engagement strategy:
1. Social media Focus: IIP will transition America.Gov to directly distribute content to the full range of social networks and existing 3rd party sites where audiences actually spend their time
2. Social media Engagement: Creation of a talent management unit to identify and recruit expert Americans as writers, bloggers, and speakers for IIP and American missions;
3. Social media Analytics of Audience: A new audience research unit, to provide research and analysis on audiences, channels, and use of IIP products.
Acoording to TheHill.com:

The IIP hosts training webinars on social media “best practices.”  Foe example: “We’re teaching people to write shorter, Chunky; chunk the information down.”

The America.gov site also revamped to enable  “two-way conversation between America and people in other countries,”.

so, when even the State Department understands the importance of social media engagement , how can businesses lag behind? Of course, they would surge into the Social Media engagement for their benefits both interms of out-bound messaging as well as actively listening feedbacks and ideas.

We have “Like” (oneUp) button, why not “dislike” button?

facebook-dislike-button

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Last week when I was talking on Social Media Initiatives and Social Apps for Busiesses in an event, I briefly touched about how Google’s oneUp (Like) would fan into social sharing (aka networking). During the talk, a participant asked about why google did not provide “dislike”. It’s a logical question. Of course, without any inside knowledge about Google’s roadmap, I answered the question with my understanding of the field.
If you notice most of the Social Media Networks (SMN) like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn do not have “Dislike” button either. That too despite a huge demand. For example, there are facebook pages demanding “Dislike” button.

For example, “Facebook, give us a “dislike” button” page
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=50153652583 has 493,000+ fans members.

Another page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Make-a-Dislike-button-on-facebook/81495201767 has 25K  members.

Another interesting history about this interest in “dislike” button, last August a german company spammed SMN with its own “dislike” button as a browser plugin sounding like an official “dislike” button for Facebook. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2010-08-16-facebook-dislike-fake_N.htm

Despite the popular demand, Facebook did not add “Dislike” button. Neither Google is having it. Of course, google just now launched it so we cannot be sure about its roadmap. But there are few things about Dislike button:

“Dislike” button can be used for ranking content just like “Like” button. however,

1. “Like” button tells about a preference that can be used for building a taste preference for the user and can be later used for targetted content (personalized search / offers and most importantly Ads). However, “dislike” cannot be used for targeting Ads. So from business point of view it it is not much useful.

2. “Dislike” needs a clarification: There might be many reasons of dislike and would need clarifications. So “comments” field can substitute for capturing both positive and negative feedback.

3. Technical Cost of using dislike / negative filtering is higher in delivering searches. For example, Likes can be used for matching and increasing ranking of a result based however for dislike one may need negative noise filtering.

Anyway, having said this, just because most of others do not add “Dislike”, google may not follow the same suite. We at Glomantra (myBantu.com) use both like and dislike for providing personalized relevant recommendations for the user.

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Google Wins DOJ Approval for ITA Software Acquisition

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Finally Google got what it wanted! an approval from Department of Justice to acquire ITA Software, one of the two main travel engines behind the any travel site. Google acquired this at 700million on Jul 1 , 2010. Google has been waiting patiently for last 9 months for this approval. Since this is the main engine behind Expedia, Bing and many others like Traelocity, those companies were worried about Google either vioilating the terms of their contracts or compete against them so they (including Microsoft) tried to block the approval.

Google, however, maintained the line that it is not competing to ITA SOftware so there is no consolidation / monopoly and it would honor the existing terms so the customers should not be worried.

Here is the google positioning:

Though most of the customers like Expedia, Travelocity should not be having any immediate problems, Bing’s travel fuctionality would have an immediate competetion. However, Google finally won the approval. Let us see how it evolves the software, supports the existing customers and still fulfills its own business purpose.

According to the Google, “We indicated last July that we would honor ITA’s existing contracts. Today we’ve formally committed to let ITA’s customers extend their contracts into 2016. We’ve also agreed to let both current and new customers license ITA’s QPX software on “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms” into 2016″

According to Department of Justice ‘s terms, it seems that Google would have to:

1. Build an internal firewall shielding ITA Software from other Google businesses

2. The department said that the proposed settlement will protect competition for airfare comparison and booking websites and ensure those websites using ITA’s software will be able to power their websites to compete against any airfare website Google may introduce.

3. Google will be required to continue to license ITA’s QPX software to airfare websites on commercially reasonable terms.  QPX conducts searches for air travel fares, schedules and availability.

4. Google will also be required to continue to fund research and development of that product at least at similar levels to what ITA has invested in recent years.

5. Google will also be required to further develop and offer ITA’s next generation InstaSearch product (yet to come) to travel websites, which will provide near instantaneous results to certain types of flexible airfare search queries.

6. Google will be required to implement firewall restrictions within the company that prevent unauthorized use of competitively sensitive information and data gathered from ITA’s customers.  The proposed settlement delineates when and for what purpose that data may be used by Google.

7. Google is also prohibited from entering into agreements with airlines that would inappropriately restrict the airlines’ right to share seat and booking class information with Google’s competitors.

Does Paul Celiga Deserves 84% of Facebook?

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It may be possible that MarkZ had made an yet another grave mistake in 2003 in signing contract or sending this email to Pal Celiga about Facebook ownership. If the email is true and valid in legal terms, Celiga may claim 84% of Facebook. Wow! The last time I checked Facebook is valued 65billion. Now, keeping legality aside, do you think that Paul should get such a share or any share?

Vote if you want in this poll

http://linkd.in/i3CYtH

other wise comment on what do you think what is appropriate..