The Big Data Business Bookshelf

The Big Data Business BookshelfBig data is everywhere these days, and many of us are trying to come up to speed on the technology. There are several books out now on this topic, and here are some tips for figuring out which ones are worth reading or best for newbies.

A good place to start is Frank Ohlhurst’s Big Data Analytics: Turning Big Data into Big Money. This is a business process and workflow treatment of the topic: you won’t find any code samples or URLs of open source repositories here. Ohlhurst, who worked with me at CMP and still writes numerous product reviews for the IT trade press, talks about ways to secure your data, structure it, and mine it for value and insights. It is a great book to give your boss.

Next is Big Data Analytics: Disruptive Technologies for Changing the Game by Arvind Sathi, a data architect for IBM. This is another great book for beginners, and identifies use cases, goes into more detail on the business processes and shows some of the main architectural elements of Big Data.

If you’re looking for something short and sweet and also free, try What Is Data Science? by Mike Loukides. You get some concrete examples of different kinds of data analysis tools and techniques and practical, real-world examples galore.

Then there is Enterprise Analytics: Optimize Performance, Process, and Decisions Through Big Data by Tom Davenport and several other authors. It covers a wider ground than some of these other books. It addresses topics including Big Data topics and a variety of other analytic techniques.

A more general overview of the major players behind Big Data is The Little Book of Big Data by Noreen Burlingame. It is a short read but a quick way to see who are the vendors making waves with this technology, including Hortonworks, Cloudera, Datameer and Karmasphere.

If you want to get more down and dirty into the technology, then the Hadoop: The Definitive Guide by Tom White is for you. White will take you through building your first Apache Hadoop cluster, the ins and outs of the Hadoop file system, how to set up MapReduce jobs, and using some of the other tools such as Pig, Zookeeper, and Hive. White works for Cloudera, one of the main commercial forces behind Hadoop.

Once you want to get more training, check out Cloudera University and Hortonworks University: both vendors have extensive programs on a multitude of topics relating to Hadoop and its offshoots, some paid and some for free. And Big Data University has dozens of courses all for free too.

 

MozyEnterprise Online Backup

 

Technically Speaking: Stories of the Week – June 17

Each week we scour the internet to find the best stories on technology, digital living and news of note. This week features a Google gets a Siri, a brain surgery is shown online, and Microsoft launches the new Xbox One console. All that and more in this edition of Mozy’s Technically Speaking.

Brain Surgery Procedure Broadcast Over Twitter, Instagram and Vine

Brain surgery streamed online

UCLA Health recently allowed the world to tune in as surgeons implanted a brain pacemaker in a patient. Tweets were sent out explaining what was being done and how the procedure was going. Also, a six-second video was posted on Vine and featured the patient playing guitar and singing during the process (something he was asked to do to keep him engaged). Amanda Kooser of CNET reports that allowing the public to follow along with the procedure it would bring more publicity to the implantable deep brain stimulation devices that can have a profound positive effect on the lives of people with Parkinson’s, chronic headaches, and dystonia. As of this writing, it is unknown if brain pacemakers will have any effect on addictions to Instagram or Vine.

Twitter Ramps Up Security with Two-Step Verification Process

Having seen a fair share of major accounts hacked over the last few months (including the one for the Associated Press, which falsely reported explosions at the White House), Twitter has decided to make it’s platform more secure. NBC News reports that Twitter users will now be asked to register a verified phone number and a confirmed email address. They will then receive a text message with a six-digit code each time they log into Twitter. In short, users will now need two proofs of identity when logging in—their normal password and a temporary code sent to a cellphone or generated by an app. So if a password is hacked it won’t be enough for someone to access the account.

Xbox’s New Console to Offer Much More than Gaming

Microsoft Xbox One

With it’s new console “One,” Microsoft’s Xbox is looking to change the dynamic of the gaming industry. Xbox one plans to not only allow users to play video games, but it will also serve as an intersection between gaming, television, and other entertainment, according to Chelsea Stark of Mashable. The Xbox One will box run on a 8-core AMD processor with x86 architecture, 8 gigs of RAM, a 500 GB hard drive, three USB 3.0 ports, and a Blu-ray drive. It features 802.11 n/g/b wireless with Wi-Fi Direct, as well as Bluetooth. It can hook to cable boxes and recommend programs to users based on interests. There’s also a revamp of the Kinect feature, which will be able to transmit video at 1080p. Users will also be able to control the console with voice activation–for example saying “Xbox on” will turn the device on without having to press any buttons.

Google’s New Search Will Feature Voice Commands and Verbal Answers

Google has introduced a new feature that will allow users to speak questions to its search engine and receive an answer–verbally. According to The Huffington Post, a new mobile application, coming to both smartphones and desktops, will give users the ability to speak directly to a search engine using a huge variety of commands, and Google will understand and respond. While it’s a similar idea to Siri, Apple’s voice-answering technology, Google says it’s main difference is that it can answer questions in full detail. According to the company the new feature will be available “soon” on iOS, Android, and Chrome.

 

Mozy Mobile Apps

 

The Business of Your Well Being: 5 Steps to Better Living and Working

The Business of Your Well Being: 5 Steps to Better Living and WorkingOne in four small-business owners would pay $500 for one extra hour in their day.

That’s according to a recent survey conducted by eVoice, looking at how time management and office tasks are changing with the continued ascendancy of the cloud.

Turns out, time is the most valuable asset for small-business owners — 38% said so in the report — outpacing computers, mobile phones, and the company’s office/storefront as well.

With that in mind, what follow are five essential tips for time-management tactics — from learning to “pilot” the cloud to empowering employees your promoting better work habits for better living. Put the best use of time in the spot of MVP!

Time Management: Tips for Working and Living Right

Time management isn’t just about getting work done, the purpose is also to help small-business owners maintain a healthy work-life balance. Leveraging technology can help professionals reach that goal. Here are five ways to approach time-management strategies:

1. Empower your Employees: Learn to let go of the day-to-day tasks that are taking up your time. Instead, focus on the big picture. Not only does this help you to take charge of larger business issues, but your employees will learn and grow by taking on tasks normally assigned to the boss. That’s empowerment. Take a hard look at what you’re spending the most time doing every day. Whatever doesn’t fall into must be done by you category can be reassigned to an employee instead.

2. Learn to Pilot the Cloud: Cloud services can be big time savers for small-business owners. From business communications to document services, applications like Google Docs allow business owners to collaborate in real time with employees; EZ Balances is a simple app for business owners to use when tracking their spending; and Evernote allows business owners to keep track of notes and needs on the fly. And all your cloud-based materials are always accessible. And as any Mozy user knows, in addition to convenience, the cloud also provides security that your files will remain safe.

3. Streamline Communications: A virtual phone number enables small-business owners to work from anywhere without worrying about missing an important call or losing touch with the business. Just designate where you want to get the call — cell phone, office, home, hotel room, wherever. Most allow you to pre-screen incoming calls, cutting out the time consuming but less necessary chats till later. Even better, most virtual phone systems are equipped with voicemail-to-text features. Checking messages just got faster and easier as well!

4. Prioritize the DIY: As a small-business owner it’s tempting to do everything yourself. A whopping 90% of owners told eVoice that they fill the role of at least three different employees at once. As you began to categorize what tasks you could better delegate to your employees, in Tip 1, also work up a list of what you could outsource entirely, hiring a specialist rather than spending hundreds of hours doing it on your own.

5. The Business of Your Well Being. A recent Gallup Daily study found that employees who exercise and eat right are more enthusiastic and engaged in work. No kidding, right? But the same goes for owners at the top. Take the hint and make sure you give yourself a few hours each day to relax and give some attention to things other than business.

The bottom line is to streamline, refresh, and recalibrate. That extra hour in the day doesn’t have to come at such a steep price! Work with the tips above, and you might carve out even more time for making progress — and you’ll feel better about the way you go about it to boot.

 

MozyEnterprise Online Backup

 

 

HIPAA to Healthcare Professionals: Get On the Cloud

HIPAA to Healthcare Professionals - Get On the CloudAs the healthcare industry goes digital, the mountains of paper documents are becoming weightless records stored in the cloud. This change is beneficial to both doctors and patients alike, helping to save time and money, and making processes much simpler. While many healthcare providers have embraced the digital changeover, some are still lagging behind. Now Congress is making sure they get on board.

Driving the migration of records to the cloud are two laws, HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) omnibus and ARRA (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act). According to Scott Good of Forbes, “by 2015, all medical professionals with access to patient records must utilize electronic medical and health records (EMR and EHR), or face penalties.”

Moving medical records to the cloud isn’t just about compliance. It’s also opening up new opportunities to care for patients.

Matthew Toohey is a pediatrician for a private practice in Pennsylvania and the co-founder of the website PediatricianNextDoor.com, which provides information on medicine and parenting. Toohey began his career with a practice that did not use digital records and has now moved on to one that does.

“This is a whole new frontier. It’s all new to the industry and it’s evolving so fast,” Toohey said of electronic medical records (EMR) and cloud-based services. “It can change the whole makeup of how people practice medicine. You can have all of your patient records on an iPad and access if from anywhere. Cloud-based services can eliminate a lot of headaches.”

Toohey said another benefit of healthcare going digital is that it’s much easier for doctors to fill prescriptions because they can do it with the click of a button rather than having to call it in. Also, several practices are now able to provide “patient portals” which allow patients to access their records from their home computers.

As far as why some healthcare providers have been reluctant to switch to EMR and cloud computing, Toohey believes it could be due to security concerns or simply a lack of knowledge about the benefits.

HIPAA is taking security concerns into account, however, by creating a 10-point checklist to determine if a cloud provider is is up to its standards. Some of the requirements include specific security procedures, encryption of data, regular monitoring, disaster recovery, and more.

Note: Mozy can help businesses become HIPAA compliant. Get more information here.

 

MozyPro Online Backup

 

Technically Speaking: Stories of the Week – June 10

Each week we scour the internet to find the best stories on technology, digital living and news of note. This week features a massive online food delivery service, Google Maps upgrades, and a phone that gives off scents. All that and more in this edition of Mozy’s Technically Speaking.

The Device that Makes Your Phone Smell Good

ChatPerf device

While smart phones today are pretty good at appealing to most of your senses, they haven’t yet been able to satisfy your sense of smell–until now. Jesse Emspak of Mashable reports that the Japanese company ChatPerf has created a smartphone add-on that releases a scent when the user presses a “puff” button on their screen. Just the size of a USB stick, the device will enable users to send scents to each other, which could go along with photos, videos, and other media.

Brain Dominance Can Be Determined By the Way You Hold Your Phone

Are you left-brain or right-brain dominant? It’s not as easy to answer as it is to tell if you’re left-handed or right-handed, but a new study shows that most people who hold their cell phones to their left ear are right-hemisphere dominant and vice versa, says Elizabeth Armstrong Moore of CNET.  Someone who is “left-brained” is often said to be more logical, analytical and objective, while those who are “right-brained” tend to be more intuitive, thoughtful and subjective. The results of the study, which was conducted by researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, could help understand the language center of the brain and develop a less-invasive, lower-cost option to establish the side of the brain where speech and language occurs.

A Perfect Solution to Late-Night Munchies

A perfect solution to late-night munchies

Two online food delivery startups have merged to create a dream service for people who love late-night food but can’t go out to get it. According to GigaOM, the merger of GrubHub and Seamless creates the biggest take-out and delivery portal on the web, featuring more than 20,000 restaurants in 500 cities. GrubHub has not only allowed customers to order from thousands of menus, it also started a feature to be able to track your delivery–so if your food is taking too long you can find out what’s going on. As GrubHub’s biggest competitor before the merger, Seamless features a similar service to GrubHub and even lets customers browse ratings and reviews of most restaurants.

Google Maps To Be Given Complete Redesign

The site that has helped many people avoid getting lost is receiving some improvements. Google Maps will have a whole new look and will launch some useful new features, including displays of real-time accidents and personalized recommendations, says Heather Kelly of CNN. The new customized maps feature will display more personal information related to the user, as well as suggestions for places to visit based on past searches and Internet activity. The smarter navigation will improve upon finding the fastest routes for users, and will include live information about accidents and road conditions. Finally, the graphics of Google Maps will also be bigger and better.

 

MozyPro Online Backup

 

Mozy Tritanium Contest Winners!

We’re excited to announce the winners of our Tritanium video contest from our May 2013 newsletter. We had hundreds of entries, and we’re grateful to everyone who participated. We asked you to watch the new Mozy Tritanium video and answer three questions:

  1. How many birds hit the Mozy Tritanium cloud?
  2. What three things set the Mozy cloud apart from the rest?
  3. What slogan is written on the closing slide?

And here are the winners:

$50 Gift Card winners

  • Carrie Stavropoulos
  • Jeff Antone

$25 Gift card winners

  • Ron Ablang
  • Larry Rohs
  • Kurt Wallinger
Once again, here’s the video:

Thanks again to all who participated, and stay tuned for our next contest! Winners – please email stories@mozy.com to claim your prize.

Is your cloud backup enterprise-ready?

Is Your Cloud Backup Enterprise-ready?A new IDC White Paper, sponsored by Mozy, highlights the risks and challenges that enterprises face if they fail to carefully evaluate vendors before selecting a partner for cloud backup and access.

“There has been an explosion in the number of vendors offering backup services and, while some of these have been designed to meet the needs of large businesses, others are designed with SMBs, consumers or individuals in mind,” said Laura DuBois, Program Vice President, Storage at IDC. “Enterprises that fail to dig beneath the surface with a given solution could find themselves risking their data in unsuitable environments or having the rug pulled out from under them by a provider that doesn’t stay the distance.”

The new IDC White Paper, entitled “Entitled Key Criteria in Selecting a Cloud Backup Provider Built to Last”, offers a checklist for business to use in their selection processes. The document also offers an overview of industry trends and information.

The IDC White Paper’s hotlist of cloud backup “must haves” for enterprises includes:

  • Financial stability
  • Proven infrastructure
  • Established enterprise customer base
  • Geographically distributed data centers
  • Third-party validation and accreditation
  • SLA terms and execution
  • Robust encryption
  • Centralized management

“As more enterprises begin investing in a cloud backup provider, the trust placed in that provider to offer a solution that’s truly enterprise-ready becomes all the more critical,” said Dave Robinson, Mozy’s VP of Marketing. “That’s why we wanted to provide organizations with the information and thought-leadership of IDC in both learning how a cloud provider can help them and how to decide where to place that trust.”

To find out more about these topics and the key questions to ask a cloud backup provider, get a copy of the full IDC White Paper.

What’s in a Meme?

Memes on the Internet are like puddles on the sidewalk after a rainy day – if you don’t look where you’re going, you’ll step right in one before you know it. So what is a “meme”, exactly? And how do you pronounce it? What goes into a successful meme (and how long has humanity been… “meme-ing”?) Our latest infographic takes a look at this technology phenomenon that has grown up with the digital generation. So sit back, relax, grab a cheeseburger and peruse the important Internet history of laughing cats, dancing baby emails, and first world problems.

What's in a Meme?

 

MozyHome Online Backup with Mozy Stash

 

Technically Speaking: Stories of the Week – June 4

Each week we scour the internet to find the best stories on technology, digital living and news of note. This week features a mask with super powers, the start of 5G technology, and a flying car. All that and more in this edition of Mozy’s Technically Speaking.

Travel Like the Jetsons: Flying Cars Are Only a Few Years Away

Flying Car

In about eight years, sitting in traffic on the roadway could be a thing of the past. That’s because a thing of the future, flying cars, is looking like a reality, according to Chris Taylor of Mashable. The Massachusetts company Terrafugia is working on a full-on futuristic flying car, the TF-X, which it expects to start selling in the early 2020s. It’s being called a cross between a helicopter, plane, and self-driving car. For the most part,the TF-X will be a self-driving vehicle, using a system like autopilot works on a plane. The company predicts that learning to operate one will take as little as five hours of training.Right now no cost has been announced, but Terrafugia has hinted that it will pre-sell models to a select few customers in 2015 for $270,000. Is it worth that much to beat the traffic?

Does Facebook Make It Harder to Move on From Past Relationships?

Breaking up is hard to do–but with Facebook it’s even harder. Changing a Facebook status from “in a relationship” to “single” is an extremely painful process for manybroken-hearted people, says Chris Matyszczyk of CNET. A University of California Santa Cruz study found that Facebook users had difficulty deleting their digital memories. Half of those surveyed for the study said they immediately get rid of all signs of their exes (photos, posts, etc.), but they end up regretting it later. A third of those surveyed said they can’t bring themselves to delete the photos at all–hoping to cling to any memories they have.

Samsung’s New 5G Technology Would Be Several-Hundred Times Faster than 4G

Samsung announced this week that it has developed the blueprint for 5G mobile communications technology. Dave Thier of Forbes says that the company is saying that 5G would be so fast that movies could be downloaded in mere seconds. According to Samsung’s announcement, the new technology ”will allow users to transmit massive data files including high quality digital movies practically without limitation. As a result, subscribers will be able to enjoy a wide range of services such as 3D movies and games, real-time streaming of ultra high-definition (UHD) content, and remote medical services.” If this 5G technology materializes, it could be powerful enough to take over all wireless Internet connections, causing some concern for cable companies and Internet service providers alike.

High-Tech Mask and Helmet System Allows You to Adjust Your Senses

Edios Mask

It’s users may look a lot like Bane from the latest Batman movie, but a new mask and helmet combo created by the group Eidos offers up some really unique features. James Plafke of Extreme Tech reports that the device allows its users to manually adjust their sight and hearing on the fly, changing the two senses based on specific environments and circumstances. At a sporting event a user could turn the volume up or down; change the view to closer up or farther away. At a convention it could be used to hear a presenter from the back of a crowd. The device is put on by placing it over each ear, and wrapping across the lower half of the face, including the mouth and nose.

 

MozyHome Online Backup

 

My name is Todd and I work for Mozy

In the past few months, we’ve introduced you to some of our amazing team members who dedicate their skills and talents that make Mozy an amazing company. This month we would like to introduce you to Todd Esplin, one of our very talented product managers. Todd is based out of Pleasant Grove, Utah offices and has provided tremendous insight and direction to making our competitive offerings world-class.

My name is Todd and I work at Mozy

I define my workspace as …
Doing product strategy, management, and development to build competitive products, roadmaps and features.

A device I can’t live without …
iPhone (yes, still) but a whiteboard is a close second.

When I arrive at work, I typically start off by …
Meeting with a project team or business team to report out on active initiatives or plan new ones.

My work routine is …
Active. We’ve adopted an agile process for getting things done. So, at the beginning of each week I write down on 3×5 cards what I want to get done for the week, prioritize them and decide how long each will take to get done. Then, each day I review the list with my team and move the cards through their progression. I leave additional time for routine things like email and meetings. During the day, I spend a lot of time writing down ideas about our products and features and then talking to others about the ideas.

I do/do not listen to music at work and it helps me work better because …
I listen to music when I need to write and really concentrate. . We were work in an open environment and I get easily distracted by interesting conversations and . . . well, birds flying past my window, so music helps me block out many distractions. I usually listen to classical music while I’m writing – it also prevents me from singing out loud which apparently my colleagues find harmful (I think they are just jealous).

The best advice I can give a recent college graduate looking to do what I do is …
Get a good technical education, couple that with a business education and top it off with compassion for those who buy and use your products. Customers may not always be able to tell you what they want but they can definitely tell you when they don’t like what you give them and you need to listen, ask good questions, and use their feedback to make the product better.

Outside of work, I am passionate about …

  • My family. I have a great wife and four cool kids. We are in the mix of it all right now – high school, middle school, and elementary. Boys, girls, a dog, and a bearded dragon. Music lessons, sports teams, family vacations. It’s not always easy but it’s awesome. My wife and I love to go to movies and find great places to eat.
  • Learning. I read a lot whenever possible through all types of tools (real books, digital books, magazines, web). Current topics include: architecture, sports, psychology, mysteries, and adventure fantasies. I love reading books to my kids.
  • Sports. I’ve run a couple of marathons and relay races. I love to play golf with my dad, brothers, and kids.

My eating habits are …
Quirky. Because of my awesome body, I get to eat six times a day in order to keep things, um … right. I love breakfast (lots of fiber) and occasionally some protein. I like most types of food with a heavier emphasis on Mexican, Thai, and Italian. Oh yes, I do love a good hamburger too.

If I could be someone for a day – I would be …
A grand prix driver. While there are many people and professions to choose from, but a professional driver would be a rush. I love cars, speed, and endurance and it would be so fun to feel the power and adrenaline of driving fast and technically maneuvering around a track.

The “secret sauce” that makes me who I am …
Hmmm . . . I guess it’s that I really want people to be happy and fulfilled. If they are buying something from me, then I want them to love it and get value out of it. If I’m going to lunch with someone, I want them to enjoy themselves. If I’m running a project, then I want the team to feel like they are engaged – developing themselves and improving and having fun.

This isn’t Todd’s first appearance on the Mozy blog. In fact, you can see him in action in this post about MozyEnterprise.