Archive | July 2014

Apache Spark Gets Billed as the Next Big Data Thing

People in the Big Data and Hadoop communities are becoming increasingly interested in Apache Spark, an open source data analytics cluster computing framework originally developed in the AMPLab at UC Berkeley.  According to Apache, Spark can run programs up to 100 times faster than Hadoop MapReduce in memory, and ten times faster on disk. When crunching large data sets, those are big performance differences.

Among vendors making moves surrounding Spark, Cloudera made a number of notable announcements recently. The company, focused on Hadoop, announced Apache Spark training "to prepare developers and software engineers to build complete, unified applications that combine batch, streaming, and interactive analytics."

"Broadly embraced by the open source community, Big Data vendors, and data-intensive enterprises for its stream processing capabilities and its support for complex, iterative algorithms, Spark offers performance gains that enable applications to run on the data in a Hadoop cluster at speeds up to 100 times faster than traditional MapReduce programs," Cloudera claims.

Cloudera has already been involved in offering commercial support for Spark as part of its Cloudera Enterprise subscription and the company recently announced a collaboration with Databricks, IBM, Intel, and MapR to broaden support for Spark as the standard data processing engine for the Hadoop ecosystem. 

"Spark offers clear benefits for realizing sophisticated analytics and is quickly becoming the future of data processing on Hadoop," said Sarah Sproehnle, vice president, Education Services, Cloudera, in a statement. "With Spark, customers can realize immediate business advantages. For example, Spark Streaming enables businesses to process live data as it arrives in the enterprise data hub, rather than having to wait to batch-process it later. The fact that the same codebase can be used for streaming data and data-at-rest significantly reduces development time for Big Data applications, speeding up time-to-insight by several orders of magnitude and decreasing the need for expensive specialized systems. This is just one case where the benefits of Spark have a direct impact on a company’s bottom line." 

Some are actually calling Apache Spark "the next big thing in Big Data."  According to a post by John Furrier:

"What is the next big thing in #bigdata?  It’s called Spark. Spark is a fast data analysis engine. Think Hadoop MapReduce, but 100x faster and still fully interoperable with the wider Hadoop ecosystem. Spark has the largest open-source development community in the Big Data space, after Hadoop MapReduce, with over 90 developers from 25 companies contributing code."

You can find out more about Spark here, including release notes on a brand new version that arrived a week ago.

We also covered Cloudera’s work with Intel and partners to deliver Hadoop appliances leveraging Apache Spark here.  In an announcement, Cloudera, Dell and Intel said they are launching a dedicated Dell In-Memory Appliance for Cloudera Enterprise, to be known as Dell Engineered Systems for Cloudera Enterprise. It’s basically an integrated appliance solution that can make advanced Hadoop-driven analytics easy to implement in data centers, but powerful via Spark integration. 



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Android Nails Down Record Share, Still Needs to Crack the Business Market

Android’s march to the top of the smartphone field has been much faster than many people realize. It was only back in 2008 that analysts were bemoaning the fact that nearly no Android phones were seen at Mobile World Congress. This week, Strategy Analytics researchers delivered their latest smartphone market share numbers, which show Android reaching new highs at a record 84.6 percent share of global smartphone shipments.

The news immediately follows numbers from IDC researchers showing that China and emerging markets are becoming very promising for smartphones and mobile platforms, including Android. 

Strategy Analytics reported 295.2 million smartphone shipments during the second quarter, very in line with IDC’s report. Android is also extending its lead against competitors, with share for iOS reportedly falling from 13.4 percent a year ago to 11.9 percent, while Microsoft dropped from 3.8 percent to 2.7 percent. At 84.6 percent share of shipments, Android’s lead in the market is more than clear.

Strategy Analytics also has a dedicated report detailing how smartphone brands performed in Q2 2014.

IDC’s expectations are that the smartphone market will continue apace in the second half of the year, surpassing 300 million units shipped for the first time ever in a single quarter in this year’s third quarter. 

Notably, despite Android’s huge success as a mobile platform, it still is very heavily a consumer platform, and there are some businesses that still don’t allow employees to use Android devices.

As evidence of this, Strategy Analytics is also out with a report on when Android users actually use their devices, which is overwhelmingly at night, not during business hours. The report notes:

"According to Strategy Analytics’ AppOptix platform, US Android smartphone users spent the bulk of their on-device use between 5 pm and midnight. The total time spent between this period amounts to 39% of the daily activity. The analysis is based on over one million individual application sessions on more than 1500 Android smartphone users in the US during the first half of the year."

So Android users in the U.S. spend nearly half of their device interaction time at night. That, among other evidence, makes clear that if Andoid can finally crack the business market, it will really be off to the races.

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KeyBox: A Web-based SSH Console To Manage Multiple SSH Sessions Simultaneously

KeyBox is a free, web-based open source application that can be used to manage multiple SSH sessions on multiple systems. It allows you to execute commands on multiple shells, manage keys, share…

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LibreOffice 4.3 Released, KDE Naming, and Zorin Reasons

Today was quite the busy news day here in Linuxville and the top story must have been the release of LibreOffice 4.3. Seems it brought significant changes and got lots of coverage. has a list of the top eight alternative operating systems and Bruce Byfield looks at KDE’s continually confusing callings. We have 10 reasons to try Zorin OS and 10 easy steps to changing Manjaro back to Arch. Heartbleed is still reeking havoc and Tor issues an advisory. And even that’s not all.

LibreOffice 4.3 topped the news today. The announcement says "you can’t own a better office suite." I suppose that set the meme picked up by bloggers and writers such as Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols who said, "The best open-source office suite gets better," and Robert Pogson who said, "LibreOffice 4.3 [is] The Almost Perfect Office Suite."

Some of the major features and changes include improved OOXML interoperability, more intuitive spreadsheet handling, new previews in Start Center, and 3D models in Impress. But the most interesting improvement is new support for really long paragraphs exceeding 65,000 characters. I’ve never written a paragraph that long, so it’s no wonder I didn’t run into that 11 year old bug. Download your copy here.

Bruce Byfield yesterday tried to make sense out of KDE’s confusing naming convention. Byfield reminds us that in 2009 "KDE announced a change in its branding. KDE would refer to the community and its common technology, KDE Plasma to the desktop, KDE Applications to the utilities and KDE-specific software, and KDE Software Compilation to the release of all together." He then says, "I wonder whether the current crop of names is more anti-branding rather than branding. That is, instead of clarifying the KDE brand, they may very well muddy it." today published a list of the "8 Best Alternative Operating Systems You Can Install." When they start their list with Haiku and ReactOS you can see where it’s going. Those and most others they mention would be hard to install and even harder to run for even seasoned fiddlers. But they did include OpenBSD, which is actually possible to run. See their full story for more.

In other news:

* Tor security advisory: "relay early" traffic confirmation attack

* Heartbleed Flaw Is Still a Risk, Report Finds

* 10 easy steps to convert Manjaro Linux installation back to native Arch Linux

* Linux will not become a gaming platform, it already is one

* New Linux Foundation Members Leverage Global Linux Growth

* Looking for a technology job? Learn as much as you can about open source

* 10 reasons to try Zorin OS 9

* Review: Linux Mint 17 "Qiana" MATE

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Star Apps: Cabaret Voltaire

Co-founder Richard H. Kirk keeps the electropunk trio alive with a new compilation.

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Get your free copy of AOMEI Backupper Pro is offering free copies of AOMEI Backupper Pro, courtesy of AOMEI Tech.

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LibreOffice 4.3: The best open-source office suite gets better

Microsoft Office has a worthy competitor in the new LibreOffice, the best non-Microsoft office suite.

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