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Volume 29, Issue 5

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Jon Seals

Jon Seals

Wednesday, 03 August 2016 00:00

Still No Easy Road to the Data Lake

The enterprise is under the gun to convert existing infrastructure to more nimble, automated footprints that better support Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT). This invariably leads to the creation of the so-called “data lake” that acts as both a warehouse and an advanced analytics engine to turn raw data into valuable, actionable knowledge.

The problem is, development of key technologies that go into the data lake is still at a very early stage, so organizations that want to be on the cutting edge of this trend have little or no guidance when working through the inevitable complications that arise in such an ambitious project.

According to Constellation Research principal analyst Doug Henschen, technical challenges will remain for some time, but there are ways to ensure that your data lake does not turn into a data swamp. One of the key pitfalls is thinking that the data lake is a single, monolithic entity rather than a collection of integrated components. The best designs focus on blending raw data sets to find correlations, model behaviors and present predictable outcomes, but this requires careful coordination between data ingestion, refinement, experimentation, governance and other functions. To date, platforms like Apache Hadoop incorporate all of these processes, but it will be a while before a truly integrated architecture hits the enterprise mainstream.



Wednesday, 03 August 2016 00:00

Monsoon Season Is Finally Here

(TNS) — The lightning came down in a white flash, hitting Don Jinzo’s daughter on May 15 last year in Carrizozo as she was riding on the back of her boyfriend’s Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Kalina Jinzo, 40, died seven days later. She was the first of two people killed by lightning in New Mexico last year. Her boyfriend was not injured.

“I think about it every day,” said Don Jinzo, 62, of Los Lunas. “It’s been a year already, and we all miss her a lot.”

Weather forecasters say the monsoon season is finally here, bringing predictions of torrential rains, flash floods and thunderstorms all week. Over the weekend, the Santa Fe National Forest reported nearly 1,000 lightning strikes.



As IoT investment grows, with billions of dollars flowing into new enterprises, IT departments, as well as other parts of the business, are expressing concerns over the security risks the technology poses

As IT departments begin to adopt internet of things (IoT) technologies to modernize businesses, investment is picking up, specifically benefitting the developers of innovative sensors, according to a report from Lux Research.

That segment cornered nearly 80% of the investment due to demand from IoT technologies, with North America dominating. Specifically, more than 340 companies in the Americas attracted nearly 80%, or $3.4 billion, of the total investment in sensor technologies since 2006, according to the report.

Samsung is investing $13 billion, while Sony is raising $4 billion to ramp up sensor production. In addition, Panasonic has invested $780 million for image sensors, while IBM is investing $3 billion in sensor data, and Ford has opened a research and development center on sensors for transportation --- a further indication that IoT adoption is spreading across multiple verticals, and to companies outside of traditional technology firms.



Barcoded medical samples in transparent tubes

As Zika virus spreads across the globe, scientists in the United States are finding ways to fight it. Currently, there are no vaccines to prevent Zika or medicines for treatment. To create better tests – including rapid tests – and develop vaccines, scientists need to conduct research with the virus in their labs.

CDC manages the permit process for researchers to bring samples of Zika virus safely from other countries into the U.S. for studies, paving the way for lifesaving discoveries.

“Samples come from all over the world,” says LCDR Meredith Pyle, a CDC microbiologist. “While so far, most samples have come from Brazil and Colombia, we have received samples from countries ranging from India to South Korea to Switzerland to Zambia.”

Sending a virus sample from one place to another has to be done safely and securely. Samples of Zika virus can be brought into the U.S. in a variety of forms, including in a tube of blood (plasma or serum), a spot of dried blood, an isolate of the virus itself that has been separated from the blood, or even a live mosquito.

How researchers get a permit

Most permit requests come from laboratories at academic and private institutions. Permits are requested through the Import Permit Program (IPP), which is managed by CDC’s Division of Select Agents and Toxins (DSAT). The program makes sure infectious germs, like Zika virus, as well as other materials that could cause disease in people will be handled appropriately after they arrive in the U.S.

“IPP helps to ensure biological agents imported into the US that could cause disease in people are tracked,” said Dr. Dan Sosin, acting director of DSAT. “We also take steps to ensure that the facilities receiving these permits have appropriate biosafety measures in place to work with the materials.”

When a researcher or institution submits an application to get an import permit for Zika virus, CDC reviews the application to make sure the facility has the appropriate biosafety measures in place to prevent the virus from accidentally being released. The program goal is to approve all Zika virus import permit applications within 24 hours for known, appropriate facilities. DSAT may also conduct an in-person inspection before issuing a permit.

Since last year, the number of permits issued for Zika virus has increased by more than eightfold. As of August 1, 2016, the program had expedited the approval of 137 Zika virus import permits this year alone.

Get more information on the Import Permit Program.

Posted on August 2, 2016 by Blog Administrator

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How planning helps you make the right call when the worst happens

A large and well known movie house chain recently found itself facing reputation headwinds, despite having won a long running court case – which, one would think, should have been good publicity. Right?The legal victory was the denial of a series of lawsuits filed by the families and victims of a mass shooting that had taken place at one of the chain’s locations. The lawsuits alleged the movie house should have had better security in place to prevent such shootings.

All the suits failed, including one where the jury deemed that the lack of guards and alarms paid no significant role in the shooting.

So far, so good. It was what happened next that brought the barrage of criticism and bad publicity.