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Adobe acquires Behance, sets sights on community-driven Creative Cloud

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/20/adobe-acquires-behance/

Adobe acquires Behnace, sets sights on communitydriven Creative Cloud

Well, it looks like Adobe is wrapping things up nicely before the long holiday weekend. Mere days after the most recent round of updates, the software outfit has just announced its acquisition of Behance, the online portfolio community for creatives in a number of disciplines. Founded in 2006 by CEO Scott Belsky, they NYC-based outfit will remain it’s current location and retain all of its 32 current employees. Touting over 1 million active users and 90 million project views in the past month, Behance is an online repository for portfolios, feedback, inspiration and the hiring of creative pros. Adobe is planning to fully integrate the design community’s wares into it’s Creative Cloud arsenal “allowing members to seamlessly create content, seek feedback, showcase their work and distribute it across devices.” For now, there won’t be any changes for free and paid members of the Behance offerings, but Adobe is evaluating how to integrate the paid portions into Creative Cloud memberships with the free option from the community remaining as such. Head on past the break to take a gander at the full announcement.

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Thursday, December 20th, 2012 news No Comments

Samsung / Blockbuster reportedly sign streaming deal in Oz, US and Europe next?

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/21/samsung-blockbuster-video-streaming-deal/

We know Samsung’s been ramping up its home entertainment arsenal. Now, recent intel acquired by the folks at SmartHouse suggests that the Korean outfit’s about to dive into deeper waters, after reportedly striking a deal in Australia. The pact, that’s yet to become official, would give the manufacturer access to the plethora of films available from your favorite blue-and-yellow video store, which could then be streamed to your beloved Galaxy handset or Tab, as well as Sammy-branded Smart TVs, Blu-ray players and laptops. Furthermore, the report claims Samsung’s got a friendly billing system in the works that’d allow easy access to the content on your devices. It’s expected to hit US and Euro shores “as early as September.” Until then you’ll have to stick with the good ol’ Redbox kiosks.

Samsung / Blockbuster reportedly sign streaming deal in Oz, US and Europe next? originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 21 Feb 2012 18:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 news No Comments

How Google Crunches All That Data

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5495097/how-google-crunches-all-that-data

If data centers are the brains of an information company, then Google is one of the brainiest there is. Though always evolving, it is, fundamentally, in the business of knowing everything. Here are some of the ways it stays sharp.

For tackling massive amounts of data, the main weapon in Google’s arsenal is MapReduce, a system developed by the company itself. Whereas other frameworks require a thoroughly tagged and rigorously organized database, MapReduce breaks the process down into simple steps, allowing it to deal with any type of data, which it distributes across a legion of machines.

Looking at MapReduce in 2008, Wired imagined the task of determining word frequency in Google Books. As its name would suggest, the MapReduce magic comes from two main steps: mapping and reducing.

The first of these, the mapping, is where MapReduce is unique. A master computer evaluates the request and then divvies it up into smaller, more manageable “sub-problems,” which are assigned to other computers. These sub-problems, in turn, may be divided up even further, depending on the complexity of the data set. In our example, the entirety of Google Books would be split, say, by author (but more likely by the order in which they were scanned, or something like that) and distributed to the worker computers.

Then the data is saved. To maximize efficiency, it remains on the worker computers’ local hard drives, as opposed to being sent, the whole petabyte-scale mess of it, back to some central location. Then comes the second central step: reduction. Other worker machines are assigned specifically to the task of grabbing the data from the computers that crunched it and paring it down to a format suitable for solving the problem at hand. In the Google Books example, this second set of machines would reduce and compile the processed data into lists of individual words and the frequency with which they appeared across Google’s digital library.

The finished product of the MapReduce system is, as Wired says, a “data set about your data,” one that has been crafted specifically to answer the initial question. In this case, the new data set would let you query any word and see how often it appeared in Google Books.

MapReduce is one way in which Google manipulates its massive amounts of data, sorting and resorting it into different sets that reveal new meanings and have unique uses. But another Herculean task Google faces is dealing with data that’s not already on its machines. It’s one of the most daunting data sets of all: the internet.

Last month, Wired got a rare look at the “algorithm that rules the web,” and the gist of it is that there is no single, set algorithm. Rather, Google rules the internet by constantly refining its search technologies, charting new territories like social media and refining the ones in which users tread most often with personalized searches.

But of course it’s not just about matching the terms people search for to the web sites that contain them. Amit Singhal, a Google Search guru, explains, “you are not matching words; you are actually trying to match meaning.”

Words are a finite data set. And you don’t need an entire data center to store them—a dictionary does just fine. But meaning is perhaps the most profound data set humanity has ever produced, and it’s one we’re charged with managing every day. Our own mental MapReduce probes for intent and scans for context, informing how we respond to the world around us.

In a sense, Google’s memory may be better than any one individual’s, and complex frameworks like MapReduce ensure that it will only continue to outpace us in that respect. But in terms of the capacity to process meaning, in all of its nuance, any one person could outperform all the machines in the Googleplex. For now, anyway. [Wired, Wikipedia, and Wired]

Image credit CNET

Memory [Forever] is our week-long consideration of what it really means when our memories, encoded in bits, flow in a million directions, and might truly live forever.

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Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 news No Comments

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