Part of Spark’s appeal is that it can process data in computer memory, as opposed to just using hard disks, much move at slower speeds. But because the amount of data that can fit in-memory is limited, the tool can process data on disks as well, and that’s what Databricks was trying to highlight as it sought to break’s Yahoo’s record on the Gray Sort, which measures the time it takes to sort 100 terabytes of data, aka 100,000 gigabytes. Yahoo did the sort in 72 minutes with a cluster of 2,100 machines using Hadoop MapReduce last year. Databricks was able to process the same amount of data in 23 minutes using Spark, using only 206 virtual machines running on Amazon’s cloud service. It also sorted a petabtye of data—about 1,000 terabytes — in less than four hours using 190 machines.

Startup Crunches 100 Terabytes of Data in a Record 23 Minutes | WIRED

The first mouse was invented in 1965, but it took until the mid-1990s for mice to be a standard computer feature. The first packet-switched network was invented in 1969, but the internet didn’t become mainstream until the late 1990s. Multitouch interfaces were first developed in the early 1980s, but didn’t become a mainstream technology until the iPhone in 2007. That suggests we shouldn’t underestimate the disruptive potential of technologies, like self-driving cars, personalized DNA testing, and Bitcoin, that seem exotic and impractical today.

Newspapers weren’t late to online news — they were way too early - Vox

Students are always more entrepreneurial and understand needs better than bureaucracies can,” said Harry R. Lewis, the director of undergraduate studies for Harvard’s computer science department, “since bureaucracies tend to have messages they want to spin, and priorities they have to set, and students just want stuff that is useful. I know this well, since students were talking to me about moving the Harvard face books online seven years before Zuckerberg just went and did it without asking permission.

Student-Built Apps Teach Colleges a Thing or Two - NYTimes.com

The processor may thus be able to recognize that a woman in a video is picking up a purse, or control a robot that is reaching into a pocket and pulling out a quarter. Humans are able to recognize these acts without conscious thought, yet today’s computers and robots struggle to interpret them. The chip contains 5.4 billion transistors, yet draws just 70 milliwatts of power. By contrast, modern Intel processors in today’s personal computers and data centers may have 1.4 billion transistors and consume far more power — 35 to 140 watts.

IBM Develops New Computer Chip Designed to Work Like the Brain - NYTimes.com

That it will be of very great use cannot be questioned, but how will its uses add to the happiness of mankind? Has the land telegraph done any good? Has it banished any evil, mitigated any sorrow?

In 1858, People Said the Telegraph Was ‘Too Fast for the Truth’ - Adrienne LaFrance - The Atlantic

The trouble always starts when teachers are told to put innovative ideas into practice without much guidance on how to do it. In the hands of unprepared teachers, the reforms turn to nonsense, perplexing students more than helping them. One 1965 Peanuts cartoon depicts the young blond-haired Sally struggling to understand her new-math assignment: “Sets … one to one matching … equivalent sets … sets of one … sets of two … renaming two… .” After persisting for three valiant frames, she throws back her head and bursts into tears: “All I want to know is, how much is two and two?”

Why Do Americans Stink at Math? - NYTimes.com

The easiest thing to do would be to please shareholders today and simply keep forging ahead, blind to the changes in the market around you, but you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that PC sales are dropping every year and that while they continue to drive huge profits for Microsoft today, it’s not a sustainable model in the long term. That is a textbook Innovator’s Dilemma.

Innovator’s Dilemma Is Real And Requires Bold Action To Overcome | TechCrunch

We can’t yet see how much this will change things. The proliferation of imaging is a profound change that bears comparison with the way vinyl and especially the transistor took music everywhere two and three generations ago, or the way the steam press and railways took print everywhere in the 19th century.

Benedict Evans: Imaging (via davemorin)

(via davemorin)