U.S. Senator-elect Dan Sullivan has chosen Joe Balash as his chief of staff. Balash served in the Parnell Administration as Commissioner of Natural Resources, after Sullivan resigned last year to run for office. Download AudioBefore that he served as Sullivan’s deputy commissioner. He also worked in the Alaska Legislature for nine years, including a stretch as chief of staff to the Senate president. During the governor’s race this fall, Balash published an opinion piece blasting Bill Walker’s record on gas line issues, so there was no chance of him staying on once Walker took office.Sullivan also announced that Mike Anderson will be his spokesman in Washington, D.C. Anderson was Sullivan’s campaign spokesman and previously worked for Alaska Congressman Don Young and U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Another new hire for the D.C. office is DeLynn Henry who will be Sullivan’s scheduling director. She worked as Sen. Ted Stevens’ scheduler and assistant for 23 years.
Google’s Project Ara to make debut this yearGoogle had its second developer conference for its modular smartphone project, Project Ara, yesterday, where it announced that it will finally make its debut later this year. The smartphone will be introduced as a pilot program in Puerto Rico.The Spiral 2 Project Ara prototype. Image courtesy of The VergeAccording to Google, the company chose Puerto Rico because of its strong mobile user base. Seventy-five percent of Puerto Rico’s population gets access to the Internet through mobile phones.Google will be working with two carriers to distribute the modular phones: Claro and OpenMobile. In addition, Google plans to create a different experience to selling the phones.“We want to create a flexible retail experience,” said Paul Eremenko, director of Project Ara. “We’re designing a food truck as a retail vehicle for the market pilot.” Samsung may or may not be in talks to buy BlackBerry.According to a Reuters report, Samsung recently approached BlackBerry with a buyout offer of as much as US$7.5 billion. The report stated that executives met last week to discuss the proposed deal.BlackBerry announced a security partnership with Samsung this past November, but for Samsung this acquisition would be motivated largely by the prospect of adding valuable BlackBerry patents to its portfolio, according to the report.BlackBerry has since denied the report, resulting in a 16% stock share price drop.
“According to Gartner, in its January 2018 report, Enabling Essential Data Governance for Successful Big Data Architecture Deployment, ‘only 17% of Hadoop deployments are in production in 2017 among customers surveyed,’” said Jack Norris, senior vice president, data and applications for MapR Technologies. “Comparatively, MapR enjoys customer retention rates of 98% with nearly all customers deployed successfully in production. These training, support and software resources are relevant to any organization looking at how to best leverage data for their business.”MariaDB TX 3.0 is releasedMariaDB TX 3.0 has been released. The open source database features purpose-built storage engines that can simultaneously support multiple workloads of different characteristics, such as transactional, analytical, write-intensive, or extreme scale. The database also now features temporal processing, Oracle compatibility, and advanced data protection. According to the company, with this release, customers will be able to “easily, quickly, securely and affordably run their mission-critical business on an enterprise open source database.”Confluent Cloud is now available on Google Cloud Platform Confluent has announced a new partnership with Google Cloud, allowing Confluent Cloud to become available on Google Cloud Platform. As a result, customers will be able to alleviate the operating burden of Apache Kafka while streaming data at scale to Google Cloud services.The addition of Confluent Cloud to Google Cloud Platform allows organizations to build event-driven applications, unleash developer velocity, provide a persistent bridge to cloud, and analyze data on a massive scale, according to the company. WhiteSource has announced the launch of its software composition analysis tool, Effective Usage Analysis. The solution provides details on how software components are being used and highlights their impact on the application’s security. According to WhiteSource, the tool will reduce open-source vulnerability alerts by 70 percent. “Our Effective Usage Analysis technology allows security and engineering teams to cut through the noise to correctly prioritize threats to the security of their products,” Rami Sass, CEO of WhiteSource. “Prioritization is key for managing time and limited resources. By showing security and engineering teams which vulnerable functionalities are the most critical and require their immediate attention, we are giving them the confidence to plan their operations and optimize remediation.”MapR launches on-demand training program for AI and analyticsMapR has announced a new on-demand training program. It features 30 free courses; certification trackers for developers, administrators, and data scientists; an expanded support portal and knowledge base; and containerize clusters and code for hands-on experience. The program is intended to highlight the capabilities and features needed to deploy applications in mission-critical production environments.