Bina gives researchers pay-per-use genomic analysis

Genomic-analysis startup Bina Technologies is trying to grow its footprint by giving away its appliances on a pay-per-use basis. It’s also expanding its capabilities to include analysis of exomes, a much smaller but very valuable component of human genes.

Orbitz outsources analytics to the cloud

Travel-booking service Orbitz chose Kognitio’s Data Warehouse as a Service offering. The decision to move such a critical piece of the analytics stack to Kognitio’s cloud service highlights Orbitz’s commitment big data and is further proof that the cloud is an ideal place for it.

Today in Cloud

Earlier this month, Derrick Harris wrote about the current fashion for taking open source software and shipping it alongside some bespoke hardware in the form of an appliance; buy it, plug it into the network, and just let it get on with the job. As Derrick argued, there are plenty of reasons why this might make sense as an approach to sustainable growth. There are also plenty of reasons why it doesn’t, and the investment, margins and skills are very different to those associated with shipping code or delivering professional services. Nevertheless, the trend continues, with Nutanix today announcing a virtualized server with on-board solid state and hard drive storage. Appliances are an interesting approach, perhaps most applicable in circumstances where a customer really does intend to simply buy one and sit it in the corner to get on with its job. Things can become more complex when appliances need to be tightly integrated with other infrastructure, but then that’s often also true when integrating traditional hardware from different vendors. Where will the current enthusiasm for appliances take us next?

Today in Cloud

EMC today announced a new hardware appliance that offers customers the big data power of the Greenplum Database (incremented to version 4.1 as part of the announcement), tightly integrated with the high performance analytical muscle of SAS. Current solutions typically focus upon either data crunching or analytics, which makes this fusion of separately well-regarded solutions interesting for use cases from credit card fraud detection to Government data munging. The solution will ship as a hardware appliance “for now,” although the company did not rule out making all of the software pieces available without EMC’s hardware and the “secret sauce” that it adds to the mix. As the big data space becomes increasingly mature partnerships of this sort will inevitably become more common, probably appearing far sooner than developers of more bare-boned big data solutions can add capability and ease of use to their powerful but raw products.

iPad: The Microwave Oven That Can’t Pop Corn

There’s a backlash in the tech community against Apple’s iPad (s aapl). Perhaps because the geeks and tech-heads are disappointed the iPad didn’t meet their every expectation. I wonder though if it isn’t just the result of a lack of imagination.

Techies moan endlessly about the iPad’s lack of a physical keyboard and how “no one can do real work on that.” I have to wonder what they mean when they say “real work?” Are they suggesting, for example, all computer users regularly commit themselves to Jessica Fletcher-esque writing marathons? Do the vast majority of us really write 10,000 word screeds every week? Of course not. Most everyday computing consists of a few minutes of light email and web surfing. If a 10,000 word essay is the goal, the iPad might not be the ideal platform (though I suspect we’ll see plenty of people doing very lengthy prose with the optional keyboard). However – not being ideal out-of-the-box for essay writing doesn’t invalidate the utility of the iPad. There are a great many other complaints about the iPad, and they all end this same way.

To those techies fond of finding fault with the iPad, I say this; the iPad is not for you. Instead, the iPad is designed for everyone else in the world, the colossal majority of non-techy folk who simply don’t care about cameras, physical keyboards or “closed” operating systems. Read More about iPad: The Microwave Oven That Can’t Pop Corn