This $179 Android handset runs for four days on a single charge

Though smartphones are getting slimmer by the year, there are still plenty of people who would compromise on a thin-and-light device for better battery life — which explains the success of chunky battery cases like Mophie and battery-focused phones like the Motorola Droid Turbo. A new smartphone from Blu has a bigger battery than them all, though, packing a 5,000mAh battery.

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Miami-based Blu says its Studio Energy smartphone can run for four days without a charge under “standard use” thanks to its big battery. The rest of the Studio Energy’s specs aren’t nearly as impressive: A low-end MediaTek chip, no LTE (although it works on AT&T and T-Mobile’s HSPA+ networks), and a 8-megapixel camera behind a 5-inch 720p screen. It’s also shipping with Android 4.4 KitKat — and Blu makes no promises about when it’s getting Android 5.0. The Studio Energy does have dual SIM support and an expandable MicroSD card slot to expand the 8GB of built-in storage.

However, the price is right. The Blu Studio Energy will cost only $179 when it goes on sale at the end of January. Don’t expect to pick one up from your carrier, though: Blu’s strategy is to sell its devices unlocked directly to consumers through Amazon and other online retailers.

Blu doesn’t mention how thick the Studio Energy is, but from photos, it certainly looks a little chunky. If the Studio Energy isn’t your speed, take a look at another one of the seven smartphones Blu announced at CES. The $199 Vivo Air packs a 2100mAh battery and is only 5.1mm thick.

IBM BLU Acceleration speaks to core business challenges with Cancun Release

IBM’s BLU Acceleration is starting to make inroads in addressing common issues faced by enterprise IT organizations. BLU Acceleration is IBM’s in-memory database processing is based on DB2. In-memory processing provides significant performance advantages over traditional methods by eliminating the need to constantly read and write from hard drives. Instead, BLU Acceleration pulls the data into memory and performs the analytical processes within memory. This results in accelerated performance during analytical operations.

IBM’s Cancun Release of BLU Acceleration includes a number of new enhancements to the core product including support for Shadow Tables, Oracle & SAP and IBM’s POWER8 integration.

Shadow Tables

The Cancun Release provides the ability to conduct operations using tables on top of existing tables within the database. Interestingly, the Shadow Tables are column-oriented versus traditional row-oriented tables. This provides a second layer of capability without impacting the performance of core table structures.

Integration with Oracle and SAP

In different ways, IBM is providing greater integration with both Oracle and SAP. For Oracle, IBM is providing tools to migrate existing Oracle environments into IBM DB2 in order to retain existing work. This is key when considering a move from one database platform to another.

For SAP, IBM has provided greater integration with SAP BW (Business Warehouse) beyond the core offering. In doing so, SAP workloads can leverage BLU Acceleration with a number of enhancements. It will be interesting to see how this space evolves compared with SAP’s own in-memory solution, SAP HANA.

Integration with IBM POWER8 processor

The last of the Cancun Release enhancements provides optimizations that fully leverage the POWER8 processor such as concurrent multithreading and 128-bit register instructions. In doing so, IBM creates a powerful combination of tying software applications to engage specific hardware features and therefore optimizing the application for the hardware platform.

Migration Required

IBM BLU Acceleration provides a number of opportunities for in-memory database process. The catch is that it leverages IBM’s DB2 database. In order to leverage the benefits, customers will need to migrate from their existing platform (Oracle, SQL, etc) to DB2.

For organizations looking to enhanced performance in their Big Data and Analytics operations, in-memory processing is key. DB2 with BLU Acceleration is an interesting solution but may pose a moment of pause for non-DB2 customers when considering the requirements to migrate. For Oracle customers, the migration tools in the Cancun Release will help with this process.

blu Delivers Stunning Twitter App for Windows

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Usability is key to my using an application, so, while I’m not usually one who falls for flashy interfaces, I surely can appreciate them if they are part of an otherwise strong application.

Such is the case with blu, formerly known as chirp, a beautiful new (Windows 7 or Vista only) desktop client for the web worker’s favorite time waster or productivity tool, Twitter, that I just discovered (via Steve Clayton.)

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