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Four short links: 14 July 2010

  1. Flume -- Cloudera open source project to solve the problem of how to get data into cloud apps, from collection to processing to storage. Flume is a distributed service that makes it very easy to collect and aggregate your data into a persistent store such as HDFS. Flume can read data from almost any source - log files, Syslog packets, the standard output of any Unix process - and can deliver it to a batch processing system like Hadoop or a real-time data store like HBase. All this can be configured dynamically from a single, central location - no more tedious configuration file editing and process restarting. Flume will collect the data from wherever existing applications are storing it, and whisk it away for further analysis and processing. (via mikeolson on Twitter)
  2. How Microbes Defend and Define Us (NYTimes) -- there's been a lot of talk about the microbiome at Sci Foo in the last few years, now it's bubbling out into the world. Turns out that "bacteria bad, megafauna good" is as simplistic and inaccurate as "Muslim bad, Christian good". Fancy that. (via Jim Stogdill)
  3. Startup Model Patently Flawed (Nature) -- "There is a lot of stuff that academics are realizing isn't patentable but they can commercialize for themselves by starting a company," says Scott Shane, an economist at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and a co-author of the study. Because surveys of entrepreneurial activity — including government assessments — typically focus on patent activity, they may be significantly underestimating academics' efforts, he notes. (via pkedrosky on Twitter)
  4. Open Data on Russian Government Spending (OKFN) -- a group outside government is adding analytics to the data that departments are required to release.

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