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Submission + - Can 'Big Data' Make IT Relevant Again? (

itwbennett writes: "Just last week, Microsoft and IDC released a study predicting that cloud computing would create 14 million jobs. Great news, right? Well, yes. But those jobs won't be in IT or even mostly in the U.S. The message is clear: IT has become less relevant to the business. And so is it any wonder that IT is wary of that other hot trend, Big Data? But there's a good chance that Big Data could actually make IT more important to the business. Brian Proffitt argues that the tasks associated with Big Data, 'unlike system operation and automation, can't really be scaled, because at the end of the day there's going to need to be a data scientist (or a team of data experts) looking at the data and making decisions.' And who better to do that than 'business savvy' techies?"

Google Data Liberation Group Seeks To Unlock Data 167

Several sources are reporting that The Data Liberation Front, a new engineering group within Google, is trying make it easier for users to move their data in and out of Google products. They have already "liberated" about half of Google's offerings (including Blogger and Gmail) and have plans to liberate Google Sites and Google Docs in the near future. "In a blog post this morning, Data Liberation engineering manager Brian Fitzpatrick, uses a good analogy to explain why the company sees this is an important step: 'Imagine you want to move out of your apartment. When you ask your landlord about the terms of your previous lease, he says that you are free to leave at any time; however, you cannot take all of your things with you - not your photos, your keepsakes, or your clothing. If you're like most people, a restriction like this may cause you to rethink moving altogether. Not only is this a bad situation for you as the tenant, but it's also detrimental to the housing industry as a whole, which no longer has incentive to build better apartments at all. Although this may seem like a strange analogy, this pretty accurately describes the situation my team, Google's Data Liberation Front, is working hard to combat from an engineering perspective.'"

Malaria Vaccine, Via Mosquito 178

CodeShark writes "The AP is reporting that mosquitoes have been used for the first time to deliver anti-malarial vaccine through their bites. According to this article the results were crystal clear: 100% of the vaccinated group acquired immunity, everyone in the non-vaccinated control group did not. Those in the control group and developed malaria when exposed to the parasites later, the vaccinated group did not. Malaria kills nearly a million people per year, mostly children."

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"