Yodel Selects Teradata For Faster Data Delivery (PRN)

Yodel, the UK parcel carrier, has significantly simplified and improved its reporting processes around parcels arriving at its service centres. The change is part of a wide-ranging overhaul of its data management strategy achieved with Teradata, the big data analytics and marketing applications company. The independent UK carrier, which handles 155 million items each year, is driving efficiency across its operations, having deployed a cost-effective, best-of-breed Teradata solution comprising two appliances. Using the new solution, reporting now takes mere seconds, with data for better decision-making presented in clear, visual ways…

In Advertising Battle, TV Fights Back Against the Web (WSJ)

Every year, Comcast Corp. ’s NBCUniversal hosts a swanky dinner for advertisers, as the TV network-owner gears up for the spring’s peak ad sales season. This year, there was a new wrinkle: Before they were served their fish and lamb at New York’s Rainbow Room last month, some guests sat through a five-hour seminar titled “The Future of Content, Data & Technology.” The talk laid out how marketers can use NBCUniversal’s new data and analytics tools to target their ads more effectively on the company’s shows. The technology makes it possible, for example, for a brewer’s ads to air on shows watched by beer-buying households, or for a fast-food restaurant to target lovers of burger and fries…

Microsoft Power BI Visualizes Temboo’s IoT Data Streaming (eWeek)

Microsoft and Temboo, a New York-based Internet of things (IoT) programming specialist, have teamed to help businesses keep an eye on their IoT sensors. Power BI, Microsoft’s cloud-based business intelligence platform, supports the Temboo Streaming service, which dynamically generates the code required to link sensor data to cloud services. Now, in addition to analyzing business metrics, enterprises can use Power BI’s real-time visualization capabilities to monitor their IoT deployments and extract insights…

Adobe Advances Integration of Big Data with Creative Content (MW)

For brands, the volume of digital content continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. Tighter integrations between Adobe’s industry-leading creative tools and marketing solutions enable brands to deliver the greatest impact from that digital content. Through new asset management capabilities in Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), Adobe will help organizations accelerate and optimize the creative-to-marketing workflow. In addition, a new Assets core service is now available to let users sync, store and share content across marketing solutions and Creative Cloud…

DAAST Might Change Digital Audio Measurement, So What’s Apple Waiting For? (AdExchanger)

When the IAB set out to craft a set of standards for digital audio advertising seven months ago, it wanted to address the challenge of consumers shifting to mobile and to organize the fragmented digital audio landscape. The effort resulted in the Digital Audio Ad Serving Template (DAAST), and many in the industry welcomed the guidelines. Having a standard like DAAST could keep competing brands – Coke and Pepsi, for instance – from airing consecutive ads. For streaming audio, DAAST also provides a standard way to record what percentage of an ad was actually consumed. But while some of the largest audio firms like Pandora, iHeartMedia and Triton Digital were heavily engaged in the creation and subsequent adoption of the standard, tech giants like Apple and Microsoft haven’t implemented it, and that’s left others scratching their heads…

The Music Business is Starting to Think the Next Big Thing is Just a Computer Algorithm Away (The Independent)

Identifying and developing talent is becoming a science – much to the chagrin of the traditional A&R man relying only on instinct and “good ears” – and the tool that is increasingly being used to define a hit or a miss is “big data”. Instead of trawling the back rooms of the country’s pubs for the next Ed Sheeran, what if “moneyball” – the analytical, statistics-based approach successfully used to assemble a competitive sports team – could be adapted to pop music?…

Kantar, ComScore Offer Cross-Media Data (TVNewsCheck)

The companies’ integrated measurement approach is designed to deliver faster, smarter solutions for advertisers and broadcasters. “As advertising spend on integrated cross-media campaigns increases, there is a growing demand for solutions that bring together TV and Internet audience measurement to provide cross-media reach and frequency,” said Andy Brown, Kantar CEO-chairman.

Transforming Data Into Insights (ExchangeWire)

Despite – and maybe because of – the volume of available customer interaction data, progress has been slow in terms of translating it into meaningful insights. Stored in numerous disconnected systems, data is difficult and time consuming to analyse. Proving the effectiveness of marketing programs with accurate results is challenging; and adapting the brand experience to customer behaviour in real time is impossible for most businesses because of the fragmented way we engage customers. To make matters worse, new data pours into business systems daily, and the reports from two weeks ago may often be outdated by the time you read them. According to a report by the US Chamber of Commerce, 90% of all data has been created in the past two years…

Yahoo’s Big Data is Now “Lit Up” on Brightroll (Beet.TV)

Following its acquisition by Yahoo late last year, programmatic video adtech company Brightroll is now using data from Yahoo’s one billion global users, says Brent Horowitz, VP of Business Development at Brightroll, in this interview with Beet.TV. He says that the merger has also brought a vast video inventory from Yahoo to the Brightroll platform. Another significant data set has come from Yahoo’s Flurry mobile SDK which provides deep data around mobile app use…

Location Is Your Most Critical Data, and Everyone’s Watching (Wired)

Your phone’s ability to pinpoint your exact location and use that info to deliver services—a meal, a ride, a tip, a coupon—is reason for excitement. But this world of always-on GPS raises questions about what happens to our data. How much privacy are we willing to surrender? What can these services learn about our activities? What keeps detailed maps of our lives from being sold to the highest bidder? These have been issues as long as we’ve had cellphones, but they are more pressing than ever. Location-tracking lets developers build fast, useful, personalized apps. They’re enticing, but they come with tradeoffs: your gadgets and apps maintain a log of where you’ve been and what you’re doing, and more of them than you think are sharing that data with others…

Data is the New Currency For Publishers (ExchangeWire)

For data to be valuable it requires scale, and it is this imperative that has driven publishers to start exploring data alliances with one another and join forces with former competitors. This trend is already taking shape in the UK with The Guardian, Financial Times, CNN International, The Economist, and Reuters recently forming the aptly named Pangaea alliance, pooling reader data from their combined audience of 110 million to attract advertisers with a more compelling targeting. Just one week later, the AOP publisher alliance came together with a similar purpose, and across Germany, France and Italy publishers are in discussions to form similar groups to provide a competitive offering against Google and Facebook. A major challenge for these organisations will be to consolidate and share their user information in a way that is consistent, scalable and ultimately provides meaningful actionable data for their advertising partners…

For Nielsen, A New Push Amid The Growing Music Data Boom (Forbes)

One of Nielsen’s key products is its N-Score tool, which measures celebrities across a variety of attributes (“stylish,” “influential,” “dependable,” etc) constantly updated through weekly interviews with 1,000 U.S. consumers. The data can get very granular, down to where the fans of a certain artist shop, what media they consume and how receptive they are to brands getting involved in music. “A lot of times [marketing] decisions are made on hunches: ‘My daughter likes this artist, let’s go with her,’” says Tatiana Simonian, Nielsen’s VP of music. “What we’re doing is creating the backing for those creative hunches.”…

Scripps Networks: Data Will Prove Audience Value (AdExchanger)

Using data from Nielsen Catalina (a partnership just four months old), Scripps Networks can figure out where it can help a Greek yogurt advertiser find high densities of yogurt consumers who don’t yet buy Greek, and advise them to buy spots in shows where that audience overindexes. The math works something like this: If 40% of viewers who watch a show purchase yogurt, finding a show where 50% of viewers purchase yogurt will yield a 25% advantage over the US average. Scripps Networks is also using data to prove the success of its custom, highly integrated programs. Outback Steakhouse created a custom 60-second vignette on “All-Star Academy” last week…

Google Builds a Data Platform That’s the Last Piece of Its Ad Empire (AdWeek)

Google is testing a new advertising product seen as the last piece it needs to complete its ad tech superstructure. The search giant is building a data management platform to help target ads and connect brands with people online more effectively, according to sources familiar with the plans. The platform is called Doubleclick Audience Center, one source with knowledge of the new product said…

Mobile Measurement Flaws Mean TV Leaves Money on the Table, WPP Chief Says (AdAge)

WPP CEO Sorrell said Thursday morning that TV measurement on new platforms is lagging consumer habits, meaning media companies aren’t getting credit for mobile and other views. “This is an issue that Nielsen is trying to wrestle with in the U.S.,” Mr. Sorrell said, speaking during an analysts’ call. “There is considerable discontent among traditional media owners about the scope of measurement … and pricing is affected by the inability of traditional measurement to capture all of the data. There are deficiences in the system, hence our investment in ComScore, which we want to make the global standard, and Rentrak, which looks at alternative ways. … It’s critical that media owners want to get the best possible ratings.”…

‘If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Sell It’ (AdAge)

Younger viewers are Rapturing to digital video at an even faster clip, according to Nielsen, which said that overall linear TV usage among the 18-to-24 set plummeted 17% in the first half of the season alone. The Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau has estimated that about 40% of all TV ratings declines can be chalked up to the adoption of streaming-video services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. But network-research heads and ad-sales executives appear far more concerned about what they characterize as a failure to adequately capture video consumption on nontraditional platforms…

Teradata Unveils Improved QueryGrid Connectors (CIO)

Data infrastructure is all well and good, but it doesn’t accomplish anything if the end users — the people who use the data to make business decisions — can’t easily access the data or work with it. “My view of the world is that Hadoop has its place in the data center, but it’s not going to take over the world,” says Imad Birouty, director of Product Marketing at Teradata. “One of the things that we’re seeing is that users in the market have come to realize that Hadoop is a powerful engine, but it’s not for the everyday user. The business analyst, who is the person you want to be able to access and analyze that data, can’t really interact with that data because they’re not MapReduce programmers. You need tools on top of that to give the everyday business analyst a way to interact with and access the data.”…

Spotify to Use Playlists as Proxy for Targeting Ads to Activities, Moods (AdAge)

Through its first-party data and its March 2014 acquisition of music analytics service The Echo Nest, Spotify has been digging into the 1.5 billion playlists the company and its more than 60 million active users have created. The goal: to infer the context in which people are listening to the playlists, like whether they’re working out, hosting a barbecue or are in a happy mood. Now Spotify is applying that insight to ad targeting. Starting on May 1, advertisers will be able to target ads to the roughly 45 million people who use Spotify’s free ad-supported service based on the playlists they stream…

Will Viewability Measurement Become The Next Click-Through Rate? (RTBInsider)

The industry is completely focused on viewability right now. You can’t go a day without reading an article about the topic. While measuring whether an ad is in view is certainly critical, as an industry we need to avoid turning viewability into the next click-through rate. We need to all understand that, like a click, an ad that is confirmed to be in the viewing window of a user’s screen is just a rough proxy for success. In fact, it is just the starting point. Having your ad in view will be “table stakes” in the near future. So don’t fall into the trap of basing all decisions purely on viewability rate, because if you do, you will be very disappointed…

One Giant Leap: How Connecting Data is Changing the Ad Industry (The Guardian)

By overlaying a balanced sample of viewers’ thoughts about their lives, motivations andhow they feel about a brand or product, companies can begin to unlock the marketing holy grail – joining up what customers see, hear, feel, think and do. These household-level connections have profound implications. Audiences become defined by their behaviour, for example, occasional buyers of fruit tea, rather than by age or gender. Out of store, these same audience segments can then be found watching their favourite channels and TV shows. Conversely, their exposure to advertising can be measured and assessed in-store, in granular detail…

Twitter Grants Google Data Access to Improve Tweet Searches (Future of Media)

Twitter recently agreed to allow Google access to their tweet data, whilst in return Google will improve search ranking for peoples’ tweets – a simple, honest partnership? Previously, real-time tweets haven’t been taken into consideration when Google’s super-smart algorithm ranks relevant search results. Instead, Google spent forever trawling the Twitter website for relevant content, a laborious process resulting in a lag between breaking news and the relevant tweets Google throws up…

Big Data: How Netflix Uses It to Drive Business Success (SmartDataCollective)

As soon as streaming became the primary deliver method, many new data points on their customers became accessible. Data such as time of day that movies are watched, time spent selecting movies and how often playback was stopped (either by the user or due to network limitations) all became measurable. Effects that this had on viewers’ enjoyment (based on ratings given to movies) could be observed, and models built to predict the “perfect storm” situation of customers consistently being served with movies they will enjoy. Happy customers, after all, are far more likely to continue their subscriptions….

Consumers Concerned About IoT Data, Privacy (MarketingDaily)

The companies behind the growing Internet of Things may have to do a little consumer massaging (and messaging) to allay some deep concerns before their products can reach heavy adoption. Nearly half (47%) of U.S. consumers with broadband access are concerned about privacy and security when it comes to smarthome devices, according to new research from Parks Associates…

Rethink Retargeting (AdExchanger)

Marketers need to reprioritize their remarketing and display reengagement decision stack because the status quo is antiquated. Display remarketing, retargeting and reengagement – terms that will be used somewhat interchangeably here – were once fantastic methods for reengaging potential customers after a website visit or shopping cart abandonment. Over time, the precision of this retargeting has drastically improved, graduating from binary pixel-based retargeting, in order to find and retarget users with a single product they’d browsed, to a more intelligent model that includes matching users’ profiles with products they are most likely to purchase based on other customers in their cohorts…

How Data Visualization Tells the Story of Data (CIO Insight)

Data visualization is often treated as an offshoot of user experience, but in many respects it is in fact more appropriately seen as a (potentially major) player within a data science team. The role of the visualization analyst is to take the vast amounts of information that companies are increasingly called up to hand and condense this down into visualizations-graphs, charts, maps and similar infographics. What makes this position so challenging is that the expectation has been increasingly that such infographics are also dynamic-at a minimum animated and, more often than not, fully interactive and working with live data…

Drones in the Enterprise: The Future of Data Collection (CIO)

ABI Research predicts the commercial market for small UAVs (a.k.a. drones) will grow from an estimated $652 million in 2014 to more than $5.1 billion by 2019. If thing unfold as ABI forecasts, IT departments need to prepare now for the potential drone invasion and the data they collect. Exactly how they should prepare depends on the final form of drone regulation as well as how drone vendors decide to sell to the enterprise market. Nevertheless, IT needs to be ready to deal with a new type of big data, the type that comes from drones…

Google Cloud Dataflow Eases Large-Scale Data Processing (ProgrammableWeb)

Google Cloud Platform is making a big push toward big data services. Google Cloud Dataflow has entered beta, and it provides a powerful big data processing platform in the cloud. The key benefit that Google is promoting via Google Cloud Dataflow is that it helps the implementation focus on the programming and data analysis problem at hand, rather than worrying about the infrastructure and resources that need to be provisioned and tuned for optimum performance…

How Communication and Big Data Create Competitive Advantages in Fashion (Apparel)

Since the beginning of modern fashion history, we’ve been trying to find better ways to predict consumer behavior. The fashion industry has struggled time and again to figure out how to make what consumers want – and never make what no one wants. We end nearly every season or collection with more unplanned than planned markdowns. If we could just find ways to better forecast – wouldn’t that be worth substantial investment?…

Why Metadata Is King Of Content (Forbes)

As rich media content explodes, media companies must build one central organizational mechanism that works the same way across all the content. The key, says Rino Petricola, vp digital media solutions at Oracle, is metadata—data chunks that describe and categorize digital content to provide better search engine visibility, increased audience engagement, and better-targeted advertising opportunities for online video publishers. The problem is, not all content has usable metadata, particularly older pieces. “Many companies with large, rich media holdings are faced with the issue of metadata, because it directly affects their ability to quickly search and find content,” Petricola says. “Ten or fifteen years ago, people said that content was king,” he says. “Today I think that metadata is king. If you don’t know what you have, then the millions of hours of content in your archives are essentially useless.”…

Aspera Delivers Major Advances in Its Core FASP High-Speed Transfer Platform (MarketWatch)

IBM today announced at NAB2015 that Aspera, an IBM company, is unveiling the next generation of its unique FASP software platform for moving Big Data and media at maximum speed and scale regardless of size, distance or network conditions. Multiple breakthrough new capabilities and advanced features allow enterprises of all sizes to meet variable data movement demands in real time with speed, control, security and ease, and all capabilities are designed to move data directly to cloud and on premise storage…

Digimarc, SourceAudio Team to Deliver Music Industry’s Most Accurate Broadcast Performance Monitoring Platform (MW)

Digimarc Corporation and SourceAudio have announced Digimarc-powered SourceAudio Detect (SA Detect), the most accurate and comprehensive broadcast performance monitoring and reporting platform for music suppliers. Using Digimarc’s advanced digital identification technology, SA Detect enables music rights holders to verify their royalty collections from performing rights organizations and more accurately substantiate track title identification, track ownership, and license authority. It provides the widest monitoring coverage available for production music in programs and advertisements on network, cable and local television. Until now, comprehensive monitoring of production music has been difficult since tracks are often used for very short durations and commonly published by multiple sources…

CHILI Deploys Civolution’s NexGuard Forensic Watermarking (Advanced Television)

NexGuard, a Civolution company and the provider of forensic watermarking technology and solutions for protecting media content against illicit redistribution, today announced the integration and deployment of NexGuard content protection technology with European OTT service provider CHILI. This will enable CHILI to roll out session-based watermarking for their Ultra HD service to be launched in April 2015, initially on Samsung’s new 2015 Ultra HD Smart TV range. CHILI’s pay TV movie service, which is rolled out in Italy, Poland, Austria, Germany and soon in UK, provides Video On Demand movies as well as Electronic Sell Through content via a Smart TV app with an outstanding user interface…

Microsoft Acquires Mobile Business Intelligence Service Datazen (TechCrunch)

Datazen, which launched about three years ago, allows businesses to create mobile dashboards from data in Microsoft Excel, but also from other cloud and enterprise database sources. To run Datazen, enterprises need to run Windows Server, IIS and .NET behind their firewalls, as well as Datazen’s server software. The company offers apps for Windows, Windows Phone, iOS, Android and the web. According to today’s announcement, all of its products will remain available for the time being and the team will continue to work on Datazen’s server and client products…

To Boost Viewership, TV Networks Use Big Data To Think Like Performance Marketers (AdExchanger)

Technology now allows the collection and analysis of dizzying amounts of data on viewer preferences and behaviors. Yet, even with all of the fragmentation, cross-platform developments and changing business models, one thing has not changed: the fundamental need for networks to use marketing tactics to drive viewership. Networks sell audiences, and more viewers equal more revenue. This need may not have changed, but in this era of big data and technology, the ability to measure, optimize and improve tune-in rates is experiencing a rapid transformation. TV networks now have the ability to use performance marketing to boost tune-in rates…

Archiving in Today’s Digital Haystack (TVTechnology)

There’s more than one change happening in the archiving space. New solutions that tightly weave together asset management and storage are on the rise, as are archiving modules that scout and scour content for truly useful metadata details, even down to delivery orders and companion documents. Add to that the fact that broadcasters have begun to more seriously investigate the cloud’s usefulness for short- and long-term storage…

The Future of Amazon’s Original Films Could Be in Spike Lee’s Hands – With an Assist from Big Data (TechFlash)

It appears the company also has plans to use big data analytics to determine the best way to build subscriptions and on-demand content. “Amazon Studios is disrupting the entertainment industry with data science and advanced analytics,” a job posting says. “We are looking for an analytical and technically skilled data scientist to join our team.” The film industry is already struggling as, so it will be interesting to see what “disruptions” tech companies like Amazon can bring. Judging by this posting, it’s clear Amazon plans to use its incredible analytical power and massive customer data to determine the best way to release and sell its feature films…

Netflix Begins Adding Audio Description for the Blind (The Australian)

In a blog post, the streaming service announced that it will offer Audio Description on select titles, beginning with its new series, Marvel’s Daredevil. Audio Description will also be rolled out to previous seasons of its original programs including House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Marco Polo. Audio Description is additional verbal narration that describes visual elements shown on screen during pauses in dialogue. Netflix was responding to criticism, including a petition, that despite Daredevil himself being blind, the streaming service didn’t cater for visually impaired consumers…

SoundCloud Partners with YouTube Copyright Detection Firm (MBW)

SoundCloud has officially partnered with Zefr – the tool which YouTube uses to help its partners detect when the copyright of their material has been infringed. Labels have two options when such an infringement is brought their attention on YouTube: either order a take-down, or claim ad revenue generated on the video. Zefr said its new deal was ‘an important step toward helping SoundCloud and its partners build a new creative ecosystem for the benefit of all creators of music and audio’…

Twitter Ditches DataSift to Bring Data Reselling In-House (ClickZ)

The social network uses companies such as DataSift and NTT Data to channel data to other companies looking to build services, carry out analysis, or target advertising to Twitter users. However, Twitter is effectively shifting its data reselling business in-house by dealing exclusively with Gnip, a social data provider that Twitter acquired last year. Zach Hofer-Shall, head of Twitter ecosystem, said in a Gnip blog post that the move will create direct relationships with the companies using Twitter’s data, rather than working at arm’s length through resellers…

Bringing Programmatic Video Everywhere (AdExchanger)

Audience measurement currently works using data collected onsite and online by Nielsen’s On Location division. But more precise technology is on the horizon to measure whether advertisers have hit their audience or not. Intel has developed Audience Impression Metric (AIM) technology to determine when eyeballs fix on a screen. Business applications of the technology are still in the works. The audiences that agencies buy on digital place-based media look more like television, but they have the targeting and interactivity of digital…

Three Emerging Themes of Big Data Analytics (Data Informed)

After a decade of hearing about the promise of personalized one-to-one marketing, we are finally seeing successful execution on the front lines. And the timing couldn’t be better. Marketers are facing consumers with very high expectations. People expect relevancy, to be heard as individuals, and to have a relationship with the companies with which they do business. From a technology perspective, this requires marketers to gain an action-based understanding of individual customers and an ability to treat people based on what they do (behaviors), not what they are (demographics). This year, marketers will respond to consumers’ high expectations by spending up to 20 percent of their budgets on supporting the customer experience…

Librarians: Make Metadata Automatic

By Paul Sweeting

No metadata strategy survives first contact with the user.

That was the message from a diverse panel of data librarians at the recent Metadata Madness East conference in New York. Despite hailing from different industries, including retail, advertising and the non-profit sector, all agreed that users within an organization need to be coaxed and coached into creating reliable metadata.

One way to do that is to trick users into creating metadata, said Abigail Meisterman, metadata architect at Tiffany & Co.

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Big Data’s Pivotal Role in the Future of Television (Information Age)

Several television series are developing new content at a rapid pace, which requires a place to store not only existing content, but tons of new content as well. As more cable television subscribers cut the cord and content demand increases, technology professionals are faced with the perpetual challenge of scaling infrastructures to meet storage requirements, as well as extracting value from the volume, velocity and variety of viewer data. In order to make big data even bigger, innovators are coming up with solutions that provide unlimited, modular scalability of storage capacity and performance at zero downtime for instant and cost-efficient online access to extensive data volumes – a necessity for the inevitable onslaught of cord cutters. New content is constantly being generated and data loads are only getting bigger, making service providers rethink the use of words like ‘unlimited’…

Oracle Releases Database Integration Tool to Ease Big Data Analytics (V3)

Oracle has bolstered its database portfolio with the Oracle Data Integrator (ODI), a piece of middleware designed to help analysts sift through big data across a variety of sources. As the name suggests, the ODI effectively eases the process of linking data in different formats and from diverse databases and clusters, such as Hadoop, NoSQL and relational databases. This enables Oracle customers to conduct analysis on large and varied datasets without dedicating time and resources to preparing big data in an integrated and secure way prior to analysis…

Experts: The Rewards and Frustrations of Metadata

By Chris Tribbey

Having thorough metadata surrounding your content seems like a must nowadays. But hearing from Greg Smith, GM of ad services for Deluxe, making metadata actually work for your content sounds anything but simple.

It actually sounds pretty exhausting.

He and other panelists tackled the key data elements during a panel at the recent Metadata Madness East event in New York that need to be considered and managed effectively to improve the consumer experience. And Smith pinpointed two of the ongoing problems facing content companies when it comes to metadata: few companies gather and disseminate metadata in the same way, and everyone is still working to stress the importance of making metadata a priority from the start of a production.

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NexGuard: “Pirates are Live Re-Streaming HD Video” (IPTV News)

Pascal Marie, Product Management & Partners, NexGuard: The world we now live in demands a seamless experience across all devices including tablets, PCs, connected TVs and beyond. In order to do this, operators must implement a diverse range of Digital Rights Management (DRM) solutions that ensure content can be downloaded and streamed securely. However, the proliferation of open platforms means that there are many ways in which content can be recaptured on or at the output of consumer devices. Even premium UHD content delivered to a set-top-box (STB) or connected TV can be illicitly shared in high quality by using a consumer 4K camcorder. This is why it is essential to have complementary content protection solutions such as watermarking, which can ensure content can be traced easily.”…

Amazon Bulks Up Cloud Instances For Big Data (InformationWeek)

Amazon Web Services has launched a second generation of dense-storage servers, its D2 series of instances. Storage-optimized servers are designed to give users access to multiple terabytes of data, with the virtual servers and storage tied together with high I/O throughput rates. The D2s don’t necessarily have as much compute power as Amazon’s compute-intensive instances, such as the C3s and C4s, nor do they have as much RAM as the memory-intensive R3 series…

The Interface Layer: Where Design Commoditizes Tech (Medium)

Who Wins in the Age of Aggregated Interfaces? Customers will have a better user experience and less friction. Service Providers benefit initially from a broader reach and seamless integration into other products from Interface Layer companies. But they may lose their identity over time, and competition will heat up as more (and new) underlying services compete on price and cut deals with the Interface Layer companies. As for Designers, they are the biggest winners of all. Designers become the most important leaders of this new business era. The success of companies in the Interface Layer will be designer-driven, and the greatest user experience (speed, design, etc…) will win…

Square Deepens Marketing Solution, Ties Email To Sales Data (AdExchanger)

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s payment startup Square is moving farther up the funnel. Known mainly as a lightweight mobile payment processor for boutique mom-and-pop stores and taxi cabs, Square on Tuesday rolled out Square Marketing, a product that will fit in to its growing set of Customer Engagement tools for small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Square Marketing is designed to “add context to a typically anonymous channel,” said a company spokesperson…