Sorry this is late. I’ll cut to the chase and just serve up the five most interesting things I read today.
Target is the latest retailer to move off AWS:
Retail defection/prohibition alone won’t make or break AWS, but it’s a trend worth keeping an eye on as the Amazon platform expands. We’ve already seen Google and Walmart partner on the smart-home front, and you could envision competitors across Amazon’s other businesses looking for other partners, too. If it happens enough, AWS might really have a situation on its hands.
Backblaze releases its latest hard drive analysis:
This quarterly report is always a good at what hard drives are working best for storing lots of backup data. If I’m reading this correctly, HGST drives are very reliable over long periods. The bigger picture here, though, is that Backblaze made a name for itself with open-source storage hardware, and its focus on price-performance has made the company profitable even at very low prices. It’s now probably the best/safest bet in town for consumer backup
, and has a growing S3-type cloud storage service, as well.
Salesforce built a natural-language query system using deep reinforcement learning:
Salesforce has a built an impressive research team, and its willingness to let them publish and open source their work should help it continue to grow. This new system, called Seq2SQL, uses reinforcement learning and SQL under the covers, but presents users with a standard search bar. There are a lot of companies working on natural language queries and raising gobs of money for it, but Salesforce could make a big dent in that market if can do a good job productizing this work.
Gigster raises $20 million to help enterprises build AI apps:
Well, not just AI apps, but that’s obviously going to get a lot of attention in the years to come. More importantly, though, is how the company is trying automate the process of defining a job and securing a team of freelancers to build it. If you buy into the argument that most successful AI systems and applications will be custom-built, then you have to like a company focusing on improving that part of the process.