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Obama Administration Places $200 Million Bet On Big Data

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the always-bet-on-greenbacks dept.

Data Storage 72

wiredmikey writes "As the Federal Government aims to make use of the massive volume of digital data being generated on a daily basis, the Obama Administration today announced a 'Big Data Research and Development Initiative' backed by more than $200 million in commitments to start. Through the new Big Data initiative and associated monetary investments, the Obama Administration promises to greatly improve the tools and techniques needed to access, organize, and glean discoveries from huge volumes of digital data. Interestingly, as part of a number of government announcements on big data today, The National Institutes of Health announced that the world's largest set of data on human genetic variation – produced by the international 1000 Genomes Project (At 200 terabytes so far) is now freely available on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. Additionally, the Department of Defense (DoD) said it would invest approximately $250 million annually across the Military Departments in a series of programs. 'We also want to challenge industry, research universities, and non-profits to join with the Administration to make the most of the opportunities created by Big Data,' Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy at OSTP noted in a blog post. 'Clearly, the government can't do this on its own. We need what the President calls an 'all hands on deck' effort.'"

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Great QOTD (5, Insightful)

smwny (874786) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516493)

The QOTD at the bottom of the page so perfectly matched this story.

All the taxes paid over a lifetime by the average American are spent by the government in less than a second. -- Jim Fiebig

Re:Great QOTD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39516703)

"All the taxes paid over a lifetime by the average American are spent by the government in less than a second."

Small wonder, most of you don't pay any taxes, so it's really less than 0.01 second.

Re:Great QOTD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39516777)

Show me an American with an income who doesn't pay any taxes, and I'll show you a millionaire.

Re:Great QOTD (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 2 years ago | (#39517023)

Your units are incorrect, it's Multi-Millionaire. Adjust your data accordingly.

Re:Great QOTD (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39517511)

I understand your joke but in reality there are about 40-50% that pay no federal income tax at all and a decent percentage of that group get back more than they paid during the year (they MAKE money when they file).

On a side note.. I really don't think most people understand the tax refund concept and tax withholdings from your paycheck. They don't realize that they are getting money back that they gave to the government already with the exception of those I mentioned above that get even more back then they paid in.

Re:Great QOTD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39518955)

Ahem. Corporations do not pay taxes, they eventually pass those on to consumers in the form of higher prices. Therefore, any person who spends money is paying federal taxes. They are also having FICA taxes taken out of every cent of earned income regardless of their federal income tax rate. There are also federal taxes on cigarettes, gasoline, etc.

Re:Great QOTD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519539)

I also pay FICA, gas, tobacco etc. Why am I still paying income tax then. You know, tax percentage based on my income and 40-50% of people don't have to?

Just get rid of the income tax and charge a federal sales tax then. You earn less, you spend less, you pay less. That would be much more fair.

Re:Great QOTD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39520713)

The poor tend to spend a larger part of their income than the rich. Which means that, if the federal government moves entirely to sales tax, the poor will be giving a larger percentage of their income to The Man than the rich, thus making your proposal unfair. Next!

Re:Great QOTD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39521549)

and that is why the fair tax, has a part about giving you a stipend of something like $300/mo to cover the basics. level the playing field. not to say that the fair tax is perfect. just that this nonsense that progressive vs regressive makes me sick. how much sales tax would a rich person pay when they buy a $77 million home? or a crazy 55ft yacht? sure the % of "income" may not be the same, but it is not the same now. i think it was warren buffet that said his secretary pays a higher effective tax rate than himself. he certainly is alot smarter/richer than me.

Re:Great QOTD (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39527021)

I understand your joke but in reality there are about 40-50% that pay no federal income tax at all and a decent percentage of that group get back more than they paid during the year (they MAKE money when they file).

Yes, but there are more taxes than income tax.

The reality is that virtually everyone pays taxes, usually directly, and obviously indirectly. Buy something and it's almost certainly subject to sales taxes. Own a home and it's covered by property taxes. Drive a car and... you get the idea. And if you try to avoid most of those things, you end up paying indirectly. Your landlord pays the property taxes you'd have paid on your rented home, and obviously prices your rent accordingly, they don't magically disappear.

It may be a meme on the right that the country is 50% populated by "Lucky Duckies" who use government services on your dime, but it isn't remotely true. Find a state that doesn't charge property taxes, grow your own food, and never travel beyond the borders of your property and you might avoid them, but otherwise...

Re:Great QOTD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39518899)

I don't pay taxes, and im living "check" to check. Rent, food, insurance, shit is expensive if you only make 20-25k a year

Re:Great QOTD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39521257)

Judging by your poor mastery of English, I'd say that $25,000 a year will be about as high as your salary ever goes.

Re:Great QOTD (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516811)

It isn't possible to buy anything without paying taxes.

Re:Great QOTD (1)

Jesse_vd (821123) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516917)

It's called Amazon. It was even in TFS!! ;)

Re:Great QOTD (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518889)

And the thing you get from Amazon? Do you think that no portion of the price of this goes to pay for taxes, even indirectly?

Re:Great QOTD (2)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516945)

It isn't possible to buy anything without paying taxes.

Public aid cards are used by people who do not pay taxes with money they earned - the money they use and the money spent on taxes are earned by others.

Ergo, it is possible for people to buy things without actually paying for it themselves - or paying taxes themselves.

Re:Great QOTD (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518839)

The value of the public aid card belongs to the recipient after he receives it. When he uses the card some of the value of the card goes to pay the taxes on the services he purchases.

He's paying taxes.

Re:Great QOTD (2)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519149)

No, it doesn't.

If you are a leech on society, and produce noting - then you cannot claim to have done anything other than being a leech.

The taxes are paid by the people who are forced to allow the leeches to live.

If you are a leech and think you are paying taxes - or trying to convince others that you are doing anything other than being a leech, rest assured, we know better.

Re:Great QOTD (2)

owlnation (858981) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516969)

It isn't possible to buy anything without paying taxes.

You can buy politicians without paying taxes.

Re:Great QOTD (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39517589)

Actually, the politicians can buy elections easily by manipulating the 40-50% of people that pay no federal taxes at all. The first president or candidate that comes up with an honest sound plan to reduce our national debt would never get re/elected because those 40-50% would never vote for him/her. Politicians can keep claiming that the top 1-5% can fix our economy and support the entire countries budget but the reality is they can't. It gets votes though. The hole is getting deeper and deeper and no one in public office will do anything about it because there is an election coming up (BTW, there is always an election coming up). As time goes on, we will hear more and more about how the "previous administrations" bad decisions in the past got us in this mess and its not the current administrations fault but they will also do the same thing the previous administrations did. Spend more and take in less and don't accept any long term responsibility for it.

Re:Great QOTD (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518867)

Far fewer than 40-50% of people avoid paying Federal taxes. For example when you purchase an alcoholic beverage, gasoline, cigarettes, or have any kind of paying job you are paying some form of Federal tax.

Re:Great QOTD (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518919)

Politicians aren't a thing.

Re:Great QOTD (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519675)

Politicians aren't a thing.

Yes, they are.

But who, over 10 years old, still calls it a "thing"?

Strat

Re:Great QOTD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39516953)

Yeah it isn't really much of a bet when the government puts our money in something. Those on the receiving end of the funding won the bet.

Re:Great QOTD (1)

sonamchauhan (587356) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518701)

Thanks goodness government is a non-profit enterprise these days.

Harken back to the times of kings!

Re:Great QOTD (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39520513)

Yea but as a percentage the kings took less wealth from a serf than the us tax payer is asked to fork over today, if you look at those who pay some income tax.

Re:Great QOTD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39527207)

Serfs had little property and taking 20-30% of that would have caused most to starve to death.

Also: What, exactly, did serfs get in return for their taxes? Paved roads? A school system? Police that (usually) protected them? Bodies independent of industry setting health and safety standards? Art galleries and libraries? Safe drinking water supplies? Airports? A legal and financial framework for free enterprise? Healthcare for the elderly? Scientific research for the benefit of all? Protection against unemployment? An infrastructure, financial and physical, to prevent famine?

It's easy to not tax if you don't spend.

Re:Great QOTD (2)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519643)

That's kind of a silly statistic to use, since it's sensitive to population size. There are about 310 million Americans, and 1 year contains about 31 million seconds. You'd expect (roughly) 10 years of an average taxpayer's taxes to be spent every 1 second if revenues == expenditures, everything is inflation adjusted, and everyone pays taxes. If the country instead had only 31 million people you'd expect 1 year per second. The implied point--that government spending is out of control and/or hugely wasteful--depends crucially on factors not mentioned in that one-liner. Without further analysis all it does is illustrate how huge and unintuitive national scales are.

I wonder if the original quote is inflation adjusted. It would be an easy mistake to make to forget that today's dollars and dollars of the past aren't directly comparable and should not be aggregated naively. It would also account for a large part of the deviation between my very rough estimate and the quote (~1 lifetime's taxes / 4 seconds vs. 1 lifetime's taxes / <1 second).

Privacy? (5, Insightful)

GeneralTurgidson (2464452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516511)

When it comes to big data, there's going to be little privacy.

Re:Privacy? (1)

Bigsquid.1776 (2554998) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516665)

I agree with you good sir. When I hear about things like this... I feel like selling everything I own and walking off into the mountains.

Re:Privacy? (2)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#39517093)

Yeah. Considering what the data is that they want to process.

Re:Privacy? (2, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39517131)

That's an absolutely unfounded concern.

I worked at a Big Data company. About 90% of my job was improving privacy while maintaining the integrity of medical data. The patient's zip code was reduced to 3 digits. Any references to states were removed and forgotten (because there are some zip codes that cross state lines). Any names were removed, as were any user-entered comments (doctor's notes, etc.) that might possibly contain personal information. Any personal information that is necessary for the system but might be identifiable is salted and hashed twice before it ever leaves the source (hospital, insurance provider, etc).

That in itself isn't good enough for privacy, so we then used some proprietary methods (that was kinda outside my job, so I don't know much about them) to intentionally screw up the data we provided to our users. A user could find out, for example, that between one and fifty people in the vicinity of Denver had a particular medical condition on a particular date, and received a particular drug. Narrow down results more than that, and my company's system simply wouldn't fulfill the request.

This isn't really the exception to how many Big Data companies treat their data. Believe it or not, Big Data providers take privacy seriously, and are willing to sacrifice perfect accuracy to run an ethical operation. Anyone interested in Big Data is running on statistics anyway, so statistically-insignificant methods are easy to preserve privacy.

Re:Privacy? (2)

Bravoc (771258) | more than 2 years ago | (#39517561)

Yea but.... we're not talking about a company where they could become the target of civil litigation. We're talking about the US Federal Govurn-munt. Need I say more? I don't feel good about this at all.

Re:Privacy? (1)

WaywardGeek (1480513) | more than 2 years ago | (#39520421)

That's pretty cool. I'm hopefully having my "exome" sequenced soon, as part of a clinical trial. I don't think my data will make it into a public database, but I would be for it, so long as my name etc were removed.

Just some dumb thoughts on TFA: The 1000 Genome project is hosting 200TB of data?!? Haven't these guys ever heard of compression? It seems that an individual's entire genome can be compressed to about 4MB, so the ~2000 genomes produced by the 1000 genome project should easily fit on my microSD card. $20 worth of storage in 1/20th of a cubic centimeter. Also, how many downloads to they expect to get? Even one? Not at 200TB containing 8GB of useful data! Why does this require the government to pay Amazon loads of cash? And... how do I get in on this scam? I'm thinking I could host a database of all zip codes in only 500TB from my house using 500 external 1TB drives. The exact boundaries between zip codes, taking into account tectonic plate shifting in real time, can be a lot of data if I write a stupid program to generate stupid data. I'd be willing to do that for the government for only $10M.

Re:Privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39539155)

Haven't these guys ever heard of compression?

No, they haven't. These are bioinformaticians who like to store sequence information in "human-readable" ASCII files, using 8 bits for each nucleotide (the chars 'A','C','G','T'). The information content of each nucleotide in a genomic sequence is 2 bits since there are only 4 of them. If you align an actual genome to the "standard" human genome and note only the individual differences then you can get away with storing only a few MB per genome.

Transparency? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39517867)

When Obama said his administration would be the most transparent, it is apparent it was about how the government would make all of our private details transparent to government while making what the government does totally opaque to us.

Ignorance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39523405)

noun.

1) inability to RTFA, or, believing that US Geological Data, NIH Genome project, molecular, cellular, electrophysiological, chemical, US Department of Energy, or DOD Situational Awareness (Warfighter support) have any relation to the Facebook "They're selling my data!" trend.

2) rating a comment "Insightful" based on a knee-jerk reaction to a popular topic despite the existence of 1)

3) Believing "Big Data" only relates to Facebook, Google, etc. and not the hard sciences (related to #1)

Doesn't this bother anyone? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39516537)

Clearly, the government can't do this on its own. We need what the President calls an 'all hands on deck' effort

So the Obama wants to pick and choose how this will be handled but he wants everyone else to do it? Whatever happened to representation?

Re:Doesn't this bother anyone? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39516685)

Clearly, the government can't do this on its own. We need what the President calls an 'all hands on deck' effort So the Obama wants to pick and choose how this will be handled but he wants everyone else to do it? Whatever happened to representation?

Thats a pretty flimsy reason to question your own President of the United States. I mean all the past presidents like Bush who abused power to the point it was downright scary, and your beef with this guy is that he appoints delegates to handle things?

Tell me when it is a white president do you scrutinize his every move so heavily? I mean, are you aware that bias and racism is a very subtle thing? You might not go around using the "n word" and you might not think you have a racist bone in your body but it's real subtle. You can judge people differently because they look different without really knowing it. Are you sure you aren't doing that?

It's something you might have to be black to really understand. Most whites are kinda nice enough but they also dont really want anything to do with you when you're black. They dont go out of their way to help you when youre in a store. Real subtle things like that, innocent-looking things that look like honest mistakes. It is a very profound problem and no easy solution. Are you sure this isn't you?

Re:Doesn't this bother anyone? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39516853)

I'm black, and I think that even if Obama is "my nigga", he cannot be trusted,
and he betrayed most of those who voted for him with all his false promises.

I intend to vote against "my nigga" next time.

I guess you can call me an Uncle Tom, but I'd rather be called that
than be called a sucker or an idiot.

Re:Doesn't this bother anyone? (5, Insightful)

LandoCalrizzian (887264) | more than 2 years ago | (#39517759)

I'm black, and I think that even if Obama is "my nigga", he cannot be trusted, and he betrayed most of those who voted for him with all his false promises.

I intend to vote against "my nigga" next time.

I guess you can call me an Uncle Tom, but I'd rather be called that than be called a sucker or an idiot.

Posting as AC and talking about trust is an irony in itself. Anyone naive enough to think that the President can drastically change the way a nation works in 4 years is a sucker and an idiot. Government is slow to work and slow to react because it is run by a committee of people who have their own agenda that doesn't always align with the President's agenda. It doesn't matter who is in office, if the kids can't play nice then nothing gets done. Let's set the record straight, a President has the least control on how a nation is run, the body of Congress has most of the power. If you want one man to run the country move to Syria. If you want change, you should be more selective of your Congressional representatives instead of only paying attention to 2 people for ~6 months every 4 years.

Re:Doesn't this bother anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519589)

And make sure to vote for someone other than the two major parties.

Re:Doesn't this bother anyone? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39517433)

Why does every criticism of Obama lead to howls of racism? You spent 70% of a post shouting about racism when not a racist word was said. And yes, some of us were against Bush just as much as Obama. We don't all fit into tiny little slots, some of us don't wear partisan labels. How about you?

Re:Doesn't this bother anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39522925)

Because racism is the new Godwin.

Re:Doesn't this bother anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39517779)

How does any of this big data help me? I'm my 40's but I remember my interactions with the government back when I was a teen when there was not many computers and data. My interactions with the government now are EXACTLY like they were back then. What has improved for the average citizen after all of these upgrades and consolidations over the last 3 decades? Anything? What is the average citizens net gain from any of this? Hey, I'm a network engineer specializing in SAN and virtualization myself and I understand the buzz words cloud and "big data" (that was the catch phrase and theme at last years EMC WORLD in Vegas), SAN technology, DR sites, and dealing with 100+ TB of data. How does the government going this direction help me as a customer of the government? I have to justify what we do with technology and money to my company through our CFO and business managers on why and when we should use the "cloud" and organize our storage and systems etc. I can't use buzzwords either, I have to give real examples with things we can measure and verify. I;d expect the givernment to do the same. What's in it for me and what changes am I going to see after you spend this 200 million? My guess is some government contractor(s)/sub contractors(s) will throw in some vblocks and fabricate some front end and produce a report how they leveraged cloud technology and consolidated X, Y and Z and now everything is great.......until next year.

Re:Doesn't this bother anyone? (1)

Politburo (640618) | more than 2 years ago | (#39522583)

Your interactions with the government must be fairly limited. The ability to access large amounts of data from anywhere has been a large improvement to many citizens.

Yesterday it took me all of 5 minutes to get the USDA test results for e.coli in beef processing for all of 2011. How long would that have taken in a manual system?

The other day, I searched a database of agency decisions going back to 1970. Being able to narrow the search results meant that I only had to manually go through 15 records instead of 20,000.

Instant access to USGS and FEMA maps, tax forms and instructions, legislative history, the US code, the CFR, economic data, transportation data, energy data, agriculture data, etc etc etc.. all of which would previously have required a trip to the library (or DC) and then manually going through records. Even if you don't do this stuff personally, people are doing it and these systems save time, which saves money, which generally results in lower costs.

Yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39516641)

Have the Chinese hacked into it yet?

Big Data or Big Pork? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39516651)

The barrel is so big they need new ways of working out how to stuff more pork into it!

Re:Big Data or Big Pork? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516919)

Big Data or Big Pork?

Given it's about a bet, I would think of a race horse. Given the amount to be spent, I'm inclined towards a milking cow.
'know what? Let's settle in between: it is actually a bet placed on a milking race cowrse.

And all over the world (1)

overshoot (39700) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516695)

spies are ecstatic over the goodies that Uncle Sugar is about to drop in their laps.

The LIZARDS are THIRSTY FOR MORE! ALWAYS!!!!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39516799)

"Everything we see has some hidden message. A lot of awful messages are coming in under the radar - subliminal consumer messages, all kinds of politically incorrect messages..." - Harold Ramis

âoeRFID in School Shirts must be trial runâ

The trial runs began a LONG time ago!

Weâ(TM)re way past that process.

Now weâ(TM)re in the portion of the game where they will try and BRAINWASH us into accepting these things because not everyone BROADCASTS themselves on and offline, so RFID tracking will NEED to be EVERYWHERE, eventually.

RFID is employed in MANY areas of society. RFID is used to TRACK their livestock (humans) in:

* 1. A lot of BANKâ(TM)s ATM & DEBIT cards (easily cloned and tracked)
* 2. Subway, rail, bus, other mass transit passes (all of your daily
activities, where you go, are being recorded in many ways)
* 3. A lot of RETAIL storesâ(TM) goods
* 4. Corporate slaves (in badges, tags, etc)

and many more ways!

Search the web about RFID and look at the pictures of various RFID devices, theyâ(TM)re not all the same in form or function! When you see how tiny some of them are, youâ(TM)ll be amazed! Search for GPS tracking and devices, too along with the more obscured:

- FM Fingerprinting &
- Writeprint

tracking methods! Letâ(TM)s not forget the LIQUIDS at their disposal which can be sprayed on you and/or your devices/clothing and TRACKED, similar to STASI methods of tracking their livestock (humans).

Visit David Ickeâ(TM)s and Prison Planetâ(TM)s discussion forums and VCâ(TM)s discussion forums and READ the threads about RFID and electronic tagging, PARTICIPATE in discussions. SHARE what you know with others!

These TRACKING technologies, on and off the net are being THROWN at us by the MEDIA, just as cigarettes and alcohol have and continue to be, though the former less than they used to. The effort to get you to join FACEBOOK and TWITTER, for example, is EVERYWHERE.

Maybe, you think, youâ(TM)ll join FACEBOOK or TWITTER with an innocent reason, in part perhaps because your family, friends, business parters, college ties want or need you. Then itâ(TM)ll start with one photo of yourself or you in a group, then another, then another, and pretty soon you are telling STRANGERS as far away as NIGERIA with scammers reading and archiving your PERSONAL LIFE and many of these CRIMINALS have the MEANS and MOTIVES to use it how they please.

One family was astonished to discover a photo of theirs was being used in an ADVERTISEMENT (on one of those BILLBOARDS you pass by on the road) in ANOTHER COUNTRY! There are other stories. Iâ(TM)ve witnessed people posting their photo in social networking sites, only to have others who dis/like them COPY the photo and use it for THEIR photo! Itâ(TM)s a complete mess.

The whole GAME stretches much farther than the simple RFID device(s), but how far are you willing to READ about these types of instrusive technologies? If youâ(TM)ve heard, Wikileaks exposed corporations selling SPYWARE in software and hardware form to GOVERNMENTS!

You have to wonder, âoeWill my anti-malware program actually DISCOVER government controlled malware? Or has it been WHITELISTED? or obscured to the point where it cannot be detected? Does it carve a nest for itself in your hardware devicesâ(TM) FIRMWARE, what about your BIOS?

Has your graphics card been poisoned, too?â No anti virus programs scan your FIRMWARE on your devices, especially not your ROUTERS which often contain commercially rubber stamped approval of BACKDOORS for certain organizations which hackers may be exploiting right now! Search on the web for CISCO routers and BACKDOORS. That is one of many examples.

Some struggle for privacy, some argue about it, some take preventitive measures, but those who are wise know:

Privacy is DEAD. Youâ(TM)ve just never seen the tombstone.

PS: Lizards aren't referring to anyone real, unless you believe it is, then that's your opinion.

Data mining (1)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516847)

With, of course, the certainty that the data mining capabilities will never be used for evil such as monitoring American citizens for the purposes of identifying nonviolent (but loud) political dissidents.

The difference between this and Google is that you can haul Google into court when they do evil.

Re:Data mining (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39517021)

The difference between this and Google is that you can haul Google into court when they do evil.

Where they will wear you down with their billions of dollars that they can throw at lawyers. Assuming you could actually get a lawyer will to take the case, you will be very old before you ever get a payout - if any

Suing over privacy? In this day and age? And to actually prove that they did it?

Good luck with that.

Re:Data mining (1)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 2 years ago | (#39517187)

Except that Google (and other non-governmental entities) must respond when caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

One of many examples: such as when Congress hauls their butt into a hearing over their privacy practices [huffingtonpost.com] .

The government, after all, is jealously seeking a monopoly on invasive privacy violations.

Just another corporate hand-out? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39516857)

That is what it looks like to me.

I think Obama gave Solendra $500 million about one week before the company declared bankruptcy. The execs refused to tell anybody where the money went, and acted offended that anybody would ask.

Big political contributions are probably about the best investment you make, I figure about a $10 return for every $1 invested.

Fp 3Ock (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39516955)

for all practical may do, ma3y not

Right investment, right time (4, Interesting)

macwhizkid (864124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39517079)

I'm a hard science/computer science guy who's livelihood is working on various NIH/NSF projects. A common thread talking to other scientists the past few years has been the theme that the tools for data analysis have not kept pace with the tools for data acquisition. Companies like National Instruments sell sub-$1000 USB DAQ boards with resolution and bandwidth that would make a scientist from the early 1990's weep for joy. But most data analysis is done the same way it's been done since that same era: with a desktop application working with discrete files, and maybe some ad-hoc scripts. (Only now the scripts are Python instead of C...)

The funny thing is, most researchers haven't yet wrapped their brains around the notion of offloading data onto cloud computing solutions like Amazon AWS. I was at an AWS presentation a couple months ago, and the university's office of research gave an intro talking about their new supercomputer that has 2000 cores, only to get upstaged 10 minutes later when the Amazon guys introduced their 17000 core virtual supercomputer (#42 on the top 500 list, IIRC). There's a lot of untapped potential right now for using that infrastructure to crunch big data.

Re:Right investment, right time (1)

Ruie (30480) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518117)

I was at an AWS presentation a couple months ago, and the university's office of research gave an intro talking about their new supercomputer that has 2000 cores, only to get upstaged 10 minutes later when the Amazon guys introduced their 17000 core virtual supercomputer (#42 on the top 500 list, IIRC). There's a lot of untapped potential right now for using that infrastructure to crunch big data.

Big Data is about I/O not cores... How many GB/sec from disk can that cloud support ?

Re:Right investment, right time (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#39520827)

If you need GB/sec for downloading data, you are asking wrong questions. AWS can not only store but also compute.

BJI is producing so much data they are going back to shipping hard drives (flashback from 2000 for me)

Re:Right investment, right time (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518141)

I was at an AWS presentation a couple months ago, and the university's office of research gave an intro talking about their new supercomputer that has 2000 cores, only to get upstaged 10 minutes later when the Amazon guys introduced their 17000 core virtual supercomputer (#42 on the top 500 list, IIRC). There's a lot of untapped potential right now for using that infrastructure to crunch big data.

While very cool, some problems require more communication between threads and might not scale well on more distributed VMs. Still, very cool.

And the cost to move the data? (2)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518367)

Amazon is using the idle time of their huge cloud when it's not being used for christmas shopping ... so the cost of CPU is relatively cheap. Bandwidth and storage is *not* with most cloud sevices.

So, say I need to calibrate a year's worth of SDO/AIA data ... that'd mean pushing to them somewhere in the range of 500TB of data, and then pulling it back again. They've changed their pricing so the transfer in is now free ... but if I'm doing the math right, that'd cost somewhere on the order of $30k for the transfers, and if we assume we're pushing it in and deleting it as soon as it's done, we don't need a lot of storage. For other processes, people *do* need the storage, which runs around $100/TB/month, so $50k ... per month.

It's not as impressive, but it's more cost effective in the long run to build in your own processing near the data. Would it be nice to redo two years of calibration in a day, rather than the ~3hrs to process 1 day's data that it takes now? Yes, but we don't have the funding to pay for it. (every launch delay costs money (gotta keep the scientists employed, store satellites in machine rooms, pay for offices, etc.) ... and that money, without fail, gets taken from the actual running of the mission and the data analysis.

What I'd personally like to see is more large scale infrastructure coordination, and for any project where the PI team's composed entirely of physicists yet they're designing and implementing their own data system be immediately de-funded.

I'm not going to say that everyone should be using iRODS or OODT or whatever the next new sexy thing is ... but a physicist writing the drivers that run the tape drives? That's a sign something's gone horribly wrong, and yet it's still happening.

Re:Right investment, right time (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39518881)

This doesn't seem like a hardware problem. The government has been talking about "data fusion" for decades. They collect way more data than they know how to use. At a very high level this initiative sounds reasonable, but with no specific goals I wouldn't expect anything tangible to come out of it.

Re:Right investment, right time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39520781)

I'm more than reasonably sure we were at the same talks. The best part of that Amazon talk is that researchers still won't buy into it. The use of the university cluster has increased by a factor of 10 (and increased in size by a factor of 3 to 6,000), while the use in amazon ec2 has only increased by about 20-40%.

It's all about cost and amazon is still 3x as expensive as anything we prop up as a university (especially given the clever way that the cluster was implemented). So, while size is nice, researchers seem to care more about cost. There are also very few researchers who work at the size where they would need something like ec2, and they already have their own tools, and thus no need for ec2.

Re:Right investment, right time (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#39520803)

The sequencing data produced is of inferior quality than 10 years ago. Somebody might be weeping with joy, but not the assemblers downstream in this data flow.

Ironically, previously quality did not matter much, when mapping genes was good enough. Nowadays when we are talking SNPs, reads are arguing with each other, MiSeq assemblies in disarray with Ion Torrent. Every sequence variation in alignment is screaming "I am Spartacus".

The problem of opened Pandora boxes is solved by opening hundred more of them. Which is good - slap NGS on your LinkedIn experience and you are set for at 150G.

Big Data? (1)

Freddybear (1805256) | more than 2 years ago | (#39517155)

Given this administration's record on "investments" and "betting on the future" that's just another $200,000,000 into the pockets of Big Democrats.

Spending not investment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39517431)

The Government doesn't invest in anything. They spend money. Be more careful with your language.

Flames welcome. I hope you're happy with your Solyndra investment; Obama's "investments" in R&D, public transport, health care, green energy, nuclear (good any of these); the Fed's purchase of mortgage-backed securities; the Federal Government's Bear Sterns guarantee to Goldman Sachs; the Federal Government's implicit guarentee of GSEs like Freddie and Fannie; the Fed's purchase of Federal Government debt (mostly monetized); the FDIC; the military industrial complex upon which your national unemployment statistics rely (including the armed forces); the Bernanke put under the national mortgage market and hence the retail banking sector; etc.

Keep believing unbacked paper money is capital - not savings and investment. Inflation and heavy regulation have curbed economic activity making everyone poor, destroying the middle class who not have no savings to invest.

In United States, Government invest for you!

The Act needs to be renamed.... (1)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39517719)

The Oracle/Cisco/IBM Full Employment Act

How about we use the data we already have first? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39518345)

Sure it's great that we can start to analyze lots more data but does anyone else think we should start using the data we've already got? The next time I hear a politician propose a policy that directly contradicts current research on the subject in order to pander to their constituents or Jesus I think my brain will explode.

Military departments? (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519529)

It's all spent in military departments, according to TFA. I really doubt the community will see much back from this investment in the form of better open source tooling, since a lot of it will be used to deal with military secret stuff, no doubt.

Also, given the amount of black ops money spent there and the "regular budget", this is nothing. The F22 project alone has budget overruns that make this look like pocket change.

Solyndra The Sequel? (1)

Squidlips (1206004) | more than 2 years ago | (#39521725)

Have no fear, I am sure it will be run as well as other government ventures such a your local Registry of Motor Vehicles....

Why not spend it on a "cloud?' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39523721)

Our brilliant Obama is spending $200 million to solve a problem that has been solved for a decade. Awesome. What other buzzword we are going to waste billions on? We should start inventing new ones. How about "superfast process"? Wouldn't it be great if we had something like that?

Thanks Barry (1)

TonyXL (33244) | more than 2 years ago | (#39524261)

Thanks for gambling my $$$.

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