Map(Reduce) Analytics on Google AppEngine

Posted October 29th, 2010 in Big Data, Development by Greg Bayer

AppEngine AnalyticsGoogle AppEngine is a great tool for building simple web applications which are automatically scalable. All of the basic building blocks are readily available and accessible from both python and java. This includes a database, a caching layer, and support for background tasks.

What about the big data analytics and informatics that made Google famous? Does AppEngine help us there as well? The answer is yes; although with some serious limitations.

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Recently Joined Pulse!

Posted October 10th, 2010 in Pulse by Greg Bayer

Pulse by Alphonso LabsAfter a year and half of big data research for the government and quite a bit of fun with Hadoop, I’ve decided to join some good friends at an early-stage startup called Alphonso Labs.

Pulse is currently the #1 news reader on the iPad, iPhone, Andriod app stores.  I’ll be leading the development of our backend data platform and working with a great team.

As we start to build out Pulse’s backend, I’ll be continuing to experiment with Google App engine.  Stay tuned for more posts in that regard.

Pulse on the iPad

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Cashing in on People’s Financial Inexperience

Posted October 7th, 2010 in Observations by Greg Bayer

Payday Loans

There has been a lot of coverage in the news lately about payday loans and check cashing services. They routinely take advantage of people in hard financial times, charging them interest and fees up to 300% per year. Because of the predatory nature of these services, there has been a strong push for legal oversite.

But these types of predatory practices are much more widespread than one might think. Consider credit cards. The way a credit card company makes a lot of money is when someone can not afford to pay off what they charge and must maintain a balance for an extended period.

Large car manufacturers are also in the game.   Continue Reading »