NEC establishes centre for Big Data and analytics in India
Japanese IT giant NEC Corporation has announced the launch of its Center of Excellence (CoE) in India to promote the adoption of Big Data and analytics solutions. Based in Noida, the new centre is the first by the company and is set to simplify digital transformation for clients across sectors such as telecom, retail, banking, financial services, retail and government.
NEC is set to invest US$ 10 million over the next three years to achieve a revenue of US$ 100 million in the next three years through the new CoE. While the Tokyo-headquartered company is initially targeting markets including Japan, India, Singapore, Philippines and Hong Kong, the centre will expand services throughout APAC and other regions.
“The new CoE is an important step towards utilising Big Data analytics and NEC’s Data Platform for Hadoop to provide benefits for government bodies and enterprises in India and across the world,” said Tomoyasu Nishimura, senior vice president, NEC Corporation.
NEC, in partnership with NEC India and NEC Technologies India (NTI), is leveraging Hadoop for its various Big Data and analytics developments.
The company has implemented its hardware in partnership with Hortonworks and Red Hat.
“The latest CoE is designed as a single platform that can be used to cater to the needs of processing structured and unstructured data,” Piyush Sinha, general manager for corporate planning and business management, NEC India, told Open Source For You.
Sinha is handling a team of around 20 people who are initiating operations through the new centre. However, NEC has plans to organise a 100-member professional team to address requirements in the near future. There are also plans to hire fresh talent to enhance Big Data developments.
The Data Platform for Hadoop (DPH) that NEC is using at the centre features a business intelligence layer in the background — alongside the Hadoop deployment, thus relieving customers of the chore of searching the individual building blocks of Big Data analytics. This combination also provides them the ability to generate value from the enormous pools of data.
NEC already has a record of contributing to national projects in the country. The company enabled the mass-level adoption of Aadhaar in partnership with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) by providing a large-scale
biometrics identification system. It is also supporting the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) that tracks nearly 70 per cent of container transactions in India.
Krita painting app enhances experience for GIMP files
Krita, the open source digital painting app, has announced v3.1.4. The new version is especially designed to deliver an enhanced experience for GIMP files.
Krita 3.1.3 was released in early
May. And now, it’s already time for the new release. The new minor update has improved the loading time of GIMP 2.9 files. The file format used to crash while attempting to quickly cycle through layers that contained a colour tag.
It is worth noting that the GIMP 2.9 file format is not officially supported by Krita. Nevertheless, its development team has fixed the crashing issue in v3.1.4.
With the new version of Krita, you can no longer hide the template selector in the ‘New Image’ dialogue box. But the menu entries in the macro recorder plugin in Krita are still visible. However, you can expect them to be removed in subsequent updates.
Krita 3.1.4 also has a patch for the crash that occurs while attempting to play an animation with the OpenGL option active.
Among the list of other minor bug fixes, Krita has fixed a crash that could occur during closing the last view on the last document. Krita 3.1.4 also improves rendering of animation frames.
Krita 3.1.4 with its bug fixes is a stability release that is a recommended update for all users. The latest version is available for Linux, Windows and MacOS on the official website.
Happiest Minds enters open source world by acquiring OSSCube
Happiest Minds Technologies, a Bengaluru-headquartered emerging IT company, has acquired US-based digital transformation entity OSSCube. The new development is aimed to help the Indian company enter the market of enterprise open source solutions and expand its presence in the US.
With the latest deal, Happiest Minds is set to widen its portfolio of digital offerings and strengthen its business in North America, the market that OSSCube is focused on. The team of 240 from OSSCube will now be a part of Happiest Minds. The acquisition will bring the total workforce of Happiest Minds to 2,400 and its active customer base to 170.
“We are delighted to welcome the OSSCube team into the Happiest Minds family,” said Ashok Soota, executive chairman, Happiest Minds, in a joint statement.
Founded in 2008 by Indian entrepreneurs Lavanya Rastogi and Vineet Agarwal, OSSCube is one of the leading open source companies around the globe. It is an exclusive enterprise partner for the open source platform Pimcore in North America. Apart from the open source developments, the company recently expanded the verticals it operates in to include the cloud, Big Data, e-commerce and enterprise mobility.
“Coming together with Happiest Minds offers us the scale, global reach, complementary skills and expertise, enabling us to offer ever more innovative solutions to our global customers. We believe that the great cultural fit,
marketplace synergies, and critical mass of consulting and IP-led offerings will unlock tremendous value for all our stakeholders,” said Lavanya Rastogi, cofounder and CEO, OSSCube.
Rastogi will join Happiest Minds’ DTES business as the CEO. The Houston, Texas-based OSSCube will operate as a subsidiary of Happiest Minds. This is not the first acquisition by Happiest Minds. The Indian company has already bought out IoT services startup, Cupola Technology, this year.
With all these developments, Happiest Minds is moving forward to become the fastest Indian IT services company to reach a turnover of US$ 100 million. The company is also in plans to go public within the next three years.
Happiest Minds presently operates in Australia, the Middle East, USA, UK and the Netherlands. It offers domain-centric solutions applying skills, IP and functional expertise in IT services, product engineering, infrastructure management and security using technologies such as Big Data analytics, Internet of Things, mobility, the cloud, and unified communications.
Microsoft’s Cognitive Toolkit 2.0 debuts with open source neural library Keras
Microsoft’s deep learning and artificial intelligence (AI) solution, Cognitive Toolkit, has reached version 2.0. The new update is designed to handle production-grade and enterprise-grade deep learning workloads.
To enable the developments around deep learning applications, Cognitive Toolkit 2.0 supports Keras, an open source neural networking library. The latest integration helps developers receive a faster and more reliable deep learning platform without any code changes.
Chris Basolu, a partner engineering manager at Microsoft — who has been playing a key role in developing the Cognitive Toolkit builds — has tweaked the existing tools to make them accessible to enthusiasts with basic programming skills. There are also customisations available for highly-skilled developers who are all set to accelerate training for their own deep neural networks with large-sized data sets and across multiple servers.
Cognitive Toolkit 2.0 supports the latest versions of NVIDIA Deep Learning SDK and advanced GPUs like NVIDIA Volta.
In addition to the Keras support, the latest Cognitive Toolkit comes with model evaluations using Java bindings. There are also a few other tools that compress trained models in real-time. The new version is capable of compressing models even on resource-constrained devices such as smartphones and embedded hardware.
Microsoft has designed the AI solution after observing the problems faced organisations ranging from smart startups to large tech companies, government agencies and NGOs. The team, led by Basolu, aims to make the major Cognitive Toolkit features accessible to a wider audience.
Developers working with the previous release are recommended to upgrade to the latest Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit 2.0. You can find the code for the latest version on a GitHub repository.
Raspberry Pi 3 can now monitor vital health signs
Bengaluru-based hardware startup ProtoCentral has launched a multiparameter patient monitoring add-on for Raspberry Pi 3. Called HealthyPi,
the new development offers you a completely open source solution for monitoring vital health signs.
The HealthyPi board comes with an Atmel ATSAMD21 Cortex-M0 MCU that is compatible with Arduino Zero, and can monitor health signs like ECG and respiration. Additionally, there is a pulse oximetry front-end along with an LED driver and 22-bit ADC. The board includes a three-electrode cable that has a button and stereo connector.
Through the available 40-pin header connector, HealthyPi can connect with your Raspberry Pi 3. There is also a USB CDC device interface and UART connector that enables connectivity with an external blood pressure module.
It is worth noting here that the HealthyPi is not yet a certified medical device.
Microsoft Azure gets an open source tool to streamline Kubernetes developments
Microsoft has announced the first open source developer tool for Azure.
Called Draft, the new tool is designed to help developers create cloud-native applications on Kubernetes.
Draft lets developers get started with container-based applications without any knowledge of Kubernetes or Docker. There is no need to even install either of the two container-centric solutions to begin with the latest tool.
“Draft targets the ‘inner loop’ of a developer’s workflow — while developers write code and iterate, but before they commit changes to version control,” said Gabe Monroy, the lead project manager for containers on Microsoft Azure, in a blog post. Draft uses a simple detection script that helps in identifying the application language. Thereafter, it writes out simple Docker files and a Kubernetes Helm chart into the source tree to begin its action. Developers can also customise Draft using configurable packs.
The Azure team has specifically built Draft to support languages that include Python, Java, Node.js, Ruby GO and PHP. The tool can be used for streamlining any application or service. Besides, it is well-optimised for a remote Kubernetes cluster.
Monroy, who joined Microsoft as a part of the recent Deis acquisition, highlighted that hacking an application using Draft is as simple as typing ‘draft up’ on the screen. The command deploys the build in a development environment using the Helm chart.
The overall packaging of the tool is similar to Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) systems such as Cloud Foundry and Deis. However, it is not identical to build-oriented PaaS due to its ability to construct continuous integration (CI) pipelines.
You can access Draft and its entire code as well as documentation from GitHub. The tool needs to spin up a Kubernetes Cluster on ACS to kickstart the new experience.
Toyota starts deploying Automotive Grade Linux
While Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto are yet to gain traction, Toyota has given a big push to Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) and launched the 2018 Toyota Camry as its first vehicle with the open source in-car solution. The Japanese company is set to launch an AGL-based infotainment platform across its entire new portfolio of cars later this year.
“The flexibility of the AGL platform allows us to quickly roll out Toyota’s infotainment system across our vehicle line-up, providing customers with greater connectivity and new functionalities at a pace that is more consistent with consumer