Microsoft announces DocumentDB and Azure Search-as-a-Service
Microsoft has announced several services for its Azure cloud platform, including DocumentDB, a fully managed NoSQL document database service.

Blog posts from Microsoft Azure product marketing director Vibhor Kapoor and Azure senior program manager Ryan CrawCour detail the new services, which in addition to the NoSQL service feature Azure Search-as-a-Service, Azure HDInsight support for Apache HBase, and VM Depot open-source images in the Azure gallery.

DocumentDB, built in JavaScript, uses the JSON data model and HTTP transport protocol to provide a schema-free database with rich query and transaction processing.

More information can be found on the DocumentDB and Azure Search-as-a-Service product pages.

Computer scientists predict hack attacks before they happen
A pair of Carnegie Mellon University computer scientists have developed a tool they say will be able to predict whether or not a website will be subjected to malicious attacks in the future.

“We are able to correctly predict that sites will eventually become compromised within one year while achieving a true positive rate of 66% and a false positive rate of 17%,” the researchers wrote in a paper, “Automatically Detecting Vulnerable Websites Before They Turn Malicious.”

To predict and detect vulnerable websites, the researchers came up with a classification algorithm (called a classifier) and trained it on 444,519 archive sites containing 4,916,203 webpages.

More information can be found here.

Kivy: Python’s open-source library for multi-touch mobile applications
A new open-source Python library called Kivy enables cross-platform native development of multi-touch applications and UIs across Android, iOS, Linux, Mac and Windows.

Kivy on the Android platform.

Kivy on the Android platform.

Kivy develops multi-touch native applications by using Python scripting atop OpenGL to write cross-platform UIs. The library also features a multi-touch mouse simulator, used to natively integrate inputs, protocols, and various desktop and mobile devices. Kivy has been used to develop popular commercial Android and iOS apps, including BPM’s ProcessCraft.

The open-source project is currently at version 1.8.1 and is actively adding further Android API support, as well as support for Cython, the Python C-dialect variant.

More information can be found on the Kivy website.

Engine Yard introduces PouchDB
PaaS cloud provider Engine Yard has introduced an open-source JavaScript database called PouchDB, inspired by the Apache CouchDB document-oriented database integrated with its own platform.


PouchDB enables applications to store data locally while offline, then synchronize it with CouchDB and compatible servers when the application is back online, keeping the user’s data in sync no matter where they next log in. According to its website, the “pocket-sized database” was created “to help Web developers build applications that work as well offline as they do online.”

More information about PouchDB can be found on Engine Yard community manager Noah Slater’s blog.