Roundup

Monday: Budget talks, NASA funding and the biggest database on earth

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The White House this morning released a report warning "that the average family will pay $2,200 more in taxes next year if Congress does not freeze tax rates for the middle class," the Washington Post reports.  The report is part of President Obama's "strategy to pressure Congress" as negotiations resume to avert the fiscal cliff.

The Wall Street Journal, however, reports that the talks remain "stuck in low gear."

The Office of Personnel Management found that federal employees spent roughly 3.4 million hours -- at a cost of $155 million -- conducting union business while on duty in 2011, the Federal Times reports.

An op-ed from the gadget and technology blog Gizmodo, meanwhile, weighs in on the budget talks by arguing that "the government should, must, dedicate a lot more money to NASA."

In a TechCrunch commentary, Dr. Michael Wu argues that big data is "overrated, because even with big data, the probability for finding valuable insights from it will still be abysmally tiny."

The National Transportation Safety Board is dropping Blackberry smartphones in favor of the iPhone, Bloomberg reports.  NTSB said the Research in Motion devices have been “failing both at inopportune times and at an unacceptable rate.”

And Wired looks at Google's Spanner, "the largest single database on Earth."

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