State of Technology #16

#at_other_places –

  • Time flies – Apple sold 15 Billionth App – developers make $2.5B, Apple pockets $1B. 1 Billionth app sold just seems to have happened yesterday!
  • Augmented Reality for Mindreading in (paper) Comic Book – Berg printed this awesome comic with a third ink that is only visible with a UV light source

#architecture –  node.js is “in thing” – this is probably the best introduction to node.js in O’Reilly this week.
“Node.js (or, as it’s more briefly called by many, simply “Node”) is a server-side solution for JavaScript, and in particular, for receiving and responding to HTTP requests

Node brings a different approach to the party: it seeks to move you and your web applications to an evented model, or if you like, a “small event” model. In other words, instead of sending a few requests with lots of data, you should be sending tons of requests, on lots of events, with tiny bits of data, or requests that need a response with only a tiny bit of data’

#code – 2011’s Razzies for Software were out last week – “Top 25 Most Dangerous Software Errors” of the year. Ouch! Top 3 –

  1. SQL Injection
  2. OS Injection
  3. Buffer Overflow

#design – 
About 200 new fonts for your new app – new WebFonts from Google 

#essay – Inside Google+’ from Wired – Steven Levy got the privilege to work with the team as they developed the social tool. His new book ‘In the Plex’ is a mesmerizing read detailing on Google People, Products and Processes. Very highly recommended summer read.

‘The massive wave symbolizes the ways Google views the increasingly prominent social aspect of the web — as a possible tsunami poised to engulf it, or a maverick surge that it will ride to glory. Beirstadt’s turbulent vision is the perfect illustration. “We needed a code name that captured the fact that either there was a great opportunity to sail to new horizons and new things, or that we were going to drown by this wave,” Gundotra said last August, when Google first showed me a prototype


#mobile – 
Designing for Android’ – Smashing Magazine must-read resource


#saas – 
‘How we made Hotmail 10x faster’ (No! Not from losing users therefore reducing load!). THREE main ideas resulting a phenomenal gain of 22x in ‘Composing Message’

1.     Caching

              2.     Pre-loading

              3.     Asynchronous Operations


#social – Pope tweets for the first time


#tool – Button Basics – how to design buttons with CSS vs. images; how different browsers render it differently – excellent primer.


#tweaks n’ hacks – DIY DNA – Want to play with your own DNA? Decipher the genome code? PCR machine now sells for less than a iPad (BTW, the genome data in a human gamete is roughly about 37MB)



#parting_thought – ‘You’ve found market price when buyers complain but still pay’ – Paul Graham



State of Data #56

 #analysis – Mining Twitter for consumer attitudes towards airlines (using R) – (a) “search twitter in 1 line of code”; (b) Estimate sentiment from ‘opinion lexicon’ (how to analyze sarcasm); (c) score/compare/ rinse/repeat 



#architecture –  Facebook has a “serious MySQL problem”?

1,800 servers dedicated to MySQL and 805 servers dedicated to memcached

…it has so much user data, and because every user clicking “Like,” updating his status, joining a new group or otherwise interacting with the site constitutes a transaction its MySQL database has to process. Every second a user has to wait while a Facebook service calls the database is time that user might spend wondering if it’s worth the wait.” 


#big_data –  Patriot Act vs. Data Protection Acts in Europe – what happens when they conflict – very pertinent for that ‘cloud’ thing


#conference – Another TDWI Summit – “Deep Analytics for Big Data”, San Diego, Sept 25-27


#competition – WikiMedia announces ‘a data modeling competition to develop an algorithm that predicts future editing activity on Wikipedia’

#DBMS – Counter Intuitive Fact #2 – A good hardware upgrade could kill the performance of your application. “Daily WTF” analyzes one of the many “whys” —

“Prior to the upgrade, at Wal*Mart waddling speed, the application trickled through the database table, and that meant very little happened in any given second. But after the upgrade, a number of order lines processed quickly, and suddenly the fact that some orders had the same item on two lines meant that the transaction exploded. Roughly 50% of the time that an order had duplicate lines, it now failed.


#visualization – Real Estate Data viz. from Trulia. ‘When does crime happen in big cities’. San Francisco, beware of 9PM!

Skyscraper of Mobile Phone Call Data – Data or Abstract Art? (from New York Times)


  • Twitter acquires BackType for Social Analytics
  • Nordstrom Rack – the only winner in Groupon war? This amazing data visualization from Harvard Business Review shows so.
  • #math – Celebrate a truly odd day this Saturday. Next one is on 9-11-13
  • Data Analysis could lead to Meatless Mondays? – “83% of the average U.S. household’s carbon footprint for food comes from growing and producing it. Transportation is only 11%” “one day per week’s worth of calories from red meat and dairy products.. achieves more GHG reduction than buying all locally sourced food”

State of Technology #15

 #at_other_places –

#architecture – 
A great tutorial on JVM heap analysis, GC and tuning it (isn’t Prezi cooler than powerpoint?)

#code – 
appdone claims to build “any web app in 7 days” or money back!

#design – 
Raising the barcode – some of the most innovative bar code designs

#mobile – Why mobile apps behave bad when you’re Mobile and what you could do as a mobile developer? It’s all because of TCP-over-TCP – “On our mobile link, with an underlying reliable data connection but with highly variable delay, there is little/no loss and no congestion, but of course TCP doesn’t know that and backs off making the connection our apps see next-to-useless” 

#social – How to manage crowdsourced human computation – when Alan Turing mentioned computers, he mostly meant humans; and how Amazon Mechanical Turk could classify Arabic into different dialects


#tool –  Area startup turning windows into solar panels

#tweaks n’ hacks –  Run Android on your PC




#parting_thought – “The most popular software for writing fiction isn’t Word. It’s Excel.”

– Brian Alvey, the New Shelton wet/dry