August 13, 2014

Similarities and Differences Between Predictive Analytics and Business Intelligence
The similarities of BI and PA are points I’ve tried to make in talks I’ve given at eMetrics and performance management conferences. After making suitable translations of terms, these two fields can understand each other well. Two sample differences in terminology are described here. First, one rarely hears the term KPI at a PA conference, but will often hear it at BI conferences. If we use google as an indicator of popularity of the term KPI, “predictive analytics” KPI' yielded a mere 103,000 hits on google, whereas “business intelligence” KPI' yielded 1,510,000 hits. In PA, one is more likely to hear these ideas described as metrics or even features or derived variables that can be used as inputs to models are as a target variable.

2014's Hottest IT Certification
With more than half of 2014 behind us, it's that time of the year where we look at IT certifications standings in real world IT. The right certifications can help earn tech workers premium pay or land the job they've been aspiring to. That's why knowing what is "hot" with employers is important when considering your professional development. Every quarter Foote Partners compiles their data in the IT Skills Demand and Pay Trends Report, and they speak with over 2600 employers to bridge the disconnect between job titles, job content and compensation. Read on to find out where the heat is in regards to IT certifications, salaries and employer needs.

How To Refactor For Dependency Injection, Part 4: Configuration Changes
In the early days of DI containers, XML configuration was the generally recognized method of configuring a container. As time went on and fluent interfaces became popular, the focus shifted away from XML configuration and more toward using code as configuration. By using code as configuration you gain all the benefits of the compiler checking your types for you, making configuration much easier. Now, in modern DI, XML configuration is seldom used, and instead techniques that involve code configuration are used.

Microservices and the First Law of Distributed Objects
So in essence, there is no contradiction between my views on distributed objects and advocates of microservices. Despite this essential non-conflict, there is another question that is now begging to be asked. Microservices imply small distributed units that communicate over remote connections much more than a monolith would do. Doesn't that contravene the spirit of the first law even if it satisfies the letter of it?While I do accept that there are valid reasons to do for a distributed design for many systems, I do think distribution is a complexity booster. A coarser-grained API is more awkward than a fine-grained one.

Internet Touches Half Million Routes: Outages Possible Next Week
This situation is more of an annoyance than a real Internet-wide threat. Most routers in use today at midsize to large service providers, and certainly all of the routers that operate the core infrastructure of the Internet, have plenty of room to deal with the Internet’s current span, because they were provisioned that way by sensible network operators. Affected boxes cause local connectivity problems for the network service providers who still run them, so they will be identified quickly and upgraded as we pass the threshold. Their instability in turn causes some minor additional load on adjacent routers.

Delivering a Customer-Focused Government Through Smarter IT
The Digital Service will work to find solutions to management challenges that can prevent progress in IT delivery. To do this, we will build a team of more than just a group of tech experts – Digital Service hires will have talent and expertise in a variety of disciplines, including procurement, human resources, and finance. The Digital Service team will take private and public-sector best practices and help scale them across agencies – always with a focus on the customer experience in mind. We will pilot the Digital Service with existing funds in 2014, and would scale in 2015 as outlined in the President's FY 2015 Budget.

PaaS shoot-out: Cloud Foundry vs. OpenShift
For deployment of application source code, OpenShift uses Git, but it also allows you to deploy binary packages. Cloud Foundry only takes your binaries (.WAR files for now, with other formats to be supported later), then automatically combines them with buildpacks of languages and frameworks (such as Java and Tomcat) and services such as databases. The buildpack format was developed by Heroku and contributed to the open source community, spawning many community buildpacks, most of which work on Cloud Foundry.

Dell bundles backup software, eyes further development
“We have a new approach to data protection that is driving down the costs,” said Michael Grant, head of software product marketing at Dell. The release is a precursor to Dell delving more deeply into the market of storage software, not just as a vendor but as a developer of new technologies. “We’re making a pretty big investment in data protection,” Grant said. The new Backup and Disaster Recovery Suite contains popular Dell backup programs, AppAssure, NetVault Backup and vRanger. Dell acquired each of these programs through company acquisitions in 2012. Each application performs a slightly different function, Grant explained.

400 Gbit Ethernet: The Next Leap
According to the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Bandwidth Assessment Ad hoc, industry bandwidth requirements are continuing to grow at an exponential pace. At such a rapid speed, networks will need to support terabit-per-second capacities by 2015 and 10 Tbit/s capacities by 2020. ... In May 2013, recognizing this growth and foreseeing the need for a new Ethernet speed rate, the IEEE 802.3 working group formed the IEEE 802.3 400 Gbit/s Ethernet (400 GbE) Study Group. When the working group last addressed the need for a new Ethernet speed rate, two rates were created: 40 GbE, which was intended to provide a medium path for servers, and 100 GbE, which was targeted at network aggregation applications.

Large Scale Event Tracking with RabbitMQ
On the one hand, they provide game designers and game balancers with a valuable tool for their work. The event data helps them answer questions such as whether players regularly quit the game at a specific quest, or how a new feature that has been implemented is performing. The insights gained are used to improve the gameplay and user experience. On the other hand they are a powerful tool for marketing specialists. Specific events make it possible to identify which marketing channel a new player is gained through, and thus allow a constructive adaptation of marketing strategies and channels. Finally, they can be used by the developer, for example to measure and improve performance of loading times or to identify and adapt to the mobile devices used.

Quote for the day:

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away" -- Philip K. Dick

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