February 27, 2015

eBay Open Sources Pulsar, a Real-Time Analytics Framework
Pulsar uses an “SQL-like event processing language,” according to Sharad Murthy, eBay’s corporate architect, and Tony Ng, the company’s director of engineering — the blog post’s authors. It is used to collect and process user and business events in real time, provide key insights that systems can react to within seconds. Atop of the CEP framework the company implemented a real-time analytics pipeline, which relates how different parts can work together. Some of the processing it performs includes enrichment, filtering and mutation, aggregation, and stateful processing.

As mobile wallet market matures, MCX sits on the bench
"The fact that CurrentC is not up and running is not a bad thing," John MacAllister, principal at consulting firm Dorado Industries, said during a panel discussion this week at the All Payments Expo in Las Vegas. Steve Mott from consulting firm BetterBuy Design, and Tim Sloane, vice president of payments innovation at Mercator Advisory Group, joined MacAllister in the conversation about how current mobile wallet technologies jibe with the current market. All three consultants agreed that MCX can experience a modicum of success if it can push its CurrentC wallet beyond the current limited pilot phase. But the slow journey to a CurrentC launch has been filled with more tragedy than "Hamlet" or "Macbeth."

Cloud and the need for microservices
Cloud changes the way IT supports the business. In essence, every action within an organisation is part of a process. These processes need to change to reflect market conditions and the needs of the business. Any monolithic application will struggle to meet this overriding requirement – and this is where cloud comes in. A well-architected cloud platform enables services to be picked up from across a hybrid private/public cloud ecosystem. By the correct use of application programming interfaces (APIs), data can flow across the service boundaries to fulfil the needs of the overall process. As needs change, any one or more of the services can be unplugged and replaced with a different one.

4 reasons why cloud spending is set to explode this year
In terms of the ratio of clouding spending versus traditional IT expenditure, Karl Deacon -- Chief Operating Officer at Canopy -- says that the Atos cloud, "has shown that the percentage of contracts requiring or including digital or cloud solutions in outsourcing deals more than doubled in 2014 compared to 2013". The Atos cloud is a joint venture backed by Atos, VMware and EMC. Atos claims on its website that it doesn’t: "sell widgets, and we don’t theorize about the future…as business technologists with a pure client focus, we are orchestrators who can put your entire cloud puzzle together".

RealTime Medicare Data delivers caregiver trends insights by taming its healthcare data
The first thing we tried was to move to an analysis services back end. For that project, we got an outside party to help us because we would need to redesign our front end completely to be able to query analysis services. It just so happened that that project was taking way too long to implement. I started looking at other alternatives and, just by pure research, I happened to find Vertica. I was reading about it and thought "I'm not sure how this is even possible." It didn’t even seem possible to be able to do this with this amount of data. So we got a trial of it. I started using it and was impressed that it actually could do what it said it could do.

Canonical and Juniper team up on carrier-grade OpenStack SDN
In this cloud solution, Juniper will provide the service support for Ubuntu and Ubuntu OpenStack. This, in turn, will work in concert with Juniper's Contrail. Contrail is Juniper's open-source software-defined network (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) architecture. The point of this is that carriers and service providers are working feverishly on addressing their end-users' ceaseless data demands by making their infrastructure more agile and automated. If that sounds like a job for a cloud and SDN/NFV, Juniper and Canonical agree. Using their software stack, the two claim to be "providing open, scalable, cost-effective, and carrier-grade cloud solutions on which carriers can build a virtualized IP platform and support NFV."

James Grenning on Technical Excellence
About lines of code, people still see it that way, until they experience it. One thing I can't do for someone is experience how much better they will be in several weeks or months if they learn this. I can't make them experience that because these approaches have to be voluntary. For someone to get the benefit from TDD, they need to see that is might solve a problem they want to solve, try it, they are likely to convince themselves through their own experiences. Of the experienced people that started learning this years ago, most of them wouldn't stop and it's not because they want to be slower, less effective developers. It's because they want to be more effective.

The second-class internet? You're soaking in it
The net neutrality debate represents a third way in which the internet might be split. Rather than the neutral approach of treating all internet traffic equally, there could be fast and slow lanes, priced accordingly. Thursday's decision by the US Federal Communications Commission now makes net neutrality the law in that country, at least. There's nothing stopping the countries that make up the other 96 percent of the world's population from making their own rules for traffic within their own borders. All of those examples are theoretical. But look at Lenovo's recent issue with the Superfish software -- which inserted advertising into users' web browsing sessions -- introducing a nasty, nasty security vulnerability in the process. Doesn't this show that we already have a two-tier internet?

How to work for a macromanager
Working for a macromanager has its own set of challenges. A micromanager is always there when you don’t need them to be there; a macromanager is never around when you do have a question, need support, or need to get a decision made. They have a laissez faire style of management that assumes all employees are completely competent self-licking ice cream cones, needing no support, feedback, recognition, coaching, or direction. A macromanagement style may be appropriate when managing employees that are self-starters, experienced, high-performing, and self-motivated, but even these employees need a little attention now and then.

The Buzzkill Boss
Stress from conflicts at home can manifest itself in several negative ways at the office—worrying about off-the-job issues can drain employees of their energy and focus, causing them to withdraw from colleagues. On the other hand, employees’ lives are enriched when home life helps alleviate work stress—when a spouse offers much-needed support and perspective, for example. That ballast can help employees roll into the office on an even keel and in a buoyant mood.  But there is a more subtle aspect to the issue that researchers have so far failed to examine. That is, do supervisors’ feelings of work–life conflict or fulfillment spill over to their subordinates? Those higher in the organization chart are charged with inspiring and motivating their employees.

Quote for the day:

“Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.” -- Samuel Johnson

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