Friday, February 24, 2012

Setup Cloudera Hadoop in combination with Oracle virtualization

One of the things Cloudera is propagating is that they have a very easy to use and easy to start implementation of Apache Hadoop. If you check the Cloudera website you have a download section where you can download CDH3.

"CDH consists of 100% open source Apache Hadoop plus nine other open source projects from the Hadoop ecosystem. CDH is thoroughly tested and certified to integrate with the widest range of operating systems and hardware, databases and data warehouses, and business intelligence and ETL systems."

You can deploy it in several ways and the most easy one for people who do start testing with Cloudera and Apache Hadoop is to use one of the pre-created virtual machines. Currently they are available for KVM, VMWare and Oracle VirtualBox. Below is a very quick step by step guide on how you can start using the downloaded Cloudera distribution within Oracle VirtualBox Reason for this, there are some guides on "old" versions of virtualbox and when I do refer someone to a step by step guide I would like that guide to be accurate.

When you have download the Cloudera distribution you will need to unpack the downloaded ..tar.gz file as you would normally do and store the resulting .vmdk file (probably named cloudera-demo-vm.vmdk) at a location where you normally save your virtual machines.

Step 1:
Start VirtualBox and click the "new" button to start the creation of a new virtual machine. 

Step 2:
Give you new, to be created, virtual machine a name. In our case this was Cloudera_0. You have to select a operating system and a version. In the screenshot below you see I have selected Debian 64Bit this however is wrong. It is working however the distribution officially used by Cloudera in this release is a CentOS 5.7 64Bit version using a kernel version 2.6.18-274.17.1.el5 .

Step 3:
You have to state the amount of memory. Cloudera claims you can run the system 1 GB however recommends at least 2 GB to be able to start everything properly. In the below screenshot you can see I am using 2048 MB however I did double that after playing with the system for some time as more memory if quite convenient

Step 4:
Now it is time to select your hard disk. For this you have to select the .vmdk file. Within this file is the complete Cloudera distribution with Apache Hadoop. Their is no need to create a new disk.

Step 5:
Now you will see the final results and when you select create your virtual machine will be created.

Step 6:
Your VirtualBox is created, when you select the newly created Cloudera virtual machine and start it you will see the system boot and within no-time you will have your first Cloudera instance up and running.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Oracle Enterprise Manager patch advisory

A lot of software companies are pushing patch advisories to there customers in the form of a popup telling them that a new patch has been released and that it would be good if they installed it. Oracle traditionally did not do that however already since one of the first releases of Oracle Enterprise Manager you can connect your Oracle Enterprise Manager installation to the My Oracle Support website and there you will get automatically information about which patches are available for you and which you can install.

For good reasons some companies do not allow their Oracle Enterprise Manager to connect with the outside world. You do connect out of your comfortable secure environment and with every link to the outside world you create potentially a security issue. Even though it is very unlikely it could potentially be a security thread and if you are hosting confidential and/or high valuable data it is your responsibility to guard this in every way possible.

The other side of the coin is that having a proper patch management strategy in place is also a very important part of your security. If you have a large estate of Oracle products it is almost not humanly possible to keep up with all the patches and patch advisories so you do want to have a automated patch advisory system. This decision has to be made in your organisation with security as one of the main questions on the table.

Above you can see a screenshot of a 11GR1 patch advisory for a database installation from An oracle manual.

The Patch Advisor in Enterprise Manager describes critical software patches for your installed Oracle products. To help ensure a secure and reliable configuration, all relevant and current critical patches should be applied.

The Patch Advisor provides support for Remedies. When you select an advisory, you can view the calculated remedies from the context of that Advisory, as well as the affected Oracle homes.

The Patch Advisor also displays a list of available patches and patch sets for your installation, along with the name of the feature that is impacted. You can choose to display only patches for features that are used by your database, or all available patches.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

linkedin buzzwords

Most people have created a resume at some point in their career when they where looking for a new job. The interesting part and the interesting question when creating a resume, or letter of recommendation, is always; how do I stand out between the others. People have been looking at ways to phrase and re-phrase parts of their resume just to be able to standout. When all the resumes where looked into the person who was looking into them could find out (if he bothered to do so) what the most popular phrases (buzzwords) where that where used. This however would require some manual "computation" on paper resumes.

Nowadays most people do have a linkedin account so we could potentially do a data mining action on all the digital linkedin profiles and find out what the buzzwords of today are when it comes to describing your career and yourselves as professionals. Linkedin has done this in 2010 and now also for 2011 with the following results for the united states:
It turns out that the top 10 buzzwords in the united states over 2011 used on linkedin where: Creative, Organizational, Effective, Extensive Experience, Track Record, Motivated, Innovative, Problem Solving, Communication Skills and Dynamic. 

Also included in the blog post in the LinkedIn blog is a infographic showing the top buzz words used on LinkedIn globally.

For all people looking for a job or updating their LinkedIn profile the big question now is; if I use those words will it help me or not? Will I stand out if I do not use them or do future employers expect me to use those words.......

Oracle Big Data approach

In a previous post I already zoomed in at the way Oracle is thinking about big data. The post Map reduce into relation of Big Data and Oracle there was a outline on how Oracle is defining big data and how they are intending to use map reduce and Hadoop in their approach to handling big data. As you might know Oracle has launched a big data appliance which integrates and makes use of a couple of important components in the big data components currently used. The Oracle big data appliance will provide you an out of the box working solution where the supplier has engineered all the components like in all the other solutions in the Oracle Exa- stack. Or as Oracle likes to state "hardware and software engineered to work together"

As you can see in the above diagram the Oracle Big Data Appliance makes use of some of known and important components. The decision is made to run the entire system on Oracle Linux, an option would have been to run it on Solaris however due to the wide adoption of Oracle Linux and the fact that a majority of the Hadoop solutions is primarily focusing on Linux and not on Solaris it is running on Linux (assumption from my side)

For the rest we see the Oracle NoSQL database as integrated part of the appliance which is also not a big surprise as Oracle is pushing its NoSQL solution into the market to gain market share in the NoSQL market. Looking at the Oracle NoSQL solution they do a quite good job and have launched a good NoSQL product with a lot of potential. 

As we are talking about big data Hadoop is part of this appliance and this comes as no surprise, what also not comes as a surprise however is very good to see is the integration in this appliance with the Oracle loader for Hadoop and the Oracle Data Integrator

Oracle Loader for Hadoop:
"Oracle Loader for Hadoop is a MapReduce utility to optimize data loading from Hadoop into Oracle Database. Oracle Loader for Hadoop sorts, partitions, and converts data into Oracle Database formats in Hadoop, then loads the converted data into the database.  By preprocessing the data to be loaded as a Hadoop job on a Hadoop cluster, Oracle Loader for Hadoop dramatically reduces the CPU and IO utilization on the database commonly seen when ingesting data from Hadoop. An added benefit of presorting data is faster index creation on the data once in the database."

Oracle Data Integrator:
"Oracle Data Integration provides a fully unified solution for building, deploying, and managing real-time data-centric architectures in an SOA, BI, and data warehouse environment. In addition, it combines all the elements of data integration—real-time data movement, transformation, synchronization, data quality, data management, and data services—to ensure that information is timely, accurate, and consistent across complex systems."

The Big Data Appliance fits into the overall exa strategy from Oracle where they are delivering appliances and it also fits in the overall big data strategy.

As you can see a lot of the steps in the acquire and the organize stages of the big data approach from Oracle are covered by the big data appliances. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

State Of The Social Media Agency

The people at have launched their invest in social website in 2011 as a listing and search engine for social companies. The hope of socialfresh was and is to be able to find all social companies and show what they are working on.

Today there are over 920 social media companies listed on the directory. 555 of those companies are agencies. It is very interesting to see what companies start in this field, who are working on what and how employees of companies are using social. For companies who are looking into ways of interacting more in a social (media) way it can be very interesting to look at other companies and companies who provide services in this field.

The below infographic is created by socialfresh to show a breakdown of what they have found since the startup of the "invest in social" website.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The online social side of food

There is only one reason I am not a big user of Foodspotting is simply because I do not visit restaurants as much as I want to. Even though that is stated I do use the foodspotting app as it makes food more social from a online perspective. Foodspotting is becoming the foursquare for food. I do personally think Foursquare did miss their target here and they could have kept Foodpotting out of the game however they failed at it. From a user perspective this is not a negative thing as Foodspotting is doing a great job.

Foodspotting is one of the startups started by real and true believers in the subject and that is what you see in the final result, a great passion of developing a real cool and great product.

In the above videio you can see a interview done by Robert Scoble who is talking to the people behind Foodspotting. Foodspotting is one of the companies who are jumping into the next OpenGraph from Facebook and who do see the potential of this new options coming from Facebook.

Map reduce into relation of Big Data and Oracle

Everyone is talking about big-data, we are still trying to define when data becomes big data and we are just at the doorstep of understanding all the possibilities of what we can do with big data if we apply big analysis on it. Even though this field of (enterprise) IT is quite new we see a lot of companies who are taking big data very serious. For example Oracle is taking this point very serious as they are seen as the company which should be able to handle large sets of data. Oracle is teeming up with some of the big players in the market, for example they are teeming up with Cloudera which is one of the leading players in the Hadoop field.

As the data company Oracle is spending a lot of time on thinking about big data and building products and solutions to work with Big Data. Meaning Oracle is trying to answer the question "how did data become big data" or to rephrase that question "when is data big data". The answer which Oracle is coming with and what was promoted by Tom Kyte is coming as this slide in their latest presentation

Oracle states that big data can be defined based upon 4 criteria. It should have a certain volume, it should have a certain velocity (speed of data growth), the variety (all kinds of sources and forms the data is coming in) and the value as in the value that the data has or potentially value it can have as you are able to extract the true value from it.

Extracting the true value and unlocking the true value of your big data will take a lot of computing power and for this you will need a superb compute infrastructure. We have the map reduce solution which is developed by Google and has been released a couple of years ago. In the below slide you can see how the map reduce compute infrastructure / algorithm thinking works. This is the map reduce picture used by Tom Kyte during its presentation on big data.

MapReduce is a framework for processing highly distributable problems across huge datasets using a large number of computers (nodes), collectively referred to as a cluster (if all nodes use the same hardware) or a grid (if the nodes use different hardware). Computational processing can occur on data stored either in a filesystem (unstructured) or in a database (structured).

"Map" step: The master node takes the input, partitions it up into smaller sub-problems, and distributes them to worker nodes. A worker node may do this again in turn, leading to a multi-level tree structure. The worker node processes the smaller problem, and passes the answer back to its master node.

"Reduce" step: The master node then collects the answers to all the sub-problems and combines them in some way to form the output – the answer to the problem it was originally trying to solve.

MapReduce allows for distributed processing of the map and reduction operations. Provided each mapping operation is independent of the others, all maps can be performed in parallel – though in practice it is limited by the number of independent data sources and/or the number of CPUs near each source. Similarly, a set of 'reducers' can perform the reduction phase - provided all outputs of the map operation that share the same key are presented to the same reducer at the same time. While this process can often appear inefficient compared to algorithms that are more sequential, MapReduce can be applied to significantly larger datasets than "commodity" servers can handle – a large server farm can use MapReduce to sort a petabyte of data in only a few hours. The parallelism also offers some possibility of recovering from partial failure of servers or storage during the operation: if one mapper or reducer fails, the work can be rescheduled – assuming the input data is still available.

As Google is the company who came with map reduce it might be good to check what Google has to say on it when they are explaining it. In the below video you can see a recording of the Google Developers Day 2008 where Google was explaining the map reduce solution they had developed and where using internally.

Map reduce and and Hadoop which is the primary solution for map reduce coming from the Apache foundation as an open source solution fits in the statement "the future of computing is parallelism" and which is to my opinion is still very valid. In that article we zoomed more in to the parallelism where Hadoop and map reduce talk about a more massive scale parallelism however in essence it is still valid and the same.

Monday, February 13, 2012

How did data become big-data

Big data is currently a buzz word and as we all know buzz words are not always good. It has happened in the past that a buzzword made that a perfectly good solution or product was killed because it was simply so buzzed it could never live up to the expectations. Big data is currently seen as a solution to everything as also cloud computing is seen. Ass long as your solution has big data and cloud computing in its foundation it must be a great solution. This sounds crazy however a lot of (less tech minded people) do tend to believe it somewhere deep in the back of there minds.

Big data is, even though a buzz word, is something to pay attention to. Big data is very real and we have to take into consideration the amounts of data that are coming available. Every day, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created and 90% of the data in the world today was created within the past two years. IBM has done quite some research on the growth of data and you can read some interesting figures on their website.The amount of data coming from all kinds of devices which are from time to time operated by humans and are part of human interaction or which are fully automated and to provide sensory data all is now stored. As stated in one of the presentation on big data by Pentaho and also stated in the blogpost "sub transactional big-data and data analysis"you can find references to data lakes.

Where we used to throw away all data we could not use due to the effects on storage costs and handling costs we now store all data we are able to receive in what is called data lakes. we might not be able to give meaning to it at this moment in time however within one or two months it might turn out that this data is of vital importance. Also the data might never be of any value to us however it can be of extreme value to other people and companies.

The saving of data in data lakes and the handling of enormous sets of data is what is part of what we refer to as big data. We are now getting capable of receiving, storing and handling this massive amounts of data from a technical perspective however we have to learn what we can do with it in the upcoming times.

As an example, the below video is showing a new way of shopping which is introduced by Tesco in Korea where people can shop based upon QR codes in the subway and have their goods delivered to their home at a later moment.

We used to be able to know which goods where sold on which day thanks to simple store keeping in the past. Recently there was the introduction of loyalty members card where we could bundle purchases and state that a person who was buying product A was most likely to also by product B a couple of days later. This is already a start of a huge amount of data. with the above example of Tesco you can also state when someone was buying the product and where this person was when he did so and where this person lives. Your options to create a profile and add a geo-location part to it are now also introduced which gives an extra dimention to your set of data. The more you know from your customers the better you can create profiles which you can use to base decission on. For example decissions on where to open your new shop or where to place your adviertisment or even how to arrange the products in your store.

As stated, we are capable of storing this data now in the form of data lakes in the big data idea and we are able to process it we however have to start thinking of all the possibilities this is giving us and how we can make use of it.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

PaaS for database as a Service

Cloud computing is able to offer you all kind of different services and most of the times when people are talking about cloud computing they actually do think in most cases on Software as a Service SaaS like solutions. A good example is who do provide a great complete online product as a service and are very good at doing so.

Secondly people do tend to think about IaaS or Infrastructure as a Service where basically you get computing cycles on demand. You get some capacity from a provide which has its service attached to the internet. An example of this is amazon where you can rent computing capacity and run your virtualized server on. Amazon is doing quite a good job even though we have seen some major incidents which knocked a couple of companies of the internet for longer and shorter periods of time. IaaS is also offered by for example IBM and Capgemini.

The third part is often overlooked part of cloudcomputing and sits in the middel of SaaS and IaaS and is Platform as a Service PaaS which holds sub components like Database as a Service DBaaS and things like Application server as as Service. We have seen in a previous item what the expected growth in this field is based upon research form IOUG.

Dan Burg from Oracle is explaining the role of Oracle Fusion in this model and how oracle looks at PaaS solutions. As you watch this video you will see the similarities of the vision from Oracle and the PaaS and DBaaS solutions we have been building recently within our Capgemini datacenters with Capgemini Oracle Run.

String Theory explains why the world ends

Most of us will have quite some difficulty understanding some fields of physics and understanding how all things work. Most of us will already be happy if we understand the basics of some of the leading physics theories and if we can understand bits and pieces of what Einstein was trying to tell us. People like Stephen Hawking and Michio Kaku are able to tell certain parts of their specific fields in such a way that we are understanding the very basics of it. I think that the art of explaining something very complex in a way that the average person understands it is a great gift.

In this video Michio kaku explains the first steps of string theory which is a part of his Floating University lectures. After watching the video the title of this blogpost will be clear to you.

Social fit your job

With in the back of his mind a wrong fit between an employer and himself Art Papas decided to create a new kind of job site as an addition to his company Bullhorn. The site will ask you questions on all kind of subjects related to your work, your personal life and your work/life balance. The results will be added to a company profile of your current company. This will help people who are looking for a job to see if their profile matches with the average profile of the company.

If more and more people add there information to the website the better the average of a company can be calculated. This is however also a possible trap for this website as in large companies some things do differ between departments. However, is a great addition to the scala of tools you can use when finding a new job online.

One thing you have to realize however when you are trying is that it is currently in beta. A lot of things are not that friendly yet however I am sure that it will be corrected in the upcoming future. One of the things also currently showing is that this is a very US based site at this moment while it has the potential to become a more global solution. You see this at a couple of points, for example you are only able to enter a US ZIP code and you are not able to state you country. Secondly the first question you get in the questionair is a google question for people who do not live in the US. The question is about how your 401(K) is, which truns out to be related to your retirement savings.

Wikipedia: "A 401(k) is a type of retirement savings account in the United States, which takes its name from subsection 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code (Title 26 of the United States Code)."

Thursday, February 09, 2012

The future of the database is as a service

Databases have been the working horse for many corporate (and none corporate) applications. Traditionally you can see that databases are part of the most guarded parts of your enterprise IT landscape and traditionally do require some of the most expensive resources to maintain. If you check the average salary charts of the past years you can see that DBA resources have been topping the lists. Also databases do often require expensive hardware and networking components to keep up with the growing demand for data within your company which adds to the total cost of ownership for a database in your company.

Departments do require a constant access to corporate databases to interact with via applications or to query to get insight into certain details of your business operations. This makes databases in many cases one of the most important parts of your enterprise IT landscape and the monetary effect of downtime is in most cases huge.

So we have a couple of things, databases are (often) expensive to host, expensive in license, do require specialized high-end hardware, do require specific expertise to maintain and to operate and besides all that they are becoming more and more critical to your day to day business operations.

Taking this into consideration the results from the IOUG ResearchWire are not that surprising. Those figures do state that a large number of companies are thinking about new ways of thinking about databases (and other parts of the Enterprise IT landscape). Where a couple of years ago you could not start a discussion of moving a database off premise we have seen that companies have been moving their databases to dedicated hardware platforms at outsourcing partners. The next step you see those companies are making is putting it now in cloud hosting solutions where they can make use of the economy of scale and the expertise of a large international group of expertise at their cloud hosting partner.

Databases (database platform as a service), Application server (platform as a service) and identity as a service are all considered to be in the PaaS domain. The PaaS domain or Platform as a Service a quickly growing market where you do see DBaaS (database as a Service) and APaaS (Application server as a Service) solution kicking in. One of the examples is the Capgemini cloud hosting solution for Oracle products named Capgemini Oracle Run that is developed recently where you can see that DBaaS and APaaS solutions are offered to customers. Oracle is also running a great article on its blogs section of the website which is written by Anand Akela and is a great read.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

how real is social media

This week I had a quick talk with some people concerning a product they where thinking of developing. It was concerning some deep tech solution for managing some very specific processes in an industry where a lot of people where involved and where in need of a workflow solution to push tasks around the company. At some point in time a decision was made and a decision was made on how to resolve this. After this we had some additional time and started to think out of the box on messaging protocols for the workflow notifications. Some people where suggesting to also provide the option to broadcast to facebook and or twitter that a task has been assignd to a person.

The reaction of one of the (older) developers came in the form of the question "how long is this social media thing staying around and are there actually people using it or making real money with it?".

Interesting is that this is illustrating that not all generations picked up on the social media wave and have not yet seen what it can unlock and who you can reach with it. Even though I cannot blame them I would like to suggest to people to read up on the subject and maybe start by quickly look at this amazing video made by the guys from

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Secret Google lab opening doors

Rumors have been going on already for some time on what is behind the website . it was rumored some time ago by the New York Times in a article called "Google's lab of Wildest Dreams" that X was referring to a secret lab of Google where they where gathering the brightest minds to solve all kind of issues in the most futuristic ways imaginable. Accoording to the New York Times Sebastian Thrun, one of the world's top robotics and artificial intelligence experts, is a leader at Google Sebastian Thrun, one of the world's top robotics and artificial intelligence experts, is a leader at Google X.

BY looking at the WOIS information of the domain your could see the website was indeed registered by Google. Now Google is releasing more information about "we solve for X" and it turns out that is a great think tank where some great minds are gathering and where everyone else also can participate via the internet to find solutions on some of worlds great challenges in all kind of fields.

Some people already made comparisons to however in my opinion it go's way future than TED. Within TED you have a broadcasting way of communication where Google X is likely to evolve as a more continuos corporation and social interaction kind of platform. It would be good to keep an eye on the google+ page, the youtube channel and the website of Google X to see where this is heading however it might bring some intersting insights and possibly products in the future.

Or in the words of Google:
"Solve for X is a place to hear and discuss radical technology ideas for solving global problems. Radical in the sense that the solutions could help billions of people. Radical in the sense that the audaciousness of the proposals makes them sound like science fiction. And radical in the sense that there is some real technology breakthrough on the horizon to give us all hope that these ideas could really be brought to life.

This combination of things - a huge problem to solve, a radical solution for solving it, and the breakthrough technology to make it happen - is the essence of a moonshot.

Solve for X is intended to be a forum to encourage and amplify technology-based moonshot thinking and teamwork. This forum started with a small face-to-face event co-hosted by Astro Teller, Megan Smith, and Eric Schmidt - the Solve for X talks are now being posted here on this site. We encourage you to watch the Solve for X talks, join the G+ conversation, and post your own Solve for X talks.

Oracle Fusion customization platform

Sara Woodhull and Gustavo Jimenez recently gave a talk on how to do changes to Oracle E-Business Suite in a correct way. The talk was part of the ATG Live Webcast series which shows you how to make changes to a GUI that makes sense without the need to do much coding. When coding is needed examples will be used in the form of forms personalization and OA Framework Personalization’s

This presentation is also a great way to have a look into how the technology components of Oracle Fusion are used in Oracle e-Business suite and how they can help you and how you can build upon them to create customizations and custom solutions for customers with Oracle e-Business suite.

You can review the webcast at the oracle website and you can see the slides used below.

Personalize, Customize, and Extend Oracle E-Business Suite User Interface

Monday, February 06, 2012

Oracle Database query indexes on table

When you are developing SQL code in Oracle it is important to keep in mind performance. One of the first things you need to keep in mind when developing code or optimizing it is if you are using all indexes that are available and applicable. Recently someone asked me the question how you can check which indexes are available for a certain object in the database via a query.

The answer is quite simple, all indexed columns of the tables are registerd under the table dba_ind_columns. Here you quickly check which columns are registerd to have an index for a certain table. If, for example, you would like to know which indexed columns are available for “mtl_system_items_b” in your database you should execute the below query:
WHERE table_name = UPPER('mtl_system_items_b')

This will give you all the information needed on the Oracle database indexes against mtl_system_items_b

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Social online consumer influence

Not even that long ago when you needed or wanted to buy a product you might check some printed adds in the paper and go to a shop and talk to the sales person in the shop who told you which item was the best item to buy. Almost no other sources of information where available and the entire marketing idea was build upon the fact that as soon as you moved your message to the consumer you where in the buying zone and could convince someone to buy your product.
Due to the internet and now to the social nature of the internet picking up you see that people do tend to want more information before the buy a product. The time between seeing a buy stimulations (for example an add on a billboard or a video) and walking to the shop to buy something this is the moment where consumers do collect additional information on your product. This moment in time is called the zero moment of truth and is something thought of by google. Google is providing a new way of thinking about how you should interact with consumers and make sure they have the best experience with your product possible.

If you look at the complete model below you see it is all starting with a stimulus. This is the moment the consumer learns that your products exists. They see a TC add hear something on the radio or read something about your product. This is the moment where consumers used to go directly to the "first moment of truth". At the " first moment of truth" you had to make sure that everything surrounding the product was perfect and stimulated the consumer to buy the product. after purchasing the product the "second moment of truth" was when the consumer unboxed the product at home and started to use it. This second moment of truth is eery important to convince the consumer to buy from the same brand or same store again. Apple has perfected the unboxing experience.
Now ZMOT, " zero moment of truth" is introduced between the stimulus and the FMOT. This is where the consumer is looking on the internet and using search or using a QR code to go to a product page. At this moment it is important that your marketing department has made sure that the consumer is provided with all the needed information and all good references. The consumer should find the product on all channels he is looking for. Product reviews on youtube and vimeo, a page on Facebook where you can see how many people like the product, a information page where all is combined, making sure you product is on all kind of blogs and forums where people discuss it (in a good way).

The difficulty is that you cannot control the ZMOT completely however you can influence it a bit by thinking about you marketing strategy. Companies who do understand ZMOT will most likely be the survivors of the upcoming time and companies who do fail to understand ZMOT will not. Google is providing a lot of information and guidance into ZMOT from their website which is very beneficial to visit. Also watching some of the below videos is something worth to do.

HighLight help finding people in a party

Ever walked into a party or business drink where you did not know anyone and would love to meet some interesting people you have a common ground with. Highlight helps you finding people you have common ground with. It shows all the connected people who have a connection with you based upon common friends and or interest and shows them on your application.

Do you know the feeling you know someones face and cannot remember what this person his or her name is and you cannot place this person. You are sure you know this person and you are crunching your memories on it however cannot recall it. By making use of HighLight you can check who this person is.

Paul Davision is the showing how it is working and is talking about his application in this interview with Robert Scoble. The app is just released and is still very experimental however already working and helping you locate people with the same interest or connections based upon your geographical location.

Fun thing about this app and the company is that they recognize they started something and not sure where the application and the usability will go to and they are asking the early adopter community to help think and shape this application. If implemented correctly you could make this the next generation foursquare and if connected to other services like for example groupon\ you could share information about great deals in the surrounding or in combination with foodspotting it could tell you which places with a common interest are visited for meal. Also think about all the other things a person is showing online and you can check that before you walk up to this person, what books someone is reading, what movies someone likes, friends, relations. It might sound scary and it might sound freaky however most people already do share this information. HighLight just gives you the option to have this information consolidated into one app and show it moments before you meet each other.

HighLight, a company and application I will follow with very much interest in the upcoming time.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Stand only topless meetings

Working for a tech company can have its benefits however can also have its downsides. It is a bit how you look at it. One of the things some people might see as good is that mostly in tech company’s new ways of having meetings are tested. According to the people in the below wall street journal news item this is because tech companies are hip and happening(?).

This is however not only happeing at Atomic Object also in my current company we have stand-up meetings in which everyone is standing and indeed it is working and helping you focus and come to the point. We did already have for some meetings a topless meetings which are no stranger to most companies I guess.

A meeting in which participants are not allowed to use laptops. A topless meeting organizer can also ban the use of smartphones, cellphones and other electronic devices. The purpose of this is to create an environment free from distraction, to foster enhanced focus and to generate more discussions.” Read

sub transactional big-data and data analysis

Pentaho is known for its BI solutions; however it is also (less) known for the dig-data and big-analysis expertise they have in combination with solutions like for example Hadoop. Big-data is not quite a set term; we cannot state when something is big-data and when something is not big-data. In general big-data refers to a very fast growing set of data where large sets of data are added to in real-time. Some good examples could be twitter who is storing tweets in a very rapid way, credit card companies who store all transactions and for example stock trading companies who store all stock transactions and the information around the market.

In this video presentation James Dixon, CTO at Pentaho, is stating that for a large set of companies Big-data is actually sub-transactional. The sub-transactional events that happen between or before a business transaction (aka buying or selling something). The information for example on how did a person came to this page on my website where he or she clicked the order button. This is commonly not seen as big-data however in essence it is big-data and a very interesting part to jump into. This means that we can see storing information about the travel patterns of people on your website as big-data and that we can see click analysis as big-analysis.

(Big-)data analysis on website visitors and how they are clicking to finally come to your product is already done at this moment by a number of software vendors. Issue however is that this is done after the events happened. Information is stored and commonly analyzed overnight and after that it is used to improve the website. If you have a computing cluster which can do you big-analysis on your big-data fast enough your could have your website content adept to the click patterns in a more smart and faster way than current solutions are offering.

The video also gives a first glimpse of the way Pentaho thinks the big-data architecture landscape looks like and how you should think about data lakes, data marts, data warehouses and ad-Hoc queries and why you should never delete data even if you are not using it at this moment it might be needed at a later moment and could make sense to you then.

What photo models should know about computer file formats?

Thinking about why photo models should care about and know some things about computer file formats might not be a question that pops up right away. Issue is however that if a model wants to promote herself (or himself for that matter) especially in the beginning of her carrier it can she is not yet surrounded by a complete team of photographers and agencies who will help her. And it is in this period of a models career that promotion is key to success. Yearly thousands and thousands of young people like to become a model and agencies try to select the best of those thousands of young want to be models however to be able to be selected you have to be seen.

As an upcoming model you will have to go to castings and you will try to promote your pictures at model agencies by simply sending them out and hoping for the best. All these actions are quite good to undertake and still very up to date and valid however as an upcoming model you have to stand out and have to try and become noticed by the right people in all ways possible.

Possibly you, as a model, have created a portfolio and shared this on a website you have created or have asked someone to build for you. You might have sent people your pictures from your portfolio for example your friends, your family or your coworkers. Next time you do this it is good to do two things; (A) ask them to spread the pictures and post them on Facebook for example, and (B) make sure that the person who has taken the pictures has included proper EXIF format information.

EXIF information is “hidden” information in the picture file which includes for example information about the type of camera and the settings of the camera at the moment the picture was taken. However, besides information about the camera it can hold a lot more information. For example it can hold the geographical information of where the photo was taken, possibly not that much of interest to you as a model. What it also can hold is information in text on the name of the photographer, the possible copyright on the photo and free text where you can describe who the lovely person is that is on the picture, and that will be you and so it will be of interest to you.

So why is it important to have your name in a hidden EXIF format which nobody can even watch without doing some tech things? Secondly why do you need to do this as this picture is on your website and everybody can read there who you are? Well, take as an example the girl in the picture below. from the picture alone we can see that she is a girl and that there is the Acura logo in the back. If you see the original website where this is posted ( you can read some more information about this girl, the person who has taken the picture and the setting. However posted on my weblog all this information is lost. As soon as the picture is removed from the original location is taken out of the context of the website. So if it would be you on that picture this would mean that as soon as you are placed on another website nobody knows who the person is in the picture.

The same is the case when someone downloads the picture and posts it on Facebook. Daily large number of pictures are downloaded somewhere form a website and uploaded to Facebook. For example someone could download the Acura logo girl and post on the website because he likes Acura, likes the girl who is on the picture or any other kind of reason. As soon as she is posted on Facebook nobody knows who she is and what the story behind her is. So if this was you and somebody from a model agency would like to know who the girl on the picture is to ask her for a shoot they would not know who to contact as there is no additional information. Now let’s say you add EXIF information to your picture and someone you send your picture to or who have downloaded it from your website posts it to Facebook. In this situation the EXIF information will be noticed by Facebook and will be used in the description of the picture. Meaning, you can dictate up to a certain level what the description of the picture will be when someone uploads it to Facebook. So it can be very beneficial to add your name and contact details for example to the EXIF information so everyone uploading your picture will automatically share your name and for example your website. Below you can see the Acura girl uploaded to Facebook in a situation where the EXIF information is added to the picture.

So, how do you get EXIF information in your images? You can download one of the many EXIF information editors or you could ask the photographer to add it for you. Most professionals will have something like Adobe PhotoShop installed on their machine and Adobe has added a great working EXIF editor to their product. When you check the file information from Adobe Photoshop you can edit the EXIF information. Below you can see an example of the EXIF information in photoshop I have edited on the

In this article where I have stated a photo model you can also read upcoming photographers or upcoming graphical designers. These persons also need to promote themselves and find a space in a crowded space full of enthusiastic and sometimes talented people where they have to stand out of the crowd to be seen.