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At a talk I saw at the useR!2012 conference last month, Googler Karl Millar estimated that there are at least 200 active R users at Google, plus another 300+ occasional users participating in Google's internal R support list. But what are all these Google employees doing with R? A post from the Google Research team published on Google+ yesterday sheds some light: At Google we use Statistics every day to improve products, optimize infrastructure, and understand users. We’ve built a number of engineering systems to process and store massive amounts of data. These systems often use thousands of computers in parallel to process and manipulate the data. For many of our statisticians and data analysts, however, such systems provide only the first step of an interactive data analysis workflow that also involves filtering, classifying, modeling, visualizing, and forecasting... (more)

Velocity is Key to Cloud Maturity

When you think Cloud, whether Private or Public, one of the key advantages that comes to mind is speed of deployment. All businesses crave the ability to simply go to a service portal, define their infrastructure requirements and immediately have a platform ready for their new application. Coupled with that you instantly have service level agreements that generally centre on uptime and availability. So for example, instead of being a law firm that spends most of its budget on an in house IT department and datacenter, the Cloud provides an unavoidable opportunity for businesses to instead procure infrastructure as a service and consequently focus on delivering their key applications. But while the understanding of Cloud Computing and its benefits have matured within the industry, so too has the understanding that maybe what’s currently being offered still isn’t good ... (more)

Digital Transformation and Code Halos - 12 Trends that are Impacting Banks Today

The banks of the future, will not look like the banks of today.  I have met with the business and IT strategy teams of many banks around the world over the past 12 months.  These discussions have been some of the most interesting as there is a sense of urgency.  The banking and financial services industries are feeling tremendous pressures from both internal and external sources to respond quickly to emerging mobile and online technologies, and the changing behaviors of consumers.    Here are 12 talking points from my latest workshops: Mobile and online technologies are transforming the way banks serve clientsMobile banking adoption rates will reach 33 percent this year, up from 20 percent in 2011. Source: SwachaMobile payments will reach $90 billion by 2017, up from $13 billion in 2012.  Source: Forrester’s 2013 US Mobile Payments Forecast report60% of smartphone or ta... (more)

Internet of Things and You: A Beginner’s Guide

I love The Internet of Things. You do, too, even if you don’t know exactly what it is yet. Hardly a day goes by where I don’t find a story about some awesome company creating some new awesome gadget that taps into The Internet of Things. Scrolling through these stories is like taking a peek at the world (and our homes!) three to five years down the line. But, uh, what exactly is The Internet of Things? And why should you care? Great questions! Let’s sort it all out. What Is The Internet of Things? Basically, The Internet of Things is how all of your connected devices talk to each other. Whether you’re talking about your smartphone and Bluetooth speakers or your Nest thermostat and Philips Hue light bulbs, The Internet of Things is an invisible network that links everything together. Still having a hard time picturing it? Think about it like this. My iPhone can do all... (more)

Dolphin Announces Open API With Over 50 Add-ons Including Dropbox and Wikipedia

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 06/28/12 -- GOOGLE I/O -- Dolphin Browser, the most popular third-party browser on Android and iOS and only Gesture and Voice enabled browser, today announced the launch of Dolphin Garage, which opens the Dolphin Browser API to allow for third-party development. Dolphin also announced four new Add-ons from Dropbox, Pocket, Evernote and Wikipedia that show off Dolphin Garage's powerful capabilities. In addition, Dolphin Garage also supports Web apps based on Adobe's PhoneGap, which enable faster HTML5 Web app deployment. Dolphin Garage gives developers access to more than 150 Dolphin internal APIs including various browser user interface interactions, while also providing a runtime sandbox environment to allow developers to create their own experiences within Dolphin Browser. Powered by Dolphin Garage, users can now seamlessly exp... (more)

Stress & Load Testing Web Apps (Even ADF & Apex) Using Apache JMeter

A couple of years ago I presented Take a load off! Load testing your Oracle Apex or JDeveloper web applications at OOW and AUSOUG. I can't recommend enough the importance of stress testing your web applications, it's saved my bacon a number of times. Frequently as developers, we develop under a single user (developer) model where concurrency issues are easily avoided. When our programs hit production, with just 1 more user, suddenly our programs grind to a halt or fall over in bizarre places. Result, pie on developers' faces, users' faith in new technologies destroyed, and general gnashing of teeth all round. Some simple stress and load tests can head off problems way before they hit production. (For the remainder of this post I'll infer "stress testing" and "load testing" as the same thing, though strictly speaking one tests for your application falling over, and t... (more)

Microsoft Turning Corners

Mini-MSFT is back, with a post about Microsoft turning The Corner.  It’s interesting to contrast his point of view with that of MG Siegler over at ParisLemon.  Given my own perception of  Valley bias on the part of Siegler (he is one of the new voices of TechCrunch after all), it’s great to see that we’re making progress which is being met with receptivity and not suspicion.  Further, everyone is focused on the most important beneficiaries - customers. I have to admit, since returning to the company a little over a year ago, I have had this sense that things are looking up.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s no shortage of frustrations for me, but that’s to be expected when you come from a tiny company where you were the founder and CEO to a large company where you a cog in a wheel. With the new fiscal year, I have a new role and a new team, and I plan on making liberal... (more)

Why Microsoft Should Finally Buy Citrix

DISCLAIMER: This is long and the opinions are mine. I’ve written a good bit here about the various ways Microsoft and Citrix overlap in the hypervisor space, ranging from topics like shared code base through competition for the desktop space. To me, these two players have always been the underdogs battling for the right to go head-to-head against VMware in the main enterprise (and now cloud) virtual data center event. I’ve long said here that I think Microsoft is in the best position to make that move, but to be honest, Citrix currently has better technology. In other words, Microsoft has a better strategic play, Citrix a better tactical play. The announcements that came of out Synergy last week prove that. Citrix knows what it’s doing and they know how to build virtualization products to compete with VMware. As has been asked many times before, here and elsewhere:... (more)

Cloud Definitions: NIST, Gartner, Forrester

Analysts should love hype – it lets them jump into a hot area and be the thought leaders who everyone has to consult to make any sense out of what is going on in the area. “Cloud” is probably the most hyped word in the industry these days and everyone has a definition of what it is. And despite this being a running joke in the industry, everyone obviously needs definition conversion to happen so we can start speaking the same language here. U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) stepped in and did – from my perspective – something truly amazing: they provided a relatively comprehensive set of cloud definitions in a simple two-page document. The document lists major characteristics of cloud services: On-demand self-service Ubiquitous network access Location independent resource pooling Rapid elasticity Measured Service Classical delivery models: ... (more)

Anatomy of a Cloud Consultant

Earlier this week I was asked to participate in a cloud panel with a group of so called cloud experts. The panel focused on the state of the cloud industry. I have been on many of these cloud panels in the last year and have found it to be pretty vague what defines a "cloud expert". So what is a cloud expert/consultant? First let's go to Wikipedia. According to the site, in the broadest sense, "a consultant is a professional who provides advice in a particular area of expertise. A consultant is usually an expert or a professional in a specific field and has a wide knowledge of the subject matter. A consultant usually works for a consultancy firm or is self-employed, and engages with multiple and changing clients. Thus, clients have access to deeper levels of expertise than would be feasible for them to retain in-house, and may purchase only as much service from the ou... (more)

Ulitzer Named "New Media" Partner of Greatly Anticipated iStrategy Event in Berlin

John Funnell on Ulitzer SYS-CON-owned Ulitzer has been touted as the ‘Wikipedia Killer' with now over 7,000 authors online sharing news, views and industry trends on the sites' innovative blogging system. Magazines are managed and created on Ulitzer by visionaries of the digital media space, some of which brought the sites attention to the organizers of what is now the most anticipated New Media event to happen next year - The iStrategy 2010 in Berlin. For more information click here. The iStrategy program is famed for educating the corporate elite in the relatively infant innovation of Social Media. Such visionaries as Michael Donnelly Group Director Worldwide Interactive Marketing at Coca-Cola, Michael Buck, Global Head , SMB Online Dell and Ralf Ahamer CMO, XING are sharing their successes at the conference in February next year, looking at; ever changing media ... (more)