- Margaret Hamilton, the Engineer Who Took the Apollo to the Moon — Medium
- 'Overnight, everything I loved was gone': the internet shaming of Lindsey Stone | Technology | The Guardian
- Tim Harford on Twitter: "Behavioural economics, 1892 version http://t.co/UkpjIznBG0" - RT @R_Thaler: Agree! As you know Tim, I always say economics used to be behavioral until about 1950.
- Uber Engineering Blog – Project Mezzanine: The Great Migration
- QCon London 2015–Takeaways from “Scaling Uber’s realtime market platform” | theburningmonk.com
- Untitled (http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2015/07/30/_1982_sci_fi_summer.html) - The summer of 1982 was a pretty extraordinary one for SF films:
- The Future of Open Source – Allison Randal
- Architecting Containers Part 1: Why Understanding User Space vs. Kernel Space Matters | Red Hat Enterprise Linux Blog - Understanding the differences between user space and kernel space wrt containers. #redhat
- Maps Mania: The Harvard Historical Sea Chart Collection
- Distance to Nearest Road in the Conterminous United States
- Free Haven's Selected Papers in Anonymity
- Two-Way iBeacon Communication with Swift Programming Language - PubNub
- Jennifer Daniel on Twitter: "British Library put a million pix including maps, illustration, lettering into public domain https://t.co/0DQGJkxPtW http://t.co/BaHAtNetGF" - RT @jenniferdaniel: British Library put a million pix including maps, illustration, lettering into public domain
- Lunch Atop a Skyscraper Photograph: The Story Behind the Famous Shot- page 1 | History | Smithsonian
Thursday, July 30, 2015
Jen Krieger is an Agile Coach on Project Atomic at Red Hat. In this podcast, she discusses soft skills, such as communication, that help software teams work better together and reduce unnecessary conflict. She also talks about how software development, especially in open source environments, is increasingly physically distributed and shares some tips for making remote teams work more effectively together.
MP3 audio (17:06)
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Monday, July 20, 2015
- Visual history of programming languages
- Backpacking Food for the Soul
- Then & Now: NYC’s Pneumatic Tube Mail Network | Untapped Cities
- Inside the Secret World of Russia's Cold War Mapmakers | WIRED
- Did Bill Buckley Dream Up Uber Before There Even Was an Uber? | TIME - "Buckley’s solution was to allow anyone with a driver’s license and without a criminal record to operate a car as a taxi. He also argued that passengers should have the ability to reserve a taxi by telephone for pickup at a designated time and place."
Friday, July 17, 2015
- How a Car Works | Learn all about how cars work
- Particle (formerly Spark) | Prototyping tools for the Internet of Things
- Chip design game at the end of Moore's Law
- DevOps Best Practices: Winning the Culture Wars
- The Reason We Won't Have Autonomous Cars Any Time Soon
- The Earthquake That Will Devastate Seattle - The New Yorker
- Banks Forgot Who Was Supposed to Own Dell Shares - Bloomberg View
- What’s Next for Containers? User Namespaces | Red Hat Enterprise Linux Blog
- Irving Wladawsky-Berger: The Economic Potential of The Internet of Things
- Vagabonds, Crafty Bauds, and the Loyal Huzza: A History of London at Night : Longreads Blog
- Nine must read container blog posts - Container JournalContainer Journal - RT @ashimmy: first post in our top 9 container blog posts is by @ghaff of @Redhatcloud @ContainerBlog
- Taiwanese Grilled Corn - Tiny Urban Kitchen
- 100 open source Big Data architecture papers for data professionals. | Anil Madan | LinkedIn
- We Have to Go Back: Hope, Disappointment and Re-Watching Lost With My Kids | TIME
- California Gov. Jerry Brown signs new vaccination law, one of nation's toughest - LA Times - I'm somewhat surprised to see that California's vaccination law actually passed
- wbkd/awesome-d3 · GitHub
- Denver BusinessDen Boulder website lands deal with REI - Denver BusinessDen - Outdoor activity websites seem to lack critical mass. Interested to see if this acquisition changes anything
- Containers find a new home with the Linux Foundation | Opensource.com - Good piece on the Open Container Project by @stephenrwalli on @opensourceway
- Lead Bullets - Ben's Blog
- Enterprise DevOps, open source hit Target's bull's-eye - RT @DataCenterTT: @Target shares its Red-Hat-enabled #DevOps conversion @RedHatNews @JeffEinhorn @ipbabble @ghaff #datacenter
Friday, June 19, 2015
So don’t call podcasting a bubble or a bust. Instead, it is that rarest thing in the technology industry: a slow, steady and unrelentingly persistent digital tortoise that could eventually — but who really knows? — slay the analog behemoths in its path.
I’m not sure about the ultimate result, but steady progress in podcasts seems right to me. (And, while a possible bubble in podcasting ad rates is a legitimate and serious question for those directly involved, I’m not sure it’s a terribly important factor in the overall development of the medium.)
Here are my own experiences and observations.
The hype around podcasts initially was enormous—THEY’RE GOING TO KILL RADIO OMG! Yet, a lot of that first wave of podcasts was pretty horrible and self-indulgent. LISTEN TO ME! I’M PODCASTING AS I DRIVE TO THE GROCERY STORE! At the same time, it was a laborious (or at least rather manual) process to get podcasts onto an iPod. Pre-smartphone, syncing things to a mobile device was a pain. It’s why I, like many others, got tired of trying to sync that gadget of the moment, the Palm Pilot, to our calendars in a previous technology generation.
In no particular order, here are a few ways in which today is different.
We have smartphones. While I often find syncing isn’t as automagical as I might like it, it’s really not bad—especially if you’re somewhere that has cell coverage.
Even leaving aside the enormous popularity of a show like “Serial,” there’s a solid line-up of professionally-produced shows from a wide range of outlets. NPR shows have some of the most consistently high production values overall but...
Even leaving aside those shows assembled by a professional staff, there’s a solid stable of podcasts with clean sound and interesting content, whether niche or of more general interest. Interviews are one common format but hardly the only one. I think it’s fair to say that we’ve collectively gained enough experience with the format that a lot of people have learned how to put together engaging episodes without investing thousands of dollars in gear or spending way too much time in post-production.
There’s probably still an ongoing shift toward more people consuming multimedia, rather than printed, content. Video gets more of the press here. But I’m at least willing to listen to the argument that the amount of listening may be increasing at the expense of reading.
Another trend that would clearly seem to apply here is a secular shift from listening (and watching) whatever happens to be on to deliberate on-demand choice. (And decreasing incremental effort associated with on-demand—think DVRs vs. VCRs—will only reinforce this change.)
Here's my presentation from DevOps Summit in NYC last week. When I get a chance I'll put up some sort of video but this should work as a placeholder until then.
Skeuomorphism usually means retaining existing design cues in something new that doesn’t actually need them. However, the concept of skeuomorphism can be thought of as applying more broadly, to applying existing patterns to new technologies that, in fact, cry out for new approaches. In this session, Red Hat’s Gordon Haff will discuss why containers should be paired with new architectural practices such as microservices rather than mimicking legacy sever virtualization workflows and architectures.
It’s far more fruitful and useful to approach containers as something fundamentally new and enabling that’s part and parcel of an environment including containerized operating systems, container packaging systems, container orchestration like Kubernetes, DevOps continuous integration and deployment practices, microservices architectures, “cattle” workloads, software-defined everything, management across hybrid infrastructures, and pervasive open source as part of a new platform for cloud apps.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
As usual, Adrian Cockcroft has smart things to say in this interview. The whole thing is worth reading but this comment on the pace of change particularly struck me for a couple of reasons.
And we’ve got now a very open-source world that’s moving extremely quickly. Although it’s not strictly cloud as such, the Docker ecosystem is one of the fastest-moving environments that we’ve ever seen. It’s unprecedented how fast it’s moving. About once a week there’s a seismic event where they change it; a Nepal earthquake-size thing happens on a weekly basis, where you have to say, ‘Okay, everything you knew is slightly different.’ So just trying to track what’s going on in that ecosystem is more than a full-time job. And it’s confusing. It’s also very interesting, and the ability to get things done in that ecosystem is evolving extremely quickly. If you say, ‘I can’t do this thing with Docker,’ you’ve got to time-stamp that. Because maybe next week you can, or maybe in a month everyone’s doing it. Things that normally take years are taking more like months.
The first reason is that Adrian is, of course, absolutely spot-on about how quickly things are changing. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that the cloud book I published just a couple of years ago now has major holes in the topics that it covers. While many of the basic concepts and their historical antecedents remain valid, containers (to choose the most glaring example) are wholly absent along with all the associated packaging and orchestration work in projects like Docker and Kubernetes. While "It’s the future" is mostly intended to be humorous, it also makes a certain serious point about the rapid swizzling and roiling of software stacks happening today.
Adrian also observes that all of this is happening within a largely open source environment. I’d argue that the rate of experimentation and advance wouldn’t be remotely possible otherwise. All the things coming together around containers and hybrid clouds from DevOps to microservices to internet-of-things to platform-as-a-service are fundamentally made possible by the rapid innovation and ability to recombine software that open source makes possible. It’s no coincidence that we’re seeing this Cambrian explosion taking place in an increasingly open source-anchored and dominated computing world.
- RHEL blog about Nulecule
- Nulecule announcement at Project Atomic
- Podcast with John Mark Walker on Project Atomic and Nulecule
- MonolithFirst post by Martin Fowler
Listen to MP3 (0:18:06)
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Thursday, June 11, 2015
- Code | Bloomberg
- What’s the third most common element? — Starts With A Bang! — Medium
- The Godfather of Clickbait - The New Yorker
- DevOpsSummit2015 Morgenthal Kavisv2 - Top DevOps Bottlenecks, Constraints, and Best Practices
- The hidden costs of embargoes | Red Hat Security - "It's now time for the security process to change and become more often." #redhat #Security
- It’s The Future | The Circle Blog - Containers humor!
- What I Learned Crafting Messaging for 15 Startups — Firm Narrative — Medium - RT @jeunice: Meta observations on messaging: Based on 25 years experience, these ring true.
- Renewed focus on US security and human rights | Opensource.com - RT @MarkBoTech: My latesst blog post on the encryption 'access' debate . #crypto
- Halt and Catch Fire Gets the '80s PC Revolution Perfectly Right. Here's How | WIRED
- Docker, Mesos, Marathon, and the End of Pets - Factual Blog
- Troy Hunt: Speaker style bingo: 10 presentation anti-patterns - Good tips.
- OPNFV Arno hits the streets | Red Hat Stack - With OPNFV Arno out here's a podcast I did w @nearyd on OPNFV last month
Friday, June 05, 2015
- Asking the Right Questions About IoT Security
- Yahoo announces plans to kill off Maps, Pipes, GeoPlanet and PlaceSpotter APIs, and some regional sites | VentureBeat | Media | by Emil Protalinski - RT @Adora: Ok who's the asshole who reminded yahoo that @yahoopipes is still around?
- The new Google Photos app is disturbingly good at data-mining your photos | Fusion
Thursday, June 04, 2015
I can’t say I have any great revelations from the MassTLC’s IoT event held at Bentley yesterday but it was refreshingly non-commercial and helped to reinforce some of the themes I and others have been thinking about at Red Hat as we continue to refine our IoT planning and products. Here are a few points I took down in my notes:
What is IoT? I heard a variety of definitions over the course of the day, but the most common thread was probably around the idea of it being “the confluence of the physical world and the digital world coming together” in the words of Howard Heppelmann of PTC. If you think about it, much of the computing that we have historically done has been pretty data-poor. And you can’t optimize what you can’t see. But tiny, ultra low-power sensors (see e.g. RF energy-harvesting power management units) are going to proliferate and thereby create new value by creating new types of connections between data (think things like traffic route optimization and power management) and processes.
It really is about the data. There’s a hugely important intersection between IoT and Big Data (however one chooses to define both of those often nebulous terms). In fact, there were two separate panels on data during the day. I took away a couple of specific points. The first is that there seems to be a general consensus emerging that we’re talking about using data for two distinct purposes. The first is to take real-time action. “There’s something wrong with the engine; shut it down and/or place a service call.” The second is for retrospective analysis with the goal to learn from the past to prescribe new future behaviors.
Rob Purser of MathWorks explicitly defined a three-tier architecture with respect to data:
- edge nodes: local embedded algorithms and data reduction
- data aggregator: online analytics that are continuous and well-defined (you know what are looking for) and visualization/reporting
- exploratory analysis: historical analytics (more ad hoc; almost forensic) and algorithm development
(At Red Hat, we’ve been referring to the data aggregator tier as a “gateway,” which is Intel’s terminology as well.)
IoT is multi-faceted. At this point, it’s worth highlighting an audience member comment. It was along the lines that you can’t really talk about IoT, its use of data, and the value that it delivers as a singular thing. I think that’s exactly right. So many IoT discussions end up back at refrigerators placing orders for drone-delivered bottles of milk when you start to run low. Admittedly, people might have had similar sentiments for things like TV remote controls back in the day but so many of the home IoT solutions much in the news seem like solutions in search of problems. They shouldn’t eclipse the very real value in a lot of businesses. (I suspect there’s opportunity in home power management but even that is much less interesting than in an industrial context.)
Security, identity management, and data ownership is far from solved. This general topic was poked at throughout the day but I didn’t come away with a lot of specifics. The broad issue is this: One of the visions for IoT is to take previously siloed data from widespread sensor arrays and combine it with other data to uncover new relationships and thereby optimize various types of processes and create new value. But that statement invites lots of questions? Are the end point devices themselves exposed to the public network and, if so, how are they secured and kept secured? What authentication mechanisms are necessary? Who owns various types of data and with whom is it shared? One example. In a few years, your car will know lots of things about its local traffic, weather conditions, even the road that it’s driving on. What’s the protocol for making that data available to others who could use it for genuinely useful things? (And is it appropriate to share that you’re also playing that embarrassing Britney Spears song?) And, by the way, governmental rules for all this may change when you drive from France to Germany.
(I’d also note that there was various grumbling on twitter after the MIT CIO Sloan Symposium a couple of weeks ago when the IoT panel at that conference basically punted on having any discussion of security at all.)
Standards aren’t either. For more on this topic, I encourage you to check out my colleague James Kirkland’s piece from earlier this year. The tl;dr is that a lot of good work is being done to solve different types of problems throughout the IoT solution space but there’s still a lot of fragmentation and it’s not clear we have a holistic view of all the pieces that are needed and of what should be standardized and what shouldn’t be. Obligatory xkcd.
Networks need to adapt. The final point I’ll leave you with from the day is the observation that a gazillion little sensors won’t necessarily deal with a network that’s probably more optimized for watching Orange is the New Blackon Netflix at 7pm local time. As Kris Alexander of Akamai put it "now all of a sudden millions of things are sending small things more frequently. Networks weren’t really designed for this.” Chris Baker of Dyn added that "holding open connections isn’t a core competence of most home routers.” You need to think about the use case. How important is time to your use case? What happens if don’t check in? (If it’s a pacemaker, the answer might be different than if it’s your DVR.)
- Kubernetes - The Future of Deployment - Bashton Ltd
- MonolithFirst | Hacker News
- Red Hat IT: OpenShift Has Streamlined our Workload. Let It Streamline Yours. – OpenShift Blog - RT @asheshbadani: Eating our own dogfood - @RedHatNews IT runs @openshift Enterprise on AWS - 30+ app nodes, 1000+ apps!
- Pru overcame early failure; can Government Center be next? - Opinion - The Boston Globe
- How Smart, Connected Products Are Transforming Competition - HBR
- Jim Whitehurst on Twitter: "Plenty of signed copies of The Open Organization at Quail Ridge Bookstore in Raleigh #theopenorg #redhat http://t.co/0PQIlPBSW0" - RT @JWhitehurst: Plenty of signed copies of The Open Organization at Quail Ridge Bookstore in Raleigh #theopenorg #redhat
- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: FIFA II (HBO) - YouTube - “@ShahinKhan: John Oliver revisits Fifa. ” << His FIFA pieces are some of his best.
- Boredom and Distraction in Multiple Unmanned Vehicle Supervisory Control
- Real New Yorkers Can Say Goodbye to All That - Bloomberg View
- Hard not to see by James Panero - The New Criterion - "For many years, the French writer Guy de Maupassant insisted on eating lunch every day at the restaurant in the Eiffel Tower. The reason, he explained, was simple: the restaurant offered the only spot in Paris where he could look out and not have to see the Eiffel Tower. Such a thought may come to mind when sitting on the bank of couches overlooking the Hudson River from the fifth floor of the new downtown home of the Whitney Museum of American Art. With uninterrupted panoramic views through eighteen-foot-high floor-to-ceiling windows, sixty feet above the West Side Highway, one cannot help but feel a sense of awe at watching the sun arch over the passing ships, illuminating the buildings on the opposite shore and sweeping across America unfurling to the west. But the greatest satisfaction of these front-row seats may come from the knowledge that, unlike those people on the streets and sidewalks and ships below, or the museum-goers behind us, from here we may look out and never see the new Whitney Museum of American Art."
- Nelson archive at Amherst: A one-of-a-kind trove reveals what rural 19th-century American boyhood was really like.
- AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire Season 2 review: How it pivoted to become a different, better show.
- The Triumph (and Failure) of John Nash’s Game Theory - The New Yorker
- Mary Meeker's 2015 Internet Presentation - Business Insider
- Resurrecting the 'yuppie vaccine' : Nature Medicine : Nature Publishing Group
- The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and the Secret Ghostwriters of Children's Fiction - The Atlantic
- MagPi Issues Archive - Raspberry Pi
- The Hacker Shelf | Community-curated collection of free books for the intellectually curious.
Friday, May 29, 2015
The tidbit that stood out to me regarding Recode is that they had 44 full-time employees — plus a few contractors. That’s not lean and mean. The advantage the internet provides to new publishers is that there’s so little overhead. You can go really far with a really small talented team. 44 employees sounds like Recode was trying to go head-to-head with the Wall Street Journal on the business/tech beat. Rather than start small and grow big organically, they wanted to start big. And so to start big they took on investors, and next thing you know, they had to sell.
To a first approximation this is pretty much what happened with GigaOm as well. The situation seems to have been more complicated there—especially with respect to their research business—but that was another case of “They have how many employees??"
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
- Why Johnnie Walker joined the Internet of Things | CIO - "The smart bottle features a printed sensor tag made with Thinfilm's OpenSense technology. It can detect the sealed and opened state of each bottle. OpenSense uses smartphones' Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities, allowing Diageo to send personalized communications to consumers who read the tags with their smartphones."
- The Internet of Things becomes the Game of Thrones in standards war • The Register
- Anil Dash on Twitter: "If this is what they're having for dinner, I bet they prefer an app to having messy, inefficient sex with humans: http://t.co/U4YpnmA7Gu" - RT @lcooney: Just. Wow. 'Time wasted by eating is, in Silicon Valley parlance, a “pain point” even for highest echelon of techie'
- Mark Shuttleworth considering Canonical IPO | ZDNet - @swardley @cdaffara @acruiz @simoncrosby Assume $$ references this No idea if reality or not
- The Day We Set the Colorado River Free | Outside Online
- The Disappearing Colorado River - The New Yorker
- U.S. Department of Transportation Releases Policy on Automated Vehicle Development | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
- Artist Alexey Kondakov Imagines Figures from Classical Paintings as Part of Contemporary Life | Colossal
- Untitled (http://www.mitcio.com/sites/default/files/2015%20Twitter%20Handout.pdf) - RT @sethearley: @mitcio @ghaff thanks! Should be on the checklist for every event organizer (twitter handles for speakers) #MITCIO
- Why Apple Just Wasn't Feeling It For The TV Set - ReadWrite - At one level this seems blindingly obvious. TVs should be mostly dumb monitors and the options for innovating seem fairly limited. Maybe OLED but middle-of-the-road TVs today are pretty darn good.
- Irving Wladawsky-Berger: Embracing Disruptive Change - Why Is it So Difficult? - "Managing a new, potentially disruptive initiative is quite different from managing an established business. Operational excellent requires a highly disciplined style of management based on the detailed analysis and inspection of all processes, including product quality, customer satisfaction, sales results, costs and expenses, and so on. On the other hand, managing an initiative based on a new technology or potential market requires a more entrepreneurial management style, based on establishing an early market presence and learning in the marketplace through continuous experimentation and adjustments."
- Three Questions from the Cloud Foundry Summit – tecosystems
- Every Episode Of "Mad Men" Ranked, From Good To Perfect
- Decoding the Enigma of Satoshi Nakamoto and the Birth of Bitcoin - NYTimes.com
- United Club Enhancements | United Airlines - United is apparently updating the food at its clubs. About time. It's not great today.
- Red Hat Survey Identifies Back-end Integration and Security as Top Challenges for the Mobile Enterprise | Red Hat - "The majority of organizations anticipate the Internet of Things (IoT) will impact their business. Most businesses are acknowledging the growing relationship between mobile and IoT by actively planning for the next wave of integration that will be required by connected devices. While 21 percent of organizations have already incorporated IoT projects into their business, more than one in four (28 percent) plan to do so in the next year, and 70 percent plan to do so over the next five years. Given the demonstrated pain point of back-end integration, companies should focus on a solution that effectively integrates IoT."
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Board members estimate that 32 percent of their companies' revenues are under threat from digital disruption in next 5 years. This was one of the findings from a November 2014 MIT CISR study that Peter Weill shared to kickoff the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium 2015 yesterday. The theme of the day was "Inventing Your Future: Accelerating Success Through Technology.” The annual event always explores the intersections of business and technology in interesting ways and this year was no exception. I’ll cover a few of the ones that especially caught my eye here.
The first was the topic of digital disruption. This is happening because, in the works of Mendix CEO Derek Roos, "Every company is now a software company. Every employee is in IT. The CIO is a business leader.” Jennifer Banner, the CEO of Schaad echoed that "10 years ago I’m not sure I would have known the CIO if I had ridden the elevator with him. The CIO was not really in strategy. Now [the CIO is] absolutely critical in helping the board move into [digital] strategy."
At the same time, Christopher Perretta, CIO State Street notes that "risk has changed. Risk excellence is top of mind. If I blow the risk , that's it."
These twin and sometimes opposing needs to be nimble enough to handle digital disruption while simultaneously dealing with risk led to a discussion of two-speed (a.k.a. bimodal) IT. As Roos explained:
What's critical is you can't just take existing IT and decide to go fast. You may be able to incrementally improve efficiency and speed. But you have to do things differently. Large insurance company. We created a fast-track IT organization and put a cross-functional team together. Very nimble. Were able to take introducing new products from 18 months to 3 weeks. Think like a startup. Accept that they may fail. Fail but fail fast.
Ultimately, Roos envisions that the distinction between IT and not-IT will blur however. "Eventually the organizational structure of IT has to change. 100 years ago all the typing was done in a typing pool."
As a side note, there’s been a lot of discussion of late in “cloud circles” about the bimodal IT concept (at my employer Red Hat as elsewhere). It’s not without its detractors but, properly understood as referring to a modernizing classic IT plus a strategic initiative based on cloud platforms, DevOps, and new-style applications, it makes a lot of sense. That it made such a prominent appearance at a relatively business-oriented event such as this helps substantiate its usefulness as an organizing principle.
The Academic Keynote Panel dealt with the impact of automation on all this. Which tasks can easily be automated away? The key question is how repetitive and long-lived the tasks are. Prof. Daniela Rus, Director MIT CSAIL noted that the "car industry automates 80 percent of tasks because they can take advantage of repetitive tasks. But cell phones and electronics are generally only about 10 percent automated. If product is going to change every three months, you don't have time to retool and reconfigure the factory. Robots today are a bit like programming before we had compilers."
In general, tasks related to iterative software testing and deployment, as in DevOps, probably have fewer limitations than do tasks in the physical domain. Nonetheless, it’s worth remembering that it’s important that workflows have to be understood and repeatable in order to enjoy the benefits of automation.
On the same panel, Prof. Mary “Missy” Cummings, Director of Duke’s Humans and Autonomy Lab also cautioned that heavily automated systems can be a problem when humans need to take over control. A former US Navy fighter pilot, Cummings said that "Commercial pilots touch the stick for 3 or 7 minutes. Mostly on takeoff because planes aren't rated for automated takeoff. That's on a tough day. How much automation is in there? How much should be in there? Boredom is setting in. Humans don't handle that well."