Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Articles on the Internet of Things (or Web of Things) are increasingly finding their way into mainstream news. Executives of large companies (such as the CEO of Sprint) and even government officials (such as the Chinese Premier) are speaking about the possibilities and opportunities of having ubiquitous sensors connected to the Internet.
The use of the cloud - in combination with the advent of low-cost sensors and high-availability M2M data transmission - will transform old industries and modify many business models. Almost every major electronic device, vehicle, building component, and piece of equipment has the ability to become "smart" by connecting sensors to it. Most devices already do. The difference though is that moving data to the cloud and being able to process it in infinite combinations provides new capabilities in very low cost, transparent ways.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Friday, January 7, 2011
Check it out and let us know what you think in the comments below!
For the techies out there, the core part of this service is sending emails to a large number of people on a schedule and this was made easy by using SimpleWorker to schedule and send out all the emails. The Facebook connection part was made using the mini_fb gem.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Almost any successful web application will run into this issue. At a prior company, we were collecting clickstream data for use in widgets on a webpage. A simple back of the envelope calculation says that collecting clickstream data across a network of media and retail sites quickly turns into a boatload of data. Its easy to say that only the most recent data has any real value -- which is true -- but historic data also has value, especially if you're trying to improve algorithms by running regression tests. Also, new algorithms applied to older data can provide valuable insights.
The rule of thumb at large Consumer Web 2.0 companies is that storage is cheap and data is valuable. Which translates into "store whatever you capture." A blog entry we did a few months ago on clickstreams, footstreams, and other datastreams touched on the value of this data.
As this notion of storing actions and status of people and things moves from Consumer Web to the Enterprise and the Internet of Things -- to encompass everything from the performance and status of cable modems, heart monitors, automobiles, jet engines, mining and agricultural equipment, shipping and manufacturing -- storing running streams of data will be an issue across sectors.
Which is where sharding comes in. Sharding refers to splitting data into managable chunks. It's used to refer to separating data across different databases. It's not a popular term outside certain tech cycles -- it still gets a lot of eyebrows and "what did you say". But look and listen for it more in 2011.
Travis and I had a great conversation before the holidays with Cory Isaacson, CEO/CTO of codeFutures which has a product called dbShards. It sounds like a neat product and definitely in line with where things are going. (It works with MySQL and many NoSQL databases.)
(And so yes, shark looks a lot like shard which plays into the Jaws reference and this classic scene.)