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Paul Gillin

Paul Gillin's Public Library

  • With more than a dozen projects in the Hadoop ecosystem (and counting!), the problem has grown to be big enough that vendors need to step-in. The way they solve it is a tried-and-true method of selecting exact versions of all these individual projects, integrating them together, and calling the end result a distribution.
  • Controlling the distribution becomes a new way of exerting the dreaded vendor lock-in.
  • A careful look at the bits of core Hadoop available from one of these vendors contains 700+ code changes (all open source, no foul play there!) on top of an officially released version of Apache Hadoop®. By default, without adequate testing, this new distribution can no longer be assumed to be compatible with the core.

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Feb 27, 15

"n 2011 GE responded with a multibillion-dollar initiative focused on what it calls the industrial internet. The company is adding digital sensors to its machines, connecting them to a common, cloud-based software platform, investing in modern software development capabilities, building advanced analytics capabilities, and embracing crowdsourced product development. All this is transforming the company’s business model. Now revenue from its jet engines, for example, is tied not to a simple sales transaction but to performance improvements: less downtime and more miles flown over the course of a year. Such digitally enabled, outcomes-based approaches helped GE generate more than $800 million in incremental income in 2013; the company expects that number to reach at least $1 billion in 2014 and again in 2015."

  • The paradigm is not displacement and replacement but connectivity and recombination. Transactions are being digitized, data is being generated and analyzed in new ways, and previously discrete objects, people, and activities are being connected.
  • Consider GE’s wind farm deal with the global energy giant E.ON. In the past, as the demand for power increased, GE would try to sell more turbines and associated equipment to power-generation companies. In its partnership with E.ON, GE used E.ON’s extensive operational data to run advanced analytics and simulations and come up with a different scenario: Instead of increasing capacity by adding more wind turbine hardware, E.ON could meet demand with a relatively modest purchase of equipment to connect all the turbines through software that allows for dynamic control and real-time analytics.


    GE creates value by extracting useful data from the sensors on its turbines and other wind energy equipment and using that information to optimize equipment performance, utilization, and maintenance. It captures that value by charging a percentage of the customer’s incremental revenue from improved performance. So although GE sells less hardware, it has developed a mutually profitable long-term partnership.

  • GE is a world-beater in efficiency, productivity, and innovation. But it had never been known for the agility, responsiveness, and strategic coherence of its software development process.

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Feb 26, 15

"These executives have high expectations for the potential value their companies can generate from the three trends, and one-third even expect digital business to increase operating income by more than 10 percent over the next three years. However, they also report some tough challenges. Nearly half of respondents say their companies’ investments in digital initiatives are too small to deliver on their goals. Many executives also cite overall organizational shortcomings and a lack of IT capabilities as barriers to meeting their companies’ technology priorities."

  • Executives also say their companies view these digital business trends more as offensive strategic weapons than as defensive moves. About half of respondents indicate their organizations’ primary objective in addressing big data, digital marketing, or flexible platforms5 is using the technology to build a competitive advantage in their existing business. Some executives report even higher aspirations: between 27 and 30 percent say their organizations are looking to these trends to build a new business or tap into new profit pools.
  • More than half of executives say their CIOs are supportive and directly engaged in these initiatives, though one-quarter say these executives are not engaged at all. Responses about the broader IT organization reveal even less involvement at the functional level: only 14 percent say their companies’ IT functions are spearheading new digital-business efforts. While 39 percent say their IT functions actively engage with or support these efforts, nearly one-third say the function is supportive but lacks the capabilities to deliver on goals.

  • Lockheed Martin LMT -0.79% monitors the health of its F-35 fighter jets to guarantee flight availability by predicting service needs and driving the service supply network. In consumer products, Coca-Cola’s Freestyle beverage machine allows customers to custom mix their own drinks,
Feb 26, 15

"How digital business technologies overlap. It’s important to remember that these are not independent classes of technology; there are many overlaps and dependencies. Consider the scenario of a house insurance claim. A house automation system subscribes to weather alerts. It detects a storm warning and creates a command based on a machine-to-machine communication to close all blinds and curtains. Later in the day, a moving tree branch breaks a window in a bedroom and existing security cameras and sensors detect this damage. Other sensors detect that there is no water damage in the area of the breakage, other damage to the property or signs of criminal activity. The house notifies the insurance company of the loss via a prepopulated Web form and sends the dimensions and specifications of the broken window along with a security camera video recording of the incident.

In this business moment, all five classes of technology are at work:

The various sensors and actuators are part of the IoT.
The systems behind the claim process must operate with maximum efficiency and speed.
This precise sequence of events may be unique, but the process must be flexible enough to handle it.
Security is a key factor as the data transferred and processed contains sensitive occupancy information.
It is likely that the insurance company built the solution (insurance company systems plus integration with house automation system) with some urgency as a competitive imperative."

  • Digital business is the creation of new business designs by blurring the digital and physical worlds. It promises to usher in an unprecedented convergence of people, business and things that disrupts existing business models – even those born of the Internet and e-business eras.
  • For example, a customer would enter a retail apparel store, try on a coat, and the store systems would know this had happened. They would then project an image of the buyer on a screen with the coat on and propose some accessories or alternatives that would go well with the new clothes, all the time taking into consideration any price limits placed by the customer in the process of discussing their purchases.
  • Digital business is about the creation of new business designs by blurring the physical and digital world.

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  •  We found that while the majority of C-suite leaders see the IIoT as a net creator of jobs and expect to be able to reduce operational expenses using it, only seven percent are matching strategy with investment and nearly three-fourths say they have yet to make concrete progress with the IIoT.
  • For example, Monsanto, a multinational agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology company, is helping farmers increase crop productivity while conserving water and energy. It has access to mapping data on all 25 million farming fields in America by field shape, type of crop, crop yields, soil capacity and other critical metrics. By adding that data to Monsanto’s data on seed yields, farmers can better understand which seeds will grow best in which fields and under what conditions.

  • it’s also worth pointing out when “citizen journalism” — or networked journalism, or whatever we want to call it — really works, and a couple of great examples of that have come to light recently. One of them is related to a project that I’ve written about: namely, the open Ukrainian vehicle tracking database that British investigative blogger Eliot Higgins and his team have been putting together through his Bellingcat website, which tracks the movements of Russian troops and machinery in and around Ukraine.
  • the open database of vehicle sightings in Ukraine that Eliot and his team at the Bellingcat site have been putting together — using photos and videos and eyewitness reports of vehicles, blast craters and burn marks that have been posted by residents — has produced some fairly strong evidence that Russia has been firing missiles and other weaponry into Ukraine from inside Russian territory, despite repeated government denials.
  • The second example comes via a piece in the New York Times magazine, which will be published in print this weekend but is already available online. It tells the story of a group of residents who live in one of the worst slums in Rio de Janeiro — a group that calls itself “Papo Reto,” meaning “straight talk.” Armed only with cellphones, they have been documenting police violence in the Rio favela, at great personal cost, because the Brazilian media apparently isn’t interested.

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  • For too long, it’s been easy to mock legacy media organizations that dare dabble in relatively new, digital platforms or formats that are perceived to be low-brow.
  • Given how quick we are to cry “clickbait!” these days, the legacies must assure their audience that they are not sacrificing standards when they try to play the digital game and—god forbid—get some social-media traffic.
  • The most popular New York Times story of 2013—a year when the paper won Pulitzers for investigative, explanatory, and international reporting—was a quiz. That same quiz was also its third most popular piece of content in 2014. And last I checked, the Times still publishes a crossword. None of this has harmed the paper’s reputation as a home for serious journalism.


    Part of the reason legacies panic about losing their gravitas and upstarts worry about how to gain it is that most of their audience doesn’t come through a homepage or a print magazine, where a hierarchy is on display.

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Feb 22, 15

About time department:

"New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet announced Thursday The Times is retiring its system of pitching stories for Page 1 of the print edition in a memo to staff that outlines the paper’s growing emphasis on digital journalism.

The Times will continue to have its distinctive morning meetings, Baquet writes. Rather than being focused primarily on which stories will make the front page of the next day’s print edition, the paper will “compete for the best digital, rather than print, real estate.”"

  • an excerpt from Craig Silverman’s new report, “Lies, Damn Lies and Viral Content: How News Websites Spread (and Debunk) Online Rumors, Unverified Claims and Misinformation.” Click here to download the full report.
  • News websites dedicate far more time and resources to propagating questionable and often false claims than they do working to verify and/or debunk viral content and online rumors. Rather than acting as a source of accurate information, online media frequently promote misinformation in an attempt to drive traffic and social engagement.
  • today the bar for what is worth giving attention seems to be much lower. There are also widely used practices in online news that are misleading and confusing to the public. These practices reflect short-term thinking that ultimately fails to deliver the full value of a piece of emerging news.

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Feb 22, 15

*Newspapers are increasingly launching online radio stations as the supply of talk radio outlets dwindles in local markets. But it isn't just a small-town phenomenon. The Boston Herald "launched its radio station in the summer of 2013, and when news now breaks, its protocol is to get it on the radio first before posting it online or to social media," writes Joseph Lichterman on Nieman Journalism Lab.

The good news 2/3 of under-25s listen to online radio weekly. The bad news: early adopters say it's been tough to get advertisers on board.

  • Decision-making authority for purchases is slipping away from individuals in familiar roles—often those with whom B2B sales teams have long-standing relationships.
  • More people within (and, thanks to digital engagement, even outside) the organization are playing pivotal roles in sizing up offerings, so the path to closing sales has become more complicated.
  • The best response is to embrace the new environment. Sellers who are ready to meet customers at different points on their journeys will exploit digital tools more fully, allocate sales and marketing resources more successfully, and stimulate collaboration between these two functions, thereby helping to win over reluctant buyers.

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  • The best performance the study saw was on the LinkedIn ad network, which had 88% fraudulent activity by bots. Google's ad network was the worst with 98% bot fraud, while Yahoo and Facebook were tied for second at 94%. The study goes on to note that the team's ads were billed for these fraudulent clicks and impressions.
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