24 December 2014

Hypocritical Western Holidays

Western societies are seeped in hypocritical social conundrums often brought about through capitalist commercial ideals. During Halloween we find ourselves celebrating empty pumpkins and dressing up in wickedly evil costumes. On other occasions like Thanksgiving we find ourselves being thankful only on that particular day. Why must we only be thankful to mothers on a Mother's Day and fathers on Father's Day. On Easter we celebrate all things made in shape of eggs. And, during Christmas we find the value of gift giving and lighting up trees. Turkey is also the most in demand during Thanksgiving and Christmas, even by some vegetarians. Soon after Christmas all the trees are left to die next to the rubbish bins. Unless, it is an artificial tree. When people only seem to care during the season not after the season is over. Wonder what happens to all the tree activists during Christmas time. Then as New Year period approaches it is time when an entire society is at bedrock of party and sex. Most likely also the time when major commercial vendors of condoms and alcohol are in huge demand. Holidays bring much joy for businesses. But, they also command confusion and a lot of hypocrisy for communities. Furthermore, even religious holidays are added on annually. One cannot imagine the confusion that kids would go through as they grow up to realize that such holidays really have no meaning other than to provide more reason to be with family, to breathe, relax, eat in copious amounts, and to shop without remorse. 

21 November 2014

Hack Summit

A virtual hack summit conference is happening soon. An almost virtual world of programmers getting together to share the knowledge within the world community of like minded individuals. A Dzone member can obtain a free promo code. However, a donation for admission is highly advised to support such worthwhile non-profit coding charities. Virtual summits make it accessible for everyone around the world to get together from the comfort of their own surroundings and the pressures of the daily lives while saving themselves from the travel expense. Further details can be found at the below links.

11 November 2014

Small Business Finance

These days small businesses have it hard when it comes to getting financing or even refinancing from banks. However, peer-to-peer is offering newer possibilities. Individual investors or should we say angel investors are also becoming a possible option for many start-ups. However, the market for small business start-ups for continued finances is still rough terrain with many obstacles and at times more people to side track. Going public for investment should not be a necessity for small to large businesses either.  Private funding can still provide lucrative financing and even continued financing options for many.  Perhaps, more venture sites need to be sprung up in a semantically linked manner so more individuals can gain opportunities to invest and for small business owners to drive more cash injection into their ongoing projects. Banks these days provide limited savings options and even pensions are a forgone conclusion. Investment opportunities for individuals needs to grow in the often limited options. Even small investments need to be made available over high street investment banking which often drive bad investment decisions. Businesses need to be more connected with financing and allowing individuals to take small chunks of ownership in exchange for driving cash injection without having business to force themselves on the market exchange. Market exchanges are often also institutionally driven and are mostly a road block for the small time investor. Individuals investing opportunities into privately held start-ups before they go public should also be possible. Small time investor focus markets and opportunities really can be the next big thing for economic gains for all. They are also good opportunities for low-income earners looking for realistically plausible breaks that could provide significant returns later on. Although, nothing is guaranteed but publicly traded companies are almost always traded in bulk which would side track a small time investor looking for a possible break. Perhaps, opportunities could even arise as linked with stocks and shares ISA and other non-taxable investment plans. Even the common market exchanges need to open up more to the public in a linked data perspective with semantic web compliance. 

8 November 2014

Poppy Choice

Wearing a poppy on remembrance day should be a choice not a requirement. War should be remembered not glorified. And, who is going to honor and remember the lives of the civilians that were lost at the hands of the soldiers and in middle of such wars without just cause? Soldiers make a choice of taking part. Who gives civilians the choice to live or die in such a charade? Why should we remember soldiers that took part in unjustified wars? Wars that the public did not have a say in whether we sent our soldiers or not? Do we get a say in the cause of such wars? Many wars could have been avoided if the public had a say in it. So, no remembrance day has become a glorified event and a disrespect to the many lives that are lost in conflicts. Soldiers also have families just like civilians have families. And, one can't be forced to partake in such activities. People have different ways of remembering for which they should be allowed the freedom and personal space.

Semantic Representation

Representation of semantic data is a computationally expensive process with a lot of embedded metadata for building semantically contextual graphs. However, such representation also comes at a storage and processing cost. XML standard has always been a more complete representation option on basis of which other standards have been developed. However, the introduction of JSON-LD provides further options for flexibility. Unfortunately, flexibility of semantic data processing also comes at a cost from loss in fidelity. Representing JSON-LD maybe a plausible option. But, storing the raw form of RDF in XML compatible native form is always favorable. This loss in fidelity may arise during content negotiation and during conversion. But, RDF is quite a memory intensive representation format which requires a separate processing requirements. Even viewing RDF from property graph perspective may not be sufficient. And, utilizing triple stores and even quad stores have always been the best option even of today, while such options still provide issues with vendor lock-in at times. Although, RDF and semantic web have come along way, there is still a lot that can be done both in terms of standardization as well as better distributed semantic graph storage. Semantic integration is again a core aspect of Linked Data requirements which is another aspect that requires more standardization and advancement. JSON-LD appears to be a useful option for front-end client processing in a lightweight integration. It also has some fundamental limitations in comparison to RDF. A question arises as to why the W3C gave up on the idea of RDF/JSON standardization. However, this is a case of what is more important in the semantic web community and for an application context, whether the representation should be in computer readable or human readable form. Nonetheless, the core representation format of semantic web for storage, in most domain contexts, should really be maintained in the native form of RDF/XML and associated derivatives for obvious reasons.

6 November 2014


Packer is another useful tool for machine image configuration management as well as an alternative to Dockers for virtualization. With Packer, identical images can be produced for machines and multiple platforms using basically a single configuration which is useful for Devops work in the cloud environment. Parallelization in cloud for Big Data has also become important aspect for handling Big Data requirements. Additionally, plugins provide further extended flexibility in the tool. Even Packer images can be converted into Vagrant compatible boxes. As a template one can then build multiple Packer images which does not include the life cycle management of such image builds from how and where they are run. 

Metadata Standards

Library and Book Publishing metadata standards have come a long way and they are still in a state of flux and evolution as cataloging and publishing take on emerging new forms for further standardization and universal interpretation. Data science and Data Mining are also providing new ways of harnessing information and knowledge about classification of both data and content. However, metadata are still the epitome of differentiating and exposing data in all its transformations. XML is often seen as the mainstream format for most metadata standards. However, JSON and RDF have also emerged to break into a strong hold in developing more flexible and universal standard formats. Metadata is categorized in fundamentally three different types: administrative, descriptive, and structural. The following handbook provides further details on the book publishing structures and evolving metadata trends.

5 November 2014

Open Source Licensing

Choosing the right open source license for one's project can be a very confusing experience at first especially as new versions are derived. One's priorities can often dictate the choice of the license. A tabulated comparison also helps in deciding the most effective and suitable for a project. The below links provide some further insights when deciding for an appropriate open source license for a project.

4 November 2014

Python Testing

Python testing has gained sheer ground in the last few years as influenced from the Ruby and Java communities. Agile approaches to Python development works seamlessly within teams even with adaptable test-driven and behavior-driven as active methods. There is a growing amount of libraries and frameworks for testing now becoming available for Python and even directly integrated with web frameworks. The below list highlights a few interesting options outside of just the standard library. While more and more libraries are looking to support the evolving Python 3.x versions.

30 October 2014


Halloween is a very pointless event of the year. A day when people celebrate the dead, the darkness, and all things evil. A day when children are taught to beg door to door for treats and learn the humble truths of trick or treating. It is a time when people dress up in all sorts of ways to scare others or possibly to bewitch others with their closeted dark secrets. Also, the only time when pumpkins are adorn and in high demand. Partying is also remarkably a scene of experience altogether and a welcomed excuse for retailers and party goers alike.


Cascading is an alternative approach to Hive and Pig for developers where processing of big data is done using workflow streams of map, filter, and reduce steps. The work is bounded within the ETL process using the metaphor of directed acyclic graphs for direct source to sink work streams. Also, the approach adds an abstraction over the explicit programmatic complexities of the underlining MapReduce job implementations. Cascading has a dependency on the Hadoop layer but also provides connectivity with a multitude of data sources. Hadoop can either be used as standalone or in a clustered environment. A developer can then work through an entire process stream in a singular or integrated workflow making abstractions in ETL for business domains very plausible and reduction in complexities of handling large amounts of data. The process streams can even be made available in visual representations. Cascading also provides various wrappers in form of Scalding, Cascalog, PyCascading, and others. The application platform is a nice alternative for developers looking to integrate and think through problems in business domain abstractions using entire feature and story cases of complex data processing through the test-driven and behavior-driven approaches within the agile practicing team.

26 October 2014


Reubens is another salf beef joint in London. But, not much of a match with Selfridges in either service or taste. What Selfridge's Brass Rail provides is relatively better service, more choice, better taste, but also the advantage of being able to complete one's shopping. Apparently, for whatever reason, at many Jewish establishments the service is completely lacking. The service staff are often either half asleep, slow in preparing, or just not very attentive to customers. Even the menus look stingy as if one really had to think of something to fill up the paper while only really having few selections on offer. Moreover, even the food is over priced for the lack of quality. There is also the question of hygiene for many such Jewish restaurants making the notion of kosher almost laughable. Especially, their handling of meat in front of customers whilst serving. Beyond the rather religiously sickening green and brown interior one can almost wonder how much aluminium is being used up by the cooks behind the counter. The almost gloomy looking staff and the emptiness feel is possibly why one would prefer takeaway or run as far away and never look back.


kubernetes is an interesting project for container cluster management used alongside Dockers. It essentially provides the management of such Docker containers within a cluster of machines and options to discover which nodes in cluster are the best fit for related workloads. Containers can also learn from each other by passing messages. Thus, facilitating self-managing and self-balancing Docker containers within a cluster or across clusters. The project attempts to make use of Kubernetes across cloud environments. But, the base requirements are on the Google Compute Engine. The project seems quite promising towards enhancing and automation of container management and a further arsenal of Google's immense distributed applications projects for the cloud environment. 

22 October 2014


Complex networks have become a popular science of big data processing especially for the Web. NetworkX is one such library that provides a flexible option in the python environment to study such graphs in context. The library provides much scope towards large scale and real-world networks especially for social network analysis. The library can be amazingly useful for visualization alongside D3. It is also compatible with Sage and graphs can be integrated.


While ereaders all have proprietary and license restrictions in some ways, Readium, is one promising open source option for many. The solution comes in two modes. One option is via the cloud and the other through the SDK. Although, the project is still in its infancy it is rapidly taking shape for EPUB3. Building even flexible native applications for the mobile can be an option. The project even looks so far as to integrate DRM across all domain contexts not just for ebooks. Content in all its shapes and forms needs to be open for all. It serves no purpose having so much content closed for access as the more available content is the more digital marketing one can attain from building the brand as well as consumer demand. Premium content doesn't have to be so restricted from extension and access. Content and Web APIs can provide the key to unlocking much of the data that publishing companies hold dear with additional revenue streams for more productive and flexible products. Even using standard HTML5 and PDF options can provide much benefits yet untapped.

19 October 2014

The Blemished Game of Football

A sad truth lies in how much footballers get paid and the way they seem to get away with crime. Another truth lies in the way the women seem to stand by them. One can almost wonder as to how much women value money and the way moral and ethical values are pervaded by their gold digging ways to cloud their judgement. Will they stick by their man if he were to be disqualified and no longer earning a huge salary? We also find how hypocritical people can be when they are not the victim of a crime. However, when the tables are turned the very same people will no longer be so supportive of such criminal behavior. Football is no longer a professional sport but rather a fool hardy affair where ticket prices are out of control, where players are over paid and reflect little on their performance on and off the pitch, and where spectators display little sense in their behavior both during and after the games. Does a footballer really need to be paid more than a doctor? Is the value of entertainment more than someone working to save lives on a daily basis? Football players make little to no contribution to society with a very limited life to spend on the pitch. This is not to say that all footballers lead a questionable existence. But the professional game does appear to falter at the hinges of ever increasing imperfections and flawed in displaced societal values.

18 October 2014

Edge Computing

Edge Computing is a new paradigm as an extension of the Cloud Computing. Alternatively, named Fog Computing, it can be useful for intensive localized data processing requirements such as for Internet of Things, data analytics, and other data intensive applications where the service latency can be reduced. Both the data, processing, and application are centered at the network edge of the devices for complete mobility. Fog Computing is useful for geographically dispersed mobile network applications while still utilizing the same resources as in the Cloud architectures. The issue with Cloud Computing arises with the bandwidth requirements of constant transfer of data back and forth into the cloud with little control. The Cloud Computing idea is in the abstraction of remote set of resources in comparison Fog Computing has a degree of latitude where Things have a degree of control in order to deal with insurmountable needs of big data and for smarter connected devices. 

17 October 2014

Infinite Scrolling

One of the worst things to come out of the user interface trends of today is infinite scrolling. So many new interfaces are taking on the trend and pushing users away by making navigation naturally more difficult. Not even sure why it has become such a trend as it goes against the basic usability principles and completely works against the design of the Web. Some things do take on shapes in mindless sea of designs where common sense and usability take a back seat over trendy functionality. Perhaps, it will be soon enough when websites go through another natural progression for new designs at which point the infinite scrolling will dub down to mere faded feature of the past. Semantic Web also does not work well with infinite scrolling. Even such a disoriented feature at times adds more reduction in response time. So, naturally the feature and functionality should be best avoided where search and navigation become an utter annoyance for the user. Human Computer Interaction studies indicate that users want finality to a web page where they are able to scroll to the end, invariably this provides them a sense of control towards making an informed decision.

16 October 2014

Birkbeck College

Birkbeck College has a long history of providing part-time courses. However, the college is short on quality of services. At times, such lack of services even drive potential students away from intending to study at the institution. Embarking on any form of postgraduate study requires considerable commitment especially while working. Although, Birkbeck might be a potential opportunity for many due to their flexibility of evening lectures, they do provide an immense amount of frustration in all their other college services. Fees office is almost two decades behind the times and still manually entering payments and verification. While their response times on the phone and email is equally as bad. Rather than accept complaints for constructive action, they would rather warn and patronize students. When committing towards a course one should always be aware of the content of the modules, whether they have the required depth, and whether studying at such an institution will be frustrating not to mention would the degree be even accredited. Birkbeck College only really cares about getting fees from students without providing satisfactory service nor are their modules thorough enough. The amount of hassle and expense one will receive at Birkbeck College is not worth the time and effort spent in achieving a degree. One is better off choosing alternative options for a more recognized program. Some academic institutions forget that students are the main reason why they even exist. Without students, the academic institution would cease to exist especially as many rely marginally on research and limited government funding. Therefore, it is only plausible that it should be in the best interest of every academic institution to provide quality services as well as respect and care towards students. Academic institutions are the focal point of learning from where innovation and inspiration for better living can be exemplified. However, we often find at universities and colleges that while they strive on teaching and research, they forget that they also have to honor good services for students as well as a civic responsibility for the community.

14 October 2014

The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner is an over dramatized story about a group of children that are brought in for controlled experiments. These children are carefully selected for their genetic makeup for the discovery of a cure against an epidemic that plagues the human race. The story is told in almost similar adaptation to the hunger games and yet lacking in depth. There is very little build up of climax and extremely fast resolution of the protagonist conquering against the evil. Although, in the end we discover that there really is no evil other than the cause for which they under go such experimentation. The ending is really the start of a sequel to a new experimentation beyond the maze. In someways, this story hits the moral values of society in how human specimens are used for experimentation for the culpability of humanity or the prevention of such disasters. As many see animal testing for medical research as wrong, there are yet others who perpetuate the use of human testing for similar gains in research. Furthermore, the story adaptation in use of disturbing moral dilemmas in use of children for human experiments parallels yet another reflection on society.

5 October 2014

Semantic Certifications

Getting certified in a particular technology is a debatable topic. For some employers, it could be a plus point for achievement. For others, it holds very little value. And, yet certifications can also get outdated very quickly. Perhaps, getting certified with the concepts is more important than the technology certification that is specific to a version. Semantic Web technologies are slow moving as they go through an extensive specification driven process. They are also rarely taught so formally at university and even for certifications. However, Semantic Web is growing in popularity as industry sees remarkable benefits in contextualizing data and information on the web as well as a wide variety of use cases. Semsphere Certifications is one unique starting point that provides solid grounding in the area with a rigorous exam. The certifications are primarily at two levels which may be of interest to most developers: Specialist and a Professional. The third level is primarily for trainers. The two levels cover broadly the core areas of interest and technologies in Semantic Web:

30 September 2014

Publisher Content APIs

While ereaders are taking of in market, it seems only natural that publishers start opening up their content. Content APIs should be an attractive option for many publishers.  And, yet many appear to not avail such an option as part of their revenue model. Almost anything can be turned into a Content API. Content APIs can take many forms and include premium mashups that could be made available over the Apple AppStore or Google Play. Even providing a flat subscription pricing model over access to all ebooks is an attractive option for many readers and potentially an option for publishers too. As publishing for physical books alone is gradually becoming a dwindling business, many look for opening up new avenues for opportunities within their business streams. It is inevitable that publishing companies will need to look for alternatives to explore and widen their reach to survive in the competitive marketplace. Amazon has also made it difficult for many publishing companies to survive. One area where publishing companies are still going strong is in the lucrative education and research market. Ereaders not only need to be able to support many file formats but also multiple platforms. Even types of content needs to be flexible from magazines, comics, maps, to ebooks. Ereaders also need to provide premium features on top of just standard such as touch sensitive interfaces, collaborations and sharing, semantic tagging and annotations, bookmarks, outlines, light viewer, API customizations, audio support, as well as several other options. The drawback to physical books is usually that they go out of date, readers can also lose interest after having read it a few times, and it can cost a lot more as well as require the use of paper. Ebooks are convenient, flexible and as a result have become a phenomenon. However, the area for such ereaders is likely to also evolve into more flexible and rich environments. Publishers need to embrace the change or risk losing valuable business to a competitor that grabs the digital opportunity. 

27 September 2014

Hollywood Lackluster Movies

There was a time when Hollywood used to produce some explosive movies for which that name became synonymous and what made several studios a household name. Over the years the movie industry has been trailing undoubtedly lackluster movies making many wonder where all the good stories have gone. It seems the end is near for Hollywood if they do not get their act together and start producing better movies. Consumers have also become financially conscious. While the movie business ignores the consumer market and wonders on a one track mind towards making money, we can almost see the regrettable emerging in our mist as quality deteriorates in front of our very eyes.  It is funny how far the movie business has come, perhaps the industry has become all too arrogant and egotistic to rapture within its own aura of the past successes. One can witness the same results of actors and actresses, as soon as they win an Oscar they become more and more selective to the point that we do not see them anymore where they are almost reduced to obscurity. Entertainment is a very competitive business and the consumer market is aware and unforgiving. The constant changes in trends and tastes should provide creative minds the room to grow. Yet, the entertainment industry is non the wiser when it comes to the unknown and challenging the status quo. We often find ourselves sitting in front of the TV switching channels as there is rarely ever anything good on. On other occasions it is just repeats and an awful lot of adverts to infuse and confuse our minds. Quality stories and manuscripts are left in translation while people push and shove for the only way they know of making it big with hard cash. Creativity is challenged on a regular basis and often marginalized for many in a narrow road of opportunity. The web is rapidly growing in steam, on a daily basis, as entertainment continues to diverge towards the bountiful internet with its vibrant and ever growing room of opportunity for all. Even the options to watch videos have taken on many facades from the web of connectedness. Hollywood is still struggling to brace itself in an endless play for catchup to embrace technology. There are people now producing quality content on their own without the help of big production houses. Striking it big has taken many forms. Over time the forms that entertainment takes and the way it relates to garnish our emotions will also explode in a diverse spectrum of our creative imaginations. The human mind has no limits when it comes to creativity as long as there is a way to collaborate, share, and grow. Perhaps, it can be argued that content in whatever form it takes should be freely available so people could share and openly capitalize on it. Hollywood may just fade out in time into the ether of the ever growing forms of entertainment on the web like the ghost towns of Detroit.

26 September 2014


A potential devops contender is Rundeck which provides for a multitude of functionality for operational automation of applications. A minimalist user interface is all that is really needed for a hands-on developer and comes with batteries included from access control, to job scheduling, as well as defining entire workflows of commands and scripts that can work across nodes. Rundeck could facilitate the point of automation as a link between continuous integration and deployment. The platform even comes with an API and a diverse set of useful plugins. Finally, the services are free for use which is another mouth watering feature. 

25 September 2014

Top Python Web Frameworks

Python has emerged to be a major contender for mainstream web applications in the large. The language provides flexibility of libraries on both fronts from web application development to big data analytics. It is also an amazingly good integration language. For large applications, python can provide for reduction in maintenance nightmare in comparison to languages like Ruby, Perl, and even bloated Java code bases. The following web frameworks are quite popular and useful for a multitude of real-world application domains where performance, scalability, and flexibility of use are often the deciding factors.

Django - a full stack web framework providing fluid pragmatic designs
Flask - a minimalist and flexible microframework especially for restful applications
Twisted - an event-driven networking engine for low-level engineered applications
Tornado - a web framework and server with an asynchronous library for non-blocking IO
Cyclone - a framework built in concert with twisted and tornado for web applications
Pyramid - a plugin friendly web framework that tries to ease the development of web applications

A Walk Among The Tombstones

A Walk Among The Tombstones is yet another movie of the magnanimous Liam Neeson. However, viewers should be advised not to hold high expectations from the Taken actor. Although, Neeson is seen steering in a similar direction to rescuing a hapless woman, he lacks much anticipatory rigor of an action and combatant hero as we come to expect of his movies. The movie also mirrors some gruesome portrayals of violence against women, leaving one speechless in certain scenes, while cringing in others. Although, the movie starts in the right direction, it fails to capture the viewer in a half-hearted and almost miserable climax development, not to mention the seemingly unconvincing presence of the Neeson's character.

15 September 2014

Miss America 2014

This marks another barrier breaking moment in American history when an Indian wins the Miss America 2014 contest. Or, atleast that is how so many Americans viewed it on social media. It also ear marks the fact that bigotry is still alive and well in America even after so many years. For whatever reasons, people seem to automatically assume that if the person is non-white then they must be both muslim, foreign, arab, and possibly even terrorists. This is also the typical manner in which non-whites are profiled in America. Americans in the mainstream often appear to enjoy their stereotypes and still class themselves as one of the most progressive. Enjoying one's freedom does not mean to trample over other peoples' right to the same ideals. Most people forget that almost every American had an ancestry that were migrants to the country.  To be an American, often being born there or being nationalized should be enough as the country has always been a melting pot of backgrounds and traditions. One should also question what exactly are American values? Only an American Indian can be classed as a native to the land. What right does anyone else have claim to the land? When the whites invaded America they not only brought hatred against the American Indians and reduced their land ownership but they also reigned in decades of slavery. The American history is not very idyllic and filled with hatred for non-whites from the very beginning of the first settlers. In fact, the history is riddled with embarrassment in the eyes of many Americans that would rather forget and move on. Aside from fact, that the Miss America 2014 winner was born in America, should one really be left with any doubt. Do non-whites not have a right to winning international contests or even the right to live in America? Is being an American only skin deep? Perhaps, one should ask an American Indian such a question.

10 September 2014

Apple iPhone

The iPhone has become one of the most revolutionary mobile technologies of today with an endearing and impenetrable mark on the mobile industry. It has not only changed completely the way we view mobile phones but also added a new dimension to visual aesthetics combined with simple functional features. Sleek and intuitive functional designs as part of feature rich smart phones are now the main stay of the mobile industry. As it marks the introduction of the iPhone 6 we can reflect on the history and embark on a joy ride into the past. For many, it is a solemn experience when owning an iPhone, not only has it become a symbol of coolness but also has a premium value in the second hand market.  In past, it used to be the iPhone reshaping consumer experiences of a smart phone. However, many new players have also entered the market to compete. The iOS also competes against Android. In time, it has emerged into consumers reshaping and challenging iPhone experiences with their developed tastes and demands for features and functionality. If the iPhone is to continue its successes of the past, it will need to satisfy consumers from all new releases of today. One major obstacle in path of Apple would be of making sure releases are properly quality assured. Bad publicity could not only effect sales against competitors but threaten the established confidence, loyalty, and regard that consumers hold for Apple products. The mobile industry is a competitive market. It seems the one natural step for iPhones of the future is to transition from a smart phone into more intelligent, visually appealing, versatile, and ubiquitous devices. While, Semantic Web could hold the key to making all those things possible in context. 

History of the iPhone
Apples iPhone a history in pictures
apple iphone design history
iphone history pictures
iPhone Infographics

9 September 2014

API Design

API designs have emerged into formal data model approaches. They may formally define the APIs using markdown or JSON, allowing one to describe the interfaces and models. In this manner, it facilitates communication, provides a way to mock API designs, test a specification, as well as have a maintainable documentation. In a semantic web scenario, JSON-LD may even provide a more formal approach for understanding linked resources in a flexible manner. A few popular API design approaches are mentioned below.
  • API Blueprint - life cycle documentation of APIs with plenty of tooling
  • Swagger - A specification framework for producing, describing, consuming, and visualizing services with active documentation.
  • RAML - a modeling language for RESTful services for describing APIs in a formal way for reuse, discovery, sharing, as well as utilizing extensible best practices.
  • HAL - easy way to hyperlink between resources in APIs using hypermedia

7 September 2014

Big Data Graph Processing

The web with its many hyperlinked documents is a massive graph network for interlinks. Such links provide big data complexities for processing. There are many use cases for where graph processing becomes essential from contextual ads to social network analysis to even linked data. Processing such graphs in the large still remains a challenge even with its many data forms. However, graph processing from standard graph theory and network science has provided many advances for Big Data. The functional programming approaches have also facilitated more robust solutions. In OLTP, it is about the processing low-latency of workloads for accessing small portions of graphs. In OLAP, it is about batch processing workloads for accessing large portions of graphs. A graph can be stored in a specific graph database or even a column store such as Accumulo or Cassandra. They can even be stored on the HDFS. Real-time processing of graphs is also a challenge. In general, standard NoSQL stores will be able to cope with limited lookups and small number of traversals at scale. For complex traversals over the Web of Data, it would require alternative and even combined approaches for scalable batch processing in a distributed way. The below provide some options for frameworks in the big data graph processing.

Titan / Faunas
GraphLab / GraphChi

6 September 2014


An alternative distributed document store is RethinkDB which is slowly emerging in the mainstream NoSQL environment. However, it is still very much in its infancy for it to be viable as a stable database for any production use. The general trend in NoSQL approaches is towards providing amalgamation of features and tools, big data integration as well as management simplicity for scalability requirements. Restrictive license often also poses a hurdle for many businesses who are looking to scale out of relational database schema. It seems the door into NoSQL implementation is getting wider and wider with a growing plethora of options, features, and language bindings. But, with such a vast options becomes all the more critical in selecting the right database.  RethinkDB is an approach to bind all the good things between Cassandra and CouchDB into one database implementation. It is questionable as to what really one classes as positives for CouchDB. One reason why CouchDB was forked into Couchbase was as a way of harnessing a more stable approach with utilization of Memcache. More often than not, businesses will opt for a MongoDB solution over CouchDB. RethinkDB in time could offer an alternative over MongoDB. There is still a lot that appears to be needed with RethinkDB in terms of native Java support for it to be endorsed into production grade deployments. Also, more use cases of production ready deployments would provide for more community and industry driven insights. RethinkDB, as the name suggests, is a rethink in all things related to document store design philosophy of today and what it can be in the future, without compromising on the good parts.

a comparison of mongodb and rethinkdb with patent data
comparing mongodb and rethinkdb bulk insert performance
rethinkdb vs mongodb
rethinkdb a qualitative review

1 September 2014

Rubbish And Senseless People

Some people have strange ways. Why is it when there is literally a bin close by that some feel the need to leave their rubbish right next to it rather than actually putting it in the bin. It is alarming the way some people display their lack of sense. Even in public people feel the need to litter on the ground when there are plenty of litter bins around. One would imagine that in a western society people would have more sense. And, yet in residential accommodations there is always someone that feels the need to take their rubbish and leave it right on ground next to the bin as if to invite rodents. On other occasions we find a total lack of sense with the types of things people seem to want to throw away in rubbish bags. One can find the odd student in city disposing of ice in a rubbish bag and it is times like those when one feels education truly does not work on some individuals. Perhaps, it is time that we started enforcing stricter penalties for littering in public. There are plenty of public cameras about. Why not do it like Singapore and raise the bar to a penalty fine for public littering. On weekends one can find empty bottles everywhere. Is it any wonder why rodents love being around people and living in cities as there is just so much rubbish. Even the collection of rubbish is so inefficient that it is usually the time when almost everyone displays their immense refuge outside their house. Maybe, councils and districts should demand houses start having their own disposable methods. It is a strange effect that towns breed close knit neighborhoods while cities breed distant and more individualism among people. There needs to be better waste management in place in our communities that allows us a way to reuse our refuge for fuel. There is also so much of rubbish that can be given to shelters and charities where people are struggling to make ends meet and do not even have the luxury to throw things away. Cities often times breed selfish uncaring human instincts, which is a direct result of the capitalist ideals. Science is failing waste disposal as a renewable resource. 

30 August 2014

When Not To Use Hadoop

Hadoop has become a necessity for almost all analytical applications that have huge data processing requirements. It also offers an open source flexibility as well as a range of subprojects to facilitate processing, ingestion, and downstreaming of input/outputs. However, Hadoop is not appropriate for all business applications. Often times a first litmus test when deciding to use Hadoop should be to answer a few specific questions around loading and processing of data. If one can load the data in a standard database without much problems then surely Hadoop is not really the way to go. Is a few hundred MB size dataset for processing a business case for Hadoop? What about a few hundred GB of datasets? It is also not a replacement for standard databases. In general, Hadoop has problems dealing with small files. So, having large number of small files is going to be suboptimal for Hadoop compared to large number of large files for processing. This is primarily why the platform works of a MapReduce approach and why the underlining layer is HDFS as standard approaches are just unable to handle such large data processing efficiently, albeit at a cost. Also, working with XML/RDF type of data will pose much problems and require pre-processing for deserialization to other processing formats such as SequenceFilesAvro, Protocol Buffers, and Thrift. Hadoop is also not appropriate for direct real-time processing needs. Although, stream processing has become available. It is most appropriate for as a flexible data warehouse where generally static data is stored for analysis rather than a rapidly changing dataset. It is useful for merging and unlocking large amounts of corporate and even web data from various data sources and providing analytical processing for useful insights and filtering to other systems. Hadoop in the cloud can save much headache for operations management. However, it still requires a careful strategy in the management of an appropriate cluster and capacity planning over namenodes. Otherwise, costs can invariably get out of hand in the cloud very quickly due to high computational processing requirements of Big Data.  The term Big Data also needs some clarity. Datasets in the order of terabytes and petabytes at web scale are aptly classed as Big Data where not only one is working with unstructured data but also size of data is so huge that it could not sensibly fit into a standard data architecture for continuous processing. Hadoop here could work wonderfully with HBase as a storage layer for the unstructured data and then filter more structured data downstream to other more appropriate systems. Increasingly, NoSQL approaches have also started to provide their own equivalent support for MapReduce. For example, MongoDB provides a MapReduce functionality and with its varying use cases, it is also widely used for real-time advertising. Although, MapReduce on MongoDB may not be in any comparison to the level of processing that could be done on Hadoop at scale. One obviously needs to understand firstly their data, and secondly what they plan to do with it. The below links provide further views on why Hadoop may not be the right approach for solving particular business problems.

Mule In Perspective

Service Oriented Architectures are big step towards integration of disparate systems. However, over time the approach of Web Services have branched out from SOAP to REST. There have also emerged many integration approaches from component to mediators as well as full enterprise service bus. Almost every software engineering area has a significant set of design patterns in which to approach large scale solutions. Mule has over the years become a strong contender in the enterprise service bus area. It provides a very open and holistic approach to integration, facilitated by connectors as well as a visual flow mechanisms. However, the platform does have its many quirks and drawbacks that leaves one wondering whether quality assurance was compromised over the sake of releases. The visual flow mechanism is also a very buggy and limiting perspective for a developer who may want to directly utilize XML to gain flexibility. Also, even their training course instructors dispel many truths to significant buggy areas of the platform especially within the Mule Studio. One has to really get their head around the whole idea of visual flows and how to wire them in the most optimized and efficient way. Using Mule most likely will also lead to vendor lock in as well as complexities when it comes to upgrading versions from which backward compatibility of flow components can only be left as questionable. These days one rarely has a full need for such heavy weight enterprise service bus within enterprise architectures. Often using mediators and such can be sufficient. Loose coupling is paramount for service oriented delivery of business applications. However, using Mule one could question whether loose coupling comes at a cost of excessive XML and rigid methods in implementation. These days even integration services provide for multiple forms of functionality towards the full Big Data support for ETL. Although, Mule does support batch processing, one could argue that such implementations should really be separate from the use of ESB. Alternatives, that can provide for a more flexible option for integration include Camel in comparison to Mule, even if they strictly speaking cater to different functional domains. Utilizing Mule in new projects and within large teams could require an investment in time. But, one is always left wondering whether using such a technology is perhaps just over engineering on the problem which can better be solved through more loosely coupled approaches and even a wide range of open source libraries.

23 August 2014


What is the point of a cheerleader? Well, essentially as the title says they are supposed to lead the crowd, into a cheer, for their team, during a sporting game. However, the whole aspect of cheerleading has turned into an almost gratuitous and sexualized activity as well as pretty much a sexist affair, during certain sporting events. One would wonder, in a modern society where women are looking for equal rights, should they really be taking on such professions to begin with? One also would wonder as to why male cheerleaders get frowned upon and are quite uncommon as a result. It can be the same way stated towards why so many women choose to go into such unwieldy professions only to later claim for more feminist ideals of equality.  Cheerleading is not a high paying profession, so why do so many women find it interesting compared to modelling where they could command comparatively higher pay scales? Are they just looking to be discovered? Is cheerleading a way for them to head into more seedy professions? Are there no real professions available for women in our society? Are such women just craving for attention and popularity? Or, can this be seen more of an animal instinct where women try to attract the most able of men. It appears to be about equality when it suits them. Should men still be expected to hold doors for women as gentlemen were expected to do of the past? Should women be expected more and more to look after themselves? We still find the gold digger analogy where women with no real ambitions other than to find a wealthy man that can provide for them. In what way is this describing equality of women? Perhaps, such ideals of some women taints the bigger picture of what most women actually want out of society. Obviously, it would be unfair to generalize. It is an undeniable fact that cheerleading makes sporting events interesting and entertaining. Models in adverts are also often used to entice consumers. Models are also used for fashion to showcase new designs. Many do feel that a female body is an art form that should be celebrated. However, where does one draw the line between what is equality and what is deemed as hypocritical?

Semantic Pricing

For many businesses it is critical to have an accurate price to sell their products and services. It also provides them a measure of profitability and growth as well as an indicator of optimization of the balance between pricing right to offset supply and demand. One needs to understand competitors in the market as well as to measure consumer demand, and then to calculate the optimal price. As a result, companies often use complicated pricing analytics as consumer markets can change on a daily basis. Ecommerce is a major mover in pricing analytics and there are plenty of specialized software catered to provide such services for decision makers. However, it seems one could even benefit with more semantic pricing of goods and services in markets. Furthermore, Semantic Web with Linked Data could provide for a more connected form of real-time pricing that can impact the business in a positive way on a daily basis. Semantics add more context which is often needed for business strategy and forecasting. Semantic pricing could also come into effect within locals and regions of consumer markets. Semantic Pricing can also add more granularity to seasonal and holiday variances as well as based on variations in promotions and deals.

HarperCollins OpenBook API

HarperCollins have been focusing more recently on ebooks. And, as a next pivotal step they have unleashed the OpenBooks API to provide access for everyone to take ownership in creativity to author their own books as well as build interesting mashups. Although, still in beta it is provided as both Data API and Content API making it very much a flexible in the scope of future functionality. Perhaps, an added bonus here could be the use of OData services as well as Semantic Web. Maybe, even exposing metadata annotations and linking through more articulated eReaders. There is even scope here for providing a JSONLD format for graphical linked data of concepts and relations of stories. Another, creative step the project could take, is towards building out a collaboration platform for shared story creation as an access point for editors, writers, readers, and publishers. An intelligent editor assistant would be quite valuable in this respect to guide writers into specific story structure, plot lines, appropriate character building, and even creative endings. In such manner, the intelligent assistant could be taught to learn the patterns of successful stories and guide the proliferation of new story structures with adaptive editing. Often, the start to a story could involve a deep brainstorming session itself for which intelligent agents could provide much guided support. Collaborative filtering for recommendations could be yet another way for which writers, readers and publishers could endeavor towards successful story development. Publishing companies also can benefit from sentiment analysis in understanding the moving trends of reader interests over the web but also to understand reader opinions on their products as well as brands. Such analysis could also help for market engagement towards connecting more socially with the reading community to not only increase interest in books but also to provide a point of knowledge about consumer intents. Furthermore, the web in all its social forms could provide for a focal view for predictive analytics on the success of a particular book.


Stirfry can be the most appetizing meal. It is also one type of meal that provides for an unlimited variety for creativity and flavors all wrapped into one. It is also a very healthy and easy to make. For many, the increasingly time and budget constraints as well as the health conscious consumer, a stirfry could be an ideal meal for a mouth watering mix of tasty flavors and something that is fresh as well as can be topped with a nice bottle of wine. Such meals also are flexible and adaptable for singles, small to large families with children, as well as party friendly. The appetizing meal can go down well with any dessert and even a side starter. All one really needs is a mixed set of ingredients, the thrill of using a wok, and a mouthful of taste buds to satisfy.

18 August 2014


Microsoft have never been all that great with internet. And, with their leap into big data and platform as a service cloud, they have tried to embark on yet another ambitious feat. However, the Azure platform leaves one desiring more and yet not getting enough of the basics. The fundamentals are lacking especially the aspects that are supposed to make platform as services seamless. One not only has to find their way around the maze of user interface iconic interactions, but also to keep playing around with access logins. The credential side of it alone should make one wonder off back to the AWS for good. One also is expected to utilize the ugly looking PowerShell. Not to mention it would be quite laughable if they were running Big Data services on Windows based commodity hardware. Windows is a guarantee show stopper for most cloud based services. Especially, Semantic Web and Linked Data services will be dragging in performance if run in such a manner. For many, Linux and Unix are the default standard to have on the Cloud environment. Azure attempts to provide support for Linux, Python, and even Java. However, to what degree are we going to see their support team keep doing their salesman pitch at customers every time they decide to opt out of the .Net environment. Also, giving up on Windows in the cloud would imply Microsoft have finally accepted defeat that the OS is inferior to Linux and Unix. For all intents and purposes, Azure is really only good for the .Net based developers and businesses. One will often find Heroku, Google, and even Amazon open for comparison with Azure. However, one often finds an Azure support team totally besides themselves, often bewildered, and perplexed over why a customer would even dare mention these other cloud providers. There is a rare level of arrogance that behooves the Microsoft brand and all the products that come with it. Yet, over time they are failing by miles to play catch up with the likes of Apple, Google, Amazon, and even Oracle.

16 August 2014

Semantic Web For DevOps

Semantic Web can unleash a whole spectrum of insights for devops teams from rich semantics in real-time monitoring to even connected architectures. It can provide an entire new dimensional view of the enterprise system and a way to organize events, logs, and even jobs. It could even provide a new outlook of linked automations for the cloud. And, even management of deployments and libraries could be unleashed with semantics. It seems organizations still hold back on the new ways of doing things and seem to stick with the usual ways of approaching their architectural complexities. Overtime, organizations that take on Semantic Web, as part of their architecture, will be ready for the future. There is much to be gained when businesses actively control costs in the cloud and where mission critical aspects are often the order of the day. Web 3.0 is getting closer and closer to reality in many domains. And, as projects converge we are bound to see a breaking point of when such approaches become the standard and not just the perennial for research.


Rest.li is yet another Restful approach to development which provides a holistic view to an entire end-to-end architecture. It has been developed by the Linkedin engineering team. The features are so rich that even a directed link to their site can provide an entire informational spectrum of documentation.

Awesome Libraries

Each programming language has its on flavor and community for which a diverse set of libraries emerge. Libraries are useful for developers as they provide for reuse for solving specific implementation needs as well as a way of building on the shoulders of giants through a more stable solution. At times, hunting through the web in search of good libraries can be quite problematic and time consuming. One wants a way of amalgamating all the libraries and frameworks associated to a particular language in one place for easy access which can also be regularly updated. Although, such lists may not be fully exhaustive. The following is a shared list of curated open source libraries specific to a programming language.




RESTX is a relatively new and interesting approach to Restful API. It up scales on performance by utilizing a custom built dependency injection container. It also provides a feature rich as well as modular approach to pluggable development for meeting the flexibility needs of any business domain requirements. There is even a useful API docs built in, as well as developer friendly testing and an admin console. There is also a very unique integration with MongoDB. Although, it does not limit one to a specific backend. 

2 August 2014

Organizational Ethics

It is time that organizations had a separate department to study the moral and ethical dilemmas of employees and their employers as well as the business practices. Such departments could be spin-off from compliance and even their governance services. We live in a growing capitalist economy where businesses are dictated with shareholder value without the forethought or care for either employees or customers for that matter. We need to strive for more ethically run businesses that have their own internal audit department for which scrutiny for compliance can be provided in a fair manner and with an established code of conduct. Also, such departments can track employee ethics both internally and externally to combat discrimination in the workplace but also to protect the reputation of the business as a whole. Such departments could also act as third-party mediators that can handle a whole suite of investigation for which the manager or a human resources time may be wasted. While formal and publicly run organizations for such may not be an answer, more thorough approaches need to be taken to protect the rights of employees as well as employers in the workplace. A linked data approach to integrated ethical boundaries could also be a stepping stone in a more interconnected direction. Reducing staff as a way of cutting back on cost of businesses seems to be an almost typical answer from management who may ultimately be the real culprit to bare the blame for the missed performance. It seems for many businesses, fairness goes out the door soon as it starts losing money on the balance sheets. However, it is usually such practices that not only lead to more mistakes and dire performance consequences but also distaste from current as well as former employees. Institutional discrimination in the workplace is also a big dilemma that is often overlooked. Also, another aspect crucial to businesses is whether 'something is the right thing to do given the current circumstances' is also an ethical aspect that many organizations lack in their internal processes as well as part of their strategy. Perhaps, it is time in civilized societies we started caring more for our environment, our employees, and not just for shareholder value. This will not only help businesses take responsibility for their actions but also be held accountable both to their employees, customers, as well as within the global space of things for their cumulative effects to an economy.

28 July 2014

PaaS 2014

Cloud services are becoming a competitive landscape both for developers and businesses. Each solution has its own advantages, unique stickiness factor, and drawbacks. The variety of services and providers on offer in the market makes the decision all the more difficult. One obviously has to weigh out the pros and cons of each unique set of requirements. The following links may help in deciding on which way to lean for either the business, the individual developer, and even a newcomer to the cloud way of doing things.

27 July 2014


Lemonade is the ultimate thirst quencher for humid and hot weather. Not only is it a delight on the taste buds but it also has many medicinal benefits. In the times that we live in, lemonade can be the natural drink of choice to cleanse the body of toxins. There are just so many amazingly good recipes around for making lemonade and the many ways in which one can embellish on the flavor. There really should be more open lemonade stands scattered around big cities to cool people of their busy lives in the hot weather. For many it also brings nostalgic memories of childhood of the time when lemonade stands provided the first passage into experiencing the cycle of sales and business during the holiday season. While for others, it may mean the time of family gatherings. A few drink ideas and recipe links are included below.

20 July 2014

Linked Data For Organizations

Often organizations have many business units or functional departments. At times, such departments are working in effect separate from one another without little to no sharing of knowledge. Interdepartmental interaction is vital in todays business organizations not only for efficiencies but also for controlling risk. As we move into the Web 3.0 era and into more use of HTML5, we are gradually going to witness an emergence of semantic web on the internet. It is only plausible to assume that while many organizations run their own intranets that such internal systems will also be interlinked in a semantic web, adding much value to the business and providing a means for better engagements as well as insight into business productivity. In a lot of organizations service-oriented architecture is already the main stay of how applications and services are designed. By extending this model into a more resource friendly approach, one can easily move towards a more linked data based enterprise. Once enterprises have their interdepartments interlinked semantically, they could look to harnessing better business partnerships in a web of data. Thus, such interlinked business partnerships can allow for better synergy and cost effective means for all businesses involved. Security could also be managed internally as to what types of information is exposed. Object orientation already provides options for information hiding and encapsulation. Such approaches can be taken further to represent the encapsulation of data sharing. One could then query interdepartmental and even in B2B/B2C contexts using a SPARQL endpoint to facilitate flexibility of access to information. Although, compliance and governance may still be a requirement for many organizations which may already be met through their existing SOA implementations. Linked data can prove useful for organizations as many look to cost cutting measures, outsourcing, increasing customer engagement, improving business partnerships, attaining better business performance, as well as gaining insights into their market position. Linked data all in all would extend towards a smarter connected organization and a smarter place to work.

Semantic Nature

Understanding our Earth is important as it provides for valuable answers. Nature provides us a means of developing cures as well as a way of understanding our place on Earth. As humans we want to be able to track all the living things on Earth and develop a connection with them. Nature also provides a huge amount of data on human life and the transitive effects overtime. Taking inspiration from Noah could be one form of improving on the Linnaeus taxonomy schema and providing a universal Semantic Web of Nature. This would allow for a linked data for scientists and the development of connected services for much needed research. One could then also utilize the open community on modifications to a type as new species and sub-species are discovered, similar in approach to Freebase and Wikipedia. Knowledge discovery in such a connected manner would allow for a multitude of research options for collaboration and interconnected sharing of both interests and findings. Often having two of each is enough to build a taxonomy similar to the Noah's Ark. Also, linked data on nature and wildlife would enable more applications in tracking animal behavior patterns as well as when they become at risk of extinction. Even total population counts through animal tagging can be semantically enabled. Perhaps, even the approach to Internet of Things would take ubiquity of applications to new heights. One could even build a taxonomy of animal communication and provide for natural language parsers in this domain. Semantic Web holds the key to unlocking a lot of the untapped potential of machines of today in providing for much needed intelligence for smart applications, especially for the real-world, where problems not only have complexities in uncertainty but also in multiple dimensions. There is much that we still do not know about the world we live in. The more we are able to contextualize and utilize machines for reasoning, the more we become productive and efficient in discovering knowledge.

19 July 2014

Open Source ETL

ETL Tools are fundamental these days to an enterprise data workflow process especially as part of data integration. Firstly, data is extracted from external sources. The data is then transformed through a quality assurance process to meet specific needs. The data is then loaded to the target database. With extensive and diverse big data needs, the role of ETL tools has become ever more important for data processing requirements. There are plenty of commercial and open source tools in the market. Sometimes designing one's own solution suffices over a third party option. The below is a list of tools and libraries that may be available open source alternatives with their own unique approaches and limitations. One can also always utilize the cloud especially AWS EMR for same purpose of ETL.

16 July 2014

Metadata And Catalogs

Book publishing is a big business. However, overtime it has become more and more competitive both because of Amazon but also because of more people looking to use eBooks. Cataloging is often also a major focal aspect to libraries. Therefore, there is an aspect of downstream as well as upstream of workflow. Metadata is critical to most such publishing and cataloging endeavors. There have been many evolving metadata initiatives on the horizon both in past, current, and for the future. Also, many community works, especially in research, are also incorporating open metadata aspects with annotations. In long run, linked data will prove to be quite useful for connecting publishers and various libraries in a web of interconnected data for access. There may even be a synergy between publishers, libraries, educators, and learners as each plays a role in the various workflow process. Such aspects will also bring with them many challenges of data integration. The below links provide for much fuel for thought in the area as well as the way things in the area are moving towards.