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: