Tuesday, December 21, 2010

links for 2010-12-21: Thoughts on Java stewardship; Losing your automotive anonymity

Friday, December 17, 2010

links for 2010-12-17: Invisible open-source; Oracle Apps on EC2; Pirate or DRM; Netflix on AWS

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

links for 2010-12-15: Microsoft at crossroads; OpenJDK for OS X; Java lawsuits; Oracle Cloud Office

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

links for 2010-12-14: IBM's Watson to play Jeopardy; FreeBSD on EC2; Data on Hudson/Kohsuke; Open data

Saturday, December 11, 2010

links for 2010-12-11: Oracle 'anti-competitive'; Linux on SPARC; McNealy Speaks; Air Force bans removable media

Thursday, November 11, 2010

links for 2010-11-11: Oracle raises MySQL pricing; ASF draws line in sand over JCP; WS-I completes their journey; PG West Notes

  • Oracle kills low-priced MySQL support - This had been rumored and was expected, but now we know the details.  The lowest priced offerings are gone, Standard Edition at $2K/yr now the cheapest, differentiation between editions is now with different add-ons, not level of support, and a server is limited to 4 sockets.  Note that if you weren't buying the cheapest offering, the prices haven't really increased.
  • ASF Statement on JCP - Same issue as there has been for awhile, but now saying they'll withdraw if not addressed.
  • Microsoft and IBM web-control war finally silenced - Interesting read on the motivations for WS-I and entertaining quip on SOA: "WS-* and the WS-I paved the way for the Service Oriented Architectures (SOAs) bubble, a cacophony of hype about a set of systems that could never be delivered but paid the wages of consultants and enterprise vendors, and involved some kind of choreography wrapped in a portal."
  • Ex-Red Hatters eye Larry's MySQL wobblers
  • Ex-Sun boss gives Ellison open-source wedgie

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

links for 2010-10-27: Netflix moves to AWS; RedMonk Analytics; Google Docs Charting; Apple alienating their users

Friday, October 22, 2010

links for 2010-10-22: AWS free for a year; PostgreSQL vs MySQL; Stacking the JCP election; Java on OS X; What Steve could have said; Adivce to Oracle regarding Java

Thursday, October 21, 2010

links for 2010-10-21: Apple deprecates Java; Apple announces OS X Lion ... 11 months off?; NYC adopts Microsoft Cloud; EnterpriseDB Postgres TCO calculator

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

links for 2010-10-20: SkySQL forking?; IBM, Oracle, and Java; Linux catching Microsoft; Developer Intelligence; Twitter predicts stocks; McNealy at PG West

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

links for 2010-10-19: Twitter stats; Windows Phone 7; AWS Management Console adds SNS support

  • Replies and Retweets on Twitter - Some interesting stats, love the data.  Are you surprised the retweets/replies are that high or do you think it was higher?
  • Windows Phone 7 - Seems like an uphill climb in the phone market but tablet market could be a place to grow share.
  • AWS Management Console Now Supports Amazon SNS - I didn't mind using the command line tools, in fact they are preferred in many cases, but adding support to the Management Console GUI is a nice addition.

Monday, October 11, 2010

links for 2010-10-10: If Oracle and MySQL had a child; AWS weakness a strength?; JavaOne content will cost you; Android revolution; Short-term focus hurts R&D

Friday, October 8, 2010

links for 2010-10-08: More on MySQL price hikes; Jaspersoft predicts Java/MySQL resurgence; Salesforce.com adds REST APIs

Thursday, October 7, 2010

links for 2010-10-7: IE market share dips below 50%; Analysis of Google's response to Oracle; SQL and Big Data

Monday, October 4, 2010

links for 2010-10-04: Forking of Java; Stewardship of Java

  • Is it time to fork Java? - Clearly disappointed by JavaOne (JavaHalf?), Greg proposes "Lava".
  • Time to fork Java? - Sacha's response.  Provides some good history on the issues and highlights Oracle's flip-flopping positions.  "when ORCL’s lawyers have the same opinion two-weeks in a row, the only conclusion you can draw is that they changed their mind an even number of times."
  • Java: The Unipolar Moment - James points out many instances where single vendor stewardship is not the norm and why that can't be the case for Java.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

links for 2010-10-02: WebP saves bandwidth over JPEG; Java, OSGi, Oracle, and more;

Thursday, September 30, 2010

links for 2010-09-30: Gosling on JavaOne; MySQL prices going up; Gmail capitulates; MySQL vs PostgreSQL performance; PHP SDK for AWS

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

links for 2010-09-28: OpenOffice.org forked into LibreOffice; Free Software Defenders; Platform as a Service Adoption

  • LibreOffice: A fresh page for OpenOffice - As other open-source projects from Sun have been terminated, kept as tokens for the community, or left to wither away with no investment (the list includes OpenESB, OpenSSO, Mural, OpenSolaris, and more), it isn't a surprise to see a spinoff from OpenOffice but this is one that certainly has more visibility as it is actually software end-users use.  It will be interesting to see how things play out and if Oracle joins and grants use of the name.
  • OpenOffice goes its own way - Another story on the subject.  Oracle has not commented yet but IBM has although with no commitment one way or the other.  Google, Novell, Ubuntu, and others are supporting the foundation.  See the FAQ too.
  • The Defenders of Free Software - Interesting read.  I have no doubt that there are 100s of violations or improper use of open-source out there.
  • Platform as a Service: Current vs Future Returns - Everyone says it is a matter of time until enterprises are on the Cloud, but how long will it be before more than Amazon style IaaS is accepted?

Monday, September 27, 2010

links for 2010-09-27: Benioff fires back at Larry; PostgreSQL vs MySQL Performance; Droid X Dumping

  • Salesforce's Benioff: "Clouds aren't in a box" - A host of great one-liners, a couple of the best:
    • “The cloud is a multi-tenant shared architecture that runs on a pay-as-you-go model,” not a million dollars just to get started.
    • We’re not going to show you computers taller than you. We’re not going to show you a cloud in a box because clouds aren’t in a box. They never were. That’s the whole idea.
  • Database speed tests (mysql and postgresql) - part 1 - It doesn't appear to be tuned much at all, but interesting results nonetheless.  MySQL 5x slower?
  • Why I dumped my Droid - What leading smart phone doesn't have battery issues?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

links for 2010-09-21: Amazon Hiding in Plain Sight; PostgreSQL 9.0 released; iPad good for two things; Oracle and HP make up; Unbreakable Enterprise Linux kernel performance doubts

Monday, September 20, 2010

links for 2010-09-20: Flight data in Google Earth; PostgreSQL performance fixing; Browser war hurting us?; Oracle's new Cloud definition

Thursday, September 16, 2010

links for 2010-09-16: Android benchmarks; Android market share up; AWS Linux AMI; Password resuse

Monday, September 13, 2010

links for 2010-09-13: iPhone Flash tool back on; YouTube goes live; Android Leaderboard

Thursday, September 9, 2010

links for 2010-09-09: NetApp vs Sun/Oracle quietly resolved; Developer vs CIO perspective; Apple relaxes restrictions

Friday, September 3, 2010

links for 2010-09-03: Google not at JavaOne; Historical NASA pictures

Monday, August 30, 2010

links for 2010-08-30: Background on Oracle vs Google; Google won't be at JavaOne; YouTube movies?; US Open tennis starts today

Friday, August 27, 2010

links for 2010-08-27: Apple going after jailbreakers; Google integrates voice into Gmail; Happy Birthday EC2; QWERTY Face-off

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Trying out Liferay 6 CE

As part of some work I'm doing I've been working with Joomla for a corporate web-site and it works great, but I wanted to see what other Content Management Systems had to offer and so decided to give Liferay a spin.

Liferay is launching version 6 Enterprise Edition in September, but thanks to being in open-source the Community Edition is available now.  I grabbed the Tomcat bundle of version 6.0.5 CE and got started.

Making bundles available (there are bundles for other containers including GlassFish, JBoss, Jetty, etc.) makes installation a snap.  Just download, unzip and run the startup script.  On my laptop, after a bit over a minute I had a running Liferay installation.

Thanks to a few pointers and instructions from Paul Hinz, I was off and running configuring Liferay and creating some pages.  Since I was primarily interested in creating a web-site, after trying some basics, I went to the Web Content Management section to give its capabilities a spin.

This is not intended to be a comparison with Joomla, but right away there was a different paradigm.  Rather than navigate an administrative interface to create pages, content, and lay things out, with Liferay one simply logs in, navigates the site, and a few extra controls are available to do all the edits you need.  This is probably a personal preference item but I like the Liferay approach better.

For now, I'm simply using the default Liferay theme, although I decided I didn't like the breadcrumbs it had so went in and hacked that out of the template.  I'll have to take a look at create templates properly in the future.

Liferay is a portal, not just a CMS, so there are a host of portlets and components you can add to your pages.  But even for just building a web-site the default theme has nice pull down menus, a configurable navigation portlet, and a simple and convenient way to add new pages and content.  Want to add a page?  Click a button to manage the page, click the Children tab, enter a name for the new page, and that's it.

Adding content to a page is just as easy.  Open the Add pull down menu, pick the component to add and position it on the page.  When creating a web-site, you'll usually be adding the Web Content Display component.  Once added, you can either link to and edit existing content to display, or create new content in a nice editor.

But even when creating "just" a web-site, you can add other components like wikis and blogs, although my installation gave me errors when trying to post new content to either.  I'll have to visit the forums to see if it is a known issue.

As far as resources, being a Java EE app Liferay is somewhat hungry.  Running on Linux, with the use above creating a web-site the Java process is using about 400 MB of RAM.  It also isn't terribly speedy starting up, but that may be more of a Tomcat issue.  On my old slow Linux server (dual 450 MHz Pentium), it takes a whopping 6 minutes to start.  But on a dual core MacBook Pro it takes about 80 seconds.

To compare performance and memory, I did grab the GlassFish bundle and start it up, but ran into a few issues.  First, the bundle didn't have the right permissions on some scripts and then once started, Liferay doesn't appear to be installed or working as all I get is a GlassFish "your server is running" page.  I'd pursue it more but am fine with using Tomcat.

Stay tuned, I'll share more and perhaps will have a live site to point you to soon.

Friday, August 20, 2010

links for 2010-08-20: Ellison to hire Hurd?; Laptop reliability survey; Google thwarted by California; Oracle vs Google on Java; Cloud data offers intelligence; Ubuntu advantages over Windows and OS X

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

links for 2010-08-17: Future of JavaFX; OpenSolaris is dead

  • Enterprise Applications are Good Candidates for Using JavaFX - Highlights the pros/cons of JavaFX and gives it 6-12 months to address the cons.
  • Oracle apparently shuts doors on OpenSolaris - It isn't a surprise, but is unfortunate.  With source code only making it to the community after the commercial Solaris is released, it appears Solaris is now headed for "Visible Source", not open source.  Some of the comments are telling; "Here I was just getting started with OpenSolaris for my home server because of ZFS and all the wonderful features it has. I had figured if I can make it work at home, I would try to bring it in to the company. Now that OpenSolaris is dead and it looks like Solaris is encumbered with support licenses I don’t know how easy it will be to have them switch."

Monday, July 26, 2010

links for 2010-07-26: Phillips claim of acquisitions not true?; LA's move to Google hits a few road bumps; "Mac guy" no longer Apple fanboy?; Dell drops Ubuntu

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Visualizing your data with Tableau Public

As I've written before, I have a passion for data and oftentimes, particularly with large amounts of data, visualizing it is an extremely important part of understanding it.

As part of my computer ratings, I've created performance charts for awhile now and they are very useful in being able to see how a team has performed and any trends there may be.  You can see examples from my 2010 Superbowl Preview or BCS Championship Preview.

I've created these using Google Charts using a series of scripts to extract the data from my ratings system and format it into the appropriate URLs, but after learning about Tableau Public I've been wanting to give it a shot to see if it was easier or offered other benefits and with summer arriving finally had a chance to.

I created the charts for a few teams from last years college football season and the process was very straight-forward.  All I had to do was to create a CSV file of my data, import it into Tableau Public Desktop, then with a little drag and drop and configuration, create the charts.  It is then simple to publish to the web.  Here it is (click the image to get a full screen version):


This was definitely a lot easier than what I've been doing before.  As the 2010 football seasons start, I'll be trying it out more and seeing what else I can do with it and hopefully automate the generation of the charts as much as I have with Google.  Give it a try yourself!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

links for 2010-07-22: Twitter to build own data center; Apple iPhone 4 fallout; Firefox Home; Ellison doesn't get the Warriors

Monday, July 19, 2010

links for 2010-07-19: HP closing campus; iPad didn't meet expectations

Saturday, July 17, 2010

links for 2010-07-17: OpenSolaris Discontent; Open source or not?; Motorola Droid X self destructs; WinPhone 7 just an iPhone 1 knock off

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Amazon further integrates Simple Notification Service with AWS

I've always been interested in messaging systems and had some fun learning about AWS's SNS and then building a simple Cloud Event Processor that utilized it earlier this year.  Amazon had already provided out of the box integration of SNS with the Simple Queue Service (SQS) but has now introduced integration with S3 so that you can get notifications for certain S3 Reduced Redundancy Storage events.

Asynchronous programming at work.  Good stuff!

Friday, July 9, 2010

links for 2010-07-09: EMC and Data Management; Returning software licenses; Android takes market share from everyone; Follow HTC-Columbia in the Tour De France

Friday, July 2, 2010

links for 2010-07-02: IBM defaults to Firefox; AT&T-Apple class action suite; Apple fesses up on reception

Thursday, July 1, 2010

links for 2010-07-01: iPhone to Verizon rumor (again); Brown University goes Google; SQS Updates; Open Source Licensing; Steve Jobs on the Enterprise; Database Migrations Easy?

Monday, June 28, 2010

NextGate Webinar on Integration Options for Sun Customers; Convert your Monk Code to Java

Back in February just after Oracle's acquisition of Sun closed, I wrote a few thoughts on the strategy for Sun's middleware.  Something I didn't go into detail on is what the plans were for Sun's MDM and legacy integration products like DataGate, e*Gate, TRE, SRE, and ICAN.  Thankfully for those customers that have a lot invested in those products or technologies they included like Monk, NextGate is holding a series of webinars on what the options are.

The first one was held last week and there is another this Wednesday.  If you want to learn more, join one!

links for 2010-06-28: iPhone 4 doubles 3G bandwith speeds; iPhone wish list = Android; Google Voice goes GA; AWS in the enterprise

Friday, June 25, 2010

links for 2010-06-25: iOS4 vs Android Multitasking; Tiered Data Pricing; AWS SNS User Survey; eGate and Java CAPS future options

Thursday, June 24, 2010

links for 2010-06-24: iOS 4 missed on multi-tasking; iOS4 vs Android; History of Communication; Oracle see Sun profit

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

links for 2010-06-22: Flash goes Mobile; Java's Future; Java CAPS Future;

Monday, June 21, 2010

links for 2010-06-21: CSC's Cloud; SaaS Adoption Discrepancies; Tiered mobile data plans; Verizon's 4G network; Finding zip code areas; Sybase says iPhone 4 to grow in enterprise

Friday, June 18, 2010

links for 2010-06-17: iPhone to Verizon? (again); Emerging Cloud Wars; YouTube video editing

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

links for 2010-06-16: Scott McNealy on 25 years of .com; Oracle cutting more Sun jobs; NetBeans 6.9 released; Twitter outages; Linux share increases; JPL in the clouds

Sunday, June 13, 2010

links for 2010-06-13: AT&T flaw exposes iPad owners e-mail addresses; iPhone vs Android vs webOS?; Multitenancy risks; AT&T's new data plans

Monday, June 7, 2010

Eclipse Community Survey 2010 Published; Interesting OS, app server, and open-source results

The Eclipse Community Survey 2010 is now available, and as a big fan of surveys and data, I couldn't help but dive in to take a look at what the community had to say.

First, as is the case with all surveys and data, one has to consider the audience when looking at the results to understand the context, and in this case, the survey was promoted on the eclipse.org web-site and related blogs/tweets.  It was also only available in English and 1,696 respondents completed it.  And over 50% of the respondents listed themselves as programmers.

Ok, with that out of the way, what are some of the interesting results or observations?
  • Nearly 40% of developers now use Linux (32.7%) or OS X (7.9%) for their primary development OS.  The audience is clearly the reason this is much higher than you'd expect for the general desktop population, but both the Linux and OS X numbers are growing at the expense of Windows which is down 6% to 58.3% from last year.
  • Linux (46%) is ahead of Windows (41%) for deployment OS.
  • Sun Hotspot (69.8%) and Open JDK (21.7%) still dominate the JVM used for deployed applications.
  • Scrum (15.4%) and iterative (10.9%) are the leading development methodologies.
  • Hudson (21.8%) is the 3rd most used release management tool behind Ant (50.4%) and Maven (28.3%).
  • There is a nearly even split among the primary types of apps being developed between RIAs (26.9%), Server-centric apps (26.9%), and desktop client apps (21.0%).
  • For server frameworks, in something of a surprise given all the bashing EJBs have taken over the years, EJB (18.6%) and Spring (19.7%) use is nearly on par and ahead of Servlets (10.1%).
  • It is no surprise that MySQL (31.8%) is the leading database used, but Oracle (21.6%) is not far behind and well ahead of the others.
  • Tomcat (33.8%) far and away the most used app-server and disappointingly, GlassFish (2.9%) is last listed behind WebSphere, Jetty, and WebLogic.
  • Nearly 60% have no plans to use the Cloud!  This is somewhat surprising given all the hubbub we are hearing about the Cloud.
What is perhaps most interesting (and gets its own paragraph, not just a bullet :)) is the section on open-source maturity.  There has been a gradual shrinking of companies that have a business model that relies on open-source and a pretty big decline in companies that use open-source and contribute back.  There is a pretty big increase in those that use open-source but don't contribute back, so it would seem that use has not declined, but engagement and collaboration with the communities has certainly suffered.  And somewhat alarming is that, while still a very small percentage, the number of companies not allowing the use of any open-source software is growing.

What does this all mean?
  • I believe that the growth of non-Windows platforms for development and deployment continues although it is probably getting closer to the ultimate balance point.
  • Developers continue to use and adopt new tools and technologies that enhance their productivity but are not abandoning prior technologies that have had significant improvements (EJB with Java EE 6).
  • Developers are taking a pragmatic or perhaps more pessimistic approach to the Cloud and open-source.  Perhaps due to the economy and companies having to tighten their belts, use of open-source continues but there is no longer the resources to fully buy into the model and contribute back.
What do you think?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

track links for 2010-06-05: Lagat sets new 5000m AR; Bryan Clay wins Gotzis

Friday, June 4, 2010

links for 2010-06-04: iPhone to Android switch; Open standard, but only in Safari; AT&T Data Pricing

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

links for 2010-06-01: Apple pulled previously approved apps; Primer on "HTML5"

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

links for 2010-05-25: MPEG-LA sued; Stonebreaker's VoltDB; Apple playing catch-up?; Android to be "Windows" of phones?

Friday, May 21, 2010

links for 2010-05-21: Sayonara iPhone; Google and Adobe gang up on Apple

  • Sayonara, iPhone: Why I'm Switching to Android - "The Android OS is already outselling iPhone OS in the United States. Now it's blowing past Apple in terms of the technology it's delivering."  "What makes this even more insulting is that Jobs tries to dress up his selfishness as a kind of altruism. He says it's all about creating a beautiful experience, that while he may be selling you an intentionally crippled device, he's doing it for your own good."
  • Strange Bedfellows, Google And Adobe Gang Up On Apple - It was a bit of a change from day 1 to day 2.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

links for 2010-05-20: Android on the iPhone; Google IO; Conan visits Google

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

links for 2010-05-18: Oracle releases new version of MySQL Enterprise; Amazon stealing the Cloud; Book on Facebook; Future of Development; Flavors of Cloud Computing

Monday, May 17, 2010

links for 2010-05-17: Google I/O is the new JavaOne; Government using the Cloud; Caspio = Access + Cloud?; Jobs engages blogger

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Event Processing in the Cloud - Combining Esper with AWS SNS

The folks at Amazon Web Services released their Simple Notification Service in beta a little over a month ago, and I used it to create a loosely coupled weather notification system by publishing weather events to an SNS topic.  It is working great, but I started to think of other types of situations I'd want to monitor and have notifications for, and what better way to process these weather events than with a Complex Event Processing (CEP) engine?  While I could keep extending my shell script, that would be a bit of a hack and I wanted something cleaner that would more easily last the test of time.

Event processing is in many ways a natural extension of messaging infrastructure as the latter is typically used for the passing of events between systems and so having an easy way to plug in or use an event processor makes a lot of sense.  In my case, I wanted to be able to feed periodic weather observations, the raw events, into the messaging infrastructure, then be able to dynamically define the processing rules for those events, and then be able to publish any notifications or "complex events" back into the messaging infrastructure where I could then subscribe or receive them for e-mail/SMS notifications or to kick off other processes or logic.

So, how to put this all together?  There are CEP engines from many of the major middleware vendors, but on my shoestring budget I wasn't about to go spend 5-6 figures on software just to process events for my weather station!  At Sun, as part of the OpenESB project we had developed the Intelligent Event Processor in open-source so it was a natural choice, but it requires the complete ESB infrastructure and can't run standalone.  As I was already using SNS for my messaging and was aiming to make what I created Cloud friendly (see below), I didn't want to bring along an entire ESB, so I needed something else.  Another open-source CEP engine I was familiar with is Esper, and after a quick refresher on its capabilities, I decided it would be perfect.

Esper provides a simple to use but very powerful Java API for configuring the events, queries, patterns, etc. and so I set about creating the interface between SNS and Esper.  What I ended up building has the following capabilities:
  • A simple (HTTP/JSON) API for dynamically configuring the events and queries/statements in the engine.
  • Receives events from an SNS topic via HTTP and feeds them into Esper.  The publisher of the raw events just publishes to the SNS topic like it was before and I just create a new subscriber for the CEP engine, thus leveraging the beauty of a loosely coupled messaging system.
  • Esper processes the events per the configured queries.  As the queries generate results, the results are published to a specified SNS topic which can result in a notification e-mail or kicking off some other process or logic, again leveraging the decoupled nature of SNS.
Now, Esper provides a variety of ways to configure the engine, XML being one of them, but you'll note above I chose to create an HTTP/JSON API to serve as the interface to Esper's Java API for doing this configuration.  This was to be both Cloud friendly and to make the configuration dynamic.  This allows the idea of an event processor in the Cloud that is just available to be configured dynamically, receive events, and publish results, all with no installation or maintenance of the engine or other infrastructure.  One never even needs to log in to a machine to mess with any configuration files.

With this created, I was then able to easily configure the following:
  1. I had an existing script called by cron every 10 minutes that sent the weather observation to the Weather Underground.  I added a few lines of code to this script to publish the observation to an SNS topic as well.
  2. I created a subscription to the SNS topic that notifies the event processor using HTTP/JSON of each event.
  3. I configured my "Cloud CEP" with the following JSON to define the events it would be receiving:
  4. {     "Type": "EventConfiguration",     "Name": "WeatherEvent",     "Fields": [["temp", "double"], ["humidity", "double"], ["dewpoint", "double"]] }
  5. I configured a query to use for processing the events, this one telling me the high and low for the past 24 hours every 12 hours at midnight and noon, and sending the result to the specified SNS topic.  The statement is Esper's SQL like syntax for specifying queries:
  6. {     "Type": "ListenerConfiguration",     "Name": "Every 12 hours high and low",     "Statement": "select max(temp) as High, min(temp) as Low from WeatherEvent.win:time(24 hours) output at (1, */12, *, *, *)",     "ActionType": "SNS",     "SNSTopicArn": "arn:aws:sns:us-east-1:444520459559:WeatherEventOutput" }
  7. I then created a subscription to the WeatherEventOutput topic to send myself an e-mail.
I now get an e-mail at midnight and noon each day telling me what the high and low were for the past 24 hours.  If I want to know any time the temperature changes more than a certain amount in a given period, or if the temperature shows a trend of getting closer to the dewpoint (i.e. it is about to rain), I can add this to the processing with just a simple HTTP/JSON configuration request.  And with the power of Esper, those scenarios and a lot more are possible for my weather data or any other event data one might have.

The further beauty of this is that while I happen to have this running on my server at home, because of the way it is built using SNS and HTTP, it could be located anywhere on the internet whether hosted on EC2 or your favorite provider, or a "Cloud CEP" service available to all.

Note also that what I've written is by no means tied to SNS either.  It just happens to be Cloud based messaging infrastructure that is convenient to use and gives the benefits of loose coupling.  The input to my Cloud CEP is just an HTTP request and I've written an e-mail and HTTP handler so that generated events can go direct as well instead of going to SNS.

So what do you think?  Do you have scenarios where a Cloud CEP would be useful?  Would you like to try out what I've built thus far?  Feel free to leave a comment or contact me at kschmidt at techrunning dot com.

links for 2010-05-13: Ellison on fixing Sun; Fragmenting Linux a bad thing; Apple's cache waning?; Infinity; SAP acquires Sybase

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

links for 2010-05-12: Apple update for iPad WiFi woes; Flash not a CPU hog?; Microsoft responds regarding HTML5/H.264; Rich Green CTO at Nokia; Oracle Office; Adaptive PaaS

Friday, May 7, 2010

links for 2010-05-07: Red Hat vs VMware; Cloud washing; Netflix selects AWS; Android in iPhone 3G

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

links for 2010-05-05: Apple's control freakishness; Chrome update; SOA embraced; Android tablets; Solinsky AR splits

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

links for 2010-05-04: IBM acquires Cast Iron Systems; Scaling open-source; Browser market share; Software patents are good ... for lawyers; Google's cash; Open Data; Android on your TV

Monday, May 3, 2010

links for 2010-05-03: Apple/Adobe debate brings in Microsoft; More on HP/Palm; iPhone envy erased by Droid Incredible; iPad reaches 1M sold

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Is Flash costing the American public money in electricity costs?

There has been much furor about the lack of Flash on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad with Apple espousing a number of reasons for that, a key one being performance and resource utilization.  I wrote about my experience with Flash and some minor improvements a beta of 10.1 seems to bring, but I've observed that even when not watching video, with the number of sites that use Flash for other things the CPU is actually quite busy when one would think it would be idle (i.e. I'm not actively browsing).

To test this out, on a Mac I opened up several windows, each with several tabs opened to sites I'll typically have open during the day including Gmail, Google Calendar, Blogger, ESPN.com, StatCounter, ZDNet, and a handful of others.  I also watched a Dodger game on MLB.com for a bit but closed that window and left the computer basically idle but with the tabs still open in my browser.

At this point the Shockwave plug-in was using about 2-3% of the CPU, not bad.  But 20 minutes later of just sitting otherwise idle, the plug-in was using 10% of the CPU.  During this test I did not wait significantly longer, but previously I've seen the plug-in using 15-20% of the CPU while the machine is seemingly idle.

So, even at a conservative 10% of the CPU being used unnecessarily by Flash on an idle machine, one has to then wonder what that is doing to the power consumption of the machine.  A little quick research revealed that moderate usage of a desktop uses 30-50 watts above idle and a laptop 10-15 watts above idle.  If moderate use is 20-30% CPU, then our 10% CPU is going to be using around 10 watts on average.

Let's keep doing more math to see where this takes us.  The current population of the US is just over 307 million and 76.2 computers per 100 people that is roughly 234 million computers.  If only 10%, or 23.4 million, are used on a daily basis and when they are used 10%, or 2.34 million of them visit sites each day for an hour that use Flash and have this CPU waste, that is 23,400 kilowatt hours each day, or 8.54 million per year.

To make that number more meaningful, at an electricity price of $0.10 per kilowatt hour, the use of Flash is costing the American public $854K per year.  And the 10%'s and single hour I used above are likely clearly on the low end of what the actuals are and my analysis ignores computers used at work. So the actual cost is likely well into the millions.  In the grand scheme of things, $854K isn't that much for the entire country, but it is still sobering to think about.

Now, is this all Adobe's fault?  If their software is indeed buggy and inefficient they do shoulder some of the blame, but I would argue that Flash is likely used in many situations it isn't needed and that it is poorly written Flash apps that is a big factor too.  Poorly written AJAX apps running in your browser could cause the exact same issues.

So what can one do about it?  Well, you can choose to do nothing as it is really only costing you at most pennies in extra electricity costs (although what about wear and tear on your computer from heat and the fan running?), but your other alternatives are to not install the Flash plug-in and forgo benefiting from sites that use Flash, or installing a Flash blocker.  I've done the latter and it blocks all Flash applets by default but allows you to white-list sites or selectively enable specific applets.

Using the blocker it is interesting to see what sites use Flash and the list includes Google Mail, ESPN.com, ZDNet, java.sys-con.com, StatCounter, and more.  Do each of these really need to use Flash?

Chris Solinsky shatters the 10000m American Record

An historic event occurred last night at Stanford as Chris Solinsky ran 26:59.6 to shatter the American Record that was 27:13.98.  It was a fabulous run but what was more surprising was that this was his debut at the distance and the race had been billed as Galen Rupp's attempt to break the record and Chris upstaged the runner from the sister training group.  Also, Chris becomes the first non-African born runner under 27 minutes.

The IAAF story above has a good recounting of the race and you can see Flotrack's finish of the race but a quick summary is the rabbits took it through mid-race on 27:10 or so pace and then Rupp took over the lead and pulled everyone along with Chelanga, Salel, and Solinsky close behind (Bairu may have been there too).  Rupp made a move with 3 or so to go, Solinsky went with him and passed him with about 2 to go and closed in about 1:56.  Rupp finished 4th in 27:10, breaking Meb's former AR time, but Salel and Chelanga beat him, Chelanga setting a new Collegiate Record.

Quite an impressive race, especially considering it was his debut, but clearly shows he is likely in sub-13 5000m shape which it appears is his goal for the year, or rather breaking Dathan Ritzenhein's AR of 12:56 is the goal.  He'll be running one in Oslo in early June and then another at the Pre-Classic in July.

It is shaping up to be a great summer for American distance running.  Look for Rupp to come back strong and Matt Tegenkamp who went sub-13 last year should have a another go at the AR.  Enjoy!

Friday, April 30, 2010

links for 2010-04-30: Response to Jobs missive against Flash; Another view on VMforce; Indians most hated team?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

links for 2010-04-29: AWS to be as big as Amazon retail?; Steve Jobs on Flash; Backlash against PowerPoint; Flash History

  • Amazon Looks to Widen Lead in Cloud Computing - Opens a new data center in Singapore, but also says "Amazon Web Services can be as big as our retail business, in the fullness of time".
  • Steve Jobs thoughts on Flash - He makes several good points, but calling Adobe closed and proprietary given Apple's tools target a single platform (vs many) and the closed nature of the App Store (vs anyone can create an app without approval) is a bit of the pot calling the kettle black.  And if third party software not taking advantage of new APIs and features is really so terrible, let the market determine that and decide.
  • We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint - "Commanders say that the slides impart less information than a five-page paper can hold, and that they relieve the briefer of the need to polish writing to convey an analytic, persuasive point. Imagine lawyers presenting arguments before the Supreme Court in slides instead of legal briefs."
  • Flash History - A good reminder that Flash did fill a need, but he also had a zinger directly at Cupertino: "... a platform with a vendor who gets to decide what’s allowed to run is profoundly uninteresting to me anyhow."
  • News Analysis: Salesforce.com and VMware Up The Ante In The Cloud Wars With VMforce - Good summary.  Pits the Java offerings vs Azure.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

links for 2010-04-28: Android momentum; Microsoft and Open Source; VMforce; Web vs Enterprise; AWS Presentations

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

links for 2010-04-27: Promising cancer research; VMware and Salesforce; Gizmodo iPhone raid