Meta physical- not real?


I like to focus on things that are surprising, I am obsessed with context and complexity, and I work day in and day out with people and organisations that face data challenges.  So here goes another odd story.

I had seen an advert for Heinz Large chunky soup (the advert showing large chunks of beef on a spoon) promising a more manly experience than tiny invisible beef remains I made up my mind to try this. The advert had been screened on US TV, but when I saw the soup in a UK supermarket I tried it.

When entities meet

When did you hear for the first time about in memory systems? Today? Last year? 1982?
For me it was the latter. In 1982 I was invited to work with students at bremen university on developing a new type of computer programmes. We were still working with card readers, where a machine punches holes in cardboard strips to store binary information. The idea was to load data into a more permanent form of memory called EPROM (erasable programable read only memory). The issue was that at that time EPROM was used for permanent data to help a device start up correctly. Operating systems were to follow, but freely dipping in and out of that memory was not great ( as the name ReAd Only Memory indicated.

Analyse this…

No, not the gangster movie, I do mean analytics as in maths and predictions. I am not sure if you noticed, but there is a it of a new buzz around regarding analytics. The last 3 projects I am was working on all ended up spending a lot of money on Analytics to gain more competitve advantage. Our team of analysts has grown from 3 to over 50. So I thought it might be worth noting a few things down on analytics that might be worth a few moments of your time. I’ll quote the CEO of my last multinational to set the questions (If you have seen the filme “Dogma” think of a character not unlike Jay, as in Jay and Silent Bob representing the CEO I have in mind.)

Can you sleep at night?

The first thing I did when my son told me of his moral slip was question my ability to be a good dad. It shows you that we are selfish at heart. Then the discussions began and we started to tackle the underlying issues. By now he seems to be back on top of his game, but the trust will take longer to fix.

During this phase in my life I attended a ZDNet workshop on “cloud computing by 2014”. I hadn’t slept well as I was worrying about bad parenting, my sons future as a criminal and imagining having to visit him in prison (my imagination is definitely over productive during a sleep deprived late night).

maths for data

I always felt an affinity with maths. That shouldn’t really be possible, but it is i can assure you. It is not a comfortable relationship, mainly due to the fact that I am poor at grasping math. So affinity might not be the most obvious word, but it is correct non the less. The affinity is due to the concept of math. For one thing math is not a constant. In it 1+1 can equal 2 or 10 simply depending on the number system you choose. Infinity can be massive in maths or very small (think of the largest number and you can always add 1, but you can also slice the differences between 1 and 0 by repeatedly and indefinitely multiply the higher number by 0.5. And the final straw for me was that there is proof in mathematics. It is one of the few disciplines where self reliance and consistency is more important than the subject itself. Wow! So when I come across abstracts like (a+b) to the power of 2 equals A^2 + 2AB + b^2 you have to stand in wonder not only be the facts, but also that it links you to the Greeks, who found these truths. Connecting to others in consistent language over time is the greatest gift of maths in my view.

networking at conferences

(c) Luca Longo

Berlin is cold in October. I never knew it was so close to the Russian low temperature zone. So only having a thin code wasn’t a great idea when I rolled up to SAP Teched 2010. The world of SAP has been my home for 17 years now, and there is very little I thought I didn’t know. Conferences are all about Networking.

Significantly misunderstood

The American Football season is restarting, and I must admit that I am a fan. I love the combination of tactics, strength and sports and although one of my best friends calls it “rugby for wimps with mattresses on” my son and I are hooked. There is just one gripe: The misuse of statistics. Great examples are:

” A team from New-England has never one one a Monday night while playing in Beige Socks”

“Quarterback Elway has only once been able to defeat a left-handed Quarterback”

“Chicago is more often defeated on uneven dates than Even numbered dates”

“R” you into statisitics?

“R” is a disruptive new open source analytics technology with a rapidly growing user community. It is a powerful and extensible statistical object oriented programming language. It was build to support rapid development of computational analytics and data visualisation. It can be and is easily extended (for example a new interpretative engine) and the benefits of these extensions are shared with the user community. There are now thousands of R analytics packages available to download made available by users in a growing academic and business community Several large software packages (such as Oracle, Greenplum and SAS), have integrations with the R language, or have released R language support. R has a vast array of standard graphical formats that can be reused, as well as good functionality for the production of bespoke plot and graphical format types

common sense vs common law

If you have ever done IT projects then you will have come up against legal practices, rules, governance and so on. You will have wanted to prepare data for migrations, but weren’t allowed to look at it, or maybe you had to define a spend report with fake data, or worse implement a new CRM system without Customer data.

Who are you?

ViewAfter getting solidly depressed about bottled water (link)I decided to calm down again and I did it in the most boring way possible, by reviewing my finances. 2 hours later I was building spreadsheets simulating where I would like to be financially by 2018. But I was stuck. I was trying to do an online pension review and I had lost my user, password and security token. I called the company and they managed to sort it out.  But they could have said: “We don’t know you. Don’t darken our doors again” and kept my money. Because everything was online I had no redress and no proof that I had an account there. Of course there are back-ups and printed document exchanges and other safety mechanisms, but I must admit even as a data specialist I was worried about my nest egg.

ViewThe whole chain of events lead me to have a think about how I would like things to work for me. So I started drawing up a process and a way on how I would like to control my information in regards to anyone and any platform I am dealing with. And here is the first output: