Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Design Fundamentals from NID NODE

I had registered for Design Fundamentals course from National Institute of Design's NODE program last year. It took quite some time to actually finish the course as I was caught up in many things. As the title suggests, the course is more on theory aspects of design. The course amount has almost doubled now, nevertheless, it's worth it. Of the many lessons, I think Analytical Drawing is cool and so is Composition. And among the background music, I liked Stop - Ghost K (cheesepuff piano remix) the most. If one is already a design practitioner, this course helps as a refresher.

Monday, 18 June 2018

SimpleMind for Mind Mapping

SimpleMind is an amazing mind mapping software. An example of a mind map created using SimpleMind is given below.

SimpleMind updates their apps for macOS and iOS with new feature and enhancements. iOS app can sync in local networks with macOS app without having to sync with a third-party cloud service. This does not work with Android app however. So I guess they use bonjour protocol.

I have looked into other mind mapping software, but I find this app to be more simple, powerful and robust. The UI is smooth and the mind maps produced are even more nice. The themes, customization are also rich enough that I don't miss anything that a mind mapping software requires.

Mind mapping is a visualisation tool for those who prefer having ideas noted down that way. The mobile app helps to quickly brainstorm, visualise ideas and at the end we can see the whole interconnection of topics, which is lot easier to keep in mind than reams and reams of texts.

The .smmx is a proprietary file format for storing SimpleMind mind maps. We can export in other formats like OPML, but it will lose any rich content information, in case one needs to use another app. But I don't see a need for that anyway.

Conference Summary - Building Data products at Uber

This is my summary of HasGeek Open House conference on Building Data Products at Uber, by Hari Subramanian held on 15th this month.

1. Data size is in petabytes.
2. Results found in staging is not quite the same when using the same model in production due to various factors.
3. For deep learning, tensor flow is used. Results found in AWS and GCP are different.
4. They have build their own BI tools for visualisation.
5. Hive is extended in-house. Hive and Spark overlaps to a certain extend. There are few map-reduce jobs still used which is why Hive is used.
6. Uses own datacenter.

The talks was a high level overview of how Uber uses ML.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Upgraded to HTTPS

The blog has been upgraded to https. Access it using https://www.qlambda.com.
The previous URL http://www.qlambda.com redirects to the above.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Analysis of Flocking Patterns and Relations

Movement of humans and analysing the movement patterns is an interesting problem. It can be considered to flocking behaviour in species like birds, swarms. Brownian motion can be used to model such collective movements. Representing the raw data from the movement of humans across locations in tabular form or relational model is inefficient. So modelling such data on any cloud platform without a graph based model is limited. An example is BigQuery. Advantage of using BigQuery is that the Google takes care of the infrastructure and massive amount of data streams, and it is NoSQL at the storage layer, but it is still tabular in nature and a relational model is not the most apt way when it comes to modelling location data, movement patterns and making sense of the information for further use in recommendation engines and such.

Looking at various Graph databases at present, OrientDB looks very capable and performant when compared to the well known Neo4j. AllegroGraph is cool if we use RDF and SPARQL or if we use Prolog for reasoning, but it does not have support for Gremlin, which I think Prolog makes up for it, though that would have been a nice addition. The advantage of using an Apache TinkerPop-enabled data system is that we can use any backing datastore like OrientDB, Neo4j, Apache Spark, without having to use the datastore's own DSL. Gremlin graph traversal langauge is to Graph DB, what SQL is in a relational datastore and it makes working with such systems a pleasent experience instead of having to fiddle with DSLs for each different datastores one would encounter.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Inspiring are those words - Apple Special Event 2017

The sound of Steve Jobs, thought provoking, inspiring are those words, the opening of Apple Special Event 2017.
There's lots of ways to be as a person.
And some people express their deep appreciation in different ways.
But one of the ways that I believe people express their appreciation to the rest of humanity is to make something wonderful and put out there.
And you never meet the people, you never shake their hands, you never hear their story or tell yours.
But somehow in the act of making something with a great deal of care and love, something's transmitted there.
And it's a way of expressing to the rest of species our deep appreciation.
So we need to be true to who we are and remember what's really important to us.
Captivates mind in ways more than one.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Data Archival with Optical Disk to withstand EMP

Optical disk are a safe choice if we need any data to withstand an EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse) attack. And blu-ray disks are cost effective when comparing it with magnetic storage and shields combined. Say for 1 TB external hard disk drive, current approximate price is USD 50. A 5-pack 25GB recordable blu-ray disc costs around USD 15 which is more that 1 TB storage. Even accounting for the initial price of the disc burner and software, blu-rays are cost effective as we archive more data. Now getting rest of the gear to work after an EMP attack is a different matter, however, the data is preserved.