Posts Tagged Connectivity & Integration
The click and hold Preview action as shown above, makes easy to sample a recommendation and discover more artists and their music, with the slick UI and making it simple and straight forward to move through the recommendations.
Behind the scenes it shows that Spotify are paying attention to the usage profile of their users, and displaying recommendations and suggestions based on tunes played and playlist content. While an individual users’ play history and playlist settings may be quite small digitally. As Spotify has millions of subscribers to the service, cumulatively this must equate to a significant data-set and require Big Data hosting and analytics services behind that to drive recommendations and observe other trends within their user base.
Some quotes from that post:
At the heart of Spotify lives a massive and growing data-set. Most data is user-centric and allows us to provide music recommendations, choose the next song you hear on radio and many other things. We do our best to base every decision, programmatic and managerial, on data and this extends into the culture.
Most of our recurring data is added to our analytics pipeline by a set of daemons that constantly parse the syslog on production machines looking for messages we have defined along with the associated data for each message. Matching data is compressed and periodically synced to HDFS. Typically data is available in our Data Warehouse and Dashboards within 24 hours, but in some cases data is available within a few hours or even instantly through tools like Storm.
Do you use Spotify, what do you like about it?
Which produces a more dynamic and holistic biography of an individual, here’s a link to mine.
Apart from regularly polling your services feeds for updates to keep an up to date representation of your digital profile | expression, they have also introduced a set of Vizcards (digital comments | business cards)
I certainly like the simplicity of the Vizify service and the overview function it provides. While Linkedin is a great service for professional networking, it can feel busy or noisy with corporate profiles, and discussion groups etc. In comparison Vizify provide focus on the individual and space to present for each facet or feature in the biography which is refreshing and seems to me to produce a more nuanced and holistic summary of that individual.
Do you use an infographic based biographical summary service?
I had intended to post this a long time ago, closer to this generation of devices launches, but the opportunity passed.
However, I still thinking it is fascinating to watch the portfolio of devices these internet and manufacturing giants are assembling. Much of the commentary and opinion has been developed much further elsewhere, however, even collecting images these device suites together on the same page and admiring the aesthetics is reason enough to post.
By announcing the arrival of the Nexus 4, and Nexus 10 to complement the existing Nexus 7. Google have intimated that the application and content state within a mobile user experience across a related set of devices, is as a complete and integrated experience possible to date. Of course this is not the 1st time it is has been brought together, but Google’s Nexus | Android is certainly aesthetically and technologically appealing.
Apart from the mass of OEM hardware manufacturing specialists bringing products to the market place, Amazon and Microsoft are the notable service companies making a inroads into the mobile device market.
Almost standing apart Samsung has that oft commented upon position of being a hardware partner with any of these key internet giants, as well as offering a portfolio of devices of its own. Very much making the market work for it in more than one way.
Certainly I see the consumer having benefitted from the general evolution of touch based mobile devices, initially championed and established by Apple , and brought to extensive commoditisation and choice through the market entry of Google, Amazon and Microsoft. Of course there are other players now making moves Ubuntu and Mozilla, as well as Blackberry still trying to retain a market position and relevance.
If nothing else this post will represent a moment in technology evolution, capturing the phase of the commoditisation and proliferation of these touch based mobile devices.
Do you have a favourite device or vendor?
Like Curious Mitch points out here Google Reader is not the only service in recent times to close its doors to consumers, particularly those that have grown up used to using ‘free’ or ‘freemium’ model services from various web enabled services.
In fact like Mitch I’ve blogged about a couple of service closures in recent times:
And also would add these services, which have recently shut their doors :
While I agree with Mitch about the need to assess your service portfolio and understand the risk/impact of closure of any service you may be consuming. Obviously the ‘free to use’ services would be presumed to be more vulnerable, it doesn’t mean those services you may be paying for are not at risk from a failing business model or an aggressive move from a competitor to acquire it. Remember what Nokia did with Dopplr or Google to Jaiku… (the list goes on and on).
Sure there may be pain in the disconnection and lose of services rendered by that service. But the thing to do is to “Be Prepared” to move on, switch services, try an alternative or something different. One door closing, is may be the opportunity for a new door to open. Make sure you have a way to liberate your data – and try and find services that support transition and transfer as easy as possible. Something that is a little more effort, but does build resilience of a kind is to spread your needs across a set of similar services. (e.g blog at Tumblr and WordPress)
So R.I.P and R n’R (rip and replace) go hand in hand in the developing world of internet services.
But this may be only phase or transition as these internet services evolve from start-up status, into established service provider and more technology infrastructure and utility service providers. Dion put a good post up on the acquisition spree of major enterprise vendors as they move into these service space. Perhaps these service discontinuation scenarios will become a less frequent issue in the future. When data movement is more easily transferable, and a common set of services is available more stable service providers. However, that may be conjecture… so remember – Change happens!
I’ve recently added a Google Nexus 7 to the set of devices I use. As a home based worker, I’m used to many aspects of remote working, and optimising the my use of the laptop and mobile phone (e.g. 2nd monitor, blue tooth headset). However, this month my working location will be office based but away from home, which I thought was enough of a watershed moment to see how a Smart tablet format device would fit into my device mix.
- Blackberry Curve 9300 (Blackberry OS 6)
- Google Nexus 7 (Android Jellybean 4.2) (16GB)
- Lenovo Thinkpad X61 (Tablet) (Windows 7 x64)
Interface & UX:
All the devices have an touch enabled capability of some level.
The Blackberry has a touchpad control, but not a touch sensitive screen. This is an improvement on the physical trackball device, and not an hindrance on the device of this size, and physical keyboard is a more than adequate input option. The only occasional inconvenience I experience on the blackberry is that the screen is now pretty small compared to many smart phones in the market, so coupled with many mobile enabled websites having been optimised for touch based navigation, the speed and mobility around some web sites can be a little cumbersome.
The Nexus 7 was a refreshing surprise to how easy and simple a completely touch and screen based device can be. Also with Android Jelly bean 4.2, the touch screen keyboard is gesture | swipe enabled so that with a little practice I am get fairly adept at completely spelling a word with 1 touch and motion of the finger across the keyboard. The swipe | gesture feature really is great, and with combination of the well designed device hardware and evolution of the Android OS, I don’t have any regrets about waiting until now before purchasing such a device.
I was also waiting for tablet OS which was able to support multiple user profiles, as my family will also have access to this device, so being able to separate use profiles for different individuals is very useful. It’s often been said that Google Play doesn’t have app ecosystem or content breadth to compete with Apple or Amazon, having had the device for a little over a week I don’t find either to hold any substance any longer. Google Play is a well integrated content and application store and I have not been stuck in finding the applications to access my content – in fact these 1st few days have been a little mind blowing as the sheer amount of content available through applications like Google Currents, Feedly, Flipboard and Pocket have given me a quandary about which application to use for what content or content category.
You will notice that there is also a Physical Keyboard dock (blue tooth connectivity) for Nexus 7 which also acts a hard case cover, and stand. I thought that this would be a useful addition in case I needed to do a lot content creation on the device. Combined with the Kingsoft Office suite, I can use the Nexus 7 as a netbook format device as well.
The Lenovo Thinkpad has a resistive touch screen which responds to a stylus and has a flip and rotate function on the screen. But I have never found that much more than a novel feature, though the flip and rotate screen feature is useful in small face to face group meetings.
It is my workhorse content input and creation device, and I need both a physical keyboard and mouse, as well as a large additional monitor to optimise my productivity on this device. My activities in content creation and communication often requires the need for multiple applications and windows to be in operation. The main laptop screen of 12.1 inches is too small to make multi window navigation and application use convenient. I frequently find the text size or content needs to be reduced in dimension to make that application window fit correctly to fit into the screen.
Integration of Content and Services:
Cloud and Mobile enabled applications are so well established that this has been fairly straight forward. Obviously the Blackberry has full enterprise service integration, and can also support a multitude of consumer email services etc. In terms of Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) Evernote has been my application of choice for a long time, and that is always been a leading light in multi-platform support so it was simple to extend Evernote from the Laptop and Blackberry onto the Nexus 7.
I’ve also been a reasonably long time user of Synology NAS devices at home for home digital content (photos, movies, music etc.) The Audio and Photo playback application work without hitch, and I think it won’t be long until the video playback application is out of beta. Certainly the download | file moving application made it easier to move content (music and movies) onto the Google Nexus. I was also able to populate Google Play with my music library too. So that means with Google Play Music, Synology Audio App, Spotify and Tunein Radio there is no shortage of music content on my mobile devices. The Nexus 7 will come into its own as a content device when I purchase a good blue tooth speaker and use it to entertain the children when the family travels together. Though, I must add as an aside – well done to United Airlines, who I flew with recently, for having a great on-demand music library – listened to Alison Strauss, Bon Iver, Robert Plant and The Black Keys – many more were available too.
I will be giving this combination of devices a good run in while working away so I will probably posting a lot more to the blog in the coming weeks.
While I reflected on some Enterprise based use and benefits. However, my personal interest lies in using AWS Glacier for providing long archival storage for personal data (photos, videos, and music).
Notes from AWS S3 documentation:
- Amazon S3 will archive objects for you and associate those objects with the Glacier storage class according to rules that you define.
- When you transition objects to the Glacier storage class, AWS S3 internally uses AWS Glacier for durable storage at lower cost.
I’ve used the following transition rule:
I’ve been able to confirm the following events work seamlessly:
- Items with ‘Storage Class – Glacier’ are not overwritten | re-copied by the scheduled back up process to the S3 bucket.
- Deleting items – delete in the S3 bucket and the Glacier vault.
- Overwriting a file (same filename), re-creates it in the S3 bucket, and then it is transitioned to Glacier as per the rule sets.
- The Prefix setting needs to use the full directory | folder structure in the target S3 bucket to the location of the target files.
I will now start transitioning my other S3 bucket stores from AWS S3 – RRS to AWS Glacier. I will track the charges and costs of storage and data transfer as this process goes forward, I do anticipate a spike in data transfer costs for the bulk migration of content from AWS S3 – RRS to AWS Glacier.
Are you thinking of using the AWS Glacier service?
Again, while I don’t claim expertise on the “cloud computing” phenomena let alone storage, it is an area that fascinates me for delivering technology and service based innovation. Especially considering all the data proliferation era that is often spoken about in statistical superlatives (e.g. article from Forbes).
Now the concepts around Information Lifecycle Management, and Digital Asset Management and the use of Hierarchical storage management or the related Automated Tiered Storage are not new, and there is a lot of traditional technology around to deliver or cover some of those aspects.
Tiered storage is a data storage environment consisting of two or more kinds of storage delineated by differences in at least one of these four attributes: price, performance, capacity and function.
Any significant difference in one or more of the four defining attributes can be sufficient to justify a separate storage tier.
Automated Tiered Storage is the automated progression or demotion of data across different tiers (types) of storage devices and media. This movement of data is automatic to the different types of disk according to performance and capacity requirements.
So where does AWS come into this? Here’s how I see it:
same with recently updated iconography from: AWS Simple Icons
I think with the combination of AWS Storage Gateway, AWS S3 and AWS Glacier Amazon has pretty much got a wrap on this. This storage service combo gives cloud based hierarchical storage management, that has a gateway entry point into the traditional enterprise data center, rule based storage policies, an api as well as market leading price point. I think the CIO will soon find this an appealing combination, easing his/her cost concerns around storage of data and record archives necessary for compliance to various financial and legal stipulations.
Is that not an awesome combination!
Do you think they’re on to something?
For the first time ever, the City of Manchester invites you to dig underneath its digital skin.FutureEverything, Open Data Manchester and Manchester City Councilare looking for experts and innovators to hack, code, programme and experiment with the city’s sets of open data to build new applications and develop future services.
Utilising the open data sets from DataGM made available by Manchester City Council and public sector partners, participants are welcome to produce anything they wish – develop applications to help people find their way around, stay safe, discover new experiences and everything and anything in between. All data is released under the Open Government Licence.
Taking place at MadLab in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter on Saturday 17th November, the Manchester Hackathon is set to be an intense, productive and exciting collaboration between the brightest minds in software development and data processing. Entries from both teams and individuals are welcome, and there are cash prizes to be won for the best product at the end of the session.
Friday, November 16, 2012 at 6:30 PM – Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 7:00 PM (GMT)
36 – 40 Edge Street
The Northern Quarter
M4 1HN Manchester
Amazon Glacier is described as:
- Low cost- Amazon Glacieris an extremely low-cost, pay-as-you-go storage service that can cost as little as $0.01 per gigabyte per month, irrespective of how much data you store.
- Secure – Amazon Glaciersupports secure transfer of your data over Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and automatically stores data encrypted at rest using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256, a secure symmetric-key encryption standard using 256-bit encryption keys.
- Durable- Amazon Glacieris designed to provide average annual durability of 99.999999999% for each item stored.
- Flexible –Amazon Glacierscales to meet your growing and often unpredictable storage requirements. There is no limit to the amount of data you can store in the service.
- Simple– Amazon Glacier allows you to offload the administrative burdens of operating and scaling archival storage to AWS, and makes long term data archiving especially simple. You no longer need to worry about capacity planning, hardware provisioning, data replication, hardware failure detection and repair, or time-consuming hardware migrations.
- Designed for use with other Amazon Web Services – You can use AWS Import/Export to accelerate moving large amounts of data into Amazon Glacier using portable storage devices for transport. In the coming months, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) plans to introduce an option that will allow you to seamlessly move data between Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier using data lifecycle policies.
I’m particularly interested in the domestic consumer potential, though obvious Enterprise application potential is huge too.
As a domestic consumer, I already use Synology NAS products, which integrate with Amazon S3 for schedule backup to a secure, cost efficient, off-site storage location. But as the Amazon Glacier FAQ points out :
Q: How should I choose between Amazon Glacier and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)? A:Amazon S3 is a durable, secure, simple, and fast storage service designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.
- Use Amazon S3 if you need low latency or frequent access to your data.
- Use Amazon Glacier if low storage cost is paramount, your data is rarely retrieved, and data retrieval times of several hours are acceptable.
(high lighting by myself)In the coming months, Amazon S3 will introduce an option that will allow customers to seamlessly move data between Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier based on data lifecycle policies.
So as a domestic consumer – my local NAS device provides all the rapid access to content I require. What I need from offsite storage, is to be stable secure and cost effective, so I am hoping Amazon Glacier can provide exactly that. Particularly, it will be the right place to store, photos, videos, and music content that once created and transfer to the appropriate folder can be kept on low cost storage like Amazon Glacier.
I certainly think Amazon Glacier is a step ahead of the rest of market, and set a very high barrier to market entry, with the delivery of such a low price point.
What do you think of Amazon Glacier – do you think you’ll end up as a user of the service?
They recently released the news that they’ve “decided to shutdown the stand-alone Gist service.”
This makes a lot sense, from looking at the need to further integrate the myriad of social and contact based services we all rely upon and then really embed those services into the underlying platform.
- Since our acquisition we built the BlackBerry Playbook Contacts app and more recently, our team has been tasked with creating the native address book/contact manager for the next generation platform, BlackBerry 10.
- In addition to our core focus on the Contacts app, we have been given expanded responsibility for everything social at RIM including BlackBerry Messenger, Facebook and Twitter apps and instant messaging as well as much of the identity platform, location services and user analytics features.
It’s good to see them acknowledge other players in this space – see their support page
I’ve tried Nimble, and will take a look at some of the others on list.
I wish the Gist team luck in delivering this goal of pulling much more together and integrating services the across the SOLOMO (SOcial-LOcal-MObile) |rich contact management space.
Other sources of SOLOMO material:
Do you think SOLOMO (SOcial-LOcal-MObile) is a growing space for application services?