Comedic Computer Scientists?

walrusPerhaps its an oxymoron, to think a computer scientist can be funny. Well it seems, in the database world they do have a sense of humor. Let me explain.

Since its beginnings in the  70s, structured query language (SQL – pronounce Sequel) has become the predominant way to access information stored in corporate databases. No matter the system, Peoplesoft, Oracle, SAP, or even this blog and thousands of other software systems; they all use SQL. There are a lot of reasons why SQL became so dominant.  But mostly it is easier to do business; It creates a standard way that just about any report writer (or program) can access data.

While SQL was becoming dominant, there were still lots of other database technologies. Those technologies were often relegated to universities and niche markets.

Well the tables have turned. Those once niche database technologies are important  because they work better with big data  (see Harpooning for Big Data) than traditional SQL databases.  These new databases with fanciful names (Hadoop, Neo4j, Mongo, Cassandra and more) are collective called Not Only SQL – meaning they work without SQL. So with a tongue in cheek fashion,  if you want answers from your big data remember [highlight3]don’t use SQL; use No SQL![/highlight3]

Insights into Collaboration

Complexity[dropcap2]C[/dropcap2]ollaboration is simultaneously man’s greatest achievement and our biggest mystery. Our ability to collaborate, to build roads, economies, smart phones, space ships, friendships, villages, cities, companies or to build tomorrows cools new gadgets, are all possible because we are social creatures; we cooperate. And yes – unfortunately – we do cooperate to conduct war or terrorism. But collaboration is such a pervasive and natural phenomena that we take it for granted; we don’t even stop to consider it. We just live it. And if we do think about the social collaboration, the task is daunting, very big and seemingly complex.  But with ingenuity we are fast developing tools and methods to study the very fabric of what makes human social systems work. And in the true spirit of collaboration, Santa Fe Institute is offering a free online introductory class on Complexity Theory. So if you’ve ever wondered why or how the system works, consider taking their class. Check out their introductory video [youtube url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHE1Zk2Ov18″ width=”280″ height=”158″ autohide=”0″]

Dialing…. Connecting…. Print “Hello World”

 

Apple II (1977 - $1298 for 4K RAM)

Welcome to BizKnowlogy. Looking at an old Apple II reminds me how far the world has changed in less than 40 years.  The Apple II seems ancient. If feels like I’m visiting a museum and seeing Thomas Edison’s telegraph machine. The Apple was clunky; it was slow; it was expensive – costing over $5,000 in today’s dollars; it had no virtually no memory, holding a whopping 4,096 characters.

Today we have smart phones, tablet computing and smart devices everywhere. Facebook has more than a billion customers. Google answers more than a billion searches every day quickly and with remarkable precision. Amazon and Ebay sell millions of products, bringing customers and vendors together from around the world.  The internet now connects 34%, nearly 2½ Billion of the  globe’s 7B people.

Steve Jobs and the Apple iPad
Steve Jobs and the Apple iPad

We have clearly left the information age behind and entered the connected age. This hyper connectedness changes the boundaries; it changes the rules.  These changes, profoundly impact us. BizKnowlogy operates to connect with people, companies and organizations working in this new connected age, to understand it, to leverage it and to drive innovation for a better future today.

 

 

 

* $1298 in 1977 calculates to ~$5,120 in 2013.