Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Big Three - And Self-aware AI isn't one of them!

An interesting read from Bill Gates - Where he states, "I view the threat of deadly pandemics right up there with nuclear war and climate change. Innovation, cooperation, and careful planning can dramatically mitigate the risks presented by each of these threats." Interesting that he doesn't include Self-aware AI in the top three of his list of worries for the future.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Don't get upset about CPython concurrency - just get Grumpy!

Here's a short recommended read that was brought to my attention by a teammate. If you've grumbled about poor concurrency support in conventional Python, Grumpy looks like it's coming to the rescue.

I suspect this break-through reflects the benefits of new concurrency approaches, as reflected in recent packages (like Akka) and languages (Go).

It's a fundamental shift, since Go extensions will be supported over C extensions. I assume that means Grumpy and CPython will co-exist for some time, unless most existing C extensions get re-coded in Go? It will be interesting to see how this unfolds!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Installing Robot Framework on a MacBook

I recently faced challenges getting the open source Robot Framework to work on my MacBook, which is running OS X El Capitan. In general, the installation process should be trivial, but here's what finally worked:

  1. If you have the brew package manager installed, update it:

        brew update
  2. Use brew to install (or upgrade) the chromedriver program:

      brew upgrade chromedriver
  3. Make and use a Python virtualenv for the framework installation:

      pip install --upgrade virtualenv
      source  # Note: Depends on where was installed to.
      mkvirtualenv robotframework
      workon robotframework
  4. Install the necessary framework packages:

      pip install --upgrade robotframework
      pip install --upgrade robotframework-selenium2library
      pip install --upgrade requests
Now, you'll be able to use the robot command to run test scripts OK :-)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Google's Machine Learning Technology

Wow! First, Tensor software, now optimized hardware, too! Amazing 😯
Google's Tensor Processor

Monday, August 22, 2016

Disruptive SSD Set to Debut in 2016

Intel and Micron's new Optane™ SSD 3-dimensional memory technology is on-track to debut starting in 2016. This looks to be a disruptive technology in the non-volatile storage market. Could the end of mechanical hard drives be near? If the reliability is there, quite possibly!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Intro to Amazon DynamoDB

This article presents a nice intro to Amazon DynamoDB. And, you'll also learn that "NoSQL" doesn't mean "Not SQL" but "Not Only SQL" :-D

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Windows 10 Pro SP 1511 upgrade warning

Heads up! If you have the built-in Administrator account enabled, make sure you add a standard account on the PC to the Administrators group before upgrading to Windows Service Pack 1511 (Build 10586.318). The SP doesn't respect the existing Administrator account status, and resets it to the default of "disabled", potentially locking you out of Administrative access to the PC! However, if you have another account added to the Administrators group beforehand, you can correct this after the fact. But if not, you are up the proverbial creek! This only applies to Windows 10 Professional Edition, not the Home Edition, which has no built-in Administrator account anyway.

Note: I've heard it said that it may be possible to boot into Safe Mode and logon as Administrator that way, regardless of whether the account's disabled or not, but I haven't personally tried it out to confirm.

Friday, April 8, 2016

New approaches to Unified Network Management

I've noticed a recent trend among wireless equipment companies to provide both cloud-based and premises-based management mechanisms for campus wireless networks. There are advantages and disadvantages to both; cloud offering "easy management from anywhere" and easy scaling and support, on-premises providing direct control to the network should cloud access drop or become otherwise unavailable.

Now, Netgear has taken the bull by the horns and is offering networking management that will use whatever model, or combination of models, the customer prefers. They obviously "get it!" I expect to see more vendors moving in this direction, too.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Upgrading to Windows 10? View this first!

If you'll be doing an on-line upgrade to Windows 10, make sure you view this video produced by the Mozilla team with tips on how to configure Win 10 to protect your privacy, reduce unnecessary use of system resources, and to specify which default apps and services you prefer.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The evolution of human-machine interaction

Anyone who's used a mouse & keyboard for over a decade knows that this method of human-machine interaction is growing more clunky and burdensome with each passing year. It's only a matter of time before better (or at least complementary) systems emerge, sort of like when drawing tablets, handwriting / speech detection, and optical character recognition systems first appeared on the scene.

So what will the future of human-machine interaction (HMI) look like?

We already have some possible prognostications available. Wearable Tech being one (e.g., Google Glass and Apple Watch), and gesture-based technology being another. And given that the Big G and the Big A are researching, investing in, and developing both, it's not a stretch to conclude that we will see both emerging alongside conventional keyboard & mouse interaction soon.

Other technologies that will likely influence HMI refinement: Natural Language recognition (speech) and immersive Virtual Reality (VR).