Saturday, January 23, 2010

Nexus One - WIN! Nexus One with jangly bling bits - AWESOME!

..or so my better half would say!

Google/HTC Nexus One is an amazing phone. I love it. Along with whatever Apple are announcing next week I really think it will be a big factor behind augmented reality and always-on mobile internet going mainstream in 2010.

But I do agree with Dvorak who made the point that the Nexus One is slippery and easy to drop, so the fact that Google/HTC packed in every feature but the kitchen sink but did not include a lanyard point is a major FAIL.

But not just for practical reasons... for some, the wrist strap is just a great way to bling your phone.

My partner has a handful of bells, pets and chains hanging out of her blackberry. I'm sure if she got a Nexus it would end up looking like this..


But all her excitement for the phone disappeared when she discovered there's no lanyard point to make this possible. Not interested!!

Did Apple start this trend of "smartphones don't need a lanyard point"? I'm sure Steve would hate to see all those jangly bits falling out of one of his devices.

Come to think of it, maybe there's some cunning google geek logic at work..
No lanyard point = less chance of the phone being purloined by the gf/wife!

Soundtrack for this post? All Within My Hands - Metallica

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Released: Authlogic_RPX 1.1.1 gem now with identity mapping for Rails

Authlogic_RPX is the gem I released some time back that lets you easily support multiple authentication schemes in Rails without really having to think about it (Facebook, twitter, OpenID, Google, Yahoo! etc etc etc).

With thanks for contributions from John and Damir, Authlogic_RPX 1.1.1 is now available and includes an internal identity mapping that lets you tie multiple authentication methods to a single user. There are also some other bug fixes and improvements, so it is recommended you update Authlogic_RPX even if you don't want to enable the identity mapping.

See the Authlogic_RPX repo on github for information about installation, usage, and don't forget the sample site (and sample code).

Under the covers, it uses the RPX service from JanRain, a bit like this:


To get a better idea of why you might want to use Authlogic_RPX, and some pointers on how to do it, here's a reprise of my presentation on the subject to the singapore Ruby Brigade last year:


Soundtrack for this post? (I want) Security Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons. 1977, tight pants, mo and all;-)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cloud Computing - Why IT Matters

I caught Simon Wardley's presentation from OSCON on the IT Conversations Network; you can see in video below. He's an engaging speaker, and I think his characterisation of Cloud Computing as nothing less than a cultural transformation akin to the Industrial Revolution is spot on.



Soundtrack for this post? Mr Blue Sky

Saturday, January 16, 2010

ActiveWarehouse/ETL and Reflections on BI for Rails

I've recently been considering the opportunity to apply Ruby and Rails goodness to mainstream Business Intelligence applications.

During my research into prior art I discovered Anthony Eden's ActiveWarehouse and ActiveWarehouse-ETL projects, and gave them a test drive using a fictitious "Cupcakes Inc" site.

I presented this at the Jan 2010 Singapore Ruby Brigade meetup held at hackerspace.sg. My "point-of-view" slides are embedded below, and you can find the sample project and doco on github.

Conclusions?
  • ActiveWarehouse is a textbook implementation of classic data warehousing techniques. That was clearly Anthony's intention, but it also means it does not really attempt to explore how data warehousing might be approached quite differently with Ruby and Rails

  • ActiveWarehouse/ETL are not for the faint-hearted. When you get them working, they works well, but the lack of documentation basically means it's inevitable you'll end up reading the sources to figure it all out

  • I have concerns about scalability. Having worked on terabyte warehouses using "classic" technology, I know just how far you push databases in order to scale. This bears more investigation and testing before it would be sensible to commit to ActiveWarehouse for a large-scale DWH implementation

Nevertheless, ActiveWarehouse and ActiveWarehouse-ETL are interesting projects, and the underlying implementations make for some educational code reading. Hopefully my slides and the Cupcakes sample project will add a bit to the available documentation, and give a bit of a leg up to anyone intersted in checking out these projects;-)


Soundtrack for this post: Information Overload- Living Color