Before the advent of cheap computing power, statistics was a rather dismal subject. David Lax scared me off from studying much of it by saying that 90% of statistics was done on sets of measure 0.
The following cautionary tale also dates to that era. Other light verse below. Read more
Modern analytics described in three old jokes.
The drunk under the lamppost
A man is on his hands and knees, looking for something under a lamppost and obviously not finding it. The neighborhood policeman asks what he is doing.
“I’m looking for my keys.”
“Did you lose them around here?”
“Not exactly; I think they fell out of my pocket down the street a bit.”
“Then why aren’t you looking for them down the street?”
“The light is better over here.”
Some people use statistics the way a drunk uses a lamppost — more for support than for illumination.
Seek and …
A family that’s looking to start organic gardening has a large pile of manure dumped into their backyard. Their daughter grabs a shovel and digs in excitedly, shouting:
“Look at all this … stuff! There must be a pony in here somewhere!!”
Various reporters have asked me about Oracle’s third quarter 2012 earnings conference call. Specific Q&A includes:
What did Oracle do to have its earnings beat Wall Street’s estimates?
Have a bad second quarter and then set Wall Street’s expectations too low for Q3. This isn’t about strong results; it’s about modest expectations.
Can Oracle be a leader in both hardware and software?
- It’s not inconceivable.
- The observation that Oracle, IBM, and Teradata all are pushing hardware-software combinations has been intriguing ever since IBM bought Netezza. (SAP really isn’t, however; ditto Microsoft.)
- I do think Oracle may be somewhat overoptimistic as to how cooperative the Sun user base will be in buying more high-end product and in paying more in maintenance for the gear they already have.
Beyond that, please see below.
What about Oracle in the cloud?
MySQL is an important cloud supplier. But Oracle overall hasn’t demonstrated much understanding of what cloud technology and business are all about. An expensive SaaS acquisition here or there could indeed help somewhat, but it seems as if Oracle still has a very long way to go.
|Categories: Cloud computing, Exadata, Humor, In-memory DBMS, Oracle, SAP AG, Software as a Service (SaaS)||5 Comments|
It all started when I disputed James Kobielus’ blogged claim that Hadoop is the nucleus of the next-generation cloud EDW. Jim posted again to reiterate the claim, only this time he wrote that all EDW vendors [will soon] bring Hadoop into their heart of their architectures. (All emphasis mine.)
That did it. I tweeted, in succession:
- Actually, I vote for Hadoop as the lungs of the EDW — first place of entry for essential nutrients.
- Data integration can be the heart of the EDW, pumping stuff around. RDBMS/analytic platform can be the brain.
- iPad-based dashboards that may engender envy, but which actually are only used occasionally and briefly … well, you get the picture.*
*Woody Allen said in Sleeper that the brain was his second-favorite organ.
Of course, that body of work was quickly challenged. Responses included: Read more
|Categories: Analytic technologies, Business intelligence, Data warehousing, EAI, EII, ETL, ELT, ETLT, Fun stuff, Hadoop, Humor, MapReduce||Leave a Comment|
The competition for April Fool’s Day humor is brisk, as I documented in 2010 with two lists of excellent pranks. So I went against the grain that year, offering a collection of strange-but-true stories — such as how I came to have heartthrob James Marsters autograph a shirtless picture of himself, why I regretted that graduating athletic powerhouse Ohio State University at age 16 cost me my NCAA eligibility, and the sore butt I got from spending an afternoon with Bill Gates’ girlfriend, herself a well-known industry figure.
That post seemed to go over well, even if I’m a little disappointed at how few people joined in with stories of their own. So I’m opting for strange-but-true this year also, just more aligned with the usual subjects of my blogging. And thus, without further ado, here’s the story of
The client that was confused about security
Some notes, follow-up, and links before I head out to California: Read more
|Categories: GIS and geospatial, Google, HP and Neoview, Humor, Kickfire, Netezza, Solid-state memory, Teradata, Web analytics||3 Comments|
In no particular order: Read more
|Categories: Business intelligence, EnterpriseDB and Postgres Plus, Fun stuff, Hadoop, Humor, In-memory DBMS, MapReduce, Memory-centric data management, Open source, Oracle, SAP AG||2 Comments|
I often write of Bottleneck Whack-A-Mole, an engineering approach that ensues when parts of a system are out of balance. Well, the flip side of that is the One-Hoss Shay, as in Oliver Wendell Holmes’ marvelous poem. (Here’s a version with Howard Pyle illustrations.) Read more
Netezza has nailed April Fool’s Day this year. (Their site will revert to normal after April 1, so I may later edit this post accordingly.)
I’ve been posting a bit about pranks of various kinds, mainly geeky ones. But so far I’ve only covered real pranks, rather than the much funnier imaginary ones.
The classic of that genre, of course, is a certain database-oriented xkcd comic strip. (If you haven’t instantly guessed what I’m talking about, you must see that strip.) And in a similar vein, I further offer six examples of xkcd’s “My Hobby” strips. (The last two are not for the sexually squeamish, but the others are pretty G-rated.)
One thing I just learned about xkcd — if you mouse over the strip, you get another joke. Some are almost as funny as the main strip. So even if you have already seen the database-classic xkcd linked above, you might want to revisit it.
In a very different vein is Dadhacker’s list of real or imaginary past shenanigans, (Edit: The original link is fried, but here’s a partial replacement) which starts:
I am not permitted to replace a coworker’s reference books (including his Knuth, Sedgewick, and C++ reference manuals) with several linear feet of steamy hardback romance novels.
I will not name my variables after nasty tropical diseases, or executives who are under indictment for fraud.
Elevators are not toys, nor should they ever be wired into the corporate net.
Funny and vaguely prankish (and not for the language-squeamish) is this non-xkcd comic about NoSQL. And finally (definitely also for the non-squeamish), see the first long comment in this Reddit thread, which seems to have successfully pranked a whole lot of readers.