BusinessTown

Maybe you remember Busytown, Richard Scarry’s famous town, from your childhood or from reading it to your kids.

Tony Ruth has created the Silicon Valley equivalent, BusinessTown, (h/t The Verge) populated by the archetypes we all know and sometimes love. What do the inhabitants of BusinessTown do? “What Value-Creating Winners Do All Day,” natch.

brogrammers

Who’s up for a SiliconValley marathon?Possibly Related Posts:

Mash up Oracle Cloud Application Web Services with Web APIs and HTML5 APIs

No more an “honorary” but now a full-blown member of the AppsLab team, I gave a presentation at the Chicago & Dubai Oracle Usability Advisory Board in November on REST and Web APIs and how they can facilitate the transition from on-premise software to cloud-based solutions (the content of which can be fodder for a future post).

As we all are transitioning from on-premise implementations to cloud-based solutions, there seems to be a growing fear among customers and partners (ISV, OEM) (more...)

Dowsing for Smarties

Editor’s note: John and Noel (@noelportugal) need to chat about Google’s Physical Web gBeacons.

I have been a tad skeptical about the usefulness of smart watches, but my colleague Julia Blyumen has changed my thinking.

Woodblock of dowserIn her recent blog post, Julia noted that a smart watch could become both a detector and a universal remote control for all IoT “smart things”. She backed this up with a link to an excellent academic paper (pdf) (more...)

Primary on FileSystem and Standby on ASM

For one of the client, standby server went down. We had another standby server which was kept down for more than a month. Decision was taken to start the server and apply incremental SCN based backup on the standby database.

The standby was on ASM and the Primary on filesystem.Incremental backup was started from the SCN reported by below query

select min(fhscn) from x$kcvfh;

Once the backup completed, it was transferred to standby, standby (more...)

Dear Julia: SmartWatch Habits and Preferences

Julia’s recent post about her experiences with the Samsung Gear watches triggered a lively conversation here at the AppsLab. I’m going to share my response here and sprinkle in some of Julia’s replies.  I’ll also make a separate post about the interesting paper she referenced.

Dear Julia,

You embraced the idea of the smart watch as a fully functional replacement for the smart phone (nicely captured by your Fred Flintstone image). I am on the other end (more...)

Time Is On My Side, Maybe

A recent MOS document discusses, albeit briefly, an issue with AWR reports that’s been going on since 10.2.0, namely that the elapsed time numbers for queries executed in parallel are considerably greater than the actual elapsed clock time. Let’s look at why that is and what can be done about it.

AWR reports were a tremendous improvement over Statspack reports, primarily due to the depth and breadth of the sample data collected. A (more...)

An Interaction Designer’s Perspective: Samsung Gear vs. Samsung Gear Live

Editor’s note: In January of 2014, our team held a wearables summit of sorts, test-driving five popular watches, fitness bands and head-mounted displays to collect experiential evidence of each form factor, initial experience, device software and ecosystem and development capabilities.

Julia drew the original Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch, and she’s been using it ever since. A few months ago, she began using the new Android Wear hotness, the Samsung Gear Live, which several of us have.

(more...)

2015 AT&T Developer Summit & Hackathon

Editor’s Note: Noel did it! After competing in 2013 and 2014, he broke through and won a prize at the annual AT&T Developer Summit Hackathon (@attdeveloper). Congrats to the whole team.

MediaTek.prize

The whole team minus Anthony who was too sick to enjoy the moment.

 

This year, Anthony (@anthonyslai), Raymond, Osvaldo (@vaini11a), Luis (@lsgaleana), Tony and I (@noelportugal) participated in the AT&T Developer Summit & Hackathon.

From the (more...)

Here Are Your First Links of 2015

Our team has been busy since the New Year, competing in the AT&T Developer Summit hackathon, which is Noel’s (@noelportugal) Everest, i.e. he tries to climb it every year, see 2013 and 2014.

If you follow our Twitter (@theappslab) or Facebook page, you might have seen the teaser. If not, here it is:

Image courtesy of AT&T Developer Program

Image courtesy of AT&T Developer Program’s Facebook page

Look for details later this week.

While you (more...)

Another Echo Hack from Noel

Noel (@noelportugal) spent a lot of time during his holidays geeking out with his latest toy, Amazon Echo. Check out his initial review and his lights hack.

For a guy whose name means Christmas, seems it was a logical leap to use Alexa to control his Christmas tree lights too.

Let’s take a minute to shame Noel for taking portrait video. Good, moving on, oddly, I found out about this from a Wired UK article (more...)

Chromecast Guest Mode Rules

If you read here regularly, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of the Google Chromecast.

It’s helped me cut the cable, I gave it as a Christmas gift two years in a row (to different people), I have several in my home, and I carry one in my laptop bag to stream content on the road.

And if you’ve seen any of us on the road, you may have seen some cool stuff we’ve built for (more...)

Noel’s Amazon Echo Hack

Noel (@noelportugal) is one of a handful of early adopters to get his hands on the Amazon Echo, Amazon’s in-home personal assistant, and being the curious, hacker that he is, of course he used an unpublished API to bend Alexa, that’s the Echo’s personality, to his will.

Video, because it happened:

And look, Noel’s hack got picked up by Hackaday (@hackaday), kudos. You can grab his code on GitHub.

(more...)

Our Week at UKOUG

Earlier this month, Noel (@noelportugal) and I (@joybot12) represented the AppsLab crew at the UKOUG Apps 14 and Tech 14 conferences in Liverpool.

I conducted customer feedback sessions with users who fit the “c-level executive” user profile, to collect feedback on some of our new interactive data visualizations. Unfortunately, I can’t share any of these design concepts just yet, but I can share a bunch of pics of Noel, who gave several (more...)

Amazon Echo, The Future or Fad?

AmazonEcho

Last November Amazon announced a new kind of device. Part speaker, part personal assistant and it called it Amazon Echo. If you saw the announcement you might have also see their quirky infomercial.

The parodies came hours after their announcement, and they were funny. But dismissing this just as a Siri/Cortana/Google Now copycat might miss the potential of this “always listening” device. To be fair this is not the first device that can do this. (more...)

The Best Laid Plans

In a forum I contribute to the following question was asked:


Can adaptive cursor sharing (ACS) depend on execution order ?

The issue described a relatively basic query that changed execution plans apparently due to the order the query statements were run based on bind variable values. It’s an interesting issue that testing has verified. The tests are reproduced below, in abbreviated form, so let’s look at what was executed and what execution plans were used.

(more...)

New Adventures in Virtual Reality

Back in the early 90s I ventured into virtual reality and was sick for a whole day afterwards.

We have since learned that people become queazy when their visual systems and vestibular systems get out of sync. You have to get the visual response lag below a certain threshold. It’s a very challenging technical problem which Occulus now claims to have cracked. With ever more sophisticated algorithms and ever faster processors, I think we can soon (more...)

You Can Get There Making All Right-Hand Turns But …

It would appear that some DBAs are still using the optimizer_index_cost_adj parameter to make index access paths more ‘desirable’ to the optimizer. In decades past this might have been a good strategy however with the improvement in statistics gathering in recent relesaes of Oracle this might not be the case. Let’s look at an example to see why this might do more ‘harm’ than good.

The optimizer_index_cost_adj parameter was first provided in Oracle 9i as (more...)

Ten Year Site Anniversary

I realized yesterday that this site has pasted his ten year anniversary. In all funny…

Magical Links for a Tuesday in December

It’s difficult to make a link post seem interesting. Anyway, I have some nuggets from the Applications User Experience desk plus bonus robot video because it’s Tuesday.

Back to Basics. Helping You Phrase that Alta UI versus UX Question

Always entertaining bloke and longtime Friend of the ‘Lab, Ultan (@ultan) answers a question we get a lot, what’s the difference between UI and UX?

From Coffee Table to Cloud at a Glance: Free (more...)

About Proofs and Stories, in 4 Parts

Editor’s note: Here’s another new post from a new team member. Shortly after the ‘Lab expanded to include research and design, I attended a workshop on visualizations hosted by a couple of our new team members, Joyce, John and Julia. 

The event was excellent. John and Julia have done an enormous amount of critical thinking about visualizations, and I immediately started bugging them for blog posts. All the work and research they’ve done (more...)