Look What We Made

As a team-building activity for our newly merged team of research, design and development, someone, who probably wishes to remain nameless, organized a glass mosaic and welding extravaganza at The Crucible in Oakland.

We split into two teams, one MIG welding, the other glass breaking, and here’s the result.

Original image, glass before firing.

Original image, glass before firing.

Finished product, including frame.

Finished product, including frame.

All-in-all an interesting and entertaining activity. Good times were had by all, and no one was cut (more...)

From Concept to Code

Editor’s note: Here’s a repost of a wonderful write-up of an event we did a couple weeks ago, courtesy of Friend of the ‘Lab Karen Scipi (@KarenScipi).

What Karen doesn’t mention is that she organized, managed and ran the event herself. Additional props to Ultan (@ultan) on the idea side, including the naming, Sandra Lee (@SandraLee0415) on the execution side and to Misha (@mishavaughan) for seeing the value. (more...)

Musings on Samsung Developer Conference 2014

This year some of us at the AppsLab attended the Samsung Developer Conference aka #SDC2014. Last year it was Samsung’s first attempt and we were also there. The quality and caliber of presentations increased tenfold from last year. Frankly, Samsung is doing it really hard to resist to join their ecosystem.

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Here are some of the trends I observed:

Wearables and Health:

There was a huge emphasis in Samsung’s commitment with wearable technology. They released (more...)

Asteroid Hackathon – The Winning Team

Editorial Note: This is a guest post by friend of the ‘Lab and colleague DJ Ursal. Also be sure to check out our Hackathon entry here:

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EchoUser (@EchoUser), in partnership with SpaceGAMBIT, Maui Makers, the Minor Planet Center, NASA, the SETI Institute, and Further by Design, hosted an Asteroid Hackathon. The event was in response to the NASA Grand Challenge, “focused on finding all asteroid (more...)

Asteroid Hackathon

A couple weeks ago Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), Bill Kraus, Raymond Xie and I participated in the Asteroid Hackathon hosted by @EchoUser. The main focus was “to engage astronomers, other space nerds, and the general public, with information, not just data.”

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As you might already know, we here at the AppsLab, are big fans of Hackathons as well as ShipIt days or FedEx days. The ability to get together, get our collective minds (more...)

In Deference

An interesting ‘problem’ surfaced a while ago, one where a user with zero quota on every tablespace could successfully create tables. Of course once it was time to insert data the inserts failed, but this was confusing the user creating the tables. The ‘problem’ stems from enabling deferred segment creation in the database. Let’s see how that can create a confusing situation,

Deferred segment creation allows tables and indexes to be created without physical segments (more...)

Why do you need to gather CBO Statistics?

As I help a peer with a SQL Tuning engagement, I face the frequent case of: “We do not want to gather CBO schema object statistics because we don’t want our Execution Plans to change”. Well, the bad news is that: not gathering stats only gives you a false sense of safety because your Execution Plans can change anyways. The reason has to do with Predicates referencing values out of range. Typical cases include range (more...)

The Cloud UX Lab

There’s a post over on VoX about a OAUX new lab at Oracle HQ, the Cloud UX Lab.

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Jeremy Ashley, VP, in the new lab, image used with permission.

Finished just before OOW in September, this lab is a showcase for OAUX projects, including a few of ours.

The lab reminds me of a spacecraft from the distant future, the medical bay or the flight deck. It’s a very cool place, directly inspired and executed by (more...)

ECO 2014 and Slides

Last week I attended the East Coast Oracle User Group conference, also known as ECO, in Raleigh, NC.  This being my first time at ECO, it was a good event for being a two day conference.  The low-key environment provided a nice, comfortable environment for interaction between the speakers and those in attendance.  If you ever have the chance to catch this conference, it would be a good one to attend.

What you can expect (more...)

Pseudo-Philosophical Observations on Wearables, Part 1

Jawbone announced the Up3 today, reportedly its most advanced fitness tracker to date.

As with all fitness trackers, the Up3 has an accelerometer, but it also has sensors for measuring skin and ambient temperature, as well as something called bioimpedence. As these data collected by the Up3 are used by a new feature called Smart Coach.

You can imagine what the Smart Coach does. It sounds like a cool, possibly creepy, feature.

This post is (more...)

Finding SQL with Performance changing over time

I upgraded my database a couple of weeks ago and now my users complain their application is slower. They do not provide specifics but they “feel” it is running slower. Sounds familiar?

Every once in a while I get a request that goes like this: “how can I find if some SQL on my database is performing worse over time?”

It is very hard to deal with the ambiguities of some problems like “finding (more...)

Oracle Open World 2014 Presentations Download

Oracle has made the presentations used at Open World 2014 available for download this time too. Here are all the ones that are related to PeopleSoft.

Google Glass, Android Wear, and Apple Watch

I have both the Google Glass and Android Wear (Samsung Gear Live, Moto 360), and often times I wear them together.  People always come up with a question:  “How do you compare Google Glass and Android watches?”.  Let me address couple of the view points here.  I would like to talk about Apple Watch, but since it has not been officially released yet, lets say that shape-wise it is square and (more...)

Glorious Data Visualizations for Your Friday

If you’ve read here for more than a hot minute, you’ll know that I love me some data visualization.

This love affair dates back to when Paul (@ppedrazzi) pointed me to Hans Rosling’s (@hansrosling) first TED talk. I’m sure Hans has inspired an enormous city of people by now, judging by the 8 million plus views his TED talk has garnered. Sure, those aren’t unique view, but even so.

There’s an interesting (more...)

Memory Improvement

Oracle 12c (version 12.1.0.2) offers the option of using in-memory processing to speed things along. Called the In-memory option it’s installed when you install the 12.1.0.2 software. Using it can make a considerable difference in processing speed, provided you have sufficient resources (RAM) available. Let’s revisit an older example, on Bloom filters, and see if Oracle processes things any faster in-memory.

Looking again at the Bloom filter example using (more...)

Mind Control?

Editor’s note: Hey look, a new author. Here’s the first post from Raymond Xie, who joined us nearly a year ago. You may remember him from such concept demos as geo-fencing or Pebble watchface. Raymond has been busy at work and wants to share the work he did with telekinesis. Or something, you decide. Enjoy.

You put on a headband, stare at a ball, tilt your head back-forth and left-right . . . the ball navigates through a (more...)

Here We Grow Again

Cheesy title aside, the AppsLab (@theappslab) is growing again, and this time, we’re branching out into new territory.

As part of the Oracle Applications User Experience (@usableapps) team, we regularly work with interaction designers, information architects and researchers, all of whom are pivotal to ensuring that what we build is what users want.

Makes sense, right?

So, we’re joining forces with the Emerging Interactions team within OAUX to formalize a (more...)

Did You See Our Work in Steve Miranda’s Keynote?

Last week at OpenWorld, a few of our projects were featured in Steve Miranda’s (@stevenrmiranda) keynote session.

Jeremy (@jrwashley) tweeted the evidence.

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Debra (@debralilley) noticed too. I wasn’t able to attend the keynote, so I found out thanks to the Usable Apps (@usableapps) Storify, which chronicled “Our OpenWorld 2014 Journey.”

And today, I finally got to see the video, produced by Friend of the (more...)

Teaching an old dog to Fish

Inspired by the recent furore around Shellshock I decided that it was time to try an alternative to bash. By the very grown up process of shutting my eyes and poking my finger at the results of a search for “shell” I ended up at fish shell, described by the project as “a command line shell for the 90s”. I’m presuming that this means the 1990s and is not a minimum age requirement.

I’m (more...)

ESP8266 – Cheap WiFi for your IoT

About a month ago, hackaday.com broke the news of a new Wifi chip called ESP8266 that costs about $5. This wireless system on a chip (SoC) took all the IoT heads (including me) by surprise. Until now if you wanted to integrate wifi to any DIY project you had to use more expensive solutions. To put this into perspective, my first wifi Arduino shield was about $99!

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So I ordered a few of them (I (more...)