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...)

Rittman Mead’s Bar Optimizer

At Rittman Mead R&D, we have the privilege of solving some of our clients’ most challenging data problems. We recently built a set of customized data products that leverage the power of Oracle and Cloudera platforms and wanted to share some of the fun we’ve had in creating unique user experiences. We’ve been thinking about how we can lean on our efforts to help make the holidays even more special for the extended Rittman Mead (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...)

Happy Thanksgiving

Editor’s note: Here’s a first post from one of our new team members, Thao Nguyen (@thaobnguyen), who runs our Emerging Interactions team, the Research and Design part of the R, D & D.

That last D is Development if that’s unclear. Anyway, like Thao says, Happy Thanksgiving for those who celebrate it, and for those who don’t enjoy the silence in our absence. To Thao’s question, I’m going with Internet. Yes, it’s (more...)

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.

sdc2014

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:

P1230269(2)

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.”

asteroid-hackathon-small

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.

labwidewithJacopy

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...)