Tales from the Technoverse

Commentary on social networking, technology, movies, society, and random musings

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Federal Cloud Summit Panel I Moderated

July 17th, 2014 · cloud computing, technology

I moderated a panel about the Future of Cloud Computing July 9 at the Federal Cloud Computing Summit.

The three excellent panelists were:

  • Amol Deshpande, an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science, University of Maryland,
  • Grace Lewis, a Senior Member of the Technical Staff, Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon, University, and
  • John Messina, a Computer Scientist, at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Each of them had a slightly different focus which made the conversation pretty interesting.

Deshpande has been doing research into how to do big data analytics using clouds, optimizing data management, and figuring out how to manage operations in clouds to meet performance standards. Lewis focus on the issues of small clouds which she referred to as cloudlets (and which I called baby clouds). Messina is working on the next version of the very important NIST cloud reference architecture and has been active in working with other countries on international standards associated with clouds.

When I have moderated or been on panels dealing with this subject in the past much of the discussion was focused on the user interface to services being provided in a cloud. This panel however spent a lot of time with the issues that went on inside a cloud or between clouds. For example Lewis mentioned that the future is not going to be on mobile cloud computing (mobile, e.g. smart phone, to cloud) but rather will be on the development of intermediary capabilities that will sit between a mobile device and the cloud to improve the overall experience. Messina said that 80% of all cloud services will be consumed by other cloud services.

For another take on the panel, here is an article in fedscoop.

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What I Learned From My Birthday This Year

July 11th, 2014 · family, Firefly, Serenity, washington nationals

As many of you know my birthday was earlier this week.

Most of the day of my birthday I spent working on responding to discussion posts and grading midterm papers for the graduate class I teach at the University of Maryland University College. During the day I talked to my two wonderful daughters. I spent a weekend with Miriam, joined on Saturday by Ellen, seeing Broadway shows, movies (including Serenity, of course), an improv show, and wandered around New York City; my pre-birthday birthday. This coming Monday I will go with Ellen and my other daughter Tamar to see a jazz saxophonist at Blues Alley, Mindi Abair, my post-birthday birthday.

Of course I also received many Facebook and Linkedin Happy Birthday’s. One in particular stood out from someone I only met once. She worked at the FAA in Oklahoma City. I had lunch with her and a number of other FAA staff there, probably around 2007. She wrote that she had been thinking of me and the fact that I introduced her to Firefly, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firefly_(TV_series), and Serenity, all of which she loved, and noting that if I was interested in watching Nathan Fillion, who played the Captain in both, that he was in Castle (which I was aware of, but appreciated being told). More on this shortly.

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Federal Cloud Computing Summit Visionary Panel – Tomorrow July 9th

July 8th, 2014 · amarc, cloud computing, technology

I will be moderating a panel about the Future of Cloud Computing at the Federal Cloud Computing Summit tomorrow July 9th at the Ronald Reagan Building starting at 2:45.

It should be a great panel with professors from the University of Maryland College Park, Amol Deshpande, from their Cloud Computing Center and from the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, Grade Lewis. Our third panelist is a Computer Scientist from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) who is working on the next version of the NIST Cloud reference architecture as well as being active in developing International Standards.

It was interesting in talking to the panelists in preparation for tomorrow. Much of the conversation, a bit to  my surprise, focused as much on what is going on regarding the architecture and performance IN the cloud compared to the interface TO the cloud. Topics like cloudlets, clouds of clouds, federated clouds, and a statement that in the future that 80% of all cloud services will be consumed by ‘other’ cloud services will be discussed tomorrow.

The agenda can be found here.

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Being The King

July 3rd, 2014 · theatre

This morning, Ellen asked me to keep my shower short (scheduling issues).

My response was that since I was the man, and thus the King, of the house, I could do whatever I wanted. In over thirty years of marriage, I am not sure I have ever experienced such out-loud laughter from Ellen, a reaction I am not convinced was entirely deserved.

Of course, over the last weekend during my visit with my older daughter, Miriam, in New York City, we saw the current Pippin revival (I highly recommend it) and I guess there are lessons there about being the king or wanting to be. As Pippin says when asked (in the original but not in this version) about how he feels at the end. “Trapped, ” he responds, “but happy”.

Perhaps I shouldn’t mention that this afternoon Ellen and I, at my request, will go to see The Fault in Our Stars at which I expect to cry. A sensitive King.

I kept the shower short.

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My Two Takeaways From Walking

June 25th, 2014 · General

One of the activities which I have promised Ellen I would partake more in is walking with her (she really likes to walk).

So on a more regular basis we walk around the neighborhood and every few weeks we have started going to parks and walking trails. Since we have both joined the Fitbit generation, there is also that. Steps. Floors. Very Active Minutes!

Today we went to Blockhouse Point Park which is north and west of us, off River Road, near the Potomac River. We walked one of the trails. It was quite nice, we plan to go back, there are at least one or two additional trails worth checking out.

ellen 20140625 at blockhouse point park

Ellen Not Walking Fast

Two items struck me during the walk.

First, going downhill on the way out from your starting point is a very bad thing. Sadly when that happens you have to go uphill on the way back, right when you have no interest in going uphill.

Second, Ellen doesn’t actually walk on these things, she power walks. She walks very fast. I stroll. I amble. I creep along. When I keep up with Ellen and especially when we are returning and doing the reverse of going downhill, it is exhausting. On the other hand, I guess it increases the number of floors and the amount of Very Active Minutes, which is a plus.

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What I Learned From The World Cup

June 20th, 2014 · sports

We were in Hilton Head visiting Ellen’s parents when the US played Ghana.

We were able to see the first US goal which was very exciting (and unexpected), scored in the first 35 seconds of the match. Around half-time we went out to dinner (I guess illustrating that we are interested but not fanatic soccer fans).

During dinner I was given permission (after each course) to check the status of the game. Thus we learned that Ghana tied it 1-1 late in the game and then a few minutes later the US scored to put the US in front again 2-1.

Shortly after that last score when I checked, the US was still ahead 2-1 but the time shown was “full-time”. What was full-time, I wondered? And then I realized, of course, if the middle was half-time then the ending was full-time. “We won”, I announced, “It is now full-time.”

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AMARC Federal Big Data Summit Starts Today, June 19

June 19th, 2014 · amarc, big data

Our Federal Big Data Summit starts today at noon at the Ronald Reagan Trade Center.

Today is the AMARC/MITRE collaboration sessions. We have four moderated challenge areas which will produce a series of suggestions which will be turned into a publicly available white paper:

Challenge Area 1: Big Data in Healthcare
Challenge Area 2: Big Data Analytics and Applications
Challenge Area 3: Big Data Solutions for Privacy Protection
Challenge Area 4: Big Data Solutions for Data Modernization

Tomorrow we will have a series of panels culminating with one I will moderate at 4pm. This last panel will look at future areas of research. Panelists are from MIT Lincoln Labs, Carnegie Mellon and Virginia Tech.

The complete agenda is here.

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Our June 2014 Visit to Hilton Head, Baseball Are Us – Part I

June 16th, 2014 · baseball, travel

We have been trying to visit Ellen’s parents every three to four months.

When we used to visit them when our kids were younger, we would generally drive. When the kids left the house, we tended to fly (to Savannah, where Ellen’s parents would pick us up). Now we have returned to driving there, however we try and see things and places each time.

For example, during a previous trip we stopped by Asheville, NC to see the Biltmore, the largest private home in the US, built by a Vanderbilt at the end of the 19th century. This trip our non-Hilton Head focus was baseball.

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Visiting Ellen’s Parents & Perhaps The Greatest Name in Baseball Ever

June 5th, 2014 · baseball, family

We try to visit Ellen’s parents every three – four months or so, they live in Hilton Head SC.

When we had kids at home we would drive there, then for a while we flew, but lately we have returned to driving. However, now we try and see new sites and/or experience new events.

For example a few years ago, we visited Asheville, NC and took a tour of the Biltmore, https://www.biltmore.com/. a former Vanderbilt home and the largest home in the United States. For those who have not done so, well worth the trip.

This year we are doing a baseball trip.

On the way south, we plan to drop by Salem, VA, and see the Salem Red Sox play. On the way north, we will stay at the home of the Hickory Crawdads in Hickory, NC. While there we plan to attend the South Atlantic League All-Star game. While we will not get there in time to participate in the Fan vs All-Star cornhole contest, we will get to see a number of Washington Nationals prospects from the Hagerstown Suns.

One of the six Suns all-stars is catcher Spencer Kieboom.  We really look forward to seeing Spencer someday in a Nationals uniform, such a great last name for a baseball hitter.

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My Trip With The Capitals Road Crew When Alex Ovechkin Was Drafted

June 3rd, 2014 · hockey

<the Caps Road Crew asked those of us who had been present when Alex Ovechkin was drafted to write up a few thoughts from our time at the draft, this is what I sent to them>

Those who know me are aware that I have been a Washington Capitals hockey fan for a long time.

The basis for that does not come from any personal hockey experience, the few times I have tried to skate, I spent the vast majority of the time falling down. My mother was born in Winnipeg Manitoba and all of my cousins even the lamest and least coordinated were great skaters and loved hockey. Because of them when young I became a big Toronto Maple Leafs fan, many of the cousins lived in Toronto.

Shortly after Washington received an NHL hockey franchise, my allegiance transferred to my hometown team and  I became a junior member of a season ticket group. Over a period of years, the group slowly dissolved until I ended up the last one standing. The Capitals were willing to transfer the season tickets to me (do they still do that)? And since then I have grown the group back up and increased the number of tickets we purchase from two seats to six, scattered all around the arena.

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