[UFO Chicago] o'reilly's latest emphasis

Brian Sobolak brian at planetshwoop.com
Thu Aug 4 20:19:11 PDT 2011

Some time ago, there was a lot of chatter at the meetings about how
deplorable  both the software and the concepts behind "Web 2.0" were. 
We've all largely moved on, as Web 2.0 is now mostly just "the web" and
doesn't need a special title.  So O'Reilly has moved on too.

A big emphasis of theirs is now on "Data Science". The idea that many tech
companies are created products based more upon data than raw innovation,
or at least the combination of the two.  (Google is of course a big
example.)  The pithy catchphrase is "Data is the new Intel Inside".

Here's a link to the essay:
http://radar.oreilly.com/2010/06/what-is-data-science.html (HTML)
http://cdn.oreilly.com/radar/2010/06/What_is_Data_Science.pdf (PDF)

While I know many on the list are somewhat biased against O'Reilly, I
actually really enjoyed the essay, esp. for the pointers to tools and
trends.  I think much of the appeal was personal -- I felt that much of
what they described actually described *me*, as a lot of what I've been
doing for the past 5-7 years is playing with data more than programming. 
I just happen to use programming as my means to an end.

I thought the section on Moore's law as applied to storage was interesting:

"Since the early '80s, processor speed has increased from 10 MHz to 3.6
GHz -- an increase of 360 (not counting increases in word length and
number of cores). But we've seen much bigger increases in storage
capacity, on every level. RAM has moved from $1,000/MB to roughly $25/GB
-- a price reduction of about 40000, to say nothing of the reduction in
size and increase in speed."

I'm also interested to see what happens when people predict the end of the
relational database.  I despise RDBMS but have yet to see a reasonable
alternative emerge on a widespread basis and wonder if any of the
"BigTable" concepts in 5 years will apply to more end-user computing, ie
scale down instead of scale up.


ps Facebook still uses MySQL for a lot of what it does ?!?! 


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