Overheard: Word of the Day

A Whatis.com blog


August 20, 2009  7:10 PM

Overheard – MapReduce is a screwdriver



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Database, Google, MapReduce
mark-chucarroll “Just because you’ve got the best hammer in the entire world doesn’t make everything a nail. If you’ve got a screw, even a cheap, old, rusty screwdriver is going to do a better job. And MapReduce is a lot better than a cheap, old, rusty screwdriver.”

Mark C. Chu-Carroll, Databases are hammers; MapReduce is a screwdriver

RDBs are absolutely brilliant things. They’re amazing tools, which can be used to build amazing software. I’ve done a lot of work using RDBs, and without them, I wouldn’t have been able to do some of the work that I’m proudest of. I don’t want to cut down RDBs at all: they’re truly great. But not everything is a relational database, and not everything is naturally suited towards being treated as if it were relational. The criticisms of MapReduce all come down to: “But it’s not the way relational databases would do it!” – without every realizing that that’s the point. RDBs don’t parallelize very well: how many RDBs do you know that can efficiently split a task among 1,000 cheap computers? RDBs don’t handle non-tabular data well: RDBs are notorious for doing a poor job on recursive data structures. MapReduce isn’t intended to replace relational databases: it’s intended to provide a lightweight way of programming things so that they can run fast by running in parallel on a lot of machines. That’s all it was intended to do.

August 18, 2009  4:22 PM

Overheard – RealDVD and the power of the MPAA



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Digital rights management, intellectual property, iPod, Video
“It’s perfectly legal to rip music from a CD and upload it onto an iPod for personal use; why can’t a person do the same with their own copies of movies?”

Brennon Slattery, Why Pick on RealDVD?

It’s sad that RealDVD, with its sophisticated and lawful approach to DVD-copying, had to swallow the wrath of the MPAA. It’s also clear that the DMCA [Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998] needs to be updated to reflect the changes in media distribution 11 years later.


August 17, 2009  4:38 PM

Overheard – MIT license



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Creative Commons, licenses, MIT license, software
“…If I were to release a piece of software under the MIT License, and then give you a copy, you would be free to modify, sell, and build upon my creation so long as you leave the notice that I was the source of the original work in your adaptation. Licenses like the MIT License and Creative Commons licenses enable me to hold credit for my work while still giving my consumers some freedoms.”

Winslow Dalpe, Why Go Open Source?

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is MIT license.


August 10, 2009  7:26 PM

Overheard – Difference between CDMA and GSM



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
CDMA, ESN, GSM, Mobile Computing, SIM card, Telecom
“The two biggest differences between the CDMA and GSM standards are international compatibility and how the networks handle activating phones.”

Adama D. Brown, Brighthand FAQ: What’s the difference between CDMA and GSM?

Outside the U.S. and Canada, most GSM phones will still work, while almost all CDMA phones simply can’t be used overseas.

CDMA phones are activated remotely, by the carrier, using the phone’s serial number, known as the ESN. Since each carrier has a database of all the ESNs that are approved for its network, this lets most CDMA carriers refuse to activate phones not originally intended for their network.

GSM phones are activated differently. Each account is associated with what’s called a SIM card, or Subscriber Identity Module. This card, about the size of a fingertip and the thickness of a piece of paperboard, carries an encrypted version of all the information needed to identify your wireless account to the network. You slip it into the appropriate slot on a GSM phone (usually under the battery) and that phone is ready to use.


August 10, 2009  7:06 PM

Overheard – Deep fiber



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
deep fiber, fiber-optics, FTTC, FTTH, FTTN, Telecom
Pushing fiber close to the customer is generically called “deep fiber,” and various acronyms are used to indicate just how deep the fiber is. FTTH means “fiber to the home,” which is the extreme of giving every user an optical-electrical termination. FTTC takes “fiber to the curb,” serving a group of homes, while FTTN means “fiber to the node” or “neighborhood.”

Tom Nolle, Fiber-optic networks: Access network design


August 10, 2009  4:07 PM

Overheard – WiMAX and LTE



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
4G, LTE, WiMAX
For most service providers and consumer, 4G wireless has the potential to deliver 40 Mbps or more of broadband connectivity per user. There are two technologies capable of supporting this requirement: WiMAX from the IEEE and the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP)’s Long-Term Evolution (LTE).

Tom Nolle,  Three 4G business models emerge for LTE and WiMAX

Operator studies suggest that the migratory WiMAX model is most valuable in cities with large student populations, areas where mass transit is used for commuting in preference to private automobiles, and areas where online video usage has been well-socialized among wireline broadband users.

Where there is a strong wireline content appetite, sustaining that appetite in other places where the user may relax is far easier. On the other hand, in locations where much of the population commutes by car, where the user is older and less likely to view content online at home, and where a large segment of the population of a service area may be moving in from a different area, the mobile-evolution or LTE model is easiest to validate.


August 10, 2009  3:17 PM

Overheard – Metro Ethernet



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
MEN, metro Ethernet
t-rex The ongoing economic downturn is fostering a changing of the guard in telecommunications services. What might look like a business depression is actually providing fertile ground for a shift in technology. It’s traditional TDM switched circuits out. IP based Ethernet connections in.

John Shepler, Ethernet Takes Over, Mbps Prices Fall

Say goodbye to time-division multiplexing (TDM).   Looks like all that dark fiber left over from the dot.com bust is going to be put to good use.

John describes Metro Ethernet and its long haul equivalent, Carrier Ethernet, as LAN extension technologies.  I like that. “LAN extension technologies.”


August 10, 2009  2:01 PM

Overheard – High Speed Packet Access



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
3G, high speed packet access, HSPA, Telecom
It’s no secret that 4G wireless technology – aka Long Term Evolution and WiMax – is in the works and actually starting to see some deployment. But until then, a 3G technology called High Speed Packet Access, or HSPA, is seeing the big growth numbers around the globe.

Sam Diaz, Growth of 3G wireless broadband illustrates demand for 4G connections

HSPA is a general name for the High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) and High-Speek Uplink Packet Access protocols. They are packet-based mobile telephony protocols used in 3G to increase data capacity and speed up transfer rates. One of the primary differences between HSPA and EV-DO networks is that HSPA allows mobile handsets to transmit voice and data simultaneously.

Jonathan Morgan has written a very interesting post explaining why HSPA is so important.  It all comes down to dollars.


August 5, 2009  2:46 PM

Overheard – Serial-attached SCSI (SAS)



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
backwards-compatible, SAS, serial-attached SCSI, Storage
“Beginning late 2006, major network server platform releases embraced 3Gb/s SAS and there has been no looking back.”

Harry Mason, Serial Attached SCSI storage moves ahead in network server designs

Today I’m reading about SAS.

SAS is the only storage connect that embraces both the high-performance and high reliability disk drive offered with SAS connected drives, as well as providing native compatibility with low-cost per gigabyte SATA drives.

This capability allows common storage components to span a variety of storage environments, including tiered storage solutions. The ability of the storage system to scale is a critical attribute for enterprise critical data storage solutions.


August 5, 2009  12:22 PM

Overheard – Master data management (MDM)



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Data analysis, master data management, MDM, middleware
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure, and many enterprises have few or no resources devoted to measuring or monitoring how users use the information that enables and drives the business.”

Michael Dortch, Building an MDM project plan for manufacturing

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is master data management (MDM).

Whether a company uses a data discovery and mapping tool or begins by surveying users to ask them ‘manually’ about their information access and use patterns and behaviors, knowledge about current data is the first step towards truly effective MDM.

It doesn’t have to be as elaborate as a true, interconnected real-time data map, but the closer an enterprise can get to that goal as a start, the firmer the foundation of that enterprise’s MDM strategy will be.


Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: