My Next Public Appearance

Not being Elon Musk or Ray Kurzweil, I still have the chance to give public talks from time to time.  I recently came back from my vacation in Japan where I managed to, in addition to relaxing, give three talks at different universities (two at Nagoya U and one at Tohoku U), and one at Toyota Central Research Lab.  My talks mostly focused on Analytics and IoT, and their practical applications.

Now, when back in the States, I am facing two more events:

  • On August 29th, at 6:30 pm, in San Francisco, I will deliver a Keynote talk at the ASME’s Information Storage and Processing Systems Conference.  The title/topic for my talk will be the following: A Short Introduction to Big Data Analytics, the Internet of Things, and Their Synergies.

If you have time and interest, feel free to stop by.   Either way, wish me luck  :).

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About the Fastest Trains

During my recent trip to Japan, I used the Shinkansen, which is a Japanese bullet train, a lot.

It is very comfortable and allows to move around the county fast without the hustle associated with air travel (luggage checks, security lines, time spent getting to the remote airport and from it, etc.)  Shinkansen travel isn’t cheap: the average ticket price was close to $100 one way, per person, for a 1.5-2 hour ride.  But, considering other things, this was still a good choice and helped us save precious time and preserve our energy.

But, the Japanese are not staying still and, instead, are working hard on the next generation of fast ground transportation–Maglev, or Magnetically-Levitated trains.

Below is the record-setting demo of the fastest Maglev train ride so far−603 km/hour or 374 mph.  This event took place on 21 April 2015:

Another short video on Maglev transportation and on the possibilities it creates:

By the way, I spoke to a young student at Nagoya University who is joining JR (Japan Railways) later this year and will be working on a Maglev project.  He was pretty excited and pointed out that the first commercial Maglev line in Japan will be connecting Tokyo and Nagoya, and will open in 2028 (Wikipedia suggests 2027 for this event).  In any case, this should happen in approximately 10 years from now, which gives me another good reason to visit Japan and  get a ride on this new super-fast train…

My previous posts on this subject:  link, link

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If Amazon Fails

An interesting subject is discussed in this article (with some references to more articles and discussions), regarding the question of our dependence on major service providers such as Amazon.  Amazon is a dominant cloud service provider (see here), and lots of what we do and experience every day depends on it.  For example, Netflix, which most of us use frequently (see here), is relying heavily on Amazon AWS.

The article’s focus was on the risks of having one such large cloud service provider that is, essentially, a single point of failure for many of us and for many companies in the US and around the world.

Amazon AWS is engineered to provide the highest data reliability and availability.  But, obviously, these are the “best-laid plans of mice and men.” In other words, things do happen and the service goes down from time to time.  You can read about AWS failures elsewhere on the Web, including this site.

I personally agree with the above sentiment, but don’t think of this as a huge issue:  even the largest past accidents were addressed quickly. Within a few hours.  And the main reason Amazon got into this dominant position in the first place is that the company is very good at providing their services and meeting customer expectations.  If this changes in the future, other players will naturally take over Amazon’s market share…

Posted in Cloud technology, computing, storage, data, Computers, Datacenters and data centers, Research | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What Will Cars Look Like in 2030?

Here is an interesting and concise (5-minute long) look into the future of cars.  Most likely, it will all happen differently, of course.  But this is an entertaining example of futuristic thinking.

Posted in Amazing technology, data, and people, Past, present, and future, Robots, robotics, intelligent machines, singularity, Videos, movies, and films | Tagged , | Leave a comment

2.5 Minutes Till The End of The World

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has  posted the following on their website:

“For the last two years, the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock stayed set at three minutes before the hour, the closest it had been to midnight since the early 1980s. In its two most recent annual announcements on the Clock, the Science and Security Board warned: “The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon.” In 2017, we find the danger to be even greater, the need for action more urgent. It is two and a half minutes to midnight, the Clock is ticking, global danger looms.”

Uh…  not great.  I already wrote about the Doomsday Clock earlier and remain optimistic about our future.  In the meantime, this is some of the data the “atomic scientists” are using to make their conclusions:

I understand why they are concerned.

Posted in Analytics, data analytics, big data, big data analytics, data on the internet, data analytics meaning, Data Analysis and Visualization, Past, present, and future, Research | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

How The Future Will Look Like in 2030 – 2050. But, Very Unlikely.

I like watching movies about the future tech…  It is a great way to feed your imagination and get some positive energy from the optimistic images of the world of tomorrow.  This is why we work today!  This is how our children and grand-children will live!

But, somethings, what I find could be “too much” even for my optimism…

Check out this video. for example.  And then read a few questions I had after watching the first part of it…


  • First, almost everything in this video about the future is basically possible today.  Just expensive but possible.  On the other hand, even the family shown in the video seems very wealthy and doesn’t seem to work much during the day.
  • 0:58.  Why would anyone (excluding the teenagers and those who like to be shown “Best Fails of the Week” video) use that mono-wheel device that came out of the car?
  •  And how can you fit it all inside the car wheel?  And why would you do it?  Does every wheel have one device hidden inside?
  • 1:20.  Why would any normal person want to give a lecture while standing on a transparent floor of a skyscraper?
  • 1:52.  Why do you need a drone to help with driving?  Was this an option when they bought the car and how did the car salesman convinced them that this is the “must have option”?
  • 2:02.  A Nuclear Powered Car?  Really?
  • 2:25.  How can he see his family standing together and waving at him while they are actually driving a car and sitting separately at that very time?  (2:48)
  • 3:36.  What is the point in the car following him into the forest?  How practical is this?  What if the car gets stuck?

Conclusion:  I either want to watch a Science Fiction movie and know that this is all completely fictional OR watch a Scientific or Technology forecast that is based on some science and common sense…  This video is one pretending to be another.

Posted in Amazing technology, data, and people, Computers, Past, present, and future, The future of artificial intelligence, Videos, movies, and films | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Top 20 Countries in PPP GDP

According to Wikipedia:

Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) is measured by finding the values (in USD) of a basket of consumer goods that are present in each country (such as orange juice, pencils, etc.). If that basket costs $100 in the US and $200 in the United Kingdom, then the purchasing power parity exchange rate is 1:2.

So, PPP GDP is the “effective GDP” and this is the list of the top 20 countries by PPP GDP:

One can see from this chart that China is already ahead of the US, India is ahead of Japan, and Russia is very close to Germany.  Also, traditional economic powers like the UK and France are in 9th and 10th place, respectively.

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