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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

IoT World 2016 favorites

My personal favorites at the IoT World Conference


I am very impressed by the Samsung Artik

Looks like they are way ahead of competition in terms of understanding of how complete IoT solution should look like. Artik looks like a good platform and ecosystem that includes hardware modules, API specs, cloud, and growing community of developers. 

Reference device implementations based on different Artik Modules

Reference implementation of sensors and detectors

ARTIK 5 Dev kit

OTTO robot

ARTIK1 module and dev kit

Another dev kit (complete with WiFi connectivity)


Arduino for IoT.  It is not as complete as ARTIK but it is open, has a large developer community (myself included),  and working on a MQTT message-based cloud. All the rights components for a big success story! 

Here is the right way to demo an IoT solution (based on Raspberry Pi)


This company really understand usability! Do not know much about Jaguar driving experience but product design is simply amazing!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

AWS Solution Architect Certification :: Reflections

AWS Solution Architect Certification

Thoughts and Reflections

Just received a AWS Solution Architect Certificate and want to share some of my observations of the test (in no particular order):

  • If you used AWS for a few projects, passing the test will be easy. Compare to the amount of time and effort that it took me to pass Sun Enterprise Architect, it is probably 1/100 or 1/1000 
  • To my surprise, almost all questions were around S3, IAM, and EC2. It is much more to AWS, and I was thinking that they have more questions around RDS/EMR/Redshift
  • Tricky questions were "select 3 correct answers out of 6" or "2 out of 5" and it feel more like a lottery. It was almost half all questions that are in "multiple correct choice" category. When answering these questions, please read every word of it as they often put "sort-of-right answer" and "right answer" and unless all options are read fully it is easy to choose "sort-of-right" answer.
  • Learn when EBS volumes are deleted
  • No need to remember AWS command line syntax 
  • No need to remember IOPS rates, write capacity limits, and maximum sizes of anything in AWS
  • "Kinesis" was correct answer to 3 questions about the best solution for given scenario
  • "Spot Instance" was correct answer to more then one question that started with "what is the most cost-effective solution..."
  • VPC was the source of the most "tricky" questions for me, may be just because of my limited experience with VPC
  • It is plenty of time to answer questions, and to come back to them later, and to stair at the window, and to think about answers to these important questions (not given on the test): "Why do I want another certification?",  "Would this time be better spent somewhere else?" and "What do I want?"

Good luck on your test!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Developing Google Glass application showing the Heart Beat Rate

Wearable Sensors + Google Glass

Wearable sensors  are a lot of fun! I played with them for some time by now, both professionally (at work), and for the coding pleasure. This post is about my latest weekend project - native google glasses app showing heart rate. The idea is to continuously measure hear rate using the sensor and to show pulse rate in real time, for example, while running or exercising. Honestly, I did not find running with Google Glasses to be much fun (as they tend to fell off when I am running), but to see what makes my heart beat faster is an interesting and educational experience.

Google Glass (GG)

Turns out to be a nice piece of hardware that is a fun to work with: reasonably fast processor, Android 4.0.1, wide range of sensors, WiFi, and Bluetooth interface!



First step is to set up GDK from Google:

Next step to learn how to use GG screen factor and set up glass emulation. It's very straightforward and described in


I uploaded google glass gode to GitHub:


I like adding nice graphics on top of my code. For this project, I found a nice heart image on

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

How to make money on Bitcoins

I’v seen a lot of discussions around bitcoins lately: how long they will be around, if this is a new bubble,  how “fixed” they are. For me, another question is more interesting, how will people make money on bitcoins?

I can see these money-making opportunities:
  •      Bitcoin Mining. I think that the prime time for mining is over for bitcoins. There is an opportunity in mining for alternative virtual currencies but it’s risky as it is unknown what alternatives will be around in a few years
  •       Making tools for bitcoin mining. There are several major players in this space and it is amazing how fast technology is progressing
  •       Conferences and publications. That’s guaranteed to work for the few people with experience in that space
  •       Developing software. There is a need for plug-ins into major web store fronts, end user wallets, point-of-sale devices, etc. May be at some point we will even see plug-ins into accounting software
  •       Arbitrage between bitcoin exchanges
  •       Speculation on price spikes. Creating price spikes by purchasing and dumping large amount of coins
  •       Running bitcoin exchanges
  •       Financial consulting
  •       Combination of the above

Anything I am missing? (old-fashion steeling will not be counted here)

Watching how people made money on Y2K, Web1.0 bubble, mobile apps, I feel that there is a clear pattern and the list above with some small modifications will be applicable for the next “big” thing. What will it be? Does it matter? People who are good with words will always make money on words. People who are good with code will always make money on code. People with business talent will always find a way to monetize their brain waves. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wearable Technology presentaion at Appnation

Spent a day at the Appnation conference and want to share my notes from my favorite presentation - wearable technology. I'v been a big fan of wearables for some and it's exciting to see how the technology that was used by a few geeks taking the central stage. Anyway, here are my quick notes from the presentation.

DEC 4, 2013 

Q. Why now? 
  • sensor technology becomes affordable
  • cloud is ready, sensor data can be uploaded to the cloud 
  • big companies are making huge investments
Q. Why wearables?
  • wearables provide value now, helping solve problems in daily live
  • Pebble watch can provide contextual information (ex: runkeeper app that is active when user is running). My understanding is that sensors can be used to determine current user's context, if user is walking/running/sleeping and serve user with the information/apps that are appropriate for the context  
Side Note:
"smart wearable" is a cool term, I like it! Check:

Q: Wearable device classification:
  • General purpose devices (phones, watches, etc) 
  • Special purpose-built device (Fitbit, etc) are very popular since they solve particular real problems for user (fitness, diet, sleep, etc)

Q. What is different when wearable sensors come to play:
  •  distributed architecture - symbiotic dependency on smartphone 
  •  micro-engagement - instant access to the information
  •  sensors drive differentiation
  •  next few quarters will bring large number of new devices to the market 
  •  focus on the experience including users who want to use the technology in certain way
  •  there are some experiences that can not be done on phone (bio-context) 

Q. New design requirements that applicable specifically for wearable:
  • Long battery life (week+)
  • Durable, waterproof
  • No friction! People will keep and use these devices on daily bases (all the time?)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sport of Software Development, notes from the Google TV Hackathon

You may wonder what brings people together to work all weekend (nights included) writing code instead of spending time outside on these beautiful weekend? Do they have nothing else to do? Are they here for prize money or junk food? Any logic it it?

 I think that the answer is outside of logic - people get together to Google for the emotional experience, dream of building next Google, experience of been around  people like themselves. In my opinion, this is exactly what brings people to sport competition and this is yet another invention of Silicon Valley - making a sport out of software development. Looking forward for the time when it becomes part of Olympics and having people watching the competition (on Google TV?) voting for the wining team.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Vampire post-mortum on how to create TV-scale applications

Had fine time yesterday watching MTV's Deadliest Warrior on big TV screen and Loyalize's servers on my laptop screen crunching numbers from users' vote during the show. Personally, I have more passion for software then for Zombies or Vampires, so I found it to be much more fun watching my laptop screen then TV. What struck me is that just a few years back, numbers that I saw on my laptop will be if not impossible but extremely difficult to achieve. So, I am glad to report, that common (open source) technology is finally is at the level that it allows a relatively small team of good engineers to write an application that works for TV-audience scale.

What worked for us is the combination of:

Of cause, it's a lot of work to make them work together in scalable and reliable fashion but, at least, finally, we do not need to mix sand and clay to make bricks first if we want to build a house - all bricks are are readily available for download.