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Social Networks are traditionally focused on sharing of status messages and links. The focus of these networks was about sharing of all kinds, but not as much as about the Visual aspects. This focus has been shifting recently to Visuals. This can be seen in the recent growth of the Visual Social Networks such as Instagram and Pinterest. These networks put the Visual aspects in front and center of the sharing. Some of the facts that support this observation: This week Facebook announced to buy Instagram for $1bn. (Instagram has just 13 employees but has about 50 million plus users. Instagram works by providing several photo filters that can make ordinary photos / pictures visually appealing. After applying filters these pictures can be share.) Pinterest has 12 million users and has grown 145% from January to March. (Pinterest operates like an online pin board. Pintere... (more)

Cloud Based Services: Plumbing the Web

Cloud based services are so ubiquitous that it is almost impossible to imagine our daily life without these. These services range from web e-mail services like Gmail to productivity apps like Evernote to Social Networks like Twitter to Information services like Weather.com. I can count at least twenty different services that I use on a daily basis and probably hard to live without. I get tremendous value from these services, both personally and professionally. However, there is an ugly side to these services. Each of these services live in their own island and it is hard to go on... (more)

Big Data Trends in 2012

Big Data has caught the fancy of each and everyone. Consumer and enterprise world is looking to adopt the Big Data. Analysts are talking about it, proclaiming it to the next big thing! Below is my take on how the Big Data market space will evolve in 2012 and years to come. Data Analytics Service – We will start seeing SaaS vendors that will start offering data analytics as a service (e.g., 1010data). These vendors will be able to pull in your unstructured data and provide you standardized reports and data services. This is very similar to the Web analytics (like Omniture) but ac... (more)

Patterns for Building High Performance Applications

Performance is one word that is used to describe multiple scenarios when talking about application performance. When someone says I need a High Performance Application, it might mean any/all of the following: Low web latency application ( meaning low page loading times) Application that can serve ever increasing number of users (scalability) Application that does not go down (either highly available or continuously available) For each of the above, as an architect you need to dig deeper to find out what the user is asking for. With the advent of cloud, every CIO is looking to buil... (more)

Application Performance and Antipatterns

Any application you pick up, there are some issues – big or small. There will be copy-paste code, mistakes, algorithms which could have better thought through. But what distinguishes an antipattern from these normal errors is that like patterns these antipatterns are recurring throughout the code base. In my recent experience in dealing with performance issues, I had observed certain recurrent themes that are undermining the overall application performance. Most of these antipatterns are well documented but it seems we do not learn from others mistakes. We need to make our own mis... (more)