Saturday, June 15, 2013

Is philosophy dead?

I recently followed some discussion threads that started a couple of years ago with Steven Hawkings' assertion: "Philosophy is dead", Hawkings asserts that the truth about the universe is in the hand of the physicists, and philosopher don't keep up with science.   Well, reading it I thought of taking out my BA in Philosophy diploma and hide it, since with the death of philosophy this diploma becomes worthless (maybe I should also retroactive loose my graduate studies, since the acceptance was based on that diploma!).    Some philosophy professors make  defensive claims restricting the death to certain subsets of philosophy.  

My view is that philosophy deals with meta issues,  it does not deal with scientific experiments, but in trying to understand what is a valid argument about the world, and how conclusions are derived from assumptions and assertions.  Many of the concepts we use in computer science: class, object, event, instance and many more actually exist in philosophy much earlier than the invention of computer science.  The recent discussions about causality vs. correlation has long time roots in philosophy literature. 

During my academic studies I have taken courses in various departments: computer science, business school, education, mathematics, but as I have written several years ago, I value the studies in philosophy most.  I think that the study in philosophy has trained  me in both creative thinking and out-of-the-box thinking. I realized early in the studies that this is what you are expected to do in order to get really good grades.   

So I'll trust Hawkings and his colleagues when they talk about physics, and proudly live the philosophy diploma on my virtual wall.  

Friday, June 14, 2013

More on the acquisition of Apama by Software AG

One of the interesting questions about the acquisition of Apama by Software AG is what is the strategy of Software AG going forward in the event processing area, given that it has already acquired in the past an event processing technology from RTM which is named "WebMethods Business Events".
An article in COMPUTERWORLD attempts to shed light on this  issue, citing Stephen Ried from Forrester: "Apama and WebMethods Business Events complement each other; While the former RTM is really lightweight and can be embedded in many Software AG products to provide basic event communication capabilities, the Apama product is for those customers who like a dedicated business event management platform.".

According to this - there are two major use patterns.  Event processing as components embedded inside other products,  I have written before about the component approach to event processing, and indeed not every product needs all the event processing capabilities.  On the other hand, a full fledged event processing application require an event processing platform, optimized for performance metrics.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Second acquisition in one week: Software AG acquires Apama

This week is certainly a game changer in the event processing universe. 
The purchase of Apama by Progress Software in 2005 has been a major milestone in the event processing history,  acquisition of a start-up by a (relatively) big company, and start of a new period.   Today's announcement is the acquisition of Apama by Software AG.   This is different from the acquisition announced earlier this week of Streambase by TIBCO  since it is not an acquisition of an entire company, but of a division within a company, and of course, its technology and customers.   According to the announcement, John Bates, Apama's founder and Progress Software's CTO will join Software AG, and lead Apama again.  
I wish John and the Apama team good luck in their transition, and hope that a company in the magnitude of Software AG will be able to promote the state-of-the-art in the event processing area.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Singularity is getting nearer -- a controlled cockroach

In DEBS 2012 I participated in the "Gong Show" and presented a short presentation about event processing as part of the singularity vision (key to immortality).   Today, thanks to Rainer von Ammon, I noticed a cool project called RoboRoach, that is seeking crowdfunding.   There is a short video demonstrating its work.  In essence the cockroach has implant that based on BlueTooth controlled commands creates false sensing for the insect which effects its behavior.    We may say that the natural event processing system of the insect is modified by feeding false events.     The claim is that this technology can have implications on overcoming human neural and sensor handicaps.   Note that on the webpage describing it there is a keen discussion of comments with various types of rejections on moral grounds.   I am not joining this criticism, I think this is amazing scientific achievement with a potential to change life as we know them.   I keep tracking singularity related news.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

TIBCO acquires Streambase

The hot news of today in the event processing perspective is undoubtedly the acquisition of Streambase by TIBCO.   For some time I wondered when Streambase is going to be acquired and by whom as it stayed the largest independent event processing vendor.  Today in the world of merging and acquisitions, such companies are attractive to complement the portfolio of bigger vendors.   
Mark Palmer, Streambase CEO (until now) - announced the acquisition on Streambase's Blog, Mark also recorded a short message that can be found on Streambase's home page.   Chris Taylor described the acquisition from the TIBCO side.    Chris emphasized Streambase capabilities in the big data space.  
It is interesting to see how the "event processing portfolio" of TIBCO will evolve now, and how the synergy between Streambase and the existing event processing portfolio will be realized.
Anyway - interesting move, congratulations to my friends from both sides of this merge, and good luck! 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Proactive event processing for intelligent transportation system

I came across a new publication whose citation is: " Yongheng Wang, "A Proactive Complex Event Processing Method for Intelligent Transportation Systems," Lecture Notes on Information Theory, Vol.1, No.3, pp. 109-113, Sept. 2013. doi: 10.12720/lnit.1.3.109-113".   This paper is a follow-up to our work on proactive event-driven computing,  and applies events coming from the Internet of Things towards intelligent transportation system, proactively mitigating traffic congestion.  This work originates in China, who made Internet of Things as its flagship project.   We have looked at similar problem  as one of our use cases for EU project proposal (that did not win the lottery).