Thursday, July 19, 2012

Big Data principles harnessed by Mumbai Dabbawallas

A well written article chronicling how the Mumbai Dabbawallas use the same principles that are the force behind the Big Data technologies today. Titled "What is Common between Mumbai Dabbawalas and Apache Hadoop?", the article details out how the entire process of collecting, shuffling, sorting and delivering tiffin boxes by the Mumbai Dabbawallas is akin to the MapReduce algorithm that is key to dealing with huge data collections.

Here's the crux of the article



  • Just like HDFS slices and distributes the chunk of data to individual nodes, each household submits the lunchbox to a Dabbawala.
  • All the lunchboxes are collected at the common place for tagging them and to put them into carriages with unique codes. This is the job of the Mapper!
  • Based on the code, carriages that need to go to the common destination are sorted and on-boarded to the respective trains. This is called Shuffle and Sort phase in MapReduce.
  • At each railway station, the Dabbawala picks up the carriage and delivers each box in that to respective customers. This is the Reduce phase.

Whats your take on this?

Strongly recommend you read the full article here


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Monday, July 16, 2012

Revelations of Higgs Boson Hunter

Rajivalochan Subramaniam is no ordinary guy. He has been a hunter for the elusive Higgs Boson. His revelations on his work, the hardships faced make for an interesting read in the article titled "First-hand look at boson experiment".Part of the team behind the ATLAS  detector that collected data whenever two photos collided, he mentions some mind boggling statistics
  1. If all the data from ATLAS were to be recorded, it would fill up 1,00,000 CDs per second. This would create a stack of CDs 450 ft. high every second, which would extend up to the moon and back twice each year. The data rate is also equivalent to 50 billion telephone calls at the same time.
  2. ATLAS actually only records a fraction of the data (those that may show signs of new physics) and that rate is equivalent to 27 CDs per minute.
Read the article for more...

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Thursday, July 05, 2012

Toss a bulb up and Light up your Home

An interesting concept that an engineering student has come up with in university of Queensland, Australia. We all know that wireless power transfer is possible via magnetic induction over short distances. What this ingenious student has done is combine that with the ability of magnets to levitate. He has invented a levitating bulb that draw power wirelessly. See a video here... LevLight Project (Magnetic Levitation + Wireless Power Transfer)

Imagine a day when you just need to toss a bulb to your ceiling where it will draw power wirelessly and keep floating....Isn't it cool? and not to mention the umpteen places where you wished a light bulb to dispel darkness.
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