SQL Expert is number one again

SQL Expert book at number one on Amazon's Orace booklist

Some friends have drawn my attention to the fact that my 2009 book OCA Oracle Database SQL Certified Expert Exam Guide (Exam 1Z0-047) has been back at number one in Amazon's "Oracle" books list.

I've observed that Amazon's best-seller lists appear to be updated as often as hourly.  So it might be at number one as I type this, but elsewhere - such as 4th or 7th - later in the day.  This latest book of mine has been bouncing around in the top 10 of all Oracle books for a few months now.  Every now and then it will show up as number one, perhaps about once every few days in my observation.  Now - if I had privileges to query Amazon's database, I could produce an accurate and comprehensive report.  If you're a reader of my book, you could create such a query too!

On the book's main page, Amazon displays a "Best Seller!" flag when it hits number one, with a link to the list.

I'm sure the interest in the book is largely driven by the exam itself, of course, which is a fantastic professional credential for anyone to get.  When you can add a blurb to your resume with the keywords "Oracle" and "expert" together, you're doing treat.  That being said, I've also received plenty of email from readers who are just honing their skills and filling in gaps in their knowledge, with or without plans to take the exam.  The book is uniquely useful for that as well.

So - a huge "thank you" to all my readers!  You're the reason this is all happening, and I thank you.

New app reads your mind

A new application for the cutting edge Google Glass platform will read your mind.  The app can sense when your brain waves indicate you're focusing on an image.  When you focus, the app will snap a picture of whatever you're looking at through the eye glasses and upload the image to Twitter.

It's called MindRDR and TechCrunch wrote about it here.  To read your brainwaves, it uses a third party device called the Neurosky EEG biosensor, which integrates with your eye glasses.

What do you think?  Would you use it?

[NOTE: Co-entered at my Skere9 blog.]

Conference in Williamsburg, Sqoop, and Big Data Connectors

Yesterday  - April 24, 2014 - I had the privilege of presenting at the Virginia Oracle User Group (VOUG) annual Oracle Conference on the James, or OCOJ for short.  The "James" is the James River right there in Williamsburg, Virginia.  I promised my audience I would publish the Power Point slides, so here they are:

Yesterday could not have been a more glorious day. The Doubletree Hotel in Williamsburg is really a conference center, with a variety of beautiful meeting rooms and great skylights and large glass walls.  The room in which I presented was unusual in that it had one door that led directly outside.  The hotel propped it open and the beautiful air flowed it, it was remarkably refreshing.  I particularly enjoyed it, given the many snow days we've had this past winter and even into the spring.  The air was fresh and the temperatures just perfect, what a great day.  

I was definitely in with some illustrious company - other presenters throughout the day included Mary Gable, David Mann, Craig Shallahammer, Greg Mays, Scott Poteet, Bill Myers, and Oracle's own Bob Bunting as well as Robert Freeman.  The legendary Tom Kyte (of Ask Tom fame) was the keynote speaker.  Brilliant talent was on display everywhere.

For more information about VOUG, visit their website here:  http://www.voug.org.

Here's a copy of the full conference agenda:  VOUG OCOJ Conference Agenda.

Thanks to one of my great audience members who took the photo.  And a huge thanks to Linda Hoover for making the entire event possible - thank you Linda!

Apostolis Giannakidis, Apache Gora, and Oracle's NoSQL

I'm so impressed ...

Readers of this blog may remember the brilliant and gracious Apostolis Giannakidis, who I wrote about on August 21, 2012.  Apostolis tweeted some kind words about my book when he announced to the world that he nailed the Oracle SQL Expert exam with a 93 percent passing score - far in excess of what is required to establish certification!  I blogged about his tweet here, and he found my post and commented about it here.

So today I looked at his own blog, which is linked from his comment.  And WOW - Apostolis is joining the Google Summer of Code 2013 to help integrate Apache Gora with Oracle NoSQL.  This is huge stuff, folks, Apache is where all the cool cutting edge open source envelope-pushing is happening, and Gora is the project for big data persistence and in-memory data model support.  Gora is related to other cool Apache projects, like Cassandra.  Extremely cool work, and Apostolis is right in the middle of it all.

Congratulations Apostolis!

Technologies: 

The 1981 Vision of the Internet and Newspapers

This is a great old 1981 news report from what appears to be a local San Francisco television station, talking about the then-futuristic Internet.  I love the opening line:

Imagine, if you will, sitting down to your morning coffee and turning on your home computer to read the day’s newspaper.  It’s not as far-fetched as it may seem …”

I received this video link from two friends at the National Press Club, Rick Dunham and Larry Lipman, both via Facebook.  Rick and Larry are former NPC presidents and this is making the rounds today among my friends in journalism.  Keep that in mind as you observe the focus in this news piece on the impact of the Internet on newspapers in particular.  Very interesting to see this with the hindsight of history.

Thanks to "bigdelboy" at Oracle Technology Forum

I just posted the following comment in a thread at the Oracle Technology Network forum, and I thought I'd repost it here, see below.

= = =

This is Steve O'Hearn, and thanks to bigdelboy for reposting the URL for the script download for my book, OCA Oracle Database SQL Expert Exam Guide: Exam 1ZO-047. I didn't realize my earlier posts providing the URL were flagged as spam. You're correct that I posted that URL in several forums at once. It's unfortunate that whoever or whatever may have deleted my entries would've done so on behavior alone without regard for the content of the message.

Anyone can visit my blog at blog.corbinian.com and look for the "1ZO-047 SQL SCRIPTS" link and follow the instructions. And yes, the script download is limited to owners of the book itself. The script is worthless to anyone else anyway.

For anyone wondering about preparation for the exam, please note that my book includes 728 pages in 18 chapters, including one for each of the exam objectives, and each of those chapters includes the following:

- Text to address the exam objectives in detail
- A detailed chapter summary ("certification summary")
- A through "two minute drill" reviewing the concepts of the chapter
- A "self-test" on the chapter, including 15 questions each, and each question is designed to match the pattern of the actual certification exam. This means that many questions are based on code samples, and all offer multiple choice answers.
- Detailed explanations for each "self-test" question and each and every answer - including an explanation as to why each answer is either right or wrong

In addition to all of this, the book also includes a complete 70-question practice exam at the end of the printed book.

And in addition to that, there's another complete 70-question practice exam available online to owners of the book.

These exams are not included in the 728 pages of text. Altogether you're getting over 1,000 pages of material with which to prepare for the exam.

The book really is a complete package for exam preparation. And judging by the volume of email I get from happy readers who are now certified, I dare say its very effective.

Good luck to you if you are studying for the exam! And please feel free to contact me with any comments or questions you may have. I've read that I'm apparently not allowed to post my email address here, but my blog website is listed above, and you can contact me via the blog.

- Steve

Technologies: 

The state of spy drone imagery: Argus

"This is the next generation of surveillance ... it is important for the public to know that some of these capabilites exist."

These are the words of Yiannis Antoniades, designer of Argus, the world's highest resolution camera with 1.8 billion pixels.  Antoniades is an engineer with BAE Systems and developed the camera under contract to DARPA.  The camera uses Wide Area Persistent Stare and shows an example of a 15-square-mile area video image that offers multiple drill-down capabilities.  Colored boxes highlight moving objects, including cars and people and even birds.  You can see a man waving his arms; the camera can see objects as small as six inches on the ground.
 

But is it being used now?  The answer to that question is "classified", says the video.

Really?  THAT is classified? So why does that remind me of this clip from the 1980 film Airplane!:
 

For the record, the Argus video does state that it has, "for the first time ... permission from the government to show some of these capabilities."  So unless that claim is a lie, I don't think it's some rogue video.

It's just an amazing advance in technology.

Another Great Book Review

Here's another great review of my book OCA Oracle Database SQL Expert Exam Guide, this from R.C. Roper of Topanga Canyon, California, who says:

This is a great book, covering all of the relevant topics in detail. The chapters and sections are in the order the certification objectives appear on Oracle's 'Exam Topics' page for this test, so it's easy to navigate and find your trouble spots. There are over 200 end-of-chapter questions in the book, and that's all I used to study for this exam. After only a week of study, I passed the exam with no other preparation except for the experience I've gained over the short time I've held my job. I can only imagine how well I would have done if I registered later for the test and gave myself more time.

Thanks, R.C.! The outline and overall structure was a major topic of discussion and debate in the original formation of the book, and frankly it made the job a bit challenging. It's one thing to write a book that mirrors the exam objectives outline, and it's another to create a book that conveys the information sequentially from start to finish in a way that initially made the most sense to me. Creating a single volume that does both simultaneously was tricky - but I think we did it, and did a great job. By "we", I'm including the excellent team at McGraw-Hill, including Tim Green, Meghan Manfre (formerly Meghan Riley), and Molly Sharp, as well as the outstanding and brilliant technical editor Alistair Grieve who was tremendous and really went above and beyond with this effort.  And even the legendary Kevin Loney provided some key input.  So it was quite the team effort.  (Click here for the complete Acknowledgements section from the book!)

Technologies: 

Java: Critical Update Issued by Oracle Corporation

Oracle issued critical updates to Java on Tuesday, Reuters reports:

The patch fixes 42 vulnerabilities within Java, including "the vast majority" of those that have been rated as the most critical, said Oracle Executive Vice President Hasan Rizvi.

For more: http://news.yahoo.com/oracle-fixes-42-holes-java-revive-security-confide...

Technologies: 

Are LinkedIn's "Top Influencers" really just "Top Provocateurs"?

LinkedIn Logo

What does it mean to be a person who is influential?  I think most people say it's about the ability to be persuasive.  And that's a tough quality to measure.  But my many friends in the media try it all the time.  Influence is often assumed to directly correlated to the size of an audience someone has - if a large number of people pay attention to what a person says - voluntarily or involuntarily - that person is said to be influential.   A magazine is thought to be influential based on the number of readers it has.  The same is true with books, movies, etc.

LinkedIn has a measure they call "Top Influencers This Week", it's a box that displays the names and pictures of the individuals LinkedIn has determined are the most influential among LinkedIn users.  I 've been noticing this feature lately because of an online discussion I've been monitoring within the Mensan community at LinkedIn.  The discussion is on the topic of the U.S. Constitution, citizen's rights, gun control laws, and the aftermath of the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Newtown, CT.  I made the mistake of posting a comment or two at the beginning of the thread, which I generally don't do, I try to stay out of political discussions at a professionally-oriented site like LinkedIn.  But there were a few fundamental misrepresentations of U.S. law that I figured might be a typo but were important to address, so I did.  Big mistake.  My email inbox has been flooded since with every comment since then, and even though I've gone back and deleted my original comments to try to get it to stop, they continue - I just received another two dozen comments in my inbox this morning.  Maybe there's a "follow this discussion" box I can uncheck somewhere, but I haven't looked yet.  But I digress.

Watching this discussion is making me aware of the LinkedIn "Top Influencer" feature.  The person who originated the discussion thread is currently listed as the number two "Top Influencer This Week" at LinkedIn, if I'm reading this correctly.  Another person in the discussion thread, who I believe has originated other discussions elsewhere on the site, is listed as the fifth most influential as I write this.

Here's the problem: those two individuals are clearly in the minority of the discussion.  They aren't influencing anyone, they are provoking most of the responses, and most comments are at odds with the two "top influencers".  The reason LinkedIn charts them as "Top Influencer" is merely because they started a thread that got a lot of people involved.  But the majority of those people who are involved are arguing against the positions of the two "Top Influencers".

So are these folks really "influencers"?  Perhaps LinkedIn should rename that feature "Top Provocateurs", because that's really all that is happening there.

So beware:  just because you're told someone or something is at the "top" of any chart, be sure you know what the metrics are based on. 

I hope I've managed to influence your thinking on this important aspect of data analysis.

 

Technologies: 

Pages

Subscribe to Steve O'Hearn's Blog RSS