Introduction to Mobile Cloud Platforms

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If you are building a mobile application of any sophistication, you are likely to need some services to support your app. You’ll need a way to distribute your app for testing prior to submitting to the app store(s), as well as analytics, error logging, crash reporting, and possibly user and data management services. Of course, you could write these services yourself and provision servers to host these services, but why do that when you don’t have to?

Introduction to Blockchain

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The term blockchain has been floating around both the tech and finance communities a lot in recent years. But what is blockchain?

Blockchain is a digital ledger of all transactions across a peer to peer network. Each user in the network will have a full copy of the whole blockchain, which includes data of all transactions. Let’s say a user wants to pay another user. He would encrypt the transaction and broadcast it to the network. The transaction gets put into a new block. The ledger is maintained by miners, who work to approve the transaction and validate it using cryptographic techniques. Then the block is added to the blockchain.

Improving Supply Chain Management with Software

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By definition, Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the oversight of materials, information, and finances as they move in a process from supplier to manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer to consumer. Supply chain management involves coordinating and integrating these flows both within and among companies.* SCM is becoming evermore important for small businesses as larger companies they compete with invest more in transportation, logistics, and inventory.

An Introduction to Machine Learning

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Machine learning (a field of artificial intelligence) is a rapidly expanding technology that we see  in use more and more in our daily lives. It is used to give us more accurate results when we do an internet search, suggest products to us when we are shopping, and offer diagnoses to our maladies.

REST API Models in Swift

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There are a lot of APIs out there, a lot of networking layers, a lot of abstractions, I’m going to offer just one way to start building Swift models backed by a RESTful API. Out of personal preference, PromiseKit will be used instead of callbacks and ObjectMapper will be used to convert between JSON and Swift objects.

An Introduction to Data Mining

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Data mining is an interdisciplinary subfield of computer science used to discover patterns in complex datasets. The field has been widely studied since the 70’s since it can produce useful insights that can help to better understand underlying relationships and trends in data sets.

Optimizing database queries

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Most projects you will work on will have a database of some sort. For this reason, optimizing your queries allows you to use all that the database provides without having your application try to reinvent the wheel. In this blog, I’ll be using Postgres and Ruby on Rails to demonstrate some ways that you can optimize things. Much of the second section is Postgres specific, but the concepts should apply to whatever ORM you are using. Hopefully by the end you will have learned some new tricks to improve your project.

EMR Interoperability and the cost of Healthcare

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Healthcare in the United States costs far more than in any other country in the world, and yet the quality of the care Americans receive is rated 11th among first world countries. The high price of healthcare burdens employers, increases the national debt, and historically has left many without access to healthcare. We all want cheaper, better healthcare, but it is difficult to agree on specifics of how to get there. Why is healthcare so expensive? 

Into the Core…OS

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At some point in March I received an email stating that I had roughly $40 in DigitalOcean (referral link – get $10 credit!) credit which was going to expire on the first of May. I wanted to do something cool, learn new things, and leverage a large portion of my remaining credits.

My initial plan was to spin up a CoreOS cluster, as it is something that I have had my eye on. Once running I would get Kubernetes running for management/orchestration of deployed applications. During this journey I learned a lot of new things, had a lot of fun, and even got a cool cluster running. However, I never made it to the end goal of Kubernetes in time for my presentation (and this post). Looking back, I don’t consider this to be defeat: I learned a lot of new concepts along the way. I can be certain that I will leverage and use that knowledge in the future too!

Benchmarking Intel i5 & i7 Processors

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What is benchmarking?

Benchmarking is the process of measuring performance for a piece of technology against other pieces of technology. Typically, processors are benchmarked by running programs and software that heavily taxes the system. This allows the processor to truly shine (or, possibly, the opposite). For the purposes of this post, the i5 and i7 processors’ performance were measured in five different categories, each using one test: