Thursday, November 25, 2010

Visualisation Tools

Elie has sent me links to two tools - Tulip and Circos. There's a video of Tulip in action here.

This is a useful tool for visualisation of trades and market data and has proved invaluable.

A variant of the Circos approach was used quite effectively to replay a time series of equities trades by sector to end users showing their P and L and risk. Today it's used for multi-venue market visualisation.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Layers are for Cakes - Not Software

This erudite quote comes from Performance Anti-patterns by Bart Smaalders:


Many software developers become fond of using layering to provide various levels of abstraction in their software. While layering is useful to some extent, its incautious use significantly increases the stack data cache footprint, TLB (translation look-aside buffer) misses, and function call overhead. Furthermore, the data hiding often forces
either the addition of too many arguments to function calls or the creation of new structures to hold sets of arguments. Once there are multiple users of a particular layer, modifications become more difficult and the performance trade-offs accumulate over time. A classic example of this problem is a portable application such as Mozilla using various window system toolkits; the various abstraction layers in both the application and the toolkits lead to
rather spectacularly deep call stacks with even minor exercising of functionality. While this does produce a portable application, the performance implications are significant; this tension between abstraction and implementation efficiencies forces us to reevaluate our imple-
mentations periodically. In general, layers are for cakes, not for software.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Smart Almanac

My friend Elie has written this clever on line application. Check it out: Smart Almanac is the first astrological application which computes favorable time frames for actions you may have to perform in your daily life, this is the perfect astrological assistant to organize your schedule hourly.

Quickly get a 400+ pages analysis report that will tell you hourlywhen to act in your favor, when the planets do support your action, given your natal chart, and your current location on earth.
A large choice of questions among 9 themes is available.

Bring the results with you along the the day : with the iCalendar option, synchronize with your mobile phone !

Monday, August 02, 2010

Infosec Data Analytics and Visualisation

I gave this talk at the IISYG last Friday. It was well received thanks to the reading of Raffael Marty's excellent work and blogging on loggly.

It's a nice idea but the key to success is getting application developers to adopt the logging mechanism and for team leaders to understand transactions and enforce teams to use them. There were many questions, mainly about the security of sending your logs to a third party.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Capability Operating Systems

This week Ben Laurie asks about capabilities in mainstream operating systems. Coincidentally, I was also tasked to investigate Mach Ports this week. According to the GNU Hurd wiki, "Mach Ports are Capabilities".

Okay, GNU Hurd is not exactly mainstream. But OS X is now installed in almost 11% of the computers in the US (arguably higher in more technical user populations). And Mach Ports are clearly part of OS X (including iPhone), but not widely used. Michael Weber points out that his IPC example code has found its way into the Chromium project. Maybe it's just a coincidence that Chrome was the only undefeated browser at the recent CanWest security conference in Vancouver last week.

So I am left to wonder what is the difference between these two concepts of capabilities, and what does Ben think OS X needs. Is it just a matter of making these services more visible?