Impala is an incubatory native analytic database on Apache Hadoop that runs in the cloud. It claims Impala offers elastic scalability, better flexibility, and direct Amazon S3 query-ability that are unavailable from traditionally-architected systems, such as Redshift, Amazon’s analytics database.Using TPC-DS benchmark queries Cloudera found Impala is over 200 per cent less costly and over 10x faster on S3 compared to a general purpose tuned Redshift. It also claimed Impala is eight per cent less costly and 90 per cent faster on S3 compared to a pre-tuned Redshift for specific fixed reporting queries. Something for the Weekend, Sir? The man on stage is baffled. It was his big moment, a chance to show off his company’s proficiency and expertise, but now he’s being made to look useless.Two huge screens on either side of the stage are supposed to be displaying his presentation. They remain resolutely blank.A 200-strong audience of paying conference attendees stare on impassively in disinterested silence.There used to be a time when an occasion like this would cause spectators to squirm in empathetic embarrassment, the shuffling of audience arses in their seats helping distract general attention from the presenter’s temporary discomfort.
Not this time. If anything, the conference room gets quieter. Fed on a diet of reality TV, the audience wastes not a second thinking about what it might be like to share the unfortunate man’s predicament.No, they want to watch what he is going to do next. Some members of the audience have even begun to lean forward for a better view of his emotional discomfort. Will he get angry? Will he burst into tears?The poor sod on stage is at a loss. While his grumbling colleagues back at the office were forced to work for their living, he spent the best part of the previous day dicking around in Powerpoint. Now that he’s in a position to demonstrate very publicly that this was not a misuse of his employer’s money, the Slide Transition Gods have thrown a spanner in his bullet points.Moments earlier, he had been observed head held high and striding confidently towards the podium where the AV team had already connected his laptop. Now with rapidly paling face, his eyes wide and his teeth bared in a terrified smile, the former strider was visibly shrivelling into a kind of besuited Gollum.
Taking a deep breath, the presenter summons all the technical skills acquired over his years of training and experience to diagnose the problem.He taps some keys on his laptop. He waggles the video cable. He pokes the trackpad. He rattles the spacebar like Humphrey Bogart trying to get a line to the operator.He looks up and mumbles something in a squeaky voice. One of the words sounded a bit like “help”.His call – or strictly speaking, a squeak – for help is eventually answered by a 5ft hobgoblin from the venue’s AV team.We know he’s from the AV team because he’s wearing a black polo shirt and a wireless earpiece. Either that or a lost polo player with a hearing aid has stumbled into the conference and thinks his horse might be hiding on stage among the autoprompts.Ah no, it’s definitely an AV man because he is applying recognisable technical skills to the situation: after some thoughtful chin-rubbing, he is now hammering on the laptop’s spacebar and waggling the cables.A joker at the back of the audience shouts: “Have you tried turning it off and back on again?”Charitable laughter followed by even deeper silence. Did the AV man hear that? Will he oblige? The suspense is broken 30 seconds later as we hear the familiar tones of the Windows startup bongs. Yes he did. Still nothing on the screens, though.
Still, it’s a welcome break for the audience, giving us an opportunity to try connecting to the venue’s Wi-Fi again. We’ve been trying all morning to no avail.The event hosts proudly gave us the SSID and password but when we try to connect, it insists on asking for a username too. No complaints about this little extra layer of security but when I ask any of the venue staff for a Wi-Fi username, they stare at me as if I’m speaking a foreign language.Actually, from their point of view, I am speaking a foreign language: they’re all Polish. But I don’t recall this being a documented root cause of Wi-Fi issues at central London conference venues.I’m reminded of a recent smartphone app launch to which I was invited, only to discover upon my arrival that nobody there knew how I might connect to the internet. Worse, they seemed utterly taken by surprise that anyone might need this.The event was held in the depths of a hotel beyond the reaches of any phone signal, so the lack of any type of cable-free internet access somewhat took the shine of the ability to do anything with the app, other than to admire its splash screen. Hmm, splashy.Back at the conference, another tech hobgoblin has accompanied the first on-stage, soon to be joined by a third.All three are stroking their chins, looking pensively at the presenter’s stubborn laptop. At one point, they stop and look at each other, and for a thrilling few seconds I think they are about to stroke each other’s chins.
Hobgoblin 2 trots off-stage and returns with a MacBook, plugs it in and – hey presto – the massive screens spring into life, revealing all the kind of crap that hobgoblins tend to keep on their Mac Desktops.Very audibly, he accuses the presenter: “It’s your laptop that’s the problem!”The accused does not take this well. “My laptop is fine!” he squeaks. “It was working earlier!”Defusing what we had hoped might develop into fisticuffs, one of the event hosts belatedly grabs a mic and suggests we take an early tea-break and watch the presentation afterwards.Foolishly, he suggests we use this time to check our emails. Members of the audience begin shouting out that they can’t because no-one can access the Wi-Fi without a username. It is turning ugly.Near the entrance to the tea-break area, a passing cleaner carrying a mop and bucket is able to inform me of the Wi-Fi username, and I pass it on through the crowd.Half an hour later, emails checked and refreshed with tea, we sit down to watch a much-relieved but still quite sweaty man on-stage deliver his presentation from his restarted Windows 10 laptop.“Thank you for attending Data Communications for the Future 2016. I have a few slides to show you…”Analysis Love rat Apple two-times its long-suffering squeeze Qualcomm with dishy Intel – and it’s going to keep the baby but only let some of us see it.
Over a cheap bottle of chardonnay one dark night in Cupertino, Intel wooed Apple with flimsy promises. The pair felt a connection (around the 1.9GHz mark) after the iPhone maker opened up about its long-distance relationship with San Diego’s Qualcomm."I don’t want to get too tied down," Apple sighed. "I’m not ready for the commitment."Apple’s heart melted like a Galaxy Note 7 in a child’s hand. Now, thought Intel, if only it could scheme its way further into the MacBook maker’s life to wreck any plans to move from x86 to ARM.I just can’t understand why my screenwriting career hasn’t taken off.A peek inside the iPhone 7 has confirmed that Apple is using a mix of Intel and Qualcomm radio modems in the new handsets. Typically, Qualcomm provides these communications chips, which are used to connect the device wirelessly to the cellular network for calls, texts and mobile internet. Apple hates being tied down to a single component source, so it decided to give Intel a shot.There’s also the interesting dynamic of Qualcomm providing Snapdragon system-on-chips and modems to Apple’s arch-rival Samsung. Couple that with Intel’s desire to get its radio modem business a slice of the massive mobile world – while Intel’s traditional PC world diminishes – and that Apple relies on Intel x86 processors for its desktop and laptop products, you can see why Apple let Intel in through the backdoor to its iPhone production.