Home » Author Archives: Tony Sicilian

Author Archives: Tony Sicilian

Streaming Big Data: Storm, Spark and Samza

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There are a number of distributed computation systems that can process Big Data in real time or near-real time. This article will start with a short description of three Apache frameworks, and attempt to provide a quick, high-level overview of some of their similarities and differences. Apache Storm In Storm, you design a graph of real-time computation called a topology, and feed it to the ...

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Lambda Architecture for Big Data

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An increasing number of systems are being built to handle the Volume, Velocity and Variety of Big Data, and hopefully help gain new insights and make better business decisions. Here, we will look at ways to deal with Big Data’s Volume and Velocity simultaneously, within a single architecture solution. Volume + Velocity Apache Hadoop provides both reliable storage (HDFS) and a processing system (MapReduce) for large data ...

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Android Tips: On/Off Toggle

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When we need to give to users of our apps the ability to switch on/off a given feature, we automatically think of check boxes, toggle buttons or switches: These widgets are available to us out-of-the-box, but then we are constrained to a particular look & feel, which may or may not be what we want in our app. We could ...

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NoSQL on Android

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There are various NoSQL solutions for mobile platforms such as the iOS and Android. Here, we will look at Couchbase Lite (CBL – the successor of TouchDB), a lightweight, full-featured, embedded JSON database. Why a full-feature database instead of just a wrapper for a cloud service? Basically, responsiveness. The idea is that the application should always be available to users ...

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Storing Objects in Android

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One alternative to using SQLite on Android is to store Java objects in SharedPreferences. Here, we’ll look at two different ways to do that. Why not go for SQLite for all storage needs? The reasons can be varied: besides the impedance mismatch between object orientation and relational databases, SQLite might be overkill (brings more overhead) for some simple use cases, ...

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Android Activity Recognition

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Activity Recognition gives our Android device the ability to detect a number of our physical activities like walking, riding a bicycle, driving a car or standing idle. All that by simply using an API to access Google Play Services, an increasingly crucial piece of software available to all Android versions. As in the article on geofencing, we will download the ...

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Bluetooth Data Transfer with Android

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To develop an Android application making use of data transfers via Bluetooth (BT), one would logically start at the Android Developer’s Bluetooth page, where all the required steps are described in details: device discovery, pairing, client/server sockets, RFCOMM channels, etc. But before jumping into sockets and threads programming just to perform a basic BT operation, let’s consider a simpler alternative, ...

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Android Expandable/Collapsible Views

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Android Expandable/Collapsible Views Expandable/Collapsible Views (text, images, etc.) in Android are useful when we want to display all the available options on one screen, without the user having to scroll all the way to find the one he/she is interested in. What we are doing is trying to maximize the use of the available space on the screen by giving an ...

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Google Cloud Messaging: Collapsible Messages

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In a previous article, we looked at how to set up Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) in Android applications. We learned that GCM is a free service that allows us to push messages from the cloud to a number of mobile recipients running our Android application and registered with our service. The push messages can be either collapsible or non-collapsible. “Collapsible” ...

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Android Geofencing with Google Maps

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A geofence is a virtual perimeter of interest that can be set up to fire notifications when it is entered or exited, or both. For example, a geofencing app can alert us that our kid has left a previously specified area, or send us a coupon (e.g. the “Present this SMS an get 20% off” offer type) when we happen ...

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