How to install Apache Spark on Mac OS X Yosemite

Hello data scientists,

This is a quick installation guide to install the Apache Spark on your local machine. I found the documentation on the website little confusing.

1. Download the Apache Spark tar file from the http://spark.apache.org/downloads.html. [Choose any version you would like from the dropdown menu. I recommend anything 1.3.1 or above]

2. Unzip the file into your home directory.

3. Open your terminal and go to the spark directory by doing cd spark-1.3.1 [Assuming you are in your home directory]

4. Now, simply run

build/mvn -Pyarn -Phadoop-2.4 -Dhadoop.version=2.4.0 -DskipTests clean package

5. It takes at least 10 minutes to complete the whole build.

6. After the build’s completed. It should look something like the following:

Build Success

7. Now run

./bin/run-example SparkPi 10

8. You should see something like this:

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 1.29.07 PM

As you can see here, it says the Job has been finished which means you have successfully made it running :)

Note: I am assuming you have Java installed properly on your machine. This is very important.

How to make a background image fit the whole window using CSS?

The following piece of code will solve the problem:

body{
background: url(‘../images/black_bg.png’) no-repeat center center fixed;
-webkit-background-size: cover;
-moz-background-size: cover;
-o-background-size: cover;
-ms-background-size: cover;
background-size: cover;
}

Cheers,

SZ

Adding a placeholder to the select tag in HTML5

There is no placeholder attribute for the select tag. But there is a way around it. The following piece of code will help you solve the issue.

HTML Snippet:

<select name=”browsers” required>

<option value=”” disabled selected>Choose a Browser</option>
<option value=”chrome”>CHROME</option>
<option value=”safari”>SAFARI</option>
<option value=”opera”>OPERA</option>

</select>

CSS:

select:required:invalid {
color: #999;
}
option[value=””][disabled] {
display: none;
}
option {
color: #000;
}

Cheers,

SZ

The hot and sexiest job of the 21st Century!

You might be wondering what it is? It’s called “Data Scientist”. How cool is that? You are not just referred or called as a programmer or a software developer, but referred as a “scientist”. Pretty neat right?

It’s in huge demand throughout the corporate America. This year, the demand for data and analytics resources will reach a whooping 4.4 million jobs globally, but only one-third of those jobs will be filled, according to researchers at Gartner. The emerging role of data scientist is meant to fill that skills gap. And the reason for this explosion in what Harvard Business Review terms “data scientists”? Big Data  — a concept and an approach to business management that most large corporations are now embracing.

One of the nation’s largest companies, IBM, believes that “new skills are needed to fully harness the power of Big Data. Though courses are being offered to prepare a new generation of Big Data experts, it will take some time to get them into the workforce. Meanwhile, leading organizations are developing new roles, focusing on key challenges and creating new business models to gain the most from big data.

Huge Ocean of Data

In this fast paced technological era, when most corporate functions depend on the technology of the internet and or the cloud for easy but secure access anytime, anywhere – data collection is no problem. Consider these statistics:

  • Twitter generates 1000 “tweets” per minute.
  • Google handles 700,000 searches” every hour.
  • Facebook features 700,000 “status updates” per hour.
  • YouTube handles 600 new “video uploads” every minute.
  • And “email messages” fly through the technosphere at the rate of 168 million per second.

Big Data is being generated by everything around us all times. Every digital process and social media exchange produces it, Systems, sensors and mobile devices transmit it. Big Data is arriving from multiple sources at an alarming velocity, volume and variety. This is a true statement that “Early adopters of Big Data analytics gained a significant lead over the rest of the corporate world.”

“We now live in the age of Big Data,” says Cynthia M. Wong, a senior researcher for Internet and Human Rights. Our communications and activities routinely leave rich digital traces that can be collected, analyzed and stored at low cost. In parallel, commercial imperatives drive a range of companies to amass vast stores of information about our social networks, health finances and shopping habits. The plummeting cost of storage and computing means that such data can be retained for longer and mined for future, unforeseen purposes.

Know, data collection is no problem but data management is. What do you do with mountains of data available to your learning organization? How do you determine what is relevant to learning? How do you incorporate it into a overall learning plan and, subsequently, into individual learning initiatives? Those are daunting questions, even for the most astute and technologically oriented learning professional. To extract meaningful value from Big Data, you need optimal processing power, analytics capabilities and skills.

RISKS VS. BENEFITS:

When mountains of proprietary data are being stored, security is always a question. Because corporate investments are put on line when the decision is made to integrate Big Data into a corporate philosophy, the first question that C-level executives might ask is, “Is building an advanced analytics capability really worth it?” Until now, the answer to that question has not been resolved.

But a recent Bain & Co. study found that early adopters of Big Data analytics gained a significant lead over the rest of the corporate world. Examining more than 400 large companies, Bain found that “those with the most advanced analytics capabilities are out performing competitors by wide margins.”

Early adopters are:

  • 2x as likely to be in the top quartile of financial performance within their industries.
  • 5x as likely to make decisions much faster than market peers.
  • 3x as likely to execute decisions as intended; and
  • 2x as likely to use data very frequently when making decisions.

BIG DATA AND LEARNING:

The first thing that managers of corporate learning programs must realize is that you are not in this quest alone. You, your business leaders and your information technology leaders must join forces to realize the value of the data at hand. And it won’t hurt to have one of those sexy “data scientists” on loan from the business side.

“Learning adds veracity and value to Big Data,” says Eric Burner, chief technologist at GP Strategies Corp. “Learning data can include the time of day during which it is referenced, the format/device from which it is consumed, where it’s being consumed, what kind of ratings the different lessons are receiving, how long it’s on the user’s screen, and how many starts and stops the user is making to consume it. It can tell you what your learners like and dislike.”

Where do you find existing Big Data? According to Douglas Laney of Gartner, unused sources of Big Data can be found beneath your feet in the form of operational data you collect during the normal course of business. You can start with data that your learning management system already spits out.

“Increasingly,” Laney says, “organizations are looking to extend this data with additional sensors or instrumentation.” Many organizations are also finding value in the intersection of operational data with externally available data. This external data comes from a growing cadre of syndicated data providers and public data, made available by government open-data policies and initiatives by many western countries over the past few years.” Of course, Laney adds, organizations should already be tapping into social media streams. “If you are not listening, then you won’t be leading,” he notes.

Good Learning data:

  • is relevant to the user;
  • comes in smaller chunks;
  • is simple;
  • is always available (just-in-time);
  • is flexible;
  • fits in the work stream; and
  • provides a means of interaction.

Furthermore, IBM believes that “insights from Big Data can enable all employees to make better decisions, deepen customer engagement, optimize operations, prevent threats and fraud, and capitalize on new sources of revenue.” But escalating demands require a fundamentally new approach to architecture, tools, and practices.

CONCLUSION:

Big Data’s most important corporate function is to increase the effectiveness of decision-making within the organization and, more specifically, within your learning/training department. It will help you determine the programs and initiatives that are best for your learners, how to proceed with their implementation, and hot to adjust them over time.

“Big Data analytics is the application of analytic capabilities (descriptive, diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive) on enormous, varied or rapidly changing datasets”. The application of analytic capabilities combined with increased scope, content, and context of big data – particularly when merged with more traditionally structured datasets – has drastically increased the variety of use cases for decision support, and in some cases, decision automation.

Source: Elearning magazine.

Cheers,

SZ

Centering an Image in CSS

I have been working with some designs and I had to center an image in few pages. Previously I used to use <center> tag around the image tag and it works like a charm. But the <center> tag is deprecated in HTML5 and there is a beautiful way around to do this using CSS. Add the following code to make the image aligned exactly to the center of any web page.

img{
margin-left: auto;
margin-right: auto;
text-align: center;
}

This piece of code works like a charm.

Cheers,

SZ

The story of the Burnt Toast

His Mom Served Burnt toast , but he was shocked when his Dad said this.
“When I was about eight or nine, my mom burnt some toast .
One night that stood out in my mind is when she had made dinner for us after a very long and rough day at work, She placed a plate of jam and extremely burned toast in front of my dad. Not slightly burnt but completely blackened toast.
I was just waiting to see if anyone noticed the burnt toast and say anything. But Dad just ate his toast and asked me if I did my homework and how my day was. I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember hearing my mom apologizing to dad for burning the toast. And I’ll never forget what he said:
“Sweetie, I love burned toast.”
Later that night, I went to tell my dad good night and ask him if he really liked his toast burned. He put his arm on my shoulder and said,
“Your momma put in a very long day at work today and she was very tired. And besides, A burnt toast never hurts anyone but you know what does? Harsh words!”
The he continued to say “You know, life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people I’m not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like every other human. What I’ve learned over the years, is that learning to accept each others faults and choosing to celebrate each other’s differences, is one of the most important keys for creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship. Life is too short to wake up with regrets. Love the people who treat you right and have compassion for the ones who don’t.”
Enjoy Life Now.

Copied from source: Facebook image of Victoria Potter.