Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson

Relational Databases, RDBMSs, circa 1999, such as DB2, MS SQL Server, Oracle, Informix and Sybase, implementations of E. F. Codd‘s work at IBM and built according to Codd’s 12 Rules, are effective for solving OnLine Transaction Processing, or OLTP problems. These might be termed “Blue Quadrant” problems, if you consider Stonebraker’s Matrix, 1, below.

X-Ray of broken arm,  courtesy of C. Bethel, MD, and A. Dean, MD.

Broken arm, courtesy C. Bethel, MD, and A. Dean, MD.

They are billing systems, trading systems – accounting systems.  Relational databases are useful for tracking widgets and money, as long as those widgets can be described with words or numbers.  Processing simple data, even with a high volume of transactions.

Relational databases could also be used to store images, such as those of Scarlett Johansson or Marilyn Monroe, above, or X-Rays, left. However, these are stored in the database as Binary Large Objects, aka “BLOBs.” While RDBMSs could operate on large volumes of data in various ways, there are just two operations they could do on on BLOBs: store and retrieve.  They could not query on intrinsic properties of a BLOB. They could query on data that describe a BLOB, but not the BLOB itself. There is no other processing in a traditional RDBMS. And they could not search on images, only on text describing images.

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EnergyPortfolios_Indices_2014_06 We are watching a paradigm shift.

How else can we explain the dramatic rise of the Sustainable Energy portfolio, the equally dramatic underperformance of the Fossil Fuel portfolio, compared to the Dow Industrials and the S&P 500 since I started this experiment on Dec. 21, 2012? The data are in my post of June 24, 2014, Energy Portfolios, 18 Months: Sustainable up 257%, Fossil Fuels up 24.6%.

Consider these questions:

  1. Which companies are Disruptive or Subject to Disruption?
  2. Which companies are Evolving and which are doing what worked for the last 20/30/50/80 years?
  3. Can management execute?
  4. Is management asking for government subsidies?
  5. What about the long term side effects? What are the Economic Externalities?

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PL_EnergyPort_14_06On Dec. 21, 2012, I put $16 Million imaginary dollars in equal imaginary investments in 16 real energy companies; Eight in the Sustainable Energy space and eight in the fossil fuel space. In the 18 months between the close of trading December 21, 2012 and the close of trading June 20, 2014,

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 29.46% from 12/21/12.
  • The S&P 500 is up 37.27%.
  • The Fossil Fuel Portfolio is up 24.56% from Dec. 21, 2012.
  • The Sustainable Energy portfolio is up 257.06% from Dec. 21, 2012.

In addition to the data summary, below, this post, the 21st in the series, will be followed with a summary analysis.

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Indoor Cloud. Courtesy 'Where Cool Things Happen.' com

Indoor Cloud. Courtesy ‘Where Cool Things Happen.’ com

Before We Called it “The Cloud” … We Still Had “Software as a Service.” We just didn’t know what Marketing wanted to call it.

Back in 1990 – ’91, before we called it “The Cloud,” before most of us used the Internet, when we were young and idealistic, I worked on three systems that offered what we would now call SaaS – Software as a Service.

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Image of Explosion at Fukushima

Fukushima Explosion, Courtesy Forbes

A lot of people have been talking about a new dawn of nuclear power (Telegraph, article from 2013 here).  “Fukushima,” they say, perversely, “proves nuclear is safe because only 3 reactors melted down.” They also say, “a culture of safety can make or break nuclear power.” (Japan Times, op-ed, here).

I think these people are not asking the right questions.

For example, the melt-rate of Antarctic ice has double since before 2010, that is since before Fukushima. Andrew Freedman on Mashable, here, and Phil Plait, on Slate, here wrote about a scientific study, accepted for publication in the journal Geophysical Research Letters which documents the increase in the rate at which Antarctic ice is melting. The study attributes this increased ice-melt-rate to rising ocean temperatures. The conventional wisdom is that “The increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide is causing ocean temperatures to rise.” But … what if this is only part of the problem?

What effect, if any, does the release of radiation from the Fukushima melt-down have on ocean temperature and therefore, the rate of melting ice?

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Image of a function illustrating limits,courtesy One Sage Calculus

Image of a limit courtesy One Sage Math Calculus Tutorial

While Amazon Redshift offers “fully managed, petabyte-scale data warehouse service… for just $0.25 per hour with no commitments or upfront costs and scale to a petabyte or more for $1,000 per terabyte per year” (and I can do it for less – see below) there are limits to the cloud.

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EnergyPortfolios_1405aThe Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 26.29% from 12/21/12.
The S&P 500 is up 32.03%.
The Fossil Fuel Portfolio is up 18.52% from Dec. 21, 2012.
The Sustainable Energy Portfolio is up 211.6% from Dec. 21, 2012. [click to continue…]

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cloud-computing2-resized-600.jpgHow not to implement a cloud-based information service.

What’s the Cloud? The Internet is The Cloud. GMail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail are cloud based information services. More technically, these are referred to as Software as a Service, or SaaS. There are also Platform as a Service, PaaS, and Infrastructure as a Service, IaaS.

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PL_Port.14.4aOn Dec. 21, 2012, I put $16 Million imaginary dollars in equal imaginary investments in 16 real energy companies; Eight in the Sustainable Energy space and eight in the fossil fuel space. The results:

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 24.54% from Dec. 21, 2012.
  • The S&P 500 is up 30.56% from Dec. 21, 2012.
  • The Fossil Fuel Portfolio had a great month, however, it continues to dramatically underperform the reference indices. It is up 15.38% from Dec. 21, 2012.
  • The Sustainable Energy portfolio had a bad month, however, it continues to dramatically outperform the averages, and is up 204.25% from Dec. 21, 2012

 

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Line graph showing valuations of Sustainable and Fossil Fuel Energy Portfolios, not corrected for dividend distributions

On Dec. 21, 2012, I put $16 Million imaginary dollars in equal imaginary investments in 16 real energy companies; Eight in the Sustainable Energy space and eight in the fossil fuel space. The Sustainable Energy portfolio is composed of Cree and Lighting Sciences in the LED space, GTAT, which at the time made solar ovens for cooking PV wafers, and today is diversifying, First Solar and Sunpower in the solar space, Vestas, a wind company, Solazyme a biofuel company and Next Era, a utility. The fossil fuel companies are the oil companies BP, Chevron Texaco, Conoco Phillips, Exxon Mobil and RD Shell, the coal company Peabody Coal, and Haliburton and Transocean, companies in the offshore oil and oil and gas drilling service industries.

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Energy Portfolios: 14 Months: Sustainable up 184.4%: Fossil Fuel up 8.7%

by L J Furman, MBA February 24, 2014

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 23.01% from 12/21/12 to 2/21/14. The S&P 500 is up 28.39%. The Fossil Fuel Portfolio continues to dramatically underperform the reference indices. It is up 8.7% from Dec. 21, 2012. The Sustainable Energy portfolio continues to dramatically outperform the averages, and is up 184.41% from Dec. 21, 2012. […]

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Energy Portfolios: 13 Months: Sustainable up 167.4%: Fossil Fuel up 8.92%

by L J Furman, MBA January 22, 2014

Figure 1, above, shows the relative performance of my hypothetical investments in sustainable Energy and Fossil Fuels, since Dec. 21., 2012. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up25.38% from 12/21/12. The S&P 500 is up28.95%. The Fossil Fuel Portfolio continues to dramatically underperform the reference indices. It is up 9.44% from Dec. 21, 2012, and […]

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Virtualization: 20% Lower Cost to Build; 70% Lower Costs for Power, Cooling & Operations

by L J Furman, MBA January 19, 2014

Imagine an small to mid-sized enterprise which needs accounting, document management, e-mail,  a central file repository, centralized printer management, and a central anti-virus console. These services can be put on discrete servers, along with, using Microsoft’s authentication model, a redundant pair of machines described as “Domain Controllers.” Add an “Intranet” and a central backup system […]

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Energy Portfolios & Reference Indices, 2013 Summary

by L J Furman, MBA December 26, 2013

If a picture is worth a thousand words … here are two thousand words on Sustainable Investing in 2013. While the data may suggest that a “correction” may be in progress for the “Sustainable Energy” portfolio, and while the actions or inactions of various governments can dramatically effect performance of these portfolios, the Sustainable Energy […]

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Energy Portfolios At One Year: Sustainable Energy up 140%, Fossil Fuel up 9.85%

by L J Furman, MBA December 23, 2013

On Dec. 21, 2011, reading that MidAmerican Energy was investing in utility scale solar energy generation, I looked at First Solar and Sunpower. Then I looked at six other companies in the sustainable energy world. I created a model portfolio. To make things interesting, I looked at eight companies in the fossil fuel industy and […]

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