All About B2B Data (and Big Data)

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What is all this additional data that is being collected and transmitted? What is this new term “Big Data” mean? What is HADOOP? How do we move Big Data and process it? How else can we help you?

Let’s Start With What  Big Data Is

  • Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data — so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone.
  • Gartner defines Big Data as high volume, velocity and variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decision making.
  • According to IBM, 80% of data captured today is unstructured, from sensors used to gather climate information, posts to social media sites, digital pictures and videos, purchase transaction records, and cell phone GPS signals, to name a few. All of this unstructured data is Big Data.

What Do We Do With Big Data?We are discovering that we can make sophisticated predictions  by sorting and analyzing Big Data. But, if 80% is unstructured, we first must format it before analysis. The way to structure it is HADOOP.

Read more: http://www.ec-bp.com/index.php/articles/industry-updates/10174-all-about-b2b-data-and-big-data#ixzz2p3UrTojf

Owasco River Railway

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Shay Locomotive Picture (from KC Jones) on the West Side Freight Line. Some of these went to the Owasco River Railway.

I found some information on the Owasco River Railway. It was 4 miles long and located in Auburn, NY.The RR was controlled by the NY Central. They had their own power early on eventually having the NYC supply its engines, most noteably the shroaded shays from New York City (also served on the Genesee Falls Railway). In diesel years it was a small GE 70 ton centercab engine and then regular NYC power. The road also provided interchange with the Lehigh Valley in Auburn.

When Penn Central conveyed much of its rail property to Conrail in 1976 there were some segments, such as the Metro-North Hudson Line from MO to CP75 above Poughkeepsie, that were not conveyed as they were subject to long term leases. Those properties were conveyed to the Owasco River Railway, Inc. Thus Owasco is the fee owner of the Hudson Line and the New York & Harlem RR is the owner of the Harlem Line. Both, of course, are leased to MTA and operated/maintained by Metro-North.

Some interesting things (to me anyway) about NY Central/Penn Central land stuff.

Timetable West from Poughkeepsie, Conrail didn’t just take ALL the land. NY Central had bought a lot of land both sides of the main and the Hudson River Connecting Railroad (those tracks that connected to the B&A and Castleton Bridge). Conrail didn’t take them and there used to be a lot of Penn Central FOR SALE signs on them. Owaso was the actual owner.

Yes there was an attempt to separate rail versus nonrail.  Was difficulty especially in NY City. Hard to separate land that carried one of the busiest 4-track mains from land that had extremely expensive value (like Waldof Astoria hotel plus a lot of Kentuky Fried Chickens equaled a lot of money)

New York & Harlem Railroad Co. is responsible for $7.8 million in (redeemable in gold) 3 ½ bonds due in 2043. These bonds are legally secured by the 127-mile right-of-way from New York City to Chatham AND by GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL!  Currently, these borrowings are rated “Baa1” by Moody’s (not too bad since Penn Central seems to have sold off some of this property).

American Premier Underwriters, Inc. is now the direct descendant of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company which was founded in 1846 and the New York Central Railroad Company, founded in 1853, but tracing its roots back to 1826. They merged in 1968 to form the Penn Central Transportation Company and developed into a highly diversified conglomerate. In March, 1994,
Penn Central dropped its well known rail-related name in favor of a title that more accurately described its business activities – property and casualty insurance. Today it employs 5,400 people, has sales of $1.8 billion and is publicly traded on five stock exchanges.

American Premier Underwriters is part of American Financial Group.  which, as the successor entity to Penn Central,  is the largest holder of common stock in the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (“Amtrak”). American Financial holds roughly 55% or 5,200,000 shares of outstanding Amtrak Common Stock, out of a total of about 9,000,000 shares.

In 1994, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority gained long-term control of Grand Central Terminal in the form of a 110-year lease from American Premier Underwriters, Inc.,
In 2004, American Premier Underwriters sold 1.3 million previously issued and outstanding American Financial Group common shares. These shares were held for the benefit of creditors of APU’s predecessor, The Penn Central Transportation Company. Proceeds from that sale ($41.5 million) were placed in escrow to be used to pay APU environmental claims related to its former railroad operations.

Have heard that something like Midtown TDR Ventures, LLC purchased Grand Central Terminal from American Financial in December, 2006. Midtown TDR Ventures, LLC is, in turn, controlled by Argent Ventures (Andrew Penson, President). But frankly, all these corporations that followed Penn Central sound more like AIG or Bernard Madoff. We are unable to find out how much any of these corporations received in Federal Bail Out Funds (except AIG). NOTE: Mr. Madoff needs BAIL not bailout.

I don’t think you can necessarily say that one company “owns” the entirety of GCT. GCT and its various appurtenances and buildings constitute one large property “block” (no. 1280, if you care to look it up on the nyc.gov ACRIS search divided into a handful of lots. The two biggest lots (nos. 1 and 10) take up the entire west half of the GCT block.While it gets complicated — particularly given various exceptions to title, consent agreements, leases, assignment of leases, easements, subterranean rights, and air rights — to suss out anything that might resemble ownership of these lots as a whole, looking at the deeds for the two large lots gives an overview of ownership history.

This funny company that resulted from Penn Central is extremely wealthy. Read more about the Owasco River Railway and other interesting shortlines.

 

Improved AS2

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Like VANs, AS2 gets complex if there are more than a couple of nodes involved. It is an excellent protocol with strong encryption and digital signatures, positive sender identification and proof of receipt. It is the implementation that can be weak, not the application.

AS2 (Applicability Statement 2) is a specification for Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) between businesses using the Internet’s Web page protocol, the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). The AS2 standard provides Secure Multi-Purpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) and uses HTTP or its more secure version, HTTPS, to transmit data over the Internet. Security, authentication, message integrity, and privacy are assured by the use of encryption and digital signatures.

Another important feature, nonrepudiation, makes it impossible for the intended recipient of a message to deny having received it. A Web server, an EDI transfer engine, and digital certificates are all that are required for data exchange using AS2.

All this sounds very well developed, but AS2 has no “directory” function. What would e-mail be like if it had no directory function? E-Mail has its DNS & MX records which automatically make the rounds of other e-mail systems.

Much of the management of AS2 is still manual. That means it is time to automate! URLs and Public Certificates change. Most every AS2 package allows you to generate and sign your own certificate. The process will generate both a private and public key for a length of time selected by you. The private key will automatically be securely stored where the AS2 software can access it, and the public certificate will be placed in a location where you can send copies to your trading partners.

A Visit From St. Nicholas

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A Visit From St. Nicholas

Saw an item in “Hankering For History”
1823 The poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” by Clement C. Moore was first published, in the Troy (N.Y.) Sentinel.

A Visit from St. Nicholas

By Clement Clarke Moore

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blixen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
 

Twas The Night Before Christmas Began in Troy

Posted on December 11, 2010 | By 

Regional Shippers Pose New Threat to UPS, FedEx

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Regional Shippers Pose New Threat to UPS, FedEx
was the subject of an article in the Wall Street Journal.
“Super regional” shipping companies are forming networks that can handle fast, and often cheaper, deliveries for e-commerce, posing a threat to the UPS-FedEx duopoly. Add this on top of the threat from the Amazon “Drone”!

You probably have never heard of LaserShip Inc., OnTrac or Eastern Connection Operating Inc. Yet these small regional shippers may well have dropped a package off on your doorstep this holiday season.

LaserShip facilitates last mile delivery, reaching east coast markets from Miami to Maine! They accelerate delivery times, reduce shipping costs, increase flexibility to business conditions, and enhance customers’ purchasing experience. In addition to being an ideal delivery solution for e-retailers, they feature specialized divisions for time-critical delivery for healthcare logistics, routed delivery, and Global Next Flight Shipping.

OnTrac (West Coast) is the faster, more affordable alternative for regional package delivery. Their efficient Ground network offers you faster deliveries without the extra fees charged by national carriers.

Eastern Connection covers Northeast US as far West as Indianapolis. They invite you to rate check against UPS and FedEx. See the Wall Street Journal article on their WebSite.

These and other small shippers, which handle packages for companies ranging from Amazon.com Inc. to Avon Products Inc. to Walgreen Co., are expanding their networks across the U.S., creating a “super regional” threat to the duopoly of United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp.

 

A Tale of Two Cities (One is Virtual)

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I deal a lot with two big Internet companies.
 
One is WordPress.com (actually http://automattic.com/). They host my BLOG. I love them. They try to make things easier for you. If you have a problem, they are VERY helpful.
The other company is YAHOO. I recently wrote about how I cannot log out: Marissa Mayer from Yahoo. I hope YOU don’t get HACKED
Now YAHOO is going from bad to worse as time goes on. Marissa tries to make an annoying change each week as she copies all the bad points of GMail and Hotmail. Sometimes her changes backfire: Bloomberg just reported that in response to user complaints, YAHOO will restore “tabs” in the next few days, letting users easily click between e-mail, contacts and message drafts.  Mayer apologized last week for “compounding issues,” including lost messages, users being shut out and access to other e-mail systems.
ZDNET got a bit more specific:The redesign was former Googler and current Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s decision to force Mail users into using a Gmail imitation — a design implementation that was met with a remarkable amount of opposition and rejection from Yahoo’s typically complacent, longtime, locked-in user base. Last week, Mail’s head honcho Bonforte told employees in a closed meeting that users would have to be kicked in the balls to leave the service. Within a few days, a headline-making service outage drew attention to users’ lost emails (some since the October 8 redesign), which had Bonforte singing a more contrite tune to the public on Twitter and in Yahoo’s embarrassing blog post. The outage and its critical press returns, has been the only event to bring Mayer anywhere near the Mail mess. She eventually apologized for the loss of service, acknowledging little else by way of specifics.
Let’s look at an amazing difference between these two companies:
 
Yahoo makes everyone work from the office and WordPress is all virtual.
 
One of the most unique aspects of working for WordPress/Automattic is the company’s distributed model: employees work from wherever in the world they happen to be (or wanted to move to). The transition into this new type of environment, and its effects on how work is done, is something on which many Automatticians reflect.
 
“I live in the future. My work environment is contained within a computer screen, and I can put that screen anywhere I want.”

WordPress.com is the biggest blogging platform around, and one of the most visited websites in the world. Yet the team that keeps it running is an intimate group of 224 Automatticians (thinking of joining our ranks? We’re always hiring). Among them are the Code Wranglers at work on our great features, the designers who make sure every pixel in your theme is in its right place, and the Happiness Engineers who work around the clock to solve any issue our users encounter.

Among the people working on WordPress.com, you’ll find marathon runners, home brewers, slam poets, and global nomads (to name a few) — as well as many, many bloggers.
 
Now for YAHOO
Before Marissa arrived on the scene (with her tall black hat and broomstick?), YAHOO was like most modern companies: a lot of employees worked remote from their homes, at least some of the time. Marissa brought YAHOO back to the mentality of the 1960’s and decreed everyone will work in the office. She gave some weak explanation why, but it was probably so she can berate their performance easier and kick them out the door easier.
So what is the answer? Hard to change mail systems because everybody has your “old” email ingrained. But where I would go is not to one of the “big” ones, but to PerfectInter.Net

Utica Comets down Abbotsford Heat and win 4th Straight Home Victory

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Kellan Lain and Alexandre Grenier scored first period goals, Benn Ferriero scored into an empty net with two seconds to play and Joacim Eriksson turned aside 21 shots as the Utica Comets scored a 3-0 American Hockey League victory over the Abbotsford Heat on Friday at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.

Stabilizing The Supply Chain

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A comment to us from a large supply chain “hub”: “The GXS mess shows how fragile everything is in the supply chain. Stakeholders (suppliers, manufacturers, distributors) do not control their own destiny if they are using an EDI Provider”.

There is an imbalance of power: end users should have control over the supply chain. Is it time for them to move to their own inside system which they control? What can stakeholders do? They don’t want to support everything (re-invent the Internet or something counter-productive like that). Yes, they have an alternative to run everything over an AS2 setup. They just don’t want outsourcers making the rules.

One view of the current state of affairs is that interconnects are too “black box,” and that VANs “grudgingly cooperate” instead of proactively advancing the science.

Some of the possible steps to correct this mess include:

The Ugly Numbers Behind Unbundled Cable TV

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And I only have cable TV
 
If you’re a cable TV subscriber who grumbles about paying for dozens of channels your family never watches, a media analyst has a message: That cable bundle carries all sorts of unseen benefits.

In a report that attempts to quantify the costs of an à la carte pricing for cable television, Needham & Co.’s Laura Martin estimates that $45 billion of TV advertising would be at risk under such a change, along with 1.4 million jobs, $20 billion in taxes paid by such cable operators as Comcast (CMCSAand Time Warner Cable (TWC), and $117 billion in market capitalization. And maybe you wouldn’t miss the Christian-themed Smile of a Child channel or Jewelry Television, but if you love any of those niche networks you could almost certainly kiss them goodbye for lack of financial support.

The notion of “unbundling” cable television packages and allowing consumers to choose only those channels they want has long tantalized frustrated subscribers, who pay about $720 per year in the U.S. for an average of 180 channels. The average viewer watches somewhere from 16 to 20 of those, according to Needham, and the gap infuriates millions as they write monthly checks to cable companies.

Martin argues in her report this week that à la carte pricing would lead to higher TV bills: “The notion of creating value through unbundling may be a laudable goal from a public policy point of view, but the world this premise describes can never exist.” That’s mainly because for every $1 of subscriber revenue, advertisers pay $1.24. Those payments totaled $101 billion last year, and $56 billion came from advertisers.

To keep the average cable roster of 180 channels, U.S. households would need to pay $1,260 yearly—or 75 percent more than they do now. But, wait, you say, the entire goal would be to pare that 180 drastically, down to the 15 or 20 I care to watch. Unfortunately, this is where the economics of the industry wallop an unbundler’s best-laid plans: The average annual cost to program a cable channel is $280 million, according to Needham’s math, and it’s way more for those that carry sports. Consumers tend to name an ideal price of $30 per month for just those few channels they want, according to Needham’s surveys. Across the 104 million U.S. homes with cable, that amounts to $37 billion per year.

Only 28 percent of current channels would survive in such a world—or about 50 channels in total. “Worst case,” Martin writes, “if distributors (who collect all the money) kept the first $30 billion (as they did in 2012), that would leave only $7 billion for content, implying only 7 percent of channels would survive and 173 channels would disappear.”

What about advertising? That revenue would still exist but only for the most-watched channels, such as Fox News (FOXA), AMC (AMCX) and A&E, where Duck Dynasty has ruled cable-TV ratings. What Martin calls “passion channels” like Discovery’s (DISCA)Military Channel would, in all likelihood, not have meaningful advertising funds and would disappear, taking the massive bundle paradigm with them.

This math exercise doesn’t translate to any kind of real-world channel bundles a cable TV company would ever try to sell, given their enormous cost structures and the fact that ESPN (DIS) alone has some nine permutations. (So far.) Yet the overall “ecosystem” of Big Cable remains a lucrative market for both content creators and distributors, their periodic fighting over money notwithstanding.

While unbundling cable may not work economically, the Needham report does suggest one solution for people disenchanted over paying for all those unwatched channels: Cut the cord, keep your modem, and stream the shows you like from Hulu, Amazon (AMZN), or Netflix (NFLX). Says Martin: “That’s how capitalism works.”

Have a good day, Penney

 

Mullen’s Two Goals Help Utica Comet’s Cool Off the Abbotsford HEAT

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The Utica Comets have won three straight games at home, following Wednesday’s 4-2 win over the Abbotsford Heat.

Kellan Lain and Alex Biega – his into an empty net with 58 seconds to play – scored the other Utica goals. Alex Friesen, Colin Stuart, Cal O’Reilly, Pascal Pelletier, Alex Mallet and Peter Andersson had assists, and Joacim Eriksson had another standout night in the net, stopping 26 shots. It was the third consecutive win at home for the Comets (9-15-1-1), the first such streak of the season. It also was their third straight win over the Heat (20-8-1-1), who will visit the Aud again Friday. The teams had split four one-goal games previously, both winning two on the other’s ice.