Archive for the ‘ibm’ Category

NASA Space Apps Challenge at Hursley

Sunday, October 20th, 2019

This weekend was NASA Space Apps Challenge again – a weekend space-themed hackathon organised by NASA. It runs around the world, and this year IBM Hursley hosted one again.

I was in a small team with Faith. There were a variety of challenges to choose from and we chose Orbital Scrap Metal which was about educating the public about orbital debris, or space junk – explaining what it is, where it comes from, and the potential impact it has.

We created a game to help kids learn about space debris while playing. It’s fun, educational, and is all driven by real live data about space debris – each time you play, you interact with different real debris items.

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Using Node-RED with IBM Event Streams

Friday, June 28th, 2019


Click to enlarge

IBM Event Streams is the distributed streaming real-time data platform Apache Kafka, from IBM.

Node-RED is a visual flow-based development tool, with nodes that you drag and drop onto a canvas and wire together. It’s useful for loads of tasks, such as quick and flexible prototyping.

In this post, I’ll show how Event Streams and Node-RED work well together. You can use Node-RED to quickly and easily create flows that consume messages from Kafka topics, or that process events from different sources and produce the output to Kafka topics.

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How to increase your social impact

Sunday, June 16th, 2019

This is a talk I gave at an event about how we are able to make a social impact through volunteering and community projects.

I’ve written before about how I made Machine Learning for Kids. But this talk had a different focus.

For this presentation, I looked to see if there are any general lessons that could be learned from my experience, to let me offer a little advice for people working in large companies like IBM about how to increase the impact of their volunteering efforts.

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Using kafkacat and kaf with IBM Event Streams

Sunday, June 9th, 2019

IBM Event Streams is IBM’s Kafka offering. Naturally it comes with it’s own UI and CLI tools, but one of the great things about Apache Kafka is that it’s not just a single thing from a single company – rather it is an active and diverse ecosystem, which means you’ve got a variety of tools to choose from.

I thought I’d try a couple of open source CLI tools, and share how to connect them and what they can do.

First up, kafkacat.

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Setting up Slack alerts to monitor IBM Event Streams

Sunday, October 7th, 2018

IBM Event Streams brings Apache Kafka to IBM Cloud Private (together with a bunch of other useful stuff to make it easier to run and use Kafka).

Monitoring is an important part of running a Kafka cluster. There are a variety of metrics that are useful indicators of the health of the cluster and serve as warnings of potential future problems.

To that end, Event Streams collects metrics from all of the Kafka brokers and exports them to a Prometheus-based monitoring platform.

There are three ways to use this:

1) A selection of metrics can be viewed from a dashboard in the Event Streams admin UI.
eventstreams-monitoring-20181006-11
This is good for a quick way to get started.

2) Grafana is pre-configured and available out-of-the-box to create custom dashboards
eventstreams-monitoring-20181006-13
This will be useful for long-term projects, as Grafana lets you create dashboards showing the metrics that are most important for your unique needs. A sample dashboard is included to help get you started.

3) Alerts can be created, so that metrics that meet predefined criteria can be used to push notifications to a variety of tools, like Slack, PagerDuty, HipChat, OpsGenie, email, and many, many more.
eventstreams-monitoring-20181006-20
This is useful for being able to respond to changes in the metrics values when you’re not looking at the Monitor UI or Grafana dashboard.

For example, you might want a combination of alert approaches like:

  • metrics and/or metric values that might not be urgent but should get some attention result in an automated email being sent to a team email address
  • metrics and/or metric values that suggest a more severe issue could result in a Slack message to a team workspace
  • metrics and/or metric values that suggest an urgent critical issue could result in creating a PagerDuty ticket so that it gets immediate attention

This post is about this third use of monitoring and metrics: how you can configure alerts based on the metrics available from your Kafka brokers in IBM Event Streams.

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Scratch Day at IBM Hursley

Friday, May 18th, 2018

Scratch is a visual programming language and drag-and-drop coding platform for children.

scratch

Scratch Day is an annual world-wide network of events where kids come together to make things in Scratch.

Their logo sums it up beautifully:

logo

Kids of different ages come together and meet each other. They share their experiences of coding – finding out the differences between what they each learn about coding in their different schools.

They try and make something. It’s basically a hack day for kids – where the kids are encouraged to use Scratch to make their hacks.

Most importantly, they share their experiences. They talk about the things they tried, the challenges they faced, and the things they learned along the way. And they demo the things that worked.

On May 12th that happened around the world, in close to a thousand venues, big and small.

scratchdaymap

One of them was IBM Hursley. We invited local families to the lab to take part in a small local Scratch Day.

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Explaining artificial intelligence to high school students at #IBMAoTTHINK2018

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

Today was the annual IBM Academy of Technology STEM event.

The annual IBM AoT SkillsBuild: STEM event inspires high school students to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Math with live presentations, lightning videos, and hands-on activity kits from IBM Volunteers. It explores how innovation matters in a wide array of industries with fun, cool demonstrations. Train a computer to play its own video game. Play a table top space exploration game with Quantum computing. Build an emotionally empathetic Chatbot with IBM Watson. Protect yourself from cyberbullying. Learn about an Escape room on cybersecurity, and more!

There was a fascinating line-up of talks to educate and inspire the kids. Kids attend in person, and also by watching the talks from their schools via a livestream – allowing thousands of kids to get involved.

I was invited to do a fifteen-minute talk to explain artificial intelligence to the students. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it in person, so I had to resort to contributing a presentation by video for the livestream.

Here was my talk… an attempt to try and help AI make sense to kids, by talking them through machine learning projects that I’ve helped children to make.

Can computers be creative?

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

from: https://tv.theiet.org/?videoid=10995