Why we had bad site performance these last days

On thursday our site became slower by the minute. To help solve this we installed some extra cache plug-ins to help load the site faster for returning visitors. However, this sort of backfired.

On friday the site was completely offline. Since our redesign we also host our website in the Azure cloud. Some research showed that other Wordpress sites on Azure also had the same problems that we had. This led us to believe that maybe there was something wrong with Azure.

This was not the case. Turned out the new cache plug-ins were responsible for the bad performance. What we’ve discovered is that after restarting the website, it loads once. After that it just hangs.

With the help of our colleagues Clemens Reijnen and Patriek van Dorp we were eventually able to fix the problem. We were back online yesterday, but did not wanted to scream it from the rooftops yet. Just in case.

We are very sorry for the inconvenience to our readers. Today, we will make it up to you; we got some great blogposts and video’s coming up.

Robot Revolution, will machines surpass humans?

VINT Symposium. Sarah Rotman Epps (@srepps): “There will be InternetS! of Things”

SaraSarah Rotman Epps is a Senior Analyst at Forrester. She studies the evolution of personal computing: how devices are changing, the new consumer behaviors they produce, and the industries they disrupt. Sarah also graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a B.A. in visual and environmental studies. She cross-registered at MIT and wrote her thesis on tangible interfaces and alternatives to keyboard and mouse computing. She was at our symposium to talk about wearable computing and started with a provoking statement: there is NO internet of things. Yet.

There is no internet of things.
The main reason for this according to Sarah, is that “Smart” Things today are fragmented, with limited utility. She also rather speaks of systems of engagement. Within that system it’s not necessary a thing that gets smarter, it’s us.

Schermafbeelding 2013-06-12 om 16.27.58

We should think of these systems of engagement that they function like an organism. Each organ on its own isn’t that smart, the intelligence comes from the entire organism functioning together. Within this system data takes the role of blood, it’s the driver. She illustrates this with the smart parking meters in San Francisco; it’s not about a parking meter, it’s not about the people, it’s about the system. Check out Sarah’s presentation that is embedded below this post for more examples of how a system works.

There is also business value in these system of engagement. Things will help businesses:

  • Increase revenue
  • Reduce inefficiencies
  • Improve customer experience
  • Build competitive advantage
  • Shift toward services

There will be InternetS! of things

Things today are fragmented and limited in utility and that’s not the only problem. The market for things will get enormous, but it will be really heterogenous. This is a serious issue from a consumers perspective; if the devices and services (API’s) can only talk to other API’s that share the same brand logo, functionally will remain limited.

So what does this all mean according to Sarah:

  • Things, and the systems of engagement that activate them, will impact every industry
  • Every business can seize competitive advantage by harnessing the power of Things
  • But so can your (new) competitors: Expect competition from adjacent markets

She also has some advice: Think big, Think sideways, Think systems, not just Things.

For more coverage of our VINT symposium follow the blog. You might also want to download the Dutch report: Your Big Data Potential: The art of the Possible. Photos of the event are on Facebook.