WP Tech Talk – From BigTable to KDB+

Whitepages-Tech-Talks

Each week at Whitepages, we host various individuals from throughout the tech community for our Tech Talks. The point of our Tech Talk program is to bring these individuals together to continue to learn from one another, and get exposure to top-of-mind technologies. Follow along below gain insight into each of these technologies from the industry’s experts.

 

 

 

Google Cloud BigTable

In this Tech Talk, Paul Newson, Google Developer Advocate, presents Google Cloud BigTable (From Bigtable to HBase and Back Again – History and Future). Paul discusses the evolution of BigTable, it’s architecture, the latest cloud hosted offering of this service, and some of the insights and innovation that allow crazy high throughput and low latency.

 

Chain Replication Supporting High Throughput and Availability 

David Murray presents chain replication, a high-throughput alternative to quorum-based replication protocols like PAXOS and RAFT.

 

Scalability Meetup – Erlang VM

Eric Merritt discusses the design choices of the Erlang OTP VM that allow it to provide an outstanding platform for building highly fault tolerant and both vertically and horizontally scalable systems.

 

Distributed Erland Magic + Kx Systems

In this system, Fintan Quill, Kx Systems, introduces and demonstrates kdb+, a highly capable lambda architecture time-series columnar database capable of consuming high volume events streams and running efficient analytic queries over billions of data point.

 

Stay tuned for our next meetup roundup!

#TeamWP: Meet Sr. Sales and Mobile Strategist, Jennifer

Sr-Strategist

If you walk around the Whitepages New York office you’re bound to meet Jennifer, our Sr. Sales and Mobile Strategist. In Jennifer’s day-to-day life, she supports the ad sales team when they are working through proposals and marketing collateral. When Jennifer isn’t busy managing her team, you’ll probably find her at home gardening or with her son, Jonah. Let’s meet Jennifer!





Which office are you in?
The New York office!

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 3.49.21 PM
(This is the view from the NY office!)

Why did you join Whitepages?
8 years ago I heard about all of the great things going on at Whitepages and just had to work on the Ad Sales team!

What’s your hometown?
Armonk, NY

What’s your favorite snack in the kitchen?
Fresh fruit (mmmm!)

How do you take your coffee?
Half and half NO sugar.

What do you listen to at work? What’s on your playlist?
Classical, Dave Matthews, John Mayer or Counting Crows Pandora.

What was your very first job?
I was a babysitter.

Describe your first computer.
A Compaq 95 a big desktop I got freshman year of college. Prior to that we had a Brother word processor in my house growing up.
Meet-Sr-Strategist

What was your favorite TV show when you were a child?
Beverly Hills 90210 (the original!)
Sr-Strategist-Team

Fill in the blank: If you really knew me, you’d know ______.
That I love to garden!

What are you most proud of?
My son.

What do you do when you have 30 minutes of free time?
Play with my son, Jonah.

If you had 10 extra dollars what would you buy?
A green drink.

What’s your go-to karaoke song?
Party in the USA! OMG did I really just say that out loud?! Ok, it’s not signature, (since I really don’t have one) but I did sing it once!

What’s the last vacation you went on?
My honeymoon.

What’s your signature gelato flavor?
Coffee!

Two things you can’t live without?
My family and friends.

On the Road This Summer and Don’t Know Where to Eat?

Whitepages-Mobile-App

Have you ever heard yourself saying, “OK, Google. Find restaurants with fish tacos near me.” Or how about “Siri, find a French bistro near me.” If you’re like a lot people, you’ve caught yourself talking to the virtual assistant on your smartphone more frequently than your parents. The interesting thing about mobile technology is the fact that it give you access to everything you need at the tips of your fingers.

This comes in very handy when you’re in a place that you may not be totally familiar with. And with the summer vacation season in full-swing, finding locales with the most delicious regional specialties is extremely useful and can make your getaway that much more special. That’s why Whitepages has worked so hard to create a mobile app that helps you find everything (it comes for iOS too!) from nearby businesses and people to menus and service listings for restaurants and salons

Restaurants Near Me: The Only Way to Search

According to a recent article from Search Engine Watch, the number of Google searches that included the phrase “near me” is 34 times more popular now than in 2011. One of the biggest factors influencing this trend is mobile technology. In fact, 80 percent of the searches containing those two words in the fourth quarter of 2014 happened on a smartphone or tablet.

What Happens Next?

When consumers do a local search for a product or service – whether it’s a coffee shop with really great chai tea or a shipping office with a working fax machine – 50 percent of them will visit the store within the same day. And nearly 2 in 10 people will make a purchase within 24 hours of the search.

As a consumer, it’s sometimes surprising how quickly technology allows you to make decisions and take action. But, ultimately, these features bring an added layer of convenience to our lives and potentially helps us make better decisions.

On the Road

When you’re visiting a new place during your summer vacation, finding the right place to eat can be tricky. From Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon, there’s an amazing array of cuisines and specialties that flavor the landscape. But some places are bound to be better than others. Thankfully, your mobile device keeps you connected no matter where you go. By simply typing the type of restaurant you want into the Whitepages mobile app on your Android or iOS device, you’ll see a list full of possible restaurants near you – easy as… pie!

The Web is a great place for information, and we make it easy for you to find, research and call ahead when you’re looking for a place to eat on the road.

 

 

What does FCC Decision Mean for Annoying Robocalls?

FCC-Robocalls-Blog

We all hate intrusive, unwanted calls, especially annoying robocalls, right? But is it really possible to avoid them? You may have seen the news from the FCC that customers can now ask carriers to block illegal robocalls and spam messages for them. Read on as we break down the ruling and offer some suggestions about how you can protect yourself from those unwanted calls.

Now You Can Block Those Annoying Robocalls

The FCC decision essentially said that customers can ask their phone carrier to block illegal robocalls and spam texts for them and that the carriers are legally able to do so. This sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, If you still have a landline phone hanging on the wall in your kitchen, you’ll get a big benefit from the FCC decision to approve robocall blocking. Now you can request that your phone carrier block all calls that start from an automatic dialier (or robodialer). But since many people have already moved away from landlines and exclusively use mobile phones and for them it is largely a no-news event. With caller ID apps like Whitepages Caller ID, mobile users already have the opportunity to identify and block unwanted calls and text. 

But What About Other Nuisance Calls?

So for those of you landline users who are happy to have robocalls blocked, don’t expect to now be rid of all unwanted calls. Robocalls are just one of many types of unwanted calls. Many nuisance calls are not from automated dialers at all, the IRS scam and Microsoft Tech Support scam are great examples. By enabling users to only block robocalls, the decision doesn’t go far enough to protect consumers from unwanted calls or from high risk calls that are not automated.

This Means Robocalls Will Stop, Right? Not Exactly.

Part of the FCC ruling opens up the opportunity for banks and health care providers to alert consumers to possible fraud. This is a move in the right direction for consumer protection since banking fraud and health care fraud are two of the most largely seen areas of phone and SMS scams. But expanding robocalling opportunities to these two industries introduces the opportunity for more fraudulent activities. Where previously, consumers knew that all unsolicited contact from their bank or health care provider was suspicious, now it will be harder to tell real alerts from scams. With an app like Whitepages Caller ID, you can scrutinize contacts from banks or your health care provider very closely.

Is the image below really a text from your bank or is it fraud?

robocall-real-or-fake

The opportunity to block unwanted calls is a great bonus for those of you trying to avoid nuisance calls and protect yourselves from spam. But you don’t want to miss calls that you actually want to receive. You’ve got to trust that the data is accurate. The Whitepages Phone Reputation Service evaluates over 2.5 billion calls and identifies over 20 million spam calls and texts every month. This volume combined with years of experience building our phone spam detection algorithms brings a high level of accuracy to our data. Download Whitepages Caller ID for Android and protect yourself from unwanted calls now.

#TeamWP: Meet Director of Customer Acquisition, Eric

Eric-Director

Did you know that there is someone who’s actively monitoring all of our paid marketing campaigns at all times? At all hours of the day there is at least one paid marketing effort running, whether it is for Whitepages or Whitepages Pro, our B2B SaaS business. Meet Eric, the Director of Customer Acquisition and the man behind the team that runs it all. Eric’s team oversees all of the paid marketing efforts for both traffic and leads to our websites. When Eric isn’t monitoring the campaigns, you might find him monitoring his FitBit activity, hanging out with his son, Storm or thinking about the next time he can go ride a quad or motorcycle. Let’s meet Eric!

Which office are you in?
The Seahawks office.
(Sea…Hawks!!!)

Why did you join Whitepages?
I was considering a career change when the opportunity presented itself. I met Alex (our CEO and Founder) down at LeadsCon in Las Vegas and had a great conversation. Once I met a few others on the team and had a better understanding of the company and what it did I was all in. It’s great to be part of such an incredible team of talented people!

What’s your hometown?
Medford, OR
Customer-Acquisition

What’s your favorite snack in the kitchen?
Anything in the left half of the refrigerator. It’s like a potluck every single day! Wait. What? Oh. Ooooops. I’ll change my answer to the little Babybel Cheese rounds. I feel like I’m playing Skyrim when I have them on my desk.
(Hint: The left half of the refrigerator is the bring-it-yourself, employee side)

How do you take your coffee?
Clear with a bag of tea in it. I’ve been trying to cut down lately but I’m generally open for a Starbucks run if an invite is extended. Usually an iced americano with room or a skinny caramel macchiato.

What do you listen to at work?  What’s on your playlist?
I used to work for Musicland back in the 90’s and I got all kinds of free demo CDs sent to me so my music collection really looks like an ADHD monkey ran through a record store grabbing things at random. My Pandora list stretches from David Benoit and Vince Guaraldi to Five Finger Death Punch and Avenged Sevenfold with artists in between like Mozart, Slayer, PJ Harvy, Neko Case, Flogging Molly, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Biffy Clyro, Neil Diamond, and Swedish House Mafia. Variety is the spice of life, right?

What was your very first job?
Technically hanging fiberglass under houses with my father when I was around 10 years old. THAT is a horrible job. I started demonstrating Casio Keyboards for a local music store when I was 12 at the local Fred Meyer. It was classic. Their ad campaign at the time was, “So easy even a monkey can play it!” with a huge poster right next to me of a monkey playing the keyboard as I demonstrated the keyboard to shoppers.

Describe your first computer.
TI-99, TRS-80, VIC-20, C-64, Amiga 500, Amiga 1000, Apple IIc then started building my own PCs. I even had an IBM Series 1 for a spell. It was as big as a washing machine and took 12” disks. The C-64 with a 1541 drive was by far my favorite.
Director-Customer-Acquisition

What was your favorite TV show when you were a child?
It was all about Saturday morning cartoons for me. I was raised on Loony Toons. Probably explains a few things looking back on it.

Fill in the blank: If you really knew me, you’d know…
I love riding motorcycles and sports quads. Back in Oregon all my friends and I rode almost every weekend. I actually broke my ribs three years in a row riding quads but had a lot of fun doing so. I sold the quads when I moved up to Seattle but it’s on my list to get back into.
Sports-Quad

What are you most proud of?
My son, Storm. He’s a brilliant and caring person.

What do you do when you have 30 minutes of free time?
What is this “free” time you speak of? (Haha) Usually I’ll check email accounts, catch up on industry news, check feeds on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest or get through a few pages of whichever book I happen to be reading at the time.

If you had 10 extra dollars what would you buy?
Lately, probably a Peach lunch.

What’s your go-to karaoke song?
The one where I don’t get up on a stage and sing in front of people.

What’s the last vacation you went on?
We took a quick 4-day cruise from New Orleans to Cozumel and back. First time on Bourbon Street. It was, ummm, “interesting.”

What’s your signature gelato flavor?
Pistachio, although I’ve never tried to endorse a check or execute an MSA with it.

Two things you can’t live without?
Family and friends but that doesn’t preclude my iPod, iPhone, iPad, Swiss army knife, and Fitbit being on my person at all times.