Reaching a meditative state in the cold, wide ocean

Morning swim at Balmoral Beach in Sydney, Australia. Credit: Marty Filipowski

More hardy souls are jumping into cold, open water for the benefits of a swim in the ocean.

Open water swimming builds a strong mind and body, stroke by zen-like stroke. There can be obstacles and hazards—harsh weather, sea swells, bone-chilling water, and the unknowns of the deep blue sea. But like so many of life’s challenges, that is why we do it.

I’ve been plunging into open waters since I was a boy growing up in northern Illinois. My dad would run head first into Lake Michigan, and the seven kids would follow. …


Oracle’s strength—its legacy database business—may be a vulnerability in the world of 100% cloud-native databases

Oracle campus in Redwood Shores, Calif. Credit: John Foley

Forget what we know about who leads the database market. The market is being upended by a new breed of cloud database providers, led by Snowflake but there are many others. And transformation-driven customers are eager for new and better approaches to data management.

The database market was long defined by deep-rooted incumbents — Oracle, IBM, SAP, Teradata. The Big 3 cloud providers — AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud — have shouldered into the market, and they continue to expand and introduce new capabilities.

AWS alone offers no fewer than 15 purpose-built cloud databases. At the AWS re:Invent conference…


I will have to make adjustments to hit my goals, but this is about more than just running

These are my new running shoes. On January 1, I will put them on and hit the road. It will be a relief to leave 2020 behind. But more than that, I’m motivated by and optimistic about the year ahead.

My goal is to run faster and farther than I did in 2020. I’m a Boomer, so that’s easier said than done—my body wants to slow down. But I’m inspired by people 60+ who are not just active, but pushing it.

In fact, a few months ago, a 75-year-old man from Nebraska ran a mile in just under six minutes


The expansive solar rooftop of an Amazon facility
The expansive solar rooftop of an Amazon facility
Amazon Solar Rooftop. Photo courtesy of Amazon

Computing keeps getting bigger and better, but also ever smaller.

The tech industry often focuses on the next big thing — millions of processor cores, billions of IoT devices, quadrillions of bytes of data (i.e. petabytes). But there’s another side to this constantly-expanding world. Computing is getting infinitesimally smaller, too.

Amazon’s cloud computing business, AWS, offered the latest example of the downsizing of computing at its AWS re:Invent conference. The not-so-big news: Users can now pay for one millisecond of computing power in the AWS cloud.

That’s one thousandth of one second of computing. And it costs a tiny fraction of one cent.

Until now, the smallest slice of the…

John Foley

Tech journalist and analyst, photographer, former content strategist at Oracle, IBM, MongoDB

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