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Published by Karen Bender on Nov 7, 2016 10:05:08 AM

Why VividCortex Observes Election Day as a Holiday

In Abraham Lincoln’s words, the United States is a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Not a select few, not people in just one area of the country, not only wealthy and privileged people, but all people.It's therefore our duty and responsibility to elect the officials who represent us by casting our votes on Election Day.

Most states require employers to give employees at least two or three hours off to vote. Some states require paid time off; others do not. Twenty states and the District of Columbia do not have specific laws that require that workers be given time off, either paid or unpaid, to vote. Virginia, where VividCortex is headquartered, is one of those states. Although we have an open paid time off policy and employees can use that time to vote, we have decided to close our offices on Election Day. Why?

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Published by Alex Slotnick on Sep 12, 2016 5:11:24 PM

Queueing Theory in the News: NYT Asks "How do You Pick the Fastest Line?"

Just in time for the release of the newest edition of our popular, free ebook -- "The Essential Guide to Queueing Theory" -- the New York Times has published an article that delves straight into the heart of one of the most common daily-life instances of queueing-theory-in-action: titled "How to Pick the Fastest Line at the Supermarket," it investigates the grocery store line, that most common and well-known of quotidian queues.

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Published by Alex Slotnick on Sep 7, 2016 5:40:04 PM

iPhone 7, Headphone Jacks, and How Apple Hijacks Time-Series Data Trends

All ye faithful: the iPhone 7 is nigh, just as all tech blogs foretold. This afternoon, Apple kicked off September in the same way it has for the past several years, by making a product announcement and adding new technology to their market-warping and trend-setting lineup. As early Fall has become synonymous with Apple’s unique brand of press conference, these announcements have attained a reputation as faux-holiday, demanding live coverage across the internet, from Wired to The New York Times to The Guardian to The Times of India.

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Published by Alex Slotnick on Jul 5, 2016 10:04:32 PM

Databases in Culture: Brexit Edition

The UK voted in favor of Brexit on June 23rd, and, in the weeks since, the world has watched with bated breath to see what impacts and developments we should all expect. What does Brexit mean, people want to know, for sectors like finance, immigration, tourism, and beyond? How wide-sweeping is the decision to break away from the EU, a 40-year-old bloc?

Here at VividCortex we also can't help but wonder, How can we understand Brexit in terms of the databases surrounding it? As we've looked at in previous blog posts, databases play central, constant roles in our modern day culture, in everything from hurricane tracking to modern art museums, from election finances to music streaming services. If there's something in the news about how our culture is changing, there's a good chance that some sort of data system is also close at hand. For global news as massive as Brexit, we're curious about the ways in which relevant databases are changing and affecting the people connected to them.

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Published by Alex Slotnick on Apr 27, 2016 12:01:34 PM

Charitable Donations to Diversity-in-Tech

As easy as it is to go deep and get lost in the technical, nitty-gritty side of database monitoring, at VividCortex we prioritize always keeping at least one eye open to the world around us. This means we care about the health and happiness of our employees and friends day-to-day, in our office and at home; we care about striking a balance in how technology fits into our lives; and we care about equality and awareness within our industry at large.

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Published by Alex Slotnick on Feb 8, 2016 1:13:47 PM

Leicester City Football Club's Website Crash: Not Using Monitoring Is Like Not Using A Goalkeeper

Yesterday was Superbowl Sunday, and for those of us in the USA, where the NFL championship is like a national holiday, it can be easy to forget that a different kind of football is actually the most popular sport in the rest of the world. On Saturday, soccer fans had their own scintillating match to enjoy, as the English Premier League, soccer's biggest arena, saw powerful Manchester City lose a key game to the league's serious underdogs, Leicester City F.C. Now, Leicester has become a contender to win the entire league -- in the aftermath of their upset over Man City, there's been celebration, heckling, disbelief, and soccer punditry aplenty

Oh, and in the middle of Leciester's moment of triumph, their website crashed.

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Published by Alex Slotnick on Jan 19, 2016 1:19:36 PM

Queueing Theory in the News: London Underground Escalator Policy Challenges Social Norms

Back in October, we published our ebook Everything You Need to Know About Queueing Theory, and as part of its launch, we blogged about one way (of the many) that queueing theory has recently shown up in the real world and the news. In that post, we shared a report showing that the London Underground behaves in ways that at first seem unintuitive, but are comprehendible if you have a handle on how queueing works. Specifically, studies suggested that when the Underground’s individual trains travelled at higher velocities, travel time for passengers actually got worse. Why? The higher individual speeds were not optimal for the particular parameters of the Underground system, and they caused bottlenecks to form at key hubs, hindering the circulation of the entire system. 

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