Welcome

We are Gregarious Mammal, a pair of tech writers, journalists and developer experience experts based in Berlin, Germany. Here you can listen to our podcast, read our writing(s) and much more.

  • Love in the time of artificial intelligence
    On 04 Dec 2017, Cate & Chris 04 Dec 2017

    Love in the time of artificial intelligence

    for podcast

    In this episode Cate and Chris tackle the rise of cryptocurrencies, love (past and present) in the time of artificial intelligence, the prevalence of software bugs, net neutrality from a non-American perspective, and more.

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  • Creating Augmented Reality and IoT Experiences with Thingworx

    Augmented reality wearables have yet to prove themselves in the consumer space. Hyped devices have risen, and fallen, newer more powerful devices are yet to arrive in retail outlets, and a handful of games aside, consumers are yet to see the point. It’s different in the industrial space, where there are dozens of devices used daily by thousands around the globe, often connected to, and supplemented by data from IoT devices. Businesses use them to debug machine problems, train staff, record important metrics and more.

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    AR IoT
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  • Going Serverless? Compare Your FaaS Options
    On 29 Nov 2017, Chris wrote

    Going Serverless? Compare Your FaaS Options

    for codeship

    As is typical with new concepts and technologies, the absolute definition of “serverless” or FaaS (Functions as a Service) is broad and undefined. In essence, it is a concept that takes cloud computing and “convenience as a service” to the extreme, spinning up processing power when your application needs it and responding with data.

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    Industry
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  • Graphcool, the GraphQL Backend Development Framework

    GraphQL burst into developer’s public sphere in 2015 and in two short years, the data query language from Facebook that sought to create an alternative to REST APIs gained a massive amount of popularity. My experiments found it promising and interesting, but it was confusing to understand the steps to production and it was lacking in certain tooling. I had encountered Graphcool around Berlin, as they organize and sponsor the community meetup, and I interviewed their CEO Johannes Schickling about what problem the company intended to solve and how.

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  • Blockwatch - Tools for Working With Solidity
    On 18 Nov 2017, Chris wrote

    Blockwatch - Tools for Working With Solidity

    for dzone

    Recently a group of Blockchain enthusiasts at the co-working space I occasionally work from decided that it was time we stopped talking about Blockchain and actually learned how to create something based on it. We wanted to create a coin or token for the community to use internally, and whilst the project has stalled for now, I started investigating Ethereum in more depth, and the language it uses for creating smart contracts, Solidity. I will cover the language itself in more detail in the future (when I understand it more myself!), but in this post, I will cover some of the tools available for working with the language.

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  • Coders are King
    On 16 Nov 2017, Cate & Chris 16 Nov 2017

    Coders are King

    for podcast

    In this episode Cate and Chris tackle some difficult topics such as the backlash against tech, does the status quo even want to change, diversity, the naivety of engineers and much more.

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    Read More
  • Node logging best practices and tips
    On 11 Nov 2017, Chris wrote

    Node logging best practices and tips

    for coralogix

    Ruby is an opinionated language with inbuilt Ruby logging options that will serve the needs of small and basic applications. Whilst there are fewer alternatives to these than say, the JavaScript world, there are a handful, and in this post, I will highlight those that are active (based on age and commit activity) and help you figure out the options for logging your Ruby (and Rails applications).

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    logging ruby rails
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  • 1aim brings connected devices to workplace doors & beyond

    In the era of connected technology Berlin company 1aim are carving a niche for themselves in connected security for commercial buildings. I met with Torben Friehe, CEO of 1aim to find out more.

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  • What can musicians and programmers learn from each other? A conversation with Ryan Blunden

    Chris speaks with Ryan Blunden about what programmers and musicians can learn from each other, the affects of music on coding, what genres might be what programming language, computer generated music and much more.

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  • Zest labs brings IoT and blockchain to the fresh food supply chain

    With all the hype around blockchain, it’s a technology that’s still finding its feet when it comes to wide, mainstream adoption. Therefore it’s not every day when you come across a company that uses both IoT sensor technology and the blockchain to solve a common agricultural problem. Zest Labs have created a fresh food management solution that focuses on consistent food quality, reduced waste, and improved food safety and use technology to achieve this. I spoke to CTO Scott Durgin to find out more.

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  • The Ukrainian Startup scene with Anastasia Sleptsova

    As part of a forthcoming article on the Ukrainian tech/startup scene, I interview Anastasia Sleptsova Head of Ecosystem Partnerships at UNIT.City.

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  • How to Program a Robot
    On 27 Oct 2017, Chris wrote

    How to Program a Robot

    for dzone

    I spoke with Jans Lembrecht from about his experience programming industrial robots designed for single purpose tasks that use their own programming languages to newer robots that use C++ or Python to handle broader tasks that humans throw at them. We also discussed how anyone interested in getting started with programming robots can begin and how to make people understand what robots are capable beyond eye-catching booth dressing.

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  • Managing Your Business Apps With Apperian - An Interview With Mark Lorion

    To those of us addicted to our smartphones, the myriad of applications we can install and what we can achieve (or time waste) with them is astounding. But for those of us working in corporate or other industries that value business privacy and secrecy, the freedom that apps give us and that we give them, is a little too risky. Enter the role of mobile app management services that sit between a device and the limitations that a company wishes to impose upon it.

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  • What does the WPA2 vulnerability mean for IoT?
    On 23 Oct 2017, Cate wrote

    What does the WPA2 vulnerability mean for IoT?

    for readwrite

    Researchers at a Belgian University earlier this week revealed the discovery of a break in the security protocol used to protect the vast majority of Wi-Fi connections (WPA2 based).  Mathy Vanhoef of imec-DistriNet, KU Leuven University, released his findings explaining that an attacker within range of a victim can exploit these weaknesses using key reinstallation attacks (KRACKs) to read information that was previously assumed to be safely encrypted. This can be abused to steal sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords, chat messages, emails, and photos.

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  • An Overview of the Kontena Platform
    On 19 Oct 2017, Chris wrote

    An Overview of the Kontena Platform

    for codeship

    Back in my Docker hosting post, I noted that deploying and orchestrating containers live was still a missing step in the Docker workflow for many developers. A handful of complex orchestration tools entered to fill the void, with large cloud companies offering to host your setup for you. In that post, I intentionally avoided tools that sat in the middle of this process by helping you to deploy containers to cloud services, but there are plenty of them, including Docker’s own official cloud service. There is still plenty of opportunity for similar services and less than a month ago, I heard of a new option, Kontena.

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    Development
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  • Mainstream telehealth needs vendors to address pain points

    Many of us are impatient for a future where telehealth reduces our visits to health professionals. Whether you are geographically isolated, tired of waiting hours in a waiting room for an overdue appointment or simply have felt the pain of dragging yourself from your sick bed to a doctor’s surgery to acquire a sick note for an employer, consumers are keen to see a change. Current health providers are expanding their services to include remote health. Health tech startups such as mediconecta and couch are creating new stand-alone services for remote care.

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  • GitHub Universe 2017 - Collaboration and Communication

    OK, I’m not in San Francisco enjoying the Octocat, adoring the roof of Pier 70, or the giant Kraken courtesy of Kraken Git, but instead, I am at a viewing party in Berlin, in a packed room of the offices of online retailer Zalando.

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  • On 13 Oct 2017, Cate & Chris 13 Oct 2017

    Zone Leader Smackdown 2.0 - Will AI Take Our Jobs or Enhance Them?

    From the project

    On Friday, October 13th, we took part in a lively debate about AI and its present and future effects on developer jobs. Will robot overlords steal all our livelihoods, or will the AI Revolution bring us greater economic prosperity? IoT and robotics enthusiast Cate Lawrence will face off against jack-of-all-tech-trades Chris Ward aka Chris Chinchilla. Who will take home the championship belt? Watch to find out!

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  • Blockwatch - The 9984 Summit
    On 13 Oct 2017, Chris wrote

    Blockwatch - The 9984 Summit

    for dzone

    Further consolidating Berlin as the Blockchain capital of the World, last week the 9984 Summit rolled into town, bringing together hackers, lawyers, academics and business people interested in Blockchain. With a handful of big names in the community littering the schedule, it was an interesting two days, showing the variety of ideas and personalities in this wide and wonderful community. Here were my stand out talks and topics.

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  • Dell Technologies commits $1b to the future of IoT
    On 12 Oct 2017, Cate wrote

    Dell Technologies commits $1b to the future of IoT

    for readwrite

    Dell Technologies this Tuesday announced the formation of a new IoT solutions strategy, a new IoT division and a $1bn commitment in IoT R&D. Chairman and CEO Michael Dell called IoT “the infrastructure of the next industrial revolution. And that’s what we’re co-inventing with our customers and our partners,”

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  • The Ethics of Tech
    On 10 Oct 2017, Cate & Chris 10 Oct 2017

    The Ethics of Tech

    for podcast

    This week Cate and Chris discuss smarter ways to hire developers, ethics in tech and more.

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  • WTD Episode 10 - What's going on in our lives as documentarians and product owners
    In this episode, we talk about what’s going on in our lives as documentarians and product owners.

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  • Smart data exchange will bring value to smart city innovation

    When it comes to smart city innovation, it’s arguable that most use cases are not that exciting to the average resident. A connected garbage bin, traffic light or parking meter is not going to cause applause and adoration for city officials at least in the first instance. But as more and more local systems start to communicate, it will start to make more sense and increase consumer satisfaction, at least until residents forget a life before they existed.

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  • Gesture Control Wants to Move Us Away from Our Keyboards

    Anyone who likes to binge watch TV while cooking knows the pain of having to stop kneading dough to pause a show or move to the next episode. In comes Bixi, a device that’s the brainchild of French startup Bluemint Labs. It connects with iOS or Android phones and tablets via Bluetooth LE.

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  • A Guide to Ubuntu Core and Snaps
    On 03 Oct 2017, Chris wrote

    A Guide to Ubuntu Core and Snaps

    for dzone

    Despite being a Mac user for nearly 20 years, I have always had a soft spot for Ubuntu. Whilst they have not always been successful, I have respected their attempts to pull Linux into the mainstream and try new ideas and paradigms with it. They have weathered the storm of Ubuntu phone and Unity and are meeting success with two newer projects, The lean Ubuntu Core, and their universal Linux packaging format, snaps. I spoke with Dustin Kirkland, VP of product development and Jamie Bennett, VP of Devices and IoT Engineering at Canonical to understand more the strategy behind the projects.

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