"failure happens" entries

Four Short Links: 25 August 2009

Four Short Links: 25 August 2009

Reverse Search, PDF Stripping, Flash Visualization, Failure

  1. Tineye — reverse search engine; you upload an image and they find you similar images so you know where else it’s used. Check out their cool searches.
  2. PDF Pirate — upload a PDF and this web site will give it back to you minus the restrictions on copying/printing/etc.
  3. Flarean ActionScript library for creating visualizations that run in the Adobe Flash Player. BSD-licensed, modelled on Prefuse. When there’s a visualisation library for every platform, will we start to get people who know how to make them?
  4. The Importance of Failure (Marco Tabini) — This is a point that I don’t often hear made when people talk about failure; the moral behind a failure-related story is usually about preventing it, or dealing with the aftermath, but not about the fact that sometimes things go bad despite your best efforts, and all the careful risk management and contingency planning won’t keep you from going down in flames. This is important, because it forces every person to establish a risk threshold that they are willing to accept in every one of their life efforts.

AT&T Fiber cuts remind us: Location is a Basket too!

The fiber cuts affecting much of the San Francisco Bay Area this week are similar to the outages in the Middle East last year (radar post), although far more limited in scope and impact.   What I said last year still holds true and is repeated below: From an operations perspective these kinds of outages are nothing new, and underscore why…

Service Monitoring Dashboards are mandatory for production services!

Google App Engine went down earlier today. GAE is still a developer preview release, and currently lacks a public monitoring dashboard. Unfortunately this means that many people either found out from their app and/or admin consoles being unavailable or from Mike Arrington's post on TechCrunch. Google has a strong Web Operations culture, and there are numerous internal monitoring tools in…

You Become what You Disrupt – (part two)

Google's GrandCentral (Radar coverage) was down over the weekend resulting in missed calls and other phone problems for its users. This is very similar to the the two day Skype outage last year where I said that "You Become what You Disrupt". I've spoken about this issue several times, most recently at the Princeton CITP "Computing in the Cloud" workshop….