- Smart Hacking for Privacy — can mine smart power meter data (or even snoop it) to learn what’s on the TV. Wow. (You can also watch the talk). (via Rob Inskeep)
- Conditioning Company Culture (Bryce Roberts) — a short read but thought-provoking. It’s easy to create mindless mantras, but I’ve seen the technique that Bryce describes and (when done well) it’s highly effective.
- hydrat (Google Code) — a declarative framework for text classification tasks.
- Dynamic Face Substitution (FlowingData) — Kyle McDonald and Arturo Castro play around with a face tracker and color interpolation to replace their own faces, in real-time, with celebrities such as that of Brad Pitt and Paris Hilton. Awesome. And creepy. Amen.
Smart Meter Snitches, Company Culture, Text Classification, and Live Face Substitution
Waning Interest, Infrastructure Changes, eBook Stats, and Retro Chic Peripherals
- Comparing Link Attention (Bitly) — Twitter, Facebook, and direct (email/IM/etc) have remarkably similar patterns of decay of interest. (via Hilary Mason)
- Three Ages of Google — from batch, to scaling through datacenters, and finally now to techniques for real-time scaling. Of interest to everyone interested in low-latency high-throughput transactions. Datacenters have the diameter of a microsecond, yet we are still using entire stacks designed for WANs. Real-time requires low and bounded latencies and our stacks can’t provide low latency at scale. We need to fix this problem and towards this end Luiz sets out a research agenda, targeting problems that need to be solved. (via Tim O’Reilly)
- eReaders and eBooks (Luke Wroblewski) — many eye-opening facts. In 2010 Amazon sold 115 Kindle books for every 100 paperback books. 65% of eReader owners use them in bed, in fact 37% of device usage is in bed.
- VT220 on a Mac — dead sexy look. Impressive how many adapters you need to be able to hook a dingy old serial cable up to your shiny new computer.
Netflix's Adrian Cockcroft on the benefits of a cloud infrastructure.
Netflix moved some of its services into Amazon's cloud last year. In this interview, Netflix cloud architect Adrian Cockcroft says the move was about building a scalable product and paying down technical debt.
While developing countries may benefit from Open Compute, bigger issues need to be addressed first.
The potential for Open Compute to benefit developing countries was mentioned during a
panel discussion that followed the project's announcement. Intrigued, I turned to Benetech CEO Jim Fruchterman for more on Open Compute's utility in developing nations.
Open Compute could be a big step forward for infrastructure, ops, and the web.
Jesse Robbins says Facebook's Open Compute Project represents a giant step for open source hardware, for the evolution of the web and cloud computing, and for infrastructure and operations in general.
- In Praise of the Long Form (Julie Starr) — It can be time consuming sifting through the daily wall of news stories and blogposts to find the handful of gems that genuinely interest or move you. These services, which recommend only a handful of excellent journalism pieces each day, can help. The act of selection, the human process of filtering, remains a valuable service.
- Glu — LinkedIn’s application deployment framework. (via Pete Warden)
- The Risky Cloud (Simon Phipps) — While the Internet itself may have a high immunity to attacks, a monoculture hosted on it does not. We might be able to survive a technical outage, but a political outage or a full-fledged termination of service are likely to put a company that’s relied on the cloud for critical infrastructure out of business.
I’ve puzzled over Google’s Fiber project ever since they announced it. It seemed too big, too hubristic (even for a company that’s already big and has earned the right to hubris) — and also not a business Google would want to be in. But the FCC’s announcement of their plans to widen broadband Internet access in the US puts Google Fiber in a new context. The FCC’s plans are cast in terms of upgrading and expanding the network infrastructure. That’s a familiar debate, and Google is a familiar participant. This is really just an extension of the “network neutrality” debate that has been going on with fits and starts over the past few years.
Cognitive Surplus, Scaling, Chinese Blogs, CS Education for Growth
- Eight Billion Minutes Spent on Facebook Daily — you weren’t using that cognitive surplus, were you?
- How We Made Github Fast — high-level summary is that the new “fast, good, cheap–pick any two” is “fast, new, easy–pick any two”. (via Simon Willison)
- Isaac Mao, China, 40M Blogs and Counting — Today, there are 40 million bloggers in China and around 200 million blogs, according to Mao. Some blogs survive only a few days before being shut down by authorities. More than 80% of people in China don’t know that the internet is censored in their country. When riots broke out in Xinjiang province this year, the authorities shut down internet access for the whole region. No one could get online.
- Congress Endorses CS Education as Driver of Economic Growth — compare to Economist’s Optimism that tech firms will help kick-start economic recovery is overdone.
John Adams on Fixing Twitter: Improving the Performance and Scalability of the World's Most Popular Micro-blogging Site
Twitter is suffering outages today as they fend off a Denial of Service attack, and so I thought it would be helpful to post John Adams’ exceptional Velocity session about Operations at Twitter. Good luck today John & team… I know it’s going to be a long day! Update: Apparently Facebook & Livejournal have had similar attacks today. Rich Miller…