These are my links for June 3rd through June 4th:
These are my links for May 24th through May 27th:
- Formulas and game mechanics – WoWWiki – Your guide to the World of Warcraft – Formulas and game mechanics rules and guidelines for developing role playing games
- Manchester United’s Park Has the Endurance to Persevere – NYTimes.com – Korean soccer player Park Ji-Sung – On Wednesday night in Rome, Park is expected to become the first Asian player to participate in the European Champions League final when Manchester United faces Barcelona.
- mloss.org – Machine Learning Open Source Software – Big collection of open source packages for machine learning, data mining, statistical analysis
- The Datacenter as Computer – Luiz André Barroso and Urs Hölzle 2009 (PDF) – 120 pages on large scale computing lessons from Google. "These new large datacenters are quite different from traditional hosting facilities of earlier times and cannot be viewed simply as a collection of co-located servers. Large portions of the hardware and software resources in these facilities must work in concert to efficiently deliver good levels of Internet service performance, something that can only be achieved by a holistic approach to their design and deployment. In other words, we must treat the datacenter itself as one massive warehouse-scale computer (WSC). We describe the architecture of WSCs, the main factors influencing their design, operation, and cost structure, and the characteristics of their software base."
- Geeking with Greg: The datacenter is the new mainframe – Pointer to a paper by Googlers Luiz Andre Barroso and Urs Holzle on the evolution of warehouse scale computing and the management and use of computing resources in a contemporary datacenter.
These are my links for May 21st from 06:07 to 22:34:
These are my links for May 13th from 06:26 to 22:36:
- Zen»Blog Archive » See Which Twitterers Don’t Follow You Back (and vice-versa) In Less Than 15 Lines of…Perl – Short Perl script for comparing friends/followers, motivated by the Ruby version.
- See Which Twitterers Don’t Follow You Back In Less Than 15 Lines of Ruby | blogt✪sk1 – Short follower/friend comparison script in Ruby.
- HornetsEye – Computer Vision for the Robotic Age – HornetsEye – "HornetsEye is a Ruby real-time computer vision extension running under GNU+Linux and Microsoft Windows. HornetsEye is maybe the first free software project providing a solid platform for implementing real-time computer vision software in a scripting language. The platform potentially could be used in robotic applications, industrial automation, unmanned aerial vehicles as well as in image and video processing, microscopy, materials science, and medical research."
- Announcing the PHP SDK for Windows Azure – Port 25: The Open Source Community at Microsoft – PHP for using Microsoft Azure services, plus pointers to related projects.
- Just Landed: Processing, Twitter, MetaCarta & Hidden Data | blprnt.blg – Map visualization of people's travel using Processing with data inferred from Twitter messages, e.g "just landed at heathrow"
These are my links for April 3rd through April 7th:
- Agile Testing: Experiences deploying a large-scale infrastructure in Amazon EC2 – Practical guidance on using cloud computing at EC2. Expect failures, automate deployment, more.
- joshua’s blog: on url shorteners – Joshua Schachter (founder of del.icio.us) summary on the state of URL shorteners (tinyurl, bit.ly, etc), and issues with 3rd party redirects, link sharing through twitter, etc.
- Control Yourself » status.net coming soon – On status.net, plans for hosting laconi.ca sites, and federating microblogging status networks
- There must be some way out of here (Scripting News) – Comments on the rise of celebrity accounts on Twitter, increasing spam/noise, and alternative models for laconi.ca and status.net
- Stochastic Models of User-Contributory Web Sites – Tad Hogg, Kristina Lerman 31 Mar 2009 Abstract: We describe a general stochastic processes-based approach to modeling user-contributory web sites, where users create, rate and share content. These models describe aggregate measures of activity and how they arise from simple models of individual users. This approach provides a tractable method to understand user activity on the web site and how this activity depends on web site design choices, especially the choice of what information about other users' behaviors is shown to each user. We illustrate this modeling approach in the context of user-created content on the news rating site Digg.
These are my links for March 16th through April 2nd:
- Google uncloaks once-secret server | Business Tech – CNET News – Photo and more comments on the Google data center server configuration, 12vdc only, local battery, shown at yesterday's data center power conference.
- Google’s Custom Web Server, Revealed « Data Center Knowledge – 1:30 video of current server configuration, from Google Data Center Energy Summit, April 1, 2009. Open shelf, power supply with built in battery (per-unit UPS) rather than centralized UPS.
- HerHotSpot Uses Facebook Connect to Block Boys Out – Relies on Facebook profile data to limit boys access to site targeting girls only. Uses FBConnect as the exclusive login method.
- SandHill.com | Opinion : Cloud Computing Ecosystem Map v1.0: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants – Collection of pointers to maps of the cloud computing ecosystem, and a merged map, as of March 2009
- Penny Arcade! – Le Twittre –
These are my links for March 9th through March 12th:
- Google Friend Connect APIs – Google Code –
- Geek And Poke – Mostly twitter and cloud computing themed cartoons.
- Official Google Blog: Here comes Google Voice – GrandCentral makes a comeback, after disappearing into Google a while back. Now with voice transcription, SMS folders, and integration with GMail address book.
- Amazon Web Services Blog: Announcing Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances – AWS introduces pricing structure for longer term, reserved capacity. Upfront payment, plus a (lower) incremental hourly charge, net savings for continuous 24×7 clients, and guaranteed availability of instances for backup or surge capacity.
- How To Monetize a Social Network: MySpace and Facebook Should Follow TenCent « abovethecrowd.com – Bill Gurley on the case for virtual goods and casual gaming as revenue vehicles on US-based social networking sites, in a look at China-based QQ / TenCent.
- Too Big Has Failed – Thomas Hoenig, Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank, March 6, 2009 (PDF) – Hoenig argues that too-big-to-fail institutions have failed, US banks will require some form of nationalization eventually.
These are my links for March 6th through March 8th:
- Wolfram Blog : Wolfram|Alpha Is Coming! –
- Wolfram Alpha is Coming — and It Could be as Important as Google | Twine –
- Wolfram Alpha — it’s like plugging into an electronic brain » VentureBeat –
- If browsers were women – Sharenator.org – "[Chrome] Extremely skinny, but very cool and friendly. However, when it comes to the bedroom, she is very inexperienced and has little to offer. [IE] For most, she's the first woman they tried. She's really easy but can get you infected." etc etc
- Rough Type: Nicholas Carr’s Blog: The coming of the megacomputer – Nick Carr commentary on Rick Rashid's statement that 20% of servers were going to major cloud data centers. Also some interesting discussion in comments.
- FT.com | Tech Blog | How many computers does the world need? – According to Microsoft research chief Rick Rashid, around 20 per cent of all the servers sold around the world each year are now being bought by a small handful of internet companies – he named Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Amazon.
- The New Hot Cuisine: Korean – WSJ.com – Korean food is slowly making its way into mainstream awareness, both high end (French Laundry, Le Bernardin) and everyday (CPK, Kogi BBQ).
- WriteOnIt – Fake pictures – Build fake magazine covers, newspapers, and photos.
These are my links for February 28th through March 1st:
- Community Data – Swivel – User contributed datasets, for visualization and graphs with Swivel
- Obamameter – Map visualization of economic stimulus outlays. "Keep tabs on the the US economy, the global economy and the stimulus through our dashboard for the economy."
- recovery.gov.pdf – Slide presentation on data sources and construction of initial Recover.gov site in Jan 2009, from talk at Transparency Camp.
- Virtual Hoff : DoxPara Research – Slides from Dan Kaminsky's talk at CloudCamp Seattle on network and application security issues in cloud and virtualized computing environments.
- Can You Buy a Silicon Valley? Maybe. – from Paul Graham – "If you could get startups to stick to your town for a million apiece, then for a billion dollars you could bring in a thousand startups. That probably wouldn't push you past Silicon Valley itself, but it might get you second place. For the price of a football stadium, any town that was decent to live in could make itself one of the biggest startup hubs in the world."
- Berkshire Hathaway 2008 shareholders letter (PDF) – Warren Buffet reviews the state of the financial markets, his worst year ever, and the outlook for 2009.
- White House 2: Where YOU set the nation’s priorities – Not the actual White House, but an interesting experiment in collaborative input for setting government agenda.
- Python for Lisp Programmers – Peter Norvig examines Python. "(Although it wasn't my intent, Python programers have told me this page has helped them learn Lisp.) Basically, Python can be seen as a dialect of Lisp with "traditional" syntax (what Lisp people call "infix" or "m-lisp" syntax). One message on comp.lang.python said "I never understood why LISP was a good idea until I started playing with python." Python supports all of Lisp's essential features except macros, and you don't miss macros all that much because it does have eval, and operator overloading, and regular expression parsing, so you can create custom languages that way. "
These are my links for February 27th through February 28th:
These are my links for February 26th from 10:39 to 20:05:
These are my links for February 23rd through February 24th:
These are my links for February 21st from 13:59 to 21:55:
- Non Sequitur — Gocomics.com – "Hi. My name is Bob, and I'm a Twitter addict…"
- A Tutorial on Support Vector Machines for Pattern Recognition – Christopher J.C. Burges (PDF) – Appeared in: Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery 2, 121-167, 1998. The tutorial starts with an overview of the concepts of VC dimension and structural risk
minimization. We then describe linear Support Vector Machines (SVMs) for separable and non-separable
data, working through a non-trivial example in detail. We describe a mechanical analogy, and discuss
when SVM solutions are unique and when they are global. We describe how support vector training can
be practically implemented, and discuss in detail the kernel mapping technique which is used to construct
SVM solutions which are nonlinear in the data. We show how Support Vector machines can have very large
(even infinite) VC dimension by computing the VC dimension for homogeneous polynomial and Gaussian
radial basis function kernels. While very high VC dimension would normally bode ill for generalization
performance, there are several arguments which support the observed high accuracy of SVMs,
which we review.
- Data Mining Research – dataminingblog.com: Data Miners on Twitter – A list of data mining people on twitter.
- YouTube – The Crisis of Credit Visualized – Part 1 – Nice animated video attempting to present a simplified explanation of the credit crisis and the relationship between home mortgage lending, bank leverage, and risk.
- “10 Obstacles to Cloud Computing” by UC Berkeley & How GoGrid Hurdles Them | GoGrid Blog – Another commentary on the recent UCB cloud computing overview paper
These are my links for February 18th through February 19th:
- Single Google Query uses 1000 Machines in 0.2 seconds – Google Fellow Jeff Dean says from 1999-2009, while both search queries and processing power have gone up by a factor of 1000, latency has gone down from around 1000ms to 200ms. Crawler updates now take minutes compared to months in 1999. 1000 machines handle a single query, all in memory.
- Government 2.0: Tweeting the Talk, Walking the Walk « Adriel Hampton – List of twitter users in various government organizations.
- The Absurdly Artificial Divide Between Pure and Applied Research – Olivia Judson – NYTimes.com – I used to explain myself as an "applied research" guy, small "r", not big "R" pure research. Love theory and analysis but want to see it get used for something eventually.
- Amazon Web Services Developer Community : Load data into S3 via hard drives? – Amazon asks for feedback regarding the FedEx option for bulk data transfer. "We have heard a number of requests about sending hard drives to AWS to load into S3. If such a service would benefit your business, we’d like to learn more about your use case."
- Local Media in a Postmodern World, Part XCI, Advertising Loses Its Balance – On the shifts in supply and demand, buyers and sellers in advertising markets as media moves from 1-to-many to niche-oriented, many-to-many and sellers take control of their own online media and advertising campaigns
These are my links for February 15th through February 16th:
- Berkeley cloud report gets mixed reviews | The Wisdom of Clouds – CNET News – James Urqhardt commentary on UCB paper, "The paper begins by setting a definition of Cloud Computing that will be considered controversial by many, as it is firmly in the "there is no cloud computing inside enterprise data centers" camp."
- Above the Clouds: Above the Clouds Released – UC Berkeley RAD Lab starts a new blog and publishes their take on the state of cloud computing.
- Forget Dunbar’s Number, Our Future Is in Scoble’s Number « I’m Not Actually a Geek – A look at changing interaction styles enabled by growing use of online social networks and applications. "If Dunbar’s Number is defined at 150 connections, perhaps we can term the looser connection of thousands as Scoble’s Number. "
- What really happened at Ma.gnolia and lessons learned – Video podcast with Larry Halff describing how Ma.gnolia was implemented (Ruby on Rails), its ongoing operation leading up to the failure of the (1/2 TB) MySQL database a few weeks ago.
- Infrastructure for Modern Web Sites « random($foo) – An overview of packages, services, and approaches for building web systems, circa January 2009. With assorted comments.
- Online Mind Mapping – MindMeister – Web-based, embeddable mind mapping software, sort of like MindJet, wiki-style collaborative editing.
- Jean-Lou Dupont’s WEBlog: Cloud Computing Mind Map – A mind map of companies and projects in the cloud computing space.
Spent some time at CloudConnect last week. “Cloud computing” has an increasing amount of buzz lately. I notice that India is the top region and Korean is the top language for searches on the topic. The top 3 cities are Bangalore, San Jose, and Seoul. That sounds consistent with my impression of levels of interest and activity. Infoworld says “Cloud Computing shapes up as big trend for 2009″. It’s certainly turning into a hot label, although the underlying internet service infrastructure ideas have been around for a long time.
The current business environment is characterized by high uncertainty. However, assuming the global economy doesn’t totally collapse, companies that successfully migrate IT activities to the cloud can achieve lower costs and flexible scale, at the potential cost of vendor lock-in, regulatory uncertainty, and the operational risk of the transition itself.
Some of this reminds me of the dynamics around corporate ERP projects a decade ago. If you were the incumbent leader in your market, you’ve already invested in your line-of-business IT infrastructure, and it’s working. You may have even been an early adopter of ERP technologies, gaining time and experience in pilot projects to develop a competitive advantage in your in-house IT. At some point the other competitors in a given market end up in a difficult position – either continue as they are with a strategic disadvantage (no ERP), or take on a risky overhaul of their core IT systems and business processes to become more competitive (if the project succeeds). Kind of like Iron Man rebuilding the power supply for his heart and super-suit. It’s great, as long as it actually works. But it might kill you.
So who went down this path? The leaders tend to, because part of how they became the leaders in their markets is by looking for the next competitive edge, whether it is a technology, business process, or other. The interesting part is that in many ways it is more attractive for an *uncompetitive* company to attempt a radical technology and process overhaul, simply because what they’re doing is already *not* working. So it’s literally adapt or die. The implementation risks were substantial, sometimes companies suffered major setbacks through failed ERP adoption, Hershey’s being a the poster child for a disastrous SAP project, although it didn’t *quite* kill them.
Now let’s look at cloud computing. It is clearly a win for startups and insurgents in a given market. They gain IT capabilities and scale on par with all but the very largest organizations, and don’t have a sunk cost of equipment, staff, and existing business process. They can’t differentiate themselves on better IT per se, but they can develop their processes around the flexbility and scalability of the cloud, and design for competitive advantage within its constraints. They also have nothing to lose, so why not take the risk?
The more typical case is much more difficult. An existing enterprise already has substantial IT infrastracture assets, staff, and business processes. They will be severely criticized and probably sued if someone doesn’t like what they’re doing, which is problematic because they have an actual working business and assets. Nonetheless, in the current business environment, many existing organizations will be approaching that “adapt or die” point, in which the choices are to try something risky and maybe have it fail (in this case, moving IT services and processes to the cloud), or die (weighed down by higher costs and lower flexibility). One implementation risk is that the regulatory issues around privacy, security, accountability etc haven’t been worked out yet, and what major financial institution, bank, insurer, or health care provider would want to be the guinea pig in court? Not their first choice, but the prospect of lower incremental costs and the operating flexibility grow more and more appealing every day. Someone is going to be first, probably get sued, and then everyone will know what the rules are and jump in. Either that, or startups and insurgents in their markets are going to take over first.