Archive For The “Ramblings” Category

Atul Gawande on Performance

Earlier today Alex Mallet reminded me of the excellent writing of Atul Gawnade by sending me a pointer to the New Yorker coverage of Gawande’s commencement address at the Harvard Medical School: Cowboys and Pit Crews. Four years ago I wrote a couple of blog entries on Gawande’s work but, at the time, my blog…

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What Went Wrong at Fukushima Dai-1

What Went Wrong at Fukushima Dai-1

As a boater, there are times when I know our survival is 100% dependent upon the weather conditions, the boat, and the state of its equipment. As a consequence, I think hard about human or equipment failure modes and how to mitigate them. I love reading the excellent reporting by the UK Marine Accident Investigation…

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DataCloud 2010: Workshop on Data Intensive Computing in the Clouds Call for Papers

For those of you writing about your work on high scale cloud computing (and for those interested in a great excuse to visit Anchorage Alaska), consider submitting a paper to the Workshop on Data Intensive Cloud Computing in the Clouds (DataCloud 2011). The call for papers is below. –jrh ——————————————————————————————- *** Call for Papers ***…

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Web-Scale Database

I’m dragging myself off the floor as I write this having watched this short video: MongoDB is Web Scale. It won’t improve your datacenter PUE, your servers won’t get more efficient, and it won’t help you scale your databases but, still, you just have to check out that video. Thanks to Andrew Certain of Amazon…

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Gone Boating

I’m taking some time off and probably won’t blog again until the first week of September. Jennifer and I are taking the boat north to Alaska. Most summers we spend a bit of time between the northern tip of Vancouver island and the Alaska border. This year is a little different for 2 reasons. First,…

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The Drive-by Download Problem

A couple of days ago I came across an interesting article by Microsoft Fellow Mark Russinovich. In this article, Mark hunts a random Internet Explorer crash with his usual tools: The Case of the Random IE Crash. He chases down the IE issue to a Yahoo! Toolbar. This caught my interest for two reasons: 1)…

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PUE is Still Broken and I still use it

PUE is still broken and I still use it. For more on why PUE has definite flaws, see: PUE and Total Power Usage Efficiency. However, I still use it because it’s an easy to compute summary of data center efficiency. It can be gamed endlessly but it’s easy to compute and it does provide some…

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State of Public Sector Cloud Computing

Federal and state governments are prodigious information technology users. Federal Chief Information Security Office Vivek Kundra reports that the United States government is spending $76B annually on 10,000 different systems. In a recently released report, State of Public Sector Cloud Computing, Vivek Kundra summarizes the benefits of cloud computing: There was a time when every…

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Solving World Problems With Economic Incentives

Economic forces are more powerful than politics. Political change is slow. Changing laws takes time. Lobbyist water down the intended legislation. Companies find loop holes. The population as a whole, lacks the strength of conviction to make the tough decisions and stick with them. Economic forces are far more powerful and certainly more responsive than…

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One Browser To Rule Them All

One Browser To Rule Them All

There have been times in past years when it really looked like we our industry was on track to supporting only a single relevant web browser. Clearly that’s not the case today. In a discussion with a co-working today on the importance of “other” browsers, I wanted to put some data on the table so…

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VPN over WiMAX

We live on a boat which has lots of upside but broadband connectivity isn’t one of them. As it turns out, our marina has WiFi but it is sufficiently unreliable that we needed another solution. I wish there was a Starbucks hotspot across the street – actually there is one within a block but we…

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ACM Science Cloud 2010 Call For Papers

I’m on the technical program committe for ACM Science Cloud 2010. You should consider both submitting a paper and attending the conference. The conference will be held in Chicago on June21st, 2010 colocated with ACM HPDC 2010 (High Performance Distributed Computing). The call for papers abstracst are due Feb 22 with final papers due March…

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AWS Wants You!

Want to join a startup team within Amazon Web Services? I’m deeply involved and excited about this project and another couple of talented engineers could really make a difference. We are looking for: User Interface Software Development Engineer We are looking for an experienced engineer with a proven track record of building high quality, AJAX…

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Brief Blogging Hiatus

I’ll be taking a brief hiatus from blogging during the first three weeks of August. Tomorrow we leave for China. You might wonder why we would go to China during the hottest time of the year. For example, our first stop, Xiamen, is expected to hit 95F today, which is fairly typical weather for this…

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Pictures from the Fisher Plaza Data Center Fire

There have been many reports of the Fisher Plaza data center fire. An early one was the Data Center Knowledge article: Major Outage at Seattle Data Center. Data center fires aren’t as rare as any of us would like but this one is a bit unusual in that fires normally happen in the electrical equipment…

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Barbara Liskov 2008 Turing Award Winner

MIT’s Barbara Liskov was awarded the 2008 Association of Computing Machinery Turing Award. The Turning award is the highest distinction in computer science and is often referred to as the Nobel price of computing. Past award winners are listed at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_Award. The full award citation: Barbara Liskov has led important developments in computing by creating…

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