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Stuff The Internet Says On Scalability For May 19th, 2017

  • Hey, it's HighScalability time:



    Who wouldn't want to tour the Garden of Mathematical Sciences with Plato as their guide?
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    • 2 billion: Android users; 1,000: cloud TPUs freely available to researchers; 11.5 petaflops: in Google's machine learning pod; 86 billion: neurons in the human brain, not 100 billion; 1,300: Amazon's new warehouses across Europe; $1 trillion: China self-investment; 1/7th: California's portion of US GDP; more: repetition in songs; 99.999%: Spanner availability, strong consistency, good latency; 6: successful SpaceX launch in 4 months; 160TB: RAM in HPE computer; 40,000+ workers: private offices > open offices

    • Quotable Quotes:
      • Tim Bray: with­out ex­cep­tion, I ob­served that they [Per­son­al com­put­er­s, Unix, C, the In­ter­net and We­b, Java, REST, mo­bile, pub­lic cloud] were ini­tial­ly load­ed in the back door by geek­s, with­out ask­ing per­mis­sion, be­cause they got shit done and helped peo­ple with their job­s. That’s not hap­pen­ing with blockchain. Not in the slight­est. Which is why I don’t be­lieve in it.
      • @swardley: Amazon continues to take industry after industry not because those companies lack engineering talent but executive talent.
      • @RichRogersIoT: "I bought my boss two copies of The Mythical Man Month so that he could read it twice as fast." - @rkoutnik
      • @GossiTheDog: Seeing ATMs and banks go down here suggests fundamental issues which flashing boxes can't fix. Design, architect a security model.
      • @stevesi: Is Google's TPU investment the biggest advantage ever or laying groundwork for being disrupted? Can Google out-innovate sum of industry?
      • Ryan Mac: Last year, Craigslist took in upwards of $690 million in revenue, most of which is net profit
      • @dberkholz: Capex vs opex budget for tools is a bigger deal than I'd fully appreciated. Welcome to the enterprise!
      • Vint Cerf: AI stands for artificial idiot. 
      • Douglas Hofstadter: In the end, we are self-perceiving, self-inventing, locked-in mirages that are little miracles of self-reference. 
      • cocktailpeanuts: I feel like the term "Serverless" has been hijacked to a point that it will soon become meaningless just like "AI", "IoT", etc. Basically "Serverless" in 2017 has become just a hype friendly marketing friendly way of saying "Saas".
      • @skupor: Over last 20 years, m&a exits for venture backed companies has gone from 60% to 90% of exits (was 20% in 1990)
      • bpicolo: C# with visual studio is, I think, the most productive environment I've come across in programming. It's ergonomically sound, straightforward, and the IDE protects me from all sorts of relevant errors. Steve mentioned Intellij is a bit slower than he'd hope typing sometimes. I totally agree with that. I think Visual Studio doesn't quite suffer from that.
      • @codepitbull: A good developer is like a werewolf: Afraid of silver bullets.
      • @sehnaoui: Coffee shop. People next to me are loud and rude. They just found the perfect name for their new business. I just bought the domain name.
      • David Robinson: Python and Javascript developers start and end the day a little later than C# users, and are a little less likely than C programmers to work in the evening.
      • Ben Thompson: The fatal flaw of software, beyond the various technical and strategic considerations I outlined above, is that for the first several decades of the industry software was sold for an up-front price, whether that be for a package or a license. The truth is that software — and thus security — is never finished; it makes no sense, then, that payment is a one-time event.
      • boulos: Spanner does things for you that MySQL et al. don't. Having an automagic Regional (and eventually Global if you'd like) database without dealing with sharding is worth $8k/year even to me. So even if it could fit on $10/month of hardware, I don't begrudge them for charging a service fee, rather than saying "This is how much cores, RAM, disk and flash this eats".
      • codedokode: One of the reasons why such attack was possible is poor security in Windows. Port 445 that was used in an attack is opened by a kernel driver (at least that is what netstat says on WinXP) that runs in ring 0. This driver is enabled by default even if the user doesn't need SMB server and it cannot be easily disabled.
      • @RichRogersIoT: Job interview:  Implement Large Hadron Collider on whiteboard / Actual job:  Jira bug-id #2342: Move login button 3 pixels to left
      • slackingoff2017: This is part of a worrying new trend. Increasingly you can't buy software anymore, only rent. Innovation is being kept from scrutiny hidden behind closed doors. The kind of thing patents were meant to prevent back when the system wasn't broken.
      • Scott Borg~ Engineers need to look at their products from the standpoint of the attacker, and consider how attacker would benefit from cyberattack and how to make undertaking that attack more expensive. It’s all about working to increase an attacker’s costs
      • @tottinge: "A code base isn't a thing we build, it's a place we live. We don't seek to finish it and move on, but to make it liveable"  @sarahmei
      • Sam Kroonenburg: We Believe …Don’t do the things that someone else can do. Do the things that only we can do. [re: Serverless]
      • Anush Mohandass: What you’re starting to see are different architectures for different workloads. There will be chips for image recognition, SQL, machine learning acceleration. 
      • Craig McLuckie: Given the current state-of-the-art, most users will achieve best day-to-day top line availability by just picking a single public cloud provider and running their app on one infrastructure.
      • watmough: Chromebooks work, and I am a big fan of them in education. I have a pretty good idea how hard our teachers work, and I'd hate to think of the Windows bullshit being imposed them, like it's imposed on me and my coworkers.
      • axilmar: It [React Native] is the future! But you need experience to make it work, and navigation/routing is still being worked out, and it is native, but it is Javascript, and it is crossplatform, but you need to be aware of the differences of the two platforms, and styling uses something that is like css but not entirely, you have to learn all the intricate details... Thank god software engineering "practices" are not used in other engineering disciplines...
      • Anton Howes: So without the British acceleration of innovation, the Industrial Revolution would likely have happened elsewhere within a few decades. France and the Low Countries and Switzerland and the United States were by the eighteenth century well on their way towards sustained modern economic growth. 
      • Dr. Suzana Herculano-Houzel~ evolution is not progress, all that evolution means is change over geological time, it's not for the better, it's not for the worst, it's just different. All it has to do with is generating diversity. We have ample evidence we are not descendents of reptiles, we are close cousins. We could not have a basic reptile brain to which something else was added. We know now that every reptile has a neo-cortex. There is not such thing as triune brain. There is no such thing as reptilian brain on top of which a new structure appeared only in mammals. We all have it. The brain is very much the same in its essence, the difference lies in the quantities. 
      • James Clear: The great mistake of Hurricane Katrina was that the levees and flood walls were not built with a proper “margin of safety.” The engineers miscalculated the strength of the soil the walls were built upon. As a result, the walls buckled and the surging waters poured over the top, eroding the soft soil and magnifying the problem. Within a few minutes, the entire system collapsed.
      • elvinyung: This "modern" Spanner feels very different from the one we saw in 2012 [1]. Some interesting takeaways: * There is a native SQL interface in Spanner, rather than relying on a separate upper-layer SQL layer, a la F1 [2] * Spanner is no longer on top of Bigtable! Instead, the storage engine seems to be a heavily modified Bigtable with a column-oriented file format * Data is resharded frequently and concurrently with other operations -- the shard layout is abstracted away from the query plan using the "distributed union" operator * Possible explanation for why Spanner doesn't support SQL DML writes: writes are required to be the last step of a transaction, and there is currently no support for reading uncommitted writes (this is in contrast to F1, which does support DML) * Spanner supports full-text search (!)

    • Cautionary tale number 1000 on depending on someone else's service. Firebase Costs Increased by 7,000%! Google changed something (billing for SSL overhead) and HomeAutomation's bill spiked. There was no warning. There were no tools to tell why. Support stopped replying. There's no one to call. The recommendation is to protect yourself from being trapped by a service from the very beginning. They've moved to Lambda/DynamoDb, which many point out is also a potential service trap. The Firebase Founder responded with an explanation, saying he was "embarrassed by the level of communication on our side." Good discussion on HackerNews and on reddit. Lots of people with similar stories, complaints about lack of support with Google, complaints about lack of transparency, and the usual about never rely on anything ever. 

    • Serverlessconf Austin '17 videos are now available (most of them anyway). 

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6 days 9 hours ago