Hey, it's HighScalability time:
UFOs or Floating Solar Balloon power stations? You decide.
- 700 Million: WhatsApp active monthly users; 17 million: comments on Stack Exchange in 2014
- Quotable Quotes
- John von Neumann: It is easier to write a new code than to understand an old one.
- @BenedictEvans: Gross revenue on Apple & Google's app stores was a little over $20bn in 2014. Bigger than recorded music, FWIW.
- Julian Bigelow: Absence of a signal should never be used as a signal.
- Bigelow ~ separate signal from noise at every stage of the process—in this case, at the transfer of every single bit—rather than allowing noise to accumulate along the way
- cgb_: One of the things I've found interesting about rapidly popular opensource solutions in the last 1-2 years is how quickly venture cap funding comes in and drives the direction of future development.
- @miostaffin: "If Amazon wants to test 5,000 users to use a feature, they just need to turn it on for 45 seconds." -@jmspool #uxdc
- Roberta Ness: Amazing possibility on the one hand and frustrating inaction on the other—that is the yin and yang of modern science. Invention generates ever more gizmos and gadgets, but imagination is not providing clues to solving the scientific puzzles that threaten our very existence.
- Can HTTPS really be faster than HTTP? Yes, it can. Take the test for yourself. The secret: SPDY. More at Why we don’t use a CDN: A story about SPDY and SSL.
- A fascinating and well told tale of the unexpected at Facebook. Solving the Mystery of Link Imbalance: A Metastable Failure State at Scale: The most literal conclusion to draw from this story is that MRU connection pools shouldn’t be used for connections that traverse aggregated links. At a meta-level, the next time you are debugging emergent behavior, you might try thinking of the components as agents colluding via covert channels. At an organizational level, this investigation is a great example of why we say that nothing at Facebook is somebody else’s problem.
- Everything old is new again. Facebook on disaggregation vs. hyperconvergence: Just when everyone agreed that scale-out infrastructure with commodity nodes of tightly-coupled CPU, memory and storage is the way to go, Facebook’s Jeff Qin, a capacity management engineer – in a talk at Storage Visions 2015 – offers an opposing vision: disaggregated racks. One rack for computes, another for memory and a third – and fourth – for storage.
- Why Instagram Worked. Instagram was the result of a pivot away from a not popular enough social networking site to a stripped down app that allowed people to document their world in pictures. Though the source article is short on the why, there's a good discussion on Hacker News. Some interesting reasons: Instagram worked because it algorithmically hides flaws in photographs so everyone's pictures look "good"; Snapping a photo is easy and revolves around a moment -- something easier to recognize when it's worthy of sharing; Startups need lucky breaks, but connections with the right people increase the odds considerably; Instagram worked because it was at the right place at the right time; It worked because it's a simple, quick, ultra-low friction way of sharing photos.
- Atheists, it's not what you think. The God Login. The incomparable Jeff Atwood does a deep dive on the design of a common everyday object: the Login page. The title was inspired by one of Jeff's teacher's who asked what was the "God Algorithm" for a problem, that is, if God solved a problem what would the solution look like? While you may not agree with the proposed solution to the Login page problem, you may at least come away believing that one may or may not exist.
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