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Everything is distributed

By Courtney Nash
May 19, 2014

“What is surprising is not that there are so many accidents. It is that there are so few. The thing that amazes you is not that your system goes down sometimes, it’s that it is up at all.”—Richard Cook In …

Building for Failure is a Recipe for Success

By J. Paul Reed
October 10, 2013

I was ready to get home. I’d been dozing throughout the flight from JFK to SFO, listening to the background chatter of Channel 9 as a lullaby. Somewhere over Sacramento, the rhythmic flow of controller-issued clearances and pilot confirmations was …

Head Games: Ego and Entrepreneurial Failure

By Tom Eisenmann
July 9, 2013

Entrepreneurial success hinges in large part on a founder’s mastery of psychology. This requires the ability to manage one’s responses to what Ben Horowitz calls “The Struggle,” that is, the emotional roller coaster of startup life. Paul DeJoe captures the …

Four short links: 3 August 2012

By Nat Torkington
August 3, 2012

Urban Camouflage Workshop — Most of the day was spent crafting urban camouflage intended to hide the wearer from the Kinect computer vision system. By the end of the workshop we understood how to dress to avoid detection for the …

Faster and stronger: Looking back on Velocity 2012

Faster and stronger: Looking back on Velocity 2012
By Mike Loukides
July 10, 2012

Mike Loukides highlights talks from Velocity 2012, including: Bryan McQuade on the importance of understanding the full stack, Dr. Richard Cook on failures and complex systems, Mike Christian on redundant data centers, and John Rauser on the value of outliers.

Kickstarter Stats Page - Project Failure Analysis

By Kevin Shockey
June 23, 2012

In nearly every famous example of project success, it is almost always due to prior preparation. Anyone considering launching a Kickstarter project, remember this: "Nearly every key business indicator of the past must be discarded." Social engagement over the Internet is the only metric that matters. Celebrity and "stardom" is earned, like trust.

Design your website for a graceful fail

Design your website for a graceful fail
By Jenn Webb
April 26, 2012

A failure in secondary content doesn't need to take down an entire website. Here, Etsy's Mike Brittain explains how to build resilience into UIs and allow for graceful failures.

Four short links: 24 April 2012

By Nat Torkington
April 24, 2012

3D-Printing Pharmaceuticals (BoingBoing) -- Prof Cronin added: "3D printers are becoming increasingly common and affordable. It's entirely possible that, in the future, we could see chemical engineering technology which is prohibitively expensive today filter down to laboratories and small commercial enterprises. "Even more importantly, we could use 3D printers to revolutionise access to health care in the developing world,...

Velocity 2011 retrospective

By Mike Loukides
June 27, 2011

A number of emerging themes are defining the web operations world, including: resilience engineering, new approaches to failure, and the role data plays in boosting performance.

Velocity 2011 retrospective

Velocity 2011 retrospective
By Mike Loukides
June 27, 2011

A number of emerging themes are defining the web operations world, including: resilience engineering, new approaches to failure, and the role data plays in boosting performance.

The AWS Outage: The Cloud's Shining Moment

The AWS Outage: The Cloud's Shining Moment
By George Reese
April 23, 2011

So many cloud pundits are piling on to the misfortunes of Amazon Web Services this week as a response to the massive failures in the AWS Virginia region. If you think this week exposed weakness in the cloud, you don't get it: it was the cloud's shining moment, exposing the strength of cloud computing.

Four short links: 3 February 2011

By Nat Torkington
February 3, 2011

Curveship -- a new interactive fiction system that can tell the same story in many different ways. Check out the examples on the home page. Important because interactive fiction and the command-lines of our lives are inextricably intertwined. Egypt's Revolution: Coming to an Economy Near You (Umair Haque) -- more dystopic prediction, but this phrase rings true: The lesson:...

The Day The Netbook Died

The Day The Netbook Died
By Caitlyn Martin
October 7, 2009

On that Friday, with no warning, the little netbook failed to boot up. I couldn't even get to the BIOS. For the third time a Sylvania netbook I owned had suffered a premature hardware failure.

Four short links: 25 August 2009

By Nat Torkington
August 24, 2009

Tineye -- reverse search engine; you upload an image and they find you similar images so you know where else it's used. Check out their cool searches. PDF Pirate -- upload a PDF and this web site will give it back to you minus the restrictions on copying/printing/etc. Flare -- an ActionScript library for creating visualizations that run in...

AT&T Fiber cuts remind us: Location is a Basket too!

By Jesse Robbins
April 10, 2009

The fiber cuts affecting much of the San Francisco Bay Area this week are similar to the outages in the Middle East last year (radar post), although far more limited in scope and impact.   What I said last year still holds true and is repeated below: From an operations perspective these kinds of outages are nothing new, and underscore why...


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