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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...

Experience Syndication: Powered by Zappos

By Joshua-Michele Ross
September 12, 2008

I have been thinking a lot about the new Powered by Zappos service. According to Zappos: Powered by Zappos (PBZ) is a feature Zappos.com offers to its partners where we design, host, fulfill and own a partners web site. Our goal is to provide Zappos customers as well as our partner's customers with the best possible service experience. By building...

Why We're Failing in Math and Science

By Tim O'Reilly
August 15, 2008

Norman Mailer's brilliant novel Why Are We in Vietnam? doesn't talk explicitly about the Vietnam war; it tells a story about American culture and the American psyche, thereby producing a devastating critique of the war with the title and last line alone. In a similar way, it may be easier to understand why America is falling behind at math and...

Kaminsky DNS Patch Visualization

By Jesse Robbins
August 7, 2008

Dan Kaminsky has posted the details of the widespread DNS vulnerability. Clarified Networks created this visualization of DNS patch deployment over the past month: Red = Unpatched Yellow = Patched, "but NAT is screwing things up" Green = OK...

The new internet traffic spikes

By Jesse Robbins
June 29, 2008

Theo Schlossnagle, author of Scalable Internet Architectures, gave a great explanation of how internet traffic spikes are shifting: Lately, I see more sudden eyeballs and what used to be an established trend seems to fall into a more chaotic pattern that is the aggregate of different spike signatures around a smooth curve. This graph is from two consecutive days where...

The new internet traffic spikes

By Jesse Robbins
June 29, 2008

Theo Schlossnagle, author of Scalable Internet Architectures, gave a great explanation of how internet traffic spikes are shifting: Lately, I see more sudden eyeballs and what used to be an established trend seems to fall into a more chaotic pattern that is the aggregate of different spike signatures around a smooth curve. This graph is from two consecutive days where...

Amazon Gets Demanding with Print-on-Demand Publishers

By Andrew Savikas
March 29, 2008

We often hold up Amazon as an example of one of the original Web 2.0 companies. Their survival amid the tech meltdown was driven largely by the value of the data they'd acquired through thousands of reader reviews, recommendations, and "people who bought this bought that" collaborative fil

Goodbye, New York Times

By Jimmy Guterman
March 25, 2008

I love The New York Times. I've read it almost every day of my life since I was in high school. For all its recent flaws -- the weirdo profiles of the major presidential candidates are the most high-profile --...

Trendalyzer view of the banking crisis

By Jesse Robbins
March 20, 2008

The team at "And Still I Persist" has created their own version of Hans Rosling's "Trendalyzer" (see: Radar post) to visualize the current US banking crisis. "First lets look at the top 8 banks and their mortgages that are 90+...

Today's ETech Hack is Tomorrow's Critical Infrastructure...

By Jesse Robbins
March 5, 2008

My friend Jordan Schwartz just gave me the perfect example of how quickly a cool hack can turn into Critical Infrastructure.  Jordan wrote "How to build an SMS Service" and created SwaggleSMS as a demonstration of how to do...

US Judge censors WikiLeaks.org by ordering DNS records removed

By Jesse Robbins
February 19, 2008

The BBC and many others report that the international whistle-blower website WikiLeaks.org has been taken down as of this morning. Judge Jeffery White ordered that the WikiLeaks.org domain be removed at the request of Julius Baer Bank & Trust. Not...

Understanding the undersea cable cuts... (updated: "fifth cable cut")

By Jesse Robbins
February 6, 2008

The Fiber Cuts in the Middle East are getting a lot of attention. The economic damage is real and the geopolitical issues are extremely complex (which is why I edited my earlier post). From an operations perspective these kinds of...

Failure Happens: Transcontinental fiber-optic submarine cables

By Jesse Robbins
February 3, 2008

The Guardian published a summary of the ongoing impact from the transcontinental fiber-optic submarine cable cuts along with a map from Telegeography.com: According to reports, the internet blackout, which has left 75 million people with only limited access, was caused...

One Laptop Per Child will succeed even if it "fails"

By Jimmy Guterman
January 13, 2008

The way people are dismissing the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project this week reminds me of how people were treating Hillary Clinton during the five days between her Iowa defeat and her New Hampshire comeback. To many observers, the...

Does Facebook own this blog post?

By Jimmy Guterman
January 3, 2008

Facebook, apparently, owns my birthday. Yours too. At least that's one way to interpret why blogger Robert Scoble got kicked off Facebook. While testing an upcoming version of Plaxo Pulse, Scoble scraped information on his contacts (name, address, and birthday,...

'Computing in the Cloud' workshop hosted by Princeton University - January 14-15

By Jesse Robbins
December 22, 2007

Marc Hedlund and I will be speaking at the 'Computing in the Cloud' workshop hosted by the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton on January 14-15. The sessions look very interesting and registration is free. Panel 1: Possession and...

Condescending Customer Service

By Jimmy Guterman
November 16, 2007

When Gmail recently added IMAP to its features, I sent a note to the customer service box of the web-based email service I use for personal mail to ask whether IMAP was coming to that service. I received the following...

Failure Happens: An SLA is just a contract & Data Centers are single points of failure too

By Jesse Robbins
November 13, 2007

Rackspace does not promise that its system will not fail, instead, it establishes a Service Level Agreement (SLA) which specifies how customers will be compensated when it does fail.... We want our customers to feel at ease with their decision to move their site to Rackspace, and knowing that Rackspace takes your site's uptime as seriously as you do is imperative.... Critical infrastructure includes functioning of all power and HVAC infrastructure including UPSs, PDUs and cabling, but does not include the power supplies on customers' servers. Infrastructure downtime exists when a particular server is shut down due to power or heat problems and is measured from the time the trouble ticket is opened to the time the problem is resolved and the server is powered back on. Rackspace Guarantee: Upon experiencing downtime, Rackspace will credit the customer 5% of the monthly fee for each 30 minutes of downtime (up to 100% of customer's monthly fee for the affected server).

Failure Happens: Taser-wielding thieves steal servers, attack staff, and cause outages at Chicago colocation facility

By Jesse Robbins
November 4, 2007

In the most recent incident, "at least two masked intruders entered the suite after cutting into the reinforced walls with a power saw," according to a letter C I Host officials sent customers.... One report detailing an occurrence on September 23, 2005, recounts a "hole cut through the wall coming out onto the hallway of third floor." During a September 20, 2006 incident, an intruder "placed a silver + blk handgun to [victim's] head and stated 'lay down on the floor.'" The victim, a C I Host employee, was then blindfolded, bound with black tape and struck on the head with a weapon, according to the report.

Failure Happens: Tazer-weilding thieves steal servers, attack staff, and cause outages at Chicago colocation facility

By Jesse Robbins
November 4, 2007

In the most recent incident, "at least two masked intruders entered the suite after cutting into the reinforced walls with a power saw," according to a letter C I Host officials sent customers.... One report detailing an occurrence on September 23, 2005, recounts a "hole cut through the wall coming out onto the hallway of third floor." During a September 20, 2006 incident, an intruder "placed a silver + blk handgun to [victim's] head and stated 'lay down on the floor.'" The victim, a C I Host employee, was then blindfolded, bound with black tape and struck on the head with a weapon, according to the report.

Disaster Telecom after the earthquake in Peru

By Jesse Robbins
August 18, 2007

The BBC is reporting that over 500 people were killed and thousands of people left injured and homeless after the earthquakes in Peru earlier this week. The 24 hour Skype outage started shortly after the earthquake and contributed to the...

Your browser is a tcp/ip relay

By Artur Bergman
August 3, 2007

I've been a longtime fan of fellow hacker Dan Kaminsky, best known for his work in tracking down the spread of the sony rootkit. Recently I spoke with him about his current work, and he summed it up by saying,...

Shared nothing parallel programming

By Artur Bergman
July 6, 2007

I agree strongly with Tim and Nathan's belief in the importance of parallel computing. I've been following this space since 2000, when I took Gurusamy Sarathys initial work on making perl multi-threaded and finished it for the 5.8 release. The...

Amzon EC2 and S3 disastear planning

By Artur Bergman
June 23, 2007

In my post Amazon Web Services and the lack of a SLA, I asked the following question. So, if your company is based on AWS: What does your disaster recovery plan look like? How do you react if Amazon goes...

Amazon Web Services and the lack of a SLA

By Artur Bergman
June 21, 2007

I am interested in understanding the business tradeoffs that people make when they decide to host their data on S3 or run their service on EC2 instead of investing in their own infrastructure. Quoting from the Amazon T&C.; We further...

JPG's Founding Editors Leave

By Brady Forrest
May 15, 2007

JPG, the user-driven photo magazine, lost its founding editors today. Heather Champ and Derek Powazek each tell their version of how the magazine was formed and why they are leaving. The two of them created the first 6 issues...

What Does It Mean For Public Space to Go Digital?

By Tim O'Reilly
May 12, 2007

Over on Genuine VC, David Beisel has written a thought-provoking piece entitled What Does It Mean For Public Space to Go Digital? about the future of advertising in public spaces. Here are some of the tidbits he includes: figures on...


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