Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hands on with Google+

from Macworld by Megan Geuss and Mark Sullivan.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Inside Google+ by Steven Levy

From Wired Magazine @stevenjayl (author of In the Plex) writes about Google+ as he witnessed things from his inside view.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Summer Solstice

Happy summer solstice today at Tuesday at 13:16 EDT  (17:16 UTC).

Tue 2011-06-21 13:16:00 -0400
Tue 2011-06-21 17:16:00 +0000

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Ihnatko Writes for Television

Hah!  If Ihnatko was a TV writer 25 years ago, as he ponders in his blog post N-B-SEEEEE us.

Friday, June 10, 2011

API Design Matters

from ACM Queue by Michi Henning  (2007-06-07).

After more than 25 years as a software engineer, I still find myself underestimating the time it will take to complete a particular programming task. Sometimes, the resulting schedule slip is caused by my own shortcomings: as I dig into a problem, I simply discover that it is a lot harder than I initially thought, so the problem takes longer to solve—such is life as a programmer. Just as often I know exactly what I want to achieve and how to achieve it, but it still takes far longer than anticipated. When that happens, it is usually because I am struggling with an API that seems to do its level best to throw rocks in my path and make my life difficult. What I find telling is that, after 25 years of progress in software engineering, this still happens. Worse, recent APIs implemented in modern programming languages make the same mistakes as their two-decade-old counterparts written in C. There seems to be something elusive about API design that, despite many years of progress, we have yet to master.

New iGoogle Email Client

The new Gmail client in iGoogle is actually pretty neat.  It's essentially the same as the web-based client on, e.g., the Android phone.

VLT Survey Telescope 268-megapixel camera

( -- The VLT Survey Telescope (VST), the latest addition to ESO’s Paranal Observatory, has made its first release of impressive images of the southern sky. The VST is a state-of-the-art 2.6-meter telescope, with the huge 268-megapixel camera OmegaCAM at its heart, which is designed to map the sky both quickly and with very fine image quality. It is a visible-light telescope that perfectly complements ESO’s VISTA infrared survey telescope. New images of the Omega Nebula and the globular cluster Omega Centauri demonstrate the VST’s power.

Read more….

Image credit: ESO/INAF-VST/OmegaCAM. Acknowledgement: OmegaCen/Astro-WISE/Kapteyn Institute

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Post-Mortems at HubSpot

What I Learned From 250 Whys by Dan Milstein at HubSpot. This is quite good and worth reading!

I've learned about how HubSpot's systems work, why they sometimes break, and what we can do to make them more resilient. Beyond that, I've learned a lot about complex systems and failure in general. Which, in case you're wondering, is a fascinating topic. I highly, highly recommend Richard Cook's essay “How Complex Systems Fail” in O'Reilly's Web Operations. Or Atul Gawande's Complications and Better. Or basically anything John Allspaw writes.

If you'd like to build resilient systems, here's some of what I've learned from the fifty-plus 5 Whys I’ve been a part of. (And by &rlquo;systems,” I mean systems of people + machines, and by “resilient,” I mean I'm stealing from Allspaw.)