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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

a most passionate software engineering text about services, Google, Amazon and the world

Google engineer Steve Yegge had some really interesting thoughts to share about Google, Amazon and the way computing is going, in his mind, today. Sadly, he no longer shares it with the world outside of Google. Happily, it can still be found at Don't let the headline mislead you. This isn't about Google+ or social networks. This is about the way software engineering is done at Amazon, isn't done at Google, and should be done, according to Yegge.

I don't agree with everything written there, but it is probably the most passionate software engineering text I've read in recent years, and as such, in my mind, will be of interest to anyone who finds technology, software and the internet interesting.

[remark: happily, it seems Steve is still employed at Google, despite the unintended forum being exposed to his rather blunt criticism. It seems like he is trying to do some damage control, wisely, and his most recent post is interesting in itself, telling a little more of the culture of Amazon, and of Jeff Bezos (a.k.a The dread pirate Bezos)] 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Amazon showing good business sense, and a great customer experince

Anyone following my blog would know that I like Amazon. I think they are a wisely managed business, They have an amazingly efficient supply chain which makes the customer experience amazingly pleasant, and an obviously robust and sturdy IT infrastructure which makes this bundle very appealing - both in the eyes of the economic analyst and in the eyes of the occasional consumer. But taking an occasional look at reddit, the alleged "front page of the internet" I was glad to read there a story of a positively surprised customer being reimbursed by Amazon as his shipment was lost (by no fault of Amazon).  Here is the chat. Read it, for this is truly nice to see such level of responsibility taking -

RAID nicely explained

Every now and then one finds oneself trying to explain technical terms to newbies (at large or to system management/hardware),  or the technically challenged. RAID is one of those common topics, and even nowadays as SANs and NASs make system administrators lives easier, it is still one of the building blocks of storage knowledge.

One of my favorite technology sites, The Geek Stuff has supplied an excellently simple explanation of the difference between the different RAID levels, and a specific RAID01-RAID10 comparison, both which are worth remembering.

One additional point - As always, nothing is perfect, and for the real newbies, those explanations require some former acquaintance with the terms striping, parity, mirror and blocks... That's life, TANSTAAFL.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

politics and technology

As Tunisia goes to vote, with the hope that this will lead to a fully functional democratic society in this early bird of the Arab spring, one should also notice the role technology suggests in the implementation of the political discourse. It may very well be that the internet did not only assist in the formation of the popular protests but that it will also assist in the structuring of a truly democratic discourse. 

are Facebook's power users defecting ?

As time goes by, it seems that not only is Google+ better than the late buzz, but that it is an actual threat to Facebook, as power users prefer Google+ and twitter. Knowing that social networks can fall even after reaching unprecedented peaks, as was Myspace's case, is probably Facebook's best asset. Now it only remains to see how well does that knowledge drive the competing players... 

Friday, October 21, 2011

המקומות הטובים ביותר לעבוד בהם בעמק הסיליקון

התעניינתי לקרוא  מאמר בtechi על מקומות העבודה הטובים ביותר בעמק הסיליקון והדרך שבה המקומות האלה מנסים לדאוג לעובדיהם.  מה שהיה מגניב במיוחד במאמר היה טבלת ההשוואה הגרפית, ממנה אצטט לדוגמה רק את החלק שאותי תמיד מפתיע לרעה בישראל, תמיכה בחופשת הלידה, עזרה בטיפול בילדי-העובדים והתעבורה לעבודה:

כאמור, טבלת ההשוואה הגרפית גדולה הרבה יותר, והייתי שמח לראות פעם מקבילה ישראלית מהסיליקון ואדי, רצוי בגירסא תחרותית....