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Archive for December 17th, 2007

FRAGILE MEDIA

Have you ever gone outside your apartment or house to look at the connectivity – the actual wires leading to your internet, phone and television? It’s chicken wire.

Have you ever been to a typical datacenter housing all this data we like to consume? Mostly chicken wire and not secure.

In this day of security and war on terror and infrastructure taxes, the fragility of our data streams is ironic. (is that the right term? You get my point…)

Few people understand the cobbled together ecosystem.

  • HTML was meant to link academic papers together and it is a loose standard (no one follows it) that helps generate trillions of dollars in revenue
  • Cable, dsl have no redundancy. If your line is cut, you’re off the grid
  • VOIP has little location ability and no power backup, rending 911 and other sensitive operations impossible
  • Most websites are single points of failure
  • If google is down for 1 minute, no fewer than 100,000,000 queries will go unanswered and websites will lose one million dollars (per minute)
  • Viruses are EASY to write and even easier to transfer
  • Ipod batteries are not replaceable
  • Cellphones work only 90% of the time in the CITY, and even less in rural areas (and these are the future of communication
  • Writers striking can shut down a huge amount of content flow and ad dollars
  • And so on…

The question is… so what? It all seems to work. I will follow up with how this very fragility MAKES it all work even better.

Good Morning.

~Russ

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There’s just more and more analysis and speculation about how critical it is to be fast.

Slashdot linked to this fairly decent NYtimes article about Google and Microsoft.  One of the key points, which I actually agree with, is that GRID COMPUTING IS AT THE CENTER OF ALL FAST INNOVATION IN THE VERY NEAR FUTURE.

I have tons more to talk about with grid computing and will save that for a later entry.

I wanted to also point out the recent Yahoo! announcement of their investment in the Apache Foundation and the hiring of a key person there.  They don’t hide from the fact that this will help them be FASTER due to the bigger, quicker open source community.  It’s clearly yet another move to compete with Google and Microsoft.  It’s particularly strategic considering Apache is a foundational component to so many web things and lucene and hadoop (more grid computing!) are directly competitive with Google, Microsoft and Amazon.

Recently Google announced they are working on these web things called “knols” which are basically wikipedia/about.com style landing pages to search results.  (Gee, all those landing pages on the web are worth something? go figure.)   This is a “get it faster” strategy too… as it get me more ad dollars faster than waiting for wikipedia and others to put google ads all over the place…

i could go on and on about moves big companies are making to simply KEEP UP.  it’s damn near impossible to keep up the pace at any company.  Why?

  1. The talent is fluid.  They can do themselves or they can go to the competition
  2. Big companies almost always get slow.  Start ups don’t have the cash flow to invest heavily in things like super computing, lots of bandwidth, etc. etc.  (one way or another something is subverting speed)
  3. The foundations of the technology are changing quicker than we can agree on standards.  (Over 10 wireless standards, no browsers work the same, .Net is on version 3.5, vista isn’t taking over, intel macs make them a force (but who knows how to code that), flex, silverlight, ruby on rails, python, ajax…).  Without standards it’s hard to educate buckets of programmers.  Without lots of programmers, hard to transfer knowledge quickly.
  4. If the programmers aren’t getting it fast enough, who in the organization is?
  5. Transparency to users – they get their say and they say it hard and fast.  course correct quickly or it’s over
  6. China
  7. India
  8. Tampa – cheaper US labor markets, accessible for high tech/remote projects
  9. and tons more reason

In fact, I have so much to say on SPEED, i’m going to launch into a series of posts on who is fast, what it takes to be fast, what undercuts speed, how you can’t fail fast enough………

fast to bed now.

~Russ

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