I came across the video when I dropped by the Google News page like I am likely to near daily.
San Francisco Chronicle: Why I, Jeff Bezos, Keep Spending Billions On Amazon R&D: Random forests, naïve Bayesian estimators, RESTful services, gossip protocols, eventual consistency, data sharding, anti-entropy, Byzantine quorum, erasure coding, vector clocks … walk into certain Amazon meetings, and you may momentarily think you’ve stumbled into a computer science lecture...... Look inside a current textbook on software architecture, and you’ll find few patterns that we don’t apply at Amazon. We use high-performance transactions systems, complex rendering and object caching, workflow and queuing systems, business intelligence and data analytics, machine learning and pattern recognition, neural networks and probabilistic decision making, and a wide variety of other techniques ..... our architects and engineers have had to advance research in directions that no academic had yet taken ...... Service-oriented architecture -- or SOA -- is the fundamental building abstraction for Amazon technologies. ...... Our e-commerce platform is composed of a federation of hundreds of software services that work in concert to deliver functionality ranging from recommendations to order fulfillment to inventory tracking. ...... to construct a product detail page for a customer visiting Amazon.com, our software calls on between 200 and 300 services to present a highly personalized experience for that customer .... our key data services store many petabytes of data and handle millions of requests per second ...... The storage systems we’ve pioneered demonstrate extreme scalability while maintaining tight control over performance, availability, and cost. To achieve their ultra-scale properties these systems take a novel approach to data update management: by relaxing the synchronization requirements of updates that need to be disseminated to large numbers of replicas, these systems are able to survive under the harshest performance and availability conditions. These implementations are based on the concept of eventual consistency. The advances in data management developed by Amazon engineers have been the starting point for the architectures underneath the cloud storage and data management services offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS)...... our Simple Storage Service, Elastic Block Store, and SimpleDB all derive their basic architecture from unique Amazon technologies ..... product data ingestion and categorization, demand forecasting, inventory allocation, and fraud detection ....... advanced machine learning techniques provide more accurate classification and can self-heal to adapt to changing conditions .... The diversity of products demands that we employ modern regression techniques like trained random forests of decision trees to flexibly incorporate thousands of product attributes at rank time...... Technology infuses all of our teams, all of our processes, our decision-making, and our approach to innovation in each of our businesses. It is deeply integrated into everything we do. ...... Whispersync, our Kindle service designed to ensure that everywhere you go, no matter what devices you have with you, you can access your reading library and all of your highlights, notes, and bookmarks, all in sync across your Kindle devices and mobile apps. The technical challenge is making this a reality for millions of Kindle owners, with hundreds of millions of books, and hundreds of device types, living in over 100 countries around the world—at 24x7 reliability. At the heart of Whispersync is an eventually consistent replicated data store, with application defined conflict resolution that must and can deal with device isolation lasting weeks or longer.... We live in an era of extraordinary increases in available bandwidth, disk space, and processing power, all of which continue to get cheap fast..... we have unshakeable conviction that the long-term interests of shareowners are perfectly aligned with the interests of customers...... As always, I attach a copy of our original 1997 letter. Our approach remains the same, and it’s still Day 1.
Mercury News: Facebook's plans For Menlo Park HQ: 9,400 Workers In Next 6 Years: The fast-growing social networking company, which currently employs about 1,400 people in Palo Alto, expects to reach full capacity at the Sun campus and nearby buildings on Constitution Drive by 2017. ...... Menlo Park is inviting the public to suggest what environmental impacts should be studied. The deadline for comments is May 26.You read about Facebook's new location, and you end up appreciating New York City so much more. You appreciate the subway, you appreciate the endless number and variety of bars and cafes in the city. You appreciate the whole damn package deal. NYC is the place to be. The banks imploded, and all of a sudden the tech sector in the city was flush with talent. By now there is even flush money.
Inside Facebook: Facebook Launches Three New Sponsored Stories Types For Pages, Apps, And Websites: turns user activity into ads shown to their friends ..... expand the kinds of user activity that can be converted into ads to include Page post Likes, app or game usage, and activity on third-party sites ...... powerful way for apps to grow their user count without disturbing game play with prompts to share or invite friendsI can see Zynga jumping all over this. Used to be Zynga could flood your streams with Farmville related stuff. I saw some of my Facebook friends ask, where is the button to turn this thing off? Now Zynga
The Technium: What Books Will Become: a screen that we watch can watch us. The tiny eyes built into your tablet, the camera that faces you, can read your face. Prototype face tracking software can already recognize your mood, and whether you are paying attention, and more importantly where on the screen you are paying attention. It can map whether you are confused by a passage, or delighted, or bored. That means that the text could adapt to how it is perceived. Perhaps it expands into more detail, or shrinks during speed reading, or changes vocabulary when you struggle, or reacts in a hundred possible ways. There are numerous experiments playing with adaptive text. One will give you different summaries of characters and plot depending on how far you've read. ..... books with moving images. We don't have a word for these yet .... Text inside of moving images as well as images inside of text. .... This hybrid of movies and books will require a whole set of tools we don't have right now. Presently it is difficult to browse moving images, or to parse a movie, or to annotate a frame in a movie. Ideally we'd like to manipulate kinetic images with the same facility, ease and power that we manipulate text -- indexing it, referencing, cut and pasting, summarizing, quoting, linking, and paraphrasing the content. As we gain these tools (and skills) we'll make a class of highly visual books, ideal for training and education, which we can study, rewind, and study again. They will be books we can watch or TV we can read. ......... The current custodians of ebooks -- Amazon, Google and the publishers -- have agreed to cripple the liquidity of ebooks by preventing readers from cut-and-pasting text easily, or to copy large sections of a book, or to otherwise seriously manipulate the text. But eventually the text of ebooks will be liberated, and the true nature of books will blossom. ...... We can even filter the most popular highlights of all readers, and in this manner begin to read a book in a new way. I can also read the highlights of a particular friend, scholar or critic. ....... Reading becomes more social. We can share not just the titles of books we are reading, but our reactions and notes as we read them. Today, we can highlight a passage. Tomorrow we will be able to link passages. We can add a link from a phrase in the book we are reading to a contrasting phrase in another book we've read; from a word in a passage to an obscure dictionary, from a scene in a book to a similar scene in a movie. ........ Even a minor good work could accumulate a wiki-like set of critical comments tightly bound to the actual text. ....... dense hyperlinking among books would make every book a networked event ....... Wikipedia is the first networked book. ...... This deep rich hyperlinking will weave all networked books into one large meta-book, the universal library. Over the next century, scholars and fans, aided by computational algorithms, will knit together the books of the world into a single networked literature. ....... no work, no idea, stands alone, but that all good, true and beautiful things are networks, ecosystems of intertwingled parts, related entities and similar works ........ The complete universal library, all books in all languages, will soon be available on any screen. There will be many ways to access a book, but for most people most of the time, any particular book will essentially be free. (You'll pay a monthly fee for "all you can read.") Access is easy, but finding a book, or getting it attention will be hard, so the importance of the book's network will grow, because the network is what brings in readers. ...... A book is an attention unit. A fact is interesting, an idea is important, but only a story, a good argument, a well-crafted narrative is amazing, never to be forgotten. As Muriel Rukeyser said, "The universe is made of stories, not atoms." ...... In the long run (next 10-20 years) we won't pay for individual books any more than we'll pay for individual songs or movies.Reducing price and enhancing quality is what businesses strive for. But the music and movie industries have been bummed out for years now because modern technology has managed to drive the price point to zero. That is like the price point attaining nirvana, no?
O'Reilly Community: The AWS Outage: The Cloud's Shining Moment: if your systems failed in the Amazon cloud this week, it wasn't Amazon's fault. You either deemed an outage of this nature an acceptable risk or you failed to design for Amazon's cloud computing model....... two dueling architectural models of cloud computing applications: "design for failure" and traditional. ..... The Amazon model is the "design for failure" model. Under the "design for failure" model, combinations of your software and management tools take responsibility for application availability. The actual infrastructure availability is entirely irrelevant to your application availability. 100% uptime should be achievable even when your cloud provider has a massive, data-center-wide outage. ...... The advantage of the "design for failure" model is that the application developer has total control of their availability with only their data model and volume imposing geographical limitations. The downside of the "design for failure" model is that you must "design for failure" up front. ...... Physical redundancy encompasses all traditional "n+1" concepts: redundant hardware, data center redundancy, the ability to do vMotion or equivalents, and the ability to replicate an entire network topology in the face of massive infrastructural failure. ...... If you had redundancy across availability zones, you would have survived every outage suffered to date in the Amazon cloud. ...... If you had regional redundancy in place, you would have come through the recent outage without any problems except maybe an increased workload for your surviving virtual resources. ...... Cloud redundancy enables you to survive the complete loss of a cloud provider. ....... Being home to the world’s reserve currency confers great advantages on the U.S. economy. Because of it, our government, companies and households can borrow money more easily and cheaply. And because all that demand for dollars artificially raises its value, we can import goods at a cheaper price than other countries. ...... Applications built with "design for failure" in mind ..... will achieve uptimes you can't dream of with other architectures and survive extreme failures in the cloud infrastructure. ...... no humans, no 2am calls, and no outage! ..... Netflix, an AWS customer that kept on going because they had proper "design for failure" .. ? Try doing that in your private IT infrastructure with the complete loss of a data center.I should have, but I did not expect this to happen. Servers are known to go down. Heck, PCs crash. The browser freezes. The cloud went down. In a big way. What's next? Datacenters? I think it did happen once. One Google datacenter went down. Correct me if I am not remembering it right. What if Facebook's datacenter in Oregon went down for an hour?
Fred Wilson: The Word Bubble: There will come a time when the environment we are in will be in the rear view mirror. And entrepreneurs should be crystal clear about that. This is a time to raise money and sock it away for a rainy day. Because it will rain. ...... deals are actually companies and most venture investments are held for five to seven years. I've likened them to marriages over the years. Don't let the lust for the deal lead to a bad marriage that you have to be in for the next decade. ...... we are in the glass is half full part of the cycle. Investors are focusing on the upside and ignoring the downside. That part of the investment cycle lasts for a while and then things change and investors focus on the downside and ignore the upside. Markets are defined by greed and fear. We are in the greed mode right nowI will have to agree. A lot of people sat on a lot of money for about two years. But money does not want to sit still. Money wants to grow. And right now it feels like the basketball that was held at the bottom of the pool was let go. It is not going to end at the surface. It will eventually. But first it will go into the air a little. We are in the air a little phase.
Fast Company: What LeBron James And The Miami Heat Teach Us About Teamwork: What LeBron and company are attempting to do applies to any organization that's serious about winning. ...... their mutual sacrifice is a resounding vote for teamwork. Teamwork among superstars ....... Which tech company, when given the chance, doesn't raid the talent pool, stocking up on the world's best execs and engineers in the hopes of racing past the competition? Late last year, Mark Zuckerberg personally persuaded Lars Rasmussen, the cocreator of Google Maps, to join a host of elite ex-colleagues at Facebook. ....... For the most-sought-after talent, company loyalty has given way to a desire for a big, bold short-term project -- developing a breakthrough product, pursuing a new market, expanding into China ...... more and more people work from remote locations, and effective team building becomes an essential priority ...... how to define your role without subverting the group dynamic. ...... how to get a group of disparate personalities to gel and excel before they move on to the next gig ...... Like Wade, James now meets regularly with reporters. ..... the team's leaders have done what stars need to do when they merge: show a willingness to sacrifice. ...... New hires perform better when they bring a former colleague with them ...... Nothing brings a team together like a common enemy. ...... Sequestered 600 miles from Miami, in military environs, the players ate together, practiced twice a day, and toured the firing range as a group. They wore matching black T-shirts that read Heat Troops. ...... The real bonding didn't occur until the Heat Troops began to shed blood on the battlefield -- to lose, and lose badly. ....... "You need those adverse moments. When it's raw, when you don't get along, that's when there's the most opportunity for growth." ...... "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;/For he today that sheds his blood with me/Shall be my brother." ...... On their way to the team bus, Wade teases James about not packing winter clothes. James laughs. It's obvious these guys get along. But camaraderie doesn't necessarily translate to seamless collaboration. ....... To achieve the proper balance, it's crucial to map out a strategy. Acquiring a player of James's caliber, says Groysberg, "is like acquiring a company. You need a whole integration plan." ....... game-long selflessness ..... The rich, wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald, "are different from you and me." So are superstars. ...... coaching in this league is about managing personalities ..... "All players want to be coached. They want to have discipline. They want structure. But some players get to that conclusion differently than others." ...... There is no more fragile commodity than the credibility of a team leader. ..... Everyone remembers the six NBA titles the Chicago Bulls won with Jordan, Pippen, and a cast of feisty specialists that included three-point marksman Kerr and rebounding fiend Dennis Rodman. What we tend to forget is how long it took to put all those pieces together. The Bulls didn't win a championship its first year with Jordan and Pippen. Or its second. Or even its third. ...... Chemistry takes time. The most successful superstar teams embrace shared leadership ...... They need time to crystallize. They need consistency, the same people butting heads, compromising, collaborating, day after day. ....... Chemistry isn't something you create and then ignore, like a mark on a growth chart. It's a reflection of the bonds between team members, and those bonds are fragile and needy. They're constantly changing, strengthened and fractured by the various personalities as well as the wins and losses. .......... The biggest obstacle to getting there is the blame game. Will the players resist second-guessing one another ..... True brothers, like the young soldiers in E Company who stormed the beaches of Normandy in World War II, don't point fingers. They believe in their mission and fight hard to cover one another's back. This is what any team aspires to: passion, unity, an absolute conviction that you can achieve whatever you want as a group. ....... In the face of unmet expectations and endless questions, bonds crack, friendships sour, and sacrifices, financial and otherwise, become burdensome. Guys move on. Heck, even über-successful teams struggle to keep it together. Look at what happened to the Beatles.
music listening is going to move into the cloud and that the dominant model will be streaming via free ad supported Internet Radio and paid subscription services.The internet as a technology is best suited for the creation, distribution, and consumption of mindfood: books, movies, music. But we have to get rid of out of date business models first.
New York Times: Manhattan’s Tech Start-Ups Settle in the Flatiron District and Chelsea: a decade after the dot-com crash stopped the rapid growth of the city’s booming Internet sector, a high-tech corridor has developed in the Flatiron district and neighboring Chelsea. ...... “Within five years, you’re going to have a true Silicon Alley. Every company that’s a tech start-up will be here.” ..... The older, small office buildings in the Flatiron district have attracted start-ups, while large companies like Google and IAC/InterActiveCorp have found homes in Chelsea. ..... It is no accident, for example, that General Assembly, a new educational institute, meeting place and co-working environment devoted to technology entrepreneurs, was established at 902 Broadway, at East 20th Street, in the middle of the Flatiron district. ...... a lot of young companies, a lot of designers and artists, and a lot of venture capitalists working in that neighborhood ..... “There’s a pretty exciting start-up scene now that there wasn’t in 2003 ..... the loftlike space that the Flatiron district offers, in relatively small footprints ...... a lot of buildings with high ceilings and natural light, overlooking Madison Square Park ..... “You get the amenities of a Midtown building but the flexibility of a loft in Brooklyn,” Mr. Kirven said. “Obviously without the Midtown rents, either.” ..... Prices are substantially lower than in Midtown and other prime office neighborhoods. ..... The Kaufman Organization has also helped Paperless Post, Break Media and Zemoga find space in the neighborhood. ...... “A lot of landlords are looking at 10-year leases,” Mr. Dunn said. “As a start-up, there’s no way to do that. Even a three-year lease was a scary thought.” ...... Union Square Ventures, First Round Capital and IA Ventures, have offices nearby. ...... If start-ups look to Flatiron for its small spaces, larger tech companies are choosing Chelsea for its sprawling floors. ....... “There’s a psychological barrier to going to a different floor to talk to somebody,” Mr. Nevill-Manning said. “Having 800 people on a single floor means we’re much more productive and much more creative as a result.” ....... public amenities ..... Hudson River Park, the High Line, Chelsea Piers and the concourse of Chelsea Market. ..... “From a recruiting point of view, a lot of those connections get made virtually,” Mr. Nevill-Manning said. “They know where to find us online.”
Official Google Enterprise Blog: Bringing 100% web to the world of Google Earth and Google Maps: At Google we’re committed to opening up our cloud infrastructure so that others can benefit from our enormous computational power. Today I’m going to share some exciting details on our plans to make our cloud technology available for processing and serving geospatial data...... Google Earth and Google Maps have given people the ability to easily view rich geographic information from desktop or mobile devices. Google Earth helps us understand the effects of climate change on our ecosystem, Street View provides a panorama of our neighborhoods ...... Constant Innovation: just refresh the browser for the latest features ..... shapefiles of demographic data, spreadsheets of worldwide customer locations and files of your recently acquired imagery for a new development ..... Google Earth has more than 700 million downloads. We hope that more people can use Google Earth Builder to make better location-related decisions within business and governmentThe day Google Earth first came out, I downloaded it and had an amazing, amazing day roaming the Himalayas and vast expanses of Russia. It was a mind blowing experience. I was like wow.
ReadWriteWeb: Check Out Library Books on Your Kindle: the announcement from Amazon this morning that it is launching a Lending Library "later this year" that will let Kindle owners check out books from their local library..... participation of over 11,000 libraries in the U.S. ..... the ability to actually make margin notes in your library books. You'll be able to take notes, store them privately - in other words, the next library patron won't see them - and then access them again should you check the book out again or purchase it in the futureThis is huge. This kind of made my day. Does this mean all of the New York Public Library will be available on Kindle? That is pretty awesome.
TechCrunch: Buzzd Rebrands As Local Response; Debuts Social Customer Management Tool For Businesses: combine the element of the check-in he found intriguing with Buzzd and advertising and marketing elements ..... he calls “a culmination of everything he’s done,” of this is Local Response, a new web-based tool that allows local businesses to respond to the “check-in” on social media sites with marketing campaigns to promote transactions. ...... LocalResponse aggregates real-‐time social media check-‐ins from Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Gowalla, Instagram and dozens of other services to provide a simple interface for local businesses to directly respond to their most influential and valuable customers. What’s compelling about the platform compared to competitors is that it analyzes massive amounts of data in addition to check-ins from the Twitter firehose, photo sharing sites and more to find other forms of check-ins. These could be posting a picture on Instagram of a dish from a restaurant or Tweeting that you are visiting a particular bar. ...... explicitly (i.e. check-ins on Foursquare) and implicitly (by analyzing natural language on Facebook, Twitter, etc.; e.g. “I’m headed to ShakeShack”). Mehta says most check-ins are actual implicit and many social media platforms catered to helping businesses track check-ins miss this key data. ...... Not only does Local Response track all of this data but it allows businesses to respond to these Tweets and messages with a marketing campaign, coupon or advertisement. ...... So Shake Shack could send a Tweet back to someone who had just snapped a photo of a burger with a link to a 10 percent off coupon on the next visit. ...... Local Response has actually creates a number of canned responses which businesses can automatically send. ..... For the past six months, LocalResponse has been running a private beta, with over 2,000 campaigns for local businesses in New York City. The links in the Tweets and messages sent by these local businesses to consumers who “checked-in” to their establishment are averaging a 60 percent click-‐through rate and 15-‐20 percent redemption rates. That’s high and impressive. ...... Mehta says that the platform is so highly-focused in its data collection, that it can send highly targeted Tweets to consumers who are interested in the promotions or campaigns. For example he says that Local Response will run two to three hundred search terms across its data for a particular business. Also, the aim of Local Response is not to overwhelm consumers’ stream with advertisements. Users will never receive more than one message in 7 days ...... a platform for brands and agencies is in the works. ...... closed a $1.5 million in funding this past December from Verizon Ventures, Charles River Ventures, and Metamorphic. ...... plans to raise a new, larger round of funding this Summer ..... For now, Local Response is free for businesses. Eventually the startup plans to go the freemium route and will also charge for the brand-focused application. And Local Response is launching with half a million businesses that are already pre-indexed (with search terms). All they have to do is type in the business name, and they can get started using the platform.A second natural move might be to partner up with the willing players to help them monetize their particular services for cuts, like Google ads help you monetize your particular media site. Because Local Response is not going to have access to the detailed data that those individual services might have.