Wednesday, March 17, 2010
We’re not all about the beach and sun – although we enjoy that, too. We have started to build initiatives like Launchpad LA to help bring this community together and make it easier for first time entrepreneurs. I will talk more about LaunchPad in my next post. Basically, it doesn’t suck living and working in LA. Come join us. And for those that are here – let’s stop comparing ourselves to Silicon Valley. In Brad’s words, “Get over it.” We have much to be proud of in our own right. And still much work to be done.
Mark rocks again. This is an awesome post about how LA is different from other places, but still provides all tools to build high tech company here. Go for it.
- Twice - custom web caching system. (http://code.google.com/p/twicecache/)
- XFS - file system.
- HAProxy - software load balancing.
- The LVS stack and ldirectord - high availability.
- Ruby on Rails - application server
- Nginx - web server.
- PostgreSQL - database used for user and other meta data.
- MongoDB - used for their internal analytics tools.
- MemcachedDB - used for handling high write data like view counters.
- Syslog-ng - logging service.
- RabitMQ - used for job system.
- Puppet - used to build servers.
- Git - used for source code control.
- Wowza - Flash/H.264 video server, plus lots of custome modules written in Java.
- Usher - custom business logic server for playing video streams.
- S3 - small image storage.
- 4 datacenters spread through out the country.
- At any given time there's close to 2,000 incoming streams.
- 30 hours per minute of video is added each day.
- 30 million unique visitors a month.
- Average live bandwidth is about 45 gigabits per second. Daily peak bandwidth at about 110 Gbps. Largest spike has been 500 Gbps.
- Approximately 200 video servers, based on commodity hardware, each capable of sending 1Gbps of video. Smaller than most CDNs yet larger than most video websites.
- About 100TB of archival storage is saved per week.
- The complete video path can't have more than 250 msecs of latency before viewers start losing the ability to converse and interact in real-time.
Well, I didn't use Justin.tv myself, so I can't tell you how well does this work; however, it looks like they took all the simple bits and pieces and built a decent platform from them.
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Thursday, March 11, 2010
What's Wrong with MySQL?
Our primary motivation for moving away from MySQL is the increasing difficulty of building a high performance, write intensive, application on a data set that is growing quickly, with no end in sight. This growth has forced us into horizontal and vertical partitioning strategies that have eliminated most of the value of a relational database, while still incurring all the overhead.
Relational database technology can be a blunt instrument and we're motivated to find a tool that matches our specific needs closely. Our domain area, news, doesn't exact strict consistency requirements, so (according to Brewer's theorem) relaxing this allows gains in availability and partition tolerance (i.e. operations completing, even in degraded system states). We're confident that our engineers can implement application level consistency controls much more efficiently than MySQL does generically.
As our system grows, it's important for us to span multiple data centers for redundancy and network performance and to add capacity or replace failed nodes with no downtime. We plan to continue using commodity hardware, and to continue assuming that it will fail regularly. All of this is increasingly difficult with MySQL.
An interesting blog post from from Digg's VP of Engineering, briefly describing their need and chosen solution.
Nothing new for those who are interested in NoSQL space, because Digg was contributing a decent amount of development time with Cassandra and shared its experience with developers.
What's also a good thing, that Digg decided to open source everything that they do and will do with Cassandra, making it more solid product.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
- Despite of running inside the VM, I run my Windows copy *with* antivirus installed. It was Avast! which actually screwed up badly.
- I was *not* searching for a torrent. There are plenty of BT software available natively for Mac.
- No cracks, serials, or anything like that. I don't use Win in my daily life, so let me repeat myself, no need for that, too.
- I was actually looking for a freeware alternative for Daemon Tools or Alcohol 120%, which were putting my Win copy into "blue screen of death".
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I was interested in how much value does Twitter followers generate, if any at all. Technically, this means that 10K of followers sounds like a lot and it could be a good number to evaluate. (According to rather old data (almost one year old), average Twitter user has 126 followers only. It might go up these days, but I don't think it went up more than twice or thrice. For example, my @iwhite has less than 400 followers. So, yeah, 10K is a lot.)
I have run the experiment and know the right answer now. :) Lets see how close are you.
- $1,115 – that’s the average premium for employer-sponsored family coverage per month in 2009. Annually, that amounts to $13,375 – or roughly the yearly income of someone working a minimum wage job. (Source)
- And if nothing is done to reform our broken health care system, a recent survey found that over the next ten years, out-of-pocket expenses for Americans with health insurance could increase 35 percent in every state in the country. (Source)
Health system is indeed broken. Health insurance is indeed expensive.
But what's up with this number - $1,115? Any numerology subtext (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numerology)? Hypnosis? Zombing? Anything else? :)
Too much stress on numbers, while it's the alliance of a number-outcome.
P.S. My family coverage is less than that.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
First Child: perfectionist, reliable, conscientious, a list maker, well organized, hard driving, a natural leader, critical, serious, scholarly, logical, doesn’t like surprises, a techie.
Middle Child: mediator, compromising, diplomatic, avoids conflict, independent, loyal to peers, has many friends, a maverick, secretive, used to not having attention.
Youngest Child: manipulative, charming, blames others, attention seeker, tenacious, people person, natural salesperson, precocious, engaging, affectionate, loves surprises.
Only Child: little adult by age seven, very thorough, deliberate, high achiever, self-motivated, fearful, cautious, voracious reader, black-and-white thinker, talks in extremes, can’t bear to fail, has very high expectations for self, more comfortable with people who are older or younger.
While I agree that this is something that might be true, however, from my own experience, many of these conclusions don't work for people whom I know personally.
- Nice research on page 30 concluding that getting cash makes you feel less pain or being socially excluded. (Yes, that's who we are.) There is definitely a possible application of cash to many places to improve them, and it's interesting to see how it was put together.
- One more nice article on page 38 on bankers' practices and the incentives, that, unfortunately, are not long term oriented.
- On page 66 you can find great review of ways to get from the recession and typical strategies used. This doesn't apply directly to the small businesses though, but more in general way, mostly because of operating costs and actual budgets range.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Daniel Brusilovsky recently asked the founder of a startup for a Macbook Air and offered coverage in exchange. That founder was me, the CEO of Divvyshot. I came forward to Mike at TechCrunch.
For the record, Daniel never received any compensation from Divvyshot.
The guy who was involved into the incident with Macbook Air and TechCrunch intern finally speaks out. However, it looks like he's missing the most important point: all parties involved, including Mike, Jason and even Daniel, will likely stay connected and keep acting together.
"There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary" was said by Brendan Behan.
I think your story had to stop after delivering it to Mike.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
It's very important to know what emotions are you targeting at when building a company. I'm a strongly believer that emotions play a major role for innovators & early adopters, when there is not much else available.
Plutchik's wheel is a popular list of 8 basic and 8 advanced emotions that people experience.
Red-carpeted premieres, sun and beaches, smog, Pauly Shore. Okay, maybe not Pauly Shore. But let's face it, when you think of Los Angeles, Internet startups are not the first things that spring to mind.
The city has, however, quietly been home to some of the most successful online companies to date, including CitySearch (sold to Ticketmaster for $260 million in 1998), Overture (acquired by Yahoo for $2 billion in 2003), eHarmony and LowerMyBills (bought by Experian for $330 million in 2005). And that's not even counting MySpace, which Rupert Murdoch famously paid $580 million for in 2005.
The Southern California locale benefits from its easy proximity to Silicon Valley, just an hour's flight away, as well as from the many universities in the area, including Cal Tech, where Intel founder Gordon Moore went to school.
Surprisingly, Hollywood hasn't played a major role in the formation of new companies, which have tended to be in less glamorous though more lucrative areas like lead-generation and service (with obvious exceptions like JibJab and Hulu, a joint venture of Fox and NBC).
Mark Suster, a partner at GRP Partners in Los Angeles, spoke with Fastcompany.com about what makes L.A.'s startup scene so hot.
Mark Suster tells why it could be a good idea to start a startup in LA. Mark, thank you for such a great interview!