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Comments

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Should a Web Startup Go Straight To the Cloud?

foxylad Re:Google App Engine (442 comments)

Are you serious? Do you really think that the Windows platform can't scale to handle a few million users and a few million hits/day? Depending on how CPU and database intensive his app is, it's likely that he could scale that far on a single physical server. 8 cores + 8GB of RAM will take you far, even on Microsoft.

Appengine lets someone who'se never heard of load-balancing or database replication do the Royal Wedding website:
        http://googleappengine.blogspot.com/2011/05/royal-wedding-bells-in-cloud.html
If you're telling me you'd be comfortable hosting that on a Windows VM... well, let's just say you wouldn't have enjoyed the day much!

We have no idea what this guy is building, but needing that sort of scalability is not unheard of. I myself have a neat application that could conceivably be mentioned on Oprah, and if it happens I'll be popping champagne corks instead of bloodvessels - I'm on Appengine.

more than 3 years ago
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Should a Web Startup Go Straight To the Cloud?

foxylad Re:Google App Engine (442 comments)

You're me three years ago - a developer with a cool idea, and not a sysadmin. I chose Appengine then, which was sticking my neck out because it was so new, but I haven't regretted it once and would STRONGLY recommend you go the same way.

Be careful of advice from sysadmins - they will ridicule the idea of trusting your app/data to anyone else, without any measurable metrics comparing risks of local versus cloud systems. They'll tell you scaling is easy, and redundancy a solved problem, without telling you how much you have to spend to solve it. Basically, their advice is coloured by PaaS platforms threatening their livelihood. I see it this way - when something breaks (and it always does), would you rather be reliant on the sysadmin you hired, or Google's finest?

I would not put all my eggs in Microsoft's basket at this stage, despite your familiarity with their toolchain. Azure is very new, and I wouldn't trust Microsoft's engineering or ethics enough to bet my business on them. Don't let Python scare you - I learned it so I could use Appengine, and it is the most beautiful language I've ever had the pleasure to use - productive and pretty much self-documenting. You'll be amazed how quickly you get up to speed.

Appengine is reasonably mature now, and is REALLY scalable. Not "oh dear, time to spin up another instance but what about the database" scalable; but "royal wedding website" scalable (yes, that was built on Appengine).

Lastly, good luck. I built a $2M business in those three years, and that decision to go with Appengine played a large part in that success.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do When the Rapture Comes?

foxylad Good News! (673 comments)

Here in New Zealand, it's nearly twelve hours AFTER zero hour and somehow most of us managed to survive. In fact I must admit I slept through the apocalypse at 6am - is that very bad of me?

Very few people seem to have disappeared skyward either, but perhaps we're a particularly godless nation.

more than 3 years ago
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Attachmate Fires Mono Developers

foxylad Re:the equivalent command in ubuntu... (362 comments)

Gnote is a GTK version of Tomboy, and pretty much the only reason it exists is for people who don't want Mono on their box. Likewise rhythmbox.

more than 3 years ago
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Digging Into the WikiLeaks Cables

foxylad Re:As a Conservative... (810 comments)

Sorry, got to pull you up on that one... say the US does have "ops aimed at disabling the Iranian nuclear program". On exactly who's authority is it doing that? Assuming you're from the US, in theory it is on YOUR authority - and don't you think you're entitled to know what your country is doing on your authority?

Most countries don't do stuff like this. Not because they aren't the most powerful country in the world (and the US better not count on relying on that defence much longer), but because they understand their duty to protect their citizens' rights does not give them the right to trample over the citizens of other countries.

Bonus questions:

1. What if Iran had ops aimed at disabling the US nuclear program? Careful you don't descend into "my sovereign state is better than your sovereign state because we're good (TM) and you're bad (TM)" arguments here.

2. If mounting ops against other countries' nuclear programs is a legitimate way of reducing the risk of a nuclear exchange, why didn't the US disable Israel's nuclear program? That would have totally removed Iran's motivation, and actually would have made the world a safer place.

3. How happy are you with your governments' efforts to disable Iraq's nuclear program? That was after all the pretext they used to invade Iraq. One might argue that tens of thousands of lives/trillions of dollars/the US economy would have been saved if a whistle-blower had released cables showing absolutely no evidence of weapons of mass destruction on the eve of that war.

So yes, I DO think citizens have a right to know what their government does in their name, and I think the world would be a better place if Americans started demanding this right too. I can't believe you guys almost impeached Clinton for a blowjob, but Bush/Cheney got off scott free for taking your country to war on completely fabricated pretences.

more than 3 years ago
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Sculptor Gives a Hint For CIA's Kryptos

foxylad Re:Shucks! (151 comments)

Good point. I always thought the same about Vimto (a fizzy drink popular in the UK) - either the inventor was spectacularly bad at anagrams, or they had a wicked sense of humour.

more than 3 years ago
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Wikipedia Could Block 67 Million Verizon Customers

foxylad You're slowing down, Slashdot! (481 comments)

59 comments and no-one has traced Zsfgseg yet?

In the good old days we'd have posted his ip address, phone number, physical address and his mother's maiden name by comment 20. Comment 32 would detail how his PC was cracked and display images of the nong via his webcam. By comment 50, his bank account would have been emptied, citizenship revoked, and 2,500 pizzas would be arriving at his door.

more than 3 years ago
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Which Language To Learn?

foxylad Re:Python on Appengine (897 comments)

So Kernighan and Ritchie forcing you to use curly braces (and all those semicolons!) is fine, but van Rossum forcing you to indent isn't. My original point was that we all indent anyway, so to me that seems the more logical way of marking blocks.

I'm sorry you felt insulted; I guess I'm not going to sway you over to python, and you're not going to sway me back to c (except where performance is critical, when I'll happily concede it is far superior). Maybe we can agree that we each find beauty in these languages, but that like human beauty, it very much depends on the beholder.

Kind regards to you too.

more than 3 years ago
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Which Language To Learn?

foxylad Re:Python on Appengine (897 comments)

{{{OK guys}{I think we DO need to get off his lawn}}{{He seems to be either {{the only developer in the world who doesn't indent his code}and{is so threatened by lack of braces that he never tries anything without them}}or{a troll {going on his mad contention that Python is a clone of c without braces}}}}{{Shame really}{another good developer doomed to PHP{now THERE is a c-clone{{Oooops}now he's got me trolling too!}}}}}}

more than 3 years ago
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Which Language To Learn?

foxylad Re:Python on Appengine (897 comments)

Well it's a funny thing about those Nazi indents. Every developer I've ever known has indented their code with a fervour Hitler himself would have commended - despite not strictly needing to!

Why? Because indents turn out to be the most intuitive way for humans to parse blocks - certainly more intuitive than curly braces. So if you're going to do it so YOU can understand your code, why not make the machine understand it the same way?

I do understand about your beautiful lawn, because I have a nice one myself (having coded in c for twenty years). But if you can overcome your discomfort for an hour or two while you explore Python, I think you'll be very pleasantly surprised. The indentation is a very minor part of the elegance of this language. At the end of the day, the important thing for me is that I'm many times more productive than I was in c, and returning to old python code is a pleasure instead of a challenge.

more than 3 years ago
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Which Language To Learn?

foxylad Python on Appengine (897 comments)

Python is a beautiful language - concise, productive and virtually self-documenting. And Appengine is the future of web app development - scalability and system administration suddenly become Google's problem, and I'm not delusional enough to believe I can do either of those better than them. If your app hits the big time overnight, you're popping champagne corks - not blood vessels. Likewise the vulnerability du jour doesn't have you scrambling to patch all your systems. Bottom line you spend your all time writing beautiful python code, instead of spending half of it managing systems.

more than 3 years ago
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First Chrome OS Notebooks Due This Month

foxylad Re:Begining of the end for Windows (246 comments)

The way it bodes for the organisation depends on Google's execution. But my point is that everyone assumes MS's corporate customers are going to stick with Windows come hell or high water, and this might not be so.

It isn't my organisation, by the way - I'd have wanted to do a LOT of user testing (and unless it was unusually polished wait for version 2) before making a decision of this magnitude.

more than 3 years ago
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First Chrome OS Notebooks Due This Month

foxylad Begining of the end for Windows (246 comments)

We have a large local organisation that has been a rock-solid windows shop for ever. I've occasionally had dealings with their IT manager, and never got any interest in moving to linux. So I just about fell over when he told me he was planning to switch as many workstations as possible to ChromeOS and Google Docs as soon as it comes out.

This is just one sample of course. But if a conservative Windows-centric organisation is planning to switch so immediately, it doesn't bode well for MS's revenue backbone - all those corporate workstations running windows and office. A switch to ChromeOS would be disruptive, but not much more so than the Windows 7 upgrade that must be on 75% of IT managers' todo lists next year.

Don't get me wrong, MS will be around for years and years, but I think their Silverlight/HTML5 announcement shows they've recognised their supremacy is over and they can't assume everyone runs Windows any more. Interesting times ahead.

more than 3 years ago
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IE9 May Not Be Enough To Save IE

foxylad Re:I quite fancy giving IE9 a try (328 comments)

Hear hear. I moved to linux years ago, and one of the unintended benefits was that I could honestly say "I haven't used windows for ages - you'd be better off finding someone else."

Linux has given me days of my life back, and I don't miss that sick trapped feeling where you "just take a quick look" and end up doing a full reinstall and still have them coming back day after day because some other odd application they used to have has disappeared.

Oh yes, and virtualbox is an end run around all those "I can't move off windows cos I need to run X" excuses. (Where X is a given application, not Xwindows, ya geek!)

more than 3 years ago
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British Airways Chief Slams US Security Requests

foxylad Re:Put your money where your mouth is? (335 comments)

Does the 100 lifetimes/day figure include the waste of the TSA employees working lives? Add it all together, and it must be a severe drag on the world's productivity.

Imagine the US un-hampered by this lunacy. Remove the lawyers too, and the US would once again be the world-beater it once was.

more than 3 years ago
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Should I Learn To Program iOS Or Android Devices?

foxylad For your application, neither (403 comments)

In the education sector, the apps you will be developing will be probably be informational, and your clients will most likely have wifi network access. In which case I'd suggest you developing web apps, so you only need to develop a mobile and a standard interface. Then they'll be available to everyone, and you only have to learn one very well-understood platform.

more than 3 years ago
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Nicholas Sze of Yahoo Finds Two-Quadrillionth Digit of Pi

foxylad Re:A serious question (299 comments)

Pi is so much more than the ratio of the radius and circumference of a circle - it infuses maths and physics to a remarkable degree.

But even so, you are right that there is no utility in calculating it's value beyond a few tens of digits. However, it is an elegant mathematical exercise, and has become the standard to show off your computational maths prowess. As you'll realise when you read the article...

about 4 years ago
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Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04

foxylad Re:Comparisons like this don't mean squat... (702 comments)

More and more serious gamers are switching to Xbox or Playstation, mainly because of the reduction in hassles on those platforms. And the rest of us (a majority, despite what you may think!) are switching to Apple/Linux because... of the reduction in hassles on those platforms!

With the rate apps are moving to the web, and Virtualbox, compatibility is rapidly becoming a non-issue. And once you've tasted the freedom of any other OS, you'll never willingly go back to the expensive, uncomfortable straitjacket that is Windows.

about 4 years ago

Submissions

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Godaddy Kills Elephant - and His Business

foxylad foxylad writes  |  more than 3 years ago

foxylad (950520) writes "Bob Parsons, flamboyant founder of domain name registrar Godaddy.com, has posted a sickening video of himself shooting an elephant in Zimbabwe. Killing a protected species in one of the most corrupt countries in the world is going to have serious ramifications for his business.

I have long been sick of Godaddy's ridiculous level of upselling and the excruciating domain management interface, but this incident has finally stirred me into action — my domains are transferring as I type this, and I urge you to consider doing the same.

(In case you are concerned that transferring will impact active domains, you can avoid this by first switching your nameservers, and then transferring your domains. Many registrars offer free nameservers while you do this.)"

Link to Original Source
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Domain Registrars with Usable Interfaces?

foxylad foxylad writes  |  more than 3 years ago

foxylad (950520) writes "I had to update a domain name setting this morning, on GoDaddy. You expect insane amounts of marketing fluff on public pages, but even after logging in I was fighting through 500MB pages full of plaintive attempts to upsell me. Even without the marketing, the interface would be practically unusable — it took four clicks through hidden menus and obscure links to actually get to the control panel. I logged a support ticket about this state of affairs, and received a "sorry you feel that way" reply. So long, GoDaddy.

Can you recommend a registrar with good DNS hosting and a sane control panel? To keep this objective, please no responses from registrars themselves, or people with affiliate links."

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