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Spike E. Bristol

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In Feb 2008 I tested the GPS ability of my camera.  Google's new stories show the walk quite nicely.

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It's not possible to be closer than this.

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Technology is gloriously disruptive.
Processes change slowly.
In the middle, geeks watch, amused.

For example, today I got an MS Word document (and I don't have word on any of my 3 machines).  The document was emailed to 20 researchers, saying "here is your new website" please send any modifications by return.

I suppose it's progress... they could have sent it hard copy.

Upgraded from early 2008 MBP to current 2.3GHz i7 model with retina display & SSD.  It feels like my laptop has been to the gym.  Every thing is just so much more toned.  Taut keyboard, crisp text, solid unibody, silent operation.  *Surreal.* #apple  

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So, I have an old iPhone 3GS* that is sitting around unused, and a Bose Sound Dock. Is there an app that can turn these two items into "an Apple TV speaker" so I can have the Soma FMs Christmas Lounge tracks on in the kitchen without making two connections to their server?

#apple #bose #appletv

* smashed screen / no backlight - everything else works fine

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On motorways, lowering the speed limit at congested times leads to less congestion because cars don't have to be so erratic in their braking.  Would the same policy work in an urban environment.  i.e. would average journey times be reduced if the speed limit on main roads were reduced from 30 to something lower at various states of congestion?

/me starts a some background reading and checks out the potential of using our SCIAMA supercomputer.

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Free stuff usually goes down well, as do competitions, so my students seem to be lapping this one up.  3GB extra free space if you sign up and confirm you're at UoP - and if you're already a member, just confirm your membership to get extra free space.

+Dropbox #marketing team: have a gold star and take the rest of the day off.

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Spanner: Google's Globally-Distributed Database

I and many others have been working for the last few years on building a large-scale storage system that can manage data across all of Google's datacenters.  This system underlies Google's advertising system, among other products.  We'll be presenting a paper describing the system (with 26 co-authors!) at OSDI 2012 next month.  We've now put up a web page with a link to the PDF of the final version of the paper.

Feedback is welcome, of course.

Here's the abstract of the paper:

Spanner is Google's scalable, multi-version, globally-distributed, and synchronously-replicated database. It is the first system to distribute data at global scale and support externally-consistent distributed transactions. This paper describes how Spanner is structured, its feature set, the rationale underlying various design decisions, and a novel time API that exposes clock uncertainty. This API and its implementation are critical to supporting external consistency and a variety of powerful features: non-blocking reads in the past, lock-free read-only transactions, and atomic schema changes, across all of Spanner.
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