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Urs Hölzle
Works at Google
Attended Stanford University
Lives in Palo Alto, CA
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Technical Infrastructure @ Google
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  • Google
    SVP Technical Infrastructure, present
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Palo Alto, CA
Previously
Santa Barbara, CA - Zurich, Switzerland
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My other computer is a data center
Education
  • Stanford University
    CS, 1988 - 1994
  • ETH Zurich
    CS, 1983 - 1988
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Urs Hoelzle

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Urs Hölzle

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Quote from an alpha tester: "It was this that impressed us the most about Dataflow. Sure, there are still some some bugs to ironed out. But we were simply blown away by how easy it is to use, and to get up and running with it."

No wonder we're not using mapreduce anymore to write analyses at Google.
Back in June 2014, at the annual Google IO in San Francisco, Google unveiled their newest, and much hyped cloud product, Cloud Dataflow. The demo they did that day, using a live twitter feed to ana...
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:)
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"Four out of five of the products tested did not include any of the herbs listed on their labels...That such well-known brands should be found to be fraudulent suggests that the problem infects the entire industry."

Two of the four retailers still sell nationwide and just stopped selling in NY. Time for better (and enforced) standards for "nutritionals", I'd say.


An investigation of herbal supplements by the New York State attorney general's office carries a sobering message for the rest of the nation as well. The investigation looked at the store brands of well-known herbal products sold by four prominent national retailers: GNC, Target, Walgreens and ...
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+Dharmady Lin heh I had just stumbled upon it this morning :)
So in Nov. 2013, we were at 1/3rd of products not containing what's on the label. I guess the press cycle back then didn't really cause any improvements...
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If you're familiar with SSDs and how tricky it is to get consistent SSD performance, you'll appreciate the hard work needed to get these industry leading performance numbers.
 
We certified Google’s new Local SSDs using the Aerospike Certification Tool for SSDs (ACT) and found RAM-like performance and 15x storage cost savings. Read more. http://ow.ly/HIU20 #nosql #GoogleCloud
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cool
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Yeah, y'all developers have it too easy. Happy New Year :-)
 
As we end the year, let me observe that developers have it too easy today. Back in the day, we at Google had to build infrastructure with our own bare hands, after walking for hours through three feet of snow with no shoes, uphill, both ways! And once in the datacenter, sweat poured from our faces as we racked up endless stacks of 40-pound servers in sweltering exhaust heat so hot that the sweat drops evaporated before they hit the floor. Those were the days where doubling your capacity meant long days of backbreaking work.

And now you can just lean back, sip your latte, and use the fruits of our hard labor, blood, sweat and tears, and focus on just your idea without worrying about the engine behind your company. You have no idea what a server looks like, and think of adding ten new servers as a single command line to type.

And that’s exactly how it should be -- we’ve been through this pain so you don’t have to go through it. And we know where you want to go, and we’ll be there with you, evolving our platform as quickly as you evolve your ideas. I’m very excited about what Google Cloud Platform will bring in 2015...and I think you’ll be too once you see what we have in store. By the end of the year, whether you develop for an enterprise or for consumers, I hope you’ll agree that the rate of innovation in public clouds has never been higher, and that Google Cloud Platform is driving it. Happy new year!

http://goo.gl/2qIFGs

- Posted by +Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President
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The view of evaporator steam rising in the morning sun...good times.
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Sending horses to space since 1957 :-)   Another great xkcd.
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Original link at [ https://www.xkcd.com/1461/ ] with a larger image at [ https://xkcd.com/1461/large/ ]
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Who says there can't be innovation in sports? From Germany, meet Headis, a combination of...well, you'll have to see it yourself to believe it. And these players are GOOD.
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My head hurts now.
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Urs Hölzle

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Great pictures / videos of how zippers are made, and why some zippers need manual work.  The image here shows the zinc/aluminum ingots that are the input (this stack weighs a ton, literally).
Recently, Akiba took me to visit his friend's zipper factory. I love visiting factories: no matter how simple the product, I learn something new. This factory is a highly-automated, vertically-integrated manufacturer. To give you an idea of what that means, they take this: ...
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I do like a smooth zipper pull though.
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I found this a fascinating read even though I'm not a football fan. (You need to have seen the final Superbowl play though.). Bottom line: this wasn't a clear mistake, no matter that it sure looked like one.
Everyone knew it was coming. Second-and-1 on the 1-yard line. Marshawn Lynch was waiting in the backfield, poised to do what he was put on this Earth to do: Get a touchdown -- this touchdown. The f...
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Poker players especially will understand this concept from game theory. Even if a play is the best one, you don't want to run it 100% of the time because your opponents will adjust to it, mitigating its effectiveness. The Economist had a nice article about this too: 

http://www.economist.com/blogs/gametheory/2015/01/trick-plays-american-football

actually, looks like they wrote a second on this topic, covering the Superbowl itself:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/gametheory/2015/02/game-theory-american-football
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15 minutes of brilliance. As always with John it's not just funny but actual journalism. 
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 yes the funny thing is , people think lying about the amount of scholarship money actually matters, 
thank goodness  he is on the 50 shades of grey now.  Straight women like that more 
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"I’m ready for our army of Skynet Marshmallow Bumper Bots. "
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"The U.S. is one of only two countries of the 185 surveyed that does not offer [paid maternity leave]. The other is Papua New Guinea."  

I'm glad that Google provides 18 weeks of paid maternity leave, and I wish +Susan Wojcicki all the best for her upcoming leave!
 
Great article about the importance of paid maternity leave for all employees nationwide. Looks like it is good for business and good for the mothers.
In The Wall Street Journal, Susan Wojcicki writes that when we increased paid leave at Google to 18 weeks, the rate at which new mothers left fell by 50%.
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Heh yeah you were obviously triggered the right way to write so much about taxes and repercussions. But to address few, real estate tax in Hr is zero 8-/ and it is so normal here in the US to pay tax for owning real estate that when i explain that to some locals they are in awe, also then i mention income tax, health &"benefits" deduction and sales tax being 25% now it is not so cool suddenly (add gas prices to that and it is totally bad)...
But personally i prefer property tax because it balances property prices and eliminates real estate as money storage which makes comfortable living harder but people nither in the US neither in Hr don't get it.

Also other thing about people not wanting to have kids and objecting tax money leeching for maternity leave or any kid related expenses for others.
As you Alex know in Hr ratio between retired people and workforce (young) is stressed out bad because of negative population growth (higher mortality rate then birth rate +add some emigration of competent to that) that as consequence has really bad outcome for workforce/tax paying that has to support  huge elderly population.
Now in that case that person that does not favor tax money going in any kid related needs is actually leeching my kids in the future that will support his ass when he grows old with no offspring that will pay taxes to remedy upper mentioned situation...

What was the point, situation is never simple and complexity goes even beyond this clusterbeep so geez yeah trigger...
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If a gaggle of geese generally gorges on grass, is it still a gaggle or a herd?  

(Seen this morning near the Googleplex.)
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Have they replaced the goats that mow the grass?
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