Profile

Cover photo
Darren Edmundson
109 followers|47,181 views
AboutPostsPhotos+1'sReviews

Stream

Darren Edmundson

Shared publicly  - 
 
Just about to kick off the second day of SRE-Trek, helping to find great new people to join Site Reliability at Google London. We met some great people yesterday, sure today will be just as good.

Think you have what it takes to keep something the size of Google's products up and running? We're always looking for more amazing engineers!
3
Add a comment...

Darren Edmundson

Shared publicly  - 
 
Seems some of you have been waiting for this news....
 
Boo! Just in time for Halloween, we’re serving up two new treats for Android fans: KitKat (Android 4.4) and Nexus 5 developed with LG. Super excited to take the wraps off KitKat - packed with lots of cool features that deliver a smarter and more engaging user experience. And in Nexus 5, Google Now and Search are always at your fingertips or activated with a simple ‘Ok, Google’. Now is evolving with many new powerful use cases to bring the right information from across the web to you. 

Also really excited that Kitkat will work on 512 MB devices, so that all entry level smartphones can get access to the latest version as well. This will really help us get Android to the next billion users...

Been a busy week for me and I have some catching up to do outside work -- ‘Ok, Google, ideas for last minute Halloween costumes...’  


http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2013/10/android-for-all-and-new-nexus-5.html
1
Add a comment...
 
Trick or treat!

Don't you hate it when someone turns up to the party in the exact same costume you have? At least I know who raided my pumpkin farm now though!

#minecraft   #halloween  
1
Add a comment...

Darren Edmundson

Shared publicly  - 
 
Minecraft: Fast breeder reactor

Please, don't make one of these on a multiplayer server. Funny as it is to have several thousand chickens laying eggs in an ever increasing feedback loop, your server op will be less amused by having to cheat in a couple of stacks of TNT to deal with it in a client running at around 0.1 FPS....

Oh, and he'll probably have most of that stack of TNT left when he's finished with the chickens, and still be in a blood rage
1
Stuart Teasdale's profile photoJoe Taylor's profile photoDarren Edmundson's profile photo
7 comments
 
This is a known issue if you try to overfill an enclosure. Battery farming is bad.
Add a comment...

Darren Edmundson

Shared publicly  - 
 
Just about to get on a flight to New York for my first visit. Only got one day free for touristy things (tomorrow) - what should I see?
1
Add a comment...

Darren Edmundson

Shared publicly  - 
 
What's that? Ceilia Imrie's turned evil and is uploading people's souls to the data-cloud?!

I'm so glad I'm not on-call for Google Drive this evening!

#DoctorWho 
2
Add a comment...

Darren Edmundson

Shared publicly  - 
 
Game Reliability Engineering

As an SRE, when I beta'd #SimCity  six weeks ago and it struggled to let a small number of beta testers to log-in, I commented here about how they had some way to go to make sure their servers could cope with the launch-day load. Well, this week was launch week and, surprise surprise, their servers have been largely offline and the game is unplayable. So much so that Amazon.com briefly stopped selling it altogether, and now has a warning on the product page explaining the situation, so customers aren't disappointed when they can't play the game they just spent $60 on.

To be fair, pretty much every big game requiring on-line registration, or with a MMO component goes through this at launch. You have a spike probably 50-100x the normal load as people get their copies and immediately fire it up, and yes, it's difficult to plan for that. But they knew it was coming, and while there's certainly an argument for effective rights control for a product that's taken years to develop, that has to be balanced against the damage that thousands of 1-star reviews and refund requests can do to the brand.

What's really annoying people with SimCity is that because of honestly questionably design decisions, even the single-player game is unplayable. EA's thinking - as far as I can deduce: because you might - at some later point - decide to invite a friend to join you and play a city in you region, all game-state is stored server-side. Great in theory, but when there're too many players and the on-line game is overloaded, you can't even play alone.

It doesn't have to be like this. We live in a technological world where it's not only possible, but easy to get 50-100x (or 1000x) the computing power short-term to cover your launch from EC2, GCE or several others. There are plenty of scalability experts who can advise on how to architecture your servers so they can cope with that load. There's plenty of history to look at and see how badly things go if you don't plan for the launch load.

So +Electronic Arts (and all you other big game studios - you're all guilty!), on your next big on-line game, or even just one that needs to perform a DRM check to start -  as well as the graphics geniuses and physics simulation coders, hire someone specifically to do launch planning, someone who understands load, scaling and the architectural choices that work and don't; someone who can see all this coming a mile off, and ask "do you really want to do it like that...?"
3
Darren Edmundson's profile photoSimon Howard's profile photo
2 comments
 
I'm usually quite cynical about these kind of always-on requirements too, but here there does at least seem to be a gameplay-related "benefit". I suspect its a case that someone came up with the requirement of always-online for DRM, then as the game design progressed and the engineers knew they had this back-channel available, so though ooh, we can do X with that too...
Add a comment...
Have him in circles
109 people
Matt Smith's profile photo
Max Sanna's profile photo
Paul Holden's profile photo
Colm Dodd's profile photo
Tim Packer's profile photo
Thalia Teasdale's profile photo

Darren Edmundson

Shared publicly  - 
 
Its X:Rebirth day and Steam tells me my copy will unlock in 4 hrs; if only I didn't have to go to work!

It looks visually stunning, and there's a lot of new mechanics in it compared to the older games; though they've taken some things out which were a key part of how the X universe used to work too.

It'll be really interesting to see how this plays alongside Braben's Elite reimagining which is due to beta in a month or two, and be available to us mortals who didn't fund the kickstarter some point after that.

#xrebirth
4
Darren Edmundson's profile photoKebra desBois's profile photo
2 comments
 
TL;DR: Not all I'd hoped for, but I'm far from unhappy.

My review so far. There's some bugs, but no more that you'd expect for launch day (sadly gone are the days when you could expect a working product and no patches from any game studio) and it is very pretty (really not sure why Kebra is so enigmatically unhappy) though I'm not 100% convinced by the choice for a slightly cell-shaded look.

Game mechanics beyond the basic flying have changed quite a lot - some for the better, others the jury's still out on, but if you've played previous X:'s be prepared to learn some things anew. There's certainly things I miss from the old versions which makes this seem less pick-up-and-playable, but that might just be until I get used to it. Trade seems much slower - at least early-game - as you're waiting around for slow transporters to do their stuff rather than being able to get in amongst it yourself, and the new "walk around the space stations" element is a little disappointing; It's a good idea on paper, but adds little to the game in practise. I'd probably prefer to have stuck with the menu systems of contacting people on the base rather than have to physically find them - but perhaps there's more to it further into the game or in later versions....

But the heart of the game, flight and combat are as you'd expect. No huge changes there, other than the visuals, and after a few tweaks to the controls (personal preference?) it feels familiar and right, but with much more going on and far better looking. At least for now, it's the closest thing to a worthy Elite successor; the bar has been set for Braben's return.
Add a comment...

Darren Edmundson

Shared publicly  - 
 
In my day-job I get to play with all sorts of cool and useful things - video-conferencing; collaborative editing of multiple documents, interconnected with hyperlinks, all controlled through a nice easy to use mouse-driven interface on my desktop, talking to a more powerful computer elsewhere, which does the processing for me.

Except while we may have improved things here and there, there's one pioneer who did all that in a single truly ground-breaking demo, back in 1968!

Doug Englebart sadly passed away on Tuesday, but if you've any interest in computing history, give The Mother of all Demos a watch, and be prepared to amazed at quite how much of what that one presentation contained - and which had probably never been seen before even by most of his peers - is now part of everyday life.
1
Add a comment...

Darren Edmundson

Shared publicly  - 
 
Made it here.....

And after snow in London last week, the states have welcomed us with some great weather for wandering around Manhattan...
1
Peter Radcliffe's profile photoStephen Thorne's profile photo
2 comments
 
Boston is a little chilly, but that's better than the 32c it got up to in DC last week.
Add a comment...

Darren Edmundson

Shared publicly  - 
 
I've been playing with this, helping test by fixing locations and adding missing paths for a while now, and it's really gratifying to see a change you made get approved and be visible to everyone.

Today was the public launch for the UK, so if something wrong on Google maps has been annoying you, pop along to maps.google.com/mapmaker and fix it!
 
From world famous tourist destinations to the streets of your hometown, you can now offer local knowledge to enrich the maps of the United Kingdom using Google Map Maker! Once approved, these improvements can be seen worldwide on Google Maps, Google Earth, and Google Maps for Mobile.

Learn more here: http://goo.gl/L0k85, and get started mapping today!

Before/After of England’s Bletchley Park, improved today using Google Map Maker!
2
Jonathan Anderson's profile photo
 
Have you ever contributed to OSM? :-) 
Add a comment...

Darren Edmundson

Shared publicly  - 
 
Buy from Amazon UK? Forget your consumer Rights

+Amazon.com is a big company you can trust, right? If something goes wrong they'll try and fix it, and treat you with respect, won't they?

Well, it seems that Amazon might be good at taking consumers' money, but they don't like giving it back fairly. If you buy from them and your goods go missing, they'll insist that they'll only issue a refund if you agree to repeatedly answer future emails from them (within their time limits) and they like the answers.

Except that's not lawful.

If a company sells to a UK consumer under UK or EU law, and doesn't fulfil its contract they're required to refund. No ifs, no buts. It's well documented in case law, and clear from the Sale of Goods Act and the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations, amongst others. There's no grounds to reserve the right to charge... for the original order, yet that's exactly what they'll mail you and claim.

So, if you order from Amazon and your goods don't turn up - which given the people they use for deliveries is quite probable at some point - either be prepared to fight for your rights, or set some time aside each day to answer their string of emails.

+AmazonUK Deals want to correct anything that's wrong here?
2
Add a comment...
People
Have him in circles
109 people
Matt Smith's profile photo
Max Sanna's profile photo
Paul Holden's profile photo
Colm Dodd's profile photo
Tim Packer's profile photo
Thalia Teasdale's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Google Site Reliability Engineer
Links
Story
Tagline
Geek, Googler, Gay - London
Introduction
Just an ordinary Darren. Work for Google (but don't speak for them - everything I say here is my fault not theirs) and live near London. 
Bragging rights
Google SRE. That stands for something apparently, I thought the E was "Eggplant", but apparently they're called Aubergines these days.
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Looking for
Friends, Networking
Darren Edmundson's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Street View on Google Maps
market.android.com

With Street View on Google Maps, explore the world at street level. With Google Maps Street View, you can explore the world at street level.

Google Reader
market.android.com

Follow your favorite sites, blogs, and more, all in one place. Follow your favorite sites, blogs, and more, all in one place. The Google Rea

YouTube - Google Chrome: It Gets Better
www.youtube.com

Create AccountSign In. Home. BrowseFilmsUpload. Hey there, this is not a commercial interruption. You're using an outdated browser, whic

Property values in Herbert Mews London SW2 - Zoopla
www.zoopla.co.uk

Zoopla > Look at Herbert Mews London SW2 home values.

Rightmove
market.android.com

Over a million properties, now on Android. See all the properties available on the Rightmove website in a sleek and clever app. Get to grips

Public - 7 months ago
reviewed 7 months ago
1 review
Map
Map
Map