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    Default Monday Links from the Barnyard vol. CXLI

    Hectic day, meaning I've only just had time to put this lot together. Still, as there's no more Olympics or Paralympics on the telly, you've got all evening free to read them
    • More traffic, more videos, more screens: building the BBC's Olympic site and Building the Olympic Data Services - A couple of excellent blog posts from BBC techies Matthew Clark and David Rogers about the technology behind covering the Olympics. "We spent considerable time modelling how traffic creates load on the whole stack. This was first done theoretically (through modelling of user behaviour, load balancing, and caching). We then did it for real - we used data centres around the world to place load equivalent to over a million concurrent users on the site, to confirm everything worked during busy Games load."

    • The Rejection Archives - Writer R.N. Morris looks through a file of old rejection letters from publishers, finding such helpful comments as, "There are enormous problems with this manuscript which would make it unsuitable for publication as it stands."

    • Here and Yet to Come: A 1957 Space Scrapbook - "In the fall of 1957, my mother was 12 years old. She had a budding interest in science and an especial interest in space because 1) it was the fall of 1957 and 2) her father was an aeronautics engineer who was just being drafted (unsure if it was just before or just after Sputnik) into becoming an astronautical engineer (which he remained until he retired in the 1980s). From October to December of 1957, she clipped every story she could find (most likely from the Baltimore Sun)." And here it is, scanned

    • The very model of an amateur grammarian - To a well-known Gilbert and Sullivan tune: "I am the very model of an amateur grammarian / I have a little knowledge and I am authoritarian / But I make no apology for being doctrinarian / We must not plummet to the verbal depths of the barbarian..."

    • 37signals Earns Millions Each Year. Its CEO’s Model? His Cleaning Lady - Jason Fried on some of the principles by which he runs his business: "When we first started [working a four-day week] a few years ago, there was a small sense of guilt in a few corners. People were like, 'I have stuff to get done, it’s Thursday, so I’m gonna work Friday and just get it done.' But we actually preferred that they didn’t. There are very few things that can’t wait till Monday."

    • How Google Builds Its Maps—and What It Means for the Future of Everything - Excellent look inside Google's mapping efforts, and the remarkable plans they have for the future: "We already have what we call 'view codes' for 6 million businesses and 20 million addresses, where we know exactly what we're looking at... "We're able to use logo matching and find out where are the Kentucky Fried Chicken signs ... We're able to identify and make a semantic understanding of all the pixels we've acquired. That's fundamental to what we do." Perhaps they'll be able to stop pixellating Colonel Sanders' face then

    • Tough times on the road to Starcraft: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 (coming soon) - Patrick Wyatt explores some of the issues he and his colleagues faced in the development of the game Starcraft in the late 1990s. "History tells us that programmers feel compelled to try every feature of their new language during the first project, and so it was with class inheritance in StarCraft. Experienced programmers will shudder when seeing the inheritance chain that was designed for the game’s units…"

    • Comedians using their fans for co-ordinated, safety-in-numbers bullying - "This is going to be a long, involved blog, and I make no apologies for that. I will detail occurrences of co-ordinated, safety-in-numbers bullying which were presided over by three different celebrities: Simon Pegg, Ricky Gervais and Noel Fielding. They’ve used their combined follower count of just under 6 million to bully people – Gervais in particular does so repeatedly – and I’m sick of the fact that they’re not called to account for it." Neil of Comedy Chat exposes some pretty crappy online behaviour.

    • Angels and Errors: How the Harrow & Wealdstone Disaster Helped Shape Modern Britain - John Bull explains how the 1952 rail disaster had long-lasting effects not just on railway safety, but on the emergency services, the NHS, and more.

    • Knots on Mars! (and a few thoughts on NASA's knots) - From the International Guild of Knot Tyers Forum (yes, really), a detailed analysis of the knots NASA used on Mars Curiosity: "While a few of the folks here are no doubt aware, it might surprise most people to learn that knots tied in cords and thin ribbons have probably traveled on every interplanetary mission ever flown. If human civilization ends tomorrow, interplanetary landers, orbiters, and deep space probes will preserve evidence of both the oldest and newest of human technologies for millions of years."

    Happy invoicing!

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    d000hg - scorchio!

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    The BBC coverage really is a magnificent feat of technology IMO. We almost take it for granted but even 5 years ago that would have been impossible, surely?
    Quote Originally Posted by MaryPoppins View Post
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    Urine is quite nourishing

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