jm + google   154

Eric Brewer interview on Kubernetes
What is the relationship between Kubernetes, Borg and Omega (the two internal resource-orchestration systems Google has built)?

I would say, kind of by definition, there’s no shared code but there are shared people.

You can think of Kubernetes — especially some of the elements around pods and labels — as being lessons learned from Borg and Omega that are, frankly, significantly better in Kubernetes. There are things that are going to end up being the same as Borg — like the way we use IP addresses is very similar — but other things, like labels, are actually much better than what we did internally.

I would say that’s a lesson we learned the hard way.
google  architecture  kubernetes  docker  containers  borg  omega  deployment  ops 
8 days ago by jm
repo
'The multiple repository tool'. How Google kludged around the split-repo problem when you don't have a monorepo.
kludges  git  monorepo  monorepi  google  android  aosp  repo  coding  version-control  dvcs 
13 days ago by jm
Your Google Algorithm Cheat Sheet: Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird
Interesting that GOOG are still doing these big-bang releases -- I guess crunching the data to come up with new weights/rules is a heavyweight, time-consuming process
google  search  ranking  releases  panda  penguin  hummingbird  weighting 
19 days ago by jm
Google Online Security Blog: A Javascript-based DDoS Attack [the Greatfire DDoS] as seen by Safe Browsing
We hope this report helps to round out the overall facts known about this attack. It also demonstrates that collectively there is a lot of visibility into what happens on the web. At the HTTP level seen by Safe Browsing, we cannot confidently attribute this attack to anyone. However, it makes it clear that hiding such attacks from detailed analysis after the fact is difficult.

Had the entire web already moved to encrypted traffic via TLS, such an injection attack would not have been possible. This provides further motivation for transitioning the web to encrypted and integrity-protected communication. Unfortunately, defending against such an attack is not easy for website operators. In this case, the attack Javascript requests web resources sequentially and slowing down responses might have helped with reducing the overall attack traffic. Another hope is that the external visibility of this attack will serve as a deterrent in the future.


Via Nelson.
google  security  via:nelson  ddos  javascript  tls  ssl  safe-browsing  networking  china  greatfire 
4 weeks ago by jm
Kubernetes compared to Borg
'Here are four Kubernetes features that came from our experiences with Borg.'
google  ops  kubernetes  borg  containers  docker  networking 
4 weeks ago by jm
Large-scale cluster management at Google with Borg
Google's Borg system is a cluster manager that runs hundreds of thousands of jobs, from many thousands of different applications, across a number of clusters each with up to tens of thousands of machines. It achieves high utilization by combining admission control, efficient task-packing, over-commitment, and machine sharing with process-level performance isolation. It supports high-availability applications with runtime features that minimize fault-recovery time, and scheduling policies that reduce the probability of correlated failures. Borg simplifies life for its users by offering a declarative job specification language, name service integration, real-time job monitoring, and tools to analyze and simulate system behavior.
We present a summary of the Borg system architecture and features, important design decisions, a quantitative analysis of some of its policy decisions, and a qualitative examination of lessons learned from a decade of operational experience with it.


(via Conall)
via:conall  clustering  google  papers  scale  to-read  borg  cluster-management  deployment  packing  reliability  redundancy 
5 weeks ago by jm
5% of Google visitors have ad-injecting malware installed
Ad injectors were detected on all operating systems (Mac and Windows), and web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE) that were included in our test. More than 5% of people visiting Google sites have at least one ad injector installed. Within that group, half have at least two injectors installed and nearly one-third have at least four installed.


via Nelson.
via:nelson  ads  google  chrome  ad-injectors  malware  scummy 
7 weeks ago by jm
Google delist CNNIC certs
As a result of a joint investigation of the events surrounding this incident by Google and CNNIC, we have decided that the CNNIC Root and EV CAs will no longer be recognized in Google products.
cnnic  certs  ssl  tls  security  certificates  pki  chrome  google 
7 weeks ago by jm
Tim Bray on one year as an xoogler
Seems pretty insightful; particularly "I do think the In­ter­net econ­o­my would be bet­ter and more hu­mane if it didn’t have a sin­gle white-hot highly-overprivileged cen­ter. Al­so, soon­er or lat­er that’ll stop scal­ing. Can’t hap­pen too soon."
google  tim-bray  via:nelson  xoogler  funding  tech  privacy  ads  internet 
8 weeks ago by jm
Bug Prediction at Google
LOL. grepping commit logs for /bug|fix/ does the job, apparently:
In the literature, Rahman et al. found that a very cheap algorithm actually performs almost as well as some very expensive bug-prediction algorithms. They found that simply ranking files by the number of times they've been changed with a bug-fixing commit (i.e. a commit which fixes a bug) will find the hot spots in a code base. Simple! This matches our intuition: if a file keeps requiring bug-fixes, it must be a hot spot because developers are clearly struggling with it.
bugs  rahman-algorithm  heuristics  source-code-analysis  coding  algorithms  google  static-code-analysis  version-control 
9 weeks ago by jm
Bazel
Google open sources a key part of their internal build system (internally called "Blaze" it seems for a while). Very nice indeed!
blaze  bazel  build-tools  building  open-source  google  coding  packaging 
9 weeks ago by jm
Stairs to nowhere, trap streets, and other Toronto oddities
'There’s a set of stairs on Greenwood Avenue that lead nowhere. At the top, a wooden fence at the end of someone’s back yard blocks any further movement, forcing the climber to turn around and descend back to the street. What’s remarkable about the pointless Greenwood stairs, which were built in 1959 as a shortcut to a now-demolished brickyard, is that someone still routinely maintains them: in winter, some kindly soul deposits a scattering of salt lest one of the stairs’ phantom users slip; in summer someone comes with a broom to sweep away leaves.
These urban leftovers are lovingly called “Thomassons” after Gary Thomasson, a former slugger for the San Francisco Giants, Oakland As, Yankees, Dodgers, and, most fatefully, the Yomiuri Giants in Tokyo.'
trap-streets  maps  ip  google  via:bldgblog  mapping  copyright  thomassons  orphaned-roads 
9 weeks ago by jm
Explanation of the Jump Consistent Hash algorithm
I blogged about the amazing stateless Jump Consistent Hash algorithm last year, but this is a good walkthrough of how it works.

Apparently one author, Eric Veach, is legendary -- https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9209891 : "Eric Veach is huge in the computer graphics world for laying a ton of the foundations of modern physically based rendering in his PhD thesis [1]. He then went on to work for Pixar and did a ton of work on Renderman (for which he recently got an Academy Award), and then in the early 2000ish left Pixar to go work for Google, where he was the lead on developing AdWords [2]. In short, he's had quite a career, and seeing a new paper from him is always interesting."
eric-veach  consistent-hashing  algorithms  google  adwords  renderman  pixar  history  coding  c  c++ 
10 weeks ago by jm
Anatomy of a Hack
Authy doesn't come off well here:

'Authy should have been harder to break. It's an app, like Authenticator, and it never left Davis' phone. But Eve simply reset the app on her phone using a mail.com address and a new confirmation code, again sent by a voice call. A few minutes after 3AM, the Authy account moved under Eve's control.'
authy  security  hacking  mfa  authentication  google  apps  exploits 
11 weeks ago by jm
"Everything you've ever said to Siri/Cortana has been recorded...and I get to listen to it"
This should be a reminder.
At first, I though these sound bites were completely random. Then I began to notice a pattern. Soon, I realized that I was hearing peoples commands given to their mobile devices. Guys, I'm telling you, if you've said it to your phone, it's been recorded...and there's a damn good chance a 3rd party is going to hear it.
privacy  google  siri  cortana  android  voice-recognition  outsourcing  mobile 
12 weeks ago by jm
Release Protocol Buffers v3.0.0-alpha-2 · google/protobuf
New major-version track for protobuf, with some interesting new features:

Removal of field presence logic for primitive value fields, removal of required fields, and removal of default values. This makes proto3 significantly easier to implement with open struct representations, as in languages like Android Java, Objective C, or Go.
Removal of unknown fields.
Removal of extensions, which are instead replaced by a new standard type called Any.
Fix semantics for unknown enum values.
Addition of maps.
Addition of a small set of standard types for representation of time, dynamic data, etc.
A well-defined encoding in JSON as an alternative to binary proto encoding.
protobuf  binary  marshalling  serialization  google  grpc  proto3  coding  open-source 
12 weeks ago by jm
grpc.io
Binary message marshalling, client/server stubs generated by an IDL compiler, bidirectional binary protocol. CORBA is back from the dead!
Intro blog post: http://googledevelopers.blogspot.ie/2015/02/introducing-grpc-new-open-source-http2.html

Relevant: Steve Vinoski's commentary on protobuf-rpc back in 2008: http://steve.vinoski.net/blog/2008/07/13/protocol-buffers-leaky-rpc/
http  rpc  http2  netty  grpc  google  corba  idl  messaging 
12 weeks ago by jm
2015-02-19 GCE outage
40 minutes of multi-zone network outage for majority of instances.

'The internal software system which programs GCE’s virtual network for VM
egress traffic stopped issuing updated routing information. The cause of
this interruption is still under active investigation. Cached route
information provided a defense in depth against missing updates, but GCE VM
egress traffic started to be dropped as the cached routes expired.'

I wonder if Google Pimms fired the alarms for this ;)
google  outages  gce  networking  routing  pimms  multi-az  cloud 
february 2015 by jm
google/error-prone
Nice looking static code validation tool for Java, from Google. I recognise a few of these errors ;)
google  static  code-validation  lint  testing  java  coding 
february 2015 by jm
Coining "Dysguria"
“dysaguria” is the perfect noun, and “dysagurian” is the perfect adjective, to describe the eponymous company in Dave Eggers’ The Circle. It’s not in the same league as Orwell, or Huxley, or Bradbury, or Burgess. But it does raise very important questions about what could possibly go wrong if one company controlled all the world’s information. In the novel, the company operates according to the motto “all that happens must be known”; and one of its bosses, Eamon Bailey, encourages everywoman employee Mae Holland to live an always-on (clear, transparent) life according the maxims “secrets are lies”, “sharing is caring”, and “privacy is theft”. Eggers’s debts to dystopian fiction are apparent. But, whereas writers like Orwell, Huxley, Bradbury, and Burgess were concerned with totalitarian states, Eggers is concerned with a totalitarian company. However, the noun “dystopia” and the adjective “dystopian” – perfect though they are for the terror of military/security authoritarianism in 1984, or Brave new World, or Farenheit 451, or A Clockwork Orange – do not to my mind encapsulate the nightmare of industrial/corporate tyranny in The Circle. On the other hand, “dysaguria” as a noun and “dysagurian” as an adjective, in my view really do capture the essence of that “frightening company”.
dysaguria  dystopia  future  sf  authoritarianism  surveillance  the-circle  google  facebook 
february 2015 by jm
Google Java Style
A good set of basic, controversy-free guidelines for clean java code style
style  java  google  coding  guidelines  formatting  coding-standards 
february 2015 by jm
Zoë Keating on getting a shitty deal from Google's new Music Key licensing
The Youtube music service was introduced to me as a win win and they don’t understand why I don’t see it that way. “We are trying to create a new revenue stream on top of the platform that exists today.” A lot of people in the music industry talk about Google as evil. I don’t think they are evil. I think they, like other tech companies, are just idealistic in a way that works best for them. I think this because I used to be one of them. The people who work at Google, Facebook, etc can’t imagine how everything they make is not, like, totally awesome. If it’s not awesome for you it’s because you just don’t understand it yet and you’ll come around. They can’t imagine scenarios outside their reality and that is how they inadvertently unleash things like the algorithmic cruelty of Facebook’s yearly review (which showed me a picture I had posted after a doctor told me my husband had 6-8 weeks to live).
google  business  music  youtube  zoe-keating  music-key  licensing  tech 
january 2015 by jm
F1: A Distributed SQL Database That Scales
Beyond the interesting-enough stuff about scalability in a distributed SQL store, there's this really nifty point about avoiding the horrors of the SQL/ORM impedance mismatch:
At Google, Protocol Buffers are ubiquitous for data storage and interchange between applications. When we still had a MySQL schema, users often had to write tedious and error-prone transformations between database rows and in-memory data structures. Putting protocol buffers in the schema removes this impedance mismatch and gives users a universal data structure they can use both in the database and in application code…. Protocol Buffer columns are more natural and reduce semantic complexity for users, who can now read and write their logical business objects as atomic units, without having to think about materializing them using joins across several tables.


This is something that pretty much any store can already adopt. Go protobufs. (or Avro, etc.)

Also, I find this really neat, and I hope this idea is implemented elsewhere soon: asynchronous schema updates:

Schema changes are applied asynchronously on multiple F1 servers. Anomalies are prevented by the use of a schema leasing mechanism with support for only current and next schema versions; and by subdividing schema changes into multiple phases where consecutive pairs of changes are mutually compatible and cannot cause anomalies.
schema  sql  f1  google  papers  orm  protobuf 
january 2015 by jm
'Machine Learning: The High-Interest Credit Card of Technical Debt' [PDF]
Oh god yes. This is absolutely spot on, as you would expect from a Google paper -- at this stage they probably have accumulated more real-world ML-at-scale experience than anywhere else.

'Machine learning offers a fantastically powerful toolkit for building complex systems
quickly. This paper argues that it is dangerous to think of these quick wins
as coming for free. Using the framework of technical debt, we note that it is remarkably
easy to incur massive ongoing maintenance costs at the system level
when applying machine learning. The goal of this paper is highlight several machine
learning specific risk factors and design patterns to be avoided or refactored
where possible. These include boundary erosion, entanglement, hidden feedback
loops, undeclared consumers, data dependencies, changes in the external world,
and a variety of system-level anti-patterns.

[....]

'In this paper, we focus on the system-level interaction between machine learning code and larger systems
as an area where hidden technical debt may rapidly accumulate. At a system-level, a machine
learning model may subtly erode abstraction boundaries. It may be tempting to re-use input signals
in ways that create unintended tight coupling of otherwise disjoint systems. Machine learning
packages may often be treated as black boxes, resulting in large masses of “glue code” or calibration
layers that can lock in assumptions. Changes in the external world may make models or input
signals change behavior in unintended ways, ratcheting up maintenance cost and the burden of any
debt. Even monitoring that the system as a whole is operating as intended may be difficult without
careful design.

Indeed, a remarkable portion of real-world “machine learning” work is devoted to tackling issues
of this form. Paying down technical debt may initially appear less glamorous than research results
usually reported in academic ML conferences. But it is critical for long-term system health and
enables algorithmic advances and other cutting-edge improvements.'
machine-learning  ml  systems  ops  tech-debt  maintainance  google  papers  hidden-costs  development 
december 2014 by jm
The Oral History Of The Poop Emoji (Or, How Google Brought Poop To America)
'I went over to Japan right around the time Takeshi was deciding which emoji were going to make it into the first cut of Gmail emoji. The [PILE_OF_POO emoji] was absolutely one of the necessary emoji that Takeshi said we have to have. There was actually conflict because there were people back at headquarters who had no idea what emoji were, and thought that having an animated [turd] in their Gmail was offensive.'

'[The poop emoji] got very popular when a comic called "Dr. Slump" was broadcast in Japan back to the ‘90s. Such poop was not an object to be disliked, but it had a funny meaning. This was a very popular comedy animation where a girl played a trick on other people using the poop. The poop was this funny object to play with. It was never serious.' 'In Japanese that’s called “unchi.” It’s a child word with a benign meaning. '
culture  emoji  google  pile-of-poo  turd  poo  japan  gmail  unchi  dr-slump 
november 2014 by jm
How I reverse-engineered Google Docs to play back any document's keystrokes « James Somers (jsomers.net)
Excellent write-up of this little-known undocumented GDocs behaviour, an artifact of its operational-transformation sync mechanism
operational-transformation  ot  google  gdocs  coding  docs  sync  undocumented  reversing 
november 2014 by jm
AtScript
a new "types for Javascript" framework, from the team behind Angular.js -- they plan to "harmonize" it with TypeScript and pitch it for standardization, which would be awesome.

(via Rob Clancy)
via:robc  atscript  javascript  typescript  types  languages  coding  google  angular 
october 2014 by jm
The Laborers Who Keep Dick Pics and Beheadings Out of Your Facebook Feed | WIRED
“Everybody hits the wall, generally between three and five months,” says a former YouTube content moderator I’ll call Rob. “You just think, ‘Holy shit, what am I spending my day doing? This is awful.’”
facebook  wired  beheadings  moderation  nsfw  google  youtube  social-media  filtering  porn  abuse 
october 2014 by jm
Google Online Security Blog: This POODLE bites: exploiting the SSL 3.0 fallback
Today we are publishing details of a vulnerability in the design of SSL version 3.0. This vulnerability allows the plaintext of secure connections to be calculated by a network attacker.


ouch.
ssl3  ssl  tls  security  exploits  google  crypto 
october 2014 by jm
Introducing Groups.io
Mark "ONEList" Fletcher's back, and he's reinventing the email group! awesome.
email groups (the modern version of mailing lists) have stagnated over the past decade. Yahoo Groups and Google Groups both exude the dank air of benign neglect. Google Groups hasn’t been updated in years, and some of Yahoo’s recent changes have actually made Yahoo Groups worse! And yet, millions of people put up with this uncertainty and neglect, because email groups are still one of the best ways to communicate with groups of people. And I have a plan to make them even better.
So today I’m launching Groups.io in beta, to bring email groups into the 21st Century. At launch, we have many features that those other services don’t have, including:

Integration with other services, including: Github, Google Hangouts, Dropbox, Instagram, Facebook Pages, and the ability to import Feeds into your groups.
Businesses and organizations can have their own private groups on their own subdomain.
Better archive organization, using hashtags.
Many more email delivery options.
The ability to mute threads or hashtags.
Fully searchable archives, including searching within attachments.

One other feature that Groups.io has that Yahoo and Google don’t, is a business model that’s not based on showing ads to you. Public groups are completely free on Groups.io. Private groups and organizations are very reasonably priced.
email  groups  communication  discussion  mailing-lists  groups.io  yahoo  google  google-groups  yahoo-groups 
september 2014 by jm
CausalImpact: A new open-source package for estimating causal effects in time series
How can we measure the number of additional clicks or sales that an AdWords campaign generated? How can we estimate the impact of a new feature on app downloads? How do we compare the effectiveness of publicity across countries?

In principle, all of these questions can be answered through causal inference.

In practice, estimating a causal effect accurately is hard, especially when a randomised experiment is not available. One approach we've been developing at Google is based on Bayesian structural time-series models. We use these models to construct a synthetic control — what would have happened to our outcome metric in the absence of the intervention. This approach makes it possible to estimate the causal effect that can be attributed to the intervention, as well as its evolution over time.

We've been testing and applying structural time-series models for some time at Google. For example, we've used them to better understand the effectiveness of advertising campaigns and work out their return on investment. We've also applied the models to settings where a randomised experiment was available, to check how similar our effect estimates would have been without an experimental control.

Today, we're excited to announce the release of CausalImpact, an open-source R package that makes causal analyses simple and fast. With its release, all of our advertisers and users will be able to use the same powerful methods for estimating causal effects that we've been using ourselves.

Our main motivation behind creating the package has been to find a better way of measuring the impact of ad campaigns on outcomes. However, the CausalImpact package could be used for many other applications involving causal inference. Examples include problems found in economics, epidemiology, or the political and social sciences.
causal-inference  r  google  time-series  models  bayes  adwords  advertising  statistics  estimation  metrics 
september 2014 by jm
'The very first release of Gmail simply used spamassassin on the backend'
Excellent. Confirming what I'd heard from a few other sources, too ;)

This is a well-written history of the anti-spam war so far, from Mike Hearn, writing with the Google/Gmail point of view:

Brief note about my background, to establish credentials: I worked at
Google for about 7.5 years. For about 4.5 of those I worked on the Gmail
abuse team, which is very tightly linked with the spam team (they use the
same software, share the same on-call rotations etc).


Reading this kind of stuff is awesome for me, since it's a nice picture of a fun problem to work on -- the Gmail team took the right ideas about how to fight spam, and scaled them up to the 10s-of-millions DAU mark. Nicely done.

The second half is some interesting musings on end-to-end encrypted communications and how it would deal with spam. Worth a read...
gmail  google  spam  anti-spam  filtering  spamassassin  history 
september 2014 by jm
Google's new end-to-end key distribution proposal
'For End-To-End, our current approach to key distribution, is to use a model similar to Certificate Transparency, and use the email messages themselves as a gossip protocol, which allow the users themselves to keep the centralized authorities honest. This approach allows users to not have to know about keys, but at the same time, be able to make sure that the servers involved aren't doing anything malicious behind the users' back.'
end-to-end  encryption  google  security  email  crypto  key-distribution 
august 2014 by jm
The poisoned NUL byte, 2014 edition
A successful exploit of Fedora glibc via a single NUL overflow (via Tony Finch)
via:fanf  buffer-overflows  security  nul  byte  exploits  google  project-zero 
august 2014 by jm
The Internet's Original Sin - The Atlantic
Ethan Zuckerberg: 'It's not too late to ditch the ad-based business model and build a better web.'
advertising  business  internet  ads  business-models  the-atlantic  ethan-zuckerberg  via:anildash  web  privacy  surveillance  google 
august 2014 by jm
Spain pushes for 'Google tax' to restrict linking
The government wants to put a tax on linking on the internet. They say that if you want to link to some newspaper's content, you have to pay a tax. The primary targets of this law are Google News and other aggregators. It would be absurd enough just like that, but the law goes further: they declared it an "inalienable right" so even if I have a blog or a new small digital media publication and I want to let people freely link to my content, I can't opt-out--they are charging the levy, and giving it to the big press media.

It was just the last and only way that the old traditional media companies can get some money from the government, and they strongly lobbied for it. The bill has passed in the Congress where the party in the government has majority (PP, Partido Popular) and it's headed to the Senate, where they have a majority also.
spain  stupidity  law  via:boingboing  linking  links  web  news  google  google-news  newspapers  old-media  taxes 
july 2014 by jm
Google's mighty mess-up on 'right to be forgotten' - Independent.ie
In this context, the search giant says that it has "a team of people reviewing each application individually". Really? Did this team of people decide that redacting links to an article reporting a criminal conviction was consistent with an individual's right to privacy and 'right to be forgotten'?

Either Google is deliberately letting egregious errors through to try and bait journalists and freedom of expression activists into protesting or its system at vetting 'right to be forgotten' applications is awfully flawed.
google  right-to-be-forgotten  privacy  law  ireland  adrian-weckler  journalism  freedom-of-expression  censorship  redaction 
july 2014 by jm
Calendar Hacks
Some great tips on managing a busy calendar, from Etsy's managers. Block out time; refuse double-booked meetings by default; rely on apps; office hours. Thankfully I have a pretty slim calendar these days, but bookmarking for future use...
calendar  etsy  via:kellan  google  google-calendar  office-hours  life-hacks  hacks  tips  managing  managers  scheduling 
july 2014 by jm
173 million 2013 NYC taxi rides shared on BigQuery : bigquery
Interesting! (a) there's a subreddit for Google BigQuery, with links to interesting data sets, like this one; (b) the entire 173-million-row dataset for NYC taxi rides in 2013 is available for querying; and (c) the tip percentage histogram is cool.
datasets  bigquery  sql  google  nyc  new-york  taxis  data  big-data  histograms  tipping 
july 2014 by jm
Google's Influential Papers for 2013
Googlers across the company actively engage with the scientific community by publishing technical papers, contributing open-source packages, working on standards, introducing new APIs and tools, giving talks and presentations, participating in ongoing technical debates, and much more. Our publications offer technical and algorithmic advances, feature aspects we learn as we develop novel products and services, and shed light on some of the technical challenges we face at Google. Below are some of the especially influential papers co-authored by Googlers in 2013.
google  papers  toread  reading  2013  scalability  machine-learning  algorithms 
july 2014 by jm
"The Tail at Scale"
by Jeffrey Dean and Luiz Andre Barroso, Google. A selection of Google's architectural mechanisms used to defeat 99th-percentile latency spikes: hedged requests, tied requests, micro-partitioning, selective replication, latency-induced probation, canary requests.
google  architecture  distcomp  soa  http  partitioning  replication  latency  99th-percentile  canary-requests  hedged-requests 
july 2014 by jm
Google Replaces MapReduce With New Hyper-Scale Cloud Analytics System
MR no more:
“We don’t really use MapReduce anymore,” [Urs] Hölzle said in his keynote presentation at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco Wednesday. The company stopped using the system “years ago.”

Cloud Dataflow, which Google will also offer as a service for developers using its cloud platform, does not have the scaling restrictions of MapReduce. “Cloud Dataflow is the result of over a decade of experience in analytics,” Hölzle said. “It will run faster and scale better than pretty much any other system out there.”

Gossip on the mech-sympathy list says that 'seems that the new platform taking over is a combination of FlumeJava and MillWheel: http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~akella/CS838/F12/838-CloudPapers/FlumeJava.pdf ,
http://static.googleusercontent.com/media/research.google.com/en/us/pubs/archive/41378.pdf'
map-reduce  google  hadoop  cloud-dataflow  scalability  big-data  urs-holzle  google-io 
june 2014 by jm
Google forced to e-forget a company worldwide
Here we go.... Canadian company wins case to censor search results for its competitors.
When Google argued that Canadian law couldn't be applied to the entire world, the court responded by citing British Columbia's Law and Equity Act, which grants broad power for a court to issue injunctions when it's "just or convenient that the order should be made."

Google also tried to argue against the injunction on the basis of it amounting to censorship. The court responded that there are already entire categories of content that get censored, such as child abuse imagery.

Will this be the first of a new wave of requests for company website take-downs?


Via stx.
canada  via:stx  censorship  google  search  takedowns  datalink  equustek  gw1000  hardware 
june 2014 by jm
Cap'n Proto, FlatBuffers, and SBE
a feature comparison of these new serialization formats from Kenton, the capnp dude
serialization  protobuf  capnproto  sbe  flatbuffers  google  coding  storage 
june 2014 by jm
Google's Pegasus
a power-management subsystem for warehouse-scale computing farms. "It adjusts the power-performance settings of servers so that the overall workload barely meets its latency constraints for user queries."
pegasus  power-management  power  via:fanf  google  latency  scaling 
june 2014 by jm
Jump Consistent Hash: A Fast, Minimal Memory, Consistent Hash Algorithm
'a fast, minimal memory, consistent hash algorithm that can be expressed in about 5 lines of code. In comparison to the algorithm of Karger et al., jump consistent hash requires no storage, is faster, and does a better job of evenly dividing the key space among the buckets and of evenly dividing the workload when the number of buckets changes. Its main limitation is that the buckets must be numbered sequentially, which makes it more suitable for data storage applications than for distributed web caching.'

Implemented in Guava. This is also noteworthy:

'Google has not applied for patent protection for this algorithm, and, as of this writing, has no plans to. Rather, it wishes to contribute this algorithm to the community.'
hashing  consistent-hashing  google  guava  memory  algorithms  sharding 
june 2014 by jm
FlatBuffers: Main Page
A new serialization format from Google's Android gaming team, supporting C++ and Java, open source under the ASL v2. Reasons to use it:
Access to serialized data without parsing/unpacking - What sets FlatBuffers apart is that it represents hierarchical data in a flat binary buffer in such a way that it can still be accessed directly without parsing/unpacking, while also still supporting data structure evolution (forwards/backwards compatibility).
Memory efficiency and speed - The only memory needed to access your data is that of the buffer. It requires 0 additional allocations. FlatBuffers is also very suitable for use with mmap (or streaming), requiring only part of the buffer to be in memory. Access is close to the speed of raw struct access with only one extra indirection (a kind of vtable) to allow for format evolution and optional fields. It is aimed at projects where spending time and space (many memory allocations) to be able to access or construct serialized data is undesirable, such as in games or any other performance sensitive applications. See the benchmarks for details.
Flexible - Optional fields means not only do you get great forwards and backwards compatibility (increasingly important for long-lived games: don't have to update all data with each new version!). It also means you have a lot of choice in what data you write and what data you don't, and how you design data structures.
Tiny code footprint - Small amounts of generated code, and just a single small header as the minimum dependency, which is very easy to integrate. Again, see the benchmark section for details.
Strongly typed - Errors happen at compile time rather than manually having to write repetitive and error prone run-time checks. Useful code can be generated for you.
Convenient to use - Generated C++ code allows for terse access & construction code. Then there's optional functionality for parsing schemas and JSON-like text representations at runtime efficiently if needed (faster and more memory efficient than other JSON parsers).


Looks nice, but it misses the language coverage of protobuf. Definitely more practical than capnproto.
c++  google  java  serialization  json  formats  protobuf  capnproto  storage  flatbuffers 
june 2014 by jm
The Game on Google Glass
'A tribute to the addictive Ktarian Game featured in Season 5, Episode 6 of Star Trek, The Next Generation.'
star-trek  google-glass  the-game  games  glass  google  tv 
june 2014 by jm
Google Maps Has Forsaken Us
+1. What has happened at Google? Did they fire ever employee in the UX department?
ux  ui  google  gmaps  mapping  web  techcrunch 
may 2014 by jm
interview with Google VP of SRE Ben Treynor
interviewed by Niall Murphy, no less ;). Some good info on what Google deems important from an ops/SRE perspective
sre  ops  devops  google  monitoring  interviews  ben-treynor 
may 2014 by jm
BBC News - Microsoft 'must release' data held on Dublin server
Messy. I can't see this lasting beyond an appeal.
Law enforcement efforts would be seriously impeded and the burden on the government would be substantial if they had to co-ordinate with foreign governments to obtain this sort of information from internet service providers such as Microsoft and Google, Judge Francis said. In a blog post, Microsoft's deputy general counsel, David Howard, said: "A US prosecutor cannot obtain a US warrant to search someone's home located in another country, just as another country's prosecutor cannot obtain a court order in her home country to conduct a search in the United States. "We think the same rules should apply in the online world, but the government disagrees."
microsoft  regions  law  us-law  privacy  google  cloud  international-law  surveillance 
april 2014 by jm
Ryanair drops out of top Google flight search results after website overhaul | Business | theguardian.com
They've done the classic website-redesign screwup -- omitted redirects from the old URLs.
Sam Silverwood-Cope, director of Intelligent Positioning, said: "They've ignored the legacy of the old Ryanair.com. It's quite startling. They are doing it just before their busiest time of the year." A change in [URLs] without proper redirects means many results found by Google now simply return error pages, he added. "Unless redirects get put in pretty soon, the position is going to get worse and worse."
ryanair  inept  fail  funny  via:christinebohan  web  google  search  redirects 
april 2014 by jm
Beefcake
A sane Google Protocol Buffers library for Ruby. It's all about being Buf; ProtoBuf.
protobuf  google  protocol-buffers  ruby  coding  libraries  gems  open-source 
april 2014 by jm
Google's Open Bidder stack moving from Jetty to Netty
Open Bidder traditionally used Jetty as an embedded webserver, for the critical tasks of accepting connections, processing HTTP requests, managing service threads, etc. Jetty is a robust, but traditional stack that carries the weight and tradeoffs of Servlet’s 15 years old design. For a maximum performance RTB agent that must combine very large request concurrency with very low latencies, and often benefit also from low-level control over the transport, memory management and other issue, a different webserver stack was required. Open Bidder now supports Netty, an asynchronous, event-driven, high-performance webserver stack.

For existing code, the most important impact is that Netty is not compatible with the Servlet API. Its own internal APIs are often too low-level, not to mention proprietary to Netty; so Open Bidder v0.5 introduces some new, stack-neutral APIs for things like HTTP requests and responses, cookies, request handlers, and even simple HTML templating based on Mustache. These APIs will work with both Netty and Jetty. This means you don’t need to change any code to switch between Jetty and Netty; on the other hand, it also means that existing code written for Open Bidder 0.4 may need some changes even if you plan to keep using Jetty.

[....] Netty's superior efficiency is very significant; it supports 50% more traffic in the same hardware, and it maintains a perfect latency distribution even at the peak of its supported load.


This doc is noteworthy on a couple of grounds:

1. the use of Netty in a public API/library, and the additional layer in place to add a friendlier API on top of that. I hope they might consider releasing that part as OSS at some point.

2. I also find it interesting that their API uses protobufs to marshal the message, and they plan in a future release to serialize those to JSON documents -- that makes a lot of sense.
apis  google  protobufs  json  documents  interoperability  netty  jetty  servlets  performance  java 
april 2014 by jm
How Gmail Happened: The Inside Story of Its Launch 10 Years Ago Today
the inside story of the great work done by Paul Buchheit, Kevin Fox, and Sanjeev Singh to reinvent email in 2004
history  gmail  email  smtp  mua  paul-buchheit  kevin-fox  launches  google  web 
april 2014 by jm
UPDATED: Google begged Steve Jobs for permission to hire engineers for its new Paris office. Guess what happened next… | PandoDaily
in a field as critical and competitive as smartphones, Google’s R&D strategy was being dictated, not by the company’s board, or by its shareholders, but by a desire not to anger the CEO of a rival company.


This is utterly bananas and anti-competitive. (via Des Traynor)
via:destraynor  wage-fixing  apple  google  tech  paris  r-and-d  steve-jobs  jean-marie-hullot  france  competition  poaching  assholes 
march 2014 by jm
DNS results now being manipulated in Turkey
Deep-packet inspection and rewriting on DNS packets for Google and OpenDNS servers. VPNs and DNSSEC up next!
turkey  twitter  dpi  dns  opendns  google  networking  filtering  surveillance  proxying  packets  udp 
march 2014 by jm
Adrian Cockroft's Cloud Outage Reports Collection
The detailed summaries of outages from cloud vendors are comprehensive and the response to each highlights many lessons in how to build robust distributed systems. For outages that significantly affected Netflix, the Netflix techblog report gives insight into how to effectively build reliable services on top of AWS. [....] I plan to collect reports here over time, and welcome links to other write-ups of outages and how to survive them.
outages  post-mortems  documentation  ops  aws  ec2  amazon  google  dropbox  microsoft  azure  incident-response 
march 2014 by jm
Why Google Flu Trends Can't Track the Flu (Yet)
It's admittedly hard for outsiders to analyze Google Flu Trends, because the company doesn't make public the specific search terms it uses as raw data, or the particular algorithm it uses to convert the frequency of these terms into flu assessments. But the researchers did their best to infer the terms by using Google Correlate, a service that allows you to look at the rates of particular search terms over time. When the researchers did this for a variety of flu-related queries over the past few years, they found that a couple key searches (those for flu treatments, and those asking how to differentiate the flu from the cold) tracked more closely with Google Flu Trends' estimates than with actual flu rates, especially when Google overestimated the prevalence of the ailment. These particular searches, it seems, could be a huge part of the inaccuracy problem.

There's another good reason to suspect this might be the case. In 2011, as part of one of its regular search algorithm tweaks, Google began recommending related search terms for many queries (including listing a search for flu treatments after someone Googled many flu-related terms) and in 2012, the company began providing potential diagnoses in response to symptoms in searches (including listing both "flu" and "cold" after a search that included the phrase "sore throat," for instance, perhaps prompting a user to search for how to distinguish between the two). These tweaks, the researchers argue, likely artificially drove up the rates of the searches they identified as responsible for Google's overestimates.


via Boing Boing
google  flu  trends  feedback  side-effects  colds  health  google-flu-trends 
march 2014 by jm
Corporate Tax 2014: Irish Government's "flawed premise" on Apple's avoidance
According to our calculation about €40bn or over 40% of Irish services exports of €90bn in 2012 and related national output, resulted from global tax avoidance schemes.

It is true that Ireland gains little from tax cheating but at some point, the US tax system will be reformed and a territorial system where companies are only liable in the US on US profits, would only be viable if there was a disincentive to shift profits to non-tax or low tax countries. The risk for Ireland is that a minimum foreign tax would be introduced that would be greater than the Irish headline rate of 12.5%.

It's also likely that US investment in Ireland would not have been jeopardized if Irish politicians had not been so eager as supplicants to doff the cap. Nevertheless today it would be taboo to admit the reality of participation in massive tax avoidance and the Captain Renaults of Merrion Street will continue with their version of the Dance of the Seven Veils.
apple  tax  double-irish  tax-avoidance  google  investment  itax  tax-evasion  ireland 
march 2014 by jm
Sacked Google worker says staff ratings fixed to fit template
Allegations of fixing to fit the stack-ranking curve: 'someone at Google always had to get a low score “of 2.9”, so the unit could match the bell curve. She said senior staff “calibrated” the ratings supplied by line managers to ensure conformity with the template and these calibrations could reduce a line manager’s assessment of an employee, in effect giving them the poisoned score of less than three.'
stack-ranking  google  ireland  employment  work  bell-curve  statistics  eric-schmidt 
march 2014 by jm
"Dapper, a Large-Scale Distributed Systems Tracing Infrastructure" [PDF]
Google paper describing the infrastructure they've built for cross-service request tracing (ie. "tracer requests"). Features: low code changes required (since they've built it into the internal protobuf libs), low performance impact, sampling, deployment across the ~entire production fleet, output visibility in minutes, and has been live in production for over 2 years. Excellent read
dapper  tracing  http  services  soa  google  papers  request-tracing  tracers  protobuf  devops 
march 2014 by jm
Traffic Graph – Google Transparency Report
this is cool. Google are exposing an aggregated 'all services' hit count time-series graph, broken down by country, as part of their Transparency Report pages
transparency  filtering  web  google  http  graphs  monitoring  syria 
february 2014 by jm
A sampling profiler for your daily browsing - Google Groups
via Ilya Grigorik: Chrome Canary now has a built-in, always-on, zero-overhead code profiler. I want this in my server-side JVMs!
chrome  tracing  debugging  performance  profiling  google  sampling-profiler  javascript  blink  v8 
january 2014 by jm
Google Fonts recently switched to using Zopfli
Google Fonts recently switched to using new Zopfli compression algorithm:  the fonts are ~6% smaller on average, and in some cases up to 15% smaller! [...]
What's Zopfli? It's an algorithm that was developed by the compression team at Google that delivers ~3~8% bytesize improvement when compared to gzip with maximum compression. This byte savings comes at a cost of much higher encoding cost, but the good news is, fonts are static files and decompression speed is exactly the same. Google Fonts pays the compression cost once and every clients gets the benefit of smaller download. If you’re curious to learn more about Zopfli: http://bit.ly/Y8DEL4
zopfli  compression  gzip  fonts  google  speed  optimization 
january 2014 by jm
Jeff Dean - Taming Latency Variability and Scaling Deep Learning [talk]
'what Jeff Dean and team have been up to at Google'. Reducing request latency in a network SOA architecture using backup requests, etc., via Ilya Grigorik
youtube  talks  google  low-latency  soa  architecture  distcomp  jeff-dean  networking 
november 2013 by jm
Mike Hearn - Google+ - The packet capture shown in these new NSA slides shows…
The packet capture shown in these new NSA slides shows internal database replication traffic for the anti-hacking system I worked on for over two years. Specifically, it shows a database recording a user login.


This kind of confirms my theory that the majority of interesting traffic for the NSA/GCHQ MUSCULAR sniffing system would have been inter-DC replication. Was, since it sounds like that stuff's all changing now to use end-to-end crypto...
google  crypto  security  muscular  nsa  gchq  mike-hearn  replication  sniffing  spying  surveillance 
november 2013 by jm
Bruce Schneier On The Feudal Internet And How To Fight It
This is very well-put.
In its early days, there was a lot of talk about the "natural laws of the Internet" and how it would empower the masses, upend traditional power blocks, and spread freedom throughout the world. The international nature of the Internet made a mockery of national laws. Anonymity was easy. Censorship was impossible. Police were clueless about cybercrime. And bigger changes were inevitable. Digital cash would undermine national sovereignty. Citizen journalism would undermine the media, corporate PR, and political parties. Easy copying would destroy the traditional movie and music industries. Web marketing would allow even the smallest companies to compete against corporate giants. It really would be a new world order.
Unfortunately, as we know, that's not how it worked out. Instead, we have seen the rise of the feudal Internet:
Feudal security consolidates power in the hands of the few. These companies [like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook etc.] act in their own self-interest. They use their relationship with us to increase their profits, sometimes at our expense. They act arbitrarily. They make mistakes. They're deliberately changing social norms. Medieval feudalism gave the lords vast powers over the landless peasants; we’re seeing the same thing on the Internet.
bruce-schneier  politics  internet  feudal-internet  google  apple  microsoft  facebook  government 
october 2013 by jm
Google: Our Robot Cars Are Better Drivers Than Puny Humans | MIT Technology Review
One of those analyses showed that when a human was behind the wheel, Google’s cars accelerated and braked significantly more sharply than they did when piloting themselves. Another showed that the cars’ software was much better at maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle ahead than the human drivers were. “We’re spending less time in near-collision states,” said Urmson. “Our car is driving more smoothly and more safely than our trained professional drivers.”
google  cars  driving  safety  roads  humans  robots  automation 
october 2013 by jm
Is Google building a hulking floating data center in SF Bay?
Looks pretty persuasive, especially considering they hold a patent on the design
google  data-centers  bay-area  ships  containers  shipping  sea  wave-power  treasure-island 
october 2013 by jm
The New York Review of Bots - @TwoHeadlines: Comedy, Tragedy, Chicago Bears
What is near-future late-capitalist dystopian fiction but a world where there is no discernible difference between corporations, nations, sports teams, brands, and celebrities? Adam was partly right in our original email thread. @TwoHeadlines is not generating jokes about current events. It is generating jokes about the future: a very specific future dictated by what a Google algorithm believes is important about humans and our affairs.
google-news  google  algorithms  word-frequency  twitter  twoheadlines  bots  news  emergent  jokes 
october 2013 by jm
"High Performance Browser Networking", by Ilya Grigorik, read online for free
Wow, this looks excellent. A must-read for people working on systems with high-volume, low-latency phone-to-server communications -- and free!
How prepared are you to build fast and efficient web applications? This eloquent book provides what every web developer should know about the network, from fundamental limitations that affect performance to major innovations for building even more powerful browser applications—including HTTP 2.0 and XHR improvements, Server-Sent Events (SSE), WebSocket, and WebRTC.

Author Ilya Grigorik, a web performance engineer at Google, demonstrates performance optimization best practices for TCP, UDP, and TLS protocols, and explains unique wireless and mobile network optimization requirements. You’ll then dive into performance characteristics of technologies such as HTTP 2.0, client-side network scripting with XHR, real-time streaming with SSE and WebSocket, and P2P communication with WebRTC.

Deliver optimal TCP, UDP, and TLS performance;
Optimize network performance over 3G/4G mobile networks;
Develop fast and energy-efficient mobile applications;
Address bottlenecks in HTTP 1.x and other browser protocols;
Plan for and deliver the best HTTP 2.0 performance;
Enable efficient real-time streaming in the browser;
Create efficient peer-to-peer videoconferencing and low-latency applications with real-time WebRTC transports


Via Eoin Brazil.
book  browser  networking  performance  phones  mobile  3g  4g  hsdpa  http  udp  tls  ssl  latency  webrtc  websockets  ebooks  via:eoin-brazil  google  http2  sse  xhr  ilya-grigorik 
october 2013 by jm
Google swaps out MySQL, moves to MariaDB
When we asked Sallner to quantify the scale of the migration he said, "They're moving it all. Everything they have. All of the MySQL servers are moving to MariaDB, as far as I understand."

By moving to MariaDB, Google can free itself of any dependence on technology dictated by Oracle – a company whose motivations are unclear, and whose track record for working with the wider technology community is dicey, to say the least. Oracle has controlled MySQL since its acquisition of Sun in 2010, and the key InnoDB storage engine since it got ahold of Innobase in 2005.

[...] We asked Cole why Google would shift from MySQL to MariaDB, and what the key technical differences between the systems were. "From my perspective, they're more or less equivalent other than if you look at specific features and how they implement them," Cole said, speaking in a personal capacity and not on behalf of Google. "Ideologically there are lots of differences."


So -- AWS, when will RDS offer MariaDB as an option?
google  mysql  mariadb  sql  open-source  licensing  databases  storage  innodb  oracle 
september 2013 by jm
How To Buffer Full YouTube Videos Before Playing
summary - turn off DASH (Dynamic adaptive streaming) using a userscript.
chrome  youtube  google  video  dash  mpeg  streaming 
september 2013 by jm
_MillWheel: Fault-Tolerant Stream Processing at Internet Scale_ [paper, pdf]
from VLDB 2013:

MillWheel is a framework for building low-latency data-processing applications that is widely used at Google. Users specify a directed computation graph and application code for individual nodes, and the system manages persistent state and the continuous flow of records, all within the envelope of the framework’s fault-tolerance guarantees.

This paper describes MillWheel’s programming model as well as its implementation. The case study of a continuous anomaly detector in use at Google serves to motivate how many of MillWheel’s features are used. MillWheel’s programming model provides a notion of logical time, making it simple to write time-based aggregations. MillWheel was designed from the outset with fault tolerance and scalability in mind. In practice, we find that MillWheel’s unique combination of scalability, fault tolerance, and a versatile programming model lends itself to a wide variety of problems at Google.
millwheel  google  data-processing  cep  low-latency  fault-tolerance  scalability  papers  event-processing  stream-processing 
august 2013 by jm
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