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Links for 2012-04-19

  • A Kiva success story : Pretty cool testimonial to Kiva’s effects on the ground. ‘Thanks to Mariano’s entrepreneurship and skills, and partially to the [microfinance] loans offered to him, as he said: now, his children are attending to school, something his generation couldn’t afford to, and he is able to save some money for his retirement as he won’t have any pension when that moment comes.’ plus, I liked this detail: ‘Meeting Mariano was funny, because at the beginning he was not convinced we were not there from the lending organization to check on him.’ (via Eoin)
    (tags: kiva microfinance loans developing-world peru small-world)

  • Scale Something: How Draw Something rode its rocket ship of growth : Membase, surprise answer. In general it sounds like they had a pretty crazy time — rebuilding the plane in flight even more than usual. “This had us on our toes and working 24 hours a day. I think at one point we were up for around 60-plus hours straight, never leaving the computer. We had to scale out web servers using DNS load balancing, we had to get multiple HAProxies, break tables off MySQL to their own databases, transparently shard tables, and more. This was all being done on demand, live, and usually in the middle of the night. We were very lucky that most of our layers were scalable with little or no major modifications needed. Helping us along the way was our very detailed custom server monitoring tools which allowed us to keep a very close eye on load, memory, and even provided real time usage stats on the game which helped with capacity planning. We eventually ended up with easy to launch “clusters” of our app that included NGINX, HAProxy, and Goliath servers all of which independent of everything else and when launched, increased our capacity by a constant. At this point our drawings per second were in the thousands, and traffic that looked huge a week ago was just a small bump on the current graphs.”
    (tags: scale scalability draw-something games haproxy mysql membase couchbase)

  • Scaling: It’s Not What It Used To Be : skamille’s top 5 scaling apps. “1. Redis. I was at a NoSQL meetup last night when someone asked “if you could put a million dollars behind one of the solutions presented here tonight, which one would you choose?” And the answer that one of the participants gave was “None of the above. I would choose Redis. Everyone uses one of these products and Redis.” 2. Nginx. Your ops team probably already loves it. It’s simple, it scales fabulously, and you don’t have to be a programmer to understand how to run it. 3. HAProxy. Because if you’re going to have hundreds or thousands of servers, you’d better have good load balancing. 4. Memcached. Redis can act as a cache but using a real caching product for such a purpose is probably a better call. And finally: 5. Cloud hardware. Imagine trying to grow out to millions of users if you had to buy, install, and admin every piece of hardware you would need to do such a thing.”
    (tags: scaling nginx memcached haproxy redis)

  • Clay Shirky Q&A: online creativity and intellectual property | Comment is free | : Good discussion and some great points, particularly this one for pro-copyright comments from “creative class” types: “there are few absolutes in copyright. To the question of motivation, if no copyright equaled no work, the fashion business would collapse, as their products are not covered by copyright. Money is one form of reward, but there are others (many non-fiction authors make more money doing things ancillary to their writing than they do from the writing, and then there is the explosion in labors of love), and copyright is one way to arrange the flow of money, but it’s a less good one than it used to be, because we are in an environment that makes that model of control less salient, and the other forms of reward moreso. So the logic of “It’s copyright or chaos” isn’t holding up well.”
    (tags: copyright clay-shirky the-guardian creative-commons fashion)