Links for 2012-09-15

  • Spanner: Google’s Globally-Distributed Database [PDF]

    Abstract: Spanner is Google’s scalable, multi-version, globally-distributed, and synchronously-replicated database. It is the first system to distribute data at global scale and support externally-consistent distributed transactions. This paper describes how Spanner is structured, its feature set, the rationale underlying various design decisions, and a novel time API that exposes clock uncertainty. This API and its implementation are critical to supporting external consistency and a variety of powerful features: non-blocking reads in the past, lock-free read-only transactions, and atomic schema changes, across all of Spanner. To appear in: OSDI’12: Tenth Symposium on Operating System Design and Implementation, Hollywood, CA, October, 2012.

    (tags: database distributed google papers toread pdf scalability distcomp transactions cap consistency)

  • NCBI ROFL: Probably the most horrifying scientific lecture ever

    In 1983, at the Urodynamics Society meeting in Las Vegas, Professor G.S. Brindley first announced to the world his experiments on self-injection with papaverine to induce a penile erection. This was the first time that an effective medical therapy for erectile dysfunction (ED) was described, and was a historic development in the management of ED. The way in which this information was first reported was completely unique and memorable, and provides an interesting context for the development of therapies for ED. I was present at this extraordinary lecture, and the details are worth sharing. Although this lecture was given more than 20 years ago, the details have remained fresh in my mind, for reasons which will become obvious.
    Go on, guess.

    (tags: medicine science funny erectile-dysfunction omgwtf conferences)

  • Yuri Suzuki: London Underground circuit map radio

    Japanese designer yuri suzuki has sent designboom images of his ‘london underground circuit maps’ project developed as part of the designers in residence program at the london design museum, on show until january 13th, 2013. responding to ‘thrift’ as a theme, suzuki’s work explores communication systems in consumer electronics. a printed circuit board (PCB) is used as a precedent for developing a electrical circuit influenced by harry beck’s iconic london underground map diagrams. by strategically positioning certain speaker, resistor and battery components throughout the map, users can visually understand the complex networks associated with electricity and how power is generated within a radio.
    Beautifully done (via jwz.)

    (tags: electronics london art design underground travel yuri-suzuki circuitry)

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