Friday, August 02, 2013

"bike-shedding" law of triviality

Parkinson's law of triviality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"Parkinson's law of triviality, also known as bikeshedding or the bicycle-shed example, is C. Northcote Parkinson's 1957 argument that organizations give disproportionate weight to trivial issues. Parkinson demonstrated this by contrasting the triviality of the cost of building a bike shed to an atomic reactor. The law has been applied to software development[1] and other activities."

Example of a committee's deliberations on an atomic reactor, contrasting it to deliberations on a bicycle shed. As he put it: "The time spent on any item of the agenda will be in inverse proportion to the sum [of money] involved." 
  • A reactor is used because it is so vastly expensive and complicated that an average person cannot understand it, so one assumes that those that work on it understand it.
  • On the other hand, everyone can visualize a cheap, simple bicycle shed, so planning one can result in endless discussions because everyone involved wants to add a touch and show personal contribution

"NewSQL", MemSQL vs "NoSQL"

Ex-Facebookers Feed Zuck's Code Into New Data Revolution | Wired Enterprise |
"“NewSQL” database. Like the NoSQL databases, he says, it scales across many machines, but unlike those older creations, it lets you query your data with tried-and-true SQL, and it provides the consistency you need for transactional applications — or at least some of them. "

MemSQL offers what’s called an “in-memory database.” Much like a Facebook creation known as Scuba, it spreads information across the memory systems inside dozens of computer servers, bypassing the (much slower) hard disks that traditionally house the world’s information. The end result is a system that lets you retrieve and analyze data at unusually high speeds.

The idea of a database that runs in computer memory is hardly new. TimesTen, an in-memory database offered by software giant Oracle, dates back to the mid-1990s. But as Frenkiel explains, MemSQL represents a new breed of in-memory database — an in-memory database specifically designed to operate across a large number of machines.

IBM / InfoQ: "Code Rally"

Code Rally

"Code Rally is a fun, social, and unique car racing game based on concepts from artificial intelligence. It challenges your abilities to think ahead and manipulate controls on your vehicle to win the game against your fellow racers.IBM has partnered with InfoQ to create "The Code Rally Challenge", a multi-stage contest where participants with the fastest race times can win great prizes, including one of four Google Nexus tablets and an Alienware gaming laptop"