The Lumber Room

"Consign them to dust and damp by way of preserving them"

Posts Tagged ‘video


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Surely the most brilliant sketch ever, if not the funniest:

It’s from the BBC show The Two Ronnies, by Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett. It’s probably their most famous sketch after Four Candles.
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Written by S

Sun, 2010-02-07 at 18:51:26

Posted in entertainment, Uncategorized

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Google Talk and scalability

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A talk here by a Google Talk guy:

I didn’t pay close attention, but some things caught my notice.

Google Talk started as a standalone application and became embeddable in Gmail, Orkut, iGoogle (the personalised homepage), usable from cellphones, and so on. This is no mean feat, and shows that modularity and reusability are not unattainable ideals.

It also has important lessons in scalability. Questions like “how many IM messages do you deliver?” or “how many users do you have?” might be relevant from the perspective of the product’s success, but they are not the right measure from an engineering perspective. Most of the packets on the network are presence packets, and this is the number of users × the number of buddies they have, which does not grow linearly with the number of users (think integration into Orkut).

Before deploying into Orkut, they did real-life load testing with a “backend launch” — Orkut started fetching presence status from Google Talk several weeks before launch (starting slowly from 1% of Orkut page views), without showing anything in the UI. With enough confidence and some bugs fixed, the integration was finally made visible. They did something similar with Gmail.

Sharding and re-sharding: Different users are allocated to different servers, and this can be changed easily too.

Modularity etc: Different parts (like Orkut and Gmail) know very little about each other, and interact using the same interface that the rest of the world uses, so one can be changed easily without affecting the other.

Not afraid of going low-level (TCP, epoll kernel calls, etc!)

Written by S

Fri, 2008-01-25 at 00:04:02

Posted in Uncategorized

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Biovisions at Harvard: The Inner Life of a Cell

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Old news, but I was just digging up old files (specifically, I was going through my music collection, and found this mp3 file I had ripped from):
This stunning, breathtaking, enchanting animation (or here). The music is great too, but I have not been able to find out what it is see below.

The animation was created by a company called XVIVO, commissioned by Harvard University’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. (Look here.) Also look at XVIVO’s site, for stuff like this.

An article here. An interview here:

We had to figure out how to take a cell that is so packed with molecules and to edit out visually about 90 to 95 percent of those molecules.

The entire video depicts what goes on inside one white blood cell

a cellular-motility theme and what happens to a white blood cell patrolling the capillary when there’s an inflammation outside the capillary

The full 8-minute video, with explanation, is here. Scroll down on the main page and look at some other (less polished) animations too.

Oh, and David Bolinsky, one of the founders of XVIVO, gave a talk at TED.

Update: I finally know what the music is, thanks to (of all places) a YouTube comment. It was composed by the company Massive Productions, specifically Matt Berkey. This music won an award (no surprise), a 2006 Telly award for Best Music Composition for a Non-Broadcast Film or Video. (Click here and scroll down, or look here.) Further Google-searching after knowing this led to this guy, who has been similarly interested. There’s a link on that post to here, which has a ripped-from-Youtube version of it. He contacted the composer and got a response (the music was available for $25), and an ad-filled mp3 of the song, and, in one of the comments, a higher-quality rip.

Written by S

Tue, 2007-10-09 at 00:36:46