Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category
These are my notes for a short talk that I’m giving today on how to design a web app for scale. My apologies if the ideas aren’t completely well thought out.
Caveat: I have quite a bit of experience with building large-scale web sites. Some might call me an expert. I suppose I have some expertise because I’ve been doing this a long time and have worked on some pretty big sites. But, there are more superior experts that I…that is, there is an entire Order of Magnitude larger scale which I have never worked with previously. For example, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Bing, etc.
If you have other suggestions or comments on how to scale, please leave them in the comments.
Microsoft has engaged in talks with media companies for a new subscription-based online TV service, one which could allow consumers to access individual channels such as HBO and Showtime…essentially allowing consumers to “cut the cord” on their existing cable company [via the Xbox]
Following up on my ideas about how Microsoft could revolutionize TV with the Xbox…
Something I didn’t say in that post, was that the Xbox would also need to provide DVR (i.e. Tivo-like) capabilities. Technically this is not an issue, and cost-wise it might add another $50. Honestly, it blows my mind that the Xbox doesn’t already have this baked in.
Last night, I was over at my brother-in-law’s house, and he was showing me his brand new video setup. His setup is awesome, but it is also mind-blowingly complicated. And, it’s all Microsoft products, to boot! Read the rest of this entry »
A quick missive on Microsoft…
People are talking about the Goldman Sachs report on Microsoft. Long story short, Goldman says that something needs to change at Microsoft.
The original mantra of Microsoft was “a computer on every desktop”. That goal has been achieved. What’s next?
In my view, it should be “a computer on every set top“.
My grandfather is 94-years old. (Actually, 94 1/2, but he doesn’t think he should start counting halves again until he’s 95.) He’s lost a step, but his mind is sharp as a tack. As he often says, “if I knew I was going to live so long, I would have taken better care of myself”.
The really sad thing, though, is that he’s losing is vision.
Losing one of your only five senses is tragic regardless, but the vision is especially difficult because my grandfather is a reader. A Reader with a capital R. That man reads everything. Literally, everything, down to labels on the ketchup bottle at a restaurant.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Google lately, or more specifically GOOG. I would be interested in knowing your thoughts…leave them in the comments.
As I understand it, the hottest things in technology these days (besides lolcats) are mobile and social (and geo-location, but humor me and ignore that).
With respect to mobile, primarily the battle is between Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. I see a lot of analogy between Google and Apple at present with mobile operating systems, and Microsoft and Apple about 20 years ago with desktop operating systems.
Last week I promised you some data about why reducing HTTP requests the most important thing for improving page load speed.
- Shopzilla: reduced page load time by 3.5 seconds and all sorts of good things happened…the highlights: conversion increased by 7%, page views by 25% (1)
- AOL: 3x improvements in page views per visit based on page load times (1)
- Google and Bing: increasing page load time by as little as 200 milliseconds causes measurable declines in usage (1)
- Google Maps: decreasing page size by 20-30% resulted in 10% increase in traffic (2)
- Amazon: increasing page load time by 100 milliseconds decreases conversion by 1% (2)
The data shows unequivocally that reducing HTTP requests is really important for improving site performance and key business metrics. And, I would argue, that 75% of developers think this type of work is a lot of fun. So, here’s the funny thing about this: why can’t business people and technology people get aligned?
I’ve read in many places that the number important thing for improving page load time is to reduce HTTP requests on a page. However, sometimes people say if you set an Expires header far in the future it doesn’t matter because it will be in the browser cache.
I wanted to be sure I understood how the Expires header in the future worked because at CheezHQ we’ve been discussing how aggressive we should be with images sprites. As part of my research, I found this performance research from Yahoo:
40-60% of Yahoo!’s users have an empty cache experience and ~20% of all page views are done with an empty cache. To my knowledge, there’s no other research that shows this kind of information. And I don’t know about you, but these results came to us as a big surprise. It says that even if your assets are optimized for maximum caching, there are a significant number of users that will always have an empty cache. This goes back to the earlier point that reducing the number of HTTP requests has the biggest impact on reducing response time. The percentage of users with an empty cache for different web pages may vary, especially for pages with a high number of active (daily) users. However, we found in our study that regardless of usage patterns, the percentage of page views with an empty cache is always ~20%.
The money graph, as they say, is:
All that being said, when someone asks me, “Should I attend SXSW?” I tell them this: the sessions will be valuable and interesting, some better than others. But to get the most out of it, you have to go there with people in mind. If you’re willing to be social and friendly, to stick your hand out and introduce yourself, and focus on developing relationships as opposed to developing business, then you’ll come home with something money can’t buy.