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Comment Re:Google App Engine (Score 1) 442

Are you serious? Do you really think that the Windows platform can't scale to handle a few million users and a few million hits/day? Depending on how CPU and database intensive his app is, it's likely that he could scale that far on a single physical server. 8 cores + 8GB of RAM will take you far, even on Microsoft.

Appengine lets someone who'se never heard of load-balancing or database replication do the Royal Wedding website:
If you're telling me you'd be comfortable hosting that on a Windows VM... well, let's just say you wouldn't have enjoyed the day much!

We have no idea what this guy is building, but needing that sort of scalability is not unheard of. I myself have a neat application that could conceivably be mentioned on Oprah, and if it happens I'll be popping champagne corks instead of bloodvessels - I'm on Appengine.

Comment Re:Google App Engine (Score 1) 442

You're me three years ago - a developer with a cool idea, and not a sysadmin. I chose Appengine then, which was sticking my neck out because it was so new, but I haven't regretted it once and would STRONGLY recommend you go the same way.

Be careful of advice from sysadmins - they will ridicule the idea of trusting your app/data to anyone else, without any measurable metrics comparing risks of local versus cloud systems. They'll tell you scaling is easy, and redundancy a solved problem, without telling you how much you have to spend to solve it. Basically, their advice is coloured by PaaS platforms threatening their livelihood. I see it this way - when something breaks (and it always does), would you rather be reliant on the sysadmin you hired, or Google's finest?

I would not put all my eggs in Microsoft's basket at this stage, despite your familiarity with their toolchain. Azure is very new, and I wouldn't trust Microsoft's engineering or ethics enough to bet my business on them. Don't let Python scare you - I learned it so I could use Appengine, and it is the most beautiful language I've ever had the pleasure to use - productive and pretty much self-documenting. You'll be amazed how quickly you get up to speed.

Appengine is reasonably mature now, and is REALLY scalable. Not "oh dear, time to spin up another instance but what about the database" scalable; but "royal wedding website" scalable (yes, that was built on Appengine).

Lastly, good luck. I built a $2M business in those three years, and that decision to go with Appengine played a large part in that success.

Comment Good News! (Score 1) 673

Here in New Zealand, it's nearly twelve hours AFTER zero hour and somehow most of us managed to survive. In fact I must admit I slept through the apocalypse at 6am - is that very bad of me?

Very few people seem to have disappeared skyward either, but perhaps we're a particularly godless nation.

Submission + - Godaddy Kills Elephant - and His Business (

foxylad writes: Bob Parsons, flamboyant founder of domain name registrar, has posted a sickening video of himself shooting an elephant in Zimbabwe. Killing a protected species in one of the most corrupt countries in the world is going to have serious ramifications for his business.

I have long been sick of Godaddy's ridiculous level of upselling and the excruciating domain management interface, but this incident has finally stirred me into action — my domains are transferring as I type this, and I urge you to consider doing the same.

(In case you are concerned that transferring will impact active domains, you can avoid this by first switching your nameservers, and then transferring your domains. Many registrars offer free nameservers while you do this.)

Submission + - Domain Registrars with Usable Interfaces? 2

foxylad writes: I had to update a domain name setting this morning, on GoDaddy. You expect insane amounts of marketing fluff on public pages, but even after logging in I was fighting through 500MB pages full of plaintive attempts to upsell me. Even without the marketing, the interface would be practically unusable — it took four clicks through hidden menus and obscure links to actually get to the control panel. I logged a support ticket about this state of affairs, and received a "sorry you feel that way" reply. So long, GoDaddy.

Can you recommend a registrar with good DNS hosting and a sane control panel? To keep this objective, please no responses from registrars themselves, or people with affiliate links.

Comment Re:As a Conservative... (Score 1) 810

Sorry, got to pull you up on that one... say the US does have "ops aimed at disabling the Iranian nuclear program". On exactly who's authority is it doing that? Assuming you're from the US, in theory it is on YOUR authority - and don't you think you're entitled to know what your country is doing on your authority?

Most countries don't do stuff like this. Not because they aren't the most powerful country in the world (and the US better not count on relying on that defence much longer), but because they understand their duty to protect their citizens' rights does not give them the right to trample over the citizens of other countries.

Bonus questions:

1. What if Iran had ops aimed at disabling the US nuclear program? Careful you don't descend into "my sovereign state is better than your sovereign state because we're good (TM) and you're bad (TM)" arguments here.

2. If mounting ops against other countries' nuclear programs is a legitimate way of reducing the risk of a nuclear exchange, why didn't the US disable Israel's nuclear program? That would have totally removed Iran's motivation, and actually would have made the world a safer place.

3. How happy are you with your governments' efforts to disable Iraq's nuclear program? That was after all the pretext they used to invade Iraq. One might argue that tens of thousands of lives/trillions of dollars/the US economy would have been saved if a whistle-blower had released cables showing absolutely no evidence of weapons of mass destruction on the eve of that war.

So yes, I DO think citizens have a right to know what their government does in their name, and I think the world would be a better place if Americans started demanding this right too. I can't believe you guys almost impeached Clinton for a blowjob, but Bush/Cheney got off scott free for taking your country to war on completely fabricated pretences.

Comment You're slowing down, Slashdot! (Score 5, Funny) 481

59 comments and no-one has traced Zsfgseg yet?

In the good old days we'd have posted his ip address, phone number, physical address and his mother's maiden name by comment 20. Comment 32 would detail how his PC was cracked and display images of the nong via his webcam. By comment 50, his bank account would have been emptied, citizenship revoked, and 2,500 pizzas would be arriving at his door.

Comment Re:Python on Appengine (Score 1) 897

So Kernighan and Ritchie forcing you to use curly braces (and all those semicolons!) is fine, but van Rossum forcing you to indent isn't. My original point was that we all indent anyway, so to me that seems the more logical way of marking blocks.

I'm sorry you felt insulted; I guess I'm not going to sway you over to python, and you're not going to sway me back to c (except where performance is critical, when I'll happily concede it is far superior). Maybe we can agree that we each find beauty in these languages, but that like human beauty, it very much depends on the beholder.

Kind regards to you too.

Comment Re:Python on Appengine (Score 1) 897

{{{OK guys}{I think we DO need to get off his lawn}}{{He seems to be either {{the only developer in the world who doesn't indent his code}and{is so threatened by lack of braces that he never tries anything without them}}or{a troll {going on his mad contention that Python is a clone of c without braces}}}}{{Shame really}{another good developer doomed to PHP{now THERE is a c-clone{{Oooops}now he's got me trolling too!}}}}}}

Comment Re:Python on Appengine (Score 1) 897

Well it's a funny thing about those Nazi indents. Every developer I've ever known has indented their code with a fervour Hitler himself would have commended - despite not strictly needing to!

Why? Because indents turn out to be the most intuitive way for humans to parse blocks - certainly more intuitive than curly braces. So if you're going to do it so YOU can understand your code, why not make the machine understand it the same way?

I do understand about your beautiful lawn, because I have a nice one myself (having coded in c for twenty years). But if you can overcome your discomfort for an hour or two while you explore Python, I think you'll be very pleasantly surprised. The indentation is a very minor part of the elegance of this language. At the end of the day, the important thing for me is that I'm many times more productive than I was in c, and returning to old python code is a pleasure instead of a challenge.

Comment Python on Appengine (Score 1) 897

Python is a beautiful language - concise, productive and virtually self-documenting. And Appengine is the future of web app development - scalability and system administration suddenly become Google's problem, and I'm not delusional enough to believe I can do either of those better than them. If your app hits the big time overnight, you're popping champagne corks - not blood vessels. Likewise the vulnerability du jour doesn't have you scrambling to patch all your systems. Bottom line you spend your all time writing beautiful python code, instead of spending half of it managing systems.

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