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Archive for October, 2008

This is the money being made TODAY in Open Source

There is a lot of money being made in Open Source, although the profitable companies are not always the ones you would expect.

While many companies don’t disclose detailed financial information we have dug around to find numbers for some well-known open source companies and projects to see how they are doing financially.

We start with perhaps the most famous of them all…

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Stock exchange

The recent world-wide financial chaos has reminded us how sensitive the stock market is, with sharp up- and downturns. Now imagine the reaction of the stock traders if they couldn’t trade at all. It doesn’t happen very often, but it does happen.

Stock exchanges usually have strict SLAs and high demands on availability, but they can’t completely avoid downtime. We have gathered up some of the major stock exchange outages that have occurred so far this decade (i.e. since 2000 and onward) and listed when and why they happened.

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Baidu unavailable for 5 hours and counting

Baidu, which is China’s equivalent to Google, has been unavailable since 09:50 this morning, Central European Time. That is more than five hours and counting as of this writing.

The problem might be related to the so-called Great Firewall of China, since it seems like the website is accessible from within China (we performed a test with a proxy server located within China). However, none of the Pingdom test servers in Europe or North America are able to access the site.

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Technical difficulties for, arguably the world’s most famous dating website, was unavailable for more than one-and-a-half hours yesterday. The downtime started at 08:02 in the morning, Central European Time, and lasted exactly one hour and 37 minutes according to our monitoring of the website.

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12 luxurious designer computers (that will kill your wallet)

Some of the luxury computers out there have designs that are quite extreme, and some even put Apple to shame when it comes to elegance. These computers are made with expensive materials, bling, strange shapes, and prices ranging from expensive to insane.

If you fancy paying up to a million dollars for a luxury computer, here you go! The rest of us will probably just enjoy looking at the pictures. :)

And yes, one of the computers in this post actually does cost a million US dollars. Ouch…

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The technical challenges facing Google

Jeff Dean from Google recently held a lecture at the University of Washington which is highly interesting to anyone curious about the current and future challenges that face companies that operate computing on such a large scale as Google. And of course, it will give you some nice insights into how Google does things.

Since this is from Google’s perspective there are also several aspects specific to search companies, SaaS and distributed computing. It’s a very interesting lecture, easy to follow and well worth the time (it runs almost exactly an hour). You can download it or stream it from here.

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16 geeky pumpkin designs for Halloween

It’s not exactly a big secret that we here at Pingdom are complete and utter geeks (which we freely admit). That’s why we love what we’ve seen in the way of pumpkin designs now that Halloween is around the corner. There are pumpkins designed as robots, computers, nice IT logos, gaming icons and more.

We have collected some of them in this post. Let your inner geek loose and keep reading. :)

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Are one third of all domain names owned by speculators?

The domain name market is often likened to the real estate market, and a significant share of all domain names out there have been bought by people hoping to later sell them on for a greater price than what they paid for them.

The question is, how many of today’s domain names are actually held by domain name speculators?

Verisign is the registry handling the .com and .net top level domains, and they recently released statistics that can help us shed some light on this question.

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A visual history of 11 successful blogs

Many of the blogs that have a huge following today go back to much more humble beginnings. This post is a look at how they got started and what they looked like in their early days, compared to today.

All of the websites presented below are among the 15 most popular blogs according to Technorati. We relied on the Internet Archive to get screenshots of the old versions of these websites.

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Microsoft’s PR department LOVES the recent Gmail outages

It has been widely reported that Google’s Gmail has been having problems lately. Now it seems like Microsoft perhaps had a hand in spreading the news coverage, fanning the flames a bit.

Here is a quote from an InformationWeek article about the recent Gmail outages:

That didn’t stop a Microsoft spokesperson from reaching out to me to make sure I was aware of the current Google Apps problems. The spokesperson said to me in an e-mail, “The Gmail outage was reported (and buried) on a discussion board yesterday and a solution is expected (but not promised) by EOD today — 24 hrs later.”

He implied that the story wasn’t getting the press that it should.

So, basically, Microsoft’s PR people are trying to make sure that Google’s trouble gets as much attention as possible.

We were curious if this happens a lot. Do companies often contact journalists to point out the failings of their competitors?

We fired off this question to Eric Zeman, the journalist at InformationWeek who wrote the article we quoted from above, and here is what he told us:

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