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Archive for June, 2009

The iPhone 3.0 update is almost here now. One of the features that we and many others have been looking forward to the most is the new push notification service from Apple. We are also curious about how reliable push notifications will be.

Why do we wonder about reliability? Because push notifications are sent from third-party servers to Apple’s servers, and then on to your iPhone.

In short: Apple becomes a single point of failure since it acts as a go-between for all push notifications.

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For decades, supercomputers have helped scientists perform calculations that would not have been possible on regular computers of that time. Not only has the construction of supercomputers helped push the envolope of what is possible within the computing field, but the calculations supercomputers have performed for us have helped further both science and technology, and ultimately our lives.

This post pays tribute to some of the most powerful supercomputers the world has seen, all the way from the 1970s until today.

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The technological world we live in is often more sensitive to disruptions than people care to admit. We have often written about various kinds of incidents and outages on the Internet, as well as the occasional blackout and software bug. After all, via our uptime monitoring service we deal with downtime-related issues every single day, so it’s a fascinating subject to us.

This is a set of articles that all show Murphy’s Law in action. If things can go wrong, they will. Pretty much nothing is safe from Mr. Murphy…

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A visual explanation of how DNS lookups work

Most reasonably technical Internet users have a pretty good idea what DNS is, but what actually happens when you look up a domain name is not always so clear. For those of you who are a bit uncertain of how it works (or just like geeky server charts), we found an excellent picture describing the chain of events of a DNS lookup.

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Here’s some interesting news for all you webmasters and web developers out there. Google has just introduced a tool they call Page Speed that tests a web page based on a set of rules and best practices for fast-loading websites. It then gives you advice on what you can improve to make your website faster. It works as an add-on to Firefox and needs the Firebug extension to work.

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Verisign publishes a quarterly report about the domain name industry called The Domain Name Industry Brief. The latest report, summing up Q1 2009, was just released.

Since there is always a lot of data in these reports to mull through, we decided to pick out what we think are some of the more interesting facts and figures and sum them up in this article.

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Is Microsoft’s Bing a raving success in Australia?

Microsoft’s new search engine Bing has been getting some serious buzz lately. We thought it would be interesting to see where in the world it’s been the most popular so far.

To get an idea of this, we used Google stats (oh, the irony) to see the popularity of the search term “Bing” in the last 30 days. Since it’s a pretty common word, we restricted our lookup to include only the “computers & electronics” category to get around this (in Google Insights for Search). No Sopranos references should have snuck in…

What we found was, at least to us here at the Pingdom office, a wee bit surprising.

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A look inside the fastest supercomputer in Europe

What is now the fastest supercomputer in Europe was recently unveiled at a research institute in Jülich, Germany. The computer, named Jugene, is capable of a massive one trillion computing operations per second.

Here is a look at what makes Jugene tick, including pictures of its installation.

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While we like to look forward, sometimes a trip down memory lane can be just as interesting. It doesn’t just give perspective on how far we have come, it also shows us the enormous potential for the future.

We’ve had our shares of retrospectives on this blog, and many of them have dealt with different aspects of how the Web has grown from being just a small project at CERN in the early 90s to the overwhelmingly popular place it is today.

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