Toward Higher Precision

An introduction to PTP and its significance to NTP practitioners


It is difficult to overstate the importance of synchronized time to modern computer systems. Our lives today depend on the financial transactions, telecommunications, power generation and delivery, high-speed manufacturing, and discoveries in “big physics,” among many other things, that are driven by fast, powerful computing devices coordinated in time with each other.



Principles of Robust Timing over the Internet

The One-second War (What Time Will You Die?)

Modern Performance Monitoring


Fault Injection in Production

Making the case for resilience testing


When we build Web infrastructures at Etsy, we aim to make them resilient. This means designing them carefully so that they can sustain their (increasingly critical) operations in the face of failure. Thankfully, there have been a couple of decades and reams of paper spent on researching how fault tolerance and graceful degradation can be brought to computer systems. That helps the cause.



A Conversation with Steve Bourne, Eric Allman, and Bryan Cantrill

Black Box Debugging

Too Darned Big to Test

ACM Learning Webinar – Recommender Systems: The Power of Personalization

Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 12:00 PM EDT/11:00 AM CDT/9:00 AM PDT/4:00 PM UTC

Personalization is the key to helping guide users through the morass of available choices to the products and information they seek. Industry leaders such as, Microsoft, Google, and E-Bay have long used recommender systems to improve their offerings and better serve their customers. But recommender systems aren’t limited to big technology firms—they’ve been widely used by small information providers, retailers, and service firms.

This webinar provides an introduction to recommender systems, describing the different types of recommendation technologies available and how they are used in different applications today.

What You’ll Learn About:

  • What are recommender systems and how are they used today?
  • The different types of recommender systems:

o content-based vs. collaborative recommendation o ephemeral vs. persistent personalization

  • User profiles, site logs, and the information used in recommendation
  • An introduction to the basic technology of recommendation
  • Pointers to resources for further learning

A Generation Lost in the Bazaar

Quality happens only when someone is responsible for it.


Thirteen years ago, Eric Raymond’s book The Cathedral and the Bazaar (O’Reilly Media, 2001) redefined our vocabulary and all but promised an end to the waterfall model and big software companies, thanks to the new grass-roots open source software development movement. I found the book thought provoking, but it did not convince me. On the other hand, being deeply involved in open source, I couldn’t help but think that it would be nice if he was right.


Open vs. Closed: Which Source is More Secure?

The Hyperdimensional Tar Pit

Broken Builds

Can More Code Mean Fewer Bugs?

The bytes you save today may bite you tomorrow.


Dear KV,

One of the coders I work with keeps removing my calls to system()from my code, insisting that it’s better to write code that does the work that I’m doing via the shell. He keeps saying that it’s far safer to code using the language we’re using than to call out to the shell to get this work done. I would believe that if he didn’t add 10 to 20 lines of code just to do what I do in one line with system(). How can increasing the number of lines of code decrease the number of bugs?

Happy with the One Liner