Instagram & Big Data

This is still controversial stuff. But the controversy should focus more on large companies’ access to, ownership of, and sales plans for big bunches of data blobs that encapsulate how we the users are attractive to advertisers. […]

Put another way, the Advertising department has a lot of money to spend; the Photo department does not.

We value your opinionNeven Mrgan

All work and no play makes for some interesting commit messages

Looks like Nacin could do with some sleep after 3.5 is out:

A neditor is a curious multi-celled organism found deep in the Content Management System “WordPress”. It generally subsides on good content. It has an obsession with retina-quality graphical elements, and also has a strong affinity for puns. Occasionally, ACCIDENTAL CAPS LOCK occurs. Some organisms carry British accents; these are prone to changing state but then reverting to their previous state soon after. One has shown superior sleuthing abilities, despite having hardly left its Uni laboratory. Organisms from Australia are usually found deeper in the Content Management System, most of its energy spent on locomotion.

The attitude of a neditor is best described as cranky optimism. Younger organisms are more eager, but quickly tire after working on little sleep. They eventually evolve into the cranky optimism stage in a process that generally takes three to five months.

WordPress commit message, Andrew Nacin

Spend smart, spend less

Ars Technica is running a great series on the rival US election campaign’s digital operations. The latest looks at the Obama campaign spending, which shows that they spent $14.5m less than the Republican campaign with an in-house team who seemingly did a lot more, opposed to Romney who heavily outsourced.

It features an interview with the campaigns lead DevOps:

We were technology agnostic, and used the right technology for the right purpose, Someone counted nearly 10 distinct DBMS/NoSQL systems, and we wrote something like 200 apps in Python, Ruby, PHP, Java, and Node.js.

Campaigns are serious tests of your creativity and foresight, They are unpredictable, agile, and short—an 18 month, $1 billion, essentially disposable organization. Hackers can thrive in an environment like that, to a point where I’m not sure anyone else really can. Everything is over far too quickly to get boring.

How Team Obama’s tech efficiency left Romney IT in dust – Scott VanDenPlas, lead DevOps for Obama for America.

The article is a bit of an alphabet soup of technologies and services. But it shows that using the right tool for the job, whatever the language, with some good DevOps can scale and win.