Early last year Don Marti forwarded an exceptionally clueless e-mail from a public relations person. His subject line said, “Bad flack! No bisquit!” I nearly died laughing, since (I hate to confess) I've done serious time as a flack myself. Since then BFNB has entered the private lexicon here at Linux Journal. And, now we'll share a few choice nuggets with the rest of you:
“If you would like to speak to __ executives about __'s future plans and how Linux 7.1 affects the Internet, network environments and the IT world...”
“__ also doesn't discriminate against computers using the Linux operating system. The __ has an open architecture, which means Linux users can customize it for their networks by loading their own proprietary software on top of __'s software.”
“I?am taking?the?liberty?of?reintroducing? you?to?__in?case?you?did?not?receive?our?previous?correspendence.?This?is ?an?excellent?opportunity?for?the?serious?investor?who,?like?us,feels? the?energy?sector?is?the?place?to?be?in?these?times?of?rising?oil?and ?gas?prices.”
“The 70s were cool. Earth, Wind and Fire, tank tops and mood rings were all the rage. Thirty years later, in 2001, the 70s remain cool. So don't throw away your old low-rider jeans, choker necklaces or mainframe computers—what's old is now cool, and it's called retro. __ lets you retro-fit your old technology into today's hippest platform.”
That last one never said a word about what __ was, or what it did. We must assume, however, that Linux was indeed the hippest platform.
I remember when some Linux geek told me about Google several years back. He said the new search engine, then in public beta, was going to kick butt because they were building it on Linux servers. I didn't believe him. At the time my preferred search engine was HotBot, which consistently outperformed all the other search engines at what I cared about most: finding documents based on text strings, some of them buried deep in a page's text. HotBot recently had supplanted AltaVista as my first-choice search engine. Before AltaVista I liked InfoSeek (I was one of those few who actually subscribed to InfoSeek's services). And before that I liked Lycos, which was still an academic project at Carnegie-Mellon. Eventually HotBot lost out to FAST, the BSD-based engine with an utterly mismatched URL: alltheweb.com. But resistance was futile. Google got me.
At first I didn't like Google because it was too simple and too insistent about knowing what I wanted. I hated that. Still do. But I came to love Google, because dammit, they did seem to know what I wanted—not always, but often enough. Now, like most of us, I hardly use anything else.
Today the other engines are also-rans. With each new step forward in functionality (image and newsgroup searches, file-type searches, additional languages), Google seems to leave the others farther and farther behind.
I hadn't spoken to the Google folks in a while, so thought I'd check in and get some specifics, including the answer to the most existential question of all: are they making money yet? So I went to my old neighbor Cindy McCaffrey, Google's vice president of marketing, who told me:
We're profitable. Advertising has been a big contributor to that profitability. Both of our ad programs (Premium Sponsorships, AdWords) are ramping up quickly. We have thousands of advertisers and have just begun expanding our advertising internationally with the opening of small ad sales offices in the UK, Japan and Germany.
This was particularly interesting to me because the ads are a lot like newspaper classifieds, which are the only form of advertising for which there is high reader demand. Like classifieds, ads on Google are unobtrusive and contain no graphics. When I asked one advertiser how well the ads work, he said, “Very well. All our advertising is on Google.” In fact, they work so well that he advertises in spite of his objection to Google's policy of seeking patents for its technologies, a practice he despises. Cindy added:
The keyword-targeted approach is working well for us. Our click-through rates average about 2+ percent, about four to five times higher than the industry average for traditional banner ads. We also offer search services to other companies such as Yahoo!, Cisco, Sony, etc.—about 130 customers in about 30 countries. The split between these two revenue sources is roughly 50/50.
It might not be a stretch to say that Google has, for many of us, become part of the web's infrastructure—its search interface. To get some sense of how far that interface reaches, I asked Cindy to send me some numbers. Here they are:
data centers: 4
Linux computers: >10,000
searches per day: >150 million
index of web pages: >1.6 billion
image base: >330 million
Usenet messages: >650 million
language subsets in the index: 28
international domain sites: 23
PDFs: >22 million
Many of those are “most on the Web”, she modestly added. But she declined to confirm the hypothesis offered by that geek who turned me on to Google in the first place: that Linux was the reason. Guess we have to draw our own conclusions.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Tech Tip: Really Simple HTTP Server with Python
- SuperTuxKart 0.9.2 Released
- Parsing an RSS News Feed with a Bash Script
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
- Google's SwiftShader Released
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide