• Making business easy

    A country's economy depends highly on how it acts as a medium for business. The World Bank just issued its report Doing Business in 2006: Creating Jobs where countries are evaluated on how they facilitate business and job market growth.

    In terms of ease of doing business, New Zealand, Singapore and the USA are top. While Ireland ranks at 11, Germany is far behind on rank 19 -- despite the claims of our politicians about how their measures are greatly fostering business.

    (via Guy Kawasaki)

  • Fishmaster

    Thanks to Tom&func=viewSubmission&sid=354 and Kluus, I just had a quite different impression from one of my favourite songs, Nightwish's "Wishmaster".

    I just watched this YouTube video from a guy that made his own video clip based on misheard lyrics of the song "Hamster -- A dentist..." I had to constrain myself so much from scaring my colleagues by rolling on the floor laughing.

  • Divide, relax and conquer

    Seemingly, Kristian Köhntopp wasn't as weary as I was today. In his (obviously german) article Leben mit Fehlern - der Schlüssel zum Scaleout ("Living with errors - the key to scale out"), he describes how to solve scalability problems by implementing software based on a service oriented architecture (SOA) and by loosening requirements.

    He explains how too much restrictions, imposed by concepts like Two-Phase Commit or ACID(Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability), can make scaling an infrastructure a difficult task. Using WEB.DE, MySQL and Amazon as examples, Kris illustrates how using an architecture that employs small distributed services as building blocks, abandoning some of those tight restrictions, and dealing with a certain level of uncertainty or inconsistency makes distributing load and gaining performance a lot easier.

    It's an article well worth reading.

  • DBD::Oracle with fast arrays

    The Oracle DBMS has powerful features for handling big arrays of data. With release 1.18, DBD::Oracle makes these features accessible from Perl DBI:

    With this release DBD::Oracle finally implements Oracle's native Array Interface. You will see very dramatic increase in speed. For example; the time for a 2 million plus insert query dropped from well over an hour to less than 10 minutes when using execute_array() and the new code.

    For documentation and downloads, go to CPAN~pythian/DBD-Oracle-1.18a/, as usual.

  • New major functions for Backpack

    There are two new major features available for Backpack that make it even more suitable for getting order in your work and private life:

    First of all, 37signals tonight finally added the long awaited calendar It's a fine addition to the already existing reminders and easy to use. Via iCal, you can connect it to the calendar software on your desktop. Of course it totally fits into the whole "less is more" mantra of 37signals, so don't expect all the bells and whistles of other calendar software.

    Furthermore, celltell now offers voiceNote for Backpack You start by registering up to three originating phone numbers (e.g. your home and mobile number) and the email address of one of your Backpack pages. In return, you get a voiceNote phone number. voiceNote then records every call you make from one of these phones to the voiceNote number and sends the recorded message to Backpack where you can retrieve the sound file later. In other words, your phone and voiceNote for Backpack combined make some kind of networked dictaphone.

    Backpack has already been a great tool for organizing tasks and information so far, but these two additions make it even better. From Germany, I won't be able to use voiceNote (except if I used SkypeOut), but I'll definitely have a look at the calendar.