An appreciation: Dave Alvin remembers Johnny Otis:
He was a huge force in R&B on the West Coast and in the Southwest, from Central Avenue in L.A. to Houston and Memphis. In his way, Johnny was as important as [Sun Records founder] Sam Phillips or [Chess Records co-founder] Leonard Chess in discovering new talent, both as a bandleader but also as a record producer — everyone from Little Esther to Johnny Ace to Little Richard to Big Mama Thornton and so many more.
Not only was his music a gigantic influence on me, his political and sociological views always forced me to think outside the box. While I didn’t agree with everything he said, I agreed with a lot of it.
Johnny Otis made me think while I was rocking. Not many artists can do that.
Damn. This is really sad.
Etta James, Singer, Dies at 73:
Etta James, whose powerful, versatile and emotionally direct voice could enliven the raunchiest blues as well as the subtlest love songs, most indelibly in her signature hit, “At Last,” died Friday morning in Riverside, Calif. She was 73.
What Happened to all the Snow? – NASA Science:
First of all,” he explains, “we are experiencing a La Niña pattern of sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. This pushes the jet stream and the cold arctic air northward.”
“On top of that, this year’s Arctic Oscillation has been stronger.”
The Arctic Oscillation is a see-sawing pressure difference between the Arctic and lower latitudes. When the pressure difference is high, a whirlpool of air forms around the North Pole. Last year, the whirlpool motion was weaker, allowing cold air to escape from the polar regions and head southward to the US.
“This year the whirlpool has been more forceful, corralling the cold air and keeping it nearer the pole. That has reinforced the La Niña impact.”
Source: Lennard Zinn
OmniTI ~ Seeds ~ Winter ~ 2012:
It’s not that switching to NoSQL is a bad idea necessarily; there are some things that RDBMS software can’t do as well as a more dedicated solution. But, if you think that switching to NoSQL will just let you hand-wave away all of the challenges of running a database, you are terribly misguided. If you’re a DBA and you are worried about a future with NoSQL, take heart; study your product less and focus on these key architectural design points more. Those skills are critical now, and they will remain so in the future, NoSQL or not.
Amazon DynamoDB: First Look:
NoSQL has, as a category, crossed the chasm from interesting science project to alternative data persistence mechanism. But while NoSQL tools like Cassandra and Riak are available in managed form via providers like Joyent and Heroku, DynamoDB is, in Popescu’s words: “the first managed NoSQL databases that auto-shards.”
It is also possible that SSD pricing contributed directly to the launch timing, with pricing for the drive type down to levels where the economics of a low cost shared service finally make sense.
One underdiscussed aspect to the Dynamo launch is the underlying physical infrastructure, which consists solely of SSDs. This is likely one of the major contributing factors to the performance of the system, and in some cases will be another incentive to use Amazon’s platform as many traditional datacenters will not have equivalent SSD hardware available to them.