Thursday, August 16, 2007

Google expanding in Kirkland

As mentioned today in the Seattle Times, Google has signed a lease to occupy a new three-building office campus in Kirkland just down the street from our current offices. At 180,000 square feet, this will provide a lot of much-needed space as we grow our staff from the current 400+ employees to the goal of "several thousand". No word yet on whether the Kirkland campus will feature a Tyrannosaurus skeleton.

Update: Another story, with pictures, in the Seattle P-I.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Lessons Learned: Google Tech Talk on Building Scalable Systems

Reza Behforooz, tech lead for the Google Talk service, recently gave a presentation at a Google-sponsored scalability conference in Seattle. In his talk, Reza discussed many of the challenges involved with running a large-scale service, and how Google Talk has addressed these problems. While it doesn't give away all the secrets, the presentation does provide valuable insight into the Google Talk service architecture.

It's also interesting to note that many of the methods used to scale the Google Talk service to millions of online users were the same ones used at AOL to scale up the AIM service. There are a number of minor architectural differences between the two systems (XML vs binary protocol, gatewayed connection to presence server vs direct, for starters), but the essentials are very similar.

You can watch the full talk with Q&A below, or if you'd rather just read the highlights, check out Dare Obasanjo's notes from the conference.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Random IM of the Week

In my work on AIM and Google Talk, I get a lot of random people sending me messages. Some of the IMs are funny, some are bizarre, and more than a few are social engineering attempts. But one conversation I had last week was sufficiently random to be worth sharing.
sender: sir
sender: please cancel your hamburger
sender: ive asked you twice sir
me: cancel
sender: sir
sender: dont play games with me
sender: have you cancelled your hamburger?
me: it was a cheeseburger
sender: sir that will not do
sender: cancel your hamburger now
me: can it be a double hamburger?
sender: yes sir the more the merrier
sender: sir cancel it
me: ok cancel my double hamburger then.
sender: ASAP
sender: sir i cannot cancel it for you
sender: it is YOUR hamburger
sender: you must do it
me: ok. cancelled.
sender: sir you and i both know much more effort is required a double hamburger
sender: please refrain from playing games
sender: sir
me: right. my mistake. cancelled cancelled.
sender: sir
sender: please refrain
sender: control yourself
sender: no need to yell
sender: calm down
sender: im willing to negotiate
sender: sir?
sender: sir if you do not respond your are terminated i hope you realize
sender: terminated sir
me: my hamburger will be terminated?
sender: no you sir will be terminated
sender: sir
sender: you are terminated due to lack of balls
sender has signed off.
me: but what about the hamburger?