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Showing posts from 2012

Baldur's Gate and Fourteen Years of Data Inflation

Often when you read an article or listen to some TV program mentioning some amount of money significantly in the past, they will often give a separate amount in “today’s dollars”. That is, since the value of the dollar decreases (usually) over time (inflation), how many dollars would we need today to have the same value? Such “adjusted for inflation” amounts are often provided in order to give a better perspective to a modern listener or viewer just how much value a given amount of money had back then to society.

What we don’t see often though (I have never seen this actually), is an “adjusted for inflation” value when talking about data sizes of the past. Referencing the double density floppy disk as holding 1.44MB has sounded abysmally small for the past decade. However, when they were released back in the 80’s, this was not the case. I remember a tech teacher of mine saying that when he first got his 3.5 inch floppy drive and disk, the question that came to his mind was “how on Eart…

Steam Pushes Over 3/4 of a Terabit on Their CDN

The Steam Summer Sale is upon us once again. I, like many Steam users, look forward to these seasonal events. Unlike most Steam users though (I assume), I have a constant fascination with the Steam Content Server Stats page. I like watching the trends and seeing just how much bandwidth the Steam CDN can eat up, keeping a mental note of the highest peak utilization.
In terms of the trend, utilization is often around 200 - 300 Gbps, sometimes dipping below 200 when there’s nothing particularly exciting happening (e.g. a not-so-great midweek sale). Prior to the sale, the highest I had ever seen the peak value was 658 Gbps. The sales are often the record breakers and this summer did not disappoint. Below is a screen capture showing a peak of over 768 Gbps, 3/4th’s of a terabit.


Even the smaller of those numbers is nothing to sneeze at. That’s a lot of bandwidth. In late 2010 when Netflix announced a move to Level 3 for streaming of their video services, Level 3 stated that they had 1.65 ter…

My Experience with Amazon Mechanical Turk

During my regular perusal of Hacker News a little while back, I ran across what appeared to be an interesting blog post, specifically Peter Thiel’s CS183: Startup - Class 4 Notes Essay by Blake Masters. Not knowing much at the time, I just saw that it was notes for a lecture given on startups and thought it would be worth checking out. To bring you up to speed now, though, they are notes for an actual course at Stanford University with Peter Thiel as one of the lecturers, a PayPal co-founder.

Now, there are tons of interesting blog posts and articles that show up on HN. Most of which I end up browsing and often discard a few paragraphs in. Though there are still more I would like to read through completely but I just don’t have the time. Particularly as I am a rather slow reader. Thus when I came across these notes at around 6200 words, I was a bit saddened as I figured I would never get around to reading through it.

I just so happened to have recently read through this great article on…