ntang: (cartoon)
2010-11-06 09:59 pm

Where I am nowadays

I haven't updated this in a million years... in case you're wondering why, it's because I've mostly moved on to other places.

You can find my primary blog here:
http://ntang.tumblr.com/

I post frequently there, generally quick thoughts, links, photos and videos, etc.

Longer posts, esp. work related ones, go here from time to time:
http://nicholasytang.wordpress.com/

I'm also trying out about.me as a centralized "profile" page:
http://about.me/nicholastang

And finally, my professional profile is available on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholastang

Phew!

I may try to "syndicate" some/ all of my posts from Tumblr or Wordpress over here, but for now, this blog is more or less on ice.
ntang: (Default)
2009-08-10 10:06 pm

DSL

I've been a loyal Megapath customer for years. (Something like 8 or 10, crazy, in that range...) They've had great service (and a great service - fast DSL, static ip's, all that jazz).

Anyways, the emphasis on all of this is "had".

I moved. I emailed support and billing, and let them know, and asked for help moving the line. Radio silence for 2 weeks. I ignored it for a while, since I was busy working and packing and moving, but when I had a break, I picked up the phone and called. Painful. No idea I'm moving, despite having a 2 week old support ticket AND a 2 week old billing ticket. No idea how to provision my line.

In fact, couldn't even provision it without phone service, but that there's no way to get DDSL ("naked" DSL), only ADSL or SDSL, or I'll lose my IP's. Fine. I sign up w/ Verizon, and a week later, have my phone. (Very impressed at how quick that was!)

Ok, so, back on the phone. Different person, who now tells me DDSL is definitely available, and cheaper, and says she'll set me up. Eureka! I fill out the papers, sign them, return them. Done!

Inside wiring date set, after waiting. Inside wiring date comes. No one shows up. They say we're not home. Sweet.

I call to complain. Apologetic, but won't bump anything up, says she'll arrange a new inside wiring date within 24 hours.

Now, almost a week later, still no confirmation email, no new date set. I'm now something like 4 weeks into this ("30 day") odyssey, I've gotten the run-around, none of the tickets I've opened were ever answered, the messages I leave don't get returned... I have a life, I don't have time to chase them around for this stuff! It should've been done a week ago, instead I still don't even have a guesstimate of a date.

This is the company I used to recommend? Hell with that. I'm really pissed at those guys, they're dropping the ball big time. My recommendation now? Stay away from them. :P

Wish I had FIOS w/ static IP's.

Update: Ok, now I have a new inside wiring date, and it's the 18th. And then after that, there's apparently more work to be done, too, so I dunno, maybe I'll be up and running within 7 weeks of first contacting them? Frustrating. The worst part is the fact that it's just so hard to get a straight answer (or any answer!) from them. It's a lot easier to be patient when you can actually get an answer and things get done when they say they will.
ntang: (Default)
2008-10-09 03:24 pm

MySQL failover

So we're running some MySQL at work, which is a little unusual for us, but is probably long overdue. (Specifically, it's for some Wordpress instances.)

What I'm wondering is, what have people found works best (in terms of management effort first, performance second) for MySQL failover/ high-availability/ clustering/ etc.?

We're running a Master-Master setup w/ the built-in replication, and it works... but when it gets out of sync, it gets ugly. I'm not a huge fan of this, because it means a lot of potential, recurring headaches down the road. We're using HyperDB but I'm not sure how well it really works.

An alternative version of this that we're considering is running Master-Master, but only pointing the webservers to a single instance, and then failing over (either manually, or through something like linux-ha or lvs or whatever) to the second only if the first stops working. This gives us failover capabilities, but effectively means we don't have to worry about a bi-directional sync (most of the time). The downsides are that manual failover means downtime anytime there's a failure, and automatic failover opens the potential for flip-flop scenarios where it's bouncing back and forth frequently. (On the other hand, this still isn't as bad as having both masters get written to, all the time, it seems...)

I've read about using linux-heartbeat and DRBD to manage the databases, and having it literally syncing the mount itself. This is kind of nifty but we've used DRBD before and I didn't really like it, so I'm not really leaning towards this. But... it *does* seem to be potentially the most "elegant" solution in some ways.

Obviously, I know about MySQL Cluster, but since I don't know how large our data is going to grow, I'm not sure if an in-memory solution will work. That, plus the base requirement is setting up 5 nodes (2/2/1) and that seems like a lot of work for "simple" (cough) failover.

I've had a recommendation for MySQL Proxy as the "failover" layer, and then we could just run two MySQL Proxy boxes. Seems reasonable, but not sure what the plusses/ minuses are, other than the fact that I didn't find a lot of examples of people writing about it doing a quick google search, and I'm not sure how well tested or thorough it is as an HA solution.

I found this article:
http://dev.mysql.com/tech-resources/articles/failover-strategy-part1.html

Looks pretty good, and I'm reading it now, but again, I'm not sure if I should trust its solution (MPP). Maybe, maybe not.

So since I know a bunch of you are running real, live MySQL instances and presumably have some need to keep them up and running, what have you done, and how has it worked? 'eh, 'eh?

Nicholas
ntang: (Default)
2008-10-06 06:05 pm

Mad Dog Palin

"The truly disgusting thing about Sarah Palin isn't that she's totally unqualified, or a religious zealot, or married to a secessionist, or unable to educate her own daughter about sex, or a fake conservative who raised taxes and horked up earmark millions every chance she got. No, the most disgusting thing about her is what she says about us: that you can ram us in the ass for eight solid years, and we'll not only thank you for your trouble, we'll sign you up for eight more years, if only you promise to stroke us in the right spot for a few hours around election time."

-- Matt Taibbi, "Mad Dog Palin", from the Oct. 2nd issue of Rolling Stone

Read it here:
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/23318320/mad_dog_palin
ntang: (Default)
2008-09-25 01:25 am

oow

At oracle open world. They're having a customer appreciation event, at treasure island, a man-made island in the bay outside of san fran. They've set up a whole amusement park/ carnival - ferris wheel, other rides, games, etc. The wine and beer is free and free flowing, and right now Seal is up on stage.

The sound system is mind-boggling - I've never been at a concert where it was this clear through the entire area. After Seal finishes his set, Elvis Costello is up.

This must be costing them a ton. There are thousands of people here, and everyone is eating and drinking and watching the music and playing the games. Must be good to be a profitable company.

Earlier this afternoon he (Larry Ellison, the oracle ceo) ripped netapp a new asshole, said oracle's new platform was like 40x faster, and they turned out to be one of the major sponsors of the event. Their flags are flying right above Seal as he sings and dances around - wonder if they're regretting writing larry that check now?

Anyways, further updates thru twitter. Lj is too hard on my blackberry.
ntang: (Default)
2008-08-07 01:41 pm

NYC Summer Streets

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/summerstreets/html/about/about.shtml

Summer Streets will take place for three consecutive Saturdays in August (August 9, 16, & 23) from 7:00 am - 1:00 pm. The route will connect the Brooklyn Bridge with Central Park and there will be recommended connections to the Hudson River Greenway, allowing participants to plan a route as long or short as they wish.

This event takes a valuable public space - our City's streets - and opens them up to people to play, walk, bike, and breathe. Summer Streets provides more space for healthy recreation and is a part of NYC's greening initiative by encouraging New Yorkers to use more sustainable forms of transportation.

Modeled on other events from around the world including Bogotá, Colombia's Ciclovia, Paris, France's Paris Plage, and even New York's own Museum Mile, this event will be part bike tour, part block party, a great time for exercise, people watching, and just enjoying summer mornings.

This event is for people of all ages and ability levels to share the streets respectfully.


ntang: (Default)
2008-07-04 11:35 pm

4th

On our way to a 4th of July party... It's actually the official Macy's party on nbc - look for us on tv!
ntang: (Default)
2008-06-11 08:16 am

Taken for a ride on the Fast Talk Express...

For anyone taken for a ride on the McCain Fast Talk Express, check this out:



Mmmm. Tasty.

The original: )
ntang: (Default)
2008-06-03 11:00 pm

It's over...

...finally.

Well, technically, not finally - Hillary has refused to concede, which is her right. I wish she would, but she's got to do what she believes is best (for her, if not for the party).

I've been reading a lot of articles and blogs over the past few days, and what struck me was not that people were disappointed that she had lost, but the outright rancor of some of her supporters towards Obama.

Personally, I'd have been really disappointed if Obama lost, and I get that - it's hard to put your hopes on someone you believe in, someone you think could really make a difference for you, for the country, etc. I completely understand that. I understand being bitter, I understand being disappointed, I even understand being a little angry.

What I don't understand - and I realize this is a minority of her supporters (hopefully!) that I'm referring to, but it's large enough to make itself known across the "blogosphere" - is why so many of her supporters are saying they'd rather vote for McCain than Obama now that Obama has "stolen" the nomination. (The fact that he won it, fair and square, is a separate issue but a moot point now so I won't get into it.)

It's shocking to me, honestly. As much as I prefer Obama to Clinton, I'd vote for her in a heartbeat over McCain. Obama and Clinton are maybe 5-10% apart in views and policies; the differences are mostly in tenor and in gender, in a lot of issues. Obama/Hillary and McCain, on other other hand, are dramatically different. Does anyone believe that McCain is going to advance the feminist platform, or do right in Iraq, or push equal rights for everyone, or control the government and get the budget under control, or really do anything other than continue Bush's losing and disastrous policies? (I mean among the Democrats; obviously, people believe that about him, or he wouldn't have won the nomination, except among the patently insane who believe GW was an effective, positive influence on the US and the world.)

Even for the disenchanted who see them both as not good enough, surely, it's still worth voting for the candidate that's the lesser of two evils rather than let the greater evil win, right? If the choice is between having a finger cut off or your whole hand, I'd pick the finger even if it sucked.

I dunno. I'd love to cheer my heart out for Obama - I do genuinely think he's our best shot at turning the tide, here - but I'm a little demoralized by the rampant hatred I see out there. I get it coming from the Republican side - it's what I expect from a lot of them. But even from the Dems and people from progressive groups? It's really disappointing. (Sigh.)

(P.S. Note to friends: this doesn't directly reference anyone I know. I'm referring, quite literally, just to the people I've seen post comments on news articles and on blog posts, and all of them, to date, have been complete strangers. If any of you share in the hatred, well, don't tell me and pretend you never saw this and we'll try to move on. ;) )
ntang: (Default)
2008-04-11 08:11 am

Big news

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=63747&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1128300&highlight=

Radio One, Inc. Announces the Acquisition of Social Media Network Community Connect Inc.

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 10, 2008--Radio One, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROIAK and ROIA) today announced that it has acquired the social networking company, Community Connect Inc., for a transaction price of approximately $38 million dollars.

Community Connect Inc. (CCI), which owns and operates a number of social-networking brands under its umbrella including BlackPlanet.com, MiGente.com, and AsianAve.com, is the leading online niche social-networking company. With over 20 million members it is the 4th most visited US social networking property/publisher. (Hitwise January 2008).

"CCI is an innovator and pioneer in social networking," says Alfred Liggins, III, Radio One's CEO and President. "We believe that they are a great complement to our existing radio, TV, and online properties."

This acquisition is another example of Radio One, Inc.'s continued strategy of diversification outside of the radio broadcasting space in order to deliver a more holistic approach to targeting African Americans. Radio One purchased GIANT, a magazine targeting Urban consumers, in December, 2006 and has an interest in the African-American targeted cable network, TV ONE. This acquisition gives Radio One a strong foothold in the ever growing social networking and multicultural online space.

"We will be the clear number one in the African-American online space," said Mr. Liggins.

Analyst eMarketer predicts that by 2011, $4.1 billion will be spent worldwide for social network advertising, a dramatic increase from the $480 million spent in 2006. In 2008 alone, global ad spend in the social networking arena is expected to increase 75% year over year, amounting to $2.1 billion (eMarketer, Social Network Marketing: Ad Spending and Usage, December 2007).

"This is a great opportunity to take CCI to the next level," said Ben Sun, President and Founder of CCI. "Radio One reaches over 20 million people every week in radio, TV, print and online giving us the opportunity to capitalize on cross-platform opportunities for our brands that will truly benefit our members and advertisers."

"CCI's management team recognizes that the Internet is less about single destinations and more about connecting people, around touchpoints of culture and lifestyles. They have built incredible loyalty among their members," said Tom Newman, President of Radio One's Interactive division.

Upon closing the transaction current President and Founder Ben Sun will continue to run CCI and will report to Tom Newman. Community Connect Inc. has approximately 100 employees and is headquartered in New York City. Rothschild, Inc. acted as financial advisor to Radio One in connection with the transaction. Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. acted as financial advisor to Community Connect Inc. in connection with the transaction.

Radio One, Inc. (www.radio-one.com) is one of the nation's largest radio broadcasting companies and the largest radio broadcasting company that primarily targets African-American and urban listeners. Pro forma for recently announced transactions, Radio One owns and/or operates 53 radio stations located in 16 urban markets in the United States. Additionally, Radio One owns Magazine One, Inc. (d/b/a Giant Magazine) (www.giantmag.com), interests in TV One, LLC (www.tvoneonline.com), a cable/satellite network programming primarily to African-Americans and Reach Media, Inc. (www.blackamericaweb.com), owner of the Tom Joyner Morning Show and other businesses associated with Tom Joyner.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements represent management's current expectations and are based upon information available to Radio One at the time of this release. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond Radio One's control, that may cause the actual results to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Radio one does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements.
    CONTACT: Radio One, Inc.
             Peter D. Thompson, EVP and CFO
             301-429-4638
             pthompson@radio-one.com

    SOURCE: Radio One, Inc.
ntang: (Default)
2008-04-07 11:18 pm

Congestion pricing defeated

The news is in, and it's bad: congestion pricing lost.

I think Mayor Bloomberg put it best:


"Today is a sad day for New Yorkers and a sad day for New York City. Not only won't we see the realization of a plan that would have cut traffic, spurred our economy, reduced pollution and improved public health, we will also lose out on nearly $500 million annually for mass transit improvements and $354 million in immediate federal funds.

"I will be speaking with Secretary Peters and will express my thanks for her commitment to innovative solutions to real problems facing large cities today. I will also express my deep disappointment that, sadly, even Washington, which most Americans agree is completely dysfunctional, is more willing to try new approaches to longstanding problems than our elected officials in the State Assembly. It takes true leadership and courage to embrace new concepts and ideas and to be willing to try something. Unfortunately, both are lacking in the Assembly today.

"If that wasn't shameful enough, it takes a special type of cowardice for elected officials to refuse to stand up and vote their conscience – on an issue that has been debated, and amended significantly to resolve many outstanding issues, for more than a year. Every New Yorker has a right to know if the person they send to Albany was for or against better transit and cleaner air. People know where I stood, and where members of the City Council stood. They deserved at least that from Albany."




Go Bloomy. I don't like everything he's done, by any means, but his PlaNYC and Congestion Pricing plan was genius and it makes me sick that it didn't pass. It's sad.

More:
http://www.streetsblog.org/2008/04/07/its-apparently-official-congestion-pricing-is-dead/
ntang: (lung)
2008-03-25 05:24 pm
Entry tags:

Hilary Clinton: liar

Hilary Clinton apparently lied about her visit to Bosnia in a few ways.

First off, there was no sniper fire, and there was no panicked running to safety. Nor, in fact, was the ceremony moved inside due to the threat of sniper fire. The whole sniper fire thing is pretty much all imaginary. To put thing in perspective: the great American war-hero, Sinbad (that old stand-up comedian) described it as completely safe - yes, he was there at the ceremony. The corkscrew landing she described was also BS - apparently, they just landed faster than normal to minimize any potential threat of hostile fire. That was a standard precaution, though, and there was no known sniper (or other) fire.

Secondly, she wasn't the first high profile American to go into the country after the peace treaty. The list there includes Madeleine Albright, John Shalikashvili, Bill Perry, various members of Congress and President Clinton. Of course, if I recall correctly, she had specifically said that she went before her husband, so that's just complete BS.

View her shocking heroism here:


Read more about it at the latest of around 1000 articles discussing it here:
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/185322.php

For the record: I used to like Hilary Clinton. I no longer do. For all of Obama's faults, I think he stands head and shoulders above her in many ways, and right now, I hope she goes down in flames. She has managed, by hook and by crook (and by that of course I'm referring to her campaign staff) to single-handedly lower the standards of the Democratic primary race to the level of the Republican party. Thanks, Hil.

In other unshocking news, John McCain is a lying (and incompetent) sack of sh*t but almost no one seems to notice:
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2008_03/013394.php

Talk about the media going easy on someone.

I hate politics in the U.S. On a good day, it's like taking a bath in sewage... and there are very few good days.
ntang: (Default)
2008-03-05 10:49 am

Best science toy EVER

Well, at least so far. My boss linked me to this. Even if you hate science, and you hate toys, just watch a few minutes of this - it is SO COOL. Amazing stuff.



It's called Phun and it can be downloaded here:
http://www.acc.umu.se/~emilk/
ntang: (Default)
2008-03-04 02:08 pm

Gary Gygax: DEAD

That headline either means a bunch to you or means nothing at all. I'm guessing a 20/80 split (with 80% of you having no idea who he is or why anyone would care).

(I don't actually care that much, honestly, but he's still an important figure in some ways and deserves some recognition of that.)
ntang: (Default)
2008-03-03 12:59 pm

WaPo: women are stupid.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/29/AR2008022902992.html

The title of the article is "We Scream, We Swoon. How Dumb Can We Get?". Ladies, the Washington Post thinks you're a bunch of idiots.

It's theoretically tongue-in-cheek, but... well, you can read it.

Update: I missed this earlier, apparently WaPo changed the title from calling women stupid, to just saying they act stupidly. Much better!

http://feministing.com/archives/008711.html
ntang: (Default)
2008-02-29 02:43 pm

Free "Wrench" w/ oil

"wrench"

It's a... wrench. I guess it's a strap-on "wrench"... that you get when you buy their lubricating oil. Hmmm.