Matt Taibbi does have a way with words:

I'm glad that there's at least one reporter who takes so much cynical glee in uncovering what happens in Wall Street, even if in somewhat lurid and no-doubt slightly exagerrated form:
What really happened to Bear and Lehman is that an economic drought temporarily left the hyenas without any more middle-class victims — and so they started eating each other, using the exact same schemes they had been using for years to fleece the rest of the country. And in the forensic footprint left by those kills, we can see for the first time exactly how the scam worked — and how completely even the government regulators who are supposed to protect us have given up trying to stop it.

Just like that, with a slight nod of Paulson's big shiny head, Bear was vaporized. This, remember, all took place while Bear's stock was still selling at $30. By knocking the share price down 28 bucks, Paulson ensured that the manipulators who were illegally counterfeiting Bear's shares would make an awesome fortune.
What is interesting is that he seems to suggest that Geithner & Bernanke gave false testimony to the Senate, which would be tectonically enormous if true:
The month after Bear's collapse, both men testified before the Senate that they only learned how dire the firm's liquidity problems were on Thursday, March 13th — despite the fact that rumors of Bear's troubles had begun as early as that Monday and both men had met in person with every key player on Wall Street that Tuesday. This is a little like saying you spent the afternoon of September 12th, 2001, in the Oval Office, but didn't hear about the Twin Towers falling until September 14th.
Like with the whole torture thing (appropos of which, sunlight maybe?), the more I read about Wall Street, the worse it looks.


EC2: now having actually played with it a *little*...

So, in place of my previous bloviation on the subject, unfettered by the weight of experience, a couple of somewhat-more-tempered comments follow:
  • Using the command-line tools is slow. They're shifting gigs of data around at the touch of a button, but hey, it's a UX thing.
  • In terms of actual tools, the options seem to be:
    • Go with the command-line tools and a bunch of bash scripts
    • Go with a (generally) half-baked third-party API, with its own idiosyncrasies built in, and the traditional lack of documentation OSS projects feel they can get away with.
    • (My inevitable option) download the WSDLs & use something to generate your own API in whatever language. Regenerate it whenever the API changes.
  • This choice is especially acute since I'm not intending, ultimately, to have to do anything by hand - so programming things properly to start with seems like the only sensible option.
  • Consistent IO on EBS is apparently not an option. This is something I think Amazon should fix toute suite, because things like RackSpace (maybe) and NewServers (h.t. etbe) seem to be to stomping all over the EBS I/O figures. In a different context, James Hamilton says "it makes no sense to allow a lower cost component impose constraints on the optimization of a higher cost component", and assuming that the servers are the expensive part, this is what (IMHO) may make using RDBMSs on EC2 a bit of a PIA long-term.


“If they’re too big to fail, they’re too big,”
So, the next question is, when will the current head of the Fed adopt this position?


Norwegian Irony?

I like the guy too, but:
In February, the Obama DOJ went to court to block victims of rendition and torture from having a day in court, adopting in full the Bush argument that whatever was done to the victims is a "state secret" and national security would be harmed if the case proceeded.
And all year long, the Obama DOJ fought (unsuccessfully) to keep encaged at Guantanamo a man whom Bush officials had tortured while knowing he was innocent.
- The indefatigable Glenn Greenwald

Asked why the [nobel] prize had been awarded to Mr Obama less than a year after he took office, Nobel Committee head Thorbjoern Jagland said: "It was because we would like to support what he is trying to achieve"

"Obama has a long way to go still and lots of work to do before he can deserve a reward,"
- Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri.

"It's the prize for not being George W. Bush"
--Sky News commentator.

I find myself in the bizarre situation of agreeing with crazy right-wing nutcases (not linked to, but depressingly easy to find), terrorists, and a News Corporation talking head, all at the same time. He hasn't done anything yet!!! And in any in any case, torture! Sheesh!


Hotrepart: long term plans

Pace my previous post on moving hotrepart forward, the plan is as follows:
  • Patch the seemingly-dormant CloudTools to support PostgreSQL, using Londiste for replication.
  • Patch CloudTools again to allow online adding & removing slaves.
  • Patch hotrepart and PL/Proxy again, this time to add a CLUSTERS command that will allow PL/Proxy to act as a bus not just for sharding, but also for master-slave replications.
  • Patch CloudTools again to allow dynamic repartitioning with hotrepart.
Once this is done, then I should be able to run a test cluster that auto-adapts the server provisioning based on workload. If I can get this up to 500 nodes, then I'll consider myself happy, and start working on snazzy canvas-based visualisation/management toolkit.

Canvas will probably be fully supported in IE10 by this time. Anyway.