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  Author sightings, partner events, and other notable happenings.  

Here’s an update on what our authors and friends are up to for the next three months.

One of the interesting talks coming up is Michael Nygard’s “Exploiting Loopholes in CAP” at QCon San Francisco. Andy Lester suggested that Michael explain CAP for those of us not in the know, and Michael supplied the following explanation:

“CAP is ‘Consistency, Availability, and Partition-Tolerance.’ We say CAP as shorthand for Brewer’s Conjecture, which says that a distributed system can achieve at most two of those three qualities. CAP was proved in a 2002 paper by Gilbert and Lynch. This theorem spawned the entire crop of eventually-consistent databases. (Mongo, Cassandra, Couch, Riak, etc.) Like any proof, however, the Gilbert & Lynch proof relies on some strict definitions and assumptions. In my talk, I’ll be showing how to ‘dodge’ CAP by working with different definitions of ‘consistent’ and ‘available,’ or by otherwise changing the assumptions that underlie the proof.”

O’Reilly Events

Upcoming events from our friends at O’Reilly.

  • Nov 7, Mini TOC Charleston, Charleston, SC
    Mini TOC Charleston is geared to librarians, large & small publishers, self-published authors, creative collectives, information hobbyists, journalists, historians, bloggers, and online experts seeking a better understanding of what ubiquitous content means for the future of commercial publishing.
  • Dec 4–5, Velocity China Conference, Beijing, China
    Most dynamic website companies face the same challenge: pages must load fast, the infrastructure has to be able to expand, sites and services must be reliable, and you have to do it all in a timeframe the team can handle while keeping it within budget. Velocity is the best place for Web professionals to meet to exchange ideas and share best practices and lessons learned.


What’s coming from our USENIX friends.

  • Dec 3–7, Middleware 2012, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    ACM/IFIP/USENIX 13th International Conference on Middleware: “a premier forum for the discussion of innovations and recent advances in the design, implementation, experimentation, deployment, and usage of middleware systems.”
  • Dec 9–14, LISA ’12, San Diego, CA
    26th Large Installation System Administration Conference: “The annual LISA conference is the meeting place of choice for system and network administrators and engineers; it is the crossroads of Web operations, DevOps, enterprise computing, educational computing, and research computing.”

Other Happenings

  • Nov 8
    Bill Joy is 58.
  • Nov 6
    Jerry Yang is 44.
  • Nov 10
    Bert Bos, co-creator of Cascading Style Sheets, is 49.
  • Nov 10
    Richard Brodie, creator of Microsoft Word, is 52.
  • Nov 18
    Pamela Kyle Crossley, historian and creator of SIMPLE, is 57.
  • Nov 19
    Dries Buytaert, Drupal founder and lead developer, is 34.
  • Nov 22
    Randall Schwartz is 51.
  • Nov 22
    PHP creator Rasmus Lerdorf is 44.
  • Nov 22
    And it’s Charles Simonyi’s wedding anniversary.
  • Dec 3
    John Backus would have been 87.
  • Dec 4
    Eric Raymond, aka ESR, is 43.
  • Dec 9
    Grace Hopper’s 105th birthday.
  • Dec 10
    Ada Lovelace’s 196th birthday.
  • Dec 10
    Ada, the programming language, is 31 today.
  • Dec 16
    John Bardeen and Walter Brattain created the first transistor on this day in 1947.
  • Dec 17
    Ken Iverson, creator of APL, would have been 91 today.
  • Dec 17
    Les Earnest, inventor of first spell checker and of the finger protocol, is 81.
  • Jan 10
    MUD co-creator Richard Bartle is 53.
  • Jan 10
    Donald Knuth, who continues to inspire authors who are having trouble finishing that book, is 75.
  • Jan 11
    Tony Hoare, author of Quicksort, is 79.
  • Jan 20
    Sims creator Will Wright is 53.
  • Jan 21
    Paul Allen is 60.
  • Jan 22
    On this day in 1984, Superbowl viewers watched a woman with a hammer smash Big Brother.
  • Jan 24
    Alain Colmerauer, Prolog’s creator, is 72.
  • Jan 25
    Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani is 58.
  • Jan 31
    Guido van Rossum, author of Python and possessor of an excellent last name for a programmer (Google “R.U.R.”), is 57.

And be sure to celebrate December 10th. As you probably know, December 10th is the birthday of the first programmer, Ada Lovelace, colleague of Charles Babbage and daughter of Lord Byron. It’s also, incidentally, the birthday of poet Emily Dickinson, of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, and of newscaster Chet Huntley. For Hardy Boys fans, it’s the 71st birthday of both Tim Considine and Tommy Kirk. It’s the anniversary of the end of the Spanish-American War, and shouldn’t we look for any excuse to celebrate the end of a war? It’s a day of auspicious beginnings, too, since it’s the day of the year on which women were first allowed to vote in the United States. December 10th is a particularly romantic day, being the day on which King Edward VIII abdicated the throne of England to marry Mrs. Wallis Simpson. And it’s the day on which the millionth Model T rolled off the Ford production line, which may be sort of romantic for some people. It’s the anniversary of the establishment of the Metric System in France, the day the Nobel Prizes are awarded, and the day on which the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A significant day, surely. And on December 10, 1884, Huckleberry Finn was published, for which we are all richer.