Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Busy week at work

I was involved in three independent launches this week:
  • My 20% Farsi keyboard launched on Monday. It's now listed in the Gadget directory. I've also embedded the gadget below.
  • We finished up a project that made some backend changes to Gmail. Nothing user visible, but some invisible things are now better.
  • OpenSocial is finally announced. It's launching on Thursday!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Searching Google in Farsi

I sometimes need to do searches in Farsi, but I don't know the keyboard bindings. I built out an iGoogle Gadget that is an on-screen Farsi keyboard (see the screen shot). It launched today. Click here to use it. A lot of credit to Googlers in India who built this out for several other Indic languages. I only extended it for Farsi.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Do you have a racial bias?

Here is a site that tells you about your biases against people. Go to (just click on demo and it takes about 10 minutes). Here is an article about this.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Right vs Left Brain

This has been going around for a week. There is an article about it. If you see her turn clock-wise, then you use more of your right brain; otherwise, you're a left brain person. Your left brain is in charge of logic, math, analytics, practical, etc. Your right brain is in charge of creativity, art, feeling, fantasy, risk, etc. And most people I know have been able to rotate the direction with some concentration and luck.

On most personality tests, I score right in the middle. So I first thought that I will not see her rotate at all. But I guess I'm more of a right brain person according to this. I wonder if it'll change from week to week.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Further Reading

I'm visiting Cornell for a few days. I'm giving four talks here. Here are some additional reading for those who are interested.

Google Talk Servers - CS 212
Google Search - CS 211
Google's computing infrastructure - ACSU Talk
Links to papers on some of our distributed systems infrastructure:
Links for info about resumes and interviews - SHPE Talk

More videos from other Googlers.

Lessons in building scalable systems

Since launching Google Talk in the summer of 2005, we have integrated the service with two large existing products: Gmail and orkut. Each of these integrations provided unique scalability challenges as we had to handle a sudden big increase in the number of users. Today, Google Talk supports millions of users and handles billions of packets per day. I will discuss several practical lessons and key insights from our experience that can be used for any project. These lessons will cover both engineering and operational areas.

Reza Behforooz is a Senior Staff Engineer at Google and is currently the technical lead for the Google Talk servers. He's passionate about building large systems and working on communication products in an attempt to make the world a smaller place. While at Google, he has primarily worked on Google Talk, Gmail, orkut, Google Groups, and shared infrastructure used by several Google applications. Reza holds a BS from Cornell and a MS from Stanford in Computer Science. Prior to Google, he held various engineering and management positions at Microsoft and two startups, Zaplet and Epiphany.